John 15:5 (NRSV) says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”
This is the scripture behind Vine Church’s name. It’s about us, the branches, being connected to Jesus, the vine. He is our life source, our everything. And if we live with Him, we will bear good fruit.
Fruit is an image and metaphor used throughout the Bible, especially the New Testament, so when we look at other scriptures, we know that everybody bears fruit. An example of this is Matthew 12:33, which reads, “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit” (NRSV).
Everyone likes fruit to some extent. Some like it a little, and some like it a lot. Some like it plain, some like it mixed in a smoothie, and some like it dipped in chocolate. Regardless of how or how often one eats it, everybody eats fruit.
And we all have our preferences. When I read the passage where the Israelites reach the promise land and some of them go in to do recon and return with those gigantic grapes, I practically start salivating because grapes are my favorite fruit. My best friend was once on a nutrition plan to complement her workout regimen, and she could only have a small amount of fruit every day, and she always chose bananas. As someone who eats about 12 bananas a year, all I could think was, “You only get so much fruit per day, and you’re wasting it on bananas?”
We all understand liking fruit in some capacity. We all understand good fruits and bad fruits as we feel about them. It’s important that we also understand the spiritual version of this. Galatians 5:22-23 (NRSV) tells us, “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.”
Imagine your preferred fruit large and beautiful and just the way you like it. That’s what we produce spiritually when we abide in Jesus. When we’re connected to Him, we bear goodness because He is wholly good.
We must look at the fruits we’re bearing. Do we like them? Are they luscious and healthy and ripe? Most importantly, what are we attached to that is causing us to produce such fruits? I can only answer those questions for myself, but I can tell you that the best fruit comes when we’re attached to the true vine.
By Carrie Prevette