“In this, my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit and that your fruit may remain” (John 15:8).
A Farmer’s Narrative
Jesus used parables to communicate the message of the Kingdom. Parables were like an allegory, the true meaning went beyond the characters mentioned and indicated deeper consequences than as told in the narrative. Some of these parables were a narrative of a farmer at his work or the narrative of how seeds or crops fared under different circumstances.
Consider the parable of the sower (Matthew 23:1-3; Mark 5:2-20; Luke 8:4-15), the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:23-40) and the parable of the tenants (Mark 12:1-11; Matthew 21:33-46; Luke 20:9-18) as examples.
One of the points that stick out from these farm related parables is that the fruit of the planted crop is the most important thing to the farmer. The farmer tills the soil with fruit in mind; he plants the seeds with fruit in mind; he waters the crop with fruit in mind and looks expectantly to the harvest with the fruit to be harvested in mind. He wants to be reward for his labour and a bountiful harvest will be just fine.
Lord Jesus used these parables to communicate spiritual realities and He made His disciples understand that the Heavenly Father cares much about fruit too.
This was what He mentioned to His disciples in John 15:8,16:
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.”
The Father Farms The Son (like a parable)
The Father planted the Son (the true vine- John 15:1) in the world (this same corrupted world in which we all find ourselves). The deep reality was that although the Son was in this world, He never lived by the corrupted life in the world because He was not of this world. He was planted on the Father’s Soil. He lived by the Father’s nutrient (that is the Father’s Life). So the Son grew and thrived and blossomed and produced fruit in one hundred fold.
The Father was absolutely pleased with the Son. He then grafted branches (all who believe in Jesus to receive salvation) into Him so that the branches could partake of the fruitfulness of the Son.
The Son was nourished by the nutrient on the Father’s ground. The grafted branches are nourished by the nutrient that flows in the vine (Jesus). Without Jesus, we can do nothing. We live by His life. If that life ceases to be supplied to us, we wither, cannot yield fruit and are only fit for being burnt in the fire (John 15: 5-6).
In Plainer Words
Being Christlike is simply living as Jesus lived. This is not about trying your best to imitate the life of Jesus as recorded in the scriptures. It is not about trying to be what you are not. This is about living by your regenerate nature, the nature that has been imparted by the Father into all who are in Jesus.
This is true because the old creature that was incapable of pleasing God was nailed to the cross through faith in Jesus as God’s Messiah and Redeemer for man. With the old creature dead, a new creature, capable of responding to God just like Jesus is born (Romans 6:1-4-23; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Galatians 6:15). We realize that because we are new creatures in Him, as He is, so we are in this world (1 John 4:17).
Living as Jesus lived means living by the Father’s Life. Brethren, it takes the “Father’s Life” to produce the Father’s fruit. God has given us His Life and this life is in the Son. Whoever has the Son has this life but whoever does not have the Son does not have this life (1 John 5:11-12). We are to be vessels through which the Father’s life in the Son is expressed.
The Father dwells in the Son and the Son dwells in the Father. Anyone who has the Son has the Father also and the Father’s Life that enables the production of fruit is resident in that person, energizing him to produce fruit in which the Father delights.
Lord Jesus blazed a trail in all things that pertain to pleasing the Father. He is preeminent and the Father delights in Him. When it comes to fruitfulness as Jesus Himself, no one can attain to it by Himself, no matter how hard he tries. Being fruitful as Jesus is entirely by the ability of the Father’s Life in Jesus Christ who now lives in us.
“For it is God who is the cause of your desires and of your acts for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13- BBE).
But the fruit was a symbol in the parables too, so what is its true meaning?
To be continued.