Thursday, November 6, 2014
Ours is a strange language, isn't it? We say "fruit" and we think edible, usually sweet, sometimes acidic. As American as apple pie, orange juice or even bananas (usually in pudding in our house.) However, botany includes many culinary items, such as beans, corn, and grains - such as the grassy graphic above.
The Bible speaks of “corn”, beginning in Genesis:
Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: (Genesis 27:28 KJV)
Jesus spoke of “corn”, too:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24 KJV)
I remember a Sunday School student who thought she had discovered a biblical error in such verses. She learned that what we call corn had been discovered in the Americas, not existing in the eastern continents. Corn, however, meant any cereal crop. No biblical error here.
And, an excellent lesson from our Lord about how a “corn of wheat” can “bringeth forth much fruit.” We think of a seed as dying, being buried, before a new plant grows and bears fruit, but the seed doesn’t actually die, it changes. The change isn’t much different from a caterpillar becoming a husk then changing into a butterfly, is it?
That’s what I think of when I read:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)
Dying to self is a theme in Christianity, just as living a new life:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:3-7 KJV)
Paul understood this, and explained:
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Romans 6:4-5 KJV)
Get it? Buried, death, resurrection! We should see changes in ourselves, bringing forth new fruit – and here’s the fruit we should see:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)
That’s not a long list, is it? Where do you best see yourself?