[this post was contributed by Alex Rover]
How would you illustrate these two verses?
“Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.” (John 15:8 AKJV)
“so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5 NIV)
Perhaps this image of National Geographic comes close:
What you are looking at is a tree in full blossom. But it’s not your average tree. Notice the different colors and patterns. Indeed, we each have different gifts of the Spirit, depending on which part of the Body of Christ we are. (1 Cor 12:27) Likewise the tree shown above has flowering branches grouped together by similar color. Simply beautiful!
What you might not know is that this tree grows 40 kinds of fruit! How is that possible? Take a look at this amazing video while bearing in mind that ultimately our Father is the gardener. (John 15:1)
It is made possible by a process called grafting, as explained in the video,
“and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree” (Romans 11:17 NASB)
“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one” (Ephesians 2:13-14 NASB)
This colorful tree is not Jew, nor Greek, it’s something new all together! Such a unique tree has never been seen before!
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 NIV)
As a beautiful, diverse fruit-bearing tree in a desolate world, we manifest that we are disciples of Christ by remaining in him. (Micah 7:13)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.” (John 6:56 NIV)
Let us be determined to remain in Christ as partakers of the promise in him, bearing more and more fruit as the Father prunes his tree to greater beauty. There is no doubt that the Bride has made herself ready for the day when her joy will be made complete! (Revelation 19:7-9; John 3:29)