“Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.” –Luke 6:44
“My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?” –James 3:12a
I’m no arborist (tree expert). I never know what kinds of trees Lexi and I are walking under until they blossom in the spring and reveal which flower or fruit they bear. Then I can say, “Aha, that’s an apple tree. That’s a dogwood.” So it is with God’s children. We never know what kind of fruit each of us will bear until we blossom in God’s grace. In Scripture, Luke goes on to compare the fruit of the righteous to the fruit of the unrighteous: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart” (6:45). This is James’s point, too. (Verse 3:12b says, “Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”) But there’s another point to be made. Even among the righteous we all produce different fruit: figs, olive, grapes, apples, pears, bananas. There are many fruits of the Sprit (Galatians 5:22-23). As bearers of fruit, we are each unique. Like the trees whose yield I can’t guess until they bloom, we are all full of possibilities that God will reveal in us. He is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Dear God, Fulfill the potential within me according to your grace, and let me bear my unique fruit. Amen