Today's full Bible reading comes from John 15:1-17.
By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.If we've learnt anything from this devotional study it's that the Father is always wanting to glorify the Son and the Son is always wanting to glorify the Father.
So when the Son says 'my Father is glorified when you bear much fruit' he's essentially saying 'bear as much fruit as possible.' and fruit (whatever it is) is clearly something good, something that I'd want.
Again we see the round about and constant Other affirming nature of the Godhead:
- Glorify my Father by bearing fruit
- Prove to be my disciples (thus glorifying the Son)
The Son says 'glorify him', the Father says 'glorify him!' each about the other.
This is good for us too for since God is Other-centred and outwardly life giving we benefit from him when he is glorified by and in us. As a result of the 'glorify-him no glorify-him!' nature of God we get to 'bear fruit'. But what exactly is 'fruit'? It's obviously a good thing, but other than that what can we say, what are we talking about? Let's look into the passage to find out.
Let's look at v12-15:
- The first thing suggested from these verses it that it's obedience, but not just cold and plain obedience, it's obedience that's born out of intimacy and familiarity with God. So, stating it more clearly, part of the fruit is intimacy and friendship with God.
- Also in our mind at this point, and not inconsistent with the above statement, it's the Fruit of the Spirit laid out by Paul in Galatians 5:22. It is character that is Godlike. We become more life giving, generous, warm hearted and joyful - that's fruit I'd be keen to produce!
- Fruit also has something to do with answered prayer. The Father wants and will answer our prayers.