Grandpa’s Crab Apple Trees

My Grandpa Walde was somewhat of an arborist.  One of the reasons we kids loved to visit in the fall was the row of crab apple trees he had.  My favorite was one that, as a sapling, he had grafted yellow jelly crabs onto a red jelly crab.  So in maturity he had a great, full tree half yellow and half red.

More than once he mended broken branches, maybe broken due to grandkids playing.  He lifted the branch back in place and had placed a binding around it to hold it securely to the place where it had broken off.  Given time, the limb came back to full health and even bore fruit.

In John 15:1, 2 Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit.”(NIV)  Now I know that says “cuts off,” but the word literally means bears up, carry or lift.  It is the same term used of Jesus in John 1:29 where it says that Jesus is the Lamb of God who TAKES AWAY the sin of the world.  In certain contexts it includes the implication of carrying away, but in the John 15 context there is no such implication.  It is rather the picture of a gardener who bears up and even binds up a broken branch in order to bring healing.

The picture is of God caring for those who are broken and hurting and because of this are unable to bear fruit.  God bears them up and “in Christ” brings healing.  This is consistent with the words of Isaiah 61:1 which is the same passage Jesus quoted when he announced that he was the messiah and what his ministry was.  In part it says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted . . . (NIV)

Are you feeling broken or damaged these days?  Maybe because of a loss you have suffered recently.  Maybe from the way someone has treated you, or simply the stresses and circumstances of life seem to have conspired against you.  Whatever the cause may be, in God there is hope.  This is not to say that your circumstances will miraculously be fixed, usually it is a lifelong journey.   But you will find support that will lead to healing.


About David Berg

I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada. I pastor a small Baptist church and also work half-time on a local seed farm. It has been more than 25 years that I have been married to a most amazing and beautiful lady whose name is Wendy. Together we have three boys, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws. View all posts by David Berg

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