“For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
Linde, Marcus, and I recently enjoyed a nice visit with a dear Christian family who takes gardening to a whole new level. The creativity and ingenuity they exercised in designing and constructing their garden boxes, along with their irrigation and sunlight-directing systems, is truly remarkable. Nearly every one of their plants appear exceptionally healthy and strong; each holds the promise of being exceedingly fruitful. This love of gardening looks to me like an “echo of Eden,” a reminder of what God’s original “very good” world was like. That world was entrusted to the first man, Adam, who was called to meaningful, God-glorifying work as a gardener (Genesis 2:15). Today’s verse passage reminds us that Christ, the Last Adam, is a gardener also. The church He purchased with His own precious blood is His cultivated field; it is his garden that He faithfully tends and cares for (1 Peter 5:7). The word of God is likened to a seed (Matthew 13:1-23), which God used in the regeneration of repentant sinners. Peter wrote that believers were “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). Christ’s new “crop” needs what all crops need to grow, flourish, and produce fruit; it needs sunlight and water. Our Lord Jesus the Light of the world (John 9:5), “the true Light which which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9). He is “the Sun of righteousness” (Malachi 4:2), the Day Star Who has arisen in our hearts (2 Peter 1:19). In addition to the life preserving presence of Christ, that “Great Light” (Matthew 4:16), the Lord’s crop requires “water” also. The word of God is typified not only as the seed that is sown, but the water that nourishes the seed. Paul reminded the Corinthians that he sowed the seed but his colleague, Apollos, watered (with the word no doubt cf Acts 18:24). It was God, however, Who gave the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). The psalmist reminds us that the man who delights in the word “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). As Israel was God’s vineyard and was expected to provide Him with fresh grapes (Isaiah 5:1-4), the church as Christ’s garden is expected to produce fruit as well. “I have chosen you, and ordained you,” said the Lord to His apostles, “that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). Their apostolic witness to Christ in the Gospel went forth in power and we are the fruit of their labour (Colossians 1:6). May we faithfully and courageously carry on this great work, bringing forth the fruit of saved, regenerate souls, for God’s glory and the good of those He loves.
God bless you,