Have you ever heard of a fruit cocktail tree? For only $19.99 you can buy a tree that self-pollinates and bears six different kinds of fruit (ex. nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots). Believe it or not, you can also buy a 5-N-1 dwarf that produces five different kinds of apples from the same company.
Fruit cocktail trees can be made through a process called grafting. To graft a tree, you take a one-foot piece of new growth from a tree of interest (scion wood) and mesh it with a similar sized branch on another tree (rootstock). Grafting is used widely in agriculture and was first reported by the Chinese around 2000 B.C.. The procedure spread to the Greeks and Romans, and without it, heterosexual fruit trees such as apple and cherry trees would have never been domesticated. The grafting process requires practice, and involves making the right kind of cut on the two merging twigs so that the cambium layers (inner part of the branch that carries water and nutrients) will become one. You have to wrap the grafted branches tightly with grafting bands and apply grafting compound to help heal the wound.
As I was thinking about grafting, I could not help but think about Jesus’ call for believers to remain in Him so that we can bear much fruit. We are like the scion and He is the True Rootstock. Once we are grafted into Christ, the Holy Spirit can flow through our lives to produce; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus said that a true believer is identified by the fruit that they produce. In the context of teaching about being on guard for false prophets Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:16-20, NIV)
Are you grafted into Christ? What kind of fruit are we bearing? It takes time for fruit to grow and develop, but how beautiful are God’s grafted children who are producing fruit for God! Dear Jesus, I want to be grafted into you. Please fill me with your Spirit so that I can bear much good fruit. Help me to become a fruit cocktail tree for Your glory.
(1) Tree grafting information from: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/clay121.html
(2) To buy a dwarf fruit cocktail tree see: http://www.directgardening.com/detail.asp?ProductID=5556