Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Fruit of Israel's Redemption
I find the image of increased fertility and fruitfulness in Col 1:5-6, 10 most interesting: "the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing- as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth ... so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God". My default position would be to relate this to Genesis 1 where Adam and Eve were to "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Gen 1:28). So the Christians as the new humanity do exactly that. However, in reading over Isaiah just this morning, what I also find fascinating the same image being applied to the redeemed Israel: "In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit" (Isa 27:6) . Taken up from Genesis 1, the progeny of Jesus, the new Adam, are growing and bearing fruit, and obedience to God’s gospel-word is the means by which the old world is colonized by the new humanity of the new creation. In light of Isaiah 27 we could say that the great redemption of Israel that Isaiah predicted with its replanting of Israel produces an abundance of fruit that grows into the entire world. So too does the redemption in Messiah Jesus and the calling of the church to be Israel-for-the-sake-of-the-world bring forth a fruit basket of blessings that covers the earth.