1 John 4.7-21
- A self-contained story of gospel fruit, the passage from Acts describes Philip being sent into the wilderness to speak to a eunuch from the courts of Ethiopia (modern-day Sudan).
- In spite of the fact that the Gentile eunuch would not have been accepted by the Jews, or allowed in the Temple since he was castrated, the man was desperate to know more of God. Despite the religious and cultural divide, Philip puts his discomfort aside and engages with him – great fruit grows from their conversation as the man is baptized. The Ethiopian was the first convert from such a distant land.
- John’s letter makes it clear that love is a precursor to knowing God. God is love, and therefore our knowledge of him comes through loving each other, boldly and without fear (v.18).
- John 15 uses the poetic imagery of Jesus as the ‘true vine’ (v.1) and explores growth, and pruning and its benefits. Jesus makes it clear to his closest followers that the pain that comes with pruning is worth it for the fruit that it will bear. This applies both to us and to the spread of the gospel. Jesus promises that if we abide, or live in deep connection, with him, he will abide in us, nourish us and produce fruit in our lives. The challenge we find ourselves faced with is whether we are ready to be pruned by God’s loving hand.