Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Anywhere With Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Revelation 22:2b – On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (NIV 2011)
I have a goji berry bush, the fruit of which is highly antioxidant, long used in Chinese medicine, and also used to make jam. The plant is now as tall as I am. I fertilize it, but I've yet to see any fruit. Those at the nursery suggested that both a male and female plant might be required in order for pollination to take place. How could I tell if my plant is male or female? No one knew. The plant will never bear fruit.
However, earlier this year, I planted an apple tree that will — so horticulturists claim — provide me with four different varieties of apples. This is accomplished through a grafting process. It's no longer necessary to have two trees for pollination. We can purchase one tree that will bear both cooking and eating apples, or even a tree that produces both apples and pears.
This tree reminded me of the amazing trees in today's verse. In a magnificent vision of the new Jerusalem, the aging disciple, John, was shown a city, a road, a river, and the tree of life on each side of the river. These trees bear twelve crops of fruit each year. We don't know if they bear more than one kind of fruit at a time, or maybe twelve different kinds, one each month, or just twelve crops of the same fruit, but John says that the leaves are medicinal, for the healing of the nations, rather than the fruit. However, the fruit is referred to as a crop, so it must be harvested. What is this mysterious tree?
This tree appears to be the same one that stood in the Garden of Eden along with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Its fruit was not forbidden. Do you wonder if Adam tried to eat from it after he'd eaten the other, hoping that he might continue to live forever?
John also describes many other attractive features of this amazing city.
Revelation 21:1-4 – Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (NIV 2011)
I hope that you, like me, are looking forward to the delights that God has in store for us in heaven! In addition, we won't be fearful of things that are happening in the world now, when we know that God has a plan and that it is all working out. If you haven't read the book of Revelation because it might be too difficult to understand, this should encourage you: Jesus says that those who read it will be blessed!
Revelation 1:3 – Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (NIV 2011)
I'd say that He really wants us to read it!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Mary once thought that Jesus was the gardener. She was right! You are the Master Gardener, the Great Creator of all things. Just as You spoke to Mary, and walked with Adam in the cool of the evening, You will one day walk with us and answer all our questions. We long for that day. Maranatha! Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen.