The fruit of his loins
If this phrase is used today it’s usually as a playful archaism.
— “That’s my boy,” says the teasing father, “the fruit of my loins.”
But actually it’s a great compliment. There’s only one person in the Bible who is specifically referred to as ‘loin-fruit’: Jesus. Well of course – the One who is the original Seed, comes in the fullness of time as Fruit.
Let’s get the context for this phrase.
It’s the day of Pentecost. 50 days since Jesus rose from the dead. 10 days since He ascended into heaven. And on this Sunday, the Holy Spirit comes in power to clothe the church for its witness to the world.
At the time, the whole nation of Israel was gathered to celebrate the ancient festival of Pentecost. It’s seven weeks after that post-Passover festival of “Firstfruits” when the green shoots of the coming harvest were presented to God. Now at Pentecost, the new batch of grain is brought before the LORD (Leviticus 23:15-21). It isn’t just firstfruits, this is now the harvest, and everyone would be thinking of “fruit.”
Now remember the last time these Israelites were all together. It was Passover when they had cried out unanimously: “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!” And in spite of their hatred, the Lord Jesus responded on the cross: “Father, forgive.” Now, as the Christ-killers reconvene, there’s an opportunity for Christ’s prayer to be answered.
The Holy Spirit empowers the disciples to speak to the international gathering – each one hearing them in their native language. It’s a wonderful miracle for Pentecost, breaking down barriers so that all sorts of “new grain” might be harvested. Peter steps forward to explain this sign of new life coming upon the world (Acts 2). First he quotes Joel and explains how the ancient prophet predicted this breakdown of the old barriers. The end times are now upon us, just as the Scriptures foresaw. Next Peter says this:
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David speaketh concerning him,
I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. (Acts 2:22-32)
Joel wasn’t the only prophet. David was also a prophet and his songbook – the Psalms – was not ultimately chronicling his own experiences of suffering and glory. The king knowingly put words to the experiences of the Messiah of whom he was a type. David looked forward to his Seed who would be planted into the ground but raised up by God to be a fruitful Vine for all.
People commonly talk of living on in their progeny. David was someone who really could trust in that! That’s because Christ, his Seed, was the Firstfruits of a bumper crop of resurrection.
Here is the true meaning of Pentecost. At Passover the Seed died. On the third day, He rose again – the Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:20). And on the basis of this Firstfruits, the world can be grafted in to find new life where before there was only death and barrenness. The Fruit of David’s loins was not only fruitful for Himself, He has enough life bursting out of Him for a cosmic harvest.
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