God made…little green apples!
John Chapman was born in Massachusetts on September 26, 1774. At about age 25 he moved to the region of the Ohio River Valley and wandered up and down the Ohio River for the rest of his life. He traveled the Ohio River in a rough craft made of two canoes lashed together, carrying a cargo of apples brought from the orchards of the eastern states.
He would stop at every likely spot and plant apple seeds as he traveled the river. He gave apple seeds and apple tree saplings to the indians and to the settlers moving into the region. Thus he became known as “Johnny Appleseed”. The work that John Chapman did helped to build the apple orchards of the Midwest and it made “Johnny Appleseed” a legend in American History.
Though Johnny Appleseed is probably one of the best known names associated with apples, we know that apples did not originate with Johnny Appleseed. Apples originated with God, Who created them, placed within them the seed by which they reproduce after their own kind. Anyone who is willing, can plant the seed of an apple, grown an apple tree and produce apples.
This same principle is at work in the spiritual realm. In Christ’s parable of the sower in Matthew 13: 1-9, Jesus compares the kingdom to a farmer sowing his seed. Later, in verses 18-23, he explains the parable to His disciples. The seed is the message of the kingdom, the Word of God. When anyone preaches the Word of God in its purity and simplicity and that Word falls on good and honest hearts, it produces subjects of Christ’s kingdom, members of Christ’s church.
The preaching of the good news of the kingdom will not produce some new church or denomination, but will simply produce Christians, disciples of Jesus Christ, who like those in Acts 2:47, the Lord adds to the church.
Just as surely as apple seeds produce only apples, the gospel message of the New Testament will produce only New Testament Christians. -Wendell Ingram