Why Almonds?

In the message on Sunday Nunsy taught on Aaron’s rod that budded, telling us it was a picture of the finished work of Jesus. After the message as normal we asked the fellowship for questions. One of the guys asked if it was significant that it was almonds that was produced (Numbers 17 v 8). So I’ve been meditating on this today and here are my thoughts….

Why Almonds?

The first thing that I thought was significant was that the almond is not actually a nut. Technically it is called a drupe – that is a fruit which has a fleshy exocarp and mesocarp surrounding a seed or hard endocarp. In its entirety, the produce of the almond tree is fruit.

One thing that really got my attention was the fact that there are two types of seed (or fruit) produced by almond trees; sweet or bitter.

Sweet almonds are good to eat (indeed they are delicious and nutritious) however bitter seeds contain hydrogen cyanide and are poisonous. This speaks to me of the difference between true faith and religion. True faith (resting in the finished work of Jesus) changes us for the good while religion condemns, controls and kills!

My mind was then drawn to Matthew 7 where Jesus talks about false teachers……

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Jesus tells us here that there are two types of fruit; good or evil, or sweet or bitter maybe. Good fruit cannot be produced without Jesus, we cannot do it on our own.

The budded rod points to Jesus and His finished work, it is a realisation of this and what He achieved that results in our own fruitfulness.

In John 15 v 5 Jesus says the following,

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

A believer can only bring forth good fruit through Jesus. Any other fruit, through own efforts or through religion is not good. We can do nothing without Him.

The Hebrew far almond (for both the tree and fruit) is shaw-kade, which comes from the root word shaw-kad.

Shaw-kad is an interesting word, meaning “to be alert (as in sleepless), to be on the lookout, to hasten”.

You could say that this is a tenuous link, however this again speaks to me of the good and evil, or sweet and bitter fruit. We all need to be on the lookout and watchful for false teaching and religion sneaking up on us and coming into our lives.

There is so much teaching and different doctrines out there, that we all need to “be on the lookout” as to what we are reading, watching and listening to.

The almond was named after “shad-kaw” as it was the earliest tree to blossom, usually in February but sometimes in January. This was well in advance of the other trees. There must be a picture in that somewhere!

Summary

The almond’s fruit for me can give us a number of pictures.

  1. True Christianity is sweet and nourishing, religion is bitter and poisonous
  2. Sweet and good fruit is only produced through Jesus and His finished work

There is also of course the simple answer; the rod came from an almond tree originally!

John 12 v 32

John 12 verse 32 is a well known verse…..

 John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

 It is traditionally interpreted as that once crucified Jesus will draw or pull all men to Him. I just do not see this! I do not see all men around me being drawn to Jesus; I see many apathetic and many repulsed. So what does this verse really men?

 Did you notice that in the verse “men” is in italics? In the King James version of the bible if any text is in italics it means that it was not in the original Greek or Hebrew and was added to make the verse more understandable or grammatically correct.

 In the original Greek “men” was not there; so it could have been translated as “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me”.

 Draw what? Look at the verse before and you will see that Jesus is talking about judgement!

 When Jesus was “lifted up” or crucified He drew all judgement to Himself. He took all the judgement that we deserve upon Himself. He took our punishment so that we could be free; that is grace. He took the judgement upon Himself as that we could be accepted by God; that is grace.

 Jesus took all the judgement that God had to pour out because of sin.

 Now ask yourself this very important question?

If Jesus drew all judgement upon Himself, how much judgement is left for you?