February 10th, 2018| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


If you can tell an apple from a mango, you may be better off than 40% of the citizens of ye olde United Kingdom. A recent poll of 2,000 adults commissioned by Yeo Valley, a family-owned dairy and yogurt-producing enterprise in that fair land of HM QRII showed that a sizable chunk of those good folks could not tell the difference.

The study tested the knowledge of subjects about both common and non-so-common fruit.

70% apparently couldn’t tell the difference between a tangerine, and orange, and a clementine.

20% didn’t know the difference between a tangerine and a grapefruit.

Oh, and get this! 7%, when shown a mulberry, guessed … Halle Berry!

Yeo Valley sponsored the poll ahead of their release of a new product—yogurt with baobab.

If you didn’t recognize that fruit, you aren’t alone: 75% of the Brits surveyed didn’t either. Baobab is the coconut-sized fruit of a deciduous tree found in Africa, Arabia, and Australia, with a velvety shell and a tart flavor.

Said Dan Rusga, marketing director for Yeo Valley:

We knew that baobab might not be well known when we added it to our yogurt. But we were very surprised by the number of people mixing up apples and mangos, it’s tough to compare apples with apples when you’re looking at a mango.”

Only 30% could identify durian, a Southeast Asian fruit with a repelling smell (but a decent enough taste, if you hold your nose). 18% identified durian with “hogloa,” an entirely fictitious fruit, concocted out of thin air by the pollsters.

But the most unidentifiable fruit in the survey was feijoa (though 15% correctly named it). I had to look it up myself. It comes from a South American plant in the myrtle family and is green and shaped like an egg, with a taste that reminds one of  pineapples, apples, and mint!

Many were also mystified as to the origins of fruit. 50% weren’t aware pomegranates grew on trees. Another 50% were surprised to learn watermelons were found on the ground. 30% didn’t know blueberries grew on bushes.

The Bible has something to say about all this! The seed/soil parables of Jesus in Mark 4:1-34 deal with fruit-the spiritual kind, that indicate character and Christlikeness.

Followers of Jesus are encouraged to have open ears and eyes to the teachings of Jesus. In fact, the verb “to hear” shows up 13 times in the space of 34 verses. This is the essential human element for the bearing of fruit: “Hear!” Which is, of course, more than just listening, or even understanding, but also involves commitment and obedience. And such fruit-bearing represents normative discipleship. That is our responsibility-it is this human element, the act of receiving/hearing/accepting God’s word, that produces fruit.

“And those are the ones sown upon the good soil,
who hear the word and accept [it] and bear fruit-
one thirtyfold, and one sixtyfold, and one hundredfold.”
Mark 4:20

But there is another side to this, described in 4:26-29.

“And [the farmer] sleeps and rises, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows
—how, he himself does not know.
By itself [Greek: automatos], the soil produces fruit,
first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.”
Mark 4:27-28

That’s God’s sovereignty in action—the divine element, incomprehensible and automatic, producing fruit in the child of God.

It is both … and …. Our responsibility to hear, and God’s responsibility to cause fruition.

As Jesus said:

“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:23

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