I still remember the day my Dad sat down with me and gave me a book to read. I went out to the front porch and began to read what would make an indelible mark on my young psyche. I read it cover to cover…twice. Honestly, I had heard this stuff but had not seen pictures in this way. My Dad must have thought I was taking too long because he came out and wondered if I had any questions. I did but did not want to discuss it at the time. What I was unable to fully grasp then I did a few years later. We are created to love and be loved. We are made for relationships. We are made to make more of us.
20 Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” 21 So God created the large sea-creatures and every living creature that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds. He also created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 So God blessed them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” 23 Evening came and then morning: the fifth day.
The message of God to the animal and human (v.28) kingdom was to be fruitful and multiply. God told every living thing to reproduce itself. Nature would take its course. Instinct would kick in. The Earth would be filled with every living creature. As they were fruitful they grew and expanded territory. As they reproduced they filled the new spaces.
Some of the last words of Jesus were similar, though spiritual not physical. He said,
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.
Jesus took these 11 men and created them anew through the power of faith and God’s Spirit. Like the first days of creation, Jesus is telling them to be fruitful and multiply. They are to develop one another and grow. Paul would later define fruitfulness in Galatians 5: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. When we are fruitful we grow up in Christ. This growth and development helps us to expand the territory. This kind of fruit attracts others and we are able to bring them into the family of faith by faith in Jesus. We multiply because of fruitfulness. We multiply because it is our calling. We multiply because our spiritual nature will take its course. Our new spiritual instinct will kick in. Multiplication is not complicated because as “new creatures in Christ” we were designed for it.
Be fruitful and multiply. Make disciples.