The Multi-talented Olive
Our second runner up, with 60 total mentions across the three books, is the olive. Not exactly sweet, the olive gets special mention because of its oil - apparently it burns the brightest of all the oils. I wouldn’t know - I only use it to fry my eggs, and usually I’m trying not to set the house on fire. Now, you may not know this, but in Judges 9, the olive tree speaks for itself: “Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honoured, to hold sway over the trees?’ I think we can agree that we have misjudged the olive tree by using it’s oil for frying alone.
The Misunderstood Fig Tree
Definitely one of the more bizarre stories in the Bible, my first thought is for Mark 11. Jesus walks past an olive tree, that’s right, a tree, and basically accuses it of being useless and withers it to nothing with his supernatural power. It seems a bit harsh to take your anger out on a tree? Who wasn’t producing figs, at the wrong time of year for figs? I know, you want to hear what the fig tree has to say for itself. The fig tree is a little more humble “Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?” It seems both Jesus and the fig tree had huge value for the fruit of the fig tree. Which is understandable - it is delicious. But I think the fig tree is selling itself short. After all, it’s leaves were the first clothes.
The humble grape
Our winner with 90 total mentions, this should have been obvious to most of you. Because you should have read, at the very least, John 15. (I am the vine, you are the branches? Bear fruit?) You’ll find the bible loves to talk about vineyards. Which is one of the things I love about the bible. See, much like the multi-talented olive, the grape is not really all about the grape. It’s also about the wine. Jesus’ first miracle was to make water into wine, after all - proving the point that not only is grape the holiest of fruit, but wine is worth celebrating too.