I have come to look upon Jesus as being compared to the tree of life in Genesis. Is this wrong? I know that in John 15:1-8, He compares Himself to a vine and His Father as the gardener. So I thought that if it was all right for Jesus to compare Himself in this manner it would be all right for me to do so as well.
When we come to scripture, it is very important that we do not add words or concepts to what the Bible actually gives. Yes, Jesus compared Himself to a vine, but He did this to teach His disciples some godly principles. Jesus also called Himself the bread of life (John 6:35) and the light of the world (John 9:5). Would Jesus have called Himself the Tree of Life?
Tree of Life
The phrase “Tree of Life” occurs twelve times in the Bible. Usually it just refers to the Tree of Life that existed in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:9; 3:17, 22, and 24) It also occurs in Revelation several times (Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14, 19). But the book of Proverbs uses the phrase in a different way. Here are the Proverbs passages.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. (NASB) Proverbs 3:18
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. (NASB) Proverbs 11:30
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (NASB) Proverbs 13:12
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit. (NASB) Proverbs 15:4
In the first Proverbs passage “she” refers to wisdom. This godly proverb is saying that wisdom is a blessing and is refreshing like a tree of life for those who follow her. The Tree of Life in all of these passages has the sense of being meaningful, refreshing, satisfying, and fulfilling.
We know that a relationship with Jesus should be very meaningful and give us life – eternal life. Therefore, one could say that Jesus is like the Tree of Life. Because of Him, we grow spiritually and flourish. Because of Him, we can have eternal life. All of the statements about the vine in John 15 might be applied to the Tree of Life, but we cannot be sure. We must remember that scripture never calls Jesus a Tree of Life, and the Tree of Life should not be used to imply truth about Jesus. Such an illustration should be used only to state some truth about Jesus.
Jesus is like a Tree of Life in the sense that in Him we have life and that life lasts forever. Jesus is like a Tree of Life in the sense that those who believe in Him have eternal life through Him. Jesus is life.