A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Observations & Reflections
In Jesus’ continues message to the crowds He moves into internal conditions. He already spoke about social life and how to treat others, as well as the dangers of hypocrisy. Now Jesus is teaching on matters of the heart. We should note that this can read this in light of the previous teaching on hypocrisy. A hypocritical and judgmental person is a person that does not have good stored up in their hearts, which is evidenced by the blatant hypocritical behavior.
However, even those who are not hypocritical can bear bad fruit. Just people just don’t care if people know their true colors. In either occasion, Jesus wants the audience to know that behavior is a reflection of a persons’ heart. The good fruit is evidenced by godly treatment of others and pursuing justice and peace. Bad fruit lacks empathy, puts others down, and is selfish.
What God desires are disciples that have continuity both inside and out….. preferring the continuity to be of a tree that bears good fruit. If we are not seeing good fruit in our own lives then Jesus is calling us examine our hearts. When we get our hearts straight then the rest will follow.
[Featured image from pxhere.com]