Genesis 23-24 Matthew 7
“You will know these people by what they do. Grapes don’t come from thornbushes, and figs don’t come from thorny weeds. In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.” (Matthew 7:16-18)
In this last section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus covers a variety of concerns. He deals with judging others, prayer, the Golden Rule, how hard it is to get into heaven, false prophets and their lifestyles, and then, finally, how people react to His teachings. While we know that salvation is by grace alone, Jesus notes that by looking at their lifestyle, we can tell whether or not a prophet is false. When people claim to share a message from God, their lives better show that they’re walking with God on a daily basis. He compares that to fruit: thorny bushes and weeds don’t produce grapes, or figs. Good trees produce good fruit, while bad trees either don’t produce fruit, or what you get isn’t any good.
Look at the lifestyles of those who proclaim God’s word to you. Do they reflect God’s kindness and grace? Do they show humility and turn praises back to God, or do they act as if any praise coming, and it should be coming, is their due? Do they recognize the worth of those who serve them, or do they show arrogance towards those who are lower in the societal view of importance? Yes, by their fruits you will know them, and if their lifestyle doesn’t match their message, Jesus would call them false prophets.
Oh Lord, fill me with Your grace, and conform my life to the image of Jesus Christ by your grace.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.