Check Your Fruit

Jesus had been teaching. He pointed out a number of actions we should be doing. As he begins summarizing the teaching, he answers the question listeners may have had in mind–“how will I, or anyone observing me, know I am following your teaching?” He also answers the question, “Whom should I believe?”

So, he answers, you know people by their fruits. Good trees cannot bear bad fruit, and bad trees cannot bear good fruit.

Some people cannot gain insight through metaphor. I wrote recently about a chemical substance. Someone replied with the chemical formula and some actual physical effects. The concept of a metaphor is tough.

If you are an engineer and like things more concrete, then try substituting “results” for “fruits.”

Looking back on your life or that of someone who is trying to teach you, check out the results of what you’ve done and said.

Do you leave people better off than when you met?

Did you buy a hungry person a meal? Give a coat to someone cold? Provide transportation to a doctor? In your teaching, have you inspired people to help others or have you provoked people to harm others?

Your fruit is what you’ve left behind in others. Hope fully it’s a nice, ripe, juicy fig, not a rotten apple.

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