Text: Matthew 7:15-20
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:15-20 We are hungry for good fruit all over the world today.
The word fruit perfectly illustrates that, Christianity is a matter of life. The most precious and everlasting gift of God to man is Life. Fruit defines its nature and quality. It also uniquely identifies and present the characteristics of life. The fruit of Life (good or bad) presents reality not ambiguity. You are either dead or alive, anything in between is full of woes or bad fruit. Jesus used six words in this chapter to describe corrupts fruits or human nature.
- Hypocrisy 7:5. It is to be critical or quick to judge others, but excuse yourself with deceitful, fruitless, and corrupt rhetoric. Pretending to be good but misleading and corrupt nature. Isa 5:20 This and the following are the real pandemic disease, with human strength plaguing our world. Jesus, however, is still the answer to all human depravity.
- Selfishness 7:12 This is the life which serves no other but self. It is stagnant and cannot be fruitful or multiply. Jesus offered a better way, He said, do to others or ask for others what you ask for yourself. When Jesus said “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 Obviously, He is referring to selfless pursuit in life.
- Crowd follower 7:13. The crowd start from many directions and end up in different locations. Jesus said, destruction is the end of following a wide and wayward path of life. But He offers the way and the truth for a fruitful life. It can be confusing and dark to find purpose following the multitude. I am the light of the world, Jesus said, he who follows me shall not walk in darkness. Seek to know and follow Him for an uplifting life experience. Millions have come to Jesus and there is still room for more.
- falsehood 7:15. Fruits that looks like apple but taste like sour grape are false fruits. Whether you are a prophet or not; it is fraudulent and unproductive, to operate with a lying tongue. Prov. 26:28 However, to know a false prophet or false teacher, you must first know the true prophet. His name is Jesus. Believe Me, He said, and you shall know the truth and be free indeed. John 8:32
- Sinfulness. 7:23. Sin is any word, thought or action which fails to align with the word of God. He said “… I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply.” Deut. 30:16 The good and enduring fruit of the Christian life must be in accordance and obedience to the word and will of God.
- foolishness 7:26. The Bible talks about two fools. One says there is no God, the other built his life on a sand without foundation. Jesus invites you to build your house upon the rock. Matt. 7:24 This rock is Jesus. He is the way you must follow and the life you must live – to be fruitful and multiply. If this is all new to you, or your Christian life seems uncertain, just make a U-turn to see Jesus and accept the grace of God. “For God so love the world, He gave us Jesus, whoever believes Him will not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
The focus of Jesus in this chapter is not to judge or condemn anyone, but to teach the way of life and how to bear much good fruit. He wants us to know the good fruit, the source of good fruit, how to produce good fruit and be fruitful and multiply indeed. The Lord answered all these questions when He emphatically said that “…every good tree brings forth good fruit. “– Mark those words. By the grace of God, we will continue from here next week. Meanwhile watch and pray. God bless you.