7629 - Bad Fruit

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The only thing that rotten fruit is good for is to be thrown out and used for compost.

In our study of Luke we have come to chapter 6 and an illustration from Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain about fruit, both good and bad.

From Luke 6:43-45:
No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

The principle here is communicated through the illustration that good trees produce good fruit, and bad trees produce bad fruit. This would have been an example that was clear to his audience of people that were closely connected to agriculture and raising and eating fruit.

For this Jewish audience the example would have been clear, the fruit of tree, whether good or bad, shows us whether the tree is good or bad.

If a tree or bush produces something bad then it was clear that the tree itself was not a good tree. That is, a useful tree, or one which they would desire to invest time in caring for or giving space within a garden.

But if a tree produced good edible, and useful fruit it was a good tree that was worthy of having its own space and attention.

So by the measure of the fruit that it bore, the tree would be determined to be good or bad. Interestingly though, the Greek word referring to “bad” fruit and a “bad” tree is not referencing fruit that is useful to the tree in spreading its seed, but is unfit to eat. No, this word mean “rotten” or “diseased”.

It gives the idea that the tree is supposed to produce good and useful edible fruit, but even while the fruit is on the tree, it is already rotten and diseased. It is a worthless tree that produces worthless fruit, but it is supposed to bear good fruit.

Jesus then takes this illustration and applies to people. He tells us that the things that we do, our fruits, come out of what is inside of us.

If our lives are full of loving, gentle, and kind words and actions, then it is a demonstration of what is inside of our hearts, but if we bear fruits of unkind, evil, or harsh words and actions then they are a demonstration of what is inside our hearts.

And in the same way that each of the trees was supposed to bear fruit, some doing so, and some not, people are all intended to bear good fruit. We were created to serve and love God, but without his life changing and continuous presence in our hearts, we will only be able to bear rotten fruit.

And in the same way as the last part of verse 45 says, whatever we fill our hearts with will overflow out of our hearts and into our words. Think of your heart as a cup, put enough of anything into the cup, and it will start to overflow the cup. If we constantly are filling our heart with things of the world, then it will overflow with worldly words. Our speech will not be honoring or glorifying God.

Likewise if we spend our time filling our hearts with the Lord, then that will be what flows out of our mouths.

If heart and life a bearing rotten worthless fruit and words, then the solution is simple, allow Jesus to be Lord of your heart and life, and invest your time in filling your heart with Him.