“You will know them by their fruit. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?”
Today’s question is very deep and I hope that when we are done pondering each of these questions we are all left pondering our own walk with Christ examining our own faith to see how well we fit in to Jesus’ example and the points He is trying to make when He ask us these questions!
When I was a stay at home mom, I loved walking my son to and from school. Yes, they road their bikes and scooters, some days I would hold my daughter on my back as we walked home.. and we would always love the scenery. We lived in a very nice neighborhood then and our neighborhood animals were bunnies and we would feed them many days out in our backyard as well as the bluejays and the red cardinals that came to visit us each day.. but there was something else we noticed as we passed the creek there were trees that lined our streets.. At first we could not see what they were..even in our backyard we had 2 trees.. It only took a matter of weeks before we began to see something fall off the trees and they were all different trees, none of them were the same.. We passed bushes as well, some of them were prickly and thorny and others we could touch easily as we passed but they produced nothing all year round. The tree in our backyard produced blueberries, we were pleased to see them fall though we never ate one of them.. The one’s along the way to school were acorn and one had what looked like thistles fall from it, not quite sure what those round things were but they were perfect indicators of what the trees were.. Amazingly, while in one season we hardly even saw leaves on the trees in another we saw fruit and all the trees produced something..
This is the analogy Jesus is using, He’s painting a picture.. Think of it figuratively.. A farmer would go out and gather stuff he had planted right. He would gather, corn and he would gather bananas and all sorts of things that will be good to take home and consume with his family.. But if there were bad fruit he didn’t think were edible he left them there although he knew what the tree was by the fruit it bore.. and he knew where to go to get certain things.. I get that picture as I read this verse don’t you. It is as if Jesus is saying there will be certain people here on the earth and we will have to judge.. we will have to choose between the thorn bushes and thistles and the one’s who really produce fruit we can collect in order to take home and consume. This is a perfect example of a keen person who can rightly discern. For instance, would you go to a club hopping person who cusses every other word and shows no reverence for God and ask them to pray for you because your mama was just diagnosed with cancer?? No you would find that co-worker or friend that is filled with good fruit of patience and joy and as a matter of fact you don’t remember them saying more than 5 bad words in all the time you’ve known them.. I mean they weren’t perfect and some seasons may have been a little unlike others but overall you would say this is the person I have judged I could go to for this and this is the person I could go to for that because these are the fruit they have exhibited.. For instance if I wanted someone to tell me that it’s okay for me to sin and fall short of the glory of God, it would not be logical of me to have spiritual friends because they are not going to tell me what I want to hear instead to do what is right.. it is true the other way around as well, if I wanted a friend to give me godly advice I can not ask the hooker.. Just using an analogy..
When we think of thorns and thistles…
This is what we see…A thistle is pretty on top with the leaves, but you had better not try to pick it thinking you’ll walk away with that pretty leaf on top.. No you will be uncomfortable in the process of trying to get it off in tact. Thorns are made to cause discomfort, why do you think they made a crown of them to put in Jesus head, they wanted to cause torture and pain, well this is what characterizes the lifestyle of a person who produces thorns around us, we will not feel comfortable around them because they constantly gossip, and slander others and never see the good in anything.. A thorn is pointy and sharp, and is the wood part of a tree.. ever got a splinter in your finger touching the wrong part of a piece of wood.. this is what happens when we try and pull grapes or figs that would taste good and be useful to us from someone that does not produce useful things that taste Good..
The point of it all is that if we are not producing something that is good and can be gathered by others and will benefit them, we are producing some poisonous thing that is harming others and we are all known by our fruit.. You will never see an apple tree gulping down it’s own fruit, but our fruit we are meant to produce are for others in the world to see our good works and glorify our father in heaven, however if we have no good works.. What can they see to glean from to know the Christ we say we serve.. It is okay to judge people whether they are spiritual or not by their fruit, watching their lives, you may not see it in season 1 but hang around, in season 2 fruit will come and you will know if that person is a swine your casting your pearls before.. Pay close attention!