Bearing Fruit."
February 24, 2022, 12:00 AM

“Bearing Fruit.”

Luke 6:43-45


This short teaching from Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus teaches on knowing a tree by the fruit it bears. “Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush.” We may take this teaching for granted. It is possible for us to simply go right by what Jesus is teaching simply because we are familiar with this. We know that an apple tree produces apples. Pears grow on pear trees. Grapes grow on grapevines. If I plant a field of corn, I shouldn’t be disappointed when the field produces rows of corn instead of blueberries. It seems simple. Yet, this teaching is important.

Jesus uses the imagery of fruit trees to help us understand a deeper point – human behavior. The way people behave tells us a lot about who they are. The way people speak is an important indicator for who they are deep down. Who we are on the inside comes out through our actions and our speech. This is Jesus’ point. Jesus begins by using fruit as a metaphor for the way we live our lives. Our actions and our speech tell people about who we are. Next, Jesus moves to the interior of our lives. He moves from the outward (our speech and actions) to what we have inside (treasure in our hearts). Our outward actions are formed by our inward character. Who we are on the inside comes out through our actions and our speech.

Have you ever purchased an item from the store that was mislabeled? Perhaps you bought a can of sweet corn but when you opened it up it contained anchovies instead? If you wanted sweet corn and ended up with anchovies it would be quite the disappointment! At least it would be for me. The point is that when we see a label, we expect the label to match what is inside. It is the same for us when we look at our fellow human beings. In this section of teaching, Jesus is making a point about His followers. If you claim to be a Christian, then there are certain expectations that are put on you by fellow Christians, by non-believers, and Jesus Himself. Jesus expects His followers to live lives that glorify Him. We are to bear fruit in our lives consistent with Jesus’ expectations and commands for His people. Disciples of Jesus show who they are by showing the world Jesus. We do so through our speech, our actions, our profession of faith and by living consistently as Jesus has commanded us to live.

This teaching from Jesus gives us a lot to think about and should lead us to reflect on our lives. When we say we are Christian, we are representing Jesus everywhere we go. Think of the responsibility of an ambassador. If you met an ambassador from a different country and they were rude, mean, and stole wherever they went, what would you think about the country they represent? An ambassador is a representative of their country. In the same way, we are representing Jesus among everyone we meet. As a Christian I represent Jesus and His values to my family, my friends, my wife, the congregation I serve as pastor, and to anyone I meet. As disciples of Jesus we live our lives in full view of everyone else. We may not think people notice how we act. But I promise you people do. When we treat wait staff poorly because our order is wrong, people notice. When we treat the cashier who is slow with kindness, people notice. When our speech is gracious, encouraging, and uplifting people notice. Are you consistently bearing good fruit?