Trees, Fruit and the Content of Your Heart

“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. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Luke 6:43-45

At this point in the text, Jesus is summing up His remarks with the first of two parables. Remember that in this “Sermon on the Plain” we have seen His blessings and woes (6:17-26), followed by His discussion about loving your enemies (6:27-36) then about judging others (6:,37-42) and now this parable, which follows directly and is in the very same contextual structure. Thus, He makes the case here that each of us must recognize the content of our hearts, for what is within us is what comes of us. The attitudes of our hearts will determine how we react to various situations and experiences that we encounter throughout our lives, and even though we might want to love others, forgive others, help others… to be outwardly focused and not self centered… that if those attributes are present and growing in our innermost being, we will fail miserably.

That last sentence that I wrote isn’t one of my better sentences. I suppose that I could spend a few minutes reworking it to smooth out the awkwardness of the phrasing, to make it smooth and flow, but what would be the point? It accurately reflects Jesus’ message in this short parable. Yes, the parable leaves a question dangling in the air; maybe “looming” would be a better word for it, there’s a question looming…

“Great, so if I have to change the attitudes and motivations that are lurking in my innermost being or fail miserably… how the heck can I do that?”

Lucky for us there is one more parable…


About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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7 Responses to Trees, Fruit and the Content of Your Heart

  1. photojaq says:

    That sentence was a bit awkward, but I’ve written a few of them myself. I know what you meant…. and because of the attitude of my heart, I gladly forgive you. (haha)

  2. pipermac5 says:

    We will fail-miserably at ANYTHING we try to do in our own strength.

  3. Pingback: Trees, Fruit and the Content of Your Heart — The Life Project – Workhorse (Adam)

  4. Pingback: Weeping and Laughter-onwards | The Life Project-January 27 2017 | Re-theologizing

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