Jesus said, “Every good tree bears edible fruit, whereas a rotten tree bears bad fruit.”
— Matthew 7:17 (USC)
The heart of Jesus’ gospel is without doubt the doing of the things of the Kingdom with a heart for those very things.
When we take life and faith, as a unison, and we trust God, we find our good Lord leading us in the direction of good ‘trees’ who are reliable teachers and exemplars of salubrious fruit. But when we insist on withholding something precious from the realm of God, we are more likely to be seduced by the rotten ‘tree’ who may have the words, but the fruit is at the very least suspect.
We tend to choose the teachers that reflect our own heart’s state.
If we are a little dodgy on the inside — meaning, we haven’t truly surrendered all at the point of salvation — we may more likely end up with dodgy influences influencing us around our hobby horses.
Those with a residue of ‘issues’ tend most to have hobby horses with which they can present their overblown rightness — in sum, their pride — to their world they think must salivate on their very inspiration. How defiled is their worldview?
But if we are honest before God we will cling less to controversial themes. And, in that, we would embrace, more, the wonder of life and faith — a gargantuan prospect much bigger than we could ever comprehend.
A good heart attracts to itself good trees. A good heart lands in fertile land.
A heart still struggling with its own demons is more susceptible to error.
If we hope to be wise, we will be patient in waiting upon the fruit of our teachers who teach us. We will wait upon the models we observe who fashion our perceptions. We will observe with an eye for the quality of the fruit that impels them; that which acts on us; that which grows us and atrophies our sickness.
The best thing for any of us is to bury ourselves in a seminary of truth.
The seed of truth planted in wisdom will germinate and grow. And given faithful tending, and the provision of the nutrients of health in right amount with right timing, such a seed will become a good tree, bearing sound and reliable (delicious) fruit.
Wise persons will see wise input act on their lives. They will see their lives void of such inherent sagacity — they have a need of such wisdom.
Good fruit after bad,
The Lord will make us glad,
When alone we seek his good,
He will show us how we should.
QUESTIONS in REVIEW:
1. How does this fit with you: is there a link in seeking good with finding good?
2. Have you been hurt by the impact of bad fruit from a rotten tree? How will you reconcile the occurrence? What is needed in finding a good tree with which to be nourished?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.