Jesus says, “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”

Just as a tree can be identified by the quality of its fruit, so can a person be identified by the quality of their actions. Good actions indicate a good character, while bad actions indicate a bad character. The fruit of our lives is evidence of the type of person we are.

Jesus emphasizes that a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a diseased tree cannot bear good fruit. This means that our actions reveal the true condition of our hearts. If our hearts are healthy and in tune with God, then our actions will reflect that. But if our hearts are diseased with sin, then our actions will be bad. This passage is a warning against false prophets and false teachings. Jesus is saying that we should judge a teacher or a teaching by the fruit it produces. If the teaching is good, it will produce good fruit in the lives of those who follow it. But if the teaching is bad, it will produce bad fruit.

The Bible instructs us to “judge people by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16-20), which means that we can discern a person’s character by observing their actions and behaviors. This principle is essential in our interactions with others, as it helps us to make wise decisions about who we choose to associate with, trust, and follow.

When we judge people by their fruits, we are not making superficial or arbitrary judgments based on external factors such as appearance, social status, or wealth. Rather, we are looking at the evidence of their lives, including their words, deeds, attitudes, and choices. By doing so, we can discern whether their actions align with their beliefs and whether they are living a life that is consistent with the values and principles that they espouse.

It’s important to remember that this principle is not a license to judge or condemn others. We are not called to be self-righteous or to look down on those who have made mistakes or are struggling with sin. Instead, we are called to love and serve others, even as we seek to discern their character and motives.

Ultimately, the concept of judging people by their fruits is about discernment and wisdom. By observing the evidence of a person’s life, we can make informed decisions about how to relate to them and whether we should follow their example. This principle helps us to avoid being deceived by false teachers and charlatans who claim to be something they are not, and it helps us to recognize and honor those who are living lives that bear witness to the grace and power of God.

Imagine walking through an orchard on a sunny day. You see a fruit tree standing tall and healthy, with beautiful leaves and branches stretching out towards the sky. As you approach the tree, you notice an abundance of fruit hanging from its branches, ripe and ready to be picked. The fruit looks delicious, and you can’t help but feel delighted at the sight of it.

Now, imagine coming across another tree in the same orchard. This tree is withered and weak, with only a few sparse leaves clinging to its branches. You notice that there is no fruit on this tree, and it appears to be struggling to survive.

In this illustration, the first tree represents a person who is living a life that is bearing good fruit. This person is kind, generous, and thoughtful, and their actions are making a positive impact on those around them. People are drawn to this person because they see the goodness in their character and the positive influence they have on others.

The second tree, on the other hand, represents a person who is not living a life that is bearing good fruit. This person may be self-centered, rude, and thoughtless, and their actions are causing harm or discomfort to those around them. People may avoid this person because they see the negativity in their character and the negative impact they have on others.

We have to take care of our own spiritual lives so that we can bear good fruit. Just as the tree needed sunlight to produce good fruit, we need to make sure that we are allowing God’s light to shine into our lives. This means spending time in prayer, reading the Bible, and participating in other spiritual disciplines that help us to grow closer to God.

But it also reminds us that we are not alone in our spiritual journey. Just as the farmer pruned the tree to help it bear good fruit, we can help each other to grow and bear good fruit. By serving others, sharing our faith, and encouraging one another, we can help to create an environment where everyone can thrive and produce good fruit in their lives.

The concept of serving others is an important aspect of the Christian faith, as it reflects the example and teachings of Jesus Christ. Throughout his life and ministry, Jesus demonstrated a consistent pattern of selfless service to those around him, often putting the needs of others before his own.

One of the most prominent examples of Jesus’ emphasis on serving others is found in the Gospel of Mark, where he says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). This statement highlights Jesus’ ultimate act of service, in which he gave his own life to save humanity from sin and death.

In addition to this ultimate act of service, Jesus also emphasized the importance of serving others in more practical ways, such as feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and comforting the brokenhearted. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus reaching out to those who were marginalized, outcast, or in need, offering them love, compassion, and practical help.

As followers of Christ, we are called to emulate his example by serving others in our own lives. This can take many different forms, depending on our individual gifts, talents, and resources. For some, it may involve volunteering at a local shelter or soup kitchen, while for others it may mean reaching out to a neighbor in need or supporting a global humanitarian organization.

The importance of serving others lies not only in the practical help and support we can offer, but also in the transformation it can bring about in our own lives. When we serve others with humility, compassion, and love, we become more like Christ, growing in character and spiritual maturity. Serving others can also help us to develop deeper relationships with those around us, as we learn to see them as individuals worthy of love and respect.

Ultimately, the concept of serving others is an essential part of the Christian life, reflecting the love and grace of God to those around us and helping us to grow in our relationship with him.

By Nathan Zipfel

Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene Pastor of the New Life Church of the Nazarene in Boswell, PA. Batchelor of Arts Pastoral Leadership, Nazarene Bible College Master of Arts, Ministry, Ohio Christian University Master of Social Work, Indiana Wesleyan University Behavioral Health Therapist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: