For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:
he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Comment: We had a grafted orange tree. The root system was from a very hardy genus but the fruit was bitter. The fruit from the bit grafted in was delicious. From the trunk below the grafted portion several branches grew out, and from those branches the fruit was not edible, and they were cut off as there was never going to come a time when they would produce sweet fruit. The fruit from the grafted in, tasty tree, satisfied us for a long time. Jesus likens us to that tree and we need to know what is our basic ability. Do we produce bad or good fruit? But it raises the issue as to whether or not we can choose what sort people we are. Is it all in the genes? Not here, but in other places Jesus talks about us being in the good or bad fruit producing group by the choices we make.
The bit about saying ‘Lord, Lord’, and not obeying, is maybe a hint that our response to him is basic to the answer of good fruit production. At any rate he uses it as a lead in to what makes a good foundation for building a life. A house (life) needs to be built on rock (his word) not the shifting sands of a life not based on Him. Storms will come in this life and judgement will come at the end. He says – build a house that will endure.
Prayer: Help me to find relevant instructions for building well, as there are many storms that buffet my life, and the end is drawing near!
NB The last few days we have looked at the brief account that Luke gives of a much longer discourse recorded in Matthew chapters 5-7. That is worth looking at but we will go on in Luke after spending a few more days in Solomon’s proverbs.