A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus by their fruit you will recognize them (Matthew 7:18-20).
Notice that Jesus says cannot instead of does not. A tree is simply incapable of producing fruit that is against its nature. Jesus is talking about teachers here, and reminding us to judge the message by the fruit it produces. Now I know some of you will extrapolate here. You will wig out over this, thinking “I sin sometimes. Sin is bad fruit. Therefore, I must be evil.”
Remember, Beloved. We are still in process. I have a rose bush in my yard that produces two kinds of roses. There are scraggly, grungy little reddish flowers that come from the wild root, and there are beautiful, healthy white blossoms that come from the bush that has been grafted in. When I take care of the plant and keep it well trimmed, the beautiful blossoms are evident. When I neglect it, the grungies take over. But that isn’t one tree bearing two kinds of fruit; it’s two trees vying for dominance. As it is with you, Beloved.
As it is with me.
Do a little gardening this morning. Prune your roses.
Happy Friday, Beloved