Monday, September 24, 2012
The bananas are a bit green, but we know they will ripen off the tree. The rest of the fruit shown are plump, unblemished and good for food. Christ ran across a fig tree that wasn’t.
And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. (Mark 11:12-14 KJV)
They went on to Jerusalem and Jesus ran the moneychangers out of the temple square. They held no glory for God in their work, turning a house of prayer into a den of thieves. Jesus and His disciples left the city that night:
And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. (Mark 11:20 KJV)
We can tell a good producing tree by it’s fruit:
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. (Luke 6:43-44 KJV)
People put forth fruit, too:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:14-15 KJV)
Strait and narrow means boundaries. There is no broad path that is laid out before us to do as we please. There are standards whereby we may inspect fruit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:22-24 KJV)
There is also a list of bad fruit:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)
That list is much longer and equates wrath and strife with murder and adultery. We don’t, do we? We look upon our own anger and envy as justifiable. Many simply ignore Paul’s writings and quote gospels instead. Christ told us we will know people by their fruit.
How are our own standards set? Are we inspecting fruit that we bear as well as that of others by biblical standards? Where does our own fruit fall – under fruit of the spirit, or fruit of the flesh. Do we encounter wrath, strife, hatred within ourselves? Do we envy?