In this passage of Scripture, Jesus teaches about fruit in people’s lives.
False prophets were recurrent in Old Testament times. They forecasted just what the king and the local people wanted to hear, asserting that it was God's message. False teachers are similarly as frequent today. Jesus says to be careful with those whose words sound religious but who are inspired by popularity, power, or prestige. We can tell who they are on the grounds that in their instructing they limit Christ and laud themselves.
So, if a tree is known for its fruit, how do you know one piece of fruit from the other? We are taught from an early age what each fruit looks like, how it tastes, how it smells, and what it is used for. When you consider fruit, you are likely to consider something sweet and delicious to eat. Apples, berries, and oranges are all fruits. In any case, researchers consider fruit a piece of a plant that contains seeds. The fruit probably will not be sweet. Indeed, it probably will not be edible by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, it is a fruit.
Fruit is generally delicate and succulent, however not always. Some of the time it is covered by a hard, defensive shell. Consider a watermelon, for example. It is delicate and delicious within; however, the outside is intense. Some fruit may be bitter, and some fruit may be sour.
Some of the fruit characteristics could be considered characteristics of a Christian. Does the Christian have a fruitful appearance? If so, that Christian may be spiritual on the inside; or the Christian may be spiritually barren?
We ought to assess the teachers' words by analyzing their lives. Similarly, as trees are predictable in the sort of fruit they produce, good teachers reliably show appropriate conduct and high moral fiber (character) as they endeavor to experience the certainties and truths of the Scripture. This does not mean we ought to have witch hunts, toss out Sunday teachers, ministers, and other people who are not exactly great, or less than perfect. None of us mere humans are perfect. All of us are liable to sin, and we should show the very kindness and mercy to others that we need for ourselves. When Jesus discusses degenerate and corrupt trees, he implies teachers who are intentionally teaching false doctrine. We should look at the teachers’ thought processes, their motives, which way they are taking, and the outcomes they are looking for.
Real fruit verses fake fruit. Fake fruit looks good, but it has no substance. How do we know good fruit? By the actions, the words, the ministry, and the lifestyle. You can clean a car but if the spark plug is not correct, the car will not work. We are not to judge but to examine life.
People watch us every day. Does God get the glory or do we?
When the fruit has been plucked from a tree, it begins to die. The fruit must stay connected to the tree so that it can get its nutrients from the tree. As such, we must be connected to Christ, if we are not, we slowly begin to die spiritually. If the tree is not growing, it is not productive, therefore it is not bearing fruit. If the tree is not productive and produces fruit, then the tree is not growing.
We must stay prayed up and studied up or we will grow cold and indifferent to God’s Word. If not, our spiritual fruit will begin to rot as natural fruit lying on the ground or on the countertop. Has anyone seen a banana going bad, or any piece of fruit for that matter? That piece of fruit is dying. It is decaying.
Is our Christian life like a piece of fruit that is going bad?