“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.Matthew 12:33 NIV
There are a few trees that I can recognize by looking at their bark. But only because they are trees I am very familiar with. But for the most part, I can only recognize, or identify, a tree by the fruit it produces. Examining its leaves, flowers, and fruit can help identify a specific type of tree.
This verse comes from a larger passage where Jesus was talking about the words and actions that people produce. These things help to identify what is in the person’s heart. Our words and actions are a type of fruit that we produce. And this fruit helps to identify what is in our hearts. If our words and actions are good, it is a sign that our heart is good. And if our words and actions are not good, it indicates that our hearts are not good.
What Fruit Do You Produce?
What kind of fruit do you produce? Do your words and actions reveal a heart surrendered to the Lord? Are you producing fruit in keeping with repentance (Matt. 3:8)? Or are your words and actions indistinguishable from the people in the world around you? If the fruit you produce is the fruit of this world, the solution is not to try harder to produce better fruit. The only real solution is a change of heart. Give your heart to Jesus and let him renew it. Only if he is Lord will you be capable of producing fruit pleasing to God.