What Jesus Did! 'Fruit Checking' — Matthew 7:15-20

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Be careful of false prophets. They come to you and look {gentle} like sheep. But they are really dangerous {like} wolves. You will know these people because of the things they do. Good things don't come from bad people, the same as grapes don't come from thorn bushes. And figs don't come from thorny weeds. In the same way, every good tree makes good fruit. And bad trees make bad fruit. A good tree cannot make bad fruit. And a bad tree cannot make good fruit. Every tree that does not make good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. You will know these false people by the fruit they make (things they do)."
— Matthew 7:15-20 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 7:15-20 NLT —  Every tree that does not make good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Key Thought

Disciples are not to be judgmental people. This does not mean, however, that they are to be undiscerning. There is a principle designed into the fabric of our universe: the fruit produced comes from the seed planted. If we want to know about the character of people, look at the consistent fruit of their lives! Jesus is worried about a very present danger of false teachers deceiving his disciples and leading them to disaster. He gives one simple, powerful and accurate test to use to detect false teachers: check their fruit! What kind of character is present in their lives? If it is not godly character, then they're not to be trusted. Look at the fruit of their life. Watch what they do.

Today's Prayer

Tender Shepherd, I know it hurts you to see us led astray by false shepherds. I ask you, O Lord my true Shepherd, please bear your fruit in me. In addition, I pray that you protect your flock from the wolves. Give me wisdom and insight to not follow a false shepherd or to be led astray by false teachers. I want to follow only you! In the name of the Lamb who was slain, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 3:8
  • Galatians 5:22
  • John 15:5-8


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.