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
Illustration of Matthew 7:15-20 —  And a bad tree cannot make good fruit.

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.

Today's Verses in Context

"Enter through the narrow gate {that opens the way to heaven}. The road that leads to hell is a very easy road. And the gate to hell is very wide. Many people enter that gate. But the gate that opens the way to {true} life is very small. And the road to {true} life is very difficult (hard). Only a few people find that road. "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). "Not every person that says that I am his Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people that will enter the kingdom of heaven are those people that do the things that my Father in heaven wants. On the last day many people will say to me, 'You are our Lord! We spoke for you. And for you we forced out demons and did many miracles. ' Then I will tell those people clearly, 'Go away from me, you people that do wrong. I never knew you.' "Every person that hears these things I say and obeys is like a wise man. The wise man built his house on rock. It rained hard and the water rose. The winds blew and hit that house. But the house did not fall, because the house was built on rock. But the person that hears the things I teach and does not obey those things is like a foolish man. The foolish man built his house on sand. It rained hard, the water rose, and the winds blew and hit that house. And the house fell with a loud noise." When Jesus finished saying these things, the people were amazed at his teaching. Jesus did not teach like theirteachers of the law. Jesus taught like a person that had authority (power).

Matthew 7:13-29

Related Scripture Readings

You must do the things that show that you have really changed your hearts and lives.

Matthew 3:8

But the Spirit gives love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Galatians 5:22

"I am the vine and you are the branches. If a person continues in me and I continue in that person, then that person will make much fruit. But without me that person can do nothing. If a person does not continue in me, then he is like a branch that is thrown away. That branch dies. People pick up dead branches, throw them into the fire, and burn them. "Continue in me and follow my teachings. If you do this, then you can ask for anything you want, and it will be given to you. You should make much fruit and show that you are my followers. This brings glory to my Father.

John 15:5-8

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.