Monday, July 24

Matthew 7:15-20 (ESV)

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.


Reflection

Someone just sent me a cheesy joke to brighten my day. Why

did the tree go to prison? It committed TREEson! The tree in

question in today’s reading from Matthew did not go to prison,

but instead got the death penalty. Cut down for bearing no fruit.

Jesus teaches his followers of long ago as well as today that we

can be led astray by that which pulls us away from God.

Sometimes we follow the lead of others who aren’t loving and

serving God and God’s people. We end up joining them in

bearing “bad fruit,” that is, putting ourselves first, ignoring

those around us, and even causing harm to others.

One definition of treason is rebelling against one to whom you

owe allegiance. As disciples of Jesus, we confess that we often

rebel against God’s ways; our actions often look more like rotten

fruit than good fruit. And God’s Son, Jesus, is the one who took

the penalty of death for our sins, dying for us that we would be

saved.

We ask the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and minds that

God’s Word may bear fruit in our lives.


Prayer

Holy Jesus, you have given me everything I could possibly need

to follow you. You have granted me your presence and guidance.

You look for good fruit in me. Please forgive me when I let you

down, and plant good seeds in my heart. Amen.

 

Written by Pastor Pam Mitcham

Pastor of Community Care

pmitcham@stjohns-springfield.org