Jesus descended from a mountain top where He selected the twelve, “whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13). Having arrived in the plain, our Lord was met by a great multitude of people out of all Judaea, Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. They were there to hear and for healing; “which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases” (vs.17). Having spoke to them on a multitude of subjects, in verse 39-49, He enlightened them to at least five basic principles of fruitfulness. We have already addressed two of five, “Progress is dictated by your partner”, “Promotion is determined by your professor” and “Pride is destroyed by your perception.” At this time, I want to enumerate on the fouLuke 6:43-45 “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
In our consideration of the fourth aspect of fruit bearing, it is imperative that we remember that God has put into place certain laws and principles that cannot be broken, made invalid, or ignored! While there must be the awareness of what it is, as well as a desire for it; producing good fruit requires more than desire. I believe that those of sound spiritual minds desire to produce fruit that would earn the respect of others while exalting and magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, there is a vast difference between desire and delivery. Within this parable, Jesus is going to set forth three divine principles related to fruit bearing.
The Principle of Reproduction
“For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
With respect to this principle, our Lord is emphatic; “a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit.” Everything reproduces after its own character without exception! Note the word “not” in the text; it is an absolute negative and means no, nay, never. You will never find corrupt fruit on a good tree and you will never find good fruit on a corrupt tree. The specific words that Jesus used in speaking of the good fruit and the corrupt fruit call for close examination. The word “good” is not the common word which means good in any sense, but beautiful, chiefly good, valuable or virtuous for appearance or use. “Good”, that is only this type of tree that reproduces plucked fruit that is valuable, virtuous, and useful. The word “corrupt” means rotten, worthless and comes from a word which means to putrefy or to perish. A rotten and worthless tree will produce a harvest that is worthless and destined to perish. Jesus magnifies this principle of reproduction when speaking to Nicodemus; “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Try as you may; if you have a fleshly nature, you will reproduce fruit that bares the similitude of the flesh. Likewise, if you demonstrate a spiritual nature you bring forth the fruit of the Spirit; “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). You generate what you are and not what you want!
The Principle of Revelation
“For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.”
While it may not be true in everything; with respect to fruit bearing, “What you see is what you get!” Note the first word that the Holy Spirit used, “For.” It is a primary particle assigning a reason; it is used in an argument, explanation or intensification. The outgrowth of the principle of reproduction is the principle of revelation! When you see a particular fruit, you immediately recognize the tree that generated it. Jesus is saying, “As a point of argument or explanation, when a person sees the fruit, they have a clear understanding of the specific tree that yielded it; when a person sees a tree, they have full knowledge of the fruit it will produce.” Knowledgeable of this truth, men don’t expect to gather figs among the thorns or grapes from a bramble bush. Could this explain why folks don’t come to you in time of need? They have discerned what type of tree you are and they know that what they need to glean, you can’t produce! Proverbs says, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19).
The Principle of Resource
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
You will note that Jesus reiterates the principle of reproduction; “A good man . . . bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man . . . bringeth forth that which is evil.” Secondly, He reiterates the principle of revelation; you know the man is good because the fruit is good and the fruit is good because the man is good; likewise, the man is evil because the fruit is evil and the fruit is evil because the man is evil! These two principles yield a third; the principle of resource, the man is good and the fruit is good because the resource from which the fruit originates is good. Likewise the man is evil and the fruit is evil because the resource from which the fruit originates is evil. Simple but yet profound; “You can’t change the man or the fruit until there is a change in the resource from which they originate!” It all has to do with what Jesus calls the “treasure of his heart.” Jesus said, “out of.” The phrase denotes origin or point whence action or motion proceeds. The fruit that defines the man finds its origin or point from which the action begins in the “treasure of his heart.” Please note two words, “treasure” and “heart.” The first means a deposit, wealth, and comes from a word meaning to place. The second word means the heart, the thoughts, the feelings, or the mind. Here is the truth that is sometimes missed, both the good man and the evil man have that which Jesus calls the “treasure of his heart.” The distinguishing difference is the deposit that has been placed there; one is good and the other is evil. A good deposit generates good fruit that testifies of the man being good and a evil deposit generates evil fruit that bears witness that the man is evil. The only means of changing the man or the fruit is by changing the deposit that resides within the heart; control the deposit and you control the man and the fruit: “for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
The truth that Jesus wants to magnify with respect to fruit bearing is that “Product is the Display of One’s Person.” The outer man and the fruit that is representative of his live are nothing more than the manifestation of the inner man! The treasure determines the talk and the talk determines the testimony.