Good Fruit / Bad Fruit (Part 1)

Good Fruit / Bad Fruit (Part 1)

When Jesus says, “the tree is known by its fruit,” in Matthew 12:33 (ESV), what is the nature of the fruit he’s referencing and how do we apply it today? The answer to that question is the topic of this blog, although our limited space allows for only a few brief suggestions, while leaving much unsaid. In Part 1, we’ll consider briefly three other places where Jesus makes an identical (or nearly identical) statement—made nowhere else by anyone else in the New Testament—and then in Part 2, we’ll zero-in on Matthew 12:33–37 as our primary focus.

Aside from Matthew 12 (which we’ll discuss later), we find the three other “tree-known-by-its-fruit(s)” statements in Matthew 7:16, 7:20 and Luke 6:44. Before commenting on any differences we find between them, let me first mention something about the context in which we find each of these. The statement itself is embedded in a passage of...

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