How Can We Recognize a ‘Good Tree’ and Its Fruits According to Matthew 7?

A tree and it's fruit

In the Bible, Jesus says in Matthew 7:15-20, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits."

This passage is often interpreted as a warning against false teachers or leaders who may appear to be righteous or godly on the surface, but whose actions or teachings do not align with the values and teachings of Jesus. These false prophets or leaders can be recognized by the "fruit" they bear, or the impact and consequences of their actions and teachings. Good fruit, according to Jesus, is characterized by righteousness, love, and obedience to God's will, while bad fruit is characterized by sin, selfishness, and disobedience to God.

One way to recognize a "good tree" and its fruit is to observe the character and actions of the person or group in question. Do their actions reflect the love and compassion of Jesus, or do they seem self-serving or harmful to others? Do they seek to follow God's commands and teachings, or do they twist or ignore them for their own gain?

Another way to recognize a good tree is to pay attention to the teachings and beliefs of the person or group. Do their beliefs align with the teachings of Jesus and the Bible, or do they contradict or distort them? Do they focus on love and service to others, or do they prioritize power and personal gain?

It is also important to consider the long-term impact and consequences of a person or group's actions and teachings. Do they inspire and encourage others to grow closer to God and to follow Jesus' example, or do they lead others away from God and into sin or danger?

In addition to these points, it may be helpful to seek guidance and wisdom from other believers and from the Bible itself. Matthew 7:24-27 advises us to "everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

In other words, we can recognize a good tree and its fruit by seeking guidance from Jesus' teachings and by putting them into practice in our own lives. By building our lives on the foundation of Jesus and his teachings, we can weather the storms of life and bear good fruit for God's kingdom.

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