One day Jesus was disturbed as he observed religious leaders judging other individuals. Outraged by this display of self-righteousness, Jesus compares unfair judgments to the principle of sowing and reaping. Warning the Pharisees in the crowd, Jesus explains that the standard by which you judge others will be measured, applied to you in return. Immediately following this statement, Jesus transitions into a discussion about what is intrinsically good and evil.
For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit. For figs are not picked from thorn bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a briar bush, Luke 6:44.
Using a parable to prove his point, Jesus refers to humans beings as fruit bearing trees. Essentially, what Jesus is saying in paraphrased form, “if you want to encapsulate who someone is, pay attention to the fruit which they bear on a daily basis.” Some will produce excessive fruit, others will have sporadic growth seasons and a few won’t bear anything at all. As you interact with society, brushing up against, coming in contact with and experiencing what different people have to offer, reputations will be developed and formed either good or bad.
The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart, Luke 6:45.
The climax of Jesus’ teaching comes in the passage above, mouths speak out of the overflow of human hearts. Thus, if you listen carefully, you can hear for yourself what is intrinsically good or evil. The next time you listen to a conversation, observe a discussion or watch a report on cable news, your ears should be able to pick up something based upon the content. Are these words good, honorable and moral? Or has a bruised and wounded heart spewed depravity, hatred and wickedness? While you can’t control what others say, you can cry out to Jesus to mend any part of a broken heart. As this healing process begins, you should begin to recognize subtle changes in your vocabulary. May the Holy Spirit transform your life to display that which is intrinsically good.
by Jay Mankus