Matthew 12: 33. “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good: or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.”
After Jesus taught what the only unforgivable sin is, He turned to an explanation of the cause of unbelief, the spring from which denial of Jesus Christ comes. He starts by using a tree as an example. A good tree, healthy and well-nourished, firmly rooted and watered, will bring forth good fruit. But if for some reason the tree is corrupt, then the fruit will also be corrupt.
How can one take a corrupt tree and make it good?
In our back yard, we have a type of elm tree that has been looking very sad and raggedy. The leaves have spots, and it shed its leaves very early in the summer. It’s an old tree, and hasn’t been on our priority list. This fall, however, Terry has done some research with the DNR, sending pictures of our “corrupt tree” to be examined and, we hope, diagnosed.
We don’t have a definitive answer yet. Terry thinks it may be carpenter ants that have infested the tree. Or it could be some kind of leaf borer. We’re really not sure, and we may not be able to save it. If we can find a solution, we’ll restore our tree by killing off whatever is making it sick; then we’ll feed it food that will change it from a corrupt tree to a good tree.
What makes us spiritually sick? You know the answer. We are full of ourselves, and not of God. We are guilty of doubt, worry, fear; we are full of pride, anger, and unforgiveness. We lie, we ignore God’s Word, we don’t pray. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked. Matthew 15:19 teaches us that evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies all proceed out of the heart of man. In our sinful nature, we are corrupt trees bearing corrupt fruit.
The only remedy is to cure the tree, and the only cure is the blood of Jesus Christ, that cleanses us from sin and makes us good. Good trees bear good fruit.
Wait until you see what Jesus says next!