Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 12:33

"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit." -Matthew 12:33

To whom is this command spoken?

Matt. 12:24-25 tells us that Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees.

What does this command require?

I like the clarity that the Believers Bible Commentary gives here: "[Jesus] says, in effect, “Make up your minds. If a tree is good, its fruit is good and vice versa.” 

Make up your mind about Jesus. A tree is known by its fruit. You decide, is it good or bad.

What truths do we learn from this command?

The Pharisees just couldn't seem to call Jesus who He is. They saw the works that He did. They listened to His teaching. But they couldn't acknowledge that He was the Son of God. I think we learn here that each one of us must make a decision about who Jesus is. Either we side with the Pharisees, and conclude that Jesus is from the Devil; or we side with the disciples, who acknowledged that Jesus is, in fact, the Son of God.

The fruit of Jesus ministry was all good. There wasn't anything that was evil. The only negative side to Jesus ministry was the fact that He pointed out the sins of the hypocritical Pharisees. And is it really so bad that Jesus exposed sinners for who they were? If anything, He made the self-righteous see their unrighteousness and need for salvation.

He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I am?"
So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 
Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus asks you, "Who do you say that I am?"

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