Inspect the Fruit
Matthew 7:15-17, 20
Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit… 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Yesterday we learned about testing the spirits so we are not deceived. Today, we are further warned about false prophets, which I believe includes false teachers and false shepherds.
We must not be taken in by someone’s outward appearance, by flattering speech, or by the image they project. On the outside they seem fine, even sincere, but on the inside they might be something else entirely.
Good trees bring forth good fruit, but bad trees bear bad fruit. Jesus wants us to be fruit inspectors. What kind of spiritual fruit is being produced? The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
We must examine the spiritual fruit being brought forth from those prophets, teachers and shepherds who influence us as Christians. By the power and discernment of the Holy Spirit in us, we will be able to distinguish good and bad fruit.
Anything that does not line up with the Word is false. Jesus told the Father, “Thy word is truth.”
Ask the Father for more of His Spiritual discernment so you can judge good fruit from bad fruit. Tell the Holy Spirit you will listen for His prompting today as you cautiously inspect the fruit of those influencing your Christian walk.
Dive Deeper: Study Matthew 7; Galatians 5:22-25; Colossians 3:12-14.