Jesus said to his disciples:
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.” (Lk 6:43-44a)
For the people in the time of the Lord, fruit would have been one of the ways that they made their livelihood. Fruit, olives, olive oil, and fish were all staples.
They were not easily obtained.
The people in the time of the Lord, as in today’s time, lived in an arid land that was often uncooperative. Today, because of the marvels of drip irrigation, they can make the desert bloom. In the time of the Lord, that was much more difficult.
One can imagine, then, the great toil that would go into a crop or into a grove of trees. Can you imagine, after all the care that went into a stand of trees, what the owners would feel when they saw that the trees were not producing good fruit? It would be a debacle and could lead to economic ruin and, even, the loss of their lives.
The Lord’s people knew the land. They knew the stories of success and failure when it came to the crops and trees that they planted. They knew the frustrations as well as the anger when they would have to rip things out that did not produce and begin all over again.
Because of that, they were primed to know when the Lord applied these elements to their lives. They could well imagine what the vine grower or the harvest master would do when faced with a crop that did not yield. They would most certainly not want to be associated with poor-yielding trees.
Nor should we today.
We should not want the Lord to think of us as unproductive. After all, He “planted” us here and tended us with care. He “waters” us with grace upon grace. He expects us to produce a plentiful amount of good fruit.
FAITH ACTION: Tend to yourself today. Make sure that you are doing everything possible to grow spiritually so that you may produce for the Lord.