Today’s readings.. (2 Kings 20), (Ezekiel 9), (Luke 5)
Our chapter in Luke today (6) is parallel with the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ chapters (5,6 & 7) in Matthew: in a sense it is a summary of them – highlighting many of its key lessons.
We are all trees, growing in different parts of God’s garden, the owner is looking to see what quality of fruit, if any, is growing on us. The owner is kind. It is not his will that he should chop any trees down; Peter later wrote that he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3 v.9). The fruit, essentially, is whether a godly attitude of mind develops in us – such a mind cannot help but produce fruit in whatever circumstances in which it is growing.
The growth of the fruit is also prompted by how well we ‘see’ God and with what ‘vision’ of sight we possess of the meaning of life as we go along our particular pathway – of whatever kind that is – difficult – or not so difficult – in rocky hill country or something less so. We must not count the cost of what we do, or expect rewards in this life. In a few days we will come to Luke 14 v.14 where Jesus makes the point, “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
How well are we developing a Christ-like mind? Verses 43-45 summarize an essential part of our Master’s teaching: “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
The Master knows us – everyone – he knows the fruit that has developed or is developing on the tree of each life, for says Jesus, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man (or woman) building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on a rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” [v.47-48] There is little doubt that floods are coming, let us get our fruit to ripen, and check our foundations.