True and False Prophets
15 “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 thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Actions speak louder than words. I have said it before in reference to another passage in this chapter, and I will say it again. Jesus tells us here that a person’s actions tell us more than the words off their lips. People who profess a relationship with Jesus and follow that will bear good fruit. Their actions, their relationships, the world around them will all point back to Jesus. People who bear “good fruit” are hard to be around without noticing that something about them is different, that they are not living for this life, but the next. People who bear bad fruit may profess they live for the kingdom, but do not show it. I have been so guilty of this. I can talk to a person about Jesus, and then immediately go out and give someone the finger in traffic. Does that let the person know I live for God? I think not. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for anger, but anger can never accomplish in years what one act of kindness can accomplish in minutes.