“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 thornbushes, 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 his mouth speaks.”
I used to garden. Reluctantly. In fact, had my mother not sent me out into the garden with pruning shears, I would’ve gladly spent my Saturdays at the skatepark avoiding such work. Sadly however when i was roped into it, I would do it. It kind of frustrated me though because this one tree always grew back. Regardless of how well it was pruned, it was mere weeks before it once again covered the pathway or driveway.
Sometimes this reminds me a little of the christian walk. It seems that somewhere along the line, the good news of the kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus became some kind of “sin management” system. Like we can go to Jesus the gardener and have him shear off our bad fruit, only to have it grow again because, frankly, we aren’t in the environment that produces the necessary nutrients to provide good fruit.
I think Jesus the gardener, the Lord, the Redeemer has so much more in store for your tree.
I think Jesus lovingly says “I want to gently pick you out of the ground, and lovingly plant you in the good soil. I want to tend to you. I want to shape you. I want to help you reach for the sun. I want to plant you in new life. I want to plant you in the resurrection”
When we are planted in the good soil, the new life, good fruit is inevitable. Now sure, bad fruit from time to time pops up, and Jesus deals with it because He loves us. But being rooted in His goodness, His grace, His love and His way, can only lend to producing good fruit. Fruit that starts in our hearts, and is carried out in our lives.
Perhaps I should have moved that tree to a better area, better soil, a place where it could be enjoyed and didn’t get in the way. A place where it could be fruitful, and flourish.
And perhaps Jesus is inviting us to let Him uproot us from our “ok” soil and plant us in His good soil. A place where we can be fruitful, flourish and live in the new life.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life”