So by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:20 NABRE
Jesus teaches about false prophets, those who come to take advantage of a community open for others to lead and follow. Jesus tells His disciples look to the fruit that is produced, you can always tell a good tree by its good fruit and a rotten tree from by its bad fruit. So how is a community of believers to know a true prophet from a false one? Jesus tells us to examine behavior. We can look at the fruit of their life and evaluate if they are creating good or if they have nothing but hurt and destruction. A good prophet, someone coming to lead us to a good life, who hears God’s word and is able to share it with others in a way they can understand, is worth trusting. But a false prophet, someone who will likely not make life easier for the community and will have their own interests as primary is not someone to listen to or trust. The metaphor is simple, if a tree has delicious grapes or figs then the tree is good, if the tree has prickly thistles and the fruit is bad the tree is bad. The simple conclusion of Jesus is by their fruits we will know them.
Jesus isn’t specific about the types of behavior we should expect from a good prophet. But if we look at history and note King David, who is highly honored in the Hebrew Scriptures and spoken about as having an unending dynasty, we will see bad behavior, particularly when it came to Bathsheba. But when David is confronted for his bad behavior He repents and asks for forgiveness. Many would say King David is a good prophet. So don’t look at one specific instance of a person and judge them bad, see the fruit of their entire life.
Are you a good prophet? Do you follow good prophets?If a tree has delicious grapes or figs then the tree is good, if the tree has prickly thistles and the fruit is bad the tree is bad. The simple conclusion of Jesus is by their fruits we will know them. Click To Tweet
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