PassageIn the past passage Jesus talked about not judging others, and about not trying to remove the speck from someone else’s eye when you’ve got a log in your own. This passage starts with the word “for,” so Jesus is now going to explain why we shouldn’t judge others: Because a good tree bears good fruit, and a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good person produces good out of their heart, and a bad person produces bad out of their heart, because “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
ThoughtsAs mentioned, these two passages are tied together, even though the ESV gives a separate heading for this piece. If you’re a good person, speaking out of the goodness of your heart, then you won’t judge others, and if you’re a bad person, speaking out of the badness of your heart, you will.
But wait… does that mean there really are good people and bad people? I don’t read it that way. We’re all sinners, and some of us are saved by Grace, but even the ones who are saved by Grace won’t be fully “good” in this lifetime. But when you’re properly obeying God, when the Holy Spirit is working through you, you’ll look at people differently, and you won’t think yourself better than them. We won’t be perfect, but we’ll sometimes follow the prompting of the Spirit and act in good ways.
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