A Tree is Known by Its Fruits

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You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (Matthew 7:16-18) 

St Nikolai Velimirovic comments: 

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Imagine that a certain fruit is set before you, the like of which you have never seen or tasted in your life; a fruit lovely to the eyes, of magnificent flavor and fascinating smell. You would ask what sort of tree bears such fruit and, if that tree had not been known to you before, you would look on it as the best tree in the world, and would praise it to the skies. 

Seeing, then, good disciples, you will reckon that the teacher is good. Seeing good soldiers, you will reckon that their commander is good. And seeing good fruit, you will reckon that the tree is good. 

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Every tree is known by its fruit‘ (Luke 6:44). A good tree does not produce bad fruit, nor a bad tree good fruit. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?‘ (Matthew 7:16). No: thorns are not picked from grapevines or thistles from fig trees. A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. This is so obvious to everyone that there is no need to prove it. The Lord Jesus made use of such obvious examples from nature, to teach men obvious spiritual and moral truths, for nature generally serves as the best picture of the spiritual life of man.  (HOMILIES Vol 1, p 284)

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