A Tree and Its Fruit43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 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.
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: The Beatitudes Part 2
Accompanying Matt Chandler sermon: Of Danger and Ditches
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Danger of Following the Wrong Spiritual Teacher
I'm not sure why I haven't caught on before that this whole section is dealing with following the right spiritual Teacher/teacher.
Several quick parable type proverbs that all speak to that important truth.
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?
This one is pretty basic. You follow a spiritually blind man and you're not going to get where you think you're going.
I loved Matt Chandler's point here....
His main problem with the Pharisees and what made them so dangerous is they’re using the same Scriptures and pointing to the same God, but the path they’re laying to get to that God is wrong. Which is why you’re going to see Him engage them so heavily over and over and over again....They didn’t hold the truth, and yet they claimed to hold the truth absolutely.
A blind person leading another blind person is not only not helpful, it's flat out dangerous.
40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
I like Matt Chandler's summation....
So He’s going, “Okay, you can follow the teachings of men or you can follow Me. But you’re only going to go as far as your teacher goes, and I’m God. So you should probably let Me teach. You probably should listen to My teachings as opposed to others.”
41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.
Self righteousness is always blind to its own sinfulness. A self righteous person simply cannot help a sinner. They can't.
This doesn't mean you have to be perfect in order to help others. But you can't deny your imperfections and have any credibility whatsoever.
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 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.
They just lack godliness, that they have this external shell of religiosity, but they are absolutely absent of compassion, mercy, love, grace, empathy. They lack these things that are intrinsically from God. A love for others that goes beyond self—they lack that.
You get the wrong teacher and you know what's going to come out of his life? Evil. And you know what's going to come out of your life? Evil. That's an absolute.
Very simply, Jesus is saying - are you going to follow false teachings or are you going to follow me?
Matt Chandler has a great point - we need to be careful and discerning about the books we read and how we allow them to shape our theology. The Bible - that is the one and only book that can be trusted implicitly, without reservation. The rest? He gives a few questions to consider when determining if there can be some dangerous theology being thrown around.
First - how does the book treat scripture? Like it's cold and dead, or living and active? What do they say in regards to the purity of the Scripture? Do they pick and choose what is true or do they believe it all?
Second - do they add anything to the cross? Is the gospel the cross alone? Or is it the cross and ... ?
Third - what do they believe about the essence of man? Is man intrinsically good or evil? (The answer is evil, btw!)
Fourth - who do they say Jesus is. If they say anything other than the wrath-absorbing Son of God, in the flesh, resurrected from the dead - then they're wrong.
There can be nuggets of truth in books that contain any of the above errors, but you've got to be really careful and discerning or your going to be the blind person being led by the blind person into the ditch.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 6:46-49