“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” Matthew 7:18
From its appearance, a persimmon tree would seem to be a good tree and therefore would produce good fruit. I remember tasting its fruit one year before we had frost in Union, South Carolina, where I lived with my parents the greater part of my childhood. I bit into that fruit and it was so bitter it turned my mouth inside out! With that taste I was convinced the persimmon tree was a good tree producing bad fruit. The real problem was the fruit was not yet ripe! Later, after we had frost, I discovered the fruit became soft, took on an orangey autumn glow and was indeed sweet. Perhaps due to my first taste of persimmons, sweet though the ripe fruit is, I never have acquired a taste for that fruit, which is good.
I recall another tree in my youth and I did love its fruit. It grew on my paternal grandfather’s property. It was a pear tree. The tree had gotten old and had become diseased. Its health affected the fruit. I remember becoming quite upset when my grandfather cut down the tree. While it had been a good tree producing good fruit, over time it had become a bad tree and its fruit also was bad. It was impossible for that bad tree to produce any more good fruit! It was worthless and might as well be cut down and burned. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”
In what precedes Matthew 7:18, Jesus warns his listeners to beware of false prophets coming their way. He likens them to wearing sheep’s clothing while underneath being ravenous wolves. Jesus says, “You will know them by their fruits.” A prophet may speak a good line, but are his/her actions and works good? Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has emphasized the importance of one’s words and actions being in accord and that one’s actions be genuine and not for show. A popular Christian song has this refrain, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love; yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Our love will be manifested by our words, actions and deeds. We will be known by our fruits!
“In my life, Lord, be glorified; be glorified. In my life, Lord, be glorified today.” Through my words, Lord, be glorified; be glorified. Through my words, Lord, be glorified today. Through my deeds, Lord, be glorified; be glorified. Through my deeds, Lord, be glorified today.Amen.
 Peter Scholtes, 1966.
 Bob Kilpatrick, 1978.