The Lord has used Luke 6:43-45 to make an indelible print on my heart. In relation to our world of compromise and relativism, there is some pretty black and white theology here. Jesus clearly points out that there is only either a good tree or a corrupt tree, good fruit or corrupt fruit, a good man or an evil man, a good treasure or an evil treasure.
I have found it personally challenging to check the value of my treasure. While some things in life may not be wrong, a person may place a value on the things of this life that is contrary to Christ. For example, in an evaluation of two surveys one by the Barna Group and the other by Life Way Research, Charles Stone observed that 60% of pastors found there greatest frustration to involve people issues in response their leadership or the organizational needs of the ministry while only 30% of pastors surveyed were found their biggest frustration to be people’s commitment to Christ (Five Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them, 65). Why would twice as many pastors be more concerned about people following their leadership or falling in line with needs of the church rather than being faithful followers of Christ? Sometimes the treasure we hold onto is actually a self-centered one that seeks its own fame or sense of value over others.
Good fruit flows from the heart of a loving and forgiving spirit. The parable itself is linked to verses 37-38 which say “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” The command to give in verse 38 is not merely speaking about possessions. This would be to rip the verse from its context. Verse 38 speaks more to having a forgiving spirit in the context of the sermon especially when considering the command to be merciful in verse (v. 36). That fact God has lavished His forgiveness on us, begs that we do likewise with others. Now, here is where Jesus hits the listeners right between the eyes. Jesus clearly points out that a good treasure brings forth that which is good, but an evil treasure brings forth that which is evil (v. 45). What is your treasure made up of? Do you hold on to every grievance as if it were a piece of valuable gold? How much value do you place on loving others regardless of whether or not they will love you in return?
What things do you treasure such that you plead with God to help you grow and develop that the kind of fruit that He would call good?
Pastor Richard Woodruff