This week we conclude the Sermon on the Mount. There is so much here that is practical and relevant to everyday living. There is the part about asking for requests like a child (this is so well done in Paul Miller’s book that the women did earlier and men are doing now). Miller basically says that we worry too much about having good, noble requests. Children just pray honestly what they want and feel. They don’t worry about being mature. They don’t pretend to be mature.
But the part that I feel provoked by is the part about knowing people by their fruits. At first, I thought that would mean their deeds. But the next section (“Lord, Lord…”) shows that good deeds can be entirely empty and deceptive. So also can “nice” appearances (wolves in sheep’s clothing). So if fruit isn’t good religious behavior and nice appearances, what is it? That’s a great question to ponder. How do we discern good and bad fruit in ourselves and others?