apples from pine trees?
My three year old granddaughter and I spent the morning at the Retreat Farm in
Brattleboro. We saw sheep and donkeys, roosters and hens. The pig was incredibly
big and stinky. Last, but not least, we visited Carlos the Brahma-Red Holstein bull, a
gentle giant weighing over two thousand five hundred pounds! Emmie fed Carlos a
bagel, but dropped it quickly when she saw the size of his tongue. It was gooey and
sticky and rough.
After all this excitement, we walked toward the John Deere tractor playground. I asked
if she had any questions about the animals we’d seen. She pointed to a row of pine
trees and asked, “Gigi, I’m hungry. Can I pick an apple over there?” I explained, “No,
because pine trees don’t produce apples, they produce pine cones.” She exclaimed,
“But I want to pick an apple over there!” I replied, “It’s impossible to pick an apple from
a pine tree, but later on we can go to an apple orchard and pick apples.”
This exchange reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew: Watch out for false
prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious
wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn
bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a
bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot
bear good fruit. Verses 7:15-20 NIV
Lord Jesus, these verses are simple yet profound. There was a time I believed wolves
were sheep, because their words were convincing. But, their actions revealed over and
over again the type of fruit they produced. They were wolves, not sheep, and you can’t
be both. Just like pine trees can never produce apples. Thank you for Emmie’s
question. It’s a good reminder. Amen.
Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they
may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Matthew 7:6 NIV