Luke 6 is parallel with the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ in Matthew 5, 6 & 7: in a sense it is a summary of them, highlighting many key lessons.
We are all trees, growing in different parts of God’s garden; the owner is looking to see what quality of fruit, if any, is growing on us. The owner is kind. It is not his will that he should chop down any trees; Peter later wrote that he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The fruit, essentially, is whether a godly attitude of mind develops in us – such a mind cannot help but produce fruit in whatever circumstances it grows.
The growth of the fruit is prompted by how well we see God and what vision we possess of the meaning of life as we go along our particular pathway, difficult or otherwise. We must not count the cost of what we do, or expect rewards in this life. In Luke 14:14 Jesus makes the point, “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just”.
How well are we developing a Christ-like mind? Verses 43-45 summarize an essential part of our Master’s teaching: “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 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 the mouth speaks.”
The Master knows everyone of us. He knows the fruit that has developed or is developing on the tree of each life, for says Jesus, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man (or woman) building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on a rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built” (verses 47,48). There is little doubt that floods are coming; let us get our fruit to ripen, and check our foundations.