What Spills Out of You?

Text: Luke 6:43-44
No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. (NRSV)

One of my all-time favorite sermon illustrations I first heard from Rev. Bob Smith.  Like all good preachers, I have been using it ever since lol.  It goes like this: “If I’m carrying a glass full of water and I bump into you, why is it I spill water on you?”  I have heard answers like, “because you bumped into me,” and “because there was no lid on the glass,” and “because you were not careful.”  But the real answer to the question of why I spill “water” on you is because it is “water” that was in the glass.  If I had grape juice in the glass, then I would have spilled grape juice on you.

When we have a run-in with anyone what spills out of us is only what is already in us.  No one can make us say and do the things we do by trying to start an argument with us or by rubbing us the wrong way.  The way we respond and the things we do are because that is what we are already carrying around in us.

This is the essence of what Jesus is saying in today’s reading.  “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.”  What is produced is what is already within the trees themselves.  The soil, water, and air may all be important in allowing them to produce their fruit, but the kind of fruit they bear is completely dependent on the kind of tree that they are.

The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus can transform you into a different kind of tree or Jesus can fill your cup with something other than what you are currently carrying around. When you come to Jesus and turn your life over to him, Jesus can give you a new life—a kingdom life so that you too might bear the good fruit of God’s Kingdom.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of transformation take away the content of my life that seems to spill out in broken and harsh ways whenever I am bumped.  Fill me instead with your great love, mercy, and forgiveness that I may spend my life spilling these things all over anyone who crashes into me.  AMEN.

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