“Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16
One summer a farmer friend brought over a load of manure to put on our new garden. We worked that “organic material” into the soil and then planted the seeds. By mid-July, the garden looked incredible — especially the tomato plants. Those Beefsteaks and Big Boys grew as tall as me with huge stems and lush green leaves. By mid-August, our well fertilized plot looked like the Amazon jungle.
There was only one problem: not one tomato. All that tending, staking, and weeding with nothing to show. No BLTs, no salsa, no spaghetti sauce. How disappointing.
Jesus said to watch out for people who resemble my tomato plants — pretty impressive at first glance, but on closer inspection, no fruit on the vine. We are to recognize the true character of people by looking at what kinds of qualities they produce.
Which is why you can’t pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, no matter how much manure you spread around.