Matthew 21:43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.
Speaking directly to the religious leaders Jesus let them know that if they were not producing spiritual fruit, they would lose the kingdom. We know the rest of the story and the gospel became a message of salvation for all — Jews and gentiles alike!
There was an expectation that God’s people would be an evangelistic people! The gift was not for them alone to hoard. What God had provided was to have been shared with the world around them so that others might know the one, true, living God.
Production of fruit was the sign of a healthy and growing relationship with God. No matter how hard the religious leaders tried to look good on the outside, Jesus could see right through them and tell that they were not producing the fruits of the kingdom.
If Jesus were here today, what would he say to us? Are we producing the fruit that he expects from one in a healthy relationship with him?
There is the fruit of the Spirit which is to be evident in our lives. This should be seen every single day in our interactions with those around us. But there is also the fruit — those who are coming to Christ — which ought to be evident.
I’m running into more and more Christians who will have never led anyone to Jesus Christ. They’re absolutely terrified at the idea and so, they quietly go about their business, almost hoping that their Christianity remains under the radar screen.
The reality is that the fruit of the Spirit will lead to other fruit as well. When we are living in the fullness of the Spirit then it’s almost impossible not to have the love of Christ spill out of you and touch others that need to know him!
It’s that waiter/waitress that you talk to in the restaurant that’s having a bad day and suddenly they notice your compassion and want to know more. It’s the people you run into at the grocery store, or the barber shop. It doesn’t take a memorized plan of salvation to show someone the way to Christ — it’s the way in which we live on an everyday basis that ought to open doors for those conversations.
How will Jesus respond to us? Will he look at us and tell us that the kingdom will be given to those who are producing fruit? May God help us to be in a fruitful relationship with him!
Lord, please help me to see those around me the way that you do. Amen.