The fruit of the tree (Lk 6:44-6:44)

“Each tree

Is known

By its own fruit.

Figs are not gathered

From thorns.

Grapes are not picked

From a bramble bush.”

 

ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται· οὐ γὰρ ἐξ ἀκανθῶν συλλέγουσιν σῦκα, οὐδὲ ἐκ βάτου σταφυλὴν τρυγῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his metaphor about fruits.  He said that each tree was known by its own fruit (ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται).  Figs are not gathered from thorn bushes (οὐ γὰρ ἐξ ἀκανθῶν συλλέγουσιν σῦκα).  Neither are grapes picked or gathered from a bramble or thorn bush.  This saying of Jesus was somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 7:16, perhaps indicating a Q source.  There Jesus told his disciples that they would know or discern people by their fruits.  Then he asked the question whether grapes could be gathered from thorn bushes or figs gathered from thistles?  Certain kinds of fruits only come from certain kinds of trees.  Thus, you can tell what kind of tree it is by its fruit.  The thorn bushes were not going to produce figs or grapes.  What kind of tree are you?

The kingdoms of the world (Lk 4:5-4:5)

“Then the devil

Led Jesus up.

He showed him,

In an instant,

All the kingdoms

Of the world.”

 

Καὶ ἀναγαγὼν αὐτὸν ἔδειξεν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τῆς οἰκουμένης ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου.

 

This is the 3rd and final temptation in Matthew, chapter 4:8-10, but here in Luke it is the 2nd temptation.  The wording is almost the same, indicating a shared common source, perhaps Q.  Luke said that the devil led Jesus up (Καὶ ἀναγαγὼν αὐτὸν), presumably a high mountain, as in some Orthodox manuscripts and in Matthew.  He then showed him (ἔδειξεν αὐτῷ) in an instant or moment in time (ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου), all the kingdoms of the world (πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τῆς οἰκουμένης).  Exactly how he did this is difficult to discern.  This time, the devil took Jesus to an exceeding high mountain, where he showed Jesus all the great kingdoms of the world.  Luke was more restrained in his description of the various kingdoms, since he did not mention their splendor and glory, the way that Matthew had.

How do you give gifts? (Mk 4:24-4:24)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Pay attention

To what you hear!

The measure you give

Will be the measure

You get.

Still more

Will be given you.”

 

Καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Βλέπετε τί ἀκούετε. ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν, καὶ προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν.

 

Mark indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (Καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that they should pay attention, perceive, and discern whatever they hear (Βλέπετε τί ἀκούετε).  Whatever they used as a measuring rod (ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε), it would be the same measuring stick used on them (μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν).  This last phrase is exactly the same as in Luke, chapter 6:38, which was also like Matthew, chapter 7:2, who was talking about judging others, so that they would not be judged.  Whatever judgment they made they would be judged the same way.  Finally, Jesus said that more would be added to them (καὶ προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν).

Cut down the bad tree (Mt 7:19-7:20)

“Every tree therefore

That does not bear good fruit

Is cut down.

It is thrown into the fire.

Thus,

You will know them

By their fruits.”

 

πᾶν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται.

ἄραγε ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς.

 

This first verse is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 13:6-9, but Luke has a parable about a bad fig tree that should be cut down.  However, Matthew has this saying here exactly the same, word for word, what John the Baptist was preaching in chapter 3:10, about bearing good fruit.  Every tree that was not bearing or producing good fruit should be cut down (πᾶν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται).  Then they should be thrown into the fire (καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται).  The second verse is like what Jesus said earlier in this chapter 7:16, when he told his disciples, via Matthew, that they would know or discern people by their fruits (ἄραγε ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς).  Once again, Matthew has Jesus teaching exactly what John the Baptist had been teaching, probably from a common Q source.

Know them by their fruits (Mt 7:16-7:16)

“You know them

By their fruits.

Are grapes gathered

From thorn bushes?

Are figs gathered

From thistles?”

 

ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς. μήτι συλλέγουσιν ἀπὸ ἀκανθῶν σταφυλὰς ἢ ἀπὸ τριβόλων σῦκα;

 

This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 6:44-45, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus told his disciples, via Matthew, that they would know or discern people by their fruits (ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς).  Then he asked the question whether grapes could be gathered from thorn bushes (μήτι συλλέγουσιν ἀπὸ ἀκανθῶν σταφυλὰς) or figs gathered from thistles (ἢ ἀπὸ τριβόλων σῦκα).  Certain kinds of fruits only come from certain kinds of trees.  Thus, you can tell what kind of tree it is by its fruit.

Discernment (Sir 36:23-36:25)

“The stomach

Will take any food.

Yet one food is

Better than another.

As the palate

Tastes the kinds of game,

So an intelligent mind

Detects false words.

A perverse mind

Will cause grief.

But a person

With experience

Will pay him back.”

Sirach points out that just as your taste buds can tell the difference between various kinds of food, so too the mind should be able to discern the difference between true and false words. Both the stomach and the mind can absorb all kinds of foods and words. However, just as one food is better for you than another, so too the perverse mind can cause grief. The experienced person will be able to verbally payback the false words and the perverse minds.

The hidden work of God (Eccl 8:16-8:17)

“I applied my mind to know wisdom.

When I wanted to see the business

That is done on earth,

How one’s eyes see sleep

Neither day nor night.

Then I saw all the work of God.

No one can find out

What is happening

Under the sun.

However much they may toil in seeking,

They will not find it out.

Even though those who are wise

Claim to know,

They cannot find it out.”

Qoheleth wanted to know about wisdom so he applied his mind. He wanted to see everything that was done on earth. However, no one could tell him what was happening here on earth, under the sun. Even the wise ones could not find out, despite their labors. These wise humans were not able to discern the wisdom of the work of God.