The good soil bears fruit (Lk 8:15-8:15)

“As for those seeds

On the good soil,

These are the ones

Who,

When they hear

The word,

They hold it fast

In an honest

And good heart.

They bear fruit

With a patient endurance.”

 

τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ καλῇ γῇ, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον κατέχουσιν καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἐν ὑπομονῇ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the seeds on the good soil (τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ καλῇ γῇ) are the ones (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες) who heard the word (ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον) and held it or kept it fast (κατέχουσιν) with an honest and good heart (ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ).  They would bear fruit with a patient endurance (καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἐν ὑπομονῇ).  This explanation of the sower parable about the good seeds can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:20, Matthew, chapter 13:23, and here, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Mark and Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the seeds sown on good soil were the people who heard the word and accepted it.  They then bore good fruit.  They yielded either 30-fold, 60-fold, or a 100-fold.  Matthew, had the reverse order of Mark, 100, 60, and 30, while Luke, has no number on the fruitful harvest.  Only about 25% of the seeds sown were effective.  Thus, only about 25% of the people hearing the word of the kingdom from Jesus would follow it.  The seeds or the word that fell on the path, on the rocky ground, or the thorns were ineffective.  However, even among the effective seeds that were on good soil, the word would have different results.  Some would yield 30 times, some 60, and some 100.  There was no magic formula.  The circumstances among the good hearers would also bring about a variety of responses and effectiveness.  How effective are the seeds of the word of God in your life?

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The god and bad trees (Lk 6:43-6:43)

“No good tree

Bears bad fruit.

Nor again,

Does a bad tree

Bear good fruit.”

 

Οὐ γάρ ἐστιν δένδρον καλὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν σαπρόν, οὐδὲ πάλιν δένδρον σαπρὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no good tree bears bad fruit (Οὐ γάρ ἐστιν δένδρον καλὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν σαπρόν).  Nor does a bad tree bear good fruit (οὐδὲ πάλιν δένδρον σαπρὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλόν).  This is a basic common-sense statement.  There was something similar to this in the preaching of John the Baptist earlier in chapter 3:9 and Matthew, chapter 7:17-18, and chapter 12:33, perhaps from the Q source.  The good tree produces good fruit.  The bad tree produces bad fruit.  The good tree is not able to produce evil fruit, while the evil tree is not able to produce good fruit.  Either a tree is good or rotten.  Simply stated, a good or bad tree will only produce what it is.  There will be no mixing of the good and the bad fruits.  Good fruit only comes from good trees, while rotten fruits only come from rotten trees.  You can tell what kind of a tree it is by its fruits.  Do you produce good or bad fruit?

Beware children of Abraham! (Lk 3:8-3:9)

“Bear fruits

Worthy of repentance!

Do not begin

To say to yourselves!

‘We have Abraham

As our ancestor!’

I tell you!

‘God is able

From these stones

To raise up children

To Abraham.

Even now,

The ax is lying

At the root of the trees.

Every tree

That does not bear

Good fruit

Is cut down

And thrown

Into the fire.’”

 

ποιήσατε οὖν καρποὺς ἀξίους τῆς μετανοίας· καὶ μὴ ἄρξησθε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ· λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι δύναται ὁ Θεὸς ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ.

ἤδη δὲ καὶ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται· πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται.

 

Here is the first of the sayings from the so-called Q source.  Both Matthew, chapter 3:9-10, and Luke here have the exact same wording in their presentations of John’s preaching to the people.  Instead of just the Pharisees and Sadducees, Luke has John address this to all the people coming to be baptized.  This saying emphasized deeds, rather than relying on ancestry.  They were to produce fruit that was worthy of repentance (ποιήσατε οὖν καρποὺς ἀξίους τῆς μετανοίας).  They had to perform good deeds.  They should not presume that because they have had Abraham as their father, as the privileged chosen ones (καὶ μὴ ἄρξησθε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ), that all would go well for them.  Then John pointedly said to them (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν) that God had the power (ὅτι δύναται ὁ Θεὸς) to change stones and rocks into the children of Abraham (ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ), a Hebrew play on words that was translated into Greek.  The axe was already lying at the foot of the trees, ready to go to work (ἤδη δὲ καὶ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται).  Every tree that was not bearing or producing good fruit would be cut down (πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται).  Then they would be thrown into the fire (καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται).

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.

The sound tree (Mt 7:17-7:18)

“Every good tree

Bears good fruit.

But the bad tree

Bears bad fruit.

A good tree

Cannot bear

Bad fruit.

A bad tree

Cannot bear

Good fruit.”

 

οὕτως πᾶν δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς καλοὺς ποιεῖ, τὸ δὲ σαπρὸν δένδρον καρποὺς πονηροὺς ποιεῖ·

οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν, οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν

 

This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 6:42, perhaps from the Q source.  This is a basic common-sense statement.  The good tree produces good fruit (οὕτως πᾶν δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς καλοὺς ποιεῖ).  The bad or evil tree produces bad or evil fruit (τὸ δὲ σαπρὸν δένδρον καρποὺς πονηροὺς ποιεῖ).  The good tree is not able to produce bad or evil fruit (οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν), while the bad or evil tree is not able to produce good fruit (οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν).  Simply stated, a good or bad tree will only produce what it is.  There will be no mixing of the good and the bad fruits.  Good fruit only comes from good trees, while bad fruits only come from bad trees.

The children of Abraham should not be presumptuous (Mt 3:8-3:10)

“Bear fruit

Worthy of repentance!

Do not presume

To say to yourselves.

‘We have Abraham

As our ancestor!’

I tell you

That God is able

To raise up children

To Abraham

From these stones.

Even now,

The axe is lying ready

At the root

Of the trees.

Every tree therefore

That does not bear good fruit

Is cut down.

It is thrown into the fire.’”

 

ποιήσατε οὖν καρπὸν ἄξιον τῆς μετανοίας·καὶ μὴ δόξητε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ· λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι δύναται ὁ Θεὸς ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ. ἤδη δὲ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται· πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται.

 

Here is the first of the sayings from the so-called Q source. Both Matthew and Luke have the exact same pronouncement of John to the people, who presumed that they were saved by being the children of Abraham. Instead of just the Pharisees and Sadducees, Luke, chapter 3:7, had John address this to all the people coming to be baptized. This saying emphasized deeds, rather than relying on ancestry. They were to produce fruit that was worthy of repentance (ποιήσατε οὖν καρπὸν ἄξιον τῆς μετανοίας). They had to perform good deeds. They should not presume that because they have had Abraham as their father, as the privileged chosen ones (καὶ μὴ δόξητε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ), that all would go well for them. Then John pointedly said to them (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν) that God had the power (ὅτι δύναται ὁ Θεὸς) to change stones and rocks into the children of Abraham (ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ). This was a Hebrew play on words translated into Greek. The axe was already lying at the foot of the trees, ready to go to work (ἤδη δὲ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται). Every tree that was not bearing or producing good fruit would be cut down (πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται). Then they would be thrown into the fire (καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται).

Another eagle and the vine (Ezek 17:7-17:8)

“There was another great eagle,

With great wings,

With much plumage.

See!

This vine stretched out

Its roots

Toward him.

It shot out

Its branches

Toward him.

Thus he might water it.

From the bed

Where it was planted,

It was transplanted

To good soil

By abundant waters,

So that it might

Produce branches.

It might bear fruit.

It might become

A noble vine.”

After the introduction of the first eagle, there was now a second eagle. This second eagle may be an allusion to Egypt, the other great eagle. This eagle also had great wings and feathers. However, the vine stretched out to this eagle, so that the second eagle might help it grow by giving it water. Thus Jerusalem had reached out to Egypt to help it grow against Babylon. This second eagle then took the vine and tried to transplant it in good soil with a lot of water so that it might produce branches with good fruit, more like a noble vine.