The Root and the Fruit
“For from within, out of the heart . . .” Mark 7:21
Jesus is the Wise Physician. He does not just treat the symptom, but searches for the source of the problem. The Healer of souls goes to the root of the problem – the heart.
Jesus taught that, as a tree is, so is its fruit. Every spiritually healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. For Jesus, the fruit was a direct result of the root. The only solution was to make the tree good and its fruit would be good.
It was on this principle that Jesus startled His listeners by connecting the sin of murder to fiery anger of the heart, and found the root of adultery in lustful thoughts.
The thirteen serious symptoms listed here in Mark 7: 21-22 are evidence that something is radically and deeply wrong with the heart. The painful truth is, all of these things, and more, lurk in our hearts. Our inner life is the largest and most important part of us. It has depths that we cannot conceive. Below the surface of our life, lies the principles that guide our life, all the impulses that influence our behavior, along with the motives of our choices, both good and bad. Our inward thoughts and desires bear their own fruit.
In such wicked times in which we live, it’s important that we meditate on our Lord’s diagnosis of the heart. Our problem is not in changing our conduct. It’s not in social reform, or more education. It’s not removing hindrance. There’s not enough legislation or education to alter our terminal condition.
Healing must begin in the heart. We must go to the root, if we want to change the fruit. The heart must be radically changed before our world can be made well. The root of evil must be dug up and cast out.
Jesus offers to us in a word – salvation, the renewal of the heart and nothing less. He makes all things new. He begins by creating within us a new heart and a right spirit and through the heart, He establishes and expands His kingdom into the world, till at last there is a new heaven and new earth.
What kind of fruit is your heart producing? Trace it back to the root and let the Holy Spirit begin to uproot all that’s not born of Him.