Read Matthew 7:15-20
We live in a world that allows endless amounts of information to be available to us by turning on an electronic device. In seconds we are able to access information on any subject matter which enters our mind. Google and Wikipedia answer questions and if you have a device such as an Echo or a Nest, you can verbally ask your question. Even though there is an endless amount of information readily available to us, the accuracy of the information may be questionable. Today, access to information is not a problem but the reliability of information is a constant challenge.
The problem of information reliability is not new to humanity as our reading for today makes clear. Jesus places a warning before the people. He tells them to be careful in regard to those claiming to bring God’s message. These individuals disguise themselves as innocent messengers but they have an ulterior motive which is selfish and deceitful. Jesus instructs the people to examine the life of the one bearing a message. If the life is on which builds othero and creates a positive environment, then the messenger is true. A life which tears down others and does not exhibit the love of God is not a messenger from God.
We hear all forms of messages from a range of people who claim to provide messages from and insights into God. Caution must be used when receiving these words. Each of us must study Scripture so we have a baseline of understanding of the nature of God. From this baseline we must judge if what someone is saying aligns with the nature of God. As part of our judgment we must determine if the person’s words build up others and demonstrate the love of God. We must examine the manner in which the messenger expresses God’s love in the actions and choices of their life. With the guidance of the Spirit through prayer, we will separate the good fruit from the bad fruit.