Have you ever read the book Are You My Mother? A poor little bird hatches from his egg and his mother is nowhere in sight. So, he leaves the nest and approaches all sorts of animals (and even a construction vehicle which he calls a big thing) asking if each is his mother. To those of us who know that birds come from birds, this may seem silly.
Even within the bird family, birds produce their kind. Hens lay chicken eggs, ducks lay duck eggs, and geese lay goose eggs. (Get it? Six geese a-laying!) Yet, there is a parable Jesus told that causes us to beg the question: Are you a Christian?
Jesus speaks against those who speak good when they are evil. He compares this to trees that produce fruit. Good trees produce good fruit, and bad trees produce bad fruit. He says, for the tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 12:33, ESV).
When I work with children, I emphasize (as Jesus did) the fruit that they produce. I ask what fruit certain trees produce. Let’s try it here. What does an apple tree make? (apples) What does a banana tree produce? (bananas) Would an orange tree make strawberries? (Picture the children yelling no as they laugh in hysterics.) Children get this. Adults get this. Yet we don’t always act like we get it.
Are you a Christian? If you are, then you (and I) should produce Christian fruit. Remember the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (ESV). Those who are Christians have the Holy Spirit living within them. This means that they should produce the fruit listed above. If not, it begs the question: Are you a Christian?
Just as a fruit tree produces the fruit of its name, a Christian should produce the fruit that represents its name.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.