by their fruit ye shall know them; by their fruits you will know them

a person’s actions show her true character
—My grandmother always taught me that what a person does is more important than what he says. Her favorite sayings were “Actions speak louder than words” and “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

Also in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will recognize them by their fruit [by their fruits ye shall know them]. (Matthew 7:15-20)

Both by their fruits ye shall know them and wolf in sheep’s clothing talk about recognizing what is really in a person’s heart.

Jesus spoke of sheep and wolves again when he sent his followers out ahead of him to the towns where he was going. Talking about the “harvest” of people entering God’s kingdom, he said, 

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. Go! I am sending you out like lambs surrounded by wolves [lambs among wolves]. (Luke 10:2,3)

Lamb among wolves now means “an innocent or naive person facing people who will try to take advantage of her or hurt her.”

Advertisements
Previous Post
Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    There Are More International Students in the US than Ever Before—How Many Get to See the Inside of an American Home?

    When I worked with students from other countries at the University of Missouri-Columbia back in the late 80s and early 90s, I heard this statistic: Eighty percent of international students don’t step foot inside an American home. I had no reason to argue with that statistic, but I’ve spent the years since then trying, in […]

    Golden Doors

    When it’s time to paint your front door, choosing a color can be a big decision. Do you go with traditional or bold or trendy? Do you stick with white or black or make a statement with bright blue or red or teal? My wife and I were at the house of some friends not […]

  • Advertisements