Close Menu X

Fruit Inspection

July 22, 2018 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:

Topic: Blessings Verse: Luke 6:39–6:45

“Fruit Inspection”

Luke 6:39-45


Theme: The true follower of Christ is able to recognize a teacher that is “out of harmony” with the Truth. 

Introduction: Jesus graciously provides us in this most excellent message crucial admonition as to what characterizes a true believer. He began by indicating that a true believer comes to grips with the devastation of sin – overwhelmed and desperate for forgiveness through repentance and faith (vv. 20-26); overwhelmed by the love of God and eager to bring Him glory through displaying the same love and mercy toward others as God has shown (vv. 27-38). In this section, Jesus shows us that such benevolence and love does not eliminate the necessity of being discriminating – not all professing believers and teachers are legitimate.

Throughout the Scriptures, God has displayed animus toward those who pervert the truth and mislead believers into error – cp. Deuteronomy 18:20; Isaiah 3:12; 9:16; Jeremiah 23:32; Jeremiah 50:6; Micah 3:5. As a result of such devastation that false teachers bring to the people of God, we are told that teachers are under “stricter judgment” or greater accountability than others – James 3:1. God’s intolerance for such misleading, corrupting, perverted leaders who actively purvey error is perfect. He unleashes a variety of descriptions of such people:

  • Ravenous wolves[2]Matthew 7:15
  • Blind guides of the blind – Matthew 15:14
  • Hypocrites – Matthew 23:13
  • Fools – Matthew 23:17
  • Snakes – Matthew 23:33
  • Thieves and Robbers – John 10:8
  • Savage Wolves – Acts 20:29
  • Slaves of their own appetites – Romans 16:18
  • Hucksters who peddle God’s Word – 2 Corinthians 2:17
  • Deceitful – 2 Corinthians 11:13
  • Servants of Satan – 2 Corinthians 11:15
  • Dogs – Philippians 3:2
  • Enemies of the Cross – Philippians 3:18
  • Conceited and Ignorant – 1 Timothy 6:4
  • Depraved – 1 Timothy 6:5
  • Astray – 2 Timothy 2:18
  • Captives of the Devil – 2 Timothy 2:26
  • Deceivers – 2 John 7
  • Ungodly – Jude 4
  • Animals – Jude 10


As a result, their doom is certain and God’s wrath hot toward any who would be so reckless with the truth of God’s Word – Jeremiah 14:15; Galatians 1:8-9; Revelation 2:20-23.


Presently, our text provides us the direction by Jesus that we discriminate those to whom we are willing to entrust ourselves for teaching. We cannot be willing to “cut slack” to anyone who would corrupt the truth of God’s Word – rather, we have to acknowledge that our faith rises and falls with truth and any corruption of truth is a blow directed directly to the supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ Himself. He indicates in our text that there are three essential deficiencies characterizing false teachers

I. They Have No Guidance – 6:39-40

A. The Problem: Impairment – v. 39                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

  1. Luke tells us that at this point, Jesus transitions to using a series of short parables to press His points – “And He also spoke a parable to them …”
  2. He is essentially describing the deficiencies that characterized the Pharisees – the alternative, opposition party to Christ Himself.
    1. Before Christ burst onto the scene, the Pharisees had a monopoly on the teaching and the “policies” by which the people of Israel were called to live.
    2. Jesus rejected the works-based, legalistic “religion” that had enslaved Israel by means of the false teaching of the Pharisees.
  3. The first deficiency of their false teachers that He calls the people to recognize is that they are unable to provide them guidance because of their own spiritual impairment – “A bling man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?”
  4. This is essentially an axiom, a truth that is self-evident – a person who is blind is not the person for a blind person to turn to for guidance.
  5. Blindness is here used metaphorically for a person who lacks spiritual insight – 1 John 2:11
  6. The result of following a person who is devoid of the truth and lacks spiritual insight is that both of you will “fall into a pit” – a reference to the condemnation that self-righteousness produces – cp. Matthew 23:15-16a
  7. Jesus is calling for those who are His true disciples to realize that there is a vast difference between following Him and following those who do not know where they are going.

B. The Peril: Influence – v. 40

  1. He then warns them to beware of who they choose as teachers – even as blind people stumble and fall as they are guided by blind people, Jesus describes the influence that such teachers have on their followers.
  2. He says: “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”
  3. fully trained” [καταρτίζω] – describes someone who has been prepared or equipped; outfitted or conditioned - and describes the deliberate preparation for a particular task.
  4. Although every mentor aspires that those that they mentor outstrip them, typically a disciple will be fashioned after the likeness of who they follow.
  5. This is another axiom that is universally recognized – whatever quirks or deficiencies that a teacher possesses is likely replicated in those he trains.
  6. A teacher can only impart to a study what is known, they cannot teach what they do not know.
  7. The notion conveyed here is that the teacher is purposefully seeking to influence his student – deliberately seeking to influence a student to know, think and act as he does.
  8. Since a false teacher isn’t from God and does not have the truth from God, they cannot lead a person to God and “being like” a false teacher will preserve estrangement and alienation from God.
  9. This has been a major argument in exercising discernment when choosing schools, churches, on an individual level teachers and mentors.


  • Why is it so important to restrict our teachability to those who are biblical?
  • Outcome – Jesus’ point assumes that teaching will affect the lives of those taught – how does truth impact you?
  • How are you able to determine whether a teacher is trustworthy?

More in

September 19, 2021

The Times of the Gentiles

September 12, 2021

The Travail of the End Times

August 29, 2021

Clarifying God’s Judgment of Israel