The Bowl, The Basket, and A Scoop of Fruit

Posted on September 28, 2022 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You remove fine layers of film and dust from the outside of a cup or bowl, but you leave the inside full of greed and covetousness and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee—can’t you see that if you clean the inside of the cup, the outside will be clean too?” Matthew 23:25-26 (The VOICE)

I don’t think a too far-fetched thought to believe that John the Baptist would have read this passage in Jeremiah, “Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people– The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words, Nor My law, but rejected it.” He may have been mulling it over as folks gathered on that infamous morning, by a muddy river bank, when suddenly John blurts out, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance.” AND I also don’t think it too far-fetched a thought that you shouldn’t put clean fruit in a dirty bowl or rotting fruit in a clean bowl. So, with that…

Do we keep this question in our fore-frontals, “Does the Spirit dwelling inside me live in a dirty house and if so, who’s responsible for the housekeeping?” Now, it’s the second part of the questions that’s easy to answer, right? Housekeeping is kinda like our responsibility. I had been getting frustrated over being gigged for an “Eh” kinda housekeeping at work. I fix machines, I clean up my work area, what gives? Come to find out it’s the housekeeping that wasn’t done to what I repaired that I was getting gigged on. Who could tell if I fix something or if a replacement part is installed in a dirty area? Then it hits me, “Do I put the Fruits of the Spirit (if I got any of them) in a dirty bowl? Hmm…

Ya know, outta all the things that our Bibles teach us, fruit bearing is a Biblical big deal. You can see just how much a big deal it is by Genesis 3:1-3 and throughout God’s Word He’ll use these agricultural terms as a teaching vehicle to either provide a symbolic meaning or to show us what the end result of an effort, either good or bad, has become.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” — Galatians 5:22-23

To quote The Berean Call’s own John W. Ritenbaugh concerning the aforementioned verse’s, “These qualities or virtues are produced by the action of the Holy Spirit in us. They grow in a person who, by faith, obeys God’s Word through the guidance and power of God’s Spirit. Clearly, elements of this equation must be used so that the right fruit is produced—God’s Word, His Spirit, faith and obedience to God’s Word. These, along with some others, produce the major fruits of righteousness.” Well, when you put it like that it once again begs the question, “Who puts clean fruit in a dirty bowl?”

Speaking of dirty bowls, Jesus wasn’t a fan of those wacky Pharisees and I can understand why. These guys were packaging the fruits of self-righteousness in a deceitful container. Lifting their pseudo-holy hands to air thanking YHVH they weren’t like those “other” people (like we wanna be them?) all the while leading the sheep down a wide road to destruction. However, if we ain’t too careful here, we too can become a deceitful container bearing fruits of unrighteousness, or worse yet, a white washed tomb holding the body of a pseudo-Christian, lifting his hands, spouting off phony praises.

AND, at the end of the day, we ain’t gonna be producing any good fruit by the efforts of this kinda wishful behavior. Because, simply put, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (Gal 5:17) So there’s this battle that goes on inside us no matter how fancy the package is or isn’t on the outside. Guess it’ll take more effort than it’s worth in the realm of wishful thinking those fruits, or to bring up another word “virtues”, into existence. Sad, but true.

“Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance”, “clean the inside of the cup”, and “The fruit of their thoughts” kinda gives me the impression that these nine kinds of fruit deserve a clean vessel to flourish in. I guess just like any machine I work on, my heart should have that area that say’s “joy, kindness and self-control have just been installed.” But to drop a however here, we, just like the machines I work on, need a constant preventative maintenance plan in place, even if that involves a little spit shine now and again. It’s not a bad thing to polish up what God has provided. As long as we ain’t all, “at least I ain’t like that guy over there.”



Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, a father, who has an education in Biblical Doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy 2003. He also has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail him at

Think About This: “If you have no joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.” — Billy Sunday

The Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 13-15Galatians 6| You can download our 2022 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

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