Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.
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Again in another way He shames them, and is not content with His former refutations. But this He does, not freeing Himself from accusations, (for what went before was quite enough), but as wishing to amend them.
Now His meaning is like this: none of you has either found fault about the persons healed, as not being healed; nor has said, that it is an evil thing to deliver one from a devil. For though they had been ever so shameless, they could not have said this.
Since therefore they brought no charge against the works, but were defaming the Doer of them, He signifies that this accusation is against both the common modes of reasoning, and the congruity of the circumstances. A thing of aggravated shamelessness, not only to interpret maliciously, but also to make up such charges as are contrary to men's common notions.
And see how free He is from contentiousness. For He said not, Make the tree good, forasmuch as the fruit also is good; but, most entirely stopping their mouths, and exhibiting His own considerateness, and their insolence, He says, Even if you are minded to find fault with my works, I forbid it not at all, only bring not inconsistent and contradictory charges. For thus were they sure to be most clearly detected, persisting against what was too palpable. Wherefore to no purpose is your maliciousness, says He, and your self-contradictory statements. Because in truth the distinction of the tree is shown by the fruit, not the fruit by the tree; but you do the contrary. For what if the tree be the origin of the fruit; yet it is the fruit that makes the tree to be known. And it were consistent, either in blaming us to find fault with our works too, or praising these, to set us who do them free from these charges. But now ye do the contrary; for having no fault to find with the works, which is the fruit, you pass the opposite judgment upon the tree, calling me a demoniac; which is utter insanity.
Yea, and what He had said before, Matthew 7:16-18 this He establishes now also; that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, nor again can the converse be. So that their charges were against all consistency and nature.