Roger Bothwell | By Their Green Ye Shall
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By Their Green Ye Shall

It’s been a bit dry in New England.  Our city has asked us to only water our lawns and gardens every other day.  But today one of our neighboring cities has banned any lawn and garden watering.  So the question is how do you know when someone is cheating?  Someone could go out at 1:00 AM and no one would catch them.  But it wouldn’t take long before everyone would know.  By their green ye shall know them.  I am reminded of the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70.  If someone wasn’t losing weight like all their neighbors everyone knew where the missing neighbors had gone!  Children were advised to stay away from anyone who wasn’t gaunt and skinny.
 
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”   But is that always true?  Do we sometimes prejudge people based on traditional stereotypes?  This afternoon on my way into our local mall I passed a guy well tatted with a heavy metal chain around his neck.  He had hardware hanging from his ears and was smoking a doobie. Did I make some quick assumptions?  Yeah, I did.  Could I have been wrong?  Absolutely yes.  While I doubt that he was a brain surgeon, he could have been a university professor!   Note I said, “could have been.”
 
Sunday afternoon we sat near a mom and dad with four well groomed, nicely dressed teens.  In the dictionary under the word “wholesome” they should have this family’s picture.  I assumed they just came from church.  Could dad have been a yegg?  Yeah, he could.  But I truly doubt it.  Jesus knew what He was saying.  We send all manner of messages to people without opening our mouths.