“Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
(a) The axe is already laid at the root. The law-keeping covenant that Israel had with the Lord was coming to an end.
(b) The root. The self-righteous root of unbelief cannot sustain you. We are meant to be rooted in Christ (Rom. 11:18).
(c) Every tree that does not bear good fruit. The fruitless tree is the unbelieving nation of Israel.
This warning is not directed to Christians, but self-righteous religious people such as the Pharisees and Sadducees of verse 7. See also Matt. 23:33.
Further reading: “The axe at the root”
and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
Beloved. The original word (agapetos) means dearly loved, esteemed, favorite and worthy of love. It is closely related to a verb (agapao) that means to be well pleased or fond of or contented. God the Father not only loves God the Son, but he is deeply fond of him and well-pleased with him (Matt. 12:18, 17:5, Mark 1:11, 9:7, 12:6, Luke 3:22, 9:35, 20:13, 2 Pet. 1:17).
This word also describes God’s heart for the one who is in Christ. Your heavenly Father is fond of you. You are his esteemed favorite and he is well pleased with you. He looks at you with a feeling of deep contentment knowing that you are his dearly loved child.
All the epistle writers referred to believers as the beloved or dearly-loved children of God (see entry for Rom. 1:7).
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