Jesus is speaking about hypocrites with planks in their eyes. He then speaks of good trees being known by their good fruit; corrupt trees don’t bring forth good fruit. Then comes the verse in question:
“For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.” (A.V.)
“Each tree is recognised by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.” (N.I.V.)
Only this morning I was thinking of the forthcoming Palm Sunday, which always causes me to recite G.K. Chesterton’s poem, The Donkey, verse 1 starting:
"When fishes flew and forests walked,
And fig grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood,
Then surely I was born."
I’d always thought of the ‘forests walked’ bit relating to Shakespeare’s play about Cawdor Castle, but never realised he was invoking Luke 6:44 for the figs growing upon thorn! I suppose verse 1 (and 2) show how lowly a creature was the donkey Christ rode into Jerusalem on, as King, but what I want to know is this: Was Chesterton conveying something profound by mentioning that phrase in Luke 6:44 that was appropriate to Christ fulfilling the scripture in Zechariah 9:9, or was he taking a liberty with Luke 6:44 in verse 1 of his poem? If anyone can expound Luke 6:44 more deeply than the illustration that it is, I’d like to read of that.