Luke 19:45-48, 20:1-8
Mark 11:12-14, “The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so He went over to see if He could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, ‘May no one ever eat your fruit again!’ And the disciples heard Him say it.”
Faux faith can only produce fake fruit!
In Mark 11, Jesus did something curious. He cursed a fig tree in leaf because it bore no fruit. You might be thinking, “Poor fig tree! Why would Jesus curse something he created?” Surely his disciples were thinking the same thing. The next day, Jesus and his disciples passed the same tree and it was totally withered. So, Jesus used the opportunity to teach an object lesson about faith.
Before this, Jesus had humbly entered Jerusalem, as the King of kings on the back of a donkey — who’s ever heard of a king riding a mule? As He passed, people laid their cloaks along His path as a sign of honor and shouted “Hosanna!” meaning, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” But as the people celebrated, the guest of honor wasn’t pumping fists in the air, shouting “Woohoo,” or enjoying the adoration. His heart hurt; He mourned what only He knew awaited. Less than a week later, the same crowd would be shouting, “Crucify Him!”
Upon entering Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple and, in an unexpected outburst, emptied the temple courts, angered by all the people who appeared to serve God but were using His house to earn a bit of coin. Jesus was saddened because, like the fruitless fig tree, people seemed to be worshiping God, but they were missing out on true unwavering devotion that only comes from knowing God in an up-close and intimate manner. They were like that poor fig tree! The point: Faux faith might produce leaves, but it can never bear fruit!
So, right now, if you had to illustrate your faith by drawing a plant, what would it look like? Be honest. Would the branch truly be connected to the vine? Would it look good from afar but devoid of produce? Would the branches be dipping from the weight of all the plump produce? No matter the current condition of your “fig tree,” it’s not too late to seek God’s will and way and live out the purpose-packed life He has in store. Seek God, pray for spiritual growth, and surround yourself with people who encourage you to live out active authentic faith.
Lord, Help me to have a solid faith so that I may produce Your fruit abundantly. Grant me strength and endurance as I seek to grow more and more like Christ so that I can bring honor to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.