In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. (Matthew 21:18-19 ESV)
I’ve often pondered this passage and why Jesus cursed the fig tree. Another account in Mark even indicates that it was out of season and shouldn’t have had fruit. I’ve read commentaries about how the fig tree represents Israel and their un-fruitfulness. I’ve read other op-eds regarding how we are to be fruitful in season and out.
There’s truth to all of these, but for me, The Lord began to reveal something more personal.
Why was Jesus to perturbed that the tree was not bearing fruit? I mean, there must have been more fig trees down the road. There were always people following Him; they would likely have something to eat.
Could it be, that when Jesus saw the fig tree, He saw it through different eyes? Here was a living organism, created by His own hand. Created, designed for a specific purpose and planted on this earth at a specific time. He recalls when it was spoken into existence by His father through Him. Yet now, it’s not living in it’s created, intended purpose.
This was that fig trees day. This was that fig trees moment. The creator of the universe was walking by in need. Yet, though the fig tree was alive, bearing leaves, nourishing itself, it had no ability to bring nourishment to the body of Christ.
How many of us, are just like that? We appear alive and thriving from the distance. Yet, upon closer examination, things aren’t as they appear. When a demand is placed on our lives, there is nothing produced, that would be beneficial, to the body of Christ. We read, we pray, we “burn” for The Lord while people all around us are starving and dying. We nourish ourselves but have no ability to nourish others.
…I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. (Revelation 3:1-2 ESV)
We were created for this time, for this moment, for a specific purpose! Are we not, living a cursed life and withering away if do not fulfill it? How long can we live, filling ourselves with the things of God and not reach out to help the struggling? I’m not even talking about the lost. I’m talking about the ones in our churches we look down on because they just “don’t get it”. The ones bound by their failures and crippled by their pasts. The ones we criticize and condemn instead of loving. We are revived, modern day pharisees, with charismatic lingo, to cover our white washed tombs.
Is that you? You’ll know, because of the offense that rises within you or the conviction and weeping that rushes your spirit. You’re not alone. It was me too, but it’s not too late. You can walk in a life of blessing and fruitfulness starting today. It’s in you. Let it burst forth! Be, who you were created to be. Choose life!
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live… (Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV)