In the ending of our last text from Matthew 21:18-19, we find that Jesus also set in place a visual example for His apostles that took place on His way into Jerusalem this morning ( Tuesday ), and even though Matthew 21:19 says the tree withered immediately for some reason the apostles don’t ask about it until the next morning on Wednesday.
Faith and Figs
Tuesday held more confrontation with the religious leaders in the temple and many of Jesus’ famous parables to help make real His work, the Kingdom of Heaven, and His resurrection to those that we’re listening to.
I would like for us today to look at the bookend of these teachings at the real-life physical example he set for them and the spiritual significance of the curse of the fig tree.
We won’t get bogged down in the popular culture discussion of whether it was time for figs or not, but simply that we know from the date of Passover that it would be spring, and some form of fruit should have been present with the leaves.
It does not matter because Jesus’ example was on producing fruit spiritually by using the physical fruit of the tree, and that day there was none. Jesus then confirmed the outcome of producing no fruit by condemning the tree to whither.
This is a foreshadowing to the Jews that in refusing to accept Jesus even if they look religious, with leaves, they would wither from not producing fruit for Him.
Jesus moves the discussion in the spiritual direction of Faith. Jesus explains that if we believe in Him on faith and we come to Him in prayer, without doubt, God will bless our prayer.
May this example be clear to us – if we work hard to exhibit all the outward signs of a Christian, but our hearts are not connected to Jesus and producing fruit, we are a vine with no root system and will soon wither and die.
While if we believe and live in faith, we can ask God for all of our needs, and he will bless the smallest seeds of our faith to come forward and yield fruit for Him.
18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”Matthew 21:18-22
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