Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lord, Make Me a Fig Tree

I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. But, as usual, I'm always glad when I do....I can't wait to share about the sermon. Our pastor has been going through the book of Matthew. He has made it to chapter 21 and today's message was over verses 18-22--the story where Jesus withers the fig tree.

18Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.

20When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked.

21Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

I won't lie, I have often looked at this passage and wondered why Jesus would rebuke and wither a poor tree that wasn't producing fruit. It had leaves! It was producing shade! Why would Jesus curse a tree like that?! Pastor Kevin explained it this morning.....

The tree was beautiful on the outside. From a distance people would have assumed it to be bearing beautiful and tasty fruit, pleasing to the eye and tasty to the stomach. But that beautiful tree wasn't producing any fruit. It was deceiving people. Pastor Kevin took it a step farther. He complained of being hungry and walked to the back of the stage to pick up a box of donuts. He opened it, and began to analyze, "Do I want blueberry? Cinnamon role? Glazed? I guess I'll get a glazed..." He picked up the donut and took a bite. "Does anyone want one? Come on up and get one!" There were about 12 little kids that bravely trooped down to the front, only to watch Pastor Kevin turn the box toward them--empty. Their faces were so disappointed!

"That's the point of the fig tree," he told us. "We can be deceitful, a facade of faith on the outside, and empty on the inside--incapable of bearing fruit. The fig tree is warning us."

If you can't say amen, say ouch. I did.

Sometimes it is so easy to have a facade of "having it all together"...when inside we are struggling. I don't want anyone to think I have it all together--there are few who do and I am CERTAINLY not one who does. I want to be bearing fruit so badly, when so often I find myself struggling.

We cannot think hard, say "bippity boppity boo," and squeeze for VIOLA! fruit to appear. Instead, fruit comes as a result of time spent in His Word, prayer, and a daily relationship with him.

As it was to me this morning, let the fig tree be a warning of the dangers of beauty on the outside with a heart that cannot produce fruit. Jesus isn't fooled, He doesn't' care about the outside, He wants to see a heart that is seeking Him and producing fruit.

It's a beautiful Sunday.
BUT, I'm off to work on homework, clean up my room, do laundry, and do some workout.....

Coram Deo "before the face of God",

1 comment:


The interesting thing about bearing fruit is that it is for other people. We are to be a blessing, to love and serve...that requires fruit! Good lesson!