Read Matthew 21:18-22
There have been quite a few times where Kelly and I have been out of town and looking for some place to eat. There are the usual joints that we like to stop at but, when we are out of town, we usually go to Chic-fil-a. Not much needs to be said as Chic-fil-a’s food is, quite simply, incredible. I can begin to taste the spicy deluxe sandwich with waffle fries dipped in the delicious sauce when the letdown of all letdowns takes place…
Today is Sunday.
Chic-fil-a is closed on Sunday.
I would like to think that Jesus experienced the same letdown when, upon being hungry, He was looking to a close by fig tree for food and saw it producing no figs. Jesus then cursed the tree and, the next day, they found it to be withered from the roots up.
This is an illustration about being fruitless as believers. Jesus was showing that Israel, while claiming to be holy and very religious, didn’t have any spiritual fruit to show for it.
They were spiritually barren.
This is a humbling and sobering lesson for us today.
Unfortunately, Christians today are known, among other things, for their hypocrisy. We say and do things that make us appear that we have it all together, are growing in our relationship with God and treating other people like Jesus would when, in all reality, our lives are rotting on the inside because of the lack of genuine fruit.
Are you actually growing to become more like Christ day to day? Are you living out and applying the truths that you learn from God’s Word? Are you being an accurate representation of Christ to those around you who don’t know Him?
What made this object lesson so impactful for Jesus’ disciples is the religious leaders of the day were held in high regard – they were the “holy ones”. As the highest-ranking religious figures of the day, they were basically idolized because of their position. People sought counsel from them and followed their commands “to the T” with fear of being in bad standing with God.
But they were rotting on the inside.
Could Jesus have commanded the fig tree to immediately produce food?
However, even though He was experiencing the very human feeling of hunger, He chose to show His disciples what a hypocritical life looked like and the danger that surrounds leading such a life.
The challenge to each of us is simple: lead the life that you claim to lead.
Be committed to growth, not just to amaze people but to become more and more like our Heavenly Father.
Bring people to a knowledge of Jesus, not for the attention, but because their decision to surrender control will change their eternal security.
If you look back over the past 10 years of your life, are you any different? What steps have you taken? In what ways have you matured? How have your eyes been opened?
Whose life have you impacted?
Who have you been Jesus to?
If you can’t answer any of these questions, allow this to be your wake-up call.
Let’s all strive to be a fig tree full of figs, not a tree that is rotting from the roots up.