The Withering Fig Tree (2)

Following on from last blog on the subject of the fig tree
If we look back at what had just happened before the incidence of the withered fig tree, we can see Mark 11 records that Jesus had come into Jerusalem on the back of a colt. People were waving branches, and worshiping Him, calling on Him to “save” them. (Hoshana), but Jesus knew that was surface adoration, and it would not be long till they were crying, “crucify Him.” This sham was just outward talk and not what was going on inside. So it is with the fig tree: When you see the green lush leaves on the exterior, covering the tree, you expect to see fruit when you search the tree, but instead, for many months of the year, you will not find any figs. Indeed the season for fruit is very short! The external covering is not reflective of what is going on in the inside. How often we sit and warm pews, looking great on the outside, but sham inside and certainly not bearing fruit for His Glory! No wonder, Jesus used this illustration!
As we read in the Matthew 21 account Jesus had recently thrown the money-changers out of the temple, quoting Isaiah 56:7, and telling them in verses 12-13 that “God ordained His house to be called a house of Prayer and they had turned it into a den of thieves”. (WLT) Again on the outside, the Jews visited the Temple, completed the rituals, kept the rules, but it was all sham and they were using God”s house for profit for themselves. Recently, a survey was done asking people what they thought was the purpose of church. 88% of those asked believe church was there to serve them and their families. That means that only 12 % believed it was a place where they could serve others and bring worship and Glory to God through doing so! Shame on us!
I saw for myself last year, many pious Jews marching to the wailing wall, knocking over market stands from those for whom it was not Shabhat, knocking over other people on the road, in their rush to get there and being totally inconsiderate of any other in their eagerness to show God how holy they were. Each one of us can be guilty of covering up the sham with the fig leaves, just as Adam and Eve covered their shame with the same leaves in the Garden of Eden. God wants to see the reality in us, not that we will do everything perfect, but showing an eagerness to win souls and having the faith to believe He will produce fruit through us.
If Jesus had seen one effort in that tree to produce fruit, a seed, a blossom, a nodule where fruit would grow, He would have been encouraged, but there was nothing. We may think we can do nothing to produce fruit for His Glory, but every serious effort we make, He will bless. Oh yes we will fail as we learn, but if we keep short accounts with God, keep open to His leading and look for the opportunities, He will empower us to be fruitful for His Kingdom.

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