Bible Reading for: February 2
The withered fig tree had no fruit. What about you?
There are several segments in today’s reading that we could dissect, but I want to focus my comments on the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree. Here in His final days as a human being, Jesus went to a fig tree looking for fruit only to be disappointed. Jesus was not pleased by this trees lack of fruitfulness so He commanded that it never bear fruit again. Upon saying this, the tree withered at once.
Can you imagine watching that fig tree withering before your eyes? I’m reminded of an old vampire movie where the vampire has a stake driven through his heart and he withers and turns to dust before our eyes. Such withering is a dramatic visualization of the draining away of life. There are a lot of theories concerning what the fig tree in this story represents. Some believe the fig tree represents Israel and the fact that their faith had become an outward façade of ritualistic and lifeless religion. There was no fruit, only leaves. Can you eat leaves? No, you can only eat fruit. Their faith looked pretty from a distance but up close it was worthless.
In the fruit, there is sustenance and there is seed for even more trees and fruit and sustenance. Jesus tells us that a tree is known by its fruit but what are you if you bear no fruit? You may not be bad, but you are worthless without fruit. I’m reminded of God saying that He would prefer that we be hot or cold but if we are lukewarm He will spit us out of His mouth. By now you can probably tell where I’m going with this can’t you?
Are you a fruitless fig tree? Do you go to church Sunday morning acting all Christian like only to live the rest of the week all pagan like? Are you all leaves and no fruit? Where is your fruit? Are you performing your job as spiritual leader in your home? Do you invite people to church or Sunday School? When was the last time you shared your faith with a lost person? Where is your fruit?
Brothers, Jesus came that you might have life and have it more abundantly. If you are sitting there with green leaves and no fruit, your spiritual life is withering up. You have been given a fullness of life that deep down you truly crave and yet you wither away. Be happy; bear fruit! That is why you are here.
Victorem Vivere! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!