Exodus 12:14-13:16; Matthew 20:29-21:22; Psalm 25:16-22; Proverbs 6:12-15
“In the morning as he was returning to the city, he (Jesus) became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it ‘May no fruit ever come from you again!’ And the fig tree withered at once.” Mt. 21:18-19
Jesus was heading back to Jerusalem where on the previous day he had received a king’s welcome by the multitudes–and had been scoffed at by the chief priests and scribes–the authorities on all things “of God”, “Holy”.
Little children had praised Jesus, that day, as they watched him give sight to the blind and heal the limbs of the lame.
Little children had faith–they believed. The temple leaders did not.
Jesus perceived the withered spiritual condition of the religious hierarchy and made a visual point by zapping the fruitless fig tree of its life–a foreshadowing of what would befall the Holy City in 70 A.D.
Jesus told his disciples who witnessed the withering, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer you will receive if you have faith.” Mt. 21: 20-22
Faithful or faithless.
Fruitful or Withered.
Gracious Lord, as ones that you have called into faith, may we be found fruitful–leading lives that reflect your life in us. May we be ready to help our neighbor, pray for healing, speak Your truth in love and forgive those who wrong us.
May we bear the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control this day. For Jesus’ Sake. Amen