WHAT FRUIT ARE YOU BEARING FOR THE KINGDOM?What Christians recognize as the Holiest week of the calendar year and began as a celebration with Palms waving and loud "Hosannas", slowly began turning into a critical confrontation between the Creator and false religion.
After Jesus rode triumphantly on a previously unridden colt of a donkey, He went back to Bethany to spend the night. This was at the home of Mary and Martha, His trusted friends. This would be His staging ground for the fateful events of the final week of His earthly life.
Bethany was two miles outside the city and Jesus would travel to and fro, into Jerusalem each day. On the day after Palm Sunday (Monday of Holy Week) Jesus walked into the Temple and turned over the tables of the money changers! This created a huge hub-ub and led to more hatred of Him by the corrupt religious leaders of the time These guys were getting kickbacks from those vendors selling animals and items, at highly inflated prices, to Passover worshippers in Jerusalem.
As He destroyed their commerce inside God's Temple, Jesus declared "My House shall be called a House of Prayer, but you have made it a Den of Robbers" (Matthew 21:13). This was the key event of that Monday. The Temple leaders and chief priests dare not go near Him, seeing the Wrath pouring out Him! So Jesus continued to heal those who were sick, as He taught them.
On Tuesday (today) Jesus taught the following lessons:
The Parable of the Two Sons
The Parable of the Tenants
The Parable of the Wedding Feast
The Paying of Taxes to Caesar
The Greatest Commandment
What I find significant for our Tuesday reflection is Jesus cursing the Fig Tree:
In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he 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.
When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “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.” (Matthew 21:18-22 ESV)
To me, what happened to that fig tree, which had NO fruit to offer the Savior, is a vivid illustration of what will happen on Judgment Day when professing Christians stand before the Lord and are called to account for their lives. Right before Jesus condemned those whom He said He did not know (Matthew 7:21-23), He said "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19 ESV)
The lesson for us today, is not just the part about having the Faith to move mountains, but the Fruit to move the Savior to call us into His Storehouse as part of the True Harvest of believers! Therefore, please consider the following:
- Meditate on Matthew 7:19 above and see what, if any, fruit can be shown in your life, which can validate your claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
- Search your hearts to see if that fruit is truly pleasing to the Lord and is resulting in others seeking and loving the ways and things of the Lord.
- Think of ways you can reach anyone, who needs to know Him personally, so that they could avoid being cut down and thrown into the fire, on the Final Day of Judgment.
(images from google)