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The Cursed Fig Tree... What Fruit are You Producing?

posted Feb 15, 2010, 7:12 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Feb 15, 2010, 7:14 PM ]

Mark 11: 12 – 14, 20 - 25

February 14, 2010

The Cursed Fig Tree………What Fruit are You Producing?

One of my favorite shows to watch on TV is “Funniest Home Videos”.  Anytime I can’t find anything to watch on any of my 200 channels, I can usually find AFV on.  If you are like me, you watch that show and wonder what those people were thinking right before they shot each other with a tennis ball at 100 mph, or put they put their hand in a mouse trap or, my favorite, when they jumped of the roof onto the trampoline.  What did they think would happen other than create a clip for AFV?  I have come to the conclusion that sometimes people just can’t help themselves and so they do stupid things.  When we look at the Bible, we find times and events that make us wonder, “Why did He do that?” or “Why did He say that?”  Unlike the crazy people on AFV, Jesus always had a reason for the things He said or did.  Usually it was to teach those with Him – and us today – an important lesson.  Our lesson today is one of those times where we could ask, “Why did Jesus kill that fig tree?” Let’s find out! 

Mark 11: 12 – 14

  • Next day – This is Monday of Christ’s last week on earth. The day after his triumphant entry.
  • Let’s talk about fruit trees
    • What is the annual cycle for fruit trees?
    • When is the best time to get fruit from the trees?
    • What do you do when the tree bears no fruit?
  • What was different about this particular fig tree?
    • It looked healthy, full of leaves at a time when it shouldn’t have leaves
    • However it did not have any fruit at all, contrary to its appearance
    • How does this compare to Bro. Danny’s message last week in John 15:5-6?
  • How does this mean to us? We aren’t fruit trees?  Are we?
    • Look at Galatians 5:19-21 to get a description of bad fruit.
      • Is it worse to bear no fruit or bad fruit?
    • Look at Galatians 5:22-25 to get a description of good fruit.
    • The fruits named are not our fruits, but of the Spirit in us. If we bear these fruits we show that we have the Spirit.

Mark 11: 20 – 25

  • Again – the next day: Tuesday
  • Jesus judged the fig tree for giving the appearance of fruitfulness when it was really barren.  This is symbolic of Him judging the Jews for approaching temple worship like pagans, relying on ritual to avert God’s wrath.
  • What’s the remedy?  “Have faith in God”
  • Again, let’s look back at John 15:7-8 – “Abide in Me and My words, ask and it shall be done. The Father is glorified that we bear much fruit.”
 

Four pitfalls we must avoid in order that we don’t become cursed fig trees:

  • Relying on ritual – God rejected the Jews despite their outward obedience.
  • Relying on numbers – Numbers are not the entire story. Cults are out growing churches.
  • Relying on doctrinal purity – We can hold to the “ancient truths” but still be apart from God.
  • Relying on emotion – Emotions can be aroused in many ways that are not Godly.
 

Keys to true fruitfulness:

  • Love the Word – God’s Word is he foundation for true fruitfulness.
  • Have faith in God – He will fulfill his promises if we have faith in Him.
  • Focus on God in worship – Worship in spirit and truth.
  • Speak the truth in love – Proclaim God’s truths regardless of the situation or ramifications.
 

The issue had always been faith, and that was the problem with the Jews. Even though they were going through the motions of prayer and sacrifice, they remained in unbelief.  "Therefore," Jesus tells them, "I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit" (Matthew 21:43). Of course, the kingdom of God itself cannot be destroyed, but now the administration of grace is no longer tied to the Jewish temple, but to the Church of God, a temple made without hands, made up of those who are circumcised in the heart by the Spirit (see John 4:19-24). This world has many misleading appearances, but there is one truth that will set you free, which is John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." 

May each of us here this morning not just look like we are bearing fruit, but really bear fruit for the glory of God.