May no-one ever eat fruit from you again.
I had some broccoli growing in the garden. It was a huge plant, with a nice thick stem snaking round my veggie plot. It was covered in leaves – all lush and green. I looked forward to eating the fresh broccoli when it sprouted. Nothing tastier than home grown!
But I never got to eat it. The time came for the broccoli to begin to form, but all the plant did was shoot out a tall spindly flower and the plant went to seed. Nothing edible. No broccoli. Useless. Fruitless.
I ripped it out and chucked it on the compost. Disappointing.
Jesus was longing for his fig tree to produce fruit. When it didn’t, he spoke to it, the tree withered, and died.
The Bible refers to the people of Israel as a fig tree (Jer 24, Mic 7). Entering Jerusalem the week before he died, Jesus longed to find a people bearing fruit, showing righteousness, being a light to the world. But the tree was barren – full of green leaves, but fruitless.
Many had the appearance of life, nice shiny green leaves and everything looking healthy on the outside, but there was no fruit. What good is a fruitless fruit tree?
Jesus sends the tree to the compost heap as it were, never to live again. He curses it and it dies.
Jesus’ curse is shattering. So how do I respond? Answer this:
Am I really walking down Jesus’ way? Or am I just religious?
Do I just have the appearance of vitality and Christian life? Or am I merely a chameleon?
Peter was shocked when he saw how quickly the fig tree withered from the roots. May we not be shocked when Jesus comes to demand fruit off us.