Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A Warning to all those who APPEAR to be fruitful, but are not.

A No Good Lying Fig Tree

Matthew 21:17-20


A. No one likes A Liar!

1. There was a world renowned theologian and philosopher several years ago who used a story to illustrate this point.

2. It was a story about a monkey and a coon dog.

3. This world famous theologian’s name was Jerry Clower…maybe you’ve heard of him?

4. Story.

B. God’s Word tells us that even God hates a liar!

Pro 6:16-17 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

1. Who is my audience?

2. What is it about lying that repulses us like it does?

a. It tears down trust!

b. It insinuates we are not intelligent enough to handle truth.

c. It takes what we believe to be truth and destroys it.

d. It is hurtful…sometimes demeaning…and always ugly.

e. It is from Satan himself!

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

3. Tonight we discover Jesus was not too fond of the practice either, as we look at His encounter with a lying fig tree!

Mat 21:17-20 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there. (18) Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. (19) And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. (20) And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

4. As we look at the disciples reaction we might feel the same wonderment they felt.

5. Until we look at the deception of the fig tree.

6. It is then that we not only understand why He withered the tree, but also understand the lesson behind it.

7. Everything Jesus did was to teach the disciples a Spiritual lesson.

8. To understand what Jesus wanted to teach the disciples and us, we must look at the fig tree from Jesus’ perspective!

C. The tree promised fruit, but did not deliver!

1. Picture this in your mind.

a. Jesus is hungry as we walks toward the temple to teach.

b. As He is on the way Mark tells us He sees this fig tree from afar.

c. It is beautiful from all outward appearances…

d. Even though it is not the time for figs, it says…come to me and I will satisfy you.

e. It draws Christ towards it promising fruit.

2. Here is the problem…there was no fruit.

a. The fig tree is different from other fruit trees.

b. It puts on its fruit first…then the leaves come.

c. For a fig tree to have leaves…it was supposed to have fruit…but it did not.

d. From this, and Christ’s reaction, we can see 5 spiritual lessons that are unmistakable.

I When Jesus hungers, He comes looking for fruit.

1. This ought to have an immediate impact on all who come to realize this.

a. All of those who have been redeemed ought to be bearing fruit!

Mat 7:17-18 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

b. Note this point…all trees produce fruit of one kind or another.

c. As Christians in God’s vineyard, we are to produce GOOD fruits.

Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2. In order to produce good fruit, we must stay firmly attached to the vine.

Joh 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

a. The secret to producing good fruit lies in staying attached to the vine.

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