Summary: What is Jesus looking for when He goes to the fig tree? Fruit! That’s what He’s looking for in our lives.
The cursing of the fig tree. Mark 11:11- 26. WBC 8/07/04am
A stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard is tailgating an honest man. Suddenly, the light turns yellow, just in front of him. He does the honest thing, and stops at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hits the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she misses her chance to get through the intersection with him.
As she is still in mid-rant, she hears a tap on her window and looks up into the face of a very serious police officer.
The officer orders her to exit her car with her hands up. He takes her to the police station where she is searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer is waiting with her personal effects.
He says, "I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the "Choose Life" license plate holder, the "What Would Jesus Do" bumper sticker, the "Follow Me to Sunday School" bumper sticker, and the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. "
" Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car."
So – is this passage really about figs?
- is Jesus really upset because He didn’t find figs on the tree?
o And isn’t that a bit unfair seeing as it ‘wasn’t the season for bearing figs’?
- Or perhaps Jesus had a ‘bad night’?
Well- Jesus certainly had all the emotions we have
- but He didn’t react as we do. ‘without sin’. So this isn’t about ‘anger management’
And the very fact that it records that it ‘wasn’t the season’ tells us this wasn’t about ‘figs’
- (although there should, in fact, have been some of the earliest, juiciest, figs on t his tree covered with leaves)
It’s about something far more important than food
And fruitfulness. That’s what Jesus was looking for in the temple… from Israel
… from US.
- and that’s what I believe God wants to speak to us about this morning.
Illustr: so love writing beta course! But after 4 basics of belief > 1) how to stand the storms >> 2) The fruit of the Spirit
= absolutely foundational. Essential!
Hear lots about ‘gifts of the HS’
- equipping for what we DO
o (you know them: prophecy > admin)
But hear less about the ‘fruit of the Sprit’
- about what we ARE
Maybe because gifts
- given. ‘Instant’. Fun sometimes
- grows. Takes hard work! Time.
Whereas in fact- the fruit is not only of first priority to Jesus- it’s foundational to all we DO, as well
- as without the fruit we can come off the rails… get corrupted
o Illustr: xian world is littered with gifted people where it went to their head: no names: xxxxxxxxx … worship leaders and preachers where became about THEM not Jesus.
- Or a great work of God can be eclipsed by a flaw of character
o Illustr: Angela cook- heart defect, collapsed lung (mended), virus in heart & lung muscles. Elders prayed for her & all healed- but later left church through a spiritual heart defect. And one of elders (16 baptisms) ran off.
But here’s what 2 Peter 1:8 says:
8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
What are these things he’s talking about?
2PE 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure…..
They are the kind of things mentioned in Gal 5, where the term ‘fruit of the Spirit’ comes from (can anyone name them?)
GAL 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.