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Summary:

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THE FALSE CLAIMS AND EMPTY TRAPPINGS OF HYPOCRISY WILL BE EXPOSED AND CONDEMNED FOR WHAT THEY ARE

This was true for the fig tree that Jesus cursed

This was true for the nation Israel who rejected their Messiah

This is true in our lives when we fail to produce the normal fruit of a Christian life

Introd:

Jesus would not have gotten this angry over just a barren fig tree.

He was concerned with the failure and hypocrisy of the Jewish nation.

I. WHEN GOD PLANTS AND NOURISHES, HE EXPECTS FRUIT

When you see someone return from Dunkin Donuts with a box, you expect to find donuts

When you use your breakmaker for the first time, you expect to be able to eat a nice loaf of bread

The reality of the hunger of Jesus

What an opportunity for this tree to please its Creator --

How excited are we at the opportunity to please our Lord?

A. Israel is pictured as a well-cared-for vineyard

Isaiah 5:1-7

What type of job are we parents doing protecting and nourishing the vineyard of our families?

Can we say with God: "What more could I have done?"

Just as Christ is the Good Shepherd caring for His sheep, God is the vinedresser taking care of the vine

B. Christians should produce the same kind of fruit that Christ produced

John 15:1-8 Abiding in Christ=true of all believers; pruning necessary

interesting that this same connection is made to believing prayer

(Mark 11:20-26) Peter had already walked on water; able to cast out demons

oppty. to perform greater works than the miracles of Christ

John 14:12-14 (cf. the Book of Acts)

cf. fruit of the Holy Spirit; miracle of changed lives

II. HYPOCRISY CAN ONLY OFFER THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF LEAVES (FALSE CLAIMS AND EMPTY TRAPPINGS) WITHOUT FRUIT

Read account -- Do you think Jesus was excited or disappointed?

A. Triumphal Entry must have been a time of great Disappointment for Jesus (10:8-10) -- FALSE CLAIMS

B. EMPTY TRAPPINGS

Nothing wrong with Leaves -- But they are only a Secondary Purpose

Primary purpose of the tree is to produce fruit

Too many Christians concerned with secondary things

(other times Bible talks of good vine producing bad, rotten fruit)

III. GOD WASTES NO TIME IN EXPOSING AND CONDEMNING HYPOCRISY

A. The cleansing of the temple was another picture of judgment against hypocrisy (11:15-17)

B. The condition of the roots = the key

"No fruit, no root"

"Rotten root, rotten fruit" eventually -- you can only cover up those

roots so long

Note: Jesus not an environmentalist like some of the extremists of today.

He had no problem cursing a fig tree to make his point. He is Lord over His creation.


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