Summary: Part 24:The Great Commission - Jesus curses the fig tree for not producing fruit when it was able to. Are you?
The Great Commission
Part 22 – Jesus Speaks to Zacchaeus
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org
6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”
June 22nd – Grace Steadman
June 29th – Lori Ulman
July 6th – Lynnette Higgins
July 13th – Walker Spriggs
June 20th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
WHERE WE ARE AT
† Jesus Speaks to Zacchaeus
† Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem (Triumphal Entry)
† Jesus Cleanses the Temple (again)
Matthew 21:17 – 22
17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
18 Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.
20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked.
21 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ’Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
I. TO LEAVE AND THEN RETURN
This story is very symbolic of Christ and His relationship with Jerusalem and the Israelites, as well as His relationship with all believers from that point on.
Christ came first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Jesus came to Jerusalem, and the Israelites, most of whom did not want anything to do with Jesus.
Christ comes and reveals Himself, each of us having the opportunity to have a right relationship with the Lord.
a. He left the City (Jerusalem)
This being the end of His ministry here on earth, Jesus left Jerusalem to get some rest before returning.
b. He returned to them
This too is symbolic.
Jesus tells us that He must go and prepare a place for us, but where He is going we will also go to be with Him.
He promises He will return for us.
He came, revealed Himself to us, left for a while, and then returns to get those who belong to Him.
c. He Hungered…
On His way He sees a fig tree, which represents the Jews.
Because of His hunger for fruit, He stops to look at the tree.
II. CURSING THE FRUITLESS
a. He sees the Fig tree which appeared to be in good health
Obviously from a distance the tree looked as though it would have fruit, possible having many leaves catching the sun’s light.
b. He found no fruit when He examined it
But when Jesus examined the tree which from the outskirts appeared to be healthy, full of nice green leaves, He found no fruit.
How many of us in our lives today, have the appearance of bearing fruit.
We have the outward leaves drawing all attention to us and our deeds, but when Christ comes and He examines our inside, as the Lord did with this tree here today, will He find fruit?
Fruit that can only come by the Holy Spirit?
If you have no fruit, you do not have the Holy Spirit.
If you have the Holy Spirit, then you will have fruit.
The Pharisees and Sadducees had this problem.
They had the appearance on the outside of bearers of fruit, but when examined, they were nothing but leaves.
All for show, no fruit.
Jesus expects fruit from His people.
As the parable of the servants goes, the master gave to each and expected a profit upon his return.
When you accept the Lord, He gives you the promise of the Father in heaven, which is the Holy Spirit.
What are you doing with that Holy Spirit?
He has trusted you with it, upon His return; will He find fruit in you?
Or like the wicked servant from the parable, are you going to bury (or take to the grave) what God has given you to use in life?
Returning to him what he had given you?
c. He cursed the fruitless tree
The Lord cursed the tree because it should have had fruit, but did not.
The tree had rejected the will of the Lord.
The Lord’s will was to find fruit, and there was none.
If we take a moment to examine our lives, are we too rejecting the will of the Lord?
When we reject the Lord’s will, we are essentially rejecting Him.
Jesus Himself said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands”.