Summary: How to be fruitful?
Lessons from a fruitless tree.
Complete series on the Gospel of Mark at http://www.cityharvestag.org/Sermons/GospelofMark
In Mark 11 Jesus is entering the city of Jerusalem. This journey had begun roughly about 6 months prior. He had traveled through quite some places, ministering, and healing many.
This is an interesting week. Many things are to happen that week which would end up in the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. On the first day, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt and the crowds began to clasp their coats and put palm branches in the way to provide a red carpet for Jesus. We call that as the triumphal entry.
Jesus and his disciples reached the temple in Jerusalem and they looked at things. Jesus was not happy with what he saw there but when evening came they left and went back to that little town of Bethany where they spent the night.
The next morning something very unusual happens. It is recorded for us in Mark 11:12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Either they had not had breakfast or it had been a while since they had breakfast. Jesus who was hungry, saw a fig tree and went to it for food.
Mark 11:13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
Now Jesus is almighty God. He knew there were no figs, but he deliberately went to that fig tree. The tree was full of leaves but Jesus could not even find a single fruit. Of course it was not the season for figs but Jesus still expected fruit from this tree.
Then Jesus did something unusual. Mark 11:14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
Now I wonder what his disciples thought when they heard that. It really did catch their attention. They must have taken a step back, looked at Jesus and wondered about that. “Why would Jesus do that? Is he impatient today? What happened to Jesus today? That Tree finds it impossible to give figs because it is not the time for figs, doesn’t he understand!”
Jesus then went to Jerusalem. It was an eventful day. He cast over the tables of the money changers and rebuked them. Jesus was caught up for the zeal of God’s house that day that we never find the mention of his hunger again. In the evening he went out of that city again.
The next morning, 24 hours after confronting that fig tree they pass the same route. Peter saw that the fig tree was dried up from the roots. Now Jesus had declared that the tree will never give fruit again, but now it is dead. Jesus just destroyed a fruitless tree!
Peter thought of the strange experience from the day before brought it to Jesus’ attention. Mark 11:21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
Peter is indirectly asking Jesus why you cursed the fig tree. Peter diplomatically calls Jesus’ attention to it as if Jesus did not know it. Well Jesus knew that, he could see it. He is God. He knows everything and he gave them an answer.
Mark 11:22-25 22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Jesus’ answer is not a direct answer here. It is as if Jesus is addressing another topic entirely and we feel it is not connected to the fig tree. Jesus was teaching his disciples here. His days are numbered and Jesus used the fig tree as an example to teach them some valuable lessons.
Lessons from a fruitless fig tree!
1. God has the right to expect everything from me. This is talking about our physical blessings like life, health, job, family, money, talents, time etc. Remember God is over all. Every good and perfect give comes from God. He is the creator God. He is the source of all our blessings and God can expect it back at anytime. God has the right to expect back everything that he has given you like in the life of Job. Remember God expected figs from the tree at a time it cannot bear fruit, so God has the right to expect from us even which is too difficult to give.