Summary: Without a vision we perish. What is your vison, purpose in life? This passage shows that our goal shoiuld be 1) fruit 2) Foreigners 3) Faith
Your purpose. Mark 11:12-25. WBC 7 Sept 03 pm
In the words of Diana Ross- ‘do you know where you’re going to?’
- not ultimately, when you die!
- > do you have a purpose here. Now. In this life.
- Do you know whey God is allowing you to stay, here?
The words “without a vision the people perish” is actually a poor translation of Prov 29:18
- is really more like “without the word of God people act in an unrestrained manner!”
o so- one purpose is to saturate yourself with God’s word/vocabulary!
- But it’s true none the less!
o It’s not hard work that kills people: it’s lack of purpose, significance, vision
You can just DIE unless you know what God has for you.
- do you know God’s purpose for your life?
Actually- what God has for you is similar to what He had for His Son. Listen to His purpose:
- Mk 1:38 “I have come to preach the Kingdom of God!
- Lk 19:10 the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
- Lk 5;32 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance
- Mk 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
- John 10;10 I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.
- John 12:47 I did not come to judge the world, but to save it
Like Jesus knew His purpose, we need to know ours:
- Illustr: me speaking to boss about ‘need to know the larger picture, to motivate us’
- George Satayana “imagine people going to work day after day without knowing their company business – yet that’s exactly what happens when church members don’t know what the church is about”
Do you have a purpose? Do you know where you’re going to?
I want to show you what Jesus is looking for from you, tonight, from Mk11:12-25
- the story of the fig tree… with the REAL meaning of the passage sandwiched between the two mentions of the tree
1. FRUITFULNESS Vv12-14
Believe it or not, this passage shows God’s purpose for you, us as Christians… the church
- it’s in picture language
It’s all about figs. In fact, the region is called ‘Bethphage and Bethany’
- Bethphage means house of figs. = fig growing area
You might think Jesus is a bit unreasonable expecting fruit from the tree when (v13) “not the season for figs”
- but, in fact, there WOULD be figs on a good tree. The BEST Figs
- Jeremiah 24:1 Jer has a vision of exceptionally good figs (2 “One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early”) and bad figs
- So- the main crop wasn’t there, yet- but there should have been the early figs… the best ones…
o Not least with all those leaves!
In fact: that’s the issue for Jesus- He goes to the tree, attracted by the leaves, but when He gets there- LEAVES are all there is. There’s no FRUIT!
- he curses the fig tree for it’s appearance of fruitfulness, promise of fruitfulness…. But lacking the REALITY
He’s looking for REALITY. And FRUIT. FRUITFULNESS
And, in fact- that’s exactly what happened with the temple and Judaism.
- this is an enacted parable of what He’s looking for from God’s people
o and what He’s going to do to God’s people
You see- in Scripture the Fig Tree is the classic picture of Israel. The people of God.
- a fig tree that is supposed to blossom. Produce fruit. Be a blessing to ALL nations of the earth
o that was God’s promise to the seed of the fig tree: Abraham
he received a blessing to BE a blessing
- And provide a HOUSE for all nations (the Temple)
What’s the Lord’s vision for you?
- to be fruitful. ‘You did not choose me… fruit that will last”
- what kind of fruit? – yes the fruit of the Spirit. But HERE:
o fruit of multiplication for the nations. The people
Illustr: Gives me such a buzz! Out for Drink with C Monday night. Within 15 mins “what’s this Alpha thing, then. I think my wife K wants to come”
- knock me down with a feather!
The externals don’t matter: the singing, ministry, preaching, the full programme
- although good and important!
o (I just won’t settle for less than God’s presence!)
- Isn’t it just possible to think ‘I’m so busy… even in church- but what’s the point? So what?!”
- It’s because God is looking for FRUIT. The fruit of multiplication. Of the nations. Of all people’s. We are made to multiply