Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

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


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


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

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