"In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,
and he noticed a fig tree beside the road.
He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves.
Then he said to it, 'May you never bear fruit again!' And immediately the fig tree withered up."
Matthew 21:18-19, NLT
"Hanger" is a real problem at my house.
Do you know what I'm talking about?
Even just today we were trying to turn a few errands into a fun family outing when IT happened.
Not just the three-year-old.
Not even just the kids--
All of us...
We. Were. HANGRY.
Fortunately God's favor was upon us because in the heat of the moment what did I see ahead but a glorious Chick Fil A sign.
Waffle fries for the win, post haste!
But while the struggle is real in my household, "hanger" is not the reason for Jesus' outburst here in Matthew 21.
I've probably read this story of Jesus and the cursed fig tree at least a handful of times.
It's a weird one, for sure.
To be honest, I have a tendency to rush through and give very little thought to stories that I don't understand immediately. But since my focus this year is is nurturing the habit of dwelling, I couldn't help but go back and think some more on this one.
Now that I'm nearing the end of Matthew, I'm beginning to realize just how many times Jesus talked about fruit in His ministry here on earth. Obviously, the subject was of utmost importance. But we're not talking about physical fruit...
Here, Jesus is giving us a clear, physical visual of what He spoke about in Matthew 3:10 when He said:
"Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don't just say to each other, 'We're safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.' That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God's judgement is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire."
The tension of being a Christ-follower is understanding that while our works (fruit) do not save us, our works (fruit) are an outward demonstration of an inside transformation.
If I remain in the Vine (Christ), my life will bear much fruit. If I am apart from Him, I will bear nothing.
John 15:5-8 reiterates this:
"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father."
What does the fruit of my life whisper about my relation to the Father?
Am I remaining in Him, or trying to do things my own way?
When Jesus comes to inspect my fruit, what will He find?
Did I walk wisely?
Did I give freely?
Did I make disciples?
Did I love my neighbors?
If I am fruitful, then what is important to Jesus will be important to me.
Dwelling in Him,
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.
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