The vibrant tree stood tall with its lush leaves. It was flourishing and full of life. Eager to satisfy their hunger, the group approached the tree anticipating its fresh fruit. They couldn’t wait to sink their teeth into some figs.
Though they got closer, it was still hard to spot fruit hanging from the tree limbs. Jesus scoured the branches, searching high and low for some sign of fruit. There wasn’t even one fig in sight!
The production process of a fig tree is a bit different than other trees. Many times, leaves appear first, followed by that tree’s fruit. However, for the fig tree, growing figs appear first, followed by the opening of its leaves.
Jesus selected the fig tree because, based on its appearance, it was supposed to have something to offer. The fullness of the leaves suggested that there was plenty of fruit to pick. Instead, there was nothing at all.
Disappointed and disturbed by this tree, Jesus said: “May no one ever eat your fruit again!”
As followers of Christ, we share some similarities with fig trees. Christianity goes much deeper than it appears on the surface.
Some of us have mastered the appearance of a Christian. We can speak with great eloquence and know the fitting scriptures to apply at the appropriate moments. We know how to walk and carry ourselves, particularly when we’re feeling blessed and highly favored. We have perfected well-timed smiles and can flit about here and there looking busy while serving the Lord.
Yet, looking like a Christian does not mean that you are living as a Christian. Being a Christian means that we’re intentional about producing fruit. Fueled by our relationship with Christ and His transformational power in our lives, we will want others to have this experience as well.
The love of Christ is meant to be shared with those around us. If when people interact with us, and they leave without being fed, nurtured or encouraged in some way, then we have not produced any fruit.
The day that Jesus and His disciples came across the fig tree, they were in need. They were hungry and needed to be fed. Because they tree did not produce any fruit, the group left this encounter in the same condition that they first arrived in.
We’ll continue exploring this fig tree lesson next week–stay tuned!
Written by Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Henderson Highway Church