S (Scripture): Mark 11:12 Now the next day, as they went out from Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 After noticing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it. When he came to it he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
O (Observation): Jesus has made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna!” by His followers. They have lined the roads with palm branches, giving praises to Jesus.
Now, as he becomes hungry, he goes to a fig tree to get a snack. Yet the fig tree has not produced any fruit. Jesus then curses the fig tree, so that it will never produce again.
Scholars look at this little section of scripture as follows:
It appears that Mark records the incident as a portent of what is going to happen to the leadership in Jerusalem who were supposed to have borne spiritual fruit but have been found by Messiah at his coming to be barren. The fact that the nation as a whole is indicted is made explicit in chapter 13:1-37 where Jesus speaks of Jerusalem’s destruction and his second coming. (Net.Bible.org, Note for Mark 11:14.)
A (Application): Yikes! What fruit will I bare? What fruit am I bearing today? I’ll be honest: my biggest fear is that Jesus will come strolling along and will find my tree devoid of all fruit.
Now…that is not reality…but that is the fear. I believe that God does help me to bear fruit, but the devil convinces me that my tree is bare. And because I fear that there is no fruit, I work harder or fall to despair.
The word of grace for me today, and perhaps for yourself, is that fruit will come. My job is not to directly bear fruit – rather, that is the outcome. My job is to look and listen for the Spirit’s calling and to follow it. (That’s called “processing a kairos”…)
How are we able to see God’s deeds of power, God’s work in the world? Through the gift of the promised Holy Spirit, which comes to us at Pentecost. Our congregation, along with the majority of Christians in the world, celebrated the Day of Pentecost yesterday, May 15, 2016.
How do you see your tree today? Is your view through the eyes of the Spirit, or of the event? May your tree bear fruit…as I pray mine does.
P (Prayer): Lord, keep our hearts and minds focused on you and bearing fruit for your Kingdom. Amen.