the fig tree sermon

the fig tree sermon

“They have a zeal for God without knowledge,” Paul says in Romans 10:2. Life for them is reduced to the basic things: survival and defense. Do you see the connection? So he says, “Well, we had one guy on our board that didn’t have the faith, and he blew the whole thing.”. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. b. It wasn’t until 70 A.D., when the Romans came and sacked the city and totally leveled the temple. What you’re seeing now is just some preliminary activity. It was a fruitless tree, and it became for Him a profound illustration. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! You keep pursuing, keep persisting, keep knocking, keep crying out. People would often walk by a fig tree and pluck off a fig and munch away as they strolled on. They are still looking for an economic deliverer. Work in every heart this day. Someday the people are going to be redeemed, and then they will know what it is to be at rest from their enemies. Several times they said, as we visited the Holocaust Museum, “And that’s what our enemies want to do to us again. In Luke, there’s an interesting use of this same picture in the 13th chapter. The Fig Tree Parable. – “fruit.” Fruit is ever and always the manifestation of true salvation. Pilate even said to Him, “Are you a king?”, He said, “You said it, but my kingdom is not of this world. He wants the swing and says, "Get off the swing, Twinky." And the idea is if you have faith that starts small but gets larger and larger and larger and larger, you’re going to see God work in power. Picture a bully named Mo, twice as big as Calvin. The court of the Gentiles was the largest part of the Temple complex. And they’re in a constant state of vigilance. How did He get hungry? In the scripture before today’s reading Jesus is talking to crowds of people. There is the promise of a King coming, the one who would reign supreme. Hosea 9:10. “What more could I have done to my vineyard?” And the answer is nothing more. Sometimes, people would sit and have conversations under a fig tree. then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built. With its focus on business, the temple supplied no fruit, did not nourish any hungry or thirsty soul with the gospel of peace-with-God and forgiveness of sins. (For the theological significance of this “intercalation,” see Overview, 11:15–19.) I will curse that people.”. Now, Jesus, then, on Monday, when He rode in, listened to the accolades and the hosannas and accepted the coronation, fickle as it was. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. Let’s pray. What power. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. It is amazing that Jesus was able to pack so much activity into a seven day period of time. They are preserved, but they’re not blessed. And they’re regathering themselves on a political basis; they’re not being regathered redemptively or messianically. Instead of becoming a conqueror, He was a confronter. After prophesying about His return and the events that would precede it, Jesus taught the Parable of the Budding Fig Tree. In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And we saw them in the very special, holy place, the holiest place that they believe they have in their land, the place where they think they have access to the Holy of Holies, the escape hatch where the priest could get out when he got out in the Holy of Holies and wanted to get out and get cleansed and get back in without the people knowing. But we need to stop at this point. d. The sale of animals for sacrifice had become a lucrative source of revenue for the Sanhedrin. Palestine was a land of fig trees. You see, He is the master of capturing the illustrations out of nature. Philip finds Nathanael, and says to him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, … “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, when thou goest out.” And further blessing is pronounced all the way down to verse 14. 1. c. Hypocrisy is one of the top ten objections that many people have against the Church. Turn back for a moment. Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you. The whole purpose of the temple had been distorted. The fruit of thy body, the fruit of the ground, the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy cows, the flocks of thy sheep, thy basket, thy kneading trough. And after the conclusion of that procession, He returned to Bethany on Monday night and spent the night in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The completed registration allows us to send order and donation receipts to the email address you provided. After clicking 'Register', you will receive an email with a link to verify your account and to complete your registration. In verse 6, the Lord here speaks a parable, “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. But it should have had fruit because it had leaves. With the breaking of the dawn, Jesus told His disciples to go find a particular animal that was tied in a nearby village by the name of Bethphage, to bring that animal, along with its mother. But as we ask consistent with God’s revelation of Himself, consistent with the name of Jesus Christ and His purpose, consistent in an unselfish way to the glory of God, we can know we’ll receive it. They can only fly three minutes in any direction without being over one of their borders. In Isaiah chapter 5, you have a similar kind of passage, where the Lord says, “I have planted a noble vine” – that’s the nation Israel – “and a very fruitful hill” – that’s the land of Canaan. And it’s – they’re oblivious to what’s going on. And so, if you are living a lie, if you are masquerading as one who is religious, but there’s no fruit in your life, you’re damned; you’re cursed. The acceptable year of the Lord was really over, and He was pronouncing judgment. – a very large bush. You couldn’t do it because of your unbelief. People would often walk by a fig tree and pluck off a fig and munch away as they strolled on. It is believing in God as God has revealed Himself. And having been affirmed and inaugurated as King on Monday, He then proceeds immediately to do two kingly things. But in order to share faith one must live by faith, and forgive others no matter what the offence. Now, what is the parable? It is a beautiful drive, with the river on one side and farmland on the other side. But that is the essence of His humanness. God preserves His people in an unblessed situation, and someday they’re going to enter into that blessing. Let’s call this the predicament. That’s not a very happy message to give them, but that’s the fact, because they continue to reject the Messiah. This article is also available and sold as a booklet. The test of whether one could expect figs from a fig tree was not the time of year but whether the foliage of the tree was in full bloom. And the Lord is saying, “Look, I want you to know that You have this power. He's swinging on a swing in the school playground. First, cleanse the temple; second, curse the tree. Maybe in Jericho they had already eaten of the figs, because everything blooms early in Jericho, the sun is so constant and so intense. I want that. However, the nation as a whole has proved to be both lacking faith and barren of good fruitage. It had died immediately from His curse; they just didn’t see its death until the next day. On Sunday morning, a great multitude from the city move out because the word is out that Jesus is, in fact, in Bethany. Verse 49 says, “The Lord’s going to bring a nation against you from the end of the earth, as swift as an eagle; a nation whose tongue you don’t understand.” And all of that is curse. We throw superficial, shallow, little prayers at God that are so trite, lack so much intensity and so much passion that they dishonor God by even being offered. The Parable of the Fig Tree Dan Rodgers Matthew 24:32-44 ILLUS: When my wife and I drive down to the Delta, instead to taking Highway 5 and turning off at Highway 4 to Rio Vista, we enjoy taking the river route. 24. And what He wants to do is show to Israel the nature of His kingliness, and it isn’t political, and it isn’t social, and it isn’t military. a. Israel as the fig tree. Everybody’s on a constant state of alert. The Christians in the land of Israel today are almost invisible. You don’t get an answer, so you quit. The following sermon is based on John 1:43-51. tares and weeds/We reap, with toil and pain/Nothing but leaves!/Nothing but leaves; memory weaves/No veil to hide the past/As we retrace our weary way/Counting each lost and misspent day/We find, sadly, at last/Nothing but leaves!/And shall we meet the Master so/Bearing our withered leaves?/The Savior looks for perfect fruit/We stand before Him, humbled, mute/Waiting the words He breathes/’Nothing but leaves?’”. Nathaniel – John 1:48 – may well have been under his own fig tree when called to the discipleship of Christ. 27Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory. He shows them that serving God is about faith, prayer, and forgiveness. It may have been that somebody specially cared for that, or it may have been that God just had that tree bloom a little early. They continue to demonstrate a religion that is leaves without fruit. So, instead of overthrowing their enemies, in a sense He denounces them. Very important. You’ve got the same power.” And He turns it into a lesson about prayer for them, that you can see the same power working if you believe. Well, it isn’t really connected with the lesson of the parable, but it’s connected with their response to the lesson. They’re saying, “Lord, what power. And he told his people, “If you have the faith to do it and just claim it, it’s positive confession faith. Wait your turn." And maybe we’d be a greater help to each other if we spent more time in prayer than more time in giving advice. What has been created is a political state, but they’re still cursed. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. He uses anything and everything to teach spiritual truth, and He does it here, too. For the fig tree to be in a vineyard, it was planned and nurchured. Michael K. Marsh January 16, 2012 January 16, 2012 Leave a comment. e. However, Paul and Jesus are not addressing hypocrisy in the Church. Jesus has arrived in the city of Jerusalem. He moved up from Jericho to Jerusalem. The context, the circumstances. Picture Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. And it was all nothing but leaves, because they have denied the truth of God. This morning we continue with our sermon series on the parables of Christ. And it is still so. © 2021 Grace to You. a. Jesus teaches his disciples a lesson in what life looks like serving God. And I know God has a sovereign will, and I know God answers prayer sovereignly. Sometimes, people would sit and have conversations under a fig tree. This isn’t our kind of King.” He wasn’t like other kings. He is coronated on one day. If you have faith and don’t doubt, you’ll not only be able to do things like that, but you could say to this mountain” – and that would no doubt refer to the Mount of Olives – “‘Be cast into the sea’” – and the sea that was on the backside of that would have been the Dead Sea, 4,000 feet down – “You could say to this mountain, ‘Dump yourself into that sea,’ and it would be done.”. Infuse into the deadness of their life Thy living power through Christ, that they may bear fruit and not be cut down and cast into the fire like so many Judas branches. Mark 11:20 and 21 indicates the next morning, when they came by, it had died from the roots up. I want the best that God wants for me. We’ll give attention to a visual parable tonight. Sermon for Lent 3C: Repent, Towers Are Falling And Trees Are Fruitless. Someday they’re going to look on Him whom they’ve pierced and mourn for Him as an only son. And he said to the dresser of his vineyard, ‘Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none.’” I don’t know, maybe that has something to say to connect up with the three years of our Lord’s ministry, calling for fruit from Israel. “And I looked for it to bring forth grapes, and it brought forth sour berries. A very wonderful, very instructive, very dramatic portion of the Scripture and incident in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. And while it is a national illustration in the parable, it certainly has individual implications. The fig tree showed the signs that it should have figs on it, yet it didn't. The life cycle of a fig tree is similar to the spiritual life of an individual. But until then, they’re so paranoid about that, that they are student up in a perfect condition to accept a contract with the Antichrist, who will bring them a moment of deliverance, a moment of prosperity, a false security. Accordingly, we have updated our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions in order to comply with GDPR. Everywhere you go there are soldiers who are armed with machine guns – all over the place. God's forgiveness, His love and ultimately His judgment. We think that God builds His Church by better programs. They would also exchange currency because the temple would only use one currency. He comes to the tree, finds only leaves, and says unto it – verse 19, in the middle of the verse – “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever.”, Mark 11, recording the same incident, says that Peter said He cursed the tree. With all my heart I want that. It was just a roadside tree. Devastating. ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? It had dried up. And He says to them, “Your religion is corrupt, and your nation is corrupt, and they are doomed to judgment. It may have been that it was near a brook, and water was in abundance, provided to the roots. I preached this sermon at the First Congregational Church (UCC) of Lee, Massachusetts, on February 28, 2016 Please contact the publisher to obtain copies of this resource. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. Israel had proven unfruitful with respect to God's purpose for her. It’s religion without reality, and they’re cursed. Divided into four parts: The court of the Gentiles; the court of the women; the court of the Jews; and the Holy of Holies. He would be able to make it all work out the way it was supposed to. You say, “Well, that doesn’t seem to be connected with the lesson. It wasn’t fig season. They were amazed. It was the triumphal entry. Parable of the Fruitless Fig Tree Luke 13.1-9 . Like the first fruit on the fig tree in its first season, I saw your fathers. I invite you to take your Bible and do that. You go – we’ll be traveling along in the Jordan Valley, and jets are zooming a thousand feet over the ground, up and down. You wish that tree dead, and it was dead.”. I’m weary of people without power. And we watched these people, their hands against the wall, doing this and sticking prayer requests in cracks. But up on the hilltop, it just didn’t happen that in April fig trees bloomed and bore fruit. But we need to stop at this point. There are paradoxes in the Bible that I don’t understand. And may we pray for mountains to be cast into seas. And so, the crowd comes to Bethany on Sunday, and no doubt He met them there. This morning we want to return in our study to Matthew chapter 21. The gardener who asks for more time in the life of the tree is Christ. The design of the temple included a place for Gentiles to congregate because God had called Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish people, to be a blessing to ALL nations. Right? And there He stays in the home of three dear friends: Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Israel was often symbolized by the fig tree throughout the OT such as in Hosea 9:10. That regathering is going to be done by the Messiah in a redeeming work. a. In Psalm 2, and Psalm 45, and Psalm 72. f. The Jewish historian Josephus recorded in AD66, as the Roman armies were coming against Jerusalem, 255,000 lambs were slaughtered in Jerusalem during the passover. And along with Him are the ubiquitous disciples, desperately in need of another profound lesson and about to receive one. The Olivet Discourse: Learn the lesson of the fig tree. All rights reserved. More Teaching Ideas on the Parable of the Fig Tree. Fig trees where the ‘Starbucks’ of the day. I don’t know if you know it, but in Jewish literature, a rooter up of mountains was a metaphor for a great spiritual leader. And how is that appropriated? He desired to eat a fig or two; and he longs to have fruit from us also. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. Powerful. We stopped in Brussels, Belgium, and we got out into the airport, and they lined up a mass of them along the windows, and they began to do their genuflecting with the little boxes on their head and the phylacteries on their arms. Like this fig tree, the nation of Israel has a deceptive appearance. They are doing their thing. And if you find, in fact, that you are one of His own, and there is fruit there, may it be that it’s the fruit of persistent prayer, and that you learn the lesson those disciples needed to learn, that all the power the Lord had, when He cursed the tree, and more is available to the one who calls upon Him in faith. And they think they’ve found that, and they said it’s the holiest place in all of Israel. And so, our Lord, in His hunger, sees this fig tree, and it says it was along the way, which means it was a roadside fig tree; He wasn’t invading someone’s private orchard. He said, “Learn the lesson of the fig tree.” We don’t know if Peter, James, John, or any of the earliest disciples understood what he meant. They would have nothing to do with Him, and they said it, “We will not have this man to reign over us. It was a place for people, not sheep and goats. Now, the Jews believed that their King would come and would be a military leader; would save the State of Israel, if you will, from Roman bondage; would bring about a prosperity that was promised in the Old Testament. I mean genuine, redeemed, born-again Christians - not quote-unquote Christians because they have Orthodox heritage in the Greek Orthodox Church or whatever. And so, if you see a tree with leaves, what should you expect? in saying that His house was meant to be called a house of prayer "for all nations" Including the Gentiles. Israel is that fig tree and when we see her developing into a healthy nation and expanding in accordance with God's Word, we may be sure that the Lord's return is imminent.— S. J. W. Chase (Matt. And here the Lord moves from the parable to the principle. But when He got there it says He found nothing on it but leaves only. God’s going to judge the religious. It’s reminiscent, first of all – go back with me for a moment to Deuteronomy chapter 28. c. So they turned the court of the Gentiles into a market place that served the purpose of selling sacrificial animals for temple use. Rooting up mountains became a metaphor for dealing with difficulty, dealing with impossible situations. 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