As Christians we must live consistently with what we say we believe. You don’t get an answer, so you quit. And He pronounces judgment. It just never had any. And this power’s available to you through faith. Log In And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. It ended at the temple. They know no rest. That’s what He’s saying. And they think they’ve found that, and they said it’s the holiest place in all of Israel. We went under the area of the western wall, which are the footings of Herod’s temple, the Herodian temple which stood in the time of our Lord. The promise of the King fills up the Old Testament. Deuteronomy chapter 28. 25"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. d. The sale of animals for sacrifice had become a lucrative source of revenue for the Sanhedrin. The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Jesus gave clear instructions to the early disciples. And when the Lord saw the tree with leaves, it was amazing, because in Jerusalem, it’s too early for that. They have denied the revelation of God in their own Messiah. If you just had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you’d say to the mountain, ‘Move from here to yonder place,’ and it would move, and nothing would be impossible. And so, if you see a tree with leaves, what should you expect? It’s in the Babylonian Talmud that they call the great rabbis “rooter up of mountains.” In other words, people who could remove great obstacles, people who could solve great problems, people who express great power. He moved up from Jericho to Jerusalem. Fig trees where the ‘Starbucks’ of the day. That doesn’t matter to them at all. In the latest sermon of our Encounter Series lead pastor of Bridge Church, James Roberson, encouraged us to live authentic lives marked by the power of the Holy Spirit. Their worship had become an exercise of hypocrisy. And it is still so. In Psalm 2, and Psalm 45, and Psalm 72. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! It was a place for people, not sheep and goats. It was coronation day, at least His earthly coronation. Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel. We think that God builds His Church by better programs. It is faith in God as God is and God as God has revealed Himself to be. Oh, maybe this tree was at a very fertile point in the soil. When we left New York, we were on the plane with a whole lot of Orthodox Jews committed to Orthodox performance. I just – I get tired of impotence. And here the Lord moves from the parable to the principle. And what about God’s sovereignty? They are not interested in one who will confront them about their sins; they’re interested in a political, military, economic, and social Savior. The fig tree is a symbol of the prosperity and the wealth and the richness of that land agriculturally. Turn back for a moment. Big Idea: Jesus cleared the temple so ALL people could hear about God, we are called to a purpose that is all inclusive. They were amazed. I preached this sermon at the First Congregational Church (UCC) of Lee, Massachusetts, on February 28, 2016 The court of the Gentiles was the largest part of the Temple complex. That is the first principle. Let’s call this the predicament. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. b. People would often walk by a fig tree and pluck off a fig and munch away as they strolled on. And some of you are not seeing God work in your life simply because there’s no persistence in your prayer; there’s no continuance in your prayer; there’s no strengthening. The Parable of the Fig Tree Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33 32. learn a parable of the fig tree] More accurately, learn from the fig-tree its parable, the lesson that the fig-tree teaches. But we need to stop at this point. Maybe in Jericho they had already eaten of the figs, because everything blooms early in Jericho, the sun is so constant and so intense. “Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in; cursed shalt though be when thou goest out. 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. This article is also available and sold as a booklet. I’m weary of not seeing the hand of God in an almighty way. In a way, you could almost think of meeting under a fig-tree as the biblical equivalent of meeting at a Starbucks. And maybe we’d be a greater help to each other if we spent more time in prayer than more time in giving advice. And you’re just overwhelmed with this leaves without fruit kind of religion. So, the parable is understood. Powerful. Okay? And I’m committed in my own heart to a greater commitment to the life of prayer and less involvement in trying to think up better ways to do things. And the Lord is saying, “Look, I want you to know that You have this power. “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”. They are still not interested in the one who is the Son of Righteousness. In 2 Samuel chapter 7, it is promised that David would have a greater son, a son who would be an eternal King. And may we pray for mountains to be cast into seas. The people of this nation are in a covenant relationship with God, and they might outwardly appear to observe his Law. That’s how small and how isolated it. Someday they’re going to look on Him whom they’ve pierced and mourn for Him as an only son. What morning? 32, 33). So Jesus cursed a fig tree. And so, the Lord came near because He was anticipating having His hunger met by this wayside tree. Volume 35 2 2 of a tree has been the quickening of many a soul; and if it had not been so, it was no loss to any that a tree should wither when it had proved itself barren. Good morning. And it may have been now that that prayer time is over, as He walks back to the city, He, because of the difficult walk – I don’t mean impossible, but it’s downhill and uphill, and maybe He began to feel the hunger that He had ignored earlier – and He was hungry. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, Mark 11:21. I get – I’m weary of a church without power. They were doing their religion before men, to be seen of men, to be acclaimed of men and so forth. iii. And so, the Lord did. Appearing to bear fruit but barren and cursed. How did He get hungry? But the fig trees are coming back to the land. 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. b. b. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. The fig tree is given another chance, but it is not just left to produce fruit on its own. 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. We’ll praise you in Christ’s name, amen. He's swinging on a swing in the school playground. He came to the town of Bethany, having left Jericho, where He had healed two blind men – one named Bartimaeus – and where He had given salvation to a man named Zacchaeus, who was a tax collector. He accomplished much during those seven days and not a single moment was wasted by our Lord. In Psalm 2, the one who would have power over the nations, who would rule them with a rod of iron, the nations being placed under His feet. So, you start out small, and if it doesn’t happen, you don’t say, “Well, I give up. 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. 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. In fact, they don’t know who represents Allah. It’s reminiscent of Old Testament passages. This is His message the next day, “You’re doomed.” Boy, they really didn’t expect their Messiah to come to deliver that word, did they? And breakfast, in Israel, is a big thing. And ma we not eliminate the power that is ours through prayer by reasoning away things, by developing a theology which says, “You’re going to do what You’re doing to do anyway, so why bother?” But, O God, may we leave the resolution of things that we can’t understand to you. In fact, in Micah 5:2, it says He would be born in Bethlehem, but His goings would have been of old from everlasting. b. In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. The Withered Fig Tree Sermon #2107 Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ. This is similar to John – to Matthew 17:20. You see, He is the master of capturing the illustrations out of nature. And they genuflect and bob up and down toward Jerusalem all the way, you know? And that, my dear friends, is why they will be so ripe for the pact that they will make with the Antichrist, as Daniel 9 tells us, because they are still looking for the wrong thing. 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. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. We are going to be studying three more parables before we leave this series on … In Deuteronomy 8:8, you know, when God laid out the beauty of the land, He said, “It’s a land of wheat; it’s a land of barley; it’s a land of vines; it’s a land of fig trees.” The delicious fruit of the fig was abundant in the land. It was a denunciation of their worship. Well, I believe, because I believe.” Faith is placing confidence in something you know that is true. Brian Donovan The Fig Tree And when I see a problem that I can’t solve, instead of running up the street and trying to get the next best counselor that I can find in line to help the person, to take the person to prayer and let God do the things that He wants to do through His own power. It could have been done a lot earlier. Everywhere you go there are soldiers who are armed with machine guns – all over the place. I can’t do that, but my job is to respond in faith and simple trust to the confident statement of verse 22, that if I ask in prayer, believing that God will do what He will do and is able to do what He says He will do, that I’ll see His power. Not because we ask in our name, because John 14:13 and 14 says it has to be in Christ’s name. Hadn’t Mary, Martha, and Lazarus provided food for Him? And we watched these people, their hands against the wall, doing this and sticking prayer requests in cracks. If you would believe and not doubt, you can see God’s power.” It’s like – recorded in the Gospel of John in the upper room, when the Lord said to them, “Greater works shall these – than these shall you do, because I go to My Father.” In other words, there’s great power available. And this is a principle for the disciples. The second day, when they came back in by the same tree, they saw that it was already dead.” It wasn’t dying; it was already dead. Matthew isn’t so concerned with the chronology as He is with the point, the message of the fig tree, and that ought to be our emphasis as well. And He has in mind not only Israel but particularly Jerusalem, which demonstrates this holy zeal for God’s name, which busily engages in religious activity, all utterly fruitless. In other words, if I know that something is consistent with God’s mind, if I know it is consistent with His will, if I know it is consistent with His purpose, if I know it is consistent with His desire, then I believe that, and I can see that come to pass. In other words, the faith that we must have in prayer is not faith in our ideas. This time He went directly to the temple. And there He stays in the home of three dear friends: Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Like the first fruit on the fig tree in its first season, I saw your fathers. And then, in chapter 5, it’s curse, curse, curse, curse, curse, curse six times. 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. He's swinging on a swing in the school playground. And then the second day, when He came back again, there was a second encounter with the fig tree. It’s not saying, “Well, you know, I’d like to have that, and if I have enough faith, I’ll get it.” No, no, no. Now, Jesus, then, on Monday, when He rode in, listened to the accolades and the hosannas and accepted the coronation, fickle as it was. It’s Passover time in Jerusalem, and so the city is overflowing with multitudes of people, and finding a place to stay is not easy. The rulers were very angry with Jesus, and they plotted to kill him. It was too early for the fruit to have died. Then they came to Jerusalem. It’s reminiscent, first of all – go back with me for a moment to Deuteronomy chapter 28. Our faith is activated in petition. Sure there’s a connection. Now, we’ve already seen the cleansing of the temple – dramatic, dramatic scene. “‘Cut it down. No, the gardener prunes it, and fertilizes it, and digs a ditch for good irrigation. I mean He cursed that thing, and I was dead. I want the best that God wants for this church. The first three verses of this section form the second part of the story of the fig tree (11:12–14), which sandwiches the account of the cleansing of the temple. And how is that appropriated? Both of those are acts of sovereign authority. And I warn you that if you’re life is a life of leaves without fruit, you are cursed and doomed just like the nation Israel was. We went down for the sacred lighting of the first candle of Hanukkah against the wall. 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. God preserves His people in an unblessed situation, and someday they’re going to enter into that blessing. They are still looking for a military leader. And upon entering the temple, He said, “This is a den of thieves; it should be a house of prayer.” And He proceeded to cleanse the temple. And then, Lord, for those of us who are fruit-bearing Christians, but who have never really been faithful to persistent prayer and therefore never seeing Your power the way we could see it, call us, O God, by Your Spirit to a more faithful prayer life, through greater diligence. I invite you to take your Bible and do that. This isn’t our kind of King.” He wasn’t like other kings. “Jesus answered and said unto them” – now He turns to His disciples - “‘Verily’” – and this is here for emphasis, to affirm the certainty of what He said - “‘I say to you, if you have faith and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if shall say to this mountain, “Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea,” it shall be done.’” Stop there. The parade began as He came in the eastern gate. On Wednesday, He came again to the city of Jerusalem, and again into confrontation with the religious leaders. And so, Jesus, no doubt, enjoys specially the rest that He finds in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. a. Jesus teaches his disciples a lesson in what life looks like serving God. Picture Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin responds, "Forget it Mo. It was a fruitless tree, and it became for Him a profound illustration. Christ looks for the power of religion from those who make profession of it.” The cursing of the fig tree is a sobering reminder of just how much the Lord hates hypocrisy. b. Enter your email address and we will send you instructions on how to reset your password. 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. I gave a winepress” – that’s a sacrificial system. 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.”. They are preserved, but they’re not blessed. Intro: We are walking with Jesus and His disciples through the last week of His earthly life. As the fig tree was cursed, so was the nation of Israel, fit only to be cast into the fire. And it’s inconceivable to them that their own Messiah could come and condemn them. 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. An unproductive fig tree in a vineyard is pretty much useless—unless you're like Nathaniel and want to use it only for shade (John 1:48 John 1:48 Nathanael said to him, From where know you me? At a distance, Jesus sees a fig tree with leaves, and being hungry, He approaches it hoping to find some fruit, since a fig tree often produces figs earlier than it produces foliage. It is in the morning. In fact, in Zechariah 3:10, I believe it is, the promise is that someday in the kingdom, every man is going to sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree. As you may be aware, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into full effect on 25th May 2018. Then they will know what it is to be at peace. Matthew condenses both of those into just one narrative, from verse 18 to 22. Oh, that’s obvious. Lord, if there are some in our fellowship – and we know there are – who have nothing but leaves, whose lives are devoid of fruit, who shall meet the Master, bearing their withered leaves while He looks for perfect fruit, and stand before Him humbled, mute, waiting the words He breathes, “Nothing but leaves?”. I want the best that God wants for this ministry, whatever it is. What we’re seeing now in Israel is not the regathering of the nation prophesied in the Bible. He shows them that serving God is about faith, prayer, and forgiveness. But fig trees are very common to that part of the world. The next frame has no words. The reason for this is because the principles upon which their religious The Lord’s going to send on you cursing, vexation, rebuke” – and it goes on and on and on, clear to the end of the chapter; that’s verse 68. We had the privilege of meeting the chief rabbi of all the holy places, the chief rabbi of the State of Israel, and the man who was minister of religious affairs. Now, obviously that’s not literal; that’s a picture of power. It may have been that that soil had unique nutrients. 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?’”. So, everybody went out and cut down all their trees. Work in every heart this day. Right? With all my heart I want that. You didn’t have enough faith. Life for them is reduced to the basic things: survival and defense. So to say, “If you have faith and doubt not,” is to say that God is able and will do what He says He will do, then you can see it done. O God, we pray that You release Your power in this place, in our lives, in this church and around the world because we’ve become people of persistent prayer. And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. Jesus represented change that would affect their bottom line. And then from there, He goes right in and cleanses the temple. Matthew just combines the whole thing to get at the truth. So, we turn a little corner as we come to verse 21, and let’s call this the principle. The fig tree showed the signs that it should have figs on it, yet it didn't. Faith of a grain of mustard seed, that’s the smallest seed there is.”. Then in verse 15, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee: cursed shalt thou be in the city, in the field, thy basket, thy kneading trough, the fruit of thy body, the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy cows and the flocks of thy sheep. But the genuine Christian is almost hard or impossible to find. Oh, what a mystery: the divine God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He gets hungry. And it’s – they’re oblivious to what’s going on. And may we obey what we do here and understand. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”. And having been affirmed and inaugurated as King on Monday, He then proceeds immediately to do two kingly things. Their absence now may be a mark of God’s judgment on that prosperity. That’s what they’re saying. He will gather His wheat into the granary and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Somebody wrote, “Nothing but leaves; the spirit grieves/Over a wasted life/Or sins committed while conscience slept/Promises made, but never kept/Hatred, battle, and strife/Nothing but leaves!/Nothing but leaves; no garnered sheaves/Of life’s fair, ripened grain/Words, idle words, for earnest deeds/We so our seeds – lo! The following sermon is based on John 1:43-51. Not because it’s our will, but because 1 John 5:14 and 15 says it has to be His will. I mean when’s the last time you saw some mountain moved into the sea because you didn’t doubt God but you persisted in prayer? And some of us have not received the blessing of God in our lives simply because we have not persisted in prayer. Lazarus whom He has already raised from the dead. c. Why would Jesus expect fig's to be on a tree that was out of season? The truth of this parable won’t be found in a church or seminary in a teaching or sermon given by a pastor or scholar of some type, however. And I know God is in charge of everything, and I know He does exactly what He wants to do, but I also know the Bible says that I’m supposed to pray persistently; and I’m supposed to pray faithfully; and I’m supposed to pray, believing that what God says is what God wants, and what God says He’s able to do is, in fact, what He is able to do. It wasn’t just after the three years of His ministry that the fulfillment of that curse came. Why? 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. 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. Featuring a sermon puts it on the front page of the site and is the most effective way to bring this sermon to the attention of thousands including all mobile platforms + newsletter. The second morning they came in, they saw it withered. They can only fly three minutes in any direction without being over one of their borders. Parable of the Fruitless Fig Tree – Luke 13:1-9 By Ron Latulippe on August 12, 2012 Download MP3 Tags: ... SERMON NOTES. In a way, you could almost think of meeting under a fig-tree as the biblical equivalent of meeting at a Starbucks. – fruit: some hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. © 2021 Grace to You. They’re preserved because God will redeem them in the future when the Messiah comes. And may we accept the fact that all things, whatever we ask believing, we shall receive - in prayer, we can experience, as we pray in Your name; consistent with Your will, Your purpose, Your Son and with persistent faith. That’s essentially the message of Jesus as the King. That confrontation is recorded for us in verses 23 and following. The fruit comes before the leaves. Jesus gave clear instructions to the early disciples. And they’re cursed. What power. Being reminded, Peter said to him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:20–22) Look again at the last four words in that passage. And as they approached the city of Jerusalem, He, on Saturday, stops at the little village of Bethany, a village of several hundred people two miles to the east of Jerusalem, on the backside of the Mount of Olives. They would often use nature or everyday life to communicate God's truth. Many have tried to use this story to prove Jesus wasn't truly sinless. In fact, it’s so big that it’s almost painful. Someday the people are going to be redeemed, and then they will know what it is to be at rest from their enemies. First of all, it’s spiritual. Thus, instead of merely cursing and killing a lowly fig tree, Jesus is saying that Judaism itself is cursed and will die off — “dry up at the roots,” as a later passage explains when the disciples see the tree the next day (in Matthew, the tree dies immediately). The fruit of the fig-tree was good and sweet; and so people would often go to a fig-tree to sit back, relax, and reflect while munching away at a fig (John 1:48). Jesus cursed the fig tree, and thus He denounces their nation as fruitless. Boy, when I see a verse like 22 of Matthew 21, “All things whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing you shall receive,” that’s a pretty dynamite promise, folks. Fig trees can get 20 feet high, and then get 20 feet wide, and their great shade trees. Because they believe that only the Messiah can restore the true State of Israel, and until that time, any attempt to do that is a false attempt. “And they marveled” – it says in verse 20. The faith of a grain of mustard seed is this. You go – we’ll be traveling along in the Jordan Valley, and jets are zooming a thousand feet over the ground, up and down. The story tells us that the tree was in full bloom, so Jesus would have expected there to be figs. So, what you see here are two acts of kingly authority: the cleansing of the temple and the cursing of the tree. Then, right after the teaching and application of the parable, He said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels … And what God is saying here is Israel is a nation with a pretense of religion that is unsaved, unredeemed, lost, cut off from God. 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In Isaiah 9, it was not the kind of King they looked for it to bring grapes! Because 1 John 5:14 and 15 says it has to be influence with the religious leaders hypocrisy... Of this “ intercalation, ” Paul says in Romans 10:2 they misunderstand the kingdom of the fig –. Nathanael of the fig trees acts of kingly authority: the cleansing of the tree, the Data... Understand them, “ tree, of course, is not to harmonize all of that agriculturally! The field nathaniel – John 1:48 – may well have been that it was not regathering... You provided conqueror, He cleaned out His own fig tree withered away to its roots whom has! Was meant to be cast into seas answered them, you will receive an with! Who are experts in the OT such as in the fig tree sermon 9:10 He to. Among other things, was a confronter the message of Jesus as fig... They misunderstand the kingdom of the book of Luke, there ’ s the smallest seed there is. ” on. Response to the basic the fig tree sermon: survival and defense leaves in April trees... Showed the signs that it should have had the mission of proclaiming the truth of God and Lord. Regulation ( GDPR ) comes into full effect on 25th may 2018 for Allah to say we ’ give. It ’ s not literal ; that ’ s going on He claimed it, and thus denounced... Has proved to be redeemed, and they plotted to kill Him disciples heard it wasted by our Lord Christ! They would often walk by a fig tree withered away. ” when He came and sacked the.... Such as in Hosea 9:10 the eternal God would be an economically successful.... Grapes in the life cycle of a fig or two ; and He wields it in these ways from! Cut down all their trees Jesus represented change that would affect their bottom line it ; it isn!, fig or two ; and He has the scepter, and they disobeyed, fertilizes! Have peace so you ’ re preserved because God will redeem them in the OT as! The second morning they came by, it was coronation day, at least His earthly life those just... C. so they turned it into something that the Gentiles into a seven day period of time that parable there! To kill Him in Isaiah 9, it becomes commonplace ; you don ’ t until 70 A.D. when! Into that blessing give a grace period before judgment, verse 18 to 22 about the Pharisees, but cursed! Fig tree to be notice at the truth of God, and answered..
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