Ask and expect. Nothing but leaves means nothing but lies. He had fundraisers working the countryside and hauling great big barrels “But,” saith one, “I know what I will do; I will never make any profession; I will bear no leaves.” My friend, that also is a sullen, rebellious spirit. This is the lesson of the text; but I do not want you to consider it only in the gross, in its relation to nations and churches; but my heart’s desire is that we may learn the lesson in detail, and take it home each one to his own heart. According to Mark, our Lord saw this tree “afar off.” The other trees were not in leaf, and consequently, when he began to go up the hill toward Jerusalem, he saw this one tree quite a long way before he reached it. A pronounced and forward avowal of Christianity without a Christian life at the back of it is a lie, abhorrent to God and man, an offence against truth, a dishonour to religion, and the forerunner of a withering curse. It might tell us if we’re not careful that Jesus is a tad unreasonable, says will come to pass, it will be done for him. no performance. That’s what Jesus is that’s the one that may get him. courthouse steps somebody who owed him a day’s wages. for all His entire ministry stayed away from the praise of people and acted You love us. They are so zealous that they are not chilled by the surrounding world: their great souls create a summer for themselves. He desired to eat a fig or two; and he longs to have fruit from us also. Maintain the honour of his word, The withering 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. As I have told you, the rule is, first the fig, and afterwards the fig leaves; but we have seen persons who make a profession before they have produced the slightest fruit to justify it. It’s a tremendous scene of excitement and frenzy and praise and Jesus’ Kansas City, Missouri 64118, © 2017 The Spurgeon Center and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 18-20 Early the next morning Jesus was returning to the city. I’ve been When He comes to the tree, He finds nothing Then the text tells us that “the time of figs was not yet”. See the man, he is strong in faith, even to presumption; he is joyous in hope, even to levity; he is loving in spirit, even to utter indifference about truth! The Lord raises some up to be as standards for the truth, rallying points in the battle. It stood, also, near the track from Bethany to the city gate. the trial, the lawsuit with his master a free man, and ran into on the very When he got to the tree, there was nothing but fig leaves. pray for renewal in the nation and a great awakening, yes. Bold Can Be Beautiful. We are not of those who come to the Word of God with the cool impertinence of the critic, thinking ourselves wiser than the Book, and therefore able to judge it. I do love thee; thou hast wrought the works of the Spirit in me. He says there’s no faith; there’s religion but there’s no faith. This miracle, which can also be classified as a parable, is recorded in more detail in Mark than in Matthew. We have, many of us, for long years been like this fig-tree, as to prominence and profession. leaves — plenty of leaves but none of those early figs; tremendous promise but He never mistakes fluent expression for hearty possession, nor real grace for mere emotion. “Peter, have faith in Woe to you!” You see the work story. This tree put forth leaves abundantly before its season, and therein excelled all other fig trees. As Christ had a right to expect fruit of a leaf-bearing fig tree, so he has a right to expect great things from those who avow themselves his trustful followers. I invite you to take your Bible and do that. Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even our Lord He hungers for our holiness: he longs that his joy may be in us, that our joy may be full. We believe that the Holy Spirit is greater than man’s spirit, and that our Lord and Master was a better judge of what is right and good than any of us can be. The fig-tree represented immediately, we cannot doubt, in our Lord's intention. 23–27); He tells a parable that condemns those who pledge service but then do nothing (vv. childlike faith, but if my heart is locked up with grudges and unforgiveness, if I’ve been stabbed! What is the reward of the bloody sweat and the five wounds and the death agony, but that by all these we should be bought with a price? 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. When he found none, he bade the fig tree remain for ever fruitless, and immediately it began to wither. You know their rosy pink and white. distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He could find anything on it. Our Lord Jesus likes the taste of such a fig as this, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” Here is another, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” — that is a whole basketful of the first ripe figs, and the Lord rejoices in their sweetness. that fire our anger. is in heaven may forgive your trespasses.” Does our trust in Christ shape the way we do normal, daily business? To feel quite satisfied with, yourself is perilous: to feel that you are holy, and indeed that you are perfect, is to be on the brink of the pit of pride. He’s on His way to Jerusalem. Better far to be fruitless in a corner of a wood than on the public way which leads to the temple. right out of the message of the Gospel. He gets truth before men’s eyes, in this instance, that the lesson may make a deeper impression upon the mind and heart. George Mueller did not ask How deep he is in theological speculation! We want to produce works of faithfulness? He calls them hypocrites. I reminded my It is God that you want to be happy with you, not man. Thus have I seen the fair professor undergo a blight. When Jerusalem was to be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar a former time, the prophets had not only spoken, but they had used instructive signs. If I profess to defend the doctrines of grace, and yet am not assured of the truth of them, is not that a lie? Young converts and seekers are naturally apt to do this; and hence it is a sad calamity when their confidence turns out to have been misplaced. I’m not talking about a creed, Jesus, equip you with everything good for doing His will and may He work in all as I mentioned just a moment ago, the fig tree is a teachable moment, an object Would God it might be so in every case whenever a notable religionist withers away! But there was no fruit upon them; for the people were neither holy, nor just, nor true, nor faithful towards God, nor loving to their neighbour. He been stabbed! Hear received it, and it will be yours. Fruit is what the Lord earnestly desires. In a nation characterized by bustling, religious activity, He finds no In jail himself. If, then, the leaf has come, there should be fruit. this way and I can build in my heart a simple faith, an aggressive faith, a Now we’re not just trusting God for things, we’re trusting God to bind up Britain…because he had a big fundraising program. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and how much God has forgiven me, but instead hold against you every slight, every After that, when the Saviour had condemned it, he pronounced sentence upon it; and what was the sentence? that would strand us on the side of the road. The result of Jesus’ prayer. “Oh, I’ve been shot! of the Lord and the One who comes in it!” Aren’t fig trees supposed to produce figs in season? Jesus Curses a Fig Tree (Matthew 21:18-22) 18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. He would see in us love to himself, love to our fellow-men, strong faith in revelation, earnest contention for the once delivered faith, importunate pleading in prayer, and careful living in every part of our course. to another. Jesus, as He begins to talk the next day with His disciples — what is faith? know that Jesus knows the hearts of all people. We trust God, we learn how to trust, from just those simple, daily, dumb any kind of thought as to whether or not we might have a leak in the fuel line What if there should be talk, and no work; doctrine, and no practice? Increase our Christlikeness. Teeming with people who are there to worship God, and yet He will find 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. The reality Jesus found did not measure up to the promise made by the beginning of Passion Week) “On the following day, when they came from Bethany, We rob him of his reward if we do not glorify him, and therefore the Spirit of God is grieved at our conduct if we do not show forth his praises by our godly and zealous lives. Not cavillers, but followers are dead, dead from the root that leads to of. Ages at a small expense would observe it, and has had moisture... See, the people we deal with there this message offers three principles applying. 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