Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away (Matthew 21:18-19).
Jesus comes to what appears to be a fruitful fig tree. Fig trees have a lot of leaves when they are bearing fruit. The abundant leaves were an advertisement that shouted to Jesus “I have fruit.” From a distance this tree looks like it has what will satisfy Jesus’ hunger. Jesus looks on this leaf laden tree with no fruit. Jesus rebukes the tree and it dies.
One of the most disturbing things is to see something and realize that it is far from what it looks like. No one likes to be tricked in a time of need. A fruit tree can provide shade from the sun, but that is not the primary purpose of the fruit tree. The purpose of a fruit tree is to bear fruit.
Recently I saw a picture of water draining from a sink; it looked like an eye enlarged on the screen. The photographer revealed that this was simply water draining from a sink. Upon a closer look I saw the water clearly draining in a sink.
When people take a closer look at our lives what do they see? Many of us live lives that look fruitful from a distance but upon closer inspection the fruit of the Spirit is missing in our lives. My intent is not to bash anyone; rather, my intent is simply for us to look at our own lives and ask the question “Is the fruit of the Spirit evident in my life? Do I have: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23)?” As we surrender to God He produces His fruit in our lives.
Let us allow God to produce His fruit in our lives by obeying Him from a heart filled with gratitude for His goodness to us!