The Fruitless Fig Tree
The Lord of the creation became hungry on the way out of Bethany. He looked up and saw a promising fig tree in full foliage. He came to pluck fruits from the tree for Him to satisfy His hungry belly. But unfortunately, when He got there, He found no fruit, but leaves alone (Mark 11:12-14, 19-22).
We do wonder any time we read this portion of the Holy Scriptures. We could not justify the action of our Lord in cursing the fig tree, since it is clearly stated that it is not the season of figs. We do conclude that our Lord exercised His unquestionable authority over the poor fig tree. But the vital message of our Lord to the disciples He was to leave behind in the world a little while have we missed in concluding like this.
The lesson for the followers of Christ here is that it is a curse to be met by the Lord fruitless. As Christians, our fruitfulness must not be dependent on seasons. We are admonished to be instant in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). The Lord cursed the tree because in the beginning the produce of the tree was not season dependent.
The fruitless fig tree represents believers who has a complete religious outfit in the physical, but naked in the spiritual. We are called to bear fruits. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God”(Colossians 1:10). We are ordained to bring forth fruits that will remain. What do we think the Lord who has done so much for us to ensure that we bear fruit will do, if, when He comes, He meets us fruitless?
As we bear fruits in abundance, God in heaven is glorified in the midst of us. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8). A fruitless tree brings shame to God. We must strive to bring forth fruit, for the only thing that interests God is this, so that we may be His disciples. We must strive to bring it forth in abundance, for we do not know the time when the Lord we are expecting will come. Otherwise, He will meet us like a thief in the night and we will not be able to go with Him. The fruit we bear is the witness to the world of the life of God indwelling our hearts.
When the Lord came to the nation Israel in the day of visitation, she was met fruitless (an empty vine! Hosea 10:1) and her house was left to her desolate (Matthew 23:37-38). The Lord came to Israel in due season prophesied in the law they daily read in the temple. If, when He came in the season, He did not find fruit on the tree, what will the situation be, if He comes out of season? (Luke 13:6-9). If in season we cannot keep ourselves, how much more when the season will not be here with us? “Have faith in God!” If we rely on the faithfulness of God, He will keep us fruitful to the end.
The Lord of the vineyard has faithfully given rain in time; the former rain in its time and the latter rain in its time to ensure that the tree is nourished and preserved alive in a condition favourable for fruitfulness. When He shall come as the Lord of the harvest, He will neither be satisfied nor persuaded by either the greenness of the leaves or their multitudes in number. The secret of fruitfulness is abiding in Christ, from whom we receive nourishment for living, for growth and for fruitfulness. Examine yourself, are there fruits on the vine, for the Lord of the harvest is already at the door!