All Leaves, No Fruit
Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, 'May you never bear fruit again!' Immediately the tree withered.
Matthew 21:19 (NIV)
Do you know people who put on a big show? Maybe they live in great houses, drive cool cars, and show off their money? You might admire a beautiful woman who always wears the latest fashions. Even church people can seem like formidable gods.
Jesus saw a fig tree one day that put on a big show. It had lovely leaves and suggested to passers-by that it had all the right stuff. Then, 'He became hungry' (v.18) and wanted fruit from the tree, but it had none to give. Jesus cursed the tree, and it died.
Jesus is coming to each of us. He will be looking for our fruit. We don't know when He will pass by and reach out His Hand, but He will. Perhaps He will send disciples first. He gives them His same power. 'Not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done' (v.21).
How many of Jesus' disciples (or even angels) have we rejected when they reached up for a donation? Did they find a closed fist? How many lonely girls would like the friendship of a popular teen? Did they make a shy step forward to meet a turned back? How many 'down and out' sinners long for a new life? They step tentatively into a church, but feel unwelcome.
The beggars, the rejected, and the outcasts look very needy. They have no show to make.
If God gives us abundance in beauty, wealth, knowledge, fame, position, or talent, we must give our fruit freely to hungry passers-by. If we don't, we will surely become barren of fruit, lose our leaves, and die.
Therefore, fertilize your heavenly gifts with God's Word. Prune them with wisdom. Water them with humility. Then, bend your branches down when someone reaches up. Thereby will you live and feed the hungry. Thereby will you glorify God and be ready to meet Jesus.