Sunday, May 31, 2020

Out of Season Fruit

Out of Season Fruit
June 1, 2020
Mark 11:13 "Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit."

Both in the books of Matthew and Mark, there is an account of the story where Jesus curses the fig tree. In the accounts, Jesus walked up to the fig tree, desiring some fruit from it. When He noticed that it did not have any fruit, He cursed the fig tree and it quickly withered up and died. The accounts detail there were leaves on the tree, which meant summer was present, but Mark notes that it was not fully fruit season yet. Mark declares that no one expected figs yet, since it was not season, and yet Jesus walked up to the tree anyway because He was hungry and wanted some fruit. Why would Jesus have walked up to the tree expecting some fruit? Jesus knew it was not fruit season yet. Why would Jesus expect something from the tree inappropriately and then punish the tree when it was not producing fruit out of season? The story goes on to impress the power of the spoken word that the Disciples would have in their lives, creating an analogy to the actions of Jesus at the fig tree, but is there something more to the fig tree?

Recall that Jesus was present and an active participation in the original creation during Genesis. The Bible says that by the power of the spoken word, the world, and all that is in it, was created.  Life was spoken into that fig tree from the very beginning and it was given instructions to bear fruit. Back then, in the Garden of Eden, there was no rain or seasons, and no curse of winter. Back then, the fig tree was instructed to bear fruit at all times, and it was able to bear fruit constantly. If a fruit tree had leaves on it, at the original creation, it had fruit on it. There was no such thing as in-season fruit; it was always in season. Jesus and the fig tree that He cursed, had a prior relationship, one where Jesus walked up to any tree in the Garden of Eden and it was always bearing fruit. Since the fall of man, fig trees came under the same curse, the curse of winter and only bearing fruit in-season. Jesus knew this particular fig tree would not have fruit on it, since it was subject to the rules of times. But Jesus remembered that fig tree when it wasn't under a curse, when life was spoken into it and when it was commanded to bear fruit at all times, and when there was always sweet fruit to satisfy hunger.

Jesus used the cursing of the fig tree to communicate to the Disciples the power they would have in their ministries, but was that the reason Jesus walked up to that fig tree that day, looking for fruit? No one knows if Jesus used it as a set-up to teach the Disciples, but there is more to the story than communicating the power the Disciples would be able to display. It was a reminder of what spoke that fig tree into life at the beginning, that life was created by the power of the word, but also that bearing fruit was a requirement. The Lord's original intent for that fig tree was to bear fruit at all times, without consideration for a season.

Like that original fig tree, you and I were intended to serve the Lord at all times, without regard for seasons. There is more to the analogy of the fig tree than just communicating the power the Disciples would have; Jesus wanted to communicate that if we do not bear fruit then we will be cut off from the Lord permanently. He does not require that we bear fruit only when we feel we are ready; we were created to bear fruit at all times. The Lord's intent for you life is for fruit, even today when you do not feel you are coming into your season yet. The Lord expects you to bear fruit and if you do not, then you will reap the rewards of that fig tree, you will join the fig tree in its curse. Its time to bear fruit, even if you think it is out of season for fruit.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Gen 1:1-13, Jer 17:8, Matt 7:15-20, Matt 21:18-22, Mark 11:12-26, John 15:1-8

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