In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. (Matthew 21:18-19 ESV)
Up until last year we had an apple tree growing behind our family cabin. Every year we noted that the apples it produced were small and not edible. It never developed into what it was meant to be. When it came time to do something new with that area of land, the tree was cut down. Had it produced edible apples I’m sure we would have kept it. This is a bit like Jesus does with this fig tree. Only the fig has a parallel in the people of Israel. They were given the kingdom and the law of God and the history with God and yet, they rejected Jesus, the heir of that kingdom, the one who came to sit on their forefather’s throne. Jesus is warning them that judgment is coming. Is God wrong to expect fruit from a fruit tree? Is that not its purpose? Likewise the kingdom of God is to receive the Son and produce fruit “in keeping with repentance” (as John the Baptist preached). Jerusalem was judged in 70AD. Now, the kingdom has gone to the Gentiles (the eleventh hour worker in the vineyard).
For us there is a lesson too. We were created to bear fruit of the gospel. What will God do with is if we reject Him? What will God do with is if we lose our saltiness?
Lord, would you provide for our family and our church so that we bear the fruit you intended. Protect us from pursuing instead the agendas of our culture.