I love Easter season. I love to re-read and re-imagine what Jesus did and experienced the last week of His death and resurrection. What was He thinking, feeling, seeing... What will He miss most in being fully human... What can't He wait for when He ascends... When did the overwhelming fear and anguish begin... When did the "joy set before Him" re-focus Him... And then what is up with the fig tree being cursed...
Matthew wrote, "Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 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.
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, 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. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matt 21:18-22)
Was Jesus just angry because there was no fig fruit to satisfy His hunger? Are we just seeing His human side sneak out? Or was Jesus communicating something extremely important and powerful? Since Jesus never missed the mark, there must be a clear message being given.
In Hebrew culture, Fig Trees where part of the blessings in the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey... and fig trees. (Deut 8:8) Can you picture sitting under a 20 foot high and 20 foot wide tree enjoying the fresh fig fruit in the shade... a wonderful blessing. The lack of fig trees also revealed judgment on the land.
Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Future Coming Conquering King, reveals His Kingly and Judging-ly authority by seeing and cursing a fruitless fig tree.
The fig tree is a metaphor for the Nation of Israel, for Judaism. The leaves show much religious, human activities. The fruitlessness shows no power, no presence of God.
Jesus' entire ministry is helping people get to know the One true God, Jesus' teachings, and Jesus' way on how to get right with God. He was doing it again here. Just like He did when He cleansed the temple. Confronting Judaism and doing away with the old animal sacrificial system.
Jesus is confronting the religious view that if I just do enough good deeds I will get into Heaven. If I just know all the religious truths and do those religious truths surely God will love me and accept me into Heaven.
The Hebrews had this vision of the Messiah being this mighty military warrior. Jesus is the Mighty Warrior conquering sin, evil and death. He is the Mighty Warrior exposing the empty religious views that are teaching wrong ways on how to get right with God. Jesus is also King of Kings. He is also the Judge. We see Him sending a message... Do not put your faith in the wrong ways on how to get right with God. But, put your faith in Me.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, 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. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Jesus wants us to put our faith in Jesus.
Trusting the person of Jesus, the work of Jesus, the teaching of Jesus, the purpose of Jesus, the mission of Jesus. If we do, whatever we ask for He will answer.
How do we express our faith in Jesus?
Why did we spend three months kicking off 2019?
Our prayer life reveals our faith.
Am I praying and talking with Jesus about the things He wants to do in my life, in my family, in my church, in my sphere of influence? Am I hearing Jesus ask me to confess... to let Him transform... to go on His daily mission...
Or is my prayer life pretty dormant? Or self focused? Or...
Our faith grows as our prayer life grows.
Our faith grows as we pray Jesus risky prayers.
We have been challenged to pray three daily prayers as we walk up the Buck Hill Financial Challenge together.
-Pray for every member and regular attender to have a fresh love and passion for Jesus.
-Pray for every member and regular attender to have a fresh love and passion for each other as the unique church He is creating.
-Pray for every member and regular attender to give our tithes and offerings to God through Southtown.
How has God answered our daily prayers?
Check out the financial info. Jesus blew our minds... Over $68,000 in the month of March. Causing us to go from $20,000 in the red to $10,000 in the black. We need to praise God together...
What are you praying for now?
Whom does Jesus want you to start spiritual conversation about Jesus with?
Remember Jesus style... 2 fold question... Who do others say I am? Who do you say I am?
Praying for many family members, friends and neighbors to be introduced to Jesus this Easter season,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.