I’m not sure it was the kind of thing our Lord’s disciples came to expect from Jesus. For the same reason, I find myself both surprised and maybe a little disturbed at His actions, too. After all, Jesus is kind, merciful, and tender-hearted. Why would he pass by a fig tree and through uttering a few words, Kill it?
No doubt, when one compares His action in Matt 21:18-22 to other similar events in the gospels it seems that the point of His lesson had something to do with the importance of productivity and our responsibility as Christians to bear fruit. But, our text reveals just how focused His disciples were on His ability to destroy a tree with a few spoken words rather than any lesson He might be teaching on fruit-bearing. In keeping with the Master teacher that He was, He used this occasion to teach yet another important lesson.
The death of this fig tree offers several lessons for us: 1) We MUST be productive to please God; 2) God will not always be tolerant with our indifference and unproductiveness; 3) The apostles, empowered by the Holy Spirit in the 1st century, would also be able to accomplish similar, miraculous things so that the gospel might be furthered.
We invite you to worship with us Sunday morning as we study together the first two of these three lessons. Our Bible study begins at 10 AM Eastern time when we will be concluding the book of Zechariah. Our worship begins at 11 AM, with the lesson entitled, “Death of a Fig Tree.” We hope you will be our guest.