18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Fig trees were very popular in Israel. They provided a staple in the Jewish diet, and two crops a year were produced. The interesting thing to me when I studied the fig tree years ago was that the fruit is produced by the tree before the leaves are, so when the leaves are out, you know there are figs there. This was not the case with tree Jesus walked up to. Jesus saw the leaves,, and since He was hungry, He decided to harvest a few figs for Himself. But there were not figs, and Jesus cursed the tree, saying it would never produce figs again. The tree immediately withered away. Jesus cursed the tree because it looked good from a distance, but in reality it was fruitless.
I have been that fig tree in the past. For many years, I presented a picture of the good Christian leader. Leading worship, a deacon on the church, , Sunday School tracher, Youth leader, evanngelist, a leader in business, involved i community events and chambers of commerce, respected by everyone. When people saw me, they thought they were looking at a solid Christian man who had it all together. I walked with confidence, taught with confidence, talked with confidence, sold with confidence and conducted myself as a leader.
I was full of pride – to the max. Mind you, I knew the evils of pride, and I did not think I had any. For everyone looking at me, was a fig tree with beautiful leaves, looking good to the eye. My wife tried to tell me over and over again that I was full of pride, but I told her I was not. I was a very humble person who put others first and cared for others above myself. I was only fooling myself. You can read more about this time of my life in a post I did back in December. – Pride – Part 1.
You see, I was that fig tree. Inside, I was a mess, but outside I looked good. The Pharisees were that fig tree – outside like whited sepulchers, but inside full of dead men’s bones (we will talk more about this later). We looked good, but we were not what we appeared. I had serious sin gong on in my life, and no one knew about it except me and God. And one day, he revealed it to my family, then I cleaned up for a while and fell back into it. The second time it was revealed, I nearly lost everything important to me. But God is merciful. I brought me out and got me going right again, and I have not fallen back.
Are you that fig tree? Do you appear to everything together too everyone else, but inside you know there s blaring sin in your life that you just don’t want to give up, or feel you cant give up? I can tell you with certainty that God will reveal it at some point, and it could break you – you could lose everything. Is it worth that? Jesus wants us to be His representatives from the inside out, not just on the outside. He has a plan for each one of us, and the more He expects of you the harder He will come down on you. Are you ready for that?
I urge you today to examine your life. Pride hides itself from us. Ask God to reveal any pride you might have and bring it to the forefront so you can deal with it. If you missed the 5 part series on pride that I wrote back in December, you might want to go back and read through it. I will include the links at the end of this post. It will help you identify any pride in your life. Don’t be like that fig tree. Make sure your fruit is ready in due season.