(Exodus 25, 26, Matthew 21:1-22)

[18] In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. [19] 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)

Jesus expected fruit. There were leaves budding, the sign of being in season, and Jesus expected fruit. This tree was in full bloom hypocrisy, promising one thing, but not yielding anything but leaves. Jesus didn’t pray for the tree to be healed, rather he declared for it to never produce again. And at once the tree withered. What withered? There was no fruit. The leaves withered. The misleading signs of fruitfulness withered.

If we carry the leaves of being in season, the signs of being a believer, Jesus expects fruitfulness from our lives. He comes looking for us to live into what we know.

Jesus was never exasperated with sinners. He wasn’t impatient with those who were barren. No! He suffers long over us. He is patient and gentle. But Jesus was ruthless with those who declared their own light and revelation, and then turned out to be blind guides. He didn’t prophesy fruitfulness to this. He didn’t pray healing over this. No! He declared the outside would match the inside, that the misleading signs would wither, and not mislead anyone who would pass by hungry. May this challenge us! Lord, cause our lives to be fruitful.