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126. The Lesson from the Fig Tree – Mark 13:28-29

Do you remember that fig tree that Jesus cursed: the one that withered and died? It wasn’t just something pointless that he did out of annoyance. Not at all. He had in mind to use it for an important lesson, in fact, for all time. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.” – Mark 13:28-29 The lesson here is not merely that when you see the signs that Jesus has mentioned, you will know that the end is near. It’s not just that. You must remember what happened to the fig tree, because that’s what Jesus wants to bring to mind. The fig tree had put out leaves, indicating that summer was near. And so Jesus came looking for fruit, but it had none. It was all “show” but no fruit. This is a warning for his followers everywhere, especially at the end of the world. Jesus will come, and he will come looking for fruit. The Jewish nation at that time did not bear the fruit that Jesus sought. And the fig tree that Jesus cursed became a symbol for all the trees around Jerusalem, because when the Romans besieged the city, the first thing they did was cut down every single tree to build their siege works. What is the fruit that Jesus will come looking for? Some people think it’s the fruit of your sharing of the Gospel. That’s good, but that’s not what Jesus is talking about. Jesus is talking about what Paul later calls “the fruit of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and so on. Is it the goal of your life to produce these kinds of fruit, or do you have a different goal?

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