God Expects Us to Bear Fruit — Don’t Be Fruitless! (Mark 11:12-14, 20)
We read in our passage today (Mark 11:12-14, 20) a rather bizarre story but one with a lesson, nonetheless. The lesson is meant to warn us against fruitlessness and challenge us to bear fruit. From the Old Testament laws, the ministry of the prophets, the doctrine of Christ, and the teachings of His Apostles, we can draw one important truth – God does not reward fruitless people; in fact, He curses them in the end. Jesus comes out of Bethany hungry from the long walk. He sees a fig tree green and looking flourishing. He rejoices as He says, “Finally, something to keep this growl in my stomach at bay. I know my disciples must be hungry as well.” He then walks up to the fig tree, probably in the opposite direction to where He initially intended to go. On reaching the fig tree, He discovers that it was a cruel joke, to begin with — this fig tree has beautifully and brightly coloured leaves, but with no fruit hanging from its branches. Annoyed at the deceit plus His wasted time and energy, Jesus curses the fig tree to its root.
I would like to state categorically that Jesus indeed, being God, knew that there was no fruit on that fig tree, even from a distance. In fact, the Bible tells us that “it was not the season for figs [to bear fruit]” (Mark 11:13, NKJV). So why did Jesus get upset and curse the fig tree? I believe that Jesus was only playing out a simulation of how it is going to go down with any Christian to whom much has been given (like the green leaves on the fig tree) but has nothing to show for it in the end when God calls everyone to give an account. Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30? (You can read my post about it here so you can be challenged to bear fruit.)
In conclusion, let’s see what Jesus has to say about the fruit-bearing Christian:
I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.
You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].
Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.
If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.John 15
Do you hear God speaking to you today through this lesson? Please, leave a comment or question; your comment/question might be a blessing to someone. You could also contact us through our contact page.
For the other miracle lessons, please go to the miracle lessons page.
I was around 5 when, I am strongly convinced, I first heard the distinct voice of God. But, not until I was 11 (2002) did I have a personal encounter with Him. I was in my room that night, about to pray before bed, when I saw a revelation of how filthy my heart was. I didn't argue with God that I was too young to have such amount of filth ('cause I believed I was a 'good boy,' by human standards, at least). I simply cried uncontrollably in brokenness of heart - "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God" (Psalm 51:17) - and He didn't.
Still crying uncontrollably, I left my room and went to the living room, where my parents were watching the nightly news on TV. After I managed to tell them about the revelation I saw, my sweet mum took me to her room and led me to Christ. I got saved that night. And 6 years later, I discovered my purpose and assignment on earth, which is raising up men and women to be godly, and teaching them the simplicity of Christianity. More than a decade later, I am still fulfilling that purpose to His glory. Hallelujah!