From A Distance

From a Distance

Jesus hungered. He found nothing but leaves (Mark 11:12-13). Coming out from Bethany, with his disciples, Jesus was hungry. On the side of the road, He noticed a fig tree full of leaves; however, when He went over to inspect the tree for figs, He discovered only leaves, no figs. Imagine the disappointment to believe your hunger will be satisfied only to discover there is no food where

it appeared food should be. Jesus said to the fig tree “May you never bear fruit again”. Immediately, the tree withered.

Even though it was not in season for figs, there is a relationship between the presence of leaves and the production of figs. The leaves had given a sign of promise that the beginning stages of fruit would be found within the branches although the actual crop season was not expected until later. Because the tree had not developed its early fruit this was a clear indication the crop would not come in. The tree was barren. From a distance, the fig tree gave an outer appearance of fruitfulness. Being full of leaves, it appeared promising. From a distance, it appeared to be what it was expected to have become. A fruit-bearing tree. Jesus is not concerned with appearances; He’s looking for substance.

God, having invested in His people, expects His children to produce much fruit. John 15 tells us Jesus is the true vine; we are the branches, and His Father is the gardener. When I think of the word branches, I see a branch as an extension of what it comes from. An extension of something bigger. Branches reach outward. That which reaches outward is supposed to give. It is supposed to give what the ingredients on the inside said it is to produce. A fruit tree, with outreached branches that does not bear fruit, is a tree that is occupying space while not doing what it was created to do. John goes on to say every branch that does not bear fruit will be taken away. Without Christ, we are barren. If we abide with Him, He will abide with us and we will produce much fruit. God is glorified by the fruit we bear, fruit which reveals us to be His disciples. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22:23). For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth, proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:9-11). Let us bear much fruit and show ourselves as His disciples.

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