Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. – Matt. 21:19 NIV
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Jesus Christ had just done what he had to do, which was to let all the people in the temple know that indeed, different activities may actually occur in and around the temple area but the identity of that location as a House of prayer should never be lost – Matt. 21:12-17. Although his action did not go down well with the leadership of the temple, they could do nothing about it as they knew he was doing the right thing, more so, his cleansing of the temple provided a good foundation for the people to receive their miracles and that earned him their support.
He had left the city that day and arrived at Bethany, most likely after several days of travel as geographers inform that the straight distance between Jerusalem and Bethany is in excess of 10,000km, and there he spent the night.
It was early in the morning after his return to the city and being hungry, he sighted a fig tree with leaves on it. He approached it with the hope of finding fruits on it to help relieve his hunger pangs but there was none – Matt. 21:18-19. The scripture for today’s Devotional is the record of that event and his reaction to the disappointment of the tree not having fruits despite leaves being on it. He immediately pronounced a curse on the tree and the effectiveness of that pronouncement was proven when the leaves on the tree withered immediately. All he had said was that the tree will never bear fruit again and this manifested in the leaves withering. This misfortune came on the tree because it did not deliver its fruit when it was required despite the obvious evidence that it had sufficient nourishment from the soil.
Although the disciples of Jesus Christ were more interested in the effectiveness of his pronouncement demonstrated by the immediate withering of all the leaves on the tree, desiring to possess such ability, one would have expected that the reason for the tree experiencing such a fate would have been of greater interest to them just as it should definitely be the point of interest for the Christian today.
Jesus Christ, in response to their amazement at the withering of the leaves informed them that the effectiveness of his pronouncement was not anything special as anyone who prays to the Almighty God having faith and without expressing doubt will be able to replicate similar miraculous fete if not greater than what they had just witnessed. He, in the process emphasised the significance of believing as a major requirement for receiving positive response to all prayer requests – Matt. 21:21-22.
However, as earlier highlighted, the Christian today should be more concerned with the instant death that befell the fig tree for reasons of not having any fruit on it when Christ visited. This is the result of the anger that such failure triggered in Jesus Christ as there was the obvious evidence that it had good nourishment else it would not have had that much leaves on it.
Many Christians today are more interested in possessing the enabling ability to demonstrate power by performing miracles or being recipients of divine miracles, without the consciousness that they will need to justify these divine grace by producing the fruits appropriate fruits. Every act of the Almighty God in the life of the believer is a divine investment and He will definitely return to assess how much profit was made with such investment by the recipient. Lack of a commensurate profit which can also be regarded as fruit of the investment will only attract His anger – Matt. 25:14-30.
It will always remain a positive act for anyone to seek this Grace from the Lord but it would have been received in vain if there is no fruit to justify its possession – 1Cor. 6:1. Christians when successful in their request for spiritual intervention or are able to demonstrate such miraculous interventions in the life of several people must understand that they need to bear fruit that will justify their acquisitions of such gifts which is basically to win more souls into the kingdom of God. A gift that does not ultimately win more souls into the kingdom of God is a wasted gift and such an individual will definitely incur the wrath of God. The disciples with the receiving of the Holy Spirit continued to increase the numerical strength of the brethren on a daily basis – Acts 2:1-47.
That one is a beneficiary of the miraculous interventions of God or is in a position to demonstrate such powers will become meaningless if such, in enjoying such Grace does not also have any fruits to show, either in their personal lives or any evidence of souls won into the kingdom of God through such Grace. Anyone can demonstrate or be a recipient of the miracle of God but the personal life of everyone that intends to justify the status of a child of God must manifest good fruits else just like Jesus Christ said, such people can be rejected on the last day despite all those claims as they will be described as people who are evil workers – Matt. 7:15-23, Jn. 5:2-14.
Every miracle received or every ability to demonstrate the miraculous power of the Almighty God must be considered as His investment in such an individual with expectation that such will go ahead to bear fruits commensurate to the bestowed Grace. The Almighty God is not a wasteful investor and He will definitely return on an unscheduled date in expectation of harvesting the fruit that His investment has yielded. The absence of fruits on such occasions will be very dangerous for such a person as his expectation is always commensurate to the level of His investment.
Therefore, the Christian who is enjoying one form of advantage or the other should know that there will be the need to give account at some point. He is not giving it because He wants such individuals to use such gifts for show off. It has to produce fruits else such an individual will be considered a wicked servant and will be cast into darkness – Matt. 25:26-46. Do not receive the Grace of God in vain as it is His investment in you. Do all you can to bear fruit and you can then be sure that he will be happy with you and will recompense you when he returns – Matt. 3:8-10.
May God grant us the Grace to have fruits on the day of his visitation in Jesus name. Amen.