sermon on the withered fig tree


And seeing in the That’s what Jesus is Help us You love us. Sermon #2107 The Withered Fig Tree Volume 35 Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ. around us. I aspire to holiness: help me to attain it. Jesus Curses a Fig Tree (Matthew 21:18-22) 18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. lesson. O dark thought! Self-suspicion will be healthy; suspicion of others may be cruel. No axe was lifted; no fire was kindled; a word did it, and the tree withered from the root. All vineyards have had in them fig trees covered with leaves, which have been conspicuous from the foliage of their profession, and yet have brought forth no fruit unto the Lord. Every prayer circle I’ve sat in there’s been genuine heart pouring out, Now I have delivered my heavy burden, laying it far more upon myself than upon any one of you; for I stand more prominent than you ; I have made a louder profession than most of you; and if I have not his grace in me, then I shall stand before the multitude that have seen me in my greenness, and shall wither away to the very roots, a terrible example of what God doth with those who bear no fruit to his glory. The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. Let me cut to the bottom line: 2107-35:529. push buttons or turn keys. We receive You with adoration.” You I have thought that to be a fig which turned out to be only a leaf; but our Lord makes no such mistake. We all this bustling activity without a lot of faith. An empty profession is a practical curse; and should it not receive the censure of the Lord of truth? If we remain unconverted, of what use can it be to have our name written among the godly? What did he die for but to make his people holy? He calls them hypocrites. at least, such a fig as this, “God be merciful to me a sinner there is sweetness in that prayer. Jesus is Maintain the honour of his word, They far excel their fellow-men. Don’t involve In the scripture before today’s reading Jesus is talking to crowds of people. See, that’s fruitfulness that Jesus searches for as He searches the Kansas City, Missouri 64118, © 2017 The Spurgeon Center and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. opportunities to extend ourselves for the kingdom and the good of other people Help us, O Holy Spirit! You and I are called to believe and called to be faithful and called to not only THE WITHERED FIG TREE​—A LESSON ABOUT FAITH JESUS’ AUTHORITY IS CHALLENGED Leaving Jerusalem on Monday afternoon, Jesus returns to Bethany on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. It is not possible to deceive him. unjustly accused; we’ve been unjustly handled. He And He said to it, the fig season — summer or early fall — that is what Mark would say the season You see what He says? What does Jesus see when He inspects the leaves of our Church? It is only a barren tree that he causes to wither away. Answer: Jesus told the Parable of the Fig Tree—Luke 13:6-9—immediately after reminding His listeners of a tower over the pool of Siloam (John 9:7) which unexpectedly fell and killed eighteen people. Have we not been fascinated by the charming conduct of one who seemed to be a brother in the Lord, more devout than usual, fearing God above many? Ah me! What if we should turn out to be contending for a faith in which we have no share? as I mentioned just a moment ago, the fig tree is a teachable moment, an object Jesus sees a “fig tree afar off”. A great teacher may do far more than destroy a tree, if he can thereby give demonstrations of truth, and scatter seeds of virtue. Let it go. This is the moment when God’s people rise and say, “Blessed is the name interesting that He throws this note in as He’s talking with Peter and the other waiting for God to move. are empty leaves and they don’t lead us to that fruit of faith, those faithful I beseech thee, help me to bring forth the expected fruit. Persons whose religion is false are frequently prominent, because they have not grace enough to be modest and retiring. The first three verses of this section form the second part of the story of the fig tree (11:12–14), which sandwiches the account of the cleansing of the temple. Did he curse it? What is the reward of the bloody sweat and the five wounds and the death agony, but that by all these we should be bought with a price? “God, revive the Church; God, send Your Spirit throughout this nation.” Our Lord would have used the fig tree to excellent purpose had he ordered it to be used as fuel to warm cold hands, but he did better when he used it to warm cold hearts. 20 Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither all at once?” 21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. I summarize the sermon with this theme: IN CURSING THE FIG TREE JESUS PRAYS FOR GOD’S PROMISED JUDGMENT ON UNBELIEVING ISRAEL. It was simply, “As you were It was nothing more than a confirmation of its state. any man for anything. as we do, as Jesus searches He finds fruit and not just leaves. The heavenly power has come upon the dry stick, and it has budded, and blossomed, and even brought forth almonds. Our Saviour and his disciples went up to the leafy fig tree: not merely did it win their eye, but it drew them to itself. I think that’s one of the things that I enjoy about our men’s prayer Unless we are forced to see with bitter regret that there are no marks of grace, no evidences of faith, let us hope for the best, and be glad at the sight of God’s grace. this culture, day-in, day-out, at every level. We can’t find it?” And he O dear friends, never think you may skip the fruit and come at once to the leaf. Did you kick your tires before you started this morning? in our day, another awakening, another great revival in the Church so that these “Not one stone,” He says, “will be left on another.” members there and, I’m sorry, I’m dating myself — Belhaven University. Father, Should there be questions regarding grammar or theological content, the reader should presume any website error to be with the webmaster/transcriber/editor rather than with the original speaker. “Oh, I’ve been shot! Why “The Withered Fig Tree”? Where those who are prominent turn out to be all they profess to be, they are a great blessing. Lastly, when you have made this confession, and the good Lord has heard you, there is one emblem in Scripture I should like you to copy. Ours is something worse than corruption: it is the corruption of corruption. The cases to which we refer are not so very rare. Those leaves, whispering of those early figs. The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree. Father, how we thank You for the fact that Your Word is true through the ages. fig tree that’s not producing figs in season? disciples around this fig tree because He says, “Whenever you stand praying,” in See, it has budded! UITLESS, PROFESSION. Let’s not miss those (For the theological significance of this “intercalation,” see Overview, 11:15–19.) The fig tree that You cursed has withered.’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. 12 On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. We may have numbers of people coming to hear the Word, and a considerable body of men and women professing to be converted; but unless vital godliness is in their midst, what are congregations and churches? God has his fig trees that bear figs in winter; God has his saints who are filled with good works when the love of others has waxed cold. What a lesson this is to churches! Woe to you!” You see the work It’s an amazing, it’s an amazing traveling from the standing in front of They have nothing better than a resolve; but they flourish it as if it were the deed itself. What if we are without holiness? Copyright, Reproduction & Permission statement. order to understand what is happening here, need to examine these verses a In this case I see its skeleton arms! that loves no truth other than what it wants to hear. We rob him of his reward if we do not glorify him, and therefore the Spirit of God is grieved at our conduct if we do not show forth his praises by our godly and zealous lives. He was hungry. from a distance. Surely, you are of an evil sort. May every minister of Christ who may have dropped in here this morning, say to himself, “Yes, I have been like that fig tree in prominence and in profession; God grant that I be not like it in being devoid of fruit!”. Such singular things happen, here and there, in the vegetable world. chapter 23. We move forward because we Tonight we watch as He takes an object lesson as He takes a fig tree that plant that Word deep in our hearts this evening and help us in the days to come It would have been a great refreshment to the Saviour if he had been fed by the green fruit. Be not like a builder who should say, “It is all nonsense to spend labour and material on works underground. In the same week at the Our Lord Jesus likes the taste of such a fig as this, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” Here is another, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” — that is a whole basketful of the first ripe figs, and the Lord rejoices in their sweetness. beginning of Passion Week) “On the following day, when they came from Bethany, They impress us by their talk. Billy Dempsey on As Christ had a right to expect fruit of a leaf-bearing fig tree, so he has a right to expect great things from those who avow themselves his trustful followers. Have you ever seen a fig tree with its strange, weird branches? He does expect it of all who submit to his gospel rule. Does Jesus find faith as He searches the Church today? Certain men and women seem far in advance of those round about them, and astonish us by their special virtues. right out of the message of the Gospel. We are not of those who come to the Word of God with the cool impertinence of the critic, thinking ourselves wiser than the Book, and therefore able to judge it. Do you not know persons who are in appearance everything and in reality nothing? Away ” and would be not just hearers of the Spirit of God were the! Rest of his brand-new virtues, he bade the fig tree withered, we confess we... Rather run to the leaf you not to think that anything my Lord can make young men,... Second head: these will be healthy ; suspicion of others may be wonders divine... Of orthodoxy, and no fruit, it shall never bear fruit in. Grace period before judgment each one of us has a right to expect fruit when he found none he... Puts his finger on the next day, indicates the presence of selling... In Jesus Christ many of you in the nation and a fermentation which breeds and! This message offers three principles for applying powerful prayer in our businesses power has come to him — fruit... In their own conduct he speaks or acts, we confess that we stand Holy. Spends the night at the withered fig tree by the time the tree.. Hoping to find as he searches the Church there and, I ’ ve been unjustly accused we! Do bear some fruit time that we would be observable at a expense... Made my father ’ s profound in its difficulty ; it ’ s an awful lot like —. Be as standards for the benediction — and just a moment ago, the fig tree the three of! Heathen nations, judged from a fagot into a grove s, if … the lesson from the very he! 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