12 The next day as Jesus and his disciples were leaving Bethany, they were hungry. 13 Not too far away, he saw a fig tree. It was covered with leaves. He went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves. It was not the season for figs. 14 Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his disciples heard him say it. 15 When Jesus reached Jerusalem, he entered the temple courtyard. He began to drive out those who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of the people who were exchanging money. He also turned over the benches of those who were selling doves. 16 He would not allow anyone to carry items for sale through the temple courtyard. 17 Then he taught them. He told them, “It is written that the Lord said, ‘My house will be called a house where people from all nations can pray.’ (Isaiah 56:7) But you have made it a ‘den for robbers.’ ” (Jeremiah 7:11) 18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard about this. They began looking for a way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples left the city. 20 In the morning as Jesus and his disciples walked along, they saw the fig tree. It was dried up all the way down to the roots. 21 Peter remembered. He said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you put a curse on has dried up!” 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus said. 23 “What I’m about to tell you is true. Suppose someone says to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea.’ They must not doubt in their heart. They must believe that what they say will happen. Then it will be done for them. 24 So I tell you, when you pray for something, believe that you have already received it. Then it will be yours. 25-26 And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.”
This passage of scripture gives us two different locations and responses of Jesus as he journeys with His disciples:
The Fig Tree – green but not bearing fruit: Jesus curses a fig tree even though it was not a season of bearing fruit. It becomes withered and dead – v 20.
I have questions of God when I consider this scripture yet I sense that the expectation of Christ is that we would be fruitful despite the seasons that come in our lives. Even in our wilderness seasons, our ‘boring’ seasons, we should be actively looking to bear fruit in our lives and in the lives of others.
Business in the Temple: Jesus continues onto the temple where he finds people doing business in the temple. He finds that it has become more about their business of selling ‘sacrifice’ items and money changing than worshipping God. He overturns tables and publically shows his displeasure and determination to make a point of how ‘religion’ has overtaken worship. He is unafraid of what they can do to Him.
Lord Jesus help us to always be fruitful in our lives no matter the season we are in. Help us to be strong to stand for what pleases you rather than what the world would want. Help us to put you first in all that we do.
Written by Ps. Sue Botta