Back in October we experienced Hurricane Matthew here in South Carolina. We got hit pretty hard here in the state but fortunately here in my home we made it through fairly well. However, there is a big oak tree in front of my house whose roots travel across my driveway and into my neighbor’s yard. We looked at the driveway the day after and noticed that the roots had pushed the cement up causing it to buckle up in the top part of the driveway next to the tree. Yet, the roots don’t show. The roots are so deep down that they were able to cause cement to buckle and break and yet they didn’t even come through.
It made me think about our faith. You see, many times we as Christians talk about fruit. We talk about bearing fruit, we talk about the fruits of the Spirit. We want to bear good fruit and not be like that famous fig tree.
“And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.” Mark 11:13-14 (NKJV)“Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.” Click To Tweet
Why did Jesus curse this poor tree for not bearing fruit during a time when it was not in season? Well, it tells us that He saw it had leaves on it which is what made Him go to it. The fig tree normally produces leaves after the fruit appears. So when Jesus saw the leaves He believed the tree would have fruit as well. The fig tree normally produces fruit late in spring based on the prior season’s growth so depending on when the Passover season was that year and the climate that season it is possible that some trees were beginning to produce fruit. But that was not the case with this tree. Now, many people believe He cursed the tree because He knew it would never produce fruit again but again…not the case. Because in verse 14 he curses it by saying
“Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
That would seem to indicate that it had the capacity to produce. The reason Jesus cursed this tree was because it was misleading. It had leaves, giving the impression it had fruit but did not. And given that this took place around the time of the cleansing of the temple He likely was making a comparison between this tree which, to the eye, looked as though it had fruit but did not, to the Pharisees of His day who appeared to many to be holy and righteous but inside were “whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones” (Matthew 23:27)
The reason Jesus cursed this tree was because it was misleading. It had leaves, giving the… Click To Tweet
The other point to note here is that in Mark it says after He cursed the tree the “disciples heard it.” In other words, they got the message. They understood what He was implying.
What is necessary for a tree to produce good fruit? Roots firmly planted in good soil. You see, what kept that big old oak tree from falling on my house were its deep roots. And that oak tree, given the evidence all over my yard and my driveway, is still producing PLENTY of fruit…acorns…despite the fact that it was pulled up some by the storm!!
Many times we as Christian focus on fruit. But what happens to us if we focus on just the fruit without ensuring our roots are firmly planted in the Word is, like the fig tree, we eventually stop producing. We become like the seed that falls on the wayside and is eaten by birds. Or we become like the seed that falls on stony ground and springs up immediately but then withers away in the heat. Or we become like the seed that falls among thorns that gets choked off by the thorns and yields no crop. (Mark 4:4-7)
You see these all had one thing in common. They had the inability to grow deep roots. We may spring up and look like we are growing and producing fruit but we quickly wither. Or we cannot withstand the heat the enemy puts on us.
If your roots are not firmly planted in good soil, the Word, then your fruits will not last. We cannot become focused on producing. We need to focus on the Word and allow it to take root in us CAUSING us to produce fruit. Only then can we withstand what the enemy throws our way and not wither.If your roots are not firmly planted in good soil, the Word, then your fruits will not last. Click To Tweet
That oak tree is a reminder to me daily to focus on roots before fruits!!
Diane Ferreira, owner of Worth Beyond Rubies and Live 31, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com. We are not compensated in any way for reviews of any products on the site