Monday, April 10, 2017

The Power

UV 2250/10000 The Power
And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away
Matthew 21 v 19

Jesus was hungry before He saw the fig tree from a distance and thought that it should bear enough fruit to satisfy His hunger. From a distance, the thick foliage of the fig tree made it appear as if it was loaded with fruit. On coming near, He discovered that it had no fruit fit for Him to eat. He pronounced a mild admonition that led to the tree withering away to its very roots. This puzzling incident is a metaphor for the hunger the Lord has to see useful fruit in our daily lives. There is no season for bearing spiritual fruit, no gestation period, no summer heat required to ripen it. We are to bear fruit daily in our lives to satisfy the hunger of the Lord. The fruit may be in terms of internal fruit- atttitudes and qualities or external fruit in terms of actions to bless others, good deeds and communicating in various ways both verbal and non verbally to share the love of God with people.

We cannot all our lives just be full of good intentions or words like the fig tree was full of leaves. God expects results or fruit in our lives and He cannot be disappointed. Even a mild admonition on His part can wither our whole being to our very roots. We cannot take His mercy and grace for granted. The withering of the fig tree is a warning to all mankind that we live for the pleasure of the Lord and not vice versa, that the Lord’s displeasure can have deadly consequences and we should do nothing to provoke it. Jesus warned people against being like white washed sepulchres or decorated graves with only the outer signs but denying the inner power and authority. We cannot appear to be grafted to Him without allowing the sap of His power to flow through us. We need to abide in Him or stay continually in fellowship with Him, learning from Him, trusting Him, obeying Him, following His example. Any branch that does not remain in Him is to be removed like the fig tree. Any branch that is not bearing enough and good fruit is to be cleansed or pruned so that it bears more and better fruit.

The withering fig tree is also a depiction of the devastating power of the prayer, thoughts and words of a righteous person. Just as the veil in the Temple was torn from top to bottom as Jesus died on the cross, our prayers and words can tear down evil strongholds down to its foundations or roots. It was a demonstration by Jesus to His disciples of the power and authority they wield over nature and to command any spiritual obstacle in their path to be removed.

Prateep V Philip

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