On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus taught his closest disciples in words and through objects-including an uncooperative fig tree found in Matthew 21:19-22
“19 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.20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
It was a rainy and cool Holy Tuesday. I got started early, studied a bit, prayed a bit and pondered my productivity that seems challenged in this story. I even had a talk with a man from the “home office” about our attendance and such. He wanted some numerical data to check on how a Conference program had done.
Our numbers are not dramatic but show we care about Christ and his people. We are a faithful family at Cheatham and by any measure fruitful Tithes, attendance, new members are easily counted but faith is more slippery. Does my quiet day reflect spiritual in-productivity? Does living the usual “frog-in-the-blender” life make me more productive?
Jesus did not curse this fig tree out of “hangry”meanness but to create a teachable moment. This was a negative event that sought a positive outcome. Jesus taught the power of faith over mere appearances and warned his closest friends to keep things real and God focused. This wasn’t a threat but a warning to judge carefully how success in the Christ-life is measures.
The tree needed only to be what it was meant to be; which was fruitful-to feed those who were hungry.
So it is with you and me. Success is being willing and able to share your fruit. Hunger is present I all of those around. They might need food, comfort, a listening ear or other physical need. Ultimately we will feed them through our bold faith in Christ using our spiritual gifts and resources.
In Jesus I am enough and have enough. In you too. Fruitfulness is more about willingness than our resources. It does not matter what others see, how many you have in the pews or how much is in the bank, the grace in you and in me is sufficient, And we always grow more as we share what we have.
Pray with me this week. As you walk along take a deep breath and as you exhale say (silently or aloud) ” Jesus in you I am enough.” Faith will come with enough to share. Keep your eyes on Christ
You have everything you need. Blessings to you this Holy Week.