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A Fig Tree By the Road

Image of a bible with the words "make a faith journal using the bless method, a fig tree by the road, May 25, 2023 Matthew 21:19"

Date: May 25, 2023

I use the BLESS method every morning for my devotional. 

B - Bible Verse
L - Listen for God's Word and pray
E - Explore the History and meaning
S - Study the Key Words or Phrases
S - Summarize and Share

You can read more about it by going to: What is a Faith Journal?

B - Bible Verse: Matthew 21:19 (NIV): "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."

L - Listen for God's Word and Pray: Dear God, as I come before Your Word, open my ears to listen and my heart to receive Your message. Speak to me through Matthew 21:19 and reveal the lessons You want me to grasp. Guide me in understanding the significance of this event and how it applies to my life. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

E - Explore the History and Meaning:  Matthew, one of Jesus' disciples, recorded this incident during Jesus' ministry on earth. The event takes place during the final week before Jesus' crucifixion, as He approaches Jerusalem. Jesus uses the fig tree as a teaching moment to convey a powerful message.  The fig tree symbolizes spiritual fruitfulness or productivity. Jesus expects to find fruit on the tree, but it disappoints Him by having only leaves, representing a false appearance of fruitfulness. Jesus then uses this encounter to teach His disciples about genuine faith and the importance of bearing spiritual fruit in their lives.

S - Study the Key Words or Phrases

"Fig tree" represents the people of God or individuals who profess faith.

"Leaves" symbolize a show of outward religiosity or appearance of faith without genuine fruitfulness.

"Never bear fruit again" emphasizes the consequences of fruitlessness and lack of genuine faith.

"Withered" signifies the immediate and visible result of Jesus' words, highlighting the seriousness of the lesson.

S - Summarize and Share: 

So Jesus is walking along the road when He spots a fig tree. He goes up to it, expecting to find some juicy figs to munch on, but guess what? The tree is all leaves and no fruit! Jesus isn’t impressed, and He says, "May you never bear fruit again!" And bam! The tree withers up right there!

Now, this little encounter is more than just a fig tree drama. It's actually a lesson about faith and bearing fruit in our lives. See, the fig tree represents us, the people of God, who claim to have faith. But Jesus is looking for more than just talk and empty leaves. He wants us to have genuine faith that produces real fruit.

Having leaves without fruit is like pretending to be all spiritual and religious but not really living it out. Jesus wants us to go beyond appearances and actually live out our faith in meaningful ways. He wants our lives to be fruitful, making a positive difference in the world around us.

The consequences of fruitlessness are serious, just like the withered tree shows. Jesus wants us to take our faith seriously and show it through our actions, attitudes, and character. It's not about just going through the motions; it's about a genuine, life-transforming faith.

So let's take a moment to think about this passage. Are we bearing fruit in our lives? Are we living out our faith in practical ways? Do not settle for a superficial faith that's all show and no substance. Instead, let's allow our faith to impact our lives and the lives of others.

Remember, Jesus wants us to be fruitful! Let's strive to be more than just leaves. Let's produce the kind of fruit that brings joy, love, kindness, and goodness into the world. As we do, we honor God and fulfill His purpose for our lives.

Bible Cross References:

John 15:1-8

Galatians 5:22-23

James 2:14-26

Luke 6:43-45

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