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Lesson # Matt. 21:18-19
Study Material - Matt. 21:18-19
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
18 Now [de] in the morning [proia] as he returned [epanago] into [eis] the city [polis] , he hungered [peinao] .
19 And [kai] when he saw [eido] a [mia] fig tree [suke] in [epi] the way [hodos] , he came [erchomai] to [epi] it [autos] , and [kai] found [heurisko] nothing [oudeis] thereon [en] [autos] , but [ei me] leaves [phullon] only [monon] , and [kai] said [lego] unto it [autos] , Let no [ginomai] fruit [karpos] grow [ginomai] on [ek] thee [sou] henceforward [meketi] for [eis] ever [aion] . And [kai] presently [parachrema] the fig tree [suke] withered away [xeraino] . KJV-Interlinear
18 Now in the morning, when He returned to the city, He became hungry. 19 And seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it, and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, 'No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.' And at once the fig tree withered. NAS
We return to our study in Matthew from Psalm 24. Here we find the fig tree that does not produce. This tree had leaves, but the nature of fig tree, is that they produce fruit before they produce leaves. It is not the season for fig trees according to Mk. 11:13, it is early spring, Passover, but this tree has produced leaves already. It should have produced some fruit first.
If we borrow a little more from Mark 11 then we learn that Jesus cursed the tree on the previous day, Monday, the day He went into the Temple and drove out the merchants. The chronology is this. Sunday was the grand entrance. Jesus received many accolades and praise from those who were just high on emotion and from those who had no clue as to what was going on.
Monday, He again went into the city from Bethany (recall that He was staying in Bethany with friends and going to and from Jerusalem each day). Where were His followers? Good question. There were so many on the previous day. The tree was cursed because it had no fruit. Actually it produced its leaves without producing its fruit. That was what was cursed. One form of production but without the primary production. The tree's function was distorted and out of sync with its intended purpose. This is an important principle.
Then Jesus went into the Temple and proceeded to drive out the merchants. The first curse was a slam against the nation of Israel (the fig tree). Now a nation is nothing more than a collection of individual people. Therefore the people (the greater majority) were cursed by illustration with the curse of the fig tree. No production.
Next the Temple was cursed, 'den of thieves.' This is a slam against the false worship or rather that lack of worship which was being observed. The true purpose of Gods Word was to be taught, learned, understood, and applied to ones daily life. This application of Bible doctrine to ones daily life is the production of 'fruit' in ones life. As with the tree there was life, but no fruit, only leaves (human effort). Human effort is nothing more than, 'look at my leaves,' which merely sustains its self with nothing derived for others. No prosperity. No blessing. Only the selfishness of self existence.
The fig tree was long sense looked at as a symbol of prosperity and blessing. At the second advent, Christ will rid the earth of all evil, in a single day (actually in a single moment), and everyone will have their own fig tree. This is a very large tree bearing much fruit, Zech. 3:9-10. The Millennium will be an extremely prosperous period of time.
Not everyone will be equally productive in their spiritual life. Remember the parable of the soils and crops in Matt 7? Some will produce a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty, and of course there are those who will produce everything in between and even zero in their spiritual life. Some folks have a deep and genuine desire and drive to learn Bible doctrine, and have a fruitfully spiritual life. And then there are those who are indifferent and who produce less than what they could produce in life or nothing at all.
Where does this fruit production come from? Bible doctrine in the soul of course, and the application of same to ones daily life. 'I am the vine, you are the branches; he (Christian believer) who abides in Me (Jesus Christ), and I (written word) in him (doctrine in the soul), he bears much fruit,' Jn. 15:5.
Who can produce fruit? The believer in fellowship, positive toward God and advancing toward spiritual maturity. 'A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit,' Matt. 7:18. A person out of fellowship cannot advance in their spiritual life, thus their production is zero. A person who does not apply Gods principles to their life cannot produce good fruit. Any compromise to the spiritual life, undermines the spiritual life.
God is gracious and gives us varying lengths of time to prove our spiritual desires and worth. Those who are non-productive sooner of later will receive this curse in their life - the death or life's termination order. You will have had your chance and God will take you home without your production (which did not exist anyway, or was very little).
Jesus cursed the tree and at once its doom was sealed and its death cycle began. The following day it was dead. Once a death cycle begins, it won't be long before the end comes. For some it might be quick. For some it might be a long drawn out affair - very miserable. The end result is the same regardless of the length of time it takes.
Why is this important?
God did not place us here on earth to simply occupy space. He did not place us here to come up with our own standards for life. He placed us here to be productive in our life (spiritually productive). The only true production is that which originates from the source of Bible doctrine in the soul. And that source only gets into your soul by means of the learning process which we have studied many times. You might want to review the seven spirits chart on the Index page, and its explanation in Rev. 1. This is the learning process and the growing up process of the spiritual life.
Again, why is this important?
Because your spiritual production is the only production (gold, silver, and precious stones) which carries any value into heaven. It carries intrinsic value forever. All other production (wood, hay, and stubble), that which is not from the source of Bible doctrine, is burned away.
Again, why is this important?
Because your spiritual production will be the basis for your eternal 'additional' rewards in heaven (those beyond imagination). No production, no additional rewards, awards, privileges and so forth (Rev. 1-3).
In this life we did not have any say as to the circumstances of our birth, and consequently our life. Even throughout our life we do not have the complete control over our circumstances that we might prefer. But in heaven, we have from this life, an opportunity to define our eternal circumstances by merely studying Gods word and growing up and applying His terms to our life. God is not unreasonable and does not demand much of anything of us. Merely to listen and learn cannot be a hardship on anyone.
The application of doctrine to our life becomes difficult only when we allow other desires, greediness, insecurities, our self defined standards, and so forth, to weave into our life. Then we face the tug and pull between our sin nature (which drives those views) and our spiritual nature. Which one will win out? Well, in which one does your resolve in life reside?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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