Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
February 1 Scripture Selection: Matthew 21:1-22
Food for Thought: Mat. 21:21, 22
People think that Jesus was mad at the fig tree for not producing and providing for Him, as if the tree had some choice in the matter. It wasn’t really the season for bearing fruit, though it was possible that it could have had some of the “first fruits,” since fig trees produce a smaller amount first, then another larger crop later. So why did Jesus curse the fig tree? I believe it was so that the evidence of His powerful words spoken would be obvious quickly—and it was! Jesus needed a quick object lesson. His time was running out, and He needed them to learn that their words have power.
According to verses 21and 22, we have the assurance that whatever we ask for in prayer, already believing that it is so, we shall receive. Again, Jesus does not play favorites (Acts 10:34). His first disciples do not have privileges that we latter disciples cannot enjoy. Actually, this power is not just a privilege; rather, it is a necessary weapon in our arsenal here on earth in order to take territory from the kingdom of darkness and occupy it for the kingdom of God.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):
Well, Jeanette’s right, Jesus probably wasn’t angry at the fig tree, but, was simply showing and teaching the disciples. But, we do see what does get Christ angry …
Christ cleansed the temple.
I think this is instructive, or rather should be instructive, to us Christians. While the Bible is clear that we should not be quick to anger, it doesn’t say you should never be angry, or that you shouldn’t act on such righteous indignation. As with everything, there is a time and a place for everything. Including acting upon anger righteously boiled. Again, we should be slow to anger, and very discerning as to when to act upon it. But, many tend to believe acting as a Christian means to always be meek, and mild, and even acquiescing. It is not. Christ wants us to be bold. He wants us to point out sin and act upon it accordingly.
There is something else to note, although we haven’t covered this, yet. Christ marked the beginning of his earthly ministry in the same way …. John 2 chronicles that event…..
What the disciples were referencing was perhaps Psalm 69:9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
As that marked the beginning of his earthly ministry, the studied passage marks the end, in Jerusalem, at the Temple, purging His Father’s house. Recently, there’s been a common expression even emblazoned on T-shirts and bracelets and the like, “What would Jesus do?” What would Jesus do if he were to come down and see some of the stuff which happens in the House of God and the things done in His name? Would he simply say something trite like “violence isn’t the answer”? What would Jesus do? What are we suppose to do?
Very good Sir. I ask,”are we not the Temple of God”?
A favorite saying of mine is, “Be not ashamed of the Lord,
be not a shame to Him”. As in “the insults or those who
insult you fall on Me”
Yes, we are.
Jesus’ judgment against a fruitless fig tree is related to his judgment against a fruitless temple. Earlier in Mt. 7:16-19 Jesus used figs to depict good fruit, but warned that every tree not bearing good fruit would be cut down and thrown into the fire. This metaphor was a warning against false prophets (7:15,22-23). Now again in Mt. 21, Jesus’ words against the fruitless fig tree reflect his words against the temple “robbers” and authorities. Like his actions in the temple, his words against the fig tree are prophetic signs of their coming destruction.
Jesus also uses “this mountain” as a metaphor for Mount Zion, on which they stand. As Jesus dealt with the fig tree, so his disciples could pray that this mountain “be taken up and thrown into the sea.” They can pray this with assurance because Jesus’ judgment against the temple and fig tree include his judgment against Jerusalem (Mt.Zion). In the not distant future this evil city and its fruitless fathers would be “thrown into the sea” as a punishment from God. Disciples who believe this can patiently wait (and pray) for it; praying is a way to remember that God, not they, will do it.
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