Nothing but Leaves
Intro: Sometimes the Lord does some things so apparently unreasonably severe, people "have cause" to doubt its truth or righteousness...
What we can't satisfactorily explain ,we explain away. "Is this the carpenter's son?"
Our text has thing effect. One commentator said, "THIS STORY DOESN'T RING TRUE." It seems so severe, we have a narrow conception of Jesus ... we think we have Him all figured out, and when He acts contrary to our standards, we say it mustn't be true.
BUT JESUS HAS A REASON.. .The context shows this was an object lesson. The FIG TREE represents Israel. The LEAVES represent the externals of religion--that which shows, the visible. The FRUIT represents the internal, the real...All show but no stuff. No personal righteousness.
ILLUSTRATION: The temple wasn't really a place of meeting God, worship, prayer...
Jesus is condemning a "Nothing but Leaves" religion that is very common today. He curses it. Why?
I. A NOTHING BUT LEAVES RELIGION IS A HYPOCRITICAL RELIGION.
1 . The tree professed fruit. It was a hypocrite.
The fig tree bore two crops of fruit... One before leaves, one with leaves. It was sporting leaves, so Jesus had every right to expect fruit. By its external signs it claimed to be fulfilling its God-appointed function.
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