Mark chapter 11 contains a fascinating event recorded for us. Near the end of Jesus’ time on this earth, following His triumphal entry on the back of the colt, He became angry with a tree.
Mark 11:12-14 – “On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.”
I used to find this passage interesting, now I find it convicting. In verse 12 we read that Jesus was hungry. Verse 13 we read that Jesus noticed a fig tree in leaf. This is important for our understanding of this passage. Fig trees are known to only produce these leaves after there is the beginnings of fruit. In other words, it looked like it had fruit, but it did not. Jesus traveled the distance because he saw the leaves, when He didn’t find fruit, He cursed the tree.
Verse 20 tells us that Jesus and His disciples passed that same tree the next day and this tree was withered down to it’s roots. You see, it wasn’t the fact that the tree wasn’t producing fruit that upset Jesus so bad. It was the fact that the tree appeared to be producing fruit when it really wasn’t. This tree, was a hypocrite.
Are we like this tree? Are you guilty of any of these things?
- Wearing our finest clothes for Sunday worship to appear as though we respect the worship service. Only we fail to pay attention and find ourselves easily distracted once we are there.
- Making sure you and your family wear your smiles when we are with the church to make sure everyone knows that things are “fine”. While on the inside you are all miserable.
- Posting occasional Facebook posts or tweets that make us seem more spiritual than we are
- Saying, “Christ is number one in my life” – but we fail to evangelize
- Saying, “Christ is number one in my life”- but we fail to be faithful to the church that He died for
We could extend the list on and on. The only problem with going throughout life with this kind of hypocrisy is that God knows your heart (Romans 8:27). May we never be found guilty of trying to talk the talk, but not walk the walk.
It is my prayer that I will do better at not appearing to produce fruit, but that I actually produce fruit for my Savior.