Sermon for Sunday, April 2, 2023

Withered Faith Bears No Fruit

Matthew 21:12-22

Matthew 21:12–22 (NIV): 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

         “ ‘From the lips of children and infants

         you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 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.

20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

  1. Jesus enters the Temple and clears it out again!
  2. People came to the Temple for healing. Jesus meets them.
  3. People shouting “God save us” in the Temple.
  4. Children know Jesus is God.
  5. Jesus makes the trip back to Bethany.
  6. The barren fig tree
  7. Wasn’t the time of year for figs (Mark 11:11)
  8. There are close to 100 varieties of Fig Trees in Israel today.  Some of those species bear fruit two times a year, late Spring and early Summer and again in the Fall, like all Fig Trees.
  9. The curse of no fruit.
  10. No faith, only doubt.

Matthew 24:32–36 (NIV): 32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

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