What Jesus Longs For…
"And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it,“ Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” (Mark 11:13-14)
By this My Father is glorified, that you BEAR MUCH FRUIT; so you will be My disciples." (John 15:8)
We all have a longing in our hearts to see the present realities of our life become better and to experience more happiness and wholeness. Sometimes our desires are in right alignment with God's desires and other times they are rooted in our sinful, fallen flesh that seeks to gratify our selfish lusts or to glorify our own egos. But the most important thing to consider is: WHAT IS JESUS LONGING FOR IN OUR LIVES?
We know that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:7) and that the Father is seeking true worshippers (John 4:23) but this kind of change requires that we become rooted and grounded IN CHRIST. Only when a life is planted in Christ are we able to be fully saved and sanctified and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
At the end of Jesus' ministry during the Passover week, Jesus intentionally went to a fig tree to see if there was any fruit on it. As a Man, He was hungry, but as God, He longed to see the evidence of spiritual fruit in the lives of His people. Since the fig tree was emblematic of the nation of Israel (as depicted in Jeremiah 8:12-13 and 24:4-7), Jesus wanted to reveal to His disciples that the spiritual condition of Israel was still barren and unfruitful even after three and half years of His prophetic, miracle working ministry. As a whole, the nation of Israel had rejected Jesus as their Messiah and thus they were like a barren tree planted in the ground unable to bear their fruit in its season.
As we let Scripture interpret Scripture, we see that the LORD spoke through the prophet Jeremiah since they were not ashamed of their sin and rebellion, saying He would "surely consume them,” and declared that “No grapes shall be on the vine, Nor figs on the fig tree, [ISRAEL] And the leaf shall fade; And the things I have given them shall pass away from them.” (Jeremiah 8:13).
Jeremiah would later compare Israel to a shrub in the desert instead of a fruitful tree in Jeremiah 17:5, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes..."
Our Lord Jesus had revealed that the nation God had chosen was not ready for their Messiah and that judgment was coming to them quickly. After He cursed the fig tree representing Israel, the vast multitudes would go on to curse themselves when they told the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, that they were accepting of Jesus' blood "being on them and their children" when the execution orders of Jesus were given (Matt 27:25).
Jesus had previously prophesied their judgment due to their rejection of Him in that time...
"For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation" (Luke 19:43-44).
Like the days of Joseph, the family of Israel did not recognize their brother Jospeh in the first visitation to Egypt but their eyes would be opened on the "second" visitation. The Lord still has a plan to open the eyes of the Jewish people (Romans 11) and we ought to be praying for that day to come. We have already seen the early prophetic unravelling of this day since the fig tree has come to life again with Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 and the leaves are beginning to show in preparation for the fruit that will soon follow:
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors!" (Mark 13:28-29).
Since God is working in and through His Church today, we need to be a people that is bearing spiritual fruit and living in such a way that provokes Israel and others to jealousy.
HEART WORK - In order to bear this kind of spiritual fruit, we need to...
Have a humble heart and a teachable spirit...to grow in maturity.
Show sacrificial love and service toward others...to win more souls.
Live in prayerful dependance upon the Father...to walk in the Spirit.
Be gathered together in united fellowship in Christ...to love like Jesus.
"Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life..." Phil. 2:14-16