February 1/Matthew 21

Wow January is already over and it won’t be long till spring is here! The word ‘immediately’ caught my attention in verse 3. Jesus had asked his disciples to go into town and tell a guy that the Lord needed his colt and donkey. He told the disciples that the guy would immediately give them up. In other words there would be no hesitation. There would be no excuses or negotiating. The guy would just honor the request immediately.

So I am thinking of own life and how I react when I read God’s word and he makes a request of me. Like when I was in junior high and I read about being kind to one another; I had two younger sisters who always  got into my stuff and were always tattling on me! I wish I could say that I treated them kindly immediately. I read in Ephesians Chapter 5 that husbands are to lay down their lives for their wives; do you think Jesus means immediately or when we get around to it? He certainly didn’t mean that we had to go shopping with them did he?

Philippians 2:14 says that we should do everything without complaining and arguing. Did he say ‘EVERYTHING’? Do I immediately quit complaining and arguing? Do you? Here is a really tough request found in the 5th chapter of 1Thessalonians > ”Be patient with everyone.  Now do you see why immediately got my attention? Do you think the Holy Spirit had anything to do with getting my attention? What about you and the word immediately? When the guy was told that the ‘Lord’ needed his colt and donkey his immediate response showed that Jesus was his Lord. My response will show that Jesus is truly my Lord. Your response will show if Jesus truly is your Lord. Is he Lord?

Verses 18-20 > Here we find the word ‘immediately’ again. I can’t seem to get away from this word. When Jesus cursed the tree it immediately’ dried. This tree like the guy who had the colt and donkey knew who was Lord. Jesus is Lord over this whole world. The tree was giving false advertising. A fig tree first bears little green figs, which are not quite ripe but still edible, then the leaves come and then in the fall it ripens fully. This tree had leaves which would advertise figs but there were no figs hence the false advertising.

There are people who profess to be ‘Christians’. They advertise that they are ‘Christians’ by going to church, putting a few bucks in the offering plate, they volunteer to help the youth, they sow quilts for the missionaries, they don’t drink, smoke or swear or gamble. However when you get close to them expecting fruit > love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control; the fruit isn’t there. Jesus was never allowed to be Lord of their lives. They had no real life in themselves and they could offer no real life. They looked good on the outside but there was nothing of substance on the inside. Jesus will not bless that kind of lifestyle.

The fig tree was a powerful object lesson for Jesus’ disciples then and for us who claim to be his disciples now. The lesson is ‘Bear Fruit’. Don’t put it off. Don’t be a false advertiser. When people come to us who are followers of Jesus they should be able to find love, joy, peace etc. It may not be totally ripe fruit because fruit does take time to ripen and we are all at various stages of maturity,  but it should be good enough fruit to satisfy the hungry soul that has come to us.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to mature in your fruit bearing after all it is called the fruit of the Holy Spirit!

Galatians 5:22–23 (NLT) — 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Perhaps you could ask right now > immediately!

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    In this chapter we also learn how far the religious institution had strayed from God. The temple had become a marketplace. The court of gentiles was turned from a place of worship into a shopping market. If you did not bring the correct sacrifice or coin for the temple tax, have we got a deal for you! Then the pharacies were unable to answer where John’s baptism came from. If they had really read the whole Torah then the prophets had already told them the answer and also where Jesus’s authority came ftom. Finally Jesus tells a parable about a vineyard and the pharacies cannot recognize themselves, Jesus or the prophets until too late. Let us be careful with this year’s bible study so we are immediately attentive to what we read and following the Father’s plan.

  2. Nancy Symens says:

    Pastor Dan and Mark, you guys are pulling out some great things that can help us to grow in our walk with the Lord.

    In vs 15-16, what stood out to me is that the children recognized Jesus as who He was..Son of David, Son of God. And their response to who He was, Was that they praised Him. They sang/shouted/danced…they gave Him praise with all they had. They didn’t care who was watching, who may be listening. Their minds were focused on Him. We can all gleen from this.

    Telling Him of all His Goodness, and thanking Him for it too…with our whole being. Sometimes it is easy to praise God. Sometimes it is very hard…like when we are in the midst of challenge/struggle/trouble/etc. I’ve been on both ends, and it IS hard to praise Him when life is really tough. This is where the ‘sacrifice/offering of praise’ that the Bible talks about, comes into play. There is a joy found in the midst of sacrificIng our praise, which is His Presence, And that is actually our strength (His Strength within us being built up). (“The joy of the Lord is my strength” found in Psalms). Lifting up our praise to Him for the sole purpose of that He is worthy….Not with the motive to GET something or try to manipulate Him into giving us something we need. But solely for the reason that He IS. He is worthy. Praise is for Him. Placing Him above my mess/my needs, above my job, above my spouse and kids, above it all. He is faithful. He is our absolute source. He will provide what we need in any and all our situations. He loves to bless us with His Goodness. He is Good. He loves us..it reminds me of a song we sang yesterday about He is a good good Father, that is who He is. He loves us and that is who we are…loved by Him.

    Many great things happen when we praise. Ps 8:2 tells us A couple things. It tells us that when we praise, His Strength rises up in us. Strength is part of His character within us. Pretty awesome, eh! Another thing that happens when we set our minds on Jesus and praise Him, it shuts the enemy up. Pretty awesome again! See Ps 8:2 below.

    Ps 8:2” You have built a stronghold by the songs of babies. Strength rises up With the chorus of singing children. This kind of praise Has the power to shut Satan’s mouth. Childlike worship will silence The madness of those who oppose you.”

  3. Joe DeLaCruz says:

    I was confused about why Jesus would deliberately destroy a little fig tree because it was out of fruit. I didn’t know the life cycle of a fig tree. Your explanation helps me to understand more but it still seems strange to me that Jesus would destroy a living thing. Lord please give me clarity and wisdom to understand your word. There is so much to learn. Holy spirit please guide me. Amen

    • Daniel Mueller says:

      A living thing that is designed to produce fruit and doesn’t is useless. That fig tree was a good as dead because it wasn’t doing what it was designed to do. It was an object lesson to the disciples to show that we were designed to believe in Jesus and live our lives for Jesus. If we don’t we become useless to him and our end result is being cursed with hell. Remember the one servant who hid his master’s talent instead of investing it? He was a servant who wasn’t being a servant and the master called him ‘useless’ and condemned him. > Matthew 25:30.

      I hope that helps a little.

  4. Shawna Zelinsky says:

    Just realized that Matthew 21 and Mark 11 are like the exact same.

  5. Loved this day’s blog! Thanks everyone!