Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:18-22
Welcome to Holy Tuesday!
In our week of reflection as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, we look at Holy Tuesday. This day starts with the lesson of the withered fig tree.
Jesus was still teaching His disciples. I love verse 22 – if we have faith and do not doubt, we can move mountains. What an amazing testament to the love that God has for us that He would give us the authority to move mountains. In this lesson, we learn not to be like the fig tree, we need to bear fruit.
As we look further into the scriptures, Jesus goes back to the temple to teach. He knows that His time is close and before He leaves, He imparts wisdom on all those He comes into contact with. This is also the point where the chief priests, elders, Scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees try to trip Him up. Every time they ask Him a question, Jesus teaches in parables. These parables have made it into so many sermons, they are still teaching us today.
Even though they sought to destroy Him, He was still teaching. Even though they wanted to kill Him, He still pointed the way. He knew their thoughts. He knew their hearts. Yet, He still tried.
Then, in Matthew 23, we see that Jesus goes from teaching to blatantly calling out their sin. He refers to them as hypocrites and a brood of vipers. They did not want to hear the teachings and see their sin. I think we get like that sometimes. We just do not want to hear the Lord. Maybe we know what we are doing is wrong and we do not want to feel the conviction of it. Maybe we do not want to answer the call the God has placed on our lives. Either way, do not let it get to the point that God has to be blatant with you to get your attention.
Jesus spent the rest of the day teaching. Pouring out His knowledge into anyone that would hear. Today, He was thinking of us. All of us. Even the hypocrites. He loves us so much that He does not want anyone to go down the wrong path. He wants us all to be in Heaven with Him one day.
As you reflect this week, think about what Jesus was doing on His last week. He was teaching. Pointing the way. Today, let us show the love of Christ to others.