The Bible says: ‘As Jesus was coming back to the city, He was hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree at the roadside, He went to it and found nothing but leaves on it; and He said to it, “Never again will fruit come from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.’ (Matthew 21:18–19 AMP) Perhaps you’re thinking that’s pretty harsh treatment. After all, it wasn’t the tree’s fault that it didn’t have any figs. So why did Jesus curse it? You’ll find the answer in these words: ‘Seeing that in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves.’ When Jesus saw leaves on the tree, He’d a right to expect fruit. And when there was none, He cursed it for being a phony while giving off the impression that it was the real thing.
There’s an important lesson here for each of us. Be careful that you don’t display an impressive array of leaves without actually bearing fruit. It takes more than a bumper sticker on your car, a Jesus pin in your lapel, and a big Bible under your arm to influence and win others to Christ.
The Bible says, ‘When the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ (Galatians 5:22–23 TLB) That’s the kind of fruit people can see, touch, taste and enjoy. And it’s the kind God wants to see manifested in your life today.