Nothing But Leaves – Part I

by DanWolgemuth on November 1, 2013

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.  And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves… (Mark 11:12-13a)

Nothing but leaves.  No figs.

Shade, but no nourishment. 

Comfort without provision.

Help without hope.

Jesus uses His growling stomach to extend a banquet table for the souls of His disciples.  Don’t miss this.

A healthy tree thrives through its leaves and leaf-bearing fruit trees produce fruit.  This is God’s design for fruit trees. The fig tree in question, however, had nothing but leaves.  It promised much, but produced nothing.  It was an embossed invitation without a party; a menu without a meal.

Good fruit doesn’t happen without good leaves. But good leaves that don’t produce fruit aren’t following God’s design.

Fruit is produced from the overflow of the heart.  Jesus highlighted this as well.

Leaves and fruit harmonize…
–      to clothe and inspire.
–      to feed and to instruct.
–      to console and to transform.  

Photosynthesis and reproduction.

H2O and living water.

Bread and the bread of life.

Jesus fed the 5,000 even as He “fed” the 5,000. 

We are to do justice, to love mercy, AND to walk humbly before our God.
We are to care for widows and orphans in their affliction AND we are to remain uncorrupted.
We are to proclaim good news… The Good News… even while we wash feet.

Social justice isn’t enough.
But neither is a pursuit of theological perfection.  

The Good News gets dirty, even as it remains holy.
Disciples roll up their sleeves even as they bow at the feet of Jesus.
We glorify our God by living in awe and by scooping up a child in our arms.

To do one without the other is a life of nothing but leaves. 

Jesus healed, fed, touched, clothed, and wept.
Jesus worshipped, obeyed, taught, and dialogued.

He touched dead bodies and lepers… and He kept Himself unstained by the world.

Jesus proclaimed and He built authentic relationships.
Jesus loved God and He loved others.  

Jesus wasn’t condemning the production of leaves, but He was making sure that we wouldn’t be content with leaves alone.   

We were made to bear fruit, in fact, much fruit.  And when we do, we bring glory and honor to the Creator.  Leaves alone will never be enough.

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