Do you remember the dating scene? It’s been decades for some of you, but try and remember this situation: You see that guy (or girl) from a distance and think to yourself, “Hey, this person is pretty cute!” But as you get closer, you begin looking for the exit. They were NOT what they appeared to be? It’s happened to all of us…including Jesus. But…not with a person. Instead, it was with a fig tree.

The Bible mentions lots of different trees, but a fig tree was different. The fig tree meant connection. In fact, the fig tree was a symbol of the Temple, which was the heart of Jerusalem. And not just the heart of Jerusalem, but the heart of the Jewish nation. The Temple was the ultimate location of connection and worship. Scripture says that because Jesus died for everyone, as believers we are all part of God’s family and our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). This means our bodies have now become the place of connection and worship.

In Mark 11, Jesus hungrily sees a fig tree from a distance and walks towards it expecting to find fruit. Instead, it was just leaves. No figs. The tree was not what it appeared to be. So He cursed it saying, “No one will ever eat from you again”. The next morning, the disciples discovered it withered up and dead from the roots up. Seriously Jesus? Why did He do this?

Remember the fig tree represents the Temple, which we now know is us. When Jesus saw the tree had no fruit, it communicated to Him it wasn’t ready. Its fruit (its worship) wasn’t prepared to be used by Him (you probably see where I’m going with this).

Since we are now the “temple” of the Holy Spirit, we should ask, “Is my fruit ready? Is it good fruit or bad fruit?” In other words, are our actions good…or bad. Is our worship something Jesus would find acceptable? The three points from this message include:

1. Jesus desires to produce healthy, GOOD fruit in me.

2. Jesus desires for me to be OPEN and READY for his work.

3. Jesus desires my INSIDE and my OUTSIDE to honor Him.

What’s on the inside of you that’s not honoring Jesus. Your thoughts? Your actions? The way you treat people? That addiction you keep falling into? What’s dead on the inside of you? Whatever it is. Let’s surrender it to Jesus. Let’s not be like that fig tree that only looks good from a distance, and dead on the inside.

Let’s all be open, ready, and willing to say, “Here’s what I have to offer you, Jesus. Here’s the fruit I have to give. Here’s the worship I have to surrender to you.”

By Pastor Jeremy Moore, New Life Christian Center Patterson. Sermon Notes is a column by local religious leaders.

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