Bible Study Group - "Share Your Own Unique Story" - Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Matthew 21:18-22 (NIV) 18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. 20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked. 21 Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Today's scripture talks about Jesus' cursing on a tree.
After reading this scripture, these are the questions that came up in my mind.
How come can Jesus curse a tree on not having a fruit?
Is Jesus the one who cares about the fruits and results?
Did Jesus get upset that there is no fruit because He was so hungry?
But, as I studied on the background of this scripture, the fruit Jesus was talking about is not the final fruit or ripe fruit of the tree, but it was something like nubs of fruit as evidence of its imminent crop.
In other words, Jesus was talking about what the tree is supposed to have in the Spring season. It was not necessary to be a full fruit or ripen fruit but something in the process that is going to ripen fruit in Fall.
Jesus was not talking about the fruit as a result but as a process.
In other words, Jesus was talking about faithfulness, not fruitfulness.
As we live in a capitalistic society, we encounter the issue of the results or possession, such as we might concern how rich he or she is or how much he or she possesses. Some people might think that the person who has a good result is better than the person who has a bad result. But, this is a totally secular perspective.
How does God's perspective differ from the secular one? It is something like this. We measure our height from the ground. But, God's perspective is like measuring our height from the sky. For example, if you measure from the ground, Daniel is taller than me now. But if God measures our heights from the sky. I am taller than Daniel. Does it make sense?
Do you remember the illustration of the Kingdom of Heaven with the story of servants with different amounts of talents in Matthew 25?
The owner gave five talents, two talents, and one talent to his servants, depending on the servant's abilities. When he came back from his trip. he praised the servants who came with the profits of two talents and five talents with exact same words,
"Well Done, my good and faithful servant. You've been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!" (Matthew 25:21 & 23)
If the principle of the Kingdom of Heaven was based on Capitalism, the owner should have praised the servant who brought five talents more than the servant who brought two talents. But, this illustration of the Kingdom of Heaven shows God's perspective that focuses on faithfulness rather than fruitfulness.
Jesus was always concerned about faithfulness in many other situations in the Bible. As we have lived in a capitalistic society, we are used to seeing, think, and measure things from a capitalistic perspective. But, we, as the people of God, need to remember that we are the people who see, listen, think, and act based on Kingdom's perspective and virtues.
I hope and pray that we are able to look at our own perspective, standards, values if they are based on the Kingdom's perspective or secular or capitalistic perspective.
I wish all of you can share your own unique meditation with the companions in Christ so that all of us can be blessed by all of our unique insight and meditation.