“Do you think they’ll make their move today?” Matthew glanced at Thomas.
Thomas shrugged. “Don’t know. I doubt it, but who knows?”
Jesus led His disciples from Bethany to Jerusalem. Their shadows grew shorter with each step.
Jesus stepped off the road and headed to a fig tree.
“I hope He finds enough for all of us.” Matthew studied Jesus’s every move.
Jesus pushed branches around, then stepped back from the tree. “May you never bear fruit ever again.” He walked back to the road and continued to Jerusalem.
Matthew looked back at the tree. The leaves were wilting. Three of them spun down.
The next morning Peter noticed the fig tree’s bare branches. “Rabbi, the tree You cursed yesterday is dead. How did that happen so quickly?”
Jesus spun around. “Maintain faith in your prayers and you’ll do mightier than this. If you tell a mountain to go to the sea it will obey if you don’t doubt. Believe with your heart and you will have what you ask for.”
Matthew’s mouth dropped open as he watched Jesus turn back to Jerusalem. When they entered the city Jesus went to the temple.
A group of priests, scribes and elders were waiting for Him.
A chief priest stepped in front of Jesus. “By what authority do You do the things You do? Who gave you such authority?
Jesus pointed to the group of religious leaders. “First, let me ask you a question. From that I will answer your question.”
The priests nodded.
“John’s baptism, was it from heaven or men?”
The priests stood for a moment, then spun into a huddle. Matthew was close enough to hear their conversation.
“If we say it’s from heaven He’ll wonder why we don’t believe Him.”
“But, if we say it’s from men the people might stone us because they believe he was a prophet.”
The chief priest turned back to Jesus. “We…uh, we don’t know where it was from.”
Jesus nodded. “Then neither will I tell you from where My authority is from.”
Jesus kept staring at the priests. “What do you think? A man had two sons he wanted to work for him. When the first son said he wouldn’t work the father went to the other son, but the first had a change of heart and did go to work. The next son said he would go to work, but never did. Which of these boys obeyed the father?”
The chief priest leaned back. “Why, the first son did because he worked.”
Jesus stepped toward the group. “I tell you tax collectors and harlots will enter heaven before you do. They believed in John’s message and repented. You heard him and never changed a thing.”
Wishy-washy–that’s the best term I can think of to describe the religious leaders of Jesus’s day. They had so compromised the foundation of what they believed in they didn’t stand for anything.
That fig tree was an exact representation of them. It had the appearance of being alive, but it didn’t produce any fruit.
They displayed the activity of a vibrant religion, but wouldn’t change for anything. Not even when someone came performing miracles like Jesus did.
They were so into rules and making sure everybody followed their interpretation of them they couldn’t see any other way to live. They were totally blind to anything Jesus taught.
The only thing they knew for sure was this Jesus had to be stopped at all cost. He was upsetting the status quo they established. If He didn’t bow to their terms He had to pay with His life.
After all they were set in place by God Himself. Who did He think He was coming from Nazareth of all places with a questionable parentage to top it all off.
Jesus showed us the example we’re to follow when we know we’re right. Don’t back down to anybody.
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Even if the most powerful people of the land say we’re wrong it doesn’t mean they’re right. It just means they’re so stuck on their power they refuse to see the truth that’s staring them in the face.
What are we to do when faced with someone trying to shut up the truth?
Let’s follow Jesus’s example and start a revolution.
That’s right, we’ve been sitting on the sidelines far too long. We need to get in the game and establish God’s truth back into our society.
Our churches need to teach God’s Word no matter what. Stop watering it down in fear we’ll offend someone. Jesus offended many people in His day.
Let’s get God-fearing folks in positions of decision in public schools. Stop complaining about what’s taught and get the truth back in there.
More carriers of truth need to get elected to public office. Few people in law making positions know what really takes place in society today. The more change we can see the quicker we can re-establish a sense of purpose again.
It’s never too late to do what’s right. It’s only too late if we do nothing at all.
Jesus had John write to the church of Laodicea warning them about being lukewarm toward the truth. He said He would vomit them out of His mouth because of their wishy-washy stance on the truth. I fear we’re becoming that church today.
Nobody could confess Jesus was lukewarm about anything. He stood up to hypocrites, power-grabbers and liars. That’s the kind of revolution I’m getting at here.
At the rate we’re going we’ll be that fruitless fig tree Jesus found that day. With a word He can end our existence.
Let’s not allow that to happen.
People are going to Hell all the time. That’s not why Jesus died on the cross. They need to hear about His sacrifice for them.
Blending into the woodwork isn’t telling them the truth. Being revolutionary will make a difference.
We’re not here to make friends but enemies.
THE enemy is counting on us to stay on the sidelines.
Let’s not let him win.
I’ll see you later. Wade