March 1, 2020 – The Fig Tree and the Temple
What You See is What You Get
Don’t you just appreciate when something is advertised to you, with ‘oh so many promises and no hidden costs’, and it turns out that everything that has been promised is absolutely true?
Funny how we have been climatized to be suspicious – to believe that what we are being told is not the real or the whole story. In the last few years, the phrase ‘Fake News’ has been thrown about so often – we get to the point that we are not sure we should even attempt to believe.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
Whatever happened to “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no”, and people can count on that?
That’s the call to being a Christ follower.
Jesus did not appreciate hypocrisy in any form and is very clear about what it means to be His follower. In Mark 11, we read the story of Jesus cleansing the temple from all that was taking place within that totally ran contrary to what the temple was meant to be all about. The temple had become, in Jesus’ words, a ‘den of thieves’, what with the exorbitant rates in money exchange and the purchasing of animals for sacrifice – all within the Court for the Gentiles (who were also basically getting crowded out from being in the temple at all). It should have been a place of Prayer. Worship. Instruction. Sacrifice. Forgiveness. Community with God and one another. But it wasn’t. And Jesus cleaned house! This story is framed by an enacted parable where He curses a fig tree that advertises by its leaves that it should have figs, yet there were none. It didn’t matter if the season was wrong for figs – the tree was in full leaf – and Jesus used this opportunity, along with the cleansing of the temple – to teach that who you say you are as a Christian, and who you truly are within – need to line up.
In 1 Corinthians, we are told that as Christ followers, we are a temple of God. So what He did to the temple in Jerusalem, He desires for us as well. To be cleansed. To have nothing within us that runs against our purpose of being His temple, which is to serve and obey Him in how we worship Him and share His gospel with the world.
Scriptures tell us that He has zeal for His house – and that’s every Christian believer. His zeal is for His Temple to be cleansed, to the Glory of God and the building of His Kingdom.
Are you up for that?