Mark 11:12-19 (NIV) 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money- changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
Empty Words Have you ever heard someone say that they are going to do something, but then never do it? And before you judge too quickly, ask yourself, have I ever done this? I know I have. Often, the words of action that we speak to people become “empty words.” We said them, and when we do, we say it with good intentions and confidence, but if no action follows, these words fall to the wayside until action is taken. Yesterday, we read about a crowd of people screaming with excitement and joy, “Jesus save us!” Does day two of Jesus’ final week show us that these are just empty words? Most people who read about Jesus cursing a fig tree, later to see it dead, would think He has gone mad (not to mention he also drives out a lot of people from the temple in the same chapter). But, what insight does this fig tree give us about the people of Israel then, and possibly us now? I always found it interesting that Jesus cursed a fig tree when it was not the season for figs (Mark 11:13). Does this make Jesus seem unreasonable? I do not think so. Fig trees produce an early edible fruit before the leaves appear. If no early figs appear, then this is a sign that there would be no regular crop later on. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, there were people shouting Hosanna, but there was no fruit. These were just empty words. Soon the word Hosanna will be replaced with Crucify Him! As you have been praying, “Jesus, save me,” ask yourself, “Are these empty words? Am I allowing God’s Spirit to change me, to produce spiritual fruit in me?”