What Jesus Did! 'You Must Be Fruitful!' — Matthew 21:18-22

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Early the next morning, Jesus was going back to the city. Jesus was very hungry. Jesus saw a fig tree beside the road. Jesus went to the fig tree {to get a fig to eat}. But there were no figs on the tree. There were only leaves. So Jesus said to the tree, "You will never again have fruit!" And then the tree dried up and died. The followers saw this. They were very surprised. They asked, "How did the fig tree dry up and die so quickly?" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. If you have faith and no doubts, you will be able to do the same as I did to this tree. And you will be able to do more. You will be able to say to this mountain, 'Go, mountain, fall into the sea.' And if you have faith, it will happen. If you believe, you will get anything you ask for in prayer."
— Matthew 21:18-22
Illustration of Matthew 21:18-22 — "You will never again have fruit!"

Key Thought

Like Jerusalem, we are given so many opportunities to be fruitful, to show our faith and faithfulness to the Lord, and to live a life that blesses others to the Father's glory. But opportunities are not forever. God calls us to reflect his character and grace. When we don't, and this refusal and neglect become habitual, God will give us opportunities to repent and change our actions. But there comes a time when we must change or judgement comes. If we are truly connected to Jesus, if we are truly his disciples, we will bear fruit that reflects his character. The Spirit will help make sure of this. Our love for the Savior will call us to this. Our friends in Christ will encourage this. But ultimately, we must decide that Jesus is Lord and is worthy of our life's commitment to him!

Today's Prayer

Holy and gracious Father, you have given me so many opportunities to start over, to live for you, to overcome my sinfulness. I cannot thank you enough for the incredible outpouring of your grace and patience for me. Thank you so much. I commit again today to live reflecting your character and grace and ask that you not only be pleased, but that you also supply me with the power to help me do this. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus went into the temple area. He threw out all the people that were selling and buying things there. Jesus turned over the tables that belonged to the men that were exchanging different kinds of money. And Jesus turned over the benches of those men that were selling doves. Jesus said to all the people there, "It is written {in the Scriptures }, 'My house will be called a house for prayer.' But you are changing God's house into a 'hiding place for thieves.' " Some blind people and some crippled people came to Jesus in the temple area. Jesus healed these people. The leading priests and the teachers of the law saw what Jesus did. They saw that Jesus was doing great things and saw the children praising Jesus in the temple area. The children were saying, "Praise to the Son of David. " All these things made the priests and the teachers of the law angry. The leading priests and the teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Do you hear the things these children are saying?" Jesus answered, "Yes. The Scripture says, 'You (God) have taught children and babies to give praise.' Have you not read that Scripture?" Then Jesus left that place and went out of the city to Bethany. Jesus stayed there that night. Early the next morning, Jesus was going back to the city. Jesus was very hungry. Jesus saw a fig tree beside the road. Jesus went to the fig tree {to get a fig to eat}. But there were no figs on the tree. There were only leaves. So Jesus said to the tree, "You will never again have fruit!" And then the tree dried up and died. The followers saw this. They were very surprised. They asked, "How did the fig tree dry up and die so quickly?" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. If you have faith and no doubts, you will be able to do the same as I did to this tree. And you will be able to do more. You will be able to say to this mountain, 'Go, mountain, fall into the sea.' And if you have faith, it will happen. If you believe, you will get anything you ask for in prayer." Jesus went intothe temple area. While Jesus was teaching there, the leading priests and the older leaders of the people came to Jesus. They said to Jesus, "Tell us! What authority (power) do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?" Jesus answered, "I will ask you a question too. If you answer me, then I will tell you what authority I have to do these things. Tell me: When John baptized people, did that come from God or was it only from other people?" The priests and the Jewish leaders talked about Jesus' question. They said to each other, "If we answer, 'John's baptism was from God,' then Jesus will say, 'Then why didn't you believe John?' But we can't say John's baptism was from someone else. We are afraid of the people, because they all believe that John was a prophet. " So they answered Jesus, "We don't know {where John's authority came from}." Then Jesus said, "Then I won't tell you what authority I have to do these things!

Matthew 21:12-27

Related Scripture Readings

"I am the vine and you are the branches. If a person continues in me and I continue in that person, then that person will make much fruit. But without me that person can do nothing. If a person does not continue in me, then he is like a branch that is thrown away. That branch dies. People pick up dead branches, throw them into the fire, and burn them. "Continue in me and follow my teachings. If you do this, then you can ask for anything you want, and it will be given to you. You should make much fruit and show that you are my followers. This brings glory to my Father.

John 15:5-8

I tell you the truth. The person that believes in me will do the same things I have done. Yes! He will do even greater things than I have done. Why? Because I am going to the Father. And if you ask for anything in my name, I will do it for you. Then the Father's glory will be shown through the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.

John 14:12-14

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.