I heard. I listened...but did I do?

Today’s devotion is brought to you by Johannes Slabbert.  Enjoy!

Today’s text took me back to my horse training days. I would bring a colt out of the field at two years old and start working them with the goal of having a show horse when I am done. I poured myself into each individual horse to try to get them to their full potential and where they get to the point where they like doing work the right way. Then comes the day that all your hard work and training pays off and the horse looks happy and works good but one thing is missing...it has not actually been shown yet. You, as the trainer, also want to go see how your horse fits in with the rest. Basically your hard work makes you eager for the final result. So I finally took the horse to the horse show. She walked off the trailer looking like a show horse. Later, when I got her ready to work, she appeared as a show horse but when I worked her at the show she failed and looked horrible. The horse chose not to respond to all the years of hard work even though she looked the part her actions showed something completely different.

We see in today’s text that Jesus was dealing with the same issue [12] On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. [13] And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. (Mark 11:12-13 ESV) you can read the full text here

You see, in this story, the fig tree resembles Jerusalem. It has been three years since Jesus started his ministry. The people of Jerusalem have seen and heard great things Jesus has done. Jesus performed many teachings and miracles there. This also comes right after the triumphant entry we read about last week where the people acted towards the King in all the right ways. So Jesus is to the point with this people where I was with my horse. He has taught them, they know what they should do, they look and act like they should but when it came time for a deeper examination they were just like the fig tree. The people of Jerusalem did everything right to have the appearance of a Christ follower but they did not follow through with action there was no fruit from them. No one was told about Christ. No hard work went into making disciples.  All their effort went into looking the part instead of doing the part.

So I want to challenge you today to take a good hard look at yourself and ask am I bearing spiritual fruit? How am I responding to everything Christ has done for me? Am I more focused on how I look then on what I do?