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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fruitless?

I have been in Mark 11:12 – 25 for the past several weeks.  I have always wondered at Christ’s reaction to the fruitless fig tree.  I invested some time thinking through this and I might have an answer.  Not sure, but I might.
Fruitless?
Thinking through this two passages came to mind, John 15:1 – 16 and 2 Timothy 4:1.  This is in the last week and in the same time frame as John 13 – 17.  I wonder if this is an object lesson, a guided experience on fruitfulness for the twelve and by extension us?  When you throw 2 Timothy 4:1 into the mix it seems to make better sense.

Could it be that the Lord is setting up His discourse in John 15:1 – 16 on fruitfulness with this interaction with the fig tree?  Could it be that He is emphasizing that there is no season for abiding, that we are expected to abide in Him at all times?  If that is the case, then according to His statements in John 15:1 – 16 we will be fruitful, able to engage in proclamation in any season.

What do you think?

7 comments:

  1. Is "proclamation" the only kind of fruit? And what does proclamation consist of, what are the boundaries?

    How does Galatians 5:22-24 fit in to this discussion "...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

    If we take the Spirit out of the picture it seems to me we have only some insipid form of legalism,

    What am I missing?

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    1. No you are not missing anything. John 15:16 says that the fruit would remain. That is the only place in John 15 meno is not translated abide. In John 17 Christ prays not only for the 12 but for those who believe through their Word. While the fruit of the Spirit is critical, it seems to me that in the context of John 13 - 17 Christ is speaking of the fruit of those who trust Him through the ministry of His followers.

      This seems to align with the great commission passages in Matthew, John, Luke, and Acts. I included the 2 Timothy passage as a cross referent to the notion of seasons. It seems like Peter may have picked up on the lesson by his reference to always being ready in 1 Peter 3:15.

      The message seems to be that there is no season for us in terms of bearing fruit. We are to continually abide in Him, with the result that His life overflows from us into others.

      The density of the repetition of meno in John 15 leaves little doubt in my mind that the requirement to abide is a non negotiable for us as believers.

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    2. Thanks for this response. There is nothing easy I know about regarding death, no matter what kind. I suppose that's why Jesus used it; it is a powerful metaphor.

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  2. PS: I agree totally with the basic premise; without fruit there is no life and Jesus has little patience with pretenders.

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    1. As the Jews were, I'm dumbfounded to hear Jesus expects me to bear fruit in-season and out-seasonot just when I'm all cleaned up, Bible read, sins confessed? Perhaps he wants to use me just as I am...did He ever use you in a life and you didn't even know it at the time?

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