So… What’s next?
It’s the Monday after Palm Sunday, the celebration of our Lord riding in on a donkey to Jerusalem. It’s a victorious scene. Throughout His public ministry, the people had seen His miracles and how He loved all kinds of people who knew they needed His help.
John 12: 12-15, Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, and Luke 19:28-44 record the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday. The people waved Palms, threw their cloaks down, and yelled to Jesus, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” so loudly that the Pharisees ordered Jesus to silence the crowd. It seemed as if they knew the King of the Universe had just entered their town.
But did they really have genuine faith?
The next day, Jesus returned and He was hungry. He saw a leafy fig tree in the distance. Since the fig tree had leaves, it would have immature fruit at this time of the year. Jesus walked over to the tree expecting to find fruit. But, when he got there, scripture said it was barren. Jesus cursed the tree and then said something interesting, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.(Matt. 21:19)
Jesus goes on to say to the disciples, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
He cursed the fig tree that did not bear fruit and encouraged the disciples to trust in Him – trust Him so they could bear the fruit He called them to bear.
Jesus reminds us to have faith in God, who can produce fruit in us despite whatever is going on in our world. Our hope is in Him. In the coming days, we will see those who follow Jesus have their faith tested. The people in the streets seemed to bear much fruit. But, as we move in closer, we’ll see there are just leaves and no genuine faith. They saw him as an earthly king, destroying the Roman government. But, Jesus had come to give His life on a cross, saving mankind from sin and death.
As we look ahead, what will Tuesday bring?