Ever start to pick up a perfectly beautiful piece of fruit to take a bite, only to realize that it’s made of plastic – a prop, for display only. I have a frustrating story to share on Sunday about things that are for display only when you’re trying to purchase something. That’s one kind of frustration. A religion that is for display purposes only is another kind of frustration. That’s going to be the theme of our study this week.
This Sunday we’ll be returning to our study in the book of Matthew, reading chapter 21:18-32.
In v18-22, we see Jesus do the only destructive miracle in the entirety of the gospels. Do you think this fruitless tree was just something that irritated Jesus and he lashed out…or do you think there was something else being communicated in this? If this were a living parable being acted out for his disciples – what do you think the message is?
The following account actually gives examples of what the message of the fig tree was. Jesus has yet another conflict with religious leaders – albeit, the chief priest is now involved. This is a first in an escalating opposition to Jesus. The question of authority is posed – “who do you think you are Jesus, emptying out the temple like that?”. There is no answer Jesus can give that won’t put him in immediate danger. Jesus turns the tables on them by posing a question that is impossible for them to answer. What were the religious leaders afraid of when it came to answering the question? What does that tell us about the motive for their spirituality?
The parable of the two sons spells it out in a pretty straightforward way. If you were to sum up the lesson of the parable, how would you word it?
Looking forward to jumping back into our study this week! Hope to see you Sunday!