The Heart of the Matter

Mark 11 Fruit or Fruitlessness

We read this story of the barren fig tree and Jesus banishing it, leaves us with a bitter taste in our mouths, but Jesus was teaching about what looks on the outside is not necessarily on the inside.  What the disciples, and us, see is just a tree with leaves but to Jesus, He saw a picture of Israel which looked wonderful on the outside but was barren on the inside. When Jesus looks at each of us, what does He see? This reminds me of a lady at church that always is dressed in her finery but if you stop to talk to her, you can sense her judgmental spirit because she looks at you with disdain because you are not dressed as she. If asked why she dressed so, she would reply, I was taught and I do as my mother taught me years ago. It wasn’t the mode of dress, but her attitude that was revealed. Is that what Jesus sees in me? Do I look beautiful on the outside but dead on the inside? 

This story reveals what Jesus saw in the religious leaders and yes, even some of the people. They outwardly were doing the “right thing” but inside their hearts were hard and judgmental. This is a warning to me to check my heart as I enter the sanctuary. God told Samuel that God looks at the heart not the outward dress and that should be true for me as well. 1Sa 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way people do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

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