TUESDAY: The Organic Fruit
Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
As Jesus is walking with the disciple to the city, He is hungry. He sees a fig tree and stops with them to grab a fig to eat. But it only had leaves; it bore no fruit. Before the disciples can digress into worrying about the flesh–they had done it before on numerous occasions!–Jesus uses his cursing of the fig tree to never bear fruit again as an opportunity to teach them.
When we go to the store to purchase fruit, there are two main things that drive that purchase: (1) the cost of the fruit and (2) what it looks like. We love those huge red apples that look perfect. Watermelon should be so big that it takes two people to carry it…and it better not have seeds! When we pick oranges, they need to look just like the ones in the OJ commercials. Grapes should be approaching the size of small apples and shouldn’t have any seeds. On top of all that, they need to be one sale!
On the other hand, when we take note of from where our from comes and how it’s grown, we may desire to purchase organic fruit. But it is more expensive. It certainly isn’t as big as the other fruit. Sometimes it actually doesn’t look ripe or quite as even in color. If you know what it takes to grow something naturally, however, you begin to understand all that goes into it.
In our own lives, we often bear no fruit because we don’t want to put the work in. To even begin to provide the right conditions, it takes sacrifice, nurturing, watering, pruning, all things things that we just cannot find time for. The problem is when we rely on ourselves to do this, we will fail. It is only when we are both directed by and obedient to the Holy Spirit that we begin to see the roles that we play in producing the fruit for His Kingdom.
Far more important to Jesus is that He feeds His disciples what they need–the work of the Spirit–rather than satisfy their temporal, fading flesh–hunger. Matthew 21:18-22 illustrates the wonder of the disciples and the response of Jesus. His focus is to remind them that they are to set their minds on the things of the Spirit, for when they do that, they will–as will we–have faith that can move mountains.