When Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered and died, I think most agree that this is an unusual event, which was calling forth an extreme reaction from Jesus. What really caught my attention were the words, ‘Jesus was hungry’. What is Jesus hungry for? After speaking to the women at the well, when his disciples returned with food, He said He had food they knew nothing about (John 4: 31 and 21). But here, we’re specifically told that He was hungry. So what was He hungry for? I believe it was more than physical food.
Contrast the fruitless fig tree with Luke 10:38, ‘Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house’. This was in Bethany where the family of Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived. Bethany means ‘House of Figs’. It was here that Jesus was welcomed and His needs were met.
I believe the Lord is still hungry. He’s still searching for fruit in our lives; in our relationship with Him. Too often what He encounters is an outward show; good deeds, fine religious words, church attendance, and an outer respectability (the leaves). All fine and good, but is there the fruit (the life) He seeks to meet his hunger?
I believe He found what He was looking for in that house in Bethany. There He was ‘welcomed and received’. It was a place where Mary sat at His feet and listened to Him (Luke 10:39), and where He was honoured (John 12:12a). Contrast this with the Church at Laodicea where he was left outside (Revelation 3:20).
I believe Jesus is hungry for fellowship with us and for our homes (our very lives) to be open to Him. He’s hungry to be welcomed not for what He brings, or even for His presence, but for who He is. He wants a place where we minister to Him, a place where we sit at His feet and humbly learn from Him, allowing Him to speak to us and becoming increasingly acquainted with His ways, and a place where we quietly appreciate just how precious He is to us. This is what He’s hungry for; a real and living relationship with us. Are we ready to provide this, or are we just prepared to offer leaves, and allow Him to remain hungry?
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, please forgive me for offering You lots of activity and words, while leaving You hungry for the relationship with me You seek and long for me to receive. Help me to truly make You welcome in my life, to sit at Your feet and learn from You, and to make my home and life a place that honours and exalts You. Amen.
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