Leaves are not inconsequential

Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.

Matthew 21:18-19

We may want to conclude on the basis of the Matthew 21 episode with the fig tree that leaves are inconsequential, that they do not matter to God, but they do.

God’s trees are known by both fruit and leaves

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.” (Psalms 1:3, NASB)

The disciples of Yahweh are plants, incessantly in touch with lifegiving water. When will we be a tree in this arrangement?  Is there anyone in this position? First, let us admit that the following five characteristics define the happy or blessed person.

  • He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
  • He does not stand in the path of sinners,
  • He does not sit in the seat of scoffers!
  • He delights is in the law of the Lord
  • He meditates in Yahweh’s law day and night.

Surely the tree description must apply. The prophetic literature uses the vineyard and tree analogy effectively. From Jeremiah we receive “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.” (17:8). Isaiah’s 5th chapter describes God’s people, the house of Israel and the men of Judah, as a failed vineyard,

“For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel And the men of Judah His delightful plant. Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress.”

Isaiah 5:7

The withered fig tree is a parable of untimely fruitless ness. Leaves are great but fruit are better, and the movie is about Judah, out of time and out of divine favour. Yeshua’s church never becomes a withered tree. Her faith assures her of victory.