Matthew 21:23-46

“The Kingdom of God will be…given to people who produce fruit” (verse 43)

Can you see a connection between The Platters (a 50’s band) and a fruit platter?

We love our fruit here at the Nightingales. Last year we picked organic strawberries, froze 45 quarts of blueberries and spent an afternoon with Kidz Klub families hand-pressing fresh apple cider.

Scripture has a lot to say about fruit, from the vine and the orchard. Often it is the object of a story (think Adam and Eve in the garden). At other times it is used as a simile or metaphor to make a point (think “breath is like the fragrance of apples”). In the New Testament we notice the “fruit of good works”, the “fruit of righteousness”, the “fruit of repentance” and “praise, the fruit of our lips”.

As well, we are told to “bear fruit.” But what if we don’t? The blight of barrenness seems to be the issue here in our narrative and the reason the fig tree was cursed by Jesus. That would be bad enough, but consider a more sinister scenario…that this tree was “pretending” to be fruitful. It had leaves – something that experts say always appears in fig trees AFTER the tree bears fruit.

In this parable, the fig tree represented the Jewish people, full of leaves of meaningless religion, but without the fruit of true righteousness. How do you spell

H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E? It reminds me of The Platters’ hit song, “THE GREAT PRETENDER.”