segunda-feira, 14 de novembro de 2016
Appearance and Content
"And when they passed by in the morning, they saw that the fig tree had dried up from the roots." (Mark 11:20)
Going from Bethany to Jerusalem, Jesus was hungry. Passing through a fig tree covered with very green leaves (appearance), he approached to pick some figs. Seeing, however, the most absolute absence of fruit (content), Jesus "cursed" the fig tree, condemning it to permanent unproductiveness. "The next day, early in the morning, Jesus and the disciples passed by the fig tree and saw that it was dry from the root" (Mark 11:20).
The explanation given by Jesus clearly has nothing to do with the fact that a fig tree dries up, because it has no fruit, which could be looked at naturally in an era that was not of harvest ... But, suddenly, He begins To explain about faith capable of changing things.
But what would be the relationship between a cursed fig tree and the fruitful life of faith that the Lord expects us to have?
Like that fig tree, many of us can impress and convince at first sight. Our "green leaves" give the appearance of life, of life, of robustness, which does not necessarily imply authenticity and especially productivity.
In times of numbers and statistics, we hear from all sides of indexes that speak of church growth. Some estimate that in two decades the majority of the Brazilian population will be evangelical. But is this enough to affirm that the Work of God is truly ingrained and influencing this earth for good? Do we have a church committed to the humble and serene truth of the gospel? Are these crowds present in censuses and surveys united by the bond of love and faith? And will it be that as if they were one heart they give real and authoritative witness of Christ through their own lives? These are vital questions that impel us to deep reflection.
Often we are just church-goers, mouths that mechanically scream their améns and hallelujahs, ignorant hands that carry unread bibles, suits and ties that hide a soul tainted by clandestine sins. Often we are just truth sheet - appearance - but without a single true fruit of sincere commitment to Christ and His Word.
Our vocation, as Christians, is not simply to offer shelter, under the green foliage of our branches. Our full-time vocation is to provide food for a rickety, undernourished world of God. Above all, and above the seasons, the Christian continues his mission of accomplishing the work of Christ, that is, of giving "life with abundance". The eternal is eternal because it is timeless. The quality of our mission is eternal. Therefore, we should never be bound by the limitations of stations, cultures, technologies or theological idioms.
It is true that green leaves are beautiful and give a good impression. But for God, that is not enough. We should not be just figs with leaves. We have to go beyond appearance, we have to have commitment and content - we have to be fig trees with fruits!