He Must Bear Fruit

Consider Matthew 21:18–19:

“Early in the morning, as [Jesus] was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, ‘May you never bear fruit again!’ Immediately the tree withered.”

Why does Jesus curse this tree? Because it had no intention of bearing fruit. Bible scholars believe that this encounter probably happened in April, when figs were not in season. In fact, Mark 11 records this same story. Verse 13 says, “He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.” 

Jesus didn’t curse the tree because it was figless. It wasn’t the season for figs. But there should have been buds. There should have been evidence of figs to come. Jesus only found leaves. There would never be figs. The tree had no intention of ever bearing fruit.

Let’s connect the dots to another passage about fruit.

Galatians 5:22–23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

This is the fruit that is supposed to hang from the lives of believers. When others look at us, evidence of these virtues should be obvious.

Let’s go back to what a man worth considering to date or marry must be 1) a Christian, 2) able to lead, 3) committed to prayer, and finally… he must have evidence of fruit.

Galatians 5 is a checklist for our own hearts, but it also gives us a set of very specific questions to ask when considering who to link your life with:

  1. Is he loving?
  2. Does he have joy?
  3. Is his life peaceful?
  4. Is he patient?
  5. Is he kind?
  6. Is he good to others?
  7. Is he faithful (does he keep promises)?
  8. Is he gentle (as opposed to harsh or aggressive)?
  9. Does he practice self-control?

I’m not asking you to wait for the perfect guy. He doesn’t exist. But here’s a news flash—you’re not the perfect girl. Neither am I. No one can live out the principles of Galatians 5:22–23 flawlessly, but there needs to be evidence of the fruit to come in our lives and in the life of any potential husband.

Is he the one? It’s a question you’ll likely find yourself asking yourself at some point. The answer may not be simple. You can’t just trust your feelings and you shouldn’t assume the answer is yes, just because a guy is a Christian. But the Bible does give clear insight into what a godly husband will be.

What should you do while you wait for him? I say, live like a tree!

But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever (Psalm 52:8).


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