Frondescence

That's it. Just leaves. No seriously, frondescence is simply a botanical term for foliage.

I've always wondered about this. In Matthew's Gospel (21:18-19), Jesus goes into Jerusalem and He's hungry for breakfast. He stops at a fig tree and sees there's no fruit on it "but leaves only" and proceeds to pronounce judgment upon the tree, saying "let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever". Okay.

In the next couple of verses, the disciples are amazed at how quickly the fig tree withers and dies. They say as much. Jesus responds with a lesson on remaining believing and faithful with our requests in order to see them through. But I think there's a deeper lesson here.

In John's Gospel (chapter 15), Jesus is walking through a vineyard and sharing with His disciples the parallels between our life and the activity of a vineyard. In verse eight, He says "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." Referring again to the incident in Matthew, it's disconcerting to see Jesus--who is the Lord of all Creation--come to this tree expecting to find some fruit with which to satisfy His hunger--and in turn be disappointed. In John 15 (verse 16), He says "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain...". He also says in verse two: "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, He (The Father) taketh away:". While that may seem to have a negative connotation, when it says in the King James that God "taketh away", it's essentially referring to Him showing that person some special attention by way of what may look like (at first) loveless discipline. Hang in there. Elsewhere in the letter to the Hebrews (12:6), it says "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth."

"Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." Proverbs 1:23

Hebrews 12:11 says: "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." In verse seven, it says that "if ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons (and daughters)" In other words, it's a welcome thing to be given special attention by God as He wants to clean us up and see to it that we're not producing just leaves. It would seem to me that leaves are symbolic of the blessings God gives us and that the fruit that we produce is the gratitude and love and joy that we give back to Him. And when Jesus sees to it that we're blessed but are never giving anything back to Him in return, I can understand why He'd be a little angry. The negation of the fig tree must have been a last resort for Him, I don't know. I do know that I never want to be in that position when it comes to giving back.

Do we ever think about Him having needs? In Matthew 21, it says "he hungered". In the fourth chapter of John (verse 23), Jesus tells the Samarian woman that "the Father seeketh such to worship Him" in "spirit and truth". If you ever think that our feeble thanks isn't enough to equal the beauty and wonder that God has shown you, don't let it stop you from giving it anyway. I've let this attitude keep me from gratitude many times and upon retrospect, it makes no sense to me. This why we have eternity ladies and gentlemen. To give back to God for the things He's done for us through Jesus.

"Whosoever offereth praise glorifieth Me: and to him (and her) that ordereth [their] conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God." Psalm 50:23

See, God created us to minister to Him. The least we can do is show gratitude to Him for His extravagant love and provision.