Posted: April 18, 2020 in Matthew, Matthew 21
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Fig Tree Marketing – © Image by Ross Cochrane with Blender 2.8


The next day, on the train, the Marketing Manager and the Christ Follower resume their conversation. Previously …

MARKETING MANAGER: We can learn a lot about what not to do in Marketing from Jesus. He made so many mistakes.

I’ve already told you His first 7 mistakes. Now His 8th mistake. If you want to make a big mistake in Marketing Yourself then…


MARKETING MANAGER: In Matthew 21:19 (NLT) it says, when Jesus “noticed a fig tree beside the road, He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then He said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.” 

Jesus destroyed the fig tree. Why? It was not bearing fruit so He killed it. Do you know how much those trees are worth? He would be in a lot of trouble with His local council today for doing this if He had been in Australia, especially a Morton Bay Fig, and it would not go down well in the community. You have to be circumspect with your words and with your actions. This is just plain destructive. He didn’t even plant some new trees.

CHRIST FOLLOWER: I think He was using the tree as a powerful lesson. 

MARKETING MANAGER: Even if He was using the fig tree as a lesson, what does it say? If you don’t bear fruit, you’ll go to hell? He has got to get some kind of control on His anger. First He overturns the tables of the moneychangers, then He gets the religious community leaders offside. Then He takes it out on the environment. This is no way to market yourself. 

CHRIST FOLLOWER: This is where you need to realise something about Jesus. The Messiah has absolute power over ALL the physical universe. He alone has the power to judge and to determine fruitfulness and unfruitfulness, life and death, salvation and condemnation. Connection to Christ is a powerful thing. In Matthew 17:20 (NLT) Jesus had already told His disciples, “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

MARKETING MANAGER: Now, right there, He almost got it right. That’s a much better slogan, “Mountain Moving Marketing” but not “Mustard Seed Marketing.” “Nothing is impossible Marketing” has a ring to it, but certainly not  “Fig Tree Faith” – Faith that kills fig trees and destroys our environment to make some obscure point about bearing fruit. 

CHRIST FOLLOWER: You don’t get it. Jesus comes to many people like He came to that fig tree, expecting to find fruit but instead He finds only leaves – a false impression of a spiritual life, no faith, no spiritual authority to do anything for God.

This was true of the money changers and the religious leaders in the Temple. Just leaves! No fruit that could nourish anyone, let alone please God. Just trying to impress others but not God. 

MARKETING MANAGER: Marketing Yourself depends on giving a good impression.

CHRIST FOLLOWER: But hopefully not a false impression. The Fig Tree is a good picture of anyone who thinks that making a good impression is better than finding and living out a genuine faith in Christ. 

It’s no use being ritualistic but deceptively empty of any profession of faith. Spirituality that is dependent on ritual rather than relationship with God is false. Nothing but leaves! Christ indicates from His actions and words that false spirituality will eventually bring its own curse. A withered up fig tree is at least more honest than giving a false impression of fruitfulness. 

MARKETING MANAGER: That doesn’t change the fact that Jesus’ actions towards the environment were offensive to the community.

CHRIST FOLLOWER: Have you considered that people who are phony, simply giving a good impression on the outside, sanctimonious but not genuine, are offensive to God like the fig tree with leaves but no fruit. Not only barren but hypocritical and false. True faith can accomplish incredible results in a person’s life – mountain moving faith. Empty faith only brings its own curse, a withered life on the inside. 

Leaves but no fruit © Image created by Ross Cochrane with Blender 2.8

Hebrews 11:6 (Message) says, “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him.”

MARKETING MANAGER: That leads me to the way you communicate and the 9th Marketing mistake made by Jesus.

CHRIST FOLLOWER: (Sarcastically) I can’t wait to hear but this is my stop.

MARKETING MANAGER: I am so pleased that you are interested. This will really help you. I will look forward to sharing more of WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN MARKETING YOURSELF (Part 8)

Pastor Ross

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