MODELING MESSAGES. We’ve heard the phrase actions speak louder than words. In the past, prophets modeled their messages to call attention to their words. This message is about why Christ called us and the surprising example of how he prophetically modelled that message. In Micah 6:6, the question is asked, “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, & bow myself before the high God?” Many of us have wondered just this…with what do I enter into His glorious divine presence??
OUR PURPOSE IS TO BEAR GOOD FRUIT. Christ said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples.”(A) We were chosen by Christ to bear fruit. A fruit tree is only good if it bears fruit. The concept of God’s people being fruitful is abundant in the Word of God occurring perhaps in an estimated 200 verses…for example: “for I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful” (B) ”being fruitful in every good work”(C)…”being filled with the fruits of righteousness” (D)…and telling us that God’s wisdom is full of mercy and good fruit. (E)
PROPHETIC DRAMATIZATIONS. The Word of God is full of dramatic portrayals of truths. The Tabernacle of David (F) and the Temple of Solomon (G) were models of spiritual truths. For instance, the Holy Oil that was compounded for anointing represented the Holy Spirit anointing us…and also the blending of the sweet and bitter spices with the olive oil (PS 133:1-2)(H) shows how we have to take the good with the bad in life, and in the congregation of God’s people. Prophets were anointed with the Holy Oil (I) to illustrate that they were anointed with the Holy Spirit. The prophet Hosea had the message that Israel was committing adultery, so he married a prostitute to publicly model his message. (J) The prophet Isaiah’s message was about the shame of Israel, so he walked around naked. The prophet Micah’s message was that the nation of Israel was dirty, so he rolled in mud and walked around muddy. Jeremiah was warning about their spiritual bondage, so he wore a large yoke around his neck. Habakkuk was trying to receive a divine message about how to help the future, so he stood on a tower until he got solutions from God. John the Baptist was a prophet like Elijah, so he dressed like Elijah. Christ’s disciples to illustrate that they wanted nothing to do with those who would not listen to them, would shake the dust off of their sandals after departing houses that rejected their message. (K) These prophetic dramas were not for entertainment or foretelling the future, rather, the modeling was serving the purpose; “The Lord testified…by the hand of every prophet…saying, “Turn ye from your evil ways…” 2 KGS 17:113.
CHRIST’S SURPRISE MODELING. Christ’s big message to everyone was to bear fruit. He said that any [spiritual] tree that doesn’t bear fruit will be cut down. He gave a number of parables about fruit (L) including one about figs bearing fruit. As a dramatic modeling, on the way to Jerusalem he saw a fruitless fig tree and he cursed it. It has baffled readers why he would curse a barren fig tree. The answer is to understand how prophets modeled their messages! Every tree that does not bear fruit will be cursed and cut down.
(A) JN 15:16, then 15:8 (B) LEV 26:9 (C) COL 1:10 (D) PHIL 1:11 (E) JAS 3:17 (F) 2 SAM 6:17, AMOS 9:8-12 (G) 2 CHR 3:1 (H) also see EX 30:22-33, Song of SOL 1:13, 3:6, 4:6, & PS 45:5-8 (I) 1 KGS 19:16 (J) HOS chap. 1 (K) MT 6:11, LK 6:48, LK 9:5 (L) for example MT 13’s parables