Monday, September 10, 2012


For the past year or so, I have spent a lot of time thinking about truth.

It began last fall as I inwardly puzzled over the scriptures about Jesus and the fig tree. The story seems bizarre at first, with Jesus cursing a fig tree for not bearing fruit when it wasn’t even the season for figs. I mean, I can understand irrationally cursing something for not doing what I want it to do (see: every experience I have ever had with a printer), but this is Jesus. I kinda think he didn’t impatiently curse stuff for not doing what he wanted. Just a guess on my part.

So I wondered, what’s the deal? The story confused me. I knew there had to be more to it than met the eye, so I dug deeper. And I found that although it was technically not the right season for figs, the tree was in leaf– which meant figs should have been on the tree. Upon first glance, it appeared as though the tree was bearing fruit, but a closer inspection revealed that it was not.

The tree gave the appearance that it was something it really wasn’t. And upon cursing it, Jesus guaranteed that the tree would never fool anyone with its false appearance again. From then on, it would be seen for what it was.

And that is what Jesus did; he saw people for who they were, and he exposed the truth. To those who appeared outwardly righteous when they really were not, he exposed their inner unrighteousness. To those who appeared outwardly sinful and broken, he scrubbed away the layers of sin and revealed the truth that had been hidden beneath: God’s image in them and his unfailing mercy and compassion for them.

So for the past year, this theme of living in the truth has been on my mind. I want to do away with false pretenses in my life, revealing myself for who I really am. And I want to encourage others to do the same. Let’s stop hiding our broken relationships, addictions, and sins under a facade of righteousness. And in the church, let’s commit to being a mirror that reflects the truth back to the people around us– not the truth of their sins and struggles, but the truth that they are deeply loved by God and made in his image.

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