“And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.” Mark 11:13
Falsely raising expectations is one of the things con men do when they’re preparing their target for a fleecing. Whether it’s done face to face, over the phone, or through a phishing attack via email or the internet, it all begins with some kind of presentation the goal of which is to get you to think that you can trust them and that they will provide you with some service or product you desire or need.
These swindlers are, like the fig tree Jesus went to looking for figs, falsely advertising that they have something to offer when, in fact, they’re not worth the time it takes to cross the road.
It’s true that one can’t accuse a fig tree of having false intentions. As far as we can tell trees have no conscious thought processes. However, intentional or not, for a fig tree to produce leaves prior to the bearing of figs is to reverse the normal pattern of fig trees. Usually fig trees produce their fruit and then, when the fruit is ready, they produce their leaves.
One of the problems many people have with Christians is hypocrisy. This is basically the raising of expectations regarding character and conduct and then not fulfilling those expectations.
One of the ways Seventh-day Adventist christians raise these expectations is by our faithfulness in fulfilling the legal requirements set forth in scripture. Our faithfulness and obedience in keeping the sabbath, paying tithe, and matters of diet cause people to look to us to fulfill other expectations as well. Where their expectations are most often disappointed is when they look for a Christlike tenderness, attentiveness, and lovingkindness. Far to often, instead of these they find callousness, distractedness, and indifference.
Galatians 5:22-23 says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. If Jesus is living in our lives, through the Spirit, then people, approaching the tree of our lives, ought to be able to find this fruit in us.