I have a confession to make. My eldest child, FBC, loves Spongebob Squarepants. She gets it honest, her mother and I were known to watch it well into our twenties. To say it is a show that she shouldn’t be watching is probably an understatement, but she’s a PK and we don’t want her to be a victim of her circumstances, so we fudge some. There are rules to watching Spongebob however. We tend to be selective about which episodes get chosen from the DVR library, and that standing rule in our house is if you say the word stupid, you can’t watch Spongebob. FBC knows the rule so well that she’ll correct anyone and everyone she hears saying the forbidden word. “Uh Oh, so-and-so can’t watch Spongebob,” has been heard on multiple occasions.
After three days of trying to figure out just who is stupid in the ongoing brew-ha-ha between Jesus and the Chief Priests in Matthew 21, three days of not being allowed to watch Spongebob (thankfully), it is probably time to move on to something just a bit deeper; something more theologically astute; something like fruit.
The 21st chapter of Matthew is ripe with fruit imagery (pardon the pun). We have the famous story of Jesus cursing the fig tree. There’s the Parable of the Two Sons called to go to work in the vineyard. This Sunday, we hear and the Parable of the Wicked Tenants and Jesus’ declaration that the Kingdom belongs to those who “a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.” According to the folks at Sermon Brainwave, Matthew is fond of the fruit metaphor. He’s not arguing works righteousness, but that the sign and symbol of life in the Kingdom is a life that bears fruit. Those who claim to be disciples of Jesus show their devotion by feeding the hungry, visiting those in prison, loosing the bonds of oppression, clothing the naked, and caring for the marginalized (Mt 25.31ff).
The world today is ripe (there I go again) with opportunities to bear the fruit of the kingdom. How will you be fruitful today?