Today's passage reminds us once again that leaders are responsible for those they lead and will be held accountable for how they do so. We are all leaders to some degree or another, and should all take this to heart.
It warns once again about the prevalence of false teachers, something that we have in abundance these days! There are a lot of prosperity preachers and those who claim to speak for God and yet call right wrong. We must compare any teaching we hear with the truth from God's Word. That is to be our only standard.
The story of the good and bad figs caught my eye in Jeremiah 24. I appreciated this excerpt from my Life Application Bible....
The fresh, ripe figs represented the exiles to Babylon, not because they themselves were good but because their hearts would respond to God. He would preserve them and bring them back to the land. The bad, rotten figs represented those who remained in Judah or ran away to Egypt. Those people may have arrogantly believed they would be blessed if they remained in the land or escaped to Egypt, but the opposite was true because God would use the captivity to refine the exiles. We may assume we are blessed when life goes well and cursed when it does not. But trouble is a blessing when it makes us stronger, and prosperity is a curse if it entices us away from God. If you are facing trouble, ask God to help you grow stronger for him. If things are going your way, ask God to help you use your prosperity for him.
Believers are the good figs - but not because of anything inherently good in us, but because of His grace, because of the Holy Spirit's work to soften our hearts to the gospel, because of His power to draw us to Himself.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Jeremiah 29-31