12 And on the next day, when they had departed from Bethany, He became hungry.
13 And seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
14 And He answered and said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. (NAS)
20 And as they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.
21 And being reminded, Peter said to Him, ‘Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” (NAS)
Being a food foodie; (not alcohol; ha ha) my sin I could remember when I first read the scripture mainly that we ought to hunger and thirst after God words. Of course, Jesus being the master on teaching He brings it home as He would that we focus on him V12 (here it is..proof of His humanity) I ‘m not sure of how it read in the Hebrew bible; but the spirit of God wanted me to investigate the question that I asked in verse 13 particularly, “He went to see it perhaps He would find anything on it”; (Now I promised you I didn’t want to accept this because Jesus knows if there were any figs on that tree; so it couldn’t be about figs as I was mediating; or picture it in my mind. Sure enough the Holy Spirit directed me below.
This passage has proven to be one of the most difficult passages in all the Gospels. The cursing of the fig tree is Jesus’ only recorded miracle that results in destruction rather than restoration. The passage, however, becomes clear when understood in its literary context.
In this passage, two encounters with a fig tree are deliberately sandwiched in between Jesus’ cleansing of the temple. There is apparently a relationship between the two incidents, and the reader is left to discover that relationship.
So, my understanding that Holy Spirit (will make you do it) wanted me to imagine in my mind the physical aspect of fig tree. In order for me to do that I had to learn about a fig tree. The research that I came across helped me see that it wasn’t the physical tree because of the season and besides revelation of this scripture. I bear witness with just my little understanding as there are well learned men in which I tapped into their teaching about this particular scripture in the book of Mark.
Mark has several interrupted accounts. The fig tree incident is yet another one. On a number of occasions, Mark begins one story and concludes it only after another story in interjected and resolved. This is almost always a literary device designed to tie two incidents together thematically. In this passage, two encounters with a fig tree are deliberately sandwiched in between Jesus’ cleansing of the temple. There is apparently a relationship between the two incidents, and the reader is left to discover that relationship.
The temple cleansing is a fulfillment of Malachi 3:1-3. Moses commanded that folks were to purchase sacrifices conveniently, so the purchasing of sacrifices was not the impetus for Jesus’ actions. There seem to be two reasons for Jesus’ abrupt behavior: 1) the Gentile court was not functioning as intended: it was supposed to be a house of worship and instead these worshippers were being crowded out by merchandisers, and 2) It was supposed to be primarily a place of worship, not primarily a marketplace.
Although leaves would commonly appear in March or April, figs normally sprouted in June. The fully developed leaves on this tree, however, suggested that fruit would also be found. Jesus approaches the leafy fig tree fully expecting to find fruit there (if any tree is going to have fruit, this tree certainly would). When He finds none, Jesus responds in righteous anger. Likewise, Jesus enters the temple fully expecting to find fruit there (if any place is going to produce spiritual fruit, this temple certainly would). When He finds none, Jesus responds in righteous anger.
The fig tree incident, then, is a visual parable. Clearly Jesus is indicating judgment, but judgment on whom? Since the tree had leaves, one would expect that fruit accompanied them. Jesus expects to see fruit, and is visibly disappointed when He finds none. The tree was “pretending” to bear fruit. What a terrific picture of the Jewish leadership of Jesus’ day. They “pretended” to have fruit. What a great picture of countless believers today.
The point lies in the difference between the appearance of the temple and the tree from a distance and their true condition, which a closer inspection reveals. Does that sound like your life? To most people you appear to be genuine. But what if we examined you closer? What if we could follow you around for a week? Would we find fruit, or have you grown adept at giving the appearance of fruit from a distance?
Our Fruitfulness Pleases the Lord (11:20-26)104
11:20 In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 11:21 Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered.” 11:22 Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God. 11:23 I tell you the truth, if someone says to this mountain,105 ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 11:24 For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 11:25 Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your sins.”
Jesus is here giving a summons to faith and to action consistent with one’s faith. He mentions two specific fruits of genuine faith: Prayer and forgiveness—two of the most difficult fruits to counterfeit. Incidentally, the first fruit Jesus describes (namely, prayer) is the primary fruit He found missing at the temple (“My house will be called a house of prayer . . .”). Just as a pulse is the sign of a heartbeat, so fruit is the sign of internal spiritual life.
Thank you Pastor Miller
Excerpts from Pastor Jeffrey E. Miller