Mark 11:12-14 -12 – “On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He was hungry. 13 Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He would find anything on it. But He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “No one will ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening [to what He said].”
The passage above actually happened just before the one we read yesterday, where Jesus cleaned out the temple flea market.
On the way to do that, He was hungry and He saw a blooming fig tree which upon He expected to find figs growing. When He did not He literally cursed the tree and wished it to die and never produce again.
I have always found it a bit odd.
Until we read it according to what is happening and what had been happening along the way to the Cross it remains a curious verse.
Jesus has no use for RELIGIOUS staleness and uselessness. He doesn’t like the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes. They are the purveyors of the Law and the social and moral conscience of Israel. They are a completely crooked bunch devoid of any Godly merit.
The fig tree becomes an object lesson for the disciples. In cursing it He is making a spiritual point in a live metaphorical way about how He views the spiritual condition of Israel and the Temple of God (which He shows soon after in His rampage in the Temple Court).
The true lesson however doesn’t come until the next day.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it’s the next morning, having gone back to Bethany after clearing out the Temple, they are now on their way back into Jerusalem.
Mark 11:20-22 (AMP) – ” In the morning, as they were passing by, the disciples saw that the fig tree had withered away from the roots up. 21 And remembering, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi (Master), look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered!” 22 Jesus replied, “Have faith in God [constantly].”
This gets the attention of the disciples. The fig tree is actually dead. Really, really, dead.
Just like Israel. Just like Christians who don’t bear fruit. Ruh-roh!
Yeah. Even today. Modern day implications. Maybe more for us today than it was for then. The entire regime of the Sanhedrin was going to crash and burn in a few more hours when Jesus would bleed out on the Cross and fulfill the self imposed curse of Israel proclaimed by its own RELIGIOUS ideals that would energize, kick in, and become a reality that would carry through into the very present day and beyond.
Remember this tidbit?
Matthew 27:25 (AMP) – “And all the people answered, Let His blood be on us and on our children!”
They were done for immediately and into all future generations. They turned themselves into withering fig trees.
But what about us?
Yes, what about us?
Well, I believe we were on His mind at that moment as well. We are as, if not more, accountable to Jesus as the Jews were!
We know better. Or should.
There is no “replacement theology” at play here.
Israel was Israel (and still is), and we are The Church. The Church is not Israel, nor vice versa.
Don’t confuse it. Believe me, you don’t want to be placed under the same curse as Israel.
Shortly after they thought it vogue to utter that very pious sounding pledge to RELIGION, many of them over the course of time were lining the road into Jerusalem like lamp posts all suffering their own crucifixions. The Romans were not impressed. The Pharisees didn’t care.
Oh yeah. Back to us.
John 15:5 (AMP) – “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”
Oh those painful little “however’s”. Ouch.
It’s fig tree fate. Yes, it is. Read on.
John 15:6 (AMP) – “If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.”
The actions of Jesus with the fig tree can be summed up rather succinctly.
What good are you?
Do we think we get a free pass on disobedience while Israel catches the bullet? Think again mojombo.
What good is a fig tree that bears no figs? What good is Israel if it doesn’t reflect the God or Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and rejects the Messiah they should have been expecting? What good is the present Church of Jesus Christ if doesn’t bear the fruit it is intended to?
What good are we?
No good at all if we are not being who we are destined to be in Christ.
We have to learn to look closely at the “however’s” and the “whoever’s” in these verses.
“Whoever lives in Me” wins the prize here. They get to live eternally in Christ.
That’s me. I’m not letting anything or anyone get in the way of it.
I hope the same for you.