Unlimited: Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
Feb 22, 2021 1888
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it (Mark 11:12–14, NIV).
Jesus entered Jerusalem with his disciples late on the previous day. Because of the late hour, he only had time to look around, and then he returned to Bethany, where he was staying, probably with his friend Lazarus.
Early the next morning, Jesus left Bethany for Jerusalem, a walk of perhaps 45 minutes.
Jesus was hungry. Maybe he left Bethany early and skipped breakfast. We don’t know.
But what Mark says here might sound a bit strange. Why should Jesus expect to find figs on the tree, if, as Mark says, “it was not the season for figs.”
Before the main crop of figs – the season for figs – fig trees in Palestine put out their leaves and bear a first, smaller crop of figs amongst the leaves. This fig tree had all the signs of bearing figs – the leaves – but it had no figs.
To some people, what Jesus did in cursing the fig tree might seem petty. But Jesus did nothing out of spite or malice. Everything he did, he did for a purpose.
Jesus was acting out what would happen to Jerusalem, for having the appearance of righteousness, but not it’s fruits: for rejecting him. Without Jesus there can be no fruit.
Fig trees exist to bear figs. We – you and I – exist to bear fruit.
The fig tree was all show and no substance. It was covered in beautiful green leaves, but there were no figs there. You can fool others, but you can’t fool Jesus.
Jesus is coming to look for fruit in your life. It’s the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy peace, patience, and so on.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Will he find it? Or will he just find green leaves?