We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

The Cursed Fig Tree

Did you ever wonder why Jesus cursed the fig tree that had no fruit, especially since it wasn’t the time of year for figs? On the surface, Jesus is hungry, the tree has no fruit, and as a result, the tree gets dusted! (pun intended)

At first glance it appears that the tree did nothing to deserve its demise. But there’s a clue. The text in Matthew 21 states the tree bore only leaves.

To understand the cursing of the fig tree you need to know that in the springtime there is a certain kind of fig tree that bears figs first and then leaves. When Jesus arrives upon the scene it is early spring and fig trees should not be in full foliage at this time of year.

This fruitless fig tree looked good on the outside, full of leaves, but inside it was barren. This makes even more sense when you connect the cursed fig tree with the previous scene–the cleansing of the temple. Jesus just threw out the money changers, crying out, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

The cursing of the fig tree was an illustration to help the disciples to see what had just taken place in the temple. Jesus was teaching them not to live in hypocrisy–looking good on the outside. He was teaching them that if they wanted to have answers to prayer, then they needed to have a fruitful life.

In John 15 we read: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Recommended Reading:

The Children of Cloverley

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 11:44 am  Comments (28)  

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