Poor Little Fig Tree
Posted on August 7, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“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.” Mark 11:13 (NASB)
So…after doing a little research I have discovered that the leaves of fig trees can get a tad bigger in length and width than the common human hand. Now why do I wanna know this in the first place? Well in Genesis 3:7 after Adam and Eve had their eyes opened and saw that they were naked and ashamed because of it, they sewed fig tree leaves together to make a covering. Being a guy who feels we should only wear clothing that is comfortable, I can’t see how the leaves of any tree could be considered comfortable.
But I guess when you disobey God’s command and you need an instant fix, anything will do apparently. I’m not sure how many fig leaves they needed either, as I’ve tried to calculate how many hands it takes to cover myself up. This has served to show me that no matter how hard we try; we can’t do enough to cover up the shame of being caught up in sin. That’s why we need Jesus, and speaking of Jesus did you ever wonder why He cursed the fig tree?
Well it starts after Jesus triumphally enters Jerusalem. All the people, who have heard about this Messiah, have just finished laying down palm branches and their own garments, shouting, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:9b)! Once all the commotion passes, Jesus goes into the Temple, surveys the area, then makes His way to a place called Bethany. It’s on the way back to Jerusalem the next morning that Jesus finds Himself hungry and looks to a fig tree to something to eat.
After discovering it had no fruit, after all the Bible says it wasn’t the season for figs anyway, Jesus will say, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again” then He’ll go into the Temple, turn over tables, chase out the animals for sacrifice and then, quite possibly yelled at the top of His lungs…“Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS? But you have made it a robber’s den” (Mark 11:17). As evening arrived Jesus and the Twelve leave the city.
The next morning, I heard it was a Tuesday, Jesus and the Twelve are making their way back to Jerusalem, when they noticed the withered fig tree. “Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, ‘Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died’” (Mark 11:21)! Jesus will respond by saying, “Have faith in God.” So, what’s today’s take away? Jesus used the fig tree’s destruction to teach a critical lesson on faith and prayer.
Proverbs 28:18 says it pretty clear, “He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit; And he who cares for his master will be honored.” When we maintain our faith in the God of all creation, we are effectively saying that God is our only source of power in performing those things that we ask for in prayer. As you look at the dialogue in Mark 11:23-25, Jesus clearly says that doubt has no place in the heart of belief. Those money changers and sacrifice sellers served to reinforce the doubt in the hearts of God’s people that what they brought for sacrifice wasn’t of any worth…no matter how hard they tried. Jesus made it clear to them…all that had to go.
Doubt interferes with forgiveness. Adam and Eve doubted that God had them covered, next thing ya know they’re trying to make clothing outta vegetation. The nation of Israel doubted, a lot, and they were just going through the motions trying to be forgiven. In contrast here, Jesus will straighten this all by bringing out this connection.
To be effective, prayer must be offered in faith, knowing God’s omnipotence is its sole assurance, and His sovereignty its only restriction. You can AMEN that but there’s more. Prayer must be offered up in the spirit of forgiveness. Jesus says whenever you’re praying, forgive and you’ll be forgiven by your Father who is in heaven. “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions” (Mark 11:26).
It may not have been the season for figs, but Jesus may have seen that the withered fig tree wasn’t being maintained as well. May that be any of us. When we go to prayer may the Son see a maintained faith, so as He intercedes on our behalf the heavens will open up and bless our requests. Remember, those who forgive much are forgiven much and probably heard in the prayer the most. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This:“The story of every great Christian achievement is the history of answered prayer.” — E.M. Bounds
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Yet I am the Lord your God ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but Me; for there is no savior besides Me. – Hosea 13:4
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.