Today is day three of Holy Week (Tuesday).
I am studying a few passages in the gospels during the last week of Jesus life on earth.
(Recap) Jesus cursed the fig tree on day two which would have been Monday.
Mark 11:13-14 describes the scene:
“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season of figs.He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.
A little note about fig trees:
“Experts tell us that in the fig-tree the leaves accompany, and do not precede, the fruit. And so this one tree, brave in its show of foliage amidst leafless companions, was a hypocrite unless there were figs below the leaves.” McLaren’s Expositions
- Figs come before the leaves.
- Fig trees were plentiful in Israel.
- It would have been easy to walk from one place to another and possibly come across a tree alongside the road.
Jesus was seeking fruit.He found the appearance of fruit bearing leaves. But no fruit was found on the tree.
The next morning, on day three (Tuesday) Peter points out the fig tree to Jesus.
“As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.”
On Tuesday, the disciples found the tree not just dying off, but DEAD. From the roots up. Commentaries suggest the tree possibly might have been withered down to the degree like a stump which would have been a miracle (many call it a destructive miracle-the only one); a stark contrast from the day before. Jesus brings life, but he also brings justice and judgement. Believers love to talk about the love and mercy of Jesus, but sometimes we don’t like to talk about the other side of his character; that he is justice and judgement. You cannot take one without the other. He is grace, but he is justice.
If you study deeper into the context about the fig tree that Jesus cursed, you will find that Jesus cursed the fig tree on the way to the temple. Some theologians say that Jesus was using the fig tree to describe Israel. For when he visited the temple, Israel had a place of worship (like the leaves) but they did not have a thriving spiritual life (like the fruit). The temple was run over by greed. I am no theologian, but it certainly makes sense because these events are in order.
Holy Week Truths
- This passage brings to mind the question, “Am I a bearing fruit for Jesus in my daily life?” Jesus was seeking fruit. There was no fruit. The FRUIT of the Holy Spirit within us helps us to be producing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, long-suffering, and self-control. When we know Jesus as Savior, he gives us his Holy Spirit and it is supposed to be helping us grow more and more to be like Jesus. We hinder the Spirit producing fruit in our hearts when we turn away from God’s word, when we harbor sin and rebel against Jesus. I don’t want to look like I am bearing fruit. I really want to bear REAL fruit! Do I have a thriving spiritual life? Or one that appears to be a spiritual life?
- Without Jesus, I am nothing. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one abiding in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit. For apart from Me you are able to do nothing.” John 15:5
- Not everyone will follow Jesus. They will forever be cut off from his kingdom. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” John 15:6
This passage is a tough one.It’s not warm and fuzzy to read like some passages in the Bible. I pray todays reading encourages you or gets you thinking more about what it truly means to know and love Jesus.