Some strange things happened on Monday. Let’s look at the meaning behind Jesus cursing a fig tree and clearing the Temple court.
What Did the Fig Tree Do Wrong?
“He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit” (Mark 11:13, NLT). Was Jesus unreasonable for expecting fruit on the fig tree when it was out of season? See how Dr. Bruce B. Barton explains it like this in the Tyndale House, Life Application Bible Commentary:
Fig trees were a popular source of inexpensive food in Israel. In March, the fig trees had small edible buds; in April came the large green leaves. Then in May the buds would fall off, replaced by the normal crop of figs. This incident occurred in April, and the green leaves should have indicated the presence of the edible buds which Jesus expected to find on the tree, because it was not the season for figs. However, this tree, though full of leaves, had no buds. Fig trees require three years from the time they are planted until they can bear fruit. The absence of buds indicated that the tree would not produce figs that year. The tree looked promising but offered no fruit.
As it relates to Israel and the religious leaders, they looked religious but their lives did not reveal a genuine faith. They looked good but they were fakers. We need to be careful not to just look like we have it all together; we need to be genuine in our faith journeys. It might be wise to read this passage alongside of James 2:14–26 to find the richness of what Jesus was illustrating.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.