Give a Fig!
And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. Mark 11:11-14
Let’s talk about fig trees. Fig trees in Palestine have two growing seasons. The first season is in the early spring (around Passover), where the leaves appear, and the early figs develop. These early figs are small, hard, and generally not easily eaten. If the tree fails to produce early figs, it may signify disease or infertility and will likely not bear fruit in the second season. The fruit is large, fleshy, and sweet if it makes it to the second season.
Jesus is heading back into the city from his Judean headquarters in Bethany (see Lazarus, Martha, and Mary in the Gospel of John). He is hungry and sees a fig tree in leaf from a distance. When he gets closer, he finds no fruit (because this was not the season for the edible figs he was seeking). Jesus then placed a “curse” on the tree because it showed such promise and yielded no fruit. What does this story have to do with the price of
Think about context. Jesus is entering the city at a festival celebrating the deliverance of the people from enslavement by Egypt. These were the people who were given the Law of Moses and eventually delivered into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey (and olives, figs, new wine, etc.). They were supposed to bear fruit, but over the centuries, as the people hungered for righteousness, there were many moments when Israel gave the appearance of being healthy and fruitful but was not; there was nothing the people could do to bear the fruit of righteousness. Thus ends the first season (the Old Covenant), but here comes the Son of Man, who is the One who will usher in the second and final growing season that will bear luscious fruit (the New Covenant).
My friends, through our Savior, we are called to be fruitful sharing the righteousness that can only come from the Son of God, Son of Man, Immanuel, Messiah, Christ, Redeemer, King of Kings, Lamb of God, the Word, Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace, and more. Don’t put on appearances; be the fruit of the second growing season, luscious and sweet!
It’s time to “give a fig!”
Cultivate us with your Spirit. Help us not to be posers that appear in fruit only to “leave” people disappointed because we are not properly rooted in you.
I pray this in the many names of Jesus, Amen!