Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?
Answer to the question The story of Jesus cursing the barren fig tree is told in two separate gospel accounts: Mark’s version and Luke’s account.It can first be observed in Matthew 21:18-22, and subsequently in Mark 11:12-14, among other places.When it comes to the two stories, there are some minor inconsistencies that may be resolved by carefully reading the relevant portions.The key to comprehending this verse, like with all Scripture, is to grasp the historical and cultural context in which it occurred.
In order to fully comprehend this chapter, we must first consider the passage’s historical and geographical context.For example, when did this occur, what was the environment, and where did it take place are all important questions.In addition, in order to completely comprehend this verse, we must first grasp the significance of the fig tree in relation to the country of Israel, as well as the manner throughout which the fig tree is frequently utilized in the Scriptures to metaphorically symbolize Israel.Finally, we must have a fundamental grasp of the fig tree itself, including its growth seasons and other characteristics.First and foremost, when we consider the passage’s overall historical backdrop, we can discern that it took place during the week leading up to His crucifixion.In the midst of Jewish people’s acclaim and worship, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem a day earlier.
- They viewed Him as the promised Messiah who would free them from the oppression of Roman rule (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11).
- Now, the next day, Jesus is once again on His journey to Jerusalem from Bethany, where He had been resting the night before.
- Both Matthew and Mark mention that He was hungry while on the road and that He noticed a fig tree in the distance that had leaves on it (Mark 11:13).
While expecting to find something to eat under the fig tree, Jesus instead discovered that the tree was devoid of fruit, and he cursed the tree, saying, ″May no fruit ever come from you again!″ (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:14; Luke 21:19.) This narrative of the cursing and withering of the fig tree is included in Matthew’s account of Jesus purifying the Temple of the moneychangers, which follows the account of Jesus cleansing the Temple of the moneychangers.Mark says that event really took place over two days, with Jesus cursing the fig tree on the first day while on his way to cleanse the Temple, and the disciples noticing the tree withered on the second day while on their way back to Jerusalem from Bethany, as recorded in Mark (Mark 11:12-14 and Mark 11:19-20).Of fact, when the disciples saw the tree ″withered from the roots up,″ they were taken aback, as this would have ordinarily taken several weeks to accomplish.After reviewing the story’s overall chronological context, we may begin to address some of the numerous concerns that are frequently posed about it in this section.
- First and foremost, why would Jesus curse the fig tree if it was not the appropriate time of year for figs is a legitimate issue.
- This question may be answered by looking at the properties of fig trees, which can be found on the internet.
- As with most other trees, the fig tree’s fruit appears before its leaves, and because the fruit is green, it blends in with the foliage until it is nearly ripe.
- Consequently, when Jesus and His followers noticed from a distance that the tree was bearing leaves, they would have assumed that the tree was also bearing fruit, despite the fact that it was later in the season than it was customarily the case for an unripe fig tree to develop fruit.
- Furthermore, each fig tree would often yield two to three crops of figs every season.
- Early crops would be harvested in the spring, with one or two later crops following after that.
- Furthermore, depending on the temperature and circumstances in a particular region of Israel, it was conceivable for a tree to yield fruit ten out of every twelve months in some areas.
- The fact that Jesus and His followers would be seeking for fruit on the fig tree even though it was not the major growing season further helps to explain their actions.
- The fact that the tree already had leaves on it, despite the fact that it was located at a higher height surrounding Jerusalem and consequently outside of the regular fig-producing season, would have appeared to be a solid sign that it would also bear fruit.
- If you’re wondering what this paragraph is all about or even what it means, the answer may be found in the chronological context of the passage as well as in a knowledge of how a fig tree is frequently used figuratively to symbolize Israel in the Bible.
- First and foremost, Jesus had only recently arrived in Jerusalem amid much excitement and enormous expectations when he proceeded to cleanse the Temple and curse the barren fig tree, according to the chronology of events.
- Both were significant in terms of the spiritual state of Israel.
- Essentially, Jesus was criticizing Israel’s religious practices when He cleansed the Temple and criticized the worship that was taking place inside (Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17).
- Symbolically, He was decrying Israel as a nation, and in a sense, He was decrying unproductive ″Christians″ as well (that is, people who profess to be Christian but have no evidence of a relationship with Christ).
- For the people of Israel, the presence of a productive fig tree was regarded as a sign of good and prosperity for the country.
- In the same way, the lack or death of a fig tree would represent rejection and judgment.
- The fig tree signified, symbolically, Israel’s spiritual barrenness, despite the fact that they were superficially highly religious, as seen by all of the sacrifices and ceremonies, but were spiritually barren as a result of their sins.
When Jesus cleansed the Temple and cursed the fig tree, causing it to wither and die, He was announcing the impending judgment on Israel and proving His ability to carry it out.The notion is also taught, which is that mere religious profession and practice are insufficient guarantees of salvation until and until the fruits of actual redemption are manifested in the person’s life.James would subsequently write that ″faith without actions is dead,″ which echoed this reality (James 2:26).Fig trees teach us that we should yield spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), not merely put on a religious act for the sake of appearances.
God condemns those who do not yield fruit, and He wants those who are in a relationship with Him to ″bear abundant fruit″ in their lives (John 15:5-8).Return to the previous page: Questions regarding Jesus Christ What was it about the fig tree that caused Jesus to condemn it?
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Jesus Curses a Fig Tree (Mark 11:12-25)
12 The next day, as they were about to leave Bethany, Jesus became famished.13 After spotting a fig tree in full bloom in the distance, he went to see if it was bearing fruit.When he arrived, he discovered nothing but leaves, as it was the wrong time of year for figs.He then addressed the tree, saying, ″May no one ever consume fruit from you again.″ And his followers were present when he said it.
15 When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, he entered the temple courtyards and immediately began ejecting individuals who were buying and selling goods there.He threw over the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves, and he forbade anybody from transporting commerce through the temple courts.17 ″Doesn’t it say in the Bible: ‘My house will be designated a place of prayer for all nations’?″ he asked them as he was teaching them.You, on the other hand, have turned it into a ″den of robbers.″ 18 When the leading priests and teachers of the law heard this, they immediately began seeking for a means to assassinate him because they feared him because the whole audience had been astonished by his teaching.19 As the sun began to set, Jesus and his followers prepared to leave town.20 As they continued their journey in the morning, they noticed that the fig tree had withered from the roots.
- 21 Peter recalled this and went to Jesus, ″Rabbi, take a look!″ ″The fig tree you cursed has wilted,″ says the witch.
- 22 Jesus responded by saying, ″Have trust in God.″ if somebody says to this mountain: ″Go, hurl yourself into the sea,″ and does not have any doubts in their hearts but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them, I assure you.
- 24 In order to receive everything you ask for in prayer, you must first believe that you have received it, and then it will become yours.
In addition, when you are standing in prayer, if you have anything against anybody, forgive them so that your heavenly Father may forgive you of your sins.″
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree (Matthew 21:18-22)
18 In the wee hours of the morning, while Jesus was making his way back to the city, he became hungry.19 He approached a fig tree by the side of the road and found nothing but leaves on it.He returned to the car.Then he cursed it, saying, ″May you never produce fruit again!″ The tree perished very immediately.
20 The disciples were taken aback when they realized what had happened.″How did the fig tree wither so quickly?″ they were perplexed to discover.21 ″Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but you can also say to this mountain, ‘Go, hurl yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.″ Jesus continued, ″ 22 If you believe, you will receive anything you pray for.″
Meaning of the Fig Tree Parable
Cursing the fig tree was Jesus’ manner of expressing his displeasure at the state of the nation’s spiritual condition before the Lord.They had the appearance of religion, but not the substance of it.They had the appropriate words to speak, but their hearts were distant from God, as was their situation.In accordance with Smith’s Bible Dictionary, the fig tree was a frequent sight across the region both in Biblical times and in modern times.
And it was common knowledge in Jesus’ day that if you saw leaves on a fig tree, you might anticipate fruit to come from it unless the tree was barren, as was the case in this case.Sitting beneath one’s own fig tree was a popular expression in the Bible (1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10), and it served as a symbol of peace and prosperity throughout the ages.Please see below for a complete transcript of this Bible tale as well as links to associated articles, videos, and audio sermons for further Bible study materials.
Why Did Jesus Curse the Fig Tree?
Towards the beginning of Mark 11, Jesus walks to a fig tree to take a bite of fruit.The fig tree, on the other hand, has not produced any fruit, prompting him to curse it.Then, once he has finished cleaning up the temple, Peter notices that the cursed fig tree has shriveled and died.But why did Jesus curse the fig tree in the first place?
In the updated edition of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Walter W.Wessel and Mark L.Strauss looked at this text.They have some valuable insights to give, and we’ve included an extract from one of them below.
It is in this passage that we get the second portion of the tale of the fig tree (11:12–14), which is sandwiched between the description of the purification of the temple. This ″intercalation″ is significant theologically (see Overview, 11:15–19 for further information).
SCRIPTURE: MARK 11:20-25
As they continued their journey in the morning, they saw that the fig tree had withered from the roots.″Rabbi, take a look!″ Peter remembered and spoke to Jesus.″The fig tree you cursed has wilted,″ says the witch.In response, Jesus said, ″Have trust in God.″ In all seriousness, I promise you that if somebody says to this mountain, ‘Go hurl yourself into the sea,’ and does not have any doubts in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
In order to ensure that you receive anything you ask for in prayer, I tell you to think that you have received it, and it will become yours.And while you’re standing there praying, if you have anything against someone, forgive him so that your heavenly Father might forgive you your sins.’″
COMMENTARY ON WHY JESUS CURSED THE FIG TREE
On their way back to Jerusalem from Bethany the following morning (probably on Tuesday of Passion Week), Jesus and his disciples passed the fig tree for the second time.It had been completely demolished (″withered from the roots″).Because of Jesus’ prediction that no one would ever eat fruit from the tree again (v.14), Peter directed Jesus’ attention to the withered tree, reminding him of what Jesus had said (v.21).Despite the fact that Jesus does not expressly interpret the incident, the implication appears to be clear: Jesus’ foretold judgment on the temple will come to pass just as assuredly as his forecast that the fig tree will wither.
REMINDER: Matthew only mentions the cursing of the fig tree after the temple has been cleansed, and he says the tree withered ″at once″ (Mt 21:19).These discrepancies correspond to his penchant to condense and shorten incidents (cf.Mt 8:5–13; 9:18–26; 10:1–4).
This has been brought to our attention: the curse of the fig tree is closely tied to Jesus’ cleansing of the temple, with both serving as symbols of God’s punishment against Israel.Yet, strangely, Jesus does not make this relationship obvious in his teachings.The power of faith and prayer, on the other hand, is what Jesus is alluding to in this line and the subsequent teaching.The presence of this feature has led some commentators to conclude that the sayings of vv.
22–25 have no historical connection to what has gone before and that Mark (or the tradition before him) has added them because they misunderstand the symbolism of the fig tree’s destruction, which they believe is the case.In spite of the possibility that Jesus used this occasion to draw a second application from the miracle, it is more probable that Mark (and Matthew, who follows him) have kept this application.The event with the fig tree is used by Jesus to convey important lessons about faith and praying.God is the source of the power that allows the miracle to take place.In order for us to believe, he must be our object of faith.NOTE: The alternative reading that adds the word ″if″ (ei) before the word ″you have″ (echete) has a significant amount of support in the MS.
- While this phrase may be unique, it is most likely not since (1) the somber ″I tell you the truth″ is never followed by a conditional clause and (2) the introductory ″if″ is most likely derived from an assimilation of the phrase in Luke 17:6.
- Mt 21:21).
As with Jesus’ earlier announcements, this one is preceded with the somber introduction line ″I tell you the truth″ as a manner of emphasizing the significance of what he is about to say.Because Jesus was standing on the Mount of Olives, from where a clear view of the Dead Sea may be obtained on a clear day, it is possible that he was referring to that particular peak.Without a doubt, the idea of tossing a mountain into the sea is a metaphor for something that is physically impossible to accomplish (Zec 4:7).In other words, Jesus is stating that when a person has faith, even the most difficult situations can be overcome (cf.
Jas 1:6).In Matthew 17:20, a comparable metaphor of the ability of faith to move mountains is depicted in the parable of the mustard seed (cf.Lk 17:6).
A direct relationship exists between the sort of faith that Jesus is speaking of here and the practice of prayer.As E.Stauffer (New Testament Theology, 169) points out, ″the ‘faith’ of Mark 11:23f.is a faith that prays….
Prayer is the source of its force, and the means of its strength — God’s omnipotence is its solitary certainty, and God’s sovereignty is its only constraint.″ (New Testament Theology, 169) In other places, Jesus confirms the limitless capacity of prayer to bring about desired consequences (Mt 7:7; 18:19; Lk 11:9).
Although the change between v.24 and v.25 is abrupt, it is necessary (with v.24 speaking of faith, v.25 of forgiveness).Nevertheless, there is a relationship.Prayer, in order to be successful, must be offered in confidence – faith in the all-powerful God, who is capable of doing miracles.However, it must be provided in the spirit of reconciliation.
Efficient prayer requires two conditions: faith in the power of God and a willingness to forgive.Possibly because of the rapid change in subject matter, or perhaps because Matthew had supplied a comparable statement in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 6:14), which comes directly after the Lord’s Prayer, Matthew omits this line.
This passage does not appear in the New International Version (NIV) or most other modern translations since it is not found in the finest and most ancient manuscripts of the New Testament. A verse from Matthew 6:15 has been inserted into the text.
EXPOSITOR’S BIBLE COMMENTARY – REVISED
In 2012, Zondervan published an update to the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, which may be seen here.The work of 56 distinct authors – 30 of whom are new to the series – is now included in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Series.EBC-R is a collection of the greatest work by world-class researchers, including D.A.
Carson, George Guthrie, John Walton, and Andreas Köstenberger, that is both scholarly and accessible.There are thirteen volumes in this series.View the contents of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary or choose which version is best for you by visiting the website.Then, add it to your Olive Tree collection and go to work learning something new.
Jesus curses a fig tree and teaches the disciples that with faith, they can move mountains (Matthew 21:18 – 21:22).
After spending the night at Bethany with his followers, Jesus and his companions returned to Jerusalem.Jesus was in need of something to eat.He came to a fig tree by the side of the road and went up to it, only to find nothing but leaves.It was his wish for the tree that it would never yield fruit in the future.
The tree perished very immediately.When the disciples realized what had happened, they were taken aback.They were perplexed as to how the fig tree had withered so suddenly.″If you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you accomplish what was done to the fig tree, but you can also say to this mountain, ‘Go, hurl yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.″ Jesus said.It is possible to obtain anything one asks for in prayer if one has faith.
The power of faith – what is faith and how to we strengthen our faith
Jesus says that we can move mountains by having confidence in God.The power of belief is unquestionably immense.It is said in the book of Hebrews 11:1 that faith is ″the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.″ It is difficult to maintain one’s faith.It’s difficult to put your faith in something you can’t see, touch, or feel.
Similar to how practice makes perfect, the more time you devote to worshiping, studying the Bible, and attending church, the stronger your faith develops.These characteristics of Christianity give encouragement and support for the growth of our religious beliefs.″Faith comes through hearing,″ according to Romans 10:17, which states that ″faith comes from hearing″ the word of God.Moreover, as Jesus explained to his disciples, the great power of faith is virtually boundless.
Science vs. Faith?
Christianity’s idea of faith is the single most significant point of contention between religious belief and scientific observation.Surprisingly, even scientists acknowledge that faith may be useful in some situations.Faith is not only beneficial to human beings’ emotional well-being, but it also serves as the primary contributor to what scientists refer to as ″positive thinking.″ Researchers have demonstrated via various research that thinking positively and believing in something regardless of the scenario helps to enhance one’s immune system, reduce anxiety, and boost one’s level of happiness.Despite the fact that scientists would never admit to calling it faith, their research have demonstrated that faith is beneficial.
A fruit tree that bears no fruit is destined to wither away and die
Jesus looked up and noticed a tree with green leaves, which most people would assume was a fruit tree.The tree, on the other hand, simply purported to bear fruit.In reality, it didn’t provide anything valuable.The tree’s fate was to wither and die since it was useless and had no function.
Some Christians exist in a similar way to the fig tree in terms of their existence.They appear to grow fruit, but in reality, they provide nothing of benefit to the environment.They, too, will eventually succumb to the elements, much like the fig tree.
Why would Jesus curse a fig tree?
The narrative is one of the most unexpected in the entire New Testament.After all, cursing a tree appears to be a nasty act, which is contrary to what we would anticipate from Jesus.This episode is only mentioned in Matthew and Mark; neither Luke nor John make any mention of the occurrence.It is worth noting that while the lesson in both gospels is the same, Matthew’s version is more concise, whilst Mark’s version is more thorough and includes a few more points concerning the curse of the fig tree itself.
In Mark 11:12, we are told that it was not uncommon for the fig tree to be devoid of fruit.It was too early in the season to go fishing.Jesus was most likely conversant with agriculture and would have been able to tell, even from a distance, that the tree would most likely not bear fruit in the near future.Mark does not indicate that Jesus cursed the tree, but rather that in reaction to the tree’s fruit, Jesus replied, ″May no one ever eat fruit from your branches again.″ According to Matthew’s abbreviated description of the events, Jesu’s words ″no one eats from the tree again″ may have been translated into a harsher-sounding ″may you never yield fruit again.″ This would appear to be feasible given that Matthew’s account is more concerned with the lesson than with the actual incident that occurred.At the end of the day, though, we have no way of knowing why Jesus cursed the tree.However, we must not lose sight of the lesson of faith that Jesus was trying to teach us in this situation.
Is “faith” the “belief in God” or a heartfelt “belief that our prayer will be answered”? Can we pray for something evil?
Faith is frequently emphasized in Christian circles, but what exactly does it entail?Can faith be defined as a sincere confidence that our prayers will be answered?Is ″faith″ the belief in God, a higher force, and the recognition of our commitment to obey his will, or something else entirely?In reality, religion encompasses all of these aspects and more.
Please keep in mind that Jesus did not declare that faith, alone or in combination with anything else, would allow us to get what we ask for.Instead, Jesus promises that if we trust in him, we will get anything we ask for in our prayers.This means that we must (1) have faith that our request will be granted and (2) pray to God in order for it to be granted.This means that we must retain not just a deep trust that our prayers will be answered, but also a firm belief in God’s ability to answer our prayers.It follows logically that if we feel that our prayers will be answered and if we believe in God, we will be naturally motivated to do what he asks of us in our lives.As a result, no ″evil″ prayer would be or could be offered in this manner.
The differences between Matthew and Mark’s accounts of the incident
Mark’s account of the events, as recorded in Mark 11:12 and Mark 11:20, is more extensive than Matthew’s account.″May no one ever eat fruit from you again,″ Jesus reportedly said to the tree, according to Mark, although he did not necessarily ″curse″ the tree.Mark also claims that it took a full day for the disciples to notice that the tree had withered away.According to Mark’s account of the events, Jesus passed by the fig tree on his journey to Jerusalem for the very first time.
In the following days, he and his followers journeyed to Jerusalem, where Jesus expelled the money changers from the Temple of Jerusalem.According to Mark, they left the city, and the next day, on their way back, the disciples came upon the withering fig tree on their way back.Matthew, on the other hand, presents a truncated version of the events and instead concentrates on a lesson, faith, that Jesus conveyed with the disciples during his ministry.
Is the cursing of the fig tree a metaphor for the cursing of an unbelieving Jerusalem
Some theologians believe that the curse of the fig tree is a metaphor for the cursing of Jerusalem, and that the fig tree represents Jerusalem.The Jews, who claim to be Jesus’ own people, have failed to acknowledge him for who he really is.Despite the fact that they are aware of the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ return to earth, they will not acknowledge that he is the messiah.It is characterized by the sterile fig tree that bears no fruit, which represents this barren mindset.
Consequently, the curse on the tree might be seen as a symbolic act of judgment against the city of Jerusalem and its officials.
Fig tree seasons
Despite the fact that Matthew did not mention it, Mark informs us that the tree was not in season at the time.It was common for local fig trees to bear fruit before to the appearance of leaves, or even simultaneously with them on certain occasions.Given that Jesus was a resident of the region, he would have been able to see, even from a distance, that the tree would not be producing fruit.
18 It was early in the morning, and Jesus was on his way back to the city when he realized he was hungry.19 He approached a fig tree by the side of the road and found nothing but leaves on it.He returned to the car.Then he cursed it, saying, ″May you never produce fruit again!″ The tree perished very immediately.
20 The disciples were taken aback when they realized what had happened.″How did the fig tree wither so quickly?″ they were perplexed to discover.21 ″Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but you can also say to this mountain, ‘Go, hurl yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.″ Jesus continued, ″ 22 If you believe, you will receive anything you pray for.″ The New International Version is the most recent version available.Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2011.Print.
The NET Bible
21:18 It was early in the morning when he returned to the city, and he was hungry at this point.21:19 After observing a fig tree along the road, he went to investigate it, but found nothing there but leaves and a few fig leaves.″Never again will there be fruit from you!″ he said to the plant.And the fig tree succumbed to the elements at once.
Seeing the fig tree wither so swiftly, the disciples were taken aback and exclaimed, ″How could the fig tree wither so quickly?″ Then Jesus said, ″I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you accomplish what was done to the fig tree, but you will even command this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.″ Moreover, whatever you seek in prayer, if you have faith in God’s promise, you will get.″ First Edition of the NET Bible published by Biblical Studies Press; Bible in English titled The NET Bible; The NET Bible published by Biblical Studies Press in 2006.Print.
New King James Version
18 By the next morning, when He made his way back into town, He was starving.19 And when He came across a fig tree by the road, He went over to it and saw nothing but leaves on it, so He told it, ″Let no fruit grow on you ever again.″ The fig tree died away very immediately.Upon seeing it, the disciples were taken aback and inquired, ″How did the fig tree wither away so quickly?″ As a result, Jesus responded and said to them, ″Without a doubt, I tell you that if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only perform what was done to the fig tree, but you will also command this mountain, ‘Be removed and put into the sea,’ and it will be done.22 And everything you ask for in prayer, believing that you will get, you will receive.″ The New King James Version is the most recent edition of the King James Bible.
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing Company, 1982.Print.
18–20 Jesus was returning to the city at the crack of dawn the following morning.He had a strong desire to eat.When he noticed a lone fig tree by the road, he approached it with the expectation of having figs for breakfast.When he arrived at the tree, he saw that it was only covered in fig leaves.
″There will be no more figs from this tree—ever!″ he said.The fig tree died on the spot, leaving only a dry stick behind.It was witnessed by the disciples.″Did we actually witness that?″ they wondered as they wiped their eyes.One minute a lush green tree, the next a dried up stick?″ 21–22 The Lord, on the other hand, was matter-of-fact: ″Yes—and if you accept this kingdom life and do not doubt God, you will not only accomplish little accomplishments as I did with the fig tree, but you will also overcome enormous hurdles.″ For example, you may instruct this mountain, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will do so without hesitation.Absolutely everything, from tiny to enormous, becomes a part of your believing prayer as you make it a part of your believing prayer and when you lay hold of God.″ Eugene H.
- Peterson’s The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language was published in 1990.
- Inkjet print from Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005.
King James Version
18 The next morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry.19 And when he came across a fig tree along the route, he went up to it and found nothing but leaves on it, so he cursed it and said to it, ″Let no fruit grow on thee from now on for all eternity.″ And soon after, the fig tree began to wither away.20 And when the disciples noticed it, they were amazed, exclaiming, ″How quickly the fig tree has withered away!″ Jesus responded and said to them, Verily I say unto you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do this that is done to the fig tree, but you will also say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou hurled into the sea; it will be accomplished.22 Also, everything you ask for in prayer, believing in what you are asking for, you will get.
The King James Version of the Holy Bible.The Authorized Version from 1900 is available in an electronic format.Originally published in 2009 by Logos Research Systems, Inc.in Bellingham, Washington.
Sources: NIV, The Message, The NET Bible, King James Version, NET Bible Notes, Faithlife Study Bible, The Apologetics Study Bible, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, The Bible Reader’s Companion, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Holman Concise Bible Commentary, The Bible Exposition Commentary, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, The Teacher’s Commentary, The Bible Guide, Word Studies in the New Testament, Holman Bible Handbook, Calvin Commentaries, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines, The New Manner and Customs of the Bible, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, The Archaeological Encyclopedia, Biblical Archaeology Review, The New Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Analytical Lexicon, Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database
Leading Myself and Building My Team
As ″the only miracle of destruction in the canonical Gospels,″1 the account of Jesus cursing the fig tree during his final visit to Jerusalem (Matt.21:18-21; Mark 11:15-17, 20-25) presents a particular challenge to interpreters because it appears to be at odds with the profoundly constructive nature of Jesus’ ministry.Matthew relates that the curse and immediate withering of the tree took place on the day after Jesus made his ″triumphant entry″ into Jerusalem and ″cleansed″ the temple, which would put it on the Monday of our ″Holy Week,″ according to the Gospel of Matthew.Jesus went into Jerusalem on Sunday, had a look around, and then rode back out again, according to Mark’s version of the narrative.
On Monday, as he was coming to Jerusalem from Bethany, where he had spent the previous night, he approached a fig tree and took a bite out of it.He despised the land after finding nothing but leaves, ″since it was not the season for figs,″ and pronounced it barren.He continued his journey into Jerusalem, where he ″cleaned″ the temple before returning to Bethany in the evening.The fig tree had become ″withered from the roots up″ by Tuesday morning, as they were traveling back to Jerusalem.Peter attracted Jesus’ attention to it when they were travelling back to Jerusalem.As a reaction, Jesus used the opportunity to speak about the importance of faith, prayer, and forgiving others.
- Since the first decades of the church, the perceived severity of Jesus has served as the primary inspiration for the remarks of the interpreters.
- 2 The fact that Mark noted that ″it was not the season for figs″ seemed to make the deed seem particularly meaningless in this context.
- Occasionally, it is stated that Mark expected his fig-savvy readers would understand that Jesus was pursuing the edible green knops of spring rather than the ripe figs of summer;3 however, this does not explain why the tree, which was devoid of even the knops, should have been cursed.
Consequently, interpreters have sought understanding from the larger context since antiquity, and they have typically found it in reference to the activities in the temple.This makes it appear as though Jesus was cursing the fig tree in order to understand it in light of his attitude toward the temple, and maybe to interpret it as well as he was denouncing it.More recently, it has come to light that one of Mark’s own storytelling strategies is the ″sandwiching″ of stories together for a specific reason, which lends credence to this judgment.4 As previously stated, his narration of the tale over the course of two days differs from Matthew’s version.
- Because the fig tree is a distinctive emblem of Israel in the Old Testament, most scholars interpret the curse of the tree in conjunction with the ″cleaning″ of the temple as a pronouncement of judgment on the people of Israel.
- Thus, the question arises as to upon whom or what the judgment is to be pronounced.
- In light of the fact that Jesus himself and his followers were Jewish, the conventional interpretation that Jesus is thus condemning all of Israel for failing to detect the ″season″ of God’s new spring collapses when it is recognized that Jesus himself and his disciples were not included in the curse.
- As E.
- Sanders argued, Jesus’ ″cursing″ of the temple in general and everything it represented was a more accurate interpretation of the ″cleaning″ of the temple than the traditional view.
- This was partly because Jesus’ curse of the temple was associated with the cursing of the tree.
- Not everyone is convinced of this, however, because Jesus’ attitude toward the temple in other places is benign (for instance, in v.
- 11 he walks around it like a tourist).
- However, it appears that his disturbance at the temple itself was centered on specific recently-initiated activities—buying and selling, and ″carrying vessels″ in ways that were evidently inappropriate—rather than on old temple ceremonies (11:15, 16).
- As a result, the target may be the current religious leadership in particular, who undoubtedly felt offended by the remarks (11:18).
- It may now be conceivable to talk of a developing consensus among scholars that the curse of the fig tree served as the most severe possible warning to Israel’s religious leadership.
- 5 While the significance of Jesus’ deed has been the subject of extensive debate, the character of the act has received less attention in subsequent commentators, which have tended to focus on its historicity or even its plausibility.
- However, Jesus here performs a very powerful deed, one that will be etched in the minds of his followers for the rest of their lives.
- This not only results in the death of the tree, but it also causes it to wither immediately, and as Ehprem the Syrian points out, everyone knows that chopped fig wood takes an exceptionally long time to dry out.
- 6 When Peter asks Jesus about it, Jesus responds by commenting on the sheer force of the deed itself, rather than the message it was intended to convey.
- ″Whatever things you ask for, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you,″ says the Bible.
Faith not only may wither a tree, but it can also bring a mountain tumbling down (11:23-24).Jesus does not only pronounce a scathing judgment on the religious leaders, but he also displays a spiritual reality that is far more important than theirs.And his subsequent statements go much farther.It appears to them that the great purposes of the temple, which were to provide access to God, a place of prayer, forgiveness, and guidance (1 Kings 8:27-53), can be safely bypassed in the context of Jesus’ lordship: ″And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespass″ (Mark 11:25).
When the raw strength of the deed is taken into consideration, the message of caution to Israel’s leadership is transformed into a display of a faith that is fundamentally different from their own.Only the disciples are there for this somewhat private display, yet it serves its objective of demonstrating to them that Jesus’ teaching has already transcended the system of temple worship (as the Last Supper would also testify, and as his death and resurrection would particularly establish).It is possible that a symbolic or prophetic act must always have the character of both a message and a demonstration in order to be considered successful.The discipline and devotion of Ezekiel’s performed predictions testifying to his divine summons (Ezek.4:4-8) or the broken yoke of Jeremiah and the ultimate shattering of life itself (Jeremiah 31:35-36) come to mind (Jer.
28:17).Besides manifesting supernatural power to promote his message, Jesus demonstrated divine insight, godly knowledge, and godly love in order to spread his message across the world.It is in this context that the withering of the fig tree must be seen, not as ″miraculous force wasted in the service of ill-temper,″7 but as assurance provided by Jesus to those closest to him of the severity of his message to Jerusalem, as well as of God’s own hand in his ministry.
— Theopulos 1 is a Greek poet.In The Gospel According to Mark (PNTC, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), p.338, James R.Edwards argues that the gospel of Mark is a work of fiction.2 See, for example, the views of the 4th-century writer Ephrem the Syrian, which may be found in Thomas C.
Oden and Christopher A.Hall’s edited volume, Mark InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1998, pp.159-60.(ACCS.
Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998) Page 339-40 of Edwards’ book.4 Another example can be found in Mark 5:21-43: the woman who had been afflicted for 14 years and the resuscitation of the 14-year-old girl; for further discussion, see R.T.France, The Gospel of Mark (NIGTC, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), pp.18-19; for further discussion, see R.T.
- France, The Gospel of Mark (NIGTC, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), pp 5 ‘Mark: A Commentary,’ by Adelle Yarbro Collins (Hermeneia, Philadelphia: Fortress, 2007), pp.
- 523-25, provides an overview of the contemporary controversy.
- One indication of a developing consensus is the fact that she and Edwards, who are both non-conservatives, are in agreement on this topic.
- 6 On page 159 of Oden’s edition, it says: 7 T.
- Manson’s ″The Cleansing of the Temple″ (Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol.
- 3), p.
- 279, is a classic example of religious cleansing.
What an Atheist Might Say About Jesus Cursing the Fig Tree
- One of the most well-known stories in the gospels has Jesus cursing a fig tree for failing to provide him with any fruit, despite the fact that it was not even the season for fruit at the time of Jesus’ cursing. On the next morning, as they returned from Bethany, he was hungry: 13 And when he noticed a fig tree a long distance away with leaves, he went to see whether he could find anything on it
- but when he got there, he found nothing but leaves, for the time for figs had not yet arrived. 14 And Jesus responded and said to it, ″No man shall eat of thy fruit hereafter for all of eternity.″ And it was heard by his disciples. (Matthew 11:12-14).
- As an example, see Matthew 21:18,19.
Then again, what kind of petulant individual would spew a needless and random curse? Why would this be the sole miracle that Jesus performed in the vicinity of Jerusalem? Rather from being a single instance, the episode is intended to serve as a metaphor for something greater — and worse.
The Meaning of Jesus Cursing the Fig Tree
Mark isn’t attempting to convey to his audience that Jesus was enraged because he didn’t have any figs to eat – that would be really bizarre, considering that he would have been aware that it was far too early in the year for figs to be in season at the time.As a result, Jesus is conveying a more general message regarding Jewish religious practices.To be more specific, it was not the appropriate time for Jewish leaders to ″produce fruit,″ and as a result, they would be cursed by God and forbidden from ever bearing fruit again.Consequently, rather than just cursing and murdering a lowly fig tree, Jesus is implying that Judaism as a whole is cursed and would eventually die — ″dry up at the roots,″ as a subsequent verse reveals when the disciples come upon the tree the next day (in Matthew, the tree dies immediately).
Why Is This Important?
There are two things to keep in mind in this situation.In the first place, this occurrence is a good example of the prevalent Marcan topic of apocalyptic determinism, which is explored in the novel.Israel is to be condemned because it ″bears no fruit″ by refusing to accept the Messiah — yet it’s apparent that the tree in this case isn’t being given the option of whether or not to bear fruit.The tree does not grow fruit since the season has not yet arrived, and Israel does not accept the Messiah because doing so would be in conflict with God’s purposes.
If the Jews accept Jesus as their Messiah, there will be no cataclysmic war between good and evil.As a result, they must reject him in order for the word to be more quickly transmitted to the Gentiles.Israel is cursed by God not because of something they did on their own volition, but because it is essential for the apocalyptic tale to play out as planned.The second point to make here is that episodes like this one in the gospels had a role in igniting Christian antisemitism in the first century.So why should Christians feel affectionate toward Jews since both they and their religion have been condemned because they have failed to produce any fruit?Why should Jews be treated kindly since God has decreed that they would reject the Messiah as their Messiah?
- The greater significance of this text is presented in greater detail by Mark in the story of the purification of the Temple that follows..
Bible Gateway passage: Mark 11:12-25 – New International Version
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple CourtsA)″>(A)B)″>(B)C)″>(C)
Cursing the fig tree – Wikipedia
According to the gospels, the curse of the fig tree was a miracle that took place in connection with Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem, and it was portrayed as a parable in Luke’s account of Jesus’ life.(The gospel of John completely omits it, and the occurrence with which it is associated, the purification of the temple, is moved from the conclusion of Jesus’ ministry to the beginning.) The picture is derived from the Old Testament sign of the fig tree, which represents Israel, and the curse of the fig tree in Mark and Matthew, as well as the corresponding account in Luke, are therefore symbolically intended against the Jews, who have refused to recognize Jesus as ruler of their nation.
The symbol of the fig tree in Hebrew scripture
According to the gospels, the curse of the fig tree was a miracle that took place in connection with Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem, and it was portrayed as a parable in Luke’s account.) (The gospel of John completely omits it, and the occurrence with which it is associated, the purification of the temple, is moved from the conclusion of Jesus’ career to the beginning of his career.The picture is derived from the Old Testament emblem of the fig tree, which represents Israel.The curse of the fig tree in Mark and Matthew, as well as the related account in Luke, are therefore metaphorically intended at the Jews, who have refused to recognize Jesus as king.
Gospel of Mark, 11:12–25
The majority of academics think that Mark was the earliest gospel, and that the writers of Matthew and Luke drew on Mark’s work as a source.Jesus and his disciples are on their way to Jerusalem when a barren fig tree is cursed because it bears no fruit; once in Jerusalem, he drives out the money-changers from the temple; and the next day, the disciples discover that the barren fig tree has withered and died, with the implied message that the temple has been cursed and will perish because, like the fig tree, it has failed to produce the fruit of righteousness.It is possible that the episode’s primary motif is the power of prayer, rather than the eschatological aspect, which some scholars believe is the case.However, in chapter 13 verse 28, Mark has Jesus use the image of a fig tree to make it clear that Jerusalem will be destroyed and the Jewish nation will be brought to an end before their generation passes away.
Gospel of Matthew, 21:18–22
Using Mark’s split tale, Matthew condenses it into a single narrative.When the curse is spoken, the fig tree withers, propelling the story ahead to Jesus’ confrontation with the Jewish priests and his curse against them as well as the temple.While Jesus responds to the disciples’ expressions of wonder with a brief discourse on faith and prayer, it is less clear that the dead fig tree is connected to the fate of the temple.However, in Matthew 24:32–35, the author closely follows Mark in presenting the ″lesson″ (in Greek, parabole) of the budding tree as a sign of the certain coming of the Son of Man.
Gospel of Luke, 13:6–9
Luke substitutes the parable of the barren fig tree for the miracle, which is most likely derived from the same body of tradition as that which underlies Mark’s account.After hearing reports of Galilean deaths, Jesus and the disciples travel to Jerusalem, where he provides a prophetic interpretation of the events through a parable: A man planted a fig tree expecting it to bear fruit, but despite his visits, the tree remained barren; the owner’s patience wore thin, but the gardener pleaded for a little more time; the owner agrees, but the question of whether the tree would bear fruit, i.e.acts that manifest the Kingdom of God Jesus concludes his parable with a warning that if his people do not repent, they would die, according to Luke.
Infancy Gospel of Thomas
Luke substitutes the parable of the barren fig tree for the miracle, which is most likely derived from the same body of tradition as that which underlies Mark’s account of the resurrection.When Jesus and the disciples learn of the deaths of Galileans, Jesus uses a parable to give them a prophetic interpretation: a man planted a fig tree expecting it to bear fruit, but despite his visits, it remained barren; the owner’s patience wore thin, but the gardener pleaded for a little more time; the owner agrees, but the question of whether the tree would bear fruit, i.e.acts that manifest the Kingdom of God, is left hanging.Because of this, Luke concludes Jesus’ account by warning the disciples that they will die if they do not repent.
- Figurines in the Bible
- the life of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament
- The parable of the blooming fig tree and the parable of the barren fig tree are both included.
- Burkett 2002, p. 143.
- a b Dumbrell 2001, p. 67.
- a b Edwards 2002, p. 338.
- a b Burkett 2002, p. 170-171.
- a b Dumbrell 2001, p. 175.
- a b Dumbrell 2001, p. 175.
- a b Dumbrell 2001, p. 175.
- a b Dumbrell 2001,
- Burkett, Delbert Royce, and others (2002). This course provides an overview of the New Testament as well as the historical roots of Christianity. 9780521007207
- Carroll, John T. (Cambridge University Press)
- Carroll, John T. (Cambridge University Press)
- Carroll, John T. (Cambridge University Press) (2012). A Commentary on the Book of Luke. Cousland, J.R.C., Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 9780664221065
- Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 9780664221065
- (2017). The Infancy Gospel of Thomas has a passage titled ″Holy Terror.″ Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 9780567668189
- Dumbrell, W.J. Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 9780567668189
- Dumbrell, W.J. (2001). On the Lookout for Order: Biblical Eschatology in the Spotlight Wipf and Stock, ISBN 9781579107963
- Edwards, James R. Wipf and Stock, ISBN 9781579107963
- (2002). The Gospel of Mark is a collection of writings by the apostle Mark. ISBN 9780851117782
- Getty-Sullivan, Mary Ann. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780851117782 (2007). Parables of the Kingdom: Jesus and the Use of Parables in the Synoptic Tradition is a book on Jesus and his use of parables. Keener, Craig, and Liturgical Press (ISBN 9780814629932)
- Liturgical Press (1999). A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 5:17–20). Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN 9780802838216
- Kinman, Brent (1995). The setting of Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem, both in terms of Lukan theology and in terms of the politics of his day. Perkins, Pheme (Brill, ISBN 9004103309)
- Brill, ISBN 9004103309
- (2009). The Synoptic Gospels are introduced in this section. Reddish, Mitchell G., ed., Eerdmans, ISBN 9780802865533
- Eerdmans, ISBN 9780802865533
- Reddish, Mitchell G., ed., Eerdmans, ISBN 9780802865533
- Reddish, Mitchell G., ed., Eerdmans, ISBN 9780802865533
- Reddish, Mitchell G., ed., E (2011). This is an introduction to the Gospels. Published by Abingdon Press under the ISBN 9781426750083.
Bible Gateway passage: Mark 11:12-25 – New International Version
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple CourtsA)″>(A)B)″>(B)C)″>(C)
Why Did Jesus Curse the Fig Tree?
My children recently grew enthusiastic about limes after learning that they could sell limeade and make a lot of money doing so.At my mother-in-house, law’s they discovered a huge tray piled high with them one day.They discovered a large, lushly green, magnificent lime tree, which they immediately began robbing.Jackpot.
Except that they were made of plastic.A basin full of limes, holding up the promise of gallons of limeade, is only ornamental and serves no use.Many items can pass for the actual thing on the surface, but upon closer scrutiny, they are shown to be false.The curse of the fig tree (Matt.
21:18–22; Mark 11:12–14, 20–25) is a stunning scene in the Gospels in which Jesus deals with this mismatch of expectations.In this inverted miracle, we can clearly understand the implications of not just failing to produce fruit, but also of providing a fertile impression and then failing to follow through on that impression.
Examining the Episode
The throngs of people assembled for Passover greeted Jesus as he entered Jerusalem with joy.As he drives out from Bethany in the morning, he comes upon a fig tree that is ″in leaf.″ The majority of fig trees have not yet produced full fruit at this stage in late April (Mark 11:13).However, this particular tree captures Jesus’ attention since it has a full covering of leaves at the time of his arrival.It’s a flower that blooms early.
Its foliage indicates that tree will produce figs in the early summer.Jesus examines the tree in the context of his expectancy.He is dissatisfied almost quickly.There are no fruits, only leaves.
There is no satisfaction when there is just expectancy.In an unexpected turn of events, Jesus curses the tree, causing it to wither from the roots and never to bear fruit again.We are taken aback; this appears to be completely out of character for Jesus, who is known for being a child-welcomer, a loving healer, and a storm-calming figure.What should we take away from this bizarre occurrence?
- On the surface, it appears to be a case study on the effectiveness of devout prayer (Matt.
- However, there is more going on behind the scenes.
- The curse of the fig tree, a type of performed parable, is also a sobering warning for us today, and it does so in at least two ways.
1. Fruitlessness leads to judgment.
- Over and over again in the Old Testament, Israel is referred to as God’s vineyard, tree, or planting (Judges 9:8–15
- Isa. 3:14–7
- Jer. 12:10
- Ezek. 17:2–10
- Ezek. 19:10–14). Because they are God’s special planting, they must bear spiritual fruit as his covenant people (Ps. 1:3
- Jer. 17:8–10), as any agrarian Israelite was well aware (Ex. 23:19
- Neh. 10:35–37). This helps conceptualize their relationship with God, as they are his covenant people and as his firstfruits of the harvest (Ex. 23:19
- Neh. 10:35–37). For Israel’s connection with God is not founded on their fruitfulness (whether physical or otherwise), but it is God who bestows fruitfulness on them (Deut. 7:13
- 28:4). The absence of fruitfulness is a symbol of God’s punishment on them as a result of their transgression (Deut. 11:17). This underlying image for Israel’s spiritual health comes to life in the prophetic era with a dazzling display of color. The moment had arrived for God’s people to bear fruit that would be beneficial to the entire world community (Isa. 27:6). God is described in the prophets as checking Israel for ″early figs,″ which are a sign of spiritual fruitfulness (Mic. 7:1, Jer. 8:13, Hos. 9:10–17), but he finds ″no first-ripe fig that my soul wants″ (Mic. 7:1, Jer. 8:13, Hos. 9:10–17). The result is that God pours forth the curse of barrenness (Hosea 9:16) on Israel twice over the course of a thousand years (the Assyrian and the Babylonian exiles) (Jer. 29:17). However, everything is not lost. God has promised to replant Israel and bring out healthy figs from her once more in the future (Joel 2:22
- Amos 9:14
- Mic. 4:4
- Zech. 8:12
- Ezek. 36:8). After being presented with this network of background images, the thoughts of Jesus’ disciples would’ve quickly flashed on to the scene in which he re-enacted Israel’s history by cursing the fig tree. In the imaginations of Jesus’ disciples, when he reenacted Israel’s history by cursing the fig tree, light lights would have immediately gone out. The barren fig tree calls our attention to earlier moments in Jesus’ career, when God’s people were urged to bear spiritual fruit (Matt. 3:8–10
- Luke 3:7–9). Throughout history, Jesus has sought the chi