Today in Mark we look at Mark 11:12-14:
12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
This short passage is one of those one’s that can be difficult for us understand. This passage is also told to us in Matthew 21:18-22. In this passage we see Jesus come upon a fig tree and condemn it for not having any fruit.
One of the things that is confusing it that He condemns it for not having any fruit, even though it is not the season for fruit. Why did He do that? This is one of those cultural understandings that we talked about yesterday. While it was not in season, it did have leaves. And normally when a tree had leaves it would have fruit as well. It was not uncommon for a tree to produce fruit, even out of season, when it had leaves.
So, from a distance you would have assumed that it would have fruit, all the signs were there.
And this gets to the bigger point of what Jesus is doing here. Throughout scripture, the fig is often understood to be symbolic for Israel; for the Old Covenant. One of the commands that God had given was to be a light to the world, and that command was being fulfilled in descendant of David – Jesus Christ.
Just as the fig tree was not longer going to produce fruit, now the Old Covenant of the Law was going to be replaced by the New Covenant of Grace. Something new was coming.
The old was passing away. The new was coming.
In Jesus Christ, God was fulfilling all the Old Covenant and all the promises of the Old Testament. And was doing something new what would change everything.
The fig tree is symbolic of that.
Today, what new thing is God doing in our lives? What promises is He wanting to fulfill? Where is God wanting to bring forth life?
Today, may we keep our eyes open to what God wants to do. And may we follow.
Friday we’ll look at Mark 11:15-19.
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