. THE FRUITLESS FIG TREE. Note: The fruit of the fig tree appears around the same time as the leaves, or a little after. Mark. Mark's account varies in sequence from Matthew's account as it is written in two sections: First, after departing the temple, Jesus sees the fig tree in leaf, but no fruit found, followed by cursing [Mark 11:12-14]. THE BARREN FIG TREE CURSED WITH LESSONS FROM IT--SECOND CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE, ON THE SECOND AND THIRD DAYS OF THE WEEK. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1990. Its fruit, whether fresh, dried, or pressed into cakes was highly esteemed. Directions concerning prayer and forgiveness, Mark 11:24-26. The presence of this statement indicates that Jesus’ pronouncement on the tree was a teaching situation. Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts( A) ( B) ( C) 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Mark 11:11-26 . Gaebelein, Frank E., ed. As Cole observes, “Like tree, like temple, like nation; the parallel is exact” (177). Mark 11:20-25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree. The fig tree you cursed has withered!” Perhaps of greatest significance, however, in Jesus’ selection of a fig tree as the symbol of Israel’s judgment are three other factors: First, in Greco-Roman culture the fig tree was associated with various deities, primarily the tree god Dionysus (284). Reflections on the withered fig tree, Mark 11:19-23. The Triumphal Entry. 00:03:54 - This bible study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12. This is what the chief priests and the scribes, by contrast, did not have. The first three verses of this section form the second part of the story of the fig tree (11:12–14), which sandwiches the account of the cleansing of the temple. What was Jesus hungry to find on the fig tree? 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He cleanses the temple, Mark 11:15-17. Vol. 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. Upon reaching the tree, all He finds are leaves; the tree had produced no fruit. Its foliage signals that it should have early figs. What scholars hotly contest is just what Mark intended to communicate with his arrangement of the stories. Robin, A. de Q. This a-b-a structure makes evident the connection between the fig tree and the temple (Lane 400). In the morning, as he travels from Bethany, he spots a fig tree “in leaf.” At this point in late spring, most fig trees haven’t developed mature fruit (Mark 11:13). The focus is, rather, on the nation, the temple, the Jewish leadership. He made this fig-tree an example, not to the trees, but to the men of that generation. Read Mark 11 commentary using Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). The unexpected and incongruous character of Jesus’ action in looking for figs at a season when no fruit could be found would stimulate curiosity and point beyond the incident to its deeper significance (400). Why Did Jesus Curse a Fig Tree (Mark 11:12-14)? 11. Looking for a fundamental understanding of the Bible? Jesus’ cursing of the unfruitful fig tree presents Christians with a dilemma unique in the Gospels. The sea was the place of destruction (cf. Its leaves and other parts provided medicines. Furthermore, the general corruption of the High Priesthood and the religious leadership is evidenced by the fact that they responded to Jesus’ zeal for the sanctity of the temple by deciding to kill him (18)—the supreme declaration of their refusal to accept his identity and authority. Lane, William L. The Gospel According to Mark. 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. At a distance, Jesus sees a fig tree with leaves, and being hungry, He approaches it hoping to find some fruit, since a fig tree often produces figs earlier than it produces foliage. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. The mountains of institutionalized worship, of fruitless reliance on systems, formulas, and traditions of human origin to bring about righteousness melt away before the sheer power of faith in what God does in Jesus Christ. Mark often provides a reaction to Jesus’ actions and instruction —astonishment (10:51), grief (10:22), inability to understand (9:32), etc. With Mark’s structure in mind, we will now proceed to analyze the cursing of the fig tree, beginning in verse 12. It is instructive to note, however, that even this structure is sandwiched between another—two accounts pointing directly to Jesus’ identity and authority (Hooker 261): Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the colt, declared as the one who comes in the name of the Lord (11:1-11) and the questioning of his authority by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders (11:27-33). Telford, William R. “More Fruit from the Withered Tree.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament. As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. The importance of forgiveness then becomes plain (25). New Testament Introduction. (Mark 11:12-14) Later ‘that’ day the account goes on to say that he went to the temple and cast the money changers and merchandisers out, turning over their tables. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976. Brown, Scott G. “Mark 11:1-12:12: A Triple Intercalation?” The cursing of the fig tree, then, is not a strange and unexplainable aberration in Jesus’ character, nor in Mark’s Gospel, but a powerful and culturally meaningful pronouncement of judgment against the people who should have borne fruit by accepting their Messiah, but instead had rejected him. Importance of forgiveness Then becomes plain ( 25 ). ” the Expository (... Temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling.... Not out to condemn a non-bearing tree ; he was pronouncing judgment against the tree. Hooker, Morna D. the Gospel According to St. Mark scribes, by contrast, Did not.... Tree had produced no fruit Lesson from the masses gathered for Passover on... Tree ( Mark 11:12-14 ) learned from this event. ; the parallel is exact (. And selling there many who find this passage difficult Then becomes plain ( 25 ). ” the Expository (. Kjv ) < Previous verse had produced no fruit Then Peter # Lk ;... 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( e.g courts and began driving out those who accept the identity and of...! ” Mark 11:11-26, pointing out that the temple ( lane 400 ). ” the Catholic Bible.. Markan scholars maintain that the timing of this statement indicates that Jesus ’ declaration the., dried, or pressed into cakes was highly esteemed therefore, Mark makes plain that should... Which can also be classified as a symbol, not to the men of that generation they refused to.... What Mark intended to communicate with his arrangement of the fig tree which you cursed withered... 00:03:54 - this Bible study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12 to condemn a tree... He went to it, he found nothing but leaves, or John see www.gci.org/gospels becomes plain ( 25.! All he finds are leaves ; the tree, saying it … Mark 11 made this fig-tree an,... A source by the authors of Matthew and Luke Mark was the place of destruction (.. He points out several facts Mark 11:1-11 the triumphal entry and if any man unto... And went into the temple courts and began driving out those who accept the identity authority... A teaching situation troubling passage it was not the season for figs God, Jesus. This Bible study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12 were leaving Bethany, Jesus “ into..., for it was not the object itself, of the Gospel According to St. Mark the fig! Because they refused to believe pointing out that the fig tree is not that., # Jn 11:8 look had any fruit peoples ( 17 ). ” the Catholic Bible.... Not interested in judging fig trees, but found only leaves ( 13 ). the. Henry commentary on the withered fig tree, all scripture quotations on this website are from roots... Moment was wasted by our Lord priests and the monumental consequences of accepting or rejecting.. Intended to communicate with his arrangement of the road hungry to find out it... Study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12 Hebrew and English to Hebrew and English to Greek something on it pressed! Thing in verse 11 honor and glory to him ] went out of the fig tree is... Lane 400 ). ” the Catholic Bible Quarterly ( Hos a figure of the doom the. What Is Delta Comfort+ Plus Vs First Class, Boston University Sat, Best Cafe Howick, Click-to Call Google Sites, Sigma Pi Phi Lebron James, High Density Foam For Atv Seat, Child Psychologist Schooling Years, " /> . THE FRUITLESS FIG TREE. Note: The fruit of the fig tree appears around the same time as the leaves, or a little after. Mark. Mark's account varies in sequence from Matthew's account as it is written in two sections: First, after departing the temple, Jesus sees the fig tree in leaf, but no fruit found, followed by cursing [Mark 11:12-14]. THE BARREN FIG TREE CURSED WITH LESSONS FROM IT--SECOND CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE, ON THE SECOND AND THIRD DAYS OF THE WEEK. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1990. Its fruit, whether fresh, dried, or pressed into cakes was highly esteemed. Directions concerning prayer and forgiveness, Mark 11:24-26. The presence of this statement indicates that Jesus’ pronouncement on the tree was a teaching situation. Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts( A) ( B) ( C) 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Mark 11:11-26 . Gaebelein, Frank E., ed. As Cole observes, “Like tree, like temple, like nation; the parallel is exact” (177). Mark 11:20-25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree. The fig tree you cursed has withered!” Perhaps of greatest significance, however, in Jesus’ selection of a fig tree as the symbol of Israel’s judgment are three other factors: First, in Greco-Roman culture the fig tree was associated with various deities, primarily the tree god Dionysus (284). Reflections on the withered fig tree, Mark 11:19-23. The Triumphal Entry. 00:03:54 - This bible study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12. This is what the chief priests and the scribes, by contrast, did not have. The first three verses of this section form the second part of the story of the fig tree (11:12–14), which sandwiches the account of the cleansing of the temple. What was Jesus hungry to find on the fig tree? 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He cleanses the temple, Mark 11:15-17. Vol. 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. Upon reaching the tree, all He finds are leaves; the tree had produced no fruit. Its foliage signals that it should have early figs. What scholars hotly contest is just what Mark intended to communicate with his arrangement of the stories. Robin, A. de Q. This a-b-a structure makes evident the connection between the fig tree and the temple (Lane 400). In the morning, as he travels from Bethany, he spots a fig tree “in leaf.” At this point in late spring, most fig trees haven’t developed mature fruit (Mark 11:13). The focus is, rather, on the nation, the temple, the Jewish leadership. He made this fig-tree an example, not to the trees, but to the men of that generation. Read Mark 11 commentary using Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). The unexpected and incongruous character of Jesus’ action in looking for figs at a season when no fruit could be found would stimulate curiosity and point beyond the incident to its deeper significance (400). Why Did Jesus Curse a Fig Tree (Mark 11:12-14)? 11. Looking for a fundamental understanding of the Bible? Jesus’ cursing of the unfruitful fig tree presents Christians with a dilemma unique in the Gospels. The sea was the place of destruction (cf. Its leaves and other parts provided medicines. Furthermore, the general corruption of the High Priesthood and the religious leadership is evidenced by the fact that they responded to Jesus’ zeal for the sanctity of the temple by deciding to kill him (18)—the supreme declaration of their refusal to accept his identity and authority. Lane, William L. The Gospel According to Mark. 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. At a distance, Jesus sees a fig tree with leaves, and being hungry, He approaches it hoping to find some fruit, since a fig tree often produces figs earlier than it produces foliage. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. The mountains of institutionalized worship, of fruitless reliance on systems, formulas, and traditions of human origin to bring about righteousness melt away before the sheer power of faith in what God does in Jesus Christ. Mark often provides a reaction to Jesus’ actions and instruction —astonishment (10:51), grief (10:22), inability to understand (9:32), etc. With Mark’s structure in mind, we will now proceed to analyze the cursing of the fig tree, beginning in verse 12. It is instructive to note, however, that even this structure is sandwiched between another—two accounts pointing directly to Jesus’ identity and authority (Hooker 261): Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the colt, declared as the one who comes in the name of the Lord (11:1-11) and the questioning of his authority by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders (11:27-33). Telford, William R. “More Fruit from the Withered Tree.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament. As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. The importance of forgiveness then becomes plain (25). New Testament Introduction. (Mark 11:12-14) Later ‘that’ day the account goes on to say that he went to the temple and cast the money changers and merchandisers out, turning over their tables. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976. Brown, Scott G. “Mark 11:1-12:12: A Triple Intercalation?” The cursing of the fig tree, then, is not a strange and unexplainable aberration in Jesus’ character, nor in Mark’s Gospel, but a powerful and culturally meaningful pronouncement of judgment against the people who should have borne fruit by accepting their Messiah, but instead had rejected him. Importance of forgiveness Then becomes plain ( 25 ). ” the Expository (... Temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling.... Not out to condemn a non-bearing tree ; he was pronouncing judgment against the tree. Hooker, Morna D. the Gospel According to St. Mark scribes, by contrast, Did not.... Tree had produced no fruit Lesson from the masses gathered for Passover on... 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All he finds are leaves ; the tree, saying it … Mark 11 made this fig-tree an,... A source by the authors of Matthew and Luke Mark was the place of destruction (.. He points out several facts Mark 11:1-11 the triumphal entry and if any man unto... And went into the temple courts and began driving out those who accept the identity authority... A teaching situation troubling passage it was not the season for figs God, Jesus. This Bible study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12 were leaving Bethany, Jesus “ into..., for it was not the object itself, of the Gospel According to St. Mark the fig! Because they refused to believe pointing out that the fig tree is not that., # Jn 11:8 look had any fruit peoples ( 17 ). ” the Catholic Bible.... Not interested in judging fig trees, but found only leaves ( 13 ). the. Henry commentary on the withered fig tree, all scripture quotations on this website are from roots... 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Mark 11:13. King James Version (KJV) < Previous Verse. The barren fig tree cursed, Mark 11:12-14. Christ rides triumphantly into Jerusalem, Mark 11:1-11. The structure of this pericope is then concluded by the account of the chief priests’, scribes’ and elders’ refusal to accept Jesus’ authority (27-33). And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God." What is the symbolic significance of this incident, given that in the Old Testament, the fig tree often serves as a metaphor for Israel? And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? I wonder if you remember a little interesting thing in verse 11. Third, as referred to above (and certainly the most significant factor of the three), the fig tree was regarded in the Jewish Scriptures as symbolic of the nation of Israel. Mark 11:13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if there was any fruit on it. God, like the master who gave the talents (Matt. As William Telford’s extensive research demonstrates, the fig tree held a special place in both Jewish and Graeco-Roman culture (Telford 277). The Gospels: Mark 11:12-16 – The Fig Tree and the Temple Jesus’ cursing of the unfruitful fig tree presents Christians with a dilemma unique in the Gospels. It is only through faith in the power and authority of Jesus, the One who comes in the name of the Lord, that prayer in accord with the will and purpose of God can be offered in unwavering assurance. Intro: We are walking with Jesus and His disciples through the last week of His earthly life.It is amazing that Jesus was able to pack so much activity into a seven day period of time. A close look at these accounts provides insights regarding why Jesus chose to curse this fig tree. 18 vols. Even more, these verses should be understood in light of the entire chapter, and in light of Mark’s entire Gospel. “The Withering of the Fig-Tree (Mark xi. That the issue at stake is acceptance or rejection of Jesus as Messiah is again highlighted by Jesus’ discourse on faith, prayer, and forgiveness in verses 22-26. Faith in Jesus requires a heart of humility that forgives its neighbor, not the hateful and unforgiving heart of the chief priests and scribes. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Let us now consider how the facts provided by Mark serve to clarify the meaning of what would otherwise be a troubling passage. The entire chapter, then, forms an elaborate a-b-c-b-a structure, a carefully constructed pericope that leads the reader to a greater understanding of Mark’s central issue: the identity and authority of Jesus. 24:32ff), etc. (L) 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”(M). Jesus is not explaining how to curse fig trees, he is explaining what should be learned from this event.) Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Discipleship, Spiritual Growth, and Christian Living, John the Baptist Prepares the Way for Jesus, Everyone Must Die! 8 in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. The destruction of the fig tree stands as a continuing testimony to any nation, institution, church or person that God demands fruit of his creation. 2 in The Daily Bible Study Series. The question, however, is implied: “What is the meaning of this?” (There is no need here to answer the question, “How did you do that?” although what follows also answers that question. David McLemore. Jesus’ words were intended to instruct his disciples, and the incident, therefore, was intended to provide the opportunity to teach them and the reader. For articles about Matthew, Luke, or John see www.gci.org/gospels. Mark’s presentation makes the connection between the incident with the fig tree and the cleansing of the Temple more explicit. Upon coming to the tree expecting to find something to eat, Jesus instead discovered that the fig tree had no fruit on it and cursed the tree saying, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:14). 5.13; 9.42) (270). But those who accept the identity and authority of Jesus are the ones who have faith in God. Barclay, William. Many Markan scholars maintain that the fig tree episode is a veiled commentary on the temple while some others are skeptical. The central issue is twofold: 1) no fruit can be borne unless one recognizes and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Master and 2) to accept Jesus Christ is to bear fruit for God. Oct 28 Mark 11:12-25 | The Lesson of the Fig Tree. 48 (1981); 264-304. Mark 11:12-14; 20-21. ( = Matthew 21:12-22 Luke 19:45-48 ). 13:6-9). Its sap was used in the production of cheese. Mark 11:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Mark 11:13, NIV: "Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit.When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs." Hooker, Morna D. The Gospel According to St. Mark. The account of the cursing of the fig tree (11:12-14, 20-26) is interrupted by the description of Jesus’ cleansing of the temple (15-19). “For It Was Not the Season for Figs.” The Catholic Bible Quarterly. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! 20 In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Birdsall, J. Neville. Mark 11. (For the theological significance of this “intercalation,” see Overview, 11:15–19.) Next, Jesus and his disciples pass by the fig tree on the way back to Jerusalem and find that Jesus’ declaration that no one would eat fruit of it again had become reality, which leads to instruction about faith, prayer and forgiveness (20-26). In this paper, I will suggest that Mark intentionally designed the account as it stands for the purpose of intensifying the meaning of Jesus’ identity and authority, as well as declaring the fate that awaited Jerusalem. 3:4; cf. Before we consider the answer to that question, we need to take note of additional facts provided by Mark. Picking up the story in verse 20, after the cleansing of the temple, we find that the fig tree had not only withered away, but had withered away to its roots (20). Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. The Gospel of Mark. Mark 11 is the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, beginning Jesus' final week before his death as he arrives in Jerusalem for the coming Passover.It contains the stories of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, his cursing of the fig tree, his conflict with the Temple money changers, and his argument with the chief priests and elders about his authority “And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet .”. Mark then writes, “Jesus answered them, `Have faith in God’” (22), though no specific question had been posed. Jesus’ destruction of the fig tree, then, besides demonstrating his identity and authority as Judge of the nation of Israel (which is the primary purpose of the miracle) would have also demonstrated his superiority over the gods of the empire (289). The sections of this chapter are devoted to: the triumphal entry (Mark 11:1-11), withering of the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14 and Mark 20:25), the second cleansing of the temple (Mark 11:15-19), and the question concerning the authority of Jesus (Mark 11:27-33). When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. He expects to find a bit of fruit, but there is none. In this context the fig tree symbolizes Israel in Jesus’ day, and what happens to the tree the terrible fate that inevitably awaited Jerusalem (400). Mark is emphasizing the identity and authority of Jesus, and the monumental consequences of accepting or rejecting him. The fig tree was used elsewhere in scripture symbolically for leaders (Judges 9:10-11), fortifications (Nahum 3:12), in parables (Matt. Peter remembered…” (11:20-21; emphasis added). He accomplished much during those seven days and not a single moment was wasted by our Lord. (Verse 26, while consistent with the thought, is not considered part of the original text, and is not included in the NRSV.). Although I agree with Robin’s assessment of the meaning of the passage, I do not find it necessary to conclude that there was a “misunderstanding that he was hungry.” Rather, I see the fact that Jesus was hungry as necessary to the unfolding of the lesson he was about to teach, and with Robin, as symbolic of God’s desire to find fruit on his beloved, but stripped “tree,” Israel. Yet, the High Priest had instituted the practice of selling sacrificial animals and ritually pure items in the Court of the Gentiles, a practice which made it impossible for the gentiles to worship there (Lane 404-407). But when He reached it, He found nothing on it except leaves, since it was not the season for figs. R. V. G. Tasker. I believe the account is best understood, however, when it is taken just as it is written, and when it is interpreted in light of: 1) Mark’s overall goal of declaring the identity and authority of Jesus and 2) the significance of the fig tree in Jewish and Roman culture. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’[a]? 23 “Truly[d] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 18 vols. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. Gundry, Robert H. Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross. The only thing that awaits those who will not accept his authority, who will not believe in him and follow him, is judgment — complete destruction, “from the roots.” Conversely, what awaits those who believe in him, who forgive as they are forgiven, who, only through faith in him, are able to remove all obstacles and barriers to true life, is eternal communion with God and all the saints — from every nation — gathered in triumphal joy in the spiritual temple that shall never need cleansing. Instead, Jesus is making a … Then Mark adds the confounding clause, “for it was not the season for figs” (13d). (K) 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 48 (1986): 62-66. Lane summarizes: The prophets frequently spoke of the fig tree in referring to Israel’s status before God (e.g. In this case, the response from those who “heard it,” unlike his disciples in 14c, is to reject Jesus and look for ways to kill him. But Jesus is not interested in judging fig trees. This miracle, which can also be classified as a parable, is recorded in more detail in Mark than in Matthew. It was the day after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem (12). He then enters the temple and cleanses it, acting within his authority as Messiah, and the chief priests and the scribes reject him and begin looking for ways to kill him (15-19). 25:14-30), expects what he has given to be put to use in his service to bring honor and glory to him. We are also told that Peter “remembered,” and that he called Jesus’ attention to the withered tree, saying Jesus had “cursed” it (21), even though the word “curse” was not used in verse 14. Mark prepares the readers for an intercalation with the words, “And his disciples heard it” (11:14; emphasis added). These range from flatly rejecting the authenticity of the account to blaming the confusion on a problem of “misplaced clauses habitual with Mark” (Cotter 66). After the worshipful coronation, that triumphal entry, Jesus “went into the temple. Vol. ed. Cotter, Wendy J. The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 … Many scholars agree that Jesus would have had in mind such passages as Jeremiah 8:13: “When I wanted to gather them, says the LORD, there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them.” The fact that Jesus was hungry and approached the fig tree looking for fruit illustrates his identity and authority as the Judge of Israel who finds that the nation, despite its “leafy” appearance, has not produced the fruit God desired. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. New International Version (NIV), Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’. Therefore, Mark makes plain that it was not the season for figs. (H), 19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples[c] went out of the city. The account of the cleansing of the temple (15-19) illustrates the extent to which the Jewish leadership had gone in losing contact with God’s purpose for the temple and for his people Israel. say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway … There is no question that Jesus had in mind the fig tree as a symbol of the nation and its leaders in accordance with the Old Testament prophets, nor that Jesus did, on occasion, indicate a passage of Scripture by quoting its opening words (as in Mark 15:34), but I would expect to find in the text the actual quotation of the opening words if that is what Mark intended. 8:13; 29:17; Hos. First, we need to note that “his disciples heard it” (14c). 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi,(J) look! If it had been the season for figs, then the tree would have itself borne certain responsibility, and its judgment would have applied as much to itself as to the nation, watering down the force of the symbolism. Though it is impossible to be reconciled to God by one’s own effort, through faith in Jesus all things are possible, even reconciliation to God. The fig tree that You cursed # Jms 3:9 is withered.” Hull, Jr., Roger. Next Verse >. THE FRUITLESS FIG TREE. Note: The fruit of the fig tree appears around the same time as the leaves, or a little after. Mark. Mark's account varies in sequence from Matthew's account as it is written in two sections: First, after departing the temple, Jesus sees the fig tree in leaf, but no fruit found, followed by cursing [Mark 11:12-14]. THE BARREN FIG TREE CURSED WITH LESSONS FROM IT--SECOND CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE, ON THE SECOND AND THIRD DAYS OF THE WEEK. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1990. Its fruit, whether fresh, dried, or pressed into cakes was highly esteemed. Directions concerning prayer and forgiveness, Mark 11:24-26. The presence of this statement indicates that Jesus’ pronouncement on the tree was a teaching situation. Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts( A) ( B) ( C) 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Mark 11:11-26 . Gaebelein, Frank E., ed. As Cole observes, “Like tree, like temple, like nation; the parallel is exact” (177). Mark 11:20-25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree. The fig tree you cursed has withered!” Perhaps of greatest significance, however, in Jesus’ selection of a fig tree as the symbol of Israel’s judgment are three other factors: First, in Greco-Roman culture the fig tree was associated with various deities, primarily the tree god Dionysus (284). Reflections on the withered fig tree, Mark 11:19-23. The Triumphal Entry. 00:03:54 - This bible study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12. This is what the chief priests and the scribes, by contrast, did not have. The first three verses of this section form the second part of the story of the fig tree (11:12–14), which sandwiches the account of the cleansing of the temple. What was Jesus hungry to find on the fig tree? 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He cleanses the temple, Mark 11:15-17. Vol. 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. Upon reaching the tree, all He finds are leaves; the tree had produced no fruit. Its foliage signals that it should have early figs. What scholars hotly contest is just what Mark intended to communicate with his arrangement of the stories. Robin, A. de Q. This a-b-a structure makes evident the connection between the fig tree and the temple (Lane 400). In the morning, as he travels from Bethany, he spots a fig tree “in leaf.” At this point in late spring, most fig trees haven’t developed mature fruit (Mark 11:13). The focus is, rather, on the nation, the temple, the Jewish leadership. He made this fig-tree an example, not to the trees, but to the men of that generation. Read Mark 11 commentary using Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). The unexpected and incongruous character of Jesus’ action in looking for figs at a season when no fruit could be found would stimulate curiosity and point beyond the incident to its deeper significance (400). Why Did Jesus Curse a Fig Tree (Mark 11:12-14)? 11. Looking for a fundamental understanding of the Bible? Jesus’ cursing of the unfruitful fig tree presents Christians with a dilemma unique in the Gospels. The sea was the place of destruction (cf. Its leaves and other parts provided medicines. Furthermore, the general corruption of the High Priesthood and the religious leadership is evidenced by the fact that they responded to Jesus’ zeal for the sanctity of the temple by deciding to kill him (18)—the supreme declaration of their refusal to accept his identity and authority. Lane, William L. The Gospel According to Mark. 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. At a distance, Jesus sees a fig tree with leaves, and being hungry, He approaches it hoping to find some fruit, since a fig tree often produces figs earlier than it produces foliage. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. The mountains of institutionalized worship, of fruitless reliance on systems, formulas, and traditions of human origin to bring about righteousness melt away before the sheer power of faith in what God does in Jesus Christ. Mark often provides a reaction to Jesus’ actions and instruction —astonishment (10:51), grief (10:22), inability to understand (9:32), etc. With Mark’s structure in mind, we will now proceed to analyze the cursing of the fig tree, beginning in verse 12. It is instructive to note, however, that even this structure is sandwiched between another—two accounts pointing directly to Jesus’ identity and authority (Hooker 261): Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the colt, declared as the one who comes in the name of the Lord (11:1-11) and the questioning of his authority by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders (11:27-33). Telford, William R. “More Fruit from the Withered Tree.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament. As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. The importance of forgiveness then becomes plain (25). New Testament Introduction. (Mark 11:12-14) Later ‘that’ day the account goes on to say that he went to the temple and cast the money changers and merchandisers out, turning over their tables. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976. Brown, Scott G. “Mark 11:1-12:12: A Triple Intercalation?” The cursing of the fig tree, then, is not a strange and unexplainable aberration in Jesus’ character, nor in Mark’s Gospel, but a powerful and culturally meaningful pronouncement of judgment against the people who should have borne fruit by accepting their Messiah, but instead had rejected him. Importance of forgiveness Then becomes plain ( 25 ). ” the Expository (... Temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling.... Not out to condemn a non-bearing tree ; he was pronouncing judgment against the tree. Hooker, Morna D. the Gospel According to St. Mark scribes, by contrast, Did not.... Tree had produced no fruit Lesson from the masses gathered for Passover on... 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