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Old 09-20-2010, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Southern Illinois
138 posts, read 162,935 times
Reputation: 48

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Hello to all in the room,

Could someone please address the two stories of Jesus and the fig trees? I recall two separate passages where Jesus is walking with a disciple and sees a fig tree off in the distance. On both occasions He is delighted to see the tree because He is hungry and looks forward to eating its fruit. However, on both occasions, it is the wrong time of year for the fig tree to bear fruit, so Jesus finds the tree bare. Both times, He curses the fig tree, and He says "Now you shall never again bear fruit," or something to this extent. The disciple accompanying Him is scandalized, and asks Jesus why He should punish the tree when in fact it is simply not the right time of year for the tree to bear fruit?

To my knowledge Jesus does not answer the question His disciples pose, but I would like an answer, if anyone in the room knows it.

Are we to take these passages as metaphors, and if so, what is the lesson? . . . If these passages are literal accounts, and do not serve as metaphor, then why did Jesus punish the trees?

The Jesus I have come to know through scripture is almost a different man from the one featured in these two passages. I know Him to be patient, loving and understanding. When I think of the days I "do not bear fruit," I like to think Jesus forgives me and understands why I'm not doing so well! I do not like to think He then judges me harshly and would curse me, making it impossible for me to ever blossom again!!!

If anyone knows the answer it would go a long way in soothing my mind.

Peace,
Light1111
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
2,031 posts, read 2,857,085 times
Reputation: 535
Fig trees, a popular source of inexpensive food in Israel, require three years from the time they are planted until they can bear fruit. Each tree yields a great amount of fruit twice a year, in late spring and in early autumn. This incident occurred early in the spring fig season when the leaves were beginning to bud. The figs normally grow as the leaves fill out, but this tree, though full of leaves, had none. The tree looked promising but offered no fruit, Jesus' harsh words to the fig tree can be applied to the nation of Israel. Fruitful in appearance only, Israel was spiritually barren.

It's an acted out parable. Jesus was showing his anger at religion without substance. Just as the fig tree looked good from a distance but was fruitless on close examination, so the temple looked impressive at first glance, but its sacrifices and other activities were hollow because they were not done to worship God sincerely.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Southern Illinois
138 posts, read 162,935 times
Reputation: 48
Hello,
Thank you so much for writing this lovely response. It really resonated with me. I did not want to believe He had really cursed a tree in a fit or a tantrum, and your words make so much sense. Do you know, I have been asking religious people this question for over a decade? And you are the very first person to answer in this fashion. Mostly people grow uncomfortable and don't want to continue the discussion. I only wanted to hear something comforting . . and you delivered! I am grateful to you! Thank you sincerely,
Light1111
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:21 PM
 
1,492 posts, read 2,377,329 times
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I like it,too.thanks cantwaittoleave.I repped you for it
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
2,031 posts, read 2,857,085 times
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You're welcome! I have been studying Matthew/Mark and got the info from my study Bible. I'm glad it makes sense to you now.
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:49 PM
 
8,433 posts, read 7,587,078 times
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The fig tree represents sin...... In Genesis 3: 7...Adam and Eve sinned in ...`` and their eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons``.......Adam and Eve made these aprons of fig leaves themselves, hidding their sin......Now in the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree that had no fruit for his breakfast that day and the fig tree wilted and died. This story has many symbols that can give many diffrent ideas. and meanings ... Like it could be that a Christian never developed fruit of the spirit and was condemned at the Judgement seat of Christ and became lost to the Lord .,,,,, or it could be repesenting Israel and this nation was condemned for countless years..... or it could be Jesus was hungry and Judas Iscoriot had the money and did not buy supplies for their travel and Jesus was hungry that morning and miserable so he cursed the fig tree in spite... who knows ,,,,,,,,,,

Last edited by hljc; 09-20-2010 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:09 PM
 
5,502 posts, read 4,776,828 times
Reputation: 5156
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantWait2Leave View Post
Fig trees, a popular source of inexpensive food in Israel, require three years from the time they are planted until they can bear fruit. Each tree yields a great amount of fruit twice a year, in late spring and in early autumn. This incident occurred early in the spring fig season when the leaves were beginning to bud. The figs normally grow as the leaves fill out, but this tree, though full of leaves, had none. The tree looked promising but offered no fruit, Jesus' harsh words to the fig tree can be applied to the nation of Israel. Fruitful in appearance only, Israel was spiritually barren.

It's an acted out parable. Jesus was showing his anger at religion without substance. Just as the fig tree looked good from a distance but was fruitless on close examination, so the temple looked impressive at first glance, but its sacrifices and other activities were hollow because they were not done to worship God sincerely.
Thank you for sharing this...from the core!
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