GOSPEL MEDITATION # 213
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
Mark 11:12-14, 20-26
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- In between the two segments of this meditation about a fig tree is the story of Jesus cleansing the temple.
- Jesus “curses” the fig tree, not a good title for this story. He did not curse the tree, He did state it would not bear fruit. He was saying something far different.
- Israel is spoken of as a fig tree (see Hosea 9:10) and it is generally understood that Jesus, now within days of His crucifixion, stated that the ministry of Israel had come to end, even failed, and another people of God would arise to carry out the ministry that had been intended for the nation. See Jeremiah 31:31-34 on this point.
- A day later the fig tree had withered completely, a process that might have taken a year or more naturally.
- Jesus now makes a statement about prayer, indicating that rather than a curse, Jesus had said a prayer and this was why the fig tree had withered.
- Here now Jesus explains that prayer involves an utter trusting in God for answers to prayer, with no wavering or doubting, which is mostly impossible for even the most sincere and dedicated Christian. But the standard is there.
- Then we have a teaching that at first sight does not seem completely inline with what went before, but it must be absolutely connected. Here is another opportunity for Jesus to show how important it is that His followers be forgiving people.
- We are called to be honest about whether there is forgiving work to do.