Mark 11:12 - 25
ESV - 12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
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In my opinion, Jesus performed this action for two reasons -- to demonstrate to the apostles the power that could be theirs through faith (as Jesus elaborated on when the apostles subsequently noted that the fig tree withered in response to Jesus' command); and as an allegory of the manner in which He had been incarnated expecting to find acceptance and faith in Israel, but had been largely rejected to the point of His forthcoming crucifixion (despite the priests putting on a "show" of religious piety, just as the fig tree gave the appearance of bearing fruit), as a consequence of which the Romans would subsequently destroy Jerusalem, just as the fig tree was destroyed down to its roots.
One week before His death, Jesus cursed the fruitless fig tree to illustrate what was going to happen to the Jewish nation. In the Bible there are only two things that ever died in Jesus’ presence: the demon-possessed pigs (Mark 5:11-13) and this fig tree. Figs, unlike other trees, start producing fruit before leaves. In fact, the fruit should be ripe when the leaves are fully developed. Just like the Jewish nation, the fig tree was full of leaves but had no fruit. Although this specific tree outside Jerusalem was out of season, had all the signs of having fruit. With its temple, priesthood, and sacrifices, Israel had all the trappings of true religion, but the genuine fruits of justice, mercy, and faith (Matt 23:23) were missing.
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