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Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

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Was Jesus born on December 25? It might help to know about the Winter Solstice. Here is a hint: the Bible never mentions what day Jesus was born.

Was Jesus born in an inn? I don’t think they had hotel chains back in the day. There is also no mention of an innkeeper much less an inn.

Did Paul really say that men should abuse their wives? That is what Planned Parenthood and NOW claim. But we know how credible they are when it comes to issues relating to marriage, family and what not.  Actually Paul was saying that men should love their wives just as Jesus loved the church. This notion of marriage was quite radical for its time. Generally in the ancient world, marriage was for economic reasons (it wasn’t as if women could just fill out an application and get a job).  Our modern notion of marriage is based mostly on physical attraction more than economic necessity or genuine love.

Now what does this have to do with a fig tree? It is important to actually read the text and put it into proper context instead of allowing modern day interpretations and imagery to fill in the details.

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree is found in Luke 13:6-9.  The fig tree is a symbol of Israel and this passage may have been saying that Jesus was offering the nation one last chance at repentance.

There is the The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree found in Matthew 24:32-35, Mark 13:28-31, and Luke 21:29-33.  Essentially these are signs to look for as part of the Olivet discourse.  This is not to be confused with Dispensationalism which is a false gospel that advocates Jesus as yet again a warrior king/politician type.  Victory in Christ was spiritual, not physical. The lamb wins over the lion.

The Parable of the Cursing of the Fig Tree can be found in Mark 11:12-12, Matthew 21:12, and Matthew 21:17-19.

He curses the temple comparing it to a fig tree that no longer bear fruit. What do you do with a tree that no longer bears fruit? Contrary to how it is often been reported, he didn’t clean the temple. The reason the cursing of the temple account was bracketed between the cursing of the fig tree (Mark 11:12-22) was so that the reader would not miss the point that the writer was intending to make.

Yet to this day, people miss the point because they don’t read what was written and just assume that Jesus was going on some rant about people being at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday.  Modern day twists to this account include among other things that you can’t drink beer on Sunday or that small business owners are evil.  This is not what Jesus was referring to.  There are others that say we should let the courts determine right and wrong or let’s set up another government run program to help the poor.  You can make all the laws you want, but they don’t address the true cause of the problems.  The purpose of this cursing was to address spiritual shortcomings, not physical ones. Whether you think people should mow the grass on Sunday is a matter of personal opinion.  I certainly don’t think it is any of the government’s business.

Jesus was essentially making the point that salvation can’t be bought and sold, but only through Christ can it be obtained.  When you curse someone or something, you are essentially saying you will die. Sure enough, the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

Salvation in ancient times was thought to be communal or part of corporate responsibility.  Being part of the right family or tribe was thought to be the key to eternal life.  Thus the emphasis on bloodline and having grand pageantry to “show” you were in God’s good graces.  To be physically rich was thought to be proof of this.  Yet, Christ came for the blind, the poor, and the outcasts.  This was as much a spiritual quest as it was a physical one.  With Christ, salvation is truly personal.  It is a personal decision to be reconciled in Christ and no one else can make that decision for you.

Written by chrisforliberty

July 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Posted in General

One Response

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  1. I am happy to see dispensationalism addressed in this article. Christians need a better understanding of what Jesus meant when he said “render unto Ceasar, what it Ceasars”. The Geneva translation of the Bible reads differently then what is preached at most pulpits. Thank you.

    Christy Arendt

    July 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm


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