Jesus and the Fig Tree

20 Sep

Jesus and the Fig Tree

Mark 11:12-14

King James Version (KJV)

12And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

13And 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.

14And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

Here is one of the many miracles claimed by Christians. (I don’t know if I want to call it a “miracle.”) Jesus was walking from Bethany and he was getting hungry.   Him and his disciples came across a fig tree and hoping to find some figs to eat. He noticed that the fig tree has yet to produce figs because it was out of season. What was Jesus response to this? He curses it and basically kills the tree.

What is the message of this story? From some scholars this metaphor was written to show that Israel was to be punished for not accepting Jesus as the messiah.   The Fig tree is Judaism. By cursing the fig tree for not bearing fruit. Jesus is telling his disciples that the old ways did not bear any fruit and is cursed by god to not to grow. This means that Jesus is the new fig tree that is replacing the old.

Also note when the book of Mark was written. It was written around the time of the 1st  Jewish-Roman War. In 70 AC, Romans conquered Jerusalem. The Romans sacked the city and destroyed the second temple and took all it’s treasures back to Rome. In my own opinion,  that the author wrote this passage in Mark to as a response to the sacking of the city. The writer of Mark wanted the followers of Jesus and to tell the gentiles that it was the curse that lead to the destruction of Jerusalem. The destruction of the temple is a sign that the old ways are gone and there is a new beginning under Christ. This has a better explanation of why it was in Mark if you read the bible was literature and not as a literal story from facts.

This story also created the horrible antisemitism of the Jewish people.  This is why we should not take the Bible literally.

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
Wikipedia Entry of the Gospel of Mark
Bible Gateway of Mark: 11
Got Questions

Note: I did not use Matthew due to it was written decades later. I tend to use sources that are earlier in date. This tends to lessen the telephone game.

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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Religion


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