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THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE: The Fig Tree (Part 5)

THE FIG TREE

         On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. [Mark 11:12-14]

         Why did the Lord curse the fig tree? The narrative said it was not the season for figs.

         Actually, a fig tree produced fruit three times a year. In about April, which was the time the Lord saw the tree in question, every healthy fig tree would bear what are known as “early figs,” also known as “unripe” or “untimely” figs. These immature figs were very small, were edible, though certainly not comparable to the full fruit which would come later, and most fell to the ground with the wind. They appeared as the first leaves appeared on the tree.

         In about June, the first mature figs appeared, the first actual crop, and were said to grow out of the “old wood,” or the shoots from the prior year.

         In August or so, the final crop of figs came forth, from the “new wood,” or new shoots of the present year.

         From this we know that if a tree will be fruitful and not barren, it will send forth fruit roughly at the same time, or very shortly thereafter, as it sends forth its first leaves, though the first fruit is a far cry from what will come later. The Lord Jesus knew, therefore, that because the tree He came upon already had leaves but no “early figs,” it would never produce any figs.

         Keep in mind also that He was hungry, that He saw the tree “at a distance,” that He had to put time and effort into reaching it, and that He expected to find food. This is obviously indicative of His long journey to visit and rescue His beloved people.

ISRAEL

         As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”

         And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.” [Mark 11:20-23] [1]

         Mountains are associated with spiritual high places, places of great power. The little that was left of the Jewish nation in the first century had long since been subverted by a political association between the religious leaders and Rome. This was especially true of the Sadducees who had no belief in spiritual things whatsoever, not even the resurrection. It was also true of Annas and Caiphas, the High Priest. They were living only for this world, had achieved great wealth and power, and had joined “the mountain,” represented by the great earthly power of the Roman Empire.

         The fig tree was representative of the Israel of that time, which made an outward show of national legitimacy and religiosity, but was actually fruitless and spiritually barren. It is the same today.

         When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:41-44]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

          Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

FURTHER PROOF:

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 1)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 2)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 3)

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Isaiah, Chapter Nine

Rainbow Cave arch in the Galilee, Israel.

Image via Wikipedia

But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.

You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

The Lord sends a message against Jacob, and it falls on Israel.

And all the people know it, that is, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart:

“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”

Therefore the LORD raises against them adversaries from Rezin and spurs their enemies on,

The Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west; and they devour Israel with gaping jaws. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.

Yet the people do not turn back to Him who struck them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.

So the LORD cuts off head and tail from Israel, both palm branch and bulrush in a single day.

The head is the elder and honorable man, and the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail.

For those who guide this people are leading them astray; and those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.

Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; for every one of them is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.

For wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briars and thorns; it even sets the thickets of the forest aflame and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

By the fury of the LORD of hosts the land is burned up, and the people are like fuel for the fire; no man spares his brother.

They slice off what is on the right hand but still are hungry, and they eat what is on the left hand but they are not satisfied; each of them eats the flesh of his own arm.

Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, and together they are against Judah. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out. [1]

© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.