Hello to all in the room,
Could someone please address the two stories of Jesus and the fig trees? I recall two separate passages where Jesus is walking with a disciple and sees a fig tree off in the distance. On both occasions He is delighted to see the tree because He is hungry and looks forward to eating its fruit. However, on both occasions, it is the wrong time of year for the fig tree to bear fruit, so Jesus finds the tree bare. Both times, He curses the fig tree, and He says “Now you shall never again bear fruit,” or something to this extent. The disciple accompanying Him is scandalized, and asks Jesus why He should punish the tree when in fact it is simply not the right time of year for the tree to bear fruit?
To my knowledge Jesus does not answer the question His disciples pose, but I would like an answer, if anyone in the room knows it.
Are we to take these passages as metaphors, and if so, what is the lesson? . . . If these passages are literal accounts, and do not serve as metaphor, then why did Jesus punish the trees?
The Jesus I have come to know through scripture is almost a different man from the one featured in these two passages. I know Him to be patient, loving and understanding. When I think of the days I “do not bear fruit,” I like to think Jesus forgives me and understands why I’m not doing so well! I do not like to think He then judges me harshly and would curse me, making it impossible for me to ever blossom again!!!
If anyone knows the answer it would go a long way in soothing my mind.