The Cursing of the Fig Tree

Why did Jesus curse a fig tree because it did not bear fruit? Can anyone explain this? Are there any good references so I can look up what seems questionable to me in the bible?

God Bless

The NAB online version gives commentaries on the verses as follows:
“[12-14] Jesus’ search for fruit on the fig tree recalls the prophets’ earlier use of this image to designate Israel; cf Jeremiah 8:13; 29:14; Joel 1:7; Hosea 9:10, 16. Cursing the fig tree is a parable in action representing Jesus’ judgment (Mark 11:20) on barren Israel and the fate of Jerusalem for failing to receive his teaching; cf Isaiah 34:4; Hosea 2:12; Luke 13:6-9.”

To what the OP said, add this:

1 " 'At that time, declares the LORD, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be removed from their graves. 2 They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped. They will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground. 3 Wherever I banish them, all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, declares the LORD Almighty.'

4 "Say to them, 'This is what the LORD says:
" 'When men fall down, do they not get up?
When a man turns away, does he not return?
5 Why then have these people turned away?
Why does Jerusalem always turn away?
They cling to deceit;
they refuse to return.
6 I have listened attentively,
but they do not say what is right.
No one repents of his wickedness,
saying, “What have I done?”
Each pursues his own course
like a horse charging into battle.
7 Even the stork in the sky
knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know
the requirements of the LORD.
8 " 'How can you say, “We are wise,
for we have the law of the LORD,”
when actually the lying pen of the scribes
has handled it falsely?
**9 The wise will be put to shame; **
**they will be dismayed and trapped. **
**Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, **
what kind of wisdom do they have?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men
and their fields to new owners.
From the least to the greatest,
all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.
11 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace.
12 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when they are punished,
says the LORD.
**13 " 'I will take away their harvest, **
**declares the LORD. **
**There will be no grapes on the vine. **
**There will be no figs on the tree, **
**and their leaves will wither. **
**What I have given them **
will be taken from them. ’ "
*]1: refers to the approaching sack of Jerusalem in 586 BC - which makes it applicable to the sack of AD 70
*]9: compare 1 Corinthians 1 on the “wisdom of the wise” which is “left behind” by the "folly of the Cross
*]13: may have contributed to the literary form and theological meaning of the incident discussed in this thread; and to the “parable of the pounds”.
[/LIST]The incident may itself have been a parable originally.

That is pretty prophetic.

God Bless

An interesting note: there are more than one kind of fig tree in Palestine. Fig trees, like the one in my back yard, grow in a cycle. In the “off” season, the tree is bare branches; then there is a growth period where the branches grow very quickly and bud leaves; once the leaves reach about 3/4 size, fruit buds appear. As the leaves hit full size, the fruit is full grown but green, and as the bottoms start to turn brown, the fruit is ripe and good to eat.

In other words, you can pretty much tell just by looking at the tree, even from a distance, whether it should have fruit on it or not. In this parable, Jesus finds the tree in a state that should have fruit on it - but it does not. Kind of like finding a people who should have faith, but do not. From a distance, seeing them offering sacrifices, prayer, etc., it sure looks like they are a faithful people, but when you get right up to them you don’t find any.

That’s what made the fig such a good example that any fig-eater would readily understand.

Wow…that makes :newidea:perfect sense to me now…
I had heard it explained before, but there was never anyone with a fig tree, to make it so clear. Thank you!!!

In addition, the unfaithful leaders of Israel refuse him as the Messiah and they lack the fruits of repentance.

**Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Mt 3:8-10)

They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. (Mt 21:41-43)**

Mat 21:21 And Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done.

This is what he taught. This must be believed, this is your homework…

Thank you for so clearly explaing a passage of Scripture that has always mystified me.:thumbsup:

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