On 24 hours later, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He visited see if perhaps He’d find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found only leaves, because of it was not the season for figs. He explained to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening… As they were passing by each day, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter thought to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered saying in their mind, “Have faith in God. “Truly I say for you, whoever says to the mountain,’Be taken up and cast into the ocean,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.”
First let me remind us that people should never question Jesus in the incorrect spirit. Whatever He does is perfect and good and proper. But very often His actions sung mỹ cần thơ raise eyebrows and grab our attention, which is precisely what He wants!
The secular, carnal man will understand this text and see an impatient individual who was hungry, and got ticked off when the fruit he was expecting to locate and eat, was not there. Cursing followed, as men can do when they are upset.
Individuals of God full of God’s Spirit and knowing even a little of God’s ways can in no way attribute such characteristics to the Son of God. Human means sinful to us. But originally, Adam was created perfect. This is actually the second Adam, still walking in perfect humanity and subjected Divinity.
Humanly speaking, He did get hungry. He saw a fig tree. He really did expect a tiny meal to emerge, nonetheless it did not.
The Heavenly part kicks in here. The Father, with whom He was in constant contact, taken to the Son’s attention a golden opportunity for teaching out of this incident.
You will dsicover no anger in this passage. None. No out of control man governed by his belly. That’s a Western thing, not just a Godly one. He was disappointed, but immediately the idea came to Him to say something about any of it happening that would teach an important lesson – 2 lessons actually – to the disciples.
The first of both lessons Jesus also taught in a parable in Luke 13:
“And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which have been planted in his vineyard; and he came searching for fruit on it and didn’t find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper,’Behold, for three years I attended searching for fruit with this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even burn up the floor?’ “And he answered and thought to him,’Allow it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and devote fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next season, fine; but when not, cut it down.’ ”
The allusion is clear. Here and elsewhere the “fig tree” is Israel, God’s special planting in Canaan land which was such a disappointment. Oh how God wanted fruit from that tree! So much effort and love seemingly attended waste. I say seemingly, though we know that God cannot waste any effort. Something good originates from Israel, for certain! The Scriptures, the exemplory instance of the fathers, the prophets, Jesus Himself, the initial church, and eventually “all Israel” will be saved. (That’s another subject.)
And dare we also mention a tree that does not bear fruit can be such as a Christian who does not do the same? I think it is fair to say that people are included in the parable and in the “incident.” Disappoint Him good enough, and the curse is swift and sure.
But as you will see in Peter’s response and then Jesus’24 hours later, there clearly was a two-fold lesson to be learned here. Lesson 2 had to do with the power of God and our utilization of it by faith. Though nothing “happened” when what were uttered – as in our seemingly unanswered prayers – 24 hours later the outcomes were clear. And once we wait good enough and believe good enough, what we say to God and even to men will have results.
No, this was no idle anger from the hungry man. This was God the Master Teacher taking advantage of a teachable moment to instill wisdom in His followers then and now.
I suppose that’s a third lesson: irrespective of how disappointing or difficult the circumstance by which we find ourselves, God can transform it into a part of our education, if we’ll listen real hard…