On the very next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. Seeing far away a fig tree in leaf, He went along to see if perhaps He’d find anything about it; and when He stumbled on it, He found just leaves, for it was not the growing season for figs. He said to it, “May nobody 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 said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered saying for them, “Trust God. “Truly I say to you, whoever says to the mountain,’Be taken on and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will probably happen, it is going to 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 frequently His actions sung mỹ cần thơ raise eyebrows and grab our attention, which will be precisely what He wants!
The secular, carnal man will understand this text and see an impatient individual who was hungry, and got ticked off once the fruit he was expecting to locate and eat, was not there. Cursing followed, as men can do when they’re upset.
People of God filled up with God’s Spirit and knowing even a little of God’s ways can by no means 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, but it did not.
The Heavenly part kicks in here. The Father, with whom He was in constant contact, brought to the Son’s attention a golden chance for teaching from this incident.
You will see no anger in this passage. None. No out of control man governed by his belly. That’s a Western thing, not a Godly one. He was disappointed, but immediately thinking stumbled on Him to express something about this happening that would teach an important lesson – 2 lessons actually – to the disciples.
The very first of the two 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 looking for fruit about it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper,’Behold, for four years I attended looking for fruit with this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the bottom?’ “And he answered and said to him,’Let it alone, sir, for in 2010 too, until I dig around it and place in fertilizer; and when it bears fruit next year, 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 that was such a disappointment. Oh how God wanted fruit from that tree! So much effort and love seemingly visited waste. I say seemingly, though we know that God cannot waste any effort. Something good originates from Israel, for sure! The Scriptures, the example of the fathers, the prophets, Jesus Himself, the initial church, and eventually “all Israel” is going to be saved. (That’s another subject.)
And dare we also mention that the tree that will not bear fruit can be such as a Christian who not do the same? I believe that it is fair to say that people are within the parable and in the “incident.” Disappoint Him long enough, and the curse is swift and sure.
But as you can see in Peter’s response and then Jesus’the very next day, there is a two-fold lesson to be learned here. Lesson 2 had to do with the ability of God and our usage of it by faith. Though nothing “happened” when the words were uttered – as inside our seemingly unanswered prayers – the very next day the results were clear. And whenever we wait long enough and believe long enough, what we say to God and to even men can have results.
No, this was no idle anger from the hungry man. This is God the Master Teacher taking advantage of a teachable moment to instill wisdom in His followers then and now.
I guess that is a third lesson: no matter how disappointing or difficult the circumstance by which we find ourselves, God can turn it into part of our education, if we’ll listen real hard…