What Jesus Did! 'The Fig Tree' — Mark 11:12-14

Friday, August 12, 2016

The next day, Jesus was leaving Bethany. He was hungry. Jesus saw a fig tree with leaves. So Jesus went to the tree to see if it had any figs growing on it. But Jesus found no figs on the tree. There were only leaves. It was not the right time for figs to grow. So Jesus said to the tree, "People will never eat fruit from you again." Jesus' followers heard him say this.
— Mark 11:12-14
Illustration of Mark 11:12-14 — "People will never eat fruit from you again."

Key Thought

What? What in the world is this about? ... Yeah, that's most people's response to this story. Jesus uses his miraculous powers to curse the fig tree. Our human viewpoint looks on this as capricious and unfair. It's not even the season for figs and yet Jesus curses it because it is fruitless. Clearly, Jesus is trying to teach his close followers—and us in the process—something very important. As in some other stories and events in the New Testament, it is important that we focus on the one key point of the story. As this story unfolds, it is possible to see that the lack of fruit on the fig tree foreshadows Jerusalem and all that it symbolizes with the Temple—the central religious place for God's people. Jesus will die there. He will die for the people there ... and people all over the world. He will come looking to see if there is fruit as a result of his life, sacrifice, and resurrection. There will be choices to make. There will be a season of decision and fruit-bearing. Jerusalem had its time. Now it is our own time of decision and continuous fruit-bearing. What will our future be?

Today's Prayer

O Father in heaven, I choose to honor Jesus and trust him to be my Savior. I believe he is the Christ, the Messiah your prophets promised would come. I want him to reign as Lord in my life. I open my life for the Holy Spirit to do his work of transformation in me ... conforming me into the character of your Son and transforming me into a temple where you live. My prayer is that your holy fruit be formed in me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The next day, Jesus was leaving Bethany. He was hungry. Jesus saw a fig tree with leaves. So Jesus went to the tree to see if it had any figs growing on it. But Jesus found no figs on the tree. There were only leaves. It was not the right time for figs to grow. So Jesus said to the tree, "People will never eat fruit from you again." Jesus' followers heard him say this. Jesus went to Jerusalem. He went into the temple area. Jesus began to throw out the people that were buying and selling things there. Jesus turned over the tables that belonged to the people that were exchanging different kinds of money. And Jesus turned over the benches of those people that were selling doves. Jesus refused to allow any person to carry things through the temple area. Then Jesus taught the people. He said, "It is written in the Scriptures, 'My house will be called a house for prayer for all people.' But you are changing God's house into a 'hiding place for thieves.' " The leading priests and the teachers of the law heard these things. They began trying to find a way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of Jesus because all the people were amazed at his teaching. That night, Jesus and his followers left the city. The next morning, Jesus was walking with his followers. They saw the fig tree {that Jesus spoke to the day before}. The fig tree was dry and dead, even the roots. Peter remembered the tree and said to Jesus, "Teacher, look! Yesterday, you told that fig tree to die. Now it is dry and dead!" Jesus answered, "Have faith in God. I tell you the truth. You can say to this mountain, 'Go, mountain, fall into the sea.' And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that the thing you say will happen, then God will do it for you. So I tell you to ask for things in prayer. And if you believe that you have received those things, then they will be yours. When you are praying, and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, then forgive that person. Forgive them sothat your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins."

Mark 11:12-25

Related Scripture Readings

You will know these false people by the fruit they make (things they do).

Matthew 7:20

{Jesus said,} "I am the true vine; my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not make fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that makes fruit, so that it will make even more fruit. You are already clean because of the teaching I have told you. Continue in me and I will continue in you. No branch can make fruit alone. It must continue in the vine. It is the same with you. You cannot make fruit alone. You must continue in me. "I am the vine and you are the branches. If a person continues in me and I continue in that person, then that person will make much fruit. But without me that person can do nothing. If a person does not continue in me, then he is like a branch that is thrown away. That branch dies. People pick up dead branches, throw them into the fire, and burn them. "Continue in me and follow my teachings. If you do this, then you can ask for anything you want, and it will be given to you. You should make much fruit and show that you are my followers. This brings glory to my Father.

John 15:1-8

that you will do many good things with the help of Christ to bring glory and praise to God.

Philippians 1:11

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.