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

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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 NLT
Illustration of Mark 11:12-14 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 7:20
  • John 15:1-8
  • Philippians 1:11


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.