Ok, I did it again. I ran across something this morning in my devotional reading that made me giggle. It was something Jesus had done. Now, please don't misunderstand, I mean no disrespect, but sometimes scripture is good for a laugh. I think that when we don't recognize that, we miss something.
So, here is what made me giggle this morning: Mark 11. Just after Jesus rode into Jerusalem and made his triumphal entry, he and the disciples left town that night. The next morning, he got up and was hungry. He went to a fig tree to see if there was any fruit, and since "it was not the season for figs" it was empty. So, what did he do? He cursed it so that no more fruit would ever grow on it again. I apologize, but I thought that was a little funny.
Now, I am a huge fan of digging farther into the story to see what deeper truths are buried within the words, and I've tried to do that with this one, but I'm getting nothing. With this story, there's no mention of the Pharisees, no obvious connection with Rome, just a fig tree that wasn't in season yet and a missed breakfast. If we look at the rest of the story though, it would almost seem like Jesus woke up in a bad mood. And if there is a deeper truth to the story of the fig tree, I guess that might be it. Not that he woke up in a bad mood, but that he was human just like the rest of us.
I can only imagine what must have been going through his mind at this point in his ministry. He must have known that his time was getting close. He must have known that what he had done the day before was going to raise some eyebrows. Only the Messiah was supposed to ride into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, so by doing that he was making a huge statement. Scripture doesn't say, but I can imagine the disciples were pressuring him a little by now; their idea of Messiah and his were a little different. But this morning, all he wanted was some breakfast. Nevermind that figs come into season twice a year, spring and fall, or that he was the Son of God and could have caused figs to appear on the tree. It was early in the morning, it was shaping up to be a rough week, and he was hungry.
So, all things considered, I would have probably done the same thing. We give Jesus plenty of credit for being the Son of God, but sometimes we forget that he was also the son of Joseph. So let him have a bad day every now and then, heaven knows we do. Let him get a little upset because there was nothing to eat for breakfast; you should see me when we run out of milk. Give him a little space on his rough days. He wasn't only human, but he was human.
The key to the story (IMHO) is that fig trees produce the spring crop at the same time they put out leaves. Since the tree had leaves, one could assume fruit. So the tree was guilty of false advertising. Sandwiched in the fig story is Jesus clearing out the temple. Being passover, I sure the temple was in full regalia. So the story is kind of a live-action parable about the temple.ReplyDelete