Those aren’t up for discussion. It was like the fig tree—full of leaf but without fruit. They made a profit on the worship of God. The three entities in the story all have clear symbolic significance. User’s Guide to Sunday, Dec. 20, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, User’s Guide to Sunday, Dec. 13, the Third Sunday of Advent, BOOK PICK: ‘Wisdom of the Heart: The Good, the True and the Beautiful at the Center of Us All’. You get everything Jesus deserves. That matters because as he goes into the temple, it’s not just another man going there. LESSONS OF THE FIG TREE As Jesus and His disciples were traveling from Bethany to Jerusalem the day after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus saw a fig tree having leaves, but upon closer inspection He saw it had no fruit “for it was not the season for figs” (Mark 11:13). It’s deadness is not a problem Jesus could ignore. Like this fig tree, the nation of Israel has a deceptive appearance. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. He will come to you not with cursing but with blessing. A temple fit for true worship. He won’t reject an open heart. The only question remaining is simple: do you want to come? Now, this story is really interesting from a historical perspective. In the parable, the master had passed by the barren tree for three years before he said anything about it. There’s a great example of this from the 1960s. One important lesson to understand from the parable of the fig tree is that God’s grace is enduring, regardless of whether people deserve it or not. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Here’s the point. It was a gift. All you need is honesty and openness to admit that your Christianity has been a show, and ask him for the real thing. We will have to let Jesus rule in our church. Jesus tells us right here. The temple was an amazing place. One day Jesus was walking along the road and He saw a fig tree. “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). However long this era lasts, it will only end with the Second Coming and Final Judgment. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! There are two kinds of fruit that a fig tree bears. And from his purity, he makes us clean. We can see that this elaborate buying and selling and money-changing operation is a scam to make money off poor worshipers who only want to meet with God—much like the prosperity gospel preachers of our day. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”. When a church becomes a place where it’s hard to find God, it becomes something other than what God intends. In John 2, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). What an important lesson for all of Jesus’ followers! It is especially appropriate for the apostles in view of the difficult tests they will soon face. How does it have any relation to the fig tree and to the temple? The Old Testament said this would happen (Isaiah 34:4, Joel 1:7-12, Amos 4:9). And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.” Kind of weird, huh? And thus, the scene is set for next week as we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. So let’s look at each part, and notice how to spot the real thing—how to spot true worship of God. As a result, Jesus cursed the fig Then, he was willing to wait another year while the vineyard keeper fertilized the tree before exercising final judgment on the tree. Renew or manage your subscription here. We will have to open our hearts to those not like us. Israel has been represented typologically, in the Old Testament, as a fig tree with both good and bad figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. (We don’t know it is a millenium until Revelation.) Throughout the Old Testament, the fig tree held spiritual value as a symbol for Israel, serving as a metaphor for their standing with God. THE WITHERED FIG TREE​—A LESSON ABOUT FAITH JESUS’ AUTHORITY IS CHALLENGED Leaving Jerusalem on Monday afternoon, Jesus returns to Bethany on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. Jesus is sitting on the Mount of Olives as he speaks, looking out on the Temple. Finally, we always hope. That’s why Jesus says in verse 17, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. He overturns what doesn’t belong. How can Jesus move the mountain of dead worship in the temple? Show me the verse about shoes! As Jesus’ body was torn on the cross, the temple curtain was also torn, as Matthew tells us “from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51), meaning, God tore it. After the worshipful coronation, that triumphal entry, Jesus “went into the temple. As soon as the twigs get tender, what is the tree doing? Sunday, Nov. 18, is the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. He’s bigger than your sin. The mountain of dead worship they saw in the temple. The temple had four main sections. 20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. In this case, it’s true worship. Jesus says “learn a lesson from the fig tree.” This does not mean interpret what the fig tree is. And he didn’t know until he bit in and found no taste. They didn’t know any better. Jesus wants his disciples to see this. That’s why he returns to the fig tree, which is our next point. Matt 24:29-31says that the events occur “after the tribulation” or “at the end of the tribulation” so we are in a post-tribulation time frame. On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. monetization of National Catholic Register RSS feeds is strictly prohibited. The other day, I explained the parable of the fig tree to a man. The tribulation ushers in the kingdom. The temple in Jerusalem was much the same. But what is this mountain? His heart must have been wrenched at the thought of such horrors. Verse 24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” This isn’t a promise to grant our every wish. The beginning and the end help us to understand the middle. 35 ” Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. Why did God do that? print and digital media outlets, dedicated to reporting the truth in light of the Gospel and the Repentance is necessary, and it is possible with God's help. Showy religion is so boring. Notice Jesus doesn’t say “a” mountain. “Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. EWTN News, Inc. is the world’s largest Catholic news organization, comprised of television, radio, Introduction 1. We know what the temple leaders were really like. But it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do. The tribulation ushers in the kingdom. When God comes inside the hollow religious heart of Israel, what happens? Why settle for anything less when we can have real righteousness? Mark Sandwich Again a. The British pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “every institution tends to become it’s opposite.” The temple became a place where it was hard to find God. The cursing of the fig tree is an incident in the gospels, presented in Mark and Matthew as a miracle in connection with the entry into Jerusalem, and in Luke as a parable. The leaders should have been there to help but their heart wasn’t in it. By cursing the tree, Jesus simply stated the obvious. Every one of them. Login or Create an Account. God did something powerful. Why curse it? We have an amazing capacity for self-deception and self-justification. It's coming back to life, meaning that the tree is being revived. This act of cleansing the temple cost Jesus. Where God dwelt on earth. 15-19), True worship has faith in God (vv. So much is packed in here. Sign-up for E-NewsletterGet Register Updates sent daily or weeklyto your inbox. There is yet another connection between the withering of the fig tree and the quality of faith. If you were to plant a fig tree, you would leave it without harvesting the fruit for three years. He likely spends the night at the home of his friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Over the last 1500 years or so, the consensus among scholars was that the lesson of the fig tree and the last generation referred to the generation of Jesus. And it will be quite a tribulation; the imminent destruction of the Temple would also mean the massacre of a million Jews during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans. Our Master is … We can look at the temple and see the hypocrisy. God loves to bring sinners to himself. The Jews could enter the next level. The fig tree illustration is important because what he says to the tree becomes true the next day. The place that was meant for finding freedom in God became a place where it was hard to find God. The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. They chose not to put up a barrier and God brought the people. Give me one reason not to do church his way. Have you ever felt compelled to get a weight off of your chest. Your sin isn’t too big for him. We need fruit. Hollow religion is actually hard to spot, especially when the focus is turned on ourselves. All we need to know is that each instant marches onward toward God’s fulfillment, gaining momentum as it goes. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. But let’s take this out of the merely historical realm because this applies to us too. It proves once again that Jesus is God. That’s what Jesus wants for his disciples. We don’t have to look far to see this playing out. In depth inductive Bible study of Jesus' parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24:32-44, Mark 13:28-32, and Luke 21:29-33 are good for small group studies. But if they leave the church because we make it hard for them to worship God, that’s between God and us. He shows us that we are like that. The test of true worship doesn’t reside in showy religiosity but in God-glorifying life. But he does love sinners. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus teaches about “those days” after the coming tribulation, days of a darkened sun and a dull moon, falling stars, shaken heavens. We need intimacy. Nothing like this ever does. But you have made it a den of robbers.” Where was it written that it should be a house of prayer? It was where the sacrifices were made to grant purification and forgiveness. If Herod could move a hill to establish a place of refuge, could God not move a mountain? You get his atoning death. How free we are? We also explore related Bible Verses & Scripture Quotes to further illustrate the meaning and application of this important parable. C.S. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. But they look real. Let me propose something for us here at Refuge. Jesus can’t be ruined. . Parable of the Fig Tree Speaking with his disciples about WHEN his Second Coming would take place, Jesus said: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree ; when its branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it … He showed us the kind of forgiving heart God has. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in… What appeared full of life was actually lifeless. Every year, we take a trip to Kansas City to visit our best friends. Why did Jesus take out his anger on the poor fig tree? Jesus stood in the outer court of the temple, the only place Gentiles could go to find God. The second reading states that Christ, the new Temple, “offered one sacrifice for sins and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool” (Hebrews 10:13). The lesson of the fig tree is that we should bear spiritual fruit ( Galatians 5:22-23 ), not just give an appearance of religiosity. The Lesson of the Fig Tree (Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33) 32 Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. Jesus’ answer is to have faith in God. 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Isaiah 56 is about the nations coming to God. One day, Chuck Smith showed up to find a sign hanging on the door. By his death that day on the cross, Jesus brought a robber to heaven. With Jesus as our access point to God, we can be sure it will never be compromised. But we can give that up. It doesn’t even seem to make sense, does it? God loves to revive his people. God has come. Jesus becomes the very center of our life and worship. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Restoring true worship cost nothing less than the life of Jesus. No doubt they were dumbfounded by his answer: This will happen in their own generation. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. We pray and fast for these conversions and also for the Church as a whole, for “before Christ’s second coming, the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675). He said it shows Jesus as a furious man unable to control his anger, not worthy of the supposed “Son of God.”. You can do a whole study of the meaning of Israel as the fig tree and the purpose of the temple. The Problem A few years ago, our youngest son hungry for pears went to the bowl every time he saw it, picked one up, and bit in. What mountain is that? 12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. The Lesson of the Fig Tree. 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