Mark 11:12-14 “The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, ‘May no one ever eat your fruit again!’ And the disciples heard him say it.”
Mark 11: 20-22 “The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it had withered from the roots up. Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, ‘Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died!’
Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Have faith in God.'”
This tree was guilty of “false advertising”, as Guzik says: if a fig tree had leaves, it would normally also have figs; “This tree was cursed because it professed to have fruit, but did not”.
Just after Jesus cursed the fig tree, they went into Jerusalem, entered the Temple and Jesus began driving out the people who were buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He turned over the tables of the money changers saying, “My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” This is often called the cleansing of the Temple.
Jesus was turning the tables on their twisted traditions and beginning to usher in His New Covenant whereby any could come to Him through FAITH. The next morning, the disciples noticed the fig tree had withered “from the roots up”—this tree that professed to have fruit was deteriorating from its source: it had been planted in the poison of self-righteousness and pride. It would be destroyed from the inside out because of its faulty foundation. As soon as Peter brings attention to it, Jesus’ response is: “Have faith in God.”
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” Romans 3:22
The Pharisees and teachers of religious law wanted to be made right through their works-especially the works they determined were right. But Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, THROUGH FAITH—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been FIRMLY ROOTED and now being built up in Him and established in your FAITH, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7
And this faith, firmly rooted in Christ, ALWAYS BEARS FRUIT, fruit that will last!
Precious Father, thank You for the New Covenant in Jesus whereby we can come through faith in The Risen Savior! Just like the fig tree withered from its roots, what we are rooted in is so vitally important: help us never to trust in our own righteousness or rituals-it is through faith in Christ we are saved and through the Holy Spirit living in us that we bear fruit! Help us to be diligent to come continually to The Source through The Word of God and prayer and worship! We love You, Jesus! Amen!