Why the fig tree? (Mark 1:12-26)

cursing fig tree_4ea5b22In Mark 11, after Jesus has triumphantly entered Jerusalem he comes upon a fig tree and looks for fruit.

When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. (Mark 11:13-14)

Jesus seems harsh for expecting figs when it was not the harvest season for figs. Why is Jesus being irrational and unreasonable?

This fig tree crisis is not about botanical seasons and times of harvest or unreasonable expectations. This is all about the season of God’s action.

Where the English translation is season, the word in the Greek is “kairos”. Jesus used same word when he said, “The time has come, The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”(Mark 1:15) The sense of kairos is that the time is full. This is a seminal moment. This type of time is not the tick-tock time of chronos, but is like the moments that take your breath away. A kairos moment is when the eternal God breaks into your circumstances. (*)

So a better sense of this might be, “this is not the age or moment of figs”. That is an odd phrase. Right? The fig tree is not about figs but is a reference to the temple.

Jesus declares the temple is a den of robbers not because of the dishonest business practices in the temple, but the false worship happening around it. Where the temple should be bearing the fruit of praise and honor to God instead it is a dead religious institution. (Mark 1:15-19)

After the temple episode, the disciples are astonished to see the fig tree withered all the way down to its roots. Jesus says we are redirect our trust from sacrificial systems and other religious bartering. Jesus says if we will ask God to cast “this mountain” of sacrificing and bartering into the sea, God will do it for us.

“Have faith in God” Jesus answered. (Mark 11:22)

So instead of bargaining with God, simply pray to God. Trust God will answer your needs.

And when you pray, instead of thinking you can ignore your dishonest practices, ask for forgiveness and forgive others, so your Father in heaven may forgive you.

There is a new season, a new kairos. Have faith and trust in God.

Well, there is so much more I could talk about with this, but I gotta go. Blessings my friends in Christ.

Pastor Douglas

 

* The other instances of when kairos is used also refer to moments of God’s judgment (Mark 12:12:2, 13:33).

 

God’s kingdom is close by and can change anything and everything.

God’s kingdom is breaking into your life and into our world.

 

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