On a day later, when they’d left Bethany, He became hungry. Seeing well away a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He’d find anything about it; and when He stumbled on it, He found nothing but leaves, for this was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no-one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening… As they certainly were passing by each day, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter thought to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered saying for them, “Trust God. “Truly I say for your requirements, whoever says to this mountain,’Be taken on and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will soon be granted him.”
First allow me to remind us that we should not question Jesus in the wrong spirit. Whatever He does is ideal and good and proper. But very often His actions sung mỹ cần thơ raise eyebrows and grab our attention, which will be precisely what He wants!
The secular, carnal man will understand this text and see an impatient human being who was hungry, and got ticked off once the fruit he was expecting to get and eat, was not there. Cursing followed, as men will do when they are upset.
Individuals of God full of God’s Spirit and knowing even a little of God’s ways can in no way attribute such characteristics to the Son of God. Human means sinful to us. But originally, Adam was created perfect. This is actually the second Adam, still walking in perfect humanity and subjected Divinity.
Humanly speaking, He did get hungry. He saw a fig tree. He really did expect a tiny meal to emerge, nonetheless it did not.
The Heavenly part kicks in here. The Father, with whom He was in constant contact, brought to the Son’s attention a golden chance for teaching from this incident.
You will see no anger in this passage. None. No uncontrollable man governed by his belly. That is a Western thing, not just a Godly one. He was disappointed, but immediately the thought stumbled on Him to state something concerning this happening that would teach an important lesson – 2 lessons actually – to the disciples.
The initial of the two lessons Jesus also taught in a parable in Luke 13:
“And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came searching for fruit about it and did not find any. And he explained to the vineyard-keeper,’Behold, for 36 months I have come searching for fruit with this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even consume the bottom?’ “And he answered and thought to him,’Allow it to alone, sir, for in 2010 too, until I dig around it and place in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next season, fine; but when not, cut it down.’ ”
The allusion is clear. Here and elsewhere the “fig tree” is Israel, God’s special planting in Canaan land that has been this kind of disappointment. Oh how God wanted fruit from that tree! So much effort and love seemingly attended waste. I say seemingly, though we know that God cannot waste any effort. Something good originates from Israel, without a doubt! The Scriptures, the example of the fathers, the prophets, Jesus Himself, the initial church, and eventually “all Israel” will soon be saved. (That’s another subject.)
And dare we also mention a tree that does not bear fruit is also such as for instance a Christian who does not do exactly the same? I believe it is fair to mention that we are within the parable and in the “incident.” Disappoint Him good enough, and the curse is swift and sure.
But as you can see in Peter’s response and then Jesus’a day later, there was a two-fold lesson to be learned here. Lesson 2 had to do with the energy of God and our utilization of it by faith. Though nothing “happened” when the language were uttered – as within our seemingly unanswered prayers – a day later the outcome were clear. And whenever we wait good enough and believe good enough, what we say to God and to even men will have results.
No, this is no idle anger from the hungry man. This is God the Master Teacher benefiting from a teachable moment to instill wisdom in His followers then and now.
I suppose that is a third lesson: irrespective of how disappointing or difficult the circumstance where we find ourselves, God can turn it into part of our education, if we’ll listen real hard…