Peter pointed it out, and Jesus responded in a really interesting way. One day Jesus was walking along the road and He saw a fig tree. First, Jesus explains the power and importance of faith — it is faith in God that gave him the power to curse the fig tree and make it wither overnight and similar faith on the disciples’ part will give them the power to work other wonders. 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Israel has been represented typologically, in the Old Testament, as a fig tree with both good and bad figs. On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Jesus tells us right here. They made it a den of robbers by establishing costly buying and selling and money-changing procedures for the sacrifices. . All you need is honesty and openness to admit that your Christianity has been a show, and ask him for the real thing. Notes on John 8:12; John 10:1), we may think of the words as illustrated by a living example.Both time and place make this probable. And you don’t even have to deserve it. But what is this mountain? The Lesson of the Fig Tree. It looked good. God did something powerful. And so must we. 34 “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Later, four disciples press further about the timeframe of this coming horror. As soon as the twigs get tender, what is the tree doing? He cleans things out. Introduction 1. Maybe you’ve made your heart a den of robbers. Do we realize what God has done in Jesus Christ? Whether the Final Judgment will come before our individual judgment or not, the fact remains: Our time is limited. It proves once again that Jesus is God. What mountain is that? He had something better. All we need to know is that each instant marches onward toward God’s fulfillment, gaining momentum as it goes. Every one of them. He is the meeting place. But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. We need life. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. “Have faith in God. EWTN News, Inc. is the world’s largest Catholic news organization, comprised of television, radio, What appeared full of life was actually lifeless. Who can endure? It’s about how open we are to God, and how open we’re making things for others. The Problem The fig tree represented the temple, especially her leaders. They looked so good to him. Commentator William Barclay said this story “does not seem worthy of Jesus. “Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” Here’s another object lesson, like the fig tree. Nothing like this ever does. But can’t follow through because you are ashamed? It’s about God’s heart for all people—the Jews and the Gentiles. That’s why I’m thankful for a song like Andy Gullhorn’s “I Haven’t Either.” C.S. He says “this” mountain. We know what the temple leaders were really like. The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 32″Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near ; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Although his retirement was announced last year, Father Hans Langendörfer delayed his departure due to the COVID-19 crisis. “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). That matters because as he goes into the temple, it’s not just another man going there. Why curse it? Is it too much to ask of people to wear shoes to church? But we know the kind of good King he is, don’t we? The fig tree illustration is important because what he says to the tree becomes true the next day. We know what the religious authorities did to Jesus and his followers. The temple was the center of life and worship. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Showy religion is so boring. The Jews could enter the next level. The Second Coming is suspended as we await the conversion of souls to Christ; and so, first, we must continually re-establish the Kingdom in our own hearts. For us, the lesson of the fig tree is that religious profession, rituals, ceremonies, and appearances are not what we will be judged by. Jesus says “learn a lesson from the fig tree.” This does not mean interpret what the fig tree is. Why did Jesus take out his anger on the poor fig tree? The Fig Tree: A Lesson in the Patience and Judgment of God. But you have made it a den of robbers.” Where was it written that it should be a house of prayer? The fig tree is used throughout Scripture 42 times. He is the worship center. They didn’t know any better. It's coming back to life, meaning that the tree is being revived. He drives out what shouldn’t be there. “Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. And he doesn’t need a fancy temple. (32) Now learn a parable of the fig tree.--As in so many other instances (comp. True worship bears fruit, and the temple, though it looked good from afar, didn’t, which leads to our next point. We have to be bearing much fruit, not just give an appearance of religiosity. What appeared full of life was actually lifeless. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, right at the door. It withers. So let’s look at each part, and notice how to spot the real thing—how to spot true worship of God. 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. So it wasn’t the season for figs, but the leaves indicated it was the season for these little nubs. For what? Reproduction of material from this website without written permission, or unlicensed commercial use or They made a profit on the worship of God. Who can worship God in a Wal-Mart? Jesus says “learn a lesson from the fig tree.” This does not mean interpret what the fig tree is. How could Jesus raise it up again in three days? If I had my way, my tree never would have made it three years running with no fruit. Lesson from the fig tree Lk 13:6-9 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. And like Adam and Eve after the fall, this fig tree, though full in leaf, was useful only to cover nakedness. The lesson of the fig tree. His leaves never whither and his fruit never fades for those who need it. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. You get his resurrection life. To reiterate this moral, Jesus tells the story of the fig tree, the vineyard owner, and the gardener who took care of the vineyard. Those aren’t up for discussion. That generation is over, the fig tree (The Jewish nation) is dead. It didn’t happen all at once. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. God is glorified by the fruit of our efforts for His kingdom, and He expects us to “bear much fruit”. No one eats from it again. But we can give that up. We have a hunger for true worship, and if we go to a dead temple looking for spiritual fruit, we’re going to be disappointed and left hungry. And there was a curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, representing the distance between the Holy God and sinful man. There’s a great example of this from the 1960s. We have an amazing capacity for self-deception and self-justification. 20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. ( The gospel of John omits it entirely and shifts the incident with which it is connected, the cleansing of the temple, from the end of Jesus' career to the beginning.) Give a Gift SubscriptionBless friends, family or clergy with a gift of the Register. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. It was time to act. Every year, we take a trip to Kansas City to visit our best friends. And he didn’t know until he bit in and found no taste. Who of us hasn’t? The mountain of dead worship they saw in the temple. It will take some heart-searching for us to get to Jesus. Well, no, but it’s also not necessary. Jesus wants his disciples to see this. He saw a fig tree in leaf, but when he got to it, he saw no figs. Bishop-designate Michael Fisher will officially take the reins of the scandal-plagued diocese Jan. 15. Only the High Priest inside the Most Holy Place, and that was only once a year, on the day of Atonement. Sign-up for E-NewsletterGet Register Updates sent daily or weeklyto your inbox. You can do a whole study of the meaning of Israel as the fig tree and the purpose of the temple. We also proclaim the Gospel in word and deed, making the message of Christ irresistible by our joyful witness. Sign up for 6 Free IssuesTry us out with a free trial subscription. How free we are? These new God-seekers walked into the church building with oil on their feet and it got all over the carpet. God loves to revive his people. 15 And they came to Jerusalem. But it wasn’t, at least not alive to God. CatholicMom.com and EndowGroups.org. Subscriber Service CenterAlready a subscriber? What an important lesson for all of Jesus’ followers! He likely spends the night at the home of his friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. They have a bowl of pears on the coffee table in the living room. All he did was state a truth about it. Chuck Smith was a pastor of a little church in Costa Mesa, California. So God gave us Jesus. Catholic Church. “Shirts and shoes please.” He took it down, and after church met with the church leaders. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Jesus is sitting on the Mount of Olives as he speaks, looking out on the Temple. He is patient and grants us time to change and bear fruit. It is especially appropriate for the apostles in view of the difficult tests they will soon face. The leaders should have been there to help but their heart wasn’t in it. The test of true worship is not merely how we’re feeling about God. 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. God judges fruitlessness, and expects that those who have a relationship with Him will “bear much fruit” ( John 15:5-8 ). Here’s the point. But when? That’s the question. When they were stepped on, they stuck to the bottom of their feet. Why? or school. This parable of a barren fig tree is meant to teach us a vital truth. Finally, we always hope. He poured out his Spirit. Hollow religion is actually hard to spot, especially when the focus is turned on ourselves. Sinners couldn’t get close to God. Let me propose something for us here at Refuge. But they look real. Look again, beginning with verse 22. It happens one compromise at a time. Pre-figs, as it were. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?”. Didn’t do anything. We don’t have time to do all that. One day, Chuck Smith showed up to find a sign hanging on the door. Christianity is not about dreary outward appearances but fruit bearing life the makes us rejoice and brings glory to God. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. We don’t have to look far to see this playing out. Why did he do that? Add to my study list. We have a hunger for true worship, but a dead tree doesn’t bear fruit. 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. Baptism Makes Us Sons and Daughters of the Father, Becoming Beacons of Light Like the Wise Men, Saying ‘Yes’ Like Mary This Advent, As We Prepare for the Christ Child, Buffalo’s New Bishop Focuses on His Faith as He Addresses the Challenges That Await Him, Scottish Bishop Asks Catholics Worldwide to Join Him in Marian Consecration, Influential German Jesuit Behind Synodal Path Finally Steps Down. That’s what Jesus saw when he entered the temple. 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 … In this case the fig tree story helps us to understand what Jesus is doing clearing the Temple. 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. How can we get that? 28 “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. There were four layers, each one a step closer to God. 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.”. And just as it cost Jesus, it might cost us. It was like the fig tree—full of leaf but without fruit. Copyright © 2020 EWTN News, Inc. All rights reserved. print and digital media outlets, dedicated to reporting the truth in light of the Gospel and the In fact, it’s the only time in the Gospels where Jesus uses miraculous power for wounding rather than healing. Notice Jesus doesn’t say “a” mountain. User’s Guide to Sunday, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The Old Testament said this would happen (Isaiah 34:4, Joel 1:7-12, Amos 4:9). By cursing the tree, Jesus simply stated the obvious. After another long day of back-and-forth with the Pharisees, the disciples leaving the Jerusalem Temple with Jesus marvel at the magnificence of the building. In John 2, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. How does it have any relation to the fig tree and to the temple? So he cursed it, saying, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”, If you think this is a bit odd, you’re not alone. The fact is, he didn’t really harm the tree at all. Who can stand? God brought revival. Posted on Aug 22, 2014 by Darris McNeely Estimated reading time: 9 minutes. (We don’t know it is a millenium until Revelation.) Mat 24:32 “ Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. As we prepare to close the liturgical year, the Church is asking us to remember that we are now in the final days: the days of the New Covenant. 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 only thing keeping some us from him right now is our prideful religiosity, our false conception of ourselves, our self-righteousness. True worship bears fruit for God (vv. Your sin isn’t too big for him. That’s the heart of Jesus. If Herod could move a hill to establish a place of refuge, could God not move a mountain? About ten years ago, he released a song called “I Haven’t Either.” It starts off lighthearted, but the point it makes is profound. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. It wasn’t a big thing, right? It doesn’t even seem to make sense, does it? Mark Sandwich Again a. He’s bigger than your sin. But stories and songs trick them and go around—kind of like Jesus’ stories and lessons. I’m just showing you what’s available. Introduction 1. The other day, I explained the parable of the fig tree to a man. 28–32). We just have to let our preferences set the agenda, let our feelings rule our interactions, let God’s word about loving one another for Jesus’ sake become mild suggestions rather than holy commands. Jesus can’t be ruined. He had actually removed a hill in order to build it. 32 “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. When God comes inside the hollow religious heart of Israel, what happens? Maybe he’s cleaning some of us out right now. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in… A temple fit for true worship. God’s glory was at stake. Last week, we saw from Mark 11:1-11 the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It's coming back to life, when the tree is coming back to life; He said you know it is near. Look at verse 23. This is something Jesus is willing to fight for, and ultimately, die for. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! What? 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. b. The temple had four main sections. He is where sinful men and women meet with the Holy God. Now, this story is really interesting from a historical perspective. As a result, the temple was dead and worthless. But only the priests could go inside the Holy Place. If people leave the church because the Bible makes it hard for them to worship God, that’s between them and God. In the temple, there was no direct access to God for everyone. We need the real thing. Where God dwelt on earth. Give me one reason not to do church his way. Everyone has a chance to meet Jesus. It looked okay from a distance. “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. The church had just installed new carpet and new pews. Christ’s curse is a foreshadowing of what will happen to hypocrites — those Israelites who, like the fig trees with leaves, promise fruit but fail to deliver. The tribulation ushers in the kingdom. There is yet another connection between the withering of the fig tree and the quality of faith. However long this era lasts, it will only end with the Second Coming and Final Judgment. By his death that day on the cross, Jesus brought a robber to heaven. 22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. The temple was defiled, but Jesus can’t be defiled. But let’s take this out of the merely historical realm because this applies to us too. (We don’t know it is a millenium until Revelation.) The gardener, or vineyard keeper who cares for … That’s what he wants for you. When a church becomes a place where it’s hard to find God, it becomes something other than what God intends. 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. How about we make a commitment this morning, united together, to never establish any barrier that would keep others from Christ? 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? And now Jesus has shown up. His expectation is consistent with His grace given. God loves to bring sinners to himself. When Jesus died, the temple died too. The beginning and the end help us to understand the middle. 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 Lesson of the fig tree is that He comes to each of us looking for corresponding fruit. And when he saves you, he cleanses you, and sends his Spirit to live inside you. Empowered with the Holy Spirit, we rejoice that he has given us the mission of cooperating with him in the restoration of the world. Isaiah 56 is about the nations coming to God. So ask him for it, and he will give it! He can bring you too, no matter how far you are from true worship right now. Claire Dwyer blogs about saints, spirituality and the sacred every day at EventheSparrow.com and contributes regularly to WomenofGrace.com. With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later! He won’t reject an open heart. The war is won, the victory promised. Luke 21:31says when you see all these things happening (in the tribulation), know that the kingdom of God is near. We have two options: we can make rules to exclude or remove barriers to include. He started to call a lot of young people to himself. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Restoring true worship cost nothing less than the life of Jesus. A. 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. The fig tree symbolizes the deadness of Israel’s worship. On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. a lesson from the fig tree – mark 13:28-31 Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on February 19, 2017 under 2016 | Preached Sunday, February 19, 2017 from Mark 13:28-31 But the tree didn’t even have that. Yes, there are certain biblical commands and requirements we must obey. 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. If you look at Leviticus, you find the directions Jesus refers to in the parable. It is possible to be outwardly religious and inwardly dead. 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.”. 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