“Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.” – Mark 11:13 NIV
Wow! Jesus cursed a fig tree for not having any figs even though it wasn’t fig season. I kind of get it. When I’m hungry I can be abrasive, but destroying the tree out of season — Gee, that seems excessive. At first glance Jesus looks pretty unreasonable. I mean, after all, it wasn’t fig season. What did he expect?
Jesus expected fruit.
Jesus expected the fig tree to have figs because the tree had leaves. If Jesus saw leaves from a distance, he expected fruit, even if it was out of season. The leaves signaled the potential for fruit.
Quickly I’ll tell you that fig trees symbolize the people of Israel and the illustration here (and in Micah) is that the people were spiritually barren. Jesus couldn’t find Christians with spiritual fruit.
But something else is on my mind…
I wonder why Jesus didn’t just command the tree to produce the figs rather than cursing it. After all, the lesson in this passage is found in verse 23. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” If Jesus wanted figs, he could have just spoken to the tree and got them. But that clearly wasn’t the point.
Am I like this fig tree?
When the Lord asks me for something, do I fret because I am not ready? Wait God! It’s not my season. My kids are too young. I’m too old. I don’t have enough money yet. What’s your excuse for not producing fruit for Jesus?
Notice Jesus did not tell the tree to die. He simply said “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” So why did the tree die? Well, if you are a fig tree your purpose is to produce figs for people to eat. If nobody will eat figs from you ever again, you might as well wither and die.
You were created for a purpose and that was determined before you were born. When God calls on you to “produce fruit” you must be ready. In season and out. Daylight and twilight. Winter, spring, summer, fall. Believe that you can do it, and make no excuses.
In verse 24 Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Faith! Faith is the key to producing the fruit of purpose in your life. You can create a bunch of excuses as to why you can’t do what the Lord wants you to do. But Jesus gives us the answer for any and every excuse in Mark 11:22. “Have faith in God.”
Jesus expected fruit on that fig tree because of the leaves he saw. You may think it’s not your season but God sees something on you – leaves – the potential for you to produce fruit. So pray, believe and do it for THE Vine.
Kamryn Adams is a certified coach, award-winning author, writer, blogger and Christian Lifestyle Personality. For more visit KamrynAdams.com