Daily Reading: Mark 11:12-14
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 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. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
Heading into the city the disciples saw the fig tree where Jesus pronounced it would never bear fruit (Mark 11:14). Leaving the city that same night they saw the same tree withered from the roots (Mark 11:20).
I am greatly blessed by this passage because in (Mark 11:14) Jesus says the tree will never bear fruit. There is no visible evidence that what Jesus spoke would occur, when they came back, the plant was already withered from the roots (Mark 11:20). I believe this illustrates the faith we are to display when we pray. Things might not change on the surface at all, move forward to whatever God leads, trusting that God is working on your behalf.
I want to speak a word of encouragement over your life right now- if you have been praying for something and do not see any tangible difference.
1) Know that God is working on your behalf.
2) Remember the words Jesus’ said; ”have faith in God”.
Move forward by faith into the next thing, believing that when you return upon your situation you will see the fruit of your belief in God.
Jesus’ demeanor teaches us that by faith it was already a done deal in His mind. Jesus’ isn’t shocked the tree is withered, that was exactly what the expectation was.
- Jesus cursed the barren fig tree as a prophetic picture of the curse unbelieving Israel had brought on itself.
The fig tree was in leaf so it appeared to be alive, but had no fruit. It wasn’t in season yet. Israel appeared to be alive as well, but just like the tree the nation was bearing no fruit for God. In Israel’s case it should have been the season because the Messiah was in their midst, but they didn’t recognize Him. Jesus cursed the tree and said it would never bear fruit again. In Matthew 21:43, Jesus said that the Kingdom would be taken away from Israel and given to a people who would produce its fruit. He was talking about the Church and from that day to this Israel has produced no fruit for God, but the Church has produced much.
In Mark 11:20 the disciples remarked that
- the tree was withered from the root. This was to demonstrate that Israel was dead at its roots, meaning that their religious leaders were the cause of their disease.
“This mountain,” which Christ promised His disciples power to remove, and which in after years they did most effectually remove, was the holy mount on which the Hebrew temple once stood, but which is now crowned with churches and a mosque.