when you don’t give a fig


This fig tree has heard what happens when you don’t give a fig. Jesus is about to pass by. And we all know how judgmental and vindictive Jesus is.

The story of Jesus cursing the fig tree was literarily placed just before the temple cleansing to illustrate that the temple cult had failed.

So here’s where we the church can learn a lesson:

Many people I talk to, practically every day, have experienced judgmentalism within the church. Some of it very severe.

But this is what gets me: they are judged for things that don’t matter… the small insignificant things we like to focus on because they are easy to identify, quantify and isolate. Things like what people like to eat or drink, or their sexuality, or their language, or their appearance, or their friends, or their family, or what they ingest, or what they believe, and so on.

But the things that Jesus seemed most interested in were things like injustice, national pride, religious superiority, and economics.

Where’s the fruit of these issues?

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  • Saw your link to this on Twitter. I laughed so hard I snorted! Thanks for that! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love this post.

  • thanks!!

  • Mary Ellen Mayo

    this is just my own personal theory, but I suspect the reason Jesus cursed the fig tree that He did, was because he was probably tired, and hungry to the point of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, and it made Him irritable…naturally, He was walking around in a body like ours, as it is said, like us in every way but sin…everybody tries to read something woowoo theological into it but maybe He was just tired and hungry, and irritability is a symptom for a number of conditions, but especially blood glucose or migraine issues…maybe He had migraines…I get those myself…just my theory, so the two Bible scholars that keep coming on here shouldn’t shoot bible verses at me…just sayin…Good ‘toon, David ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ransom

    So was Jesus merely a social activist? I think He cared immensely about these things. Granted, He wasn’t a judgmental a-hole about it, but still, I think reducing Jesus to a social activist is kind of missing the point as well.

  • the gospels do portray him as caring for these things, but i think the emphasis lies elsewhere

  • Ransom

    In a nutshell, where do YOU think His emphasis was?

  • i already said them in the blog post… those were his emphases.

  • Kathy Egan

    I have never understand why Jesus would want to curse a poor, defenseless fig tree!

  • Cursing a tree for not having fruit is a real asshole move. The fact that this story survived the many edits that the Gospels went through over their first few centuries would suggest to me that even they took it allegorically.

  • Pat

    I was just thinking the other day about how some churches are intolerant of what they consider the biggies like homosexuality, drinking, fornication, thinking that may stray from the accepted norm, yet they “tolerate” or overlook backbiting, slander, backstabbing. We say sin is sin, but we’re actually quite selective about it, truth be told and the things we overlook can be quite hurtful. As the old saying goes, “What you allow, you encourage.”

  • I don’t think Jesus was concerned about those things. Not really.

    I believe He was concerned that people knew who he was and why he was there. He hardly spoke against the Romans at all. They were the Nazi occupiers of the day.

    Why do think so many turned away from Jesus? He turned out NOT to be the guy that was going to kick the Romans out.

  • james

    Yeah I agree somewhat with Mary Ellen Mayo – Jesus in his humanity was hungry and angry and he outed it and it didn’t do anyone any harm,

    When we are judgemental – we are expressing our anger passively aggressively, and it is justified with a relgious backing from those inside the church/faith.

    until we embrace our anger and learn to express it healthly and authentically then it will continue to seek to destroy and hurt others insead of allowing it to inform and transform us.

    Anger is not a sin… it is a normal, healthy and human emotion!!

  • Good to see this one again. I am always glad from a cartoon from you that doesn’t make me want to go out and shoot myself!!!

  • james

    Don – I can’t beleive a cartoon has that sort of power over you… !!

    at least the cartoon doesn’t make you shoot others!!

  • Martha

    FWIW, with apologies to Mary Ellen Mayo… ๐Ÿ™‚ Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed God and lost their covering, used fig leaves to cover themselves. The fig tree is the only thing we have record of that Jesus cursed. No real solid conclusions here, just noting an interesting tie-in.

    Love the cartoon! It reminds me of the bumper sticker, “Jesus is coming soon. Look busy!”

  • Hi Pastor,

    Just got around to reading this post on July 3rd and it struck me as so charming and funny.

    Back on June 27, I wrote a thing about Damn Figs on my blog; I wish I’d seen your drawing then so I could have enclosed a link.

    I’ll try to follow your postings move closely in the future.

    John Cowart

  • thanks john. maybe next time! i appreciate it when others use my cartoons on their blogs.

  • Oh Godde, David. I love you so much, brother. You always post something perfectly apt right when I need to see it. I stumbled on this at just the right time.

  • thanks anna joy!