Leaves Without Fruit

Leaves Without Fruit August 19, 2014

Jesus comes to a fig tree looking for fruit, and finds only leaves. He curses the tree (Mark 11:12-14).

In the next scene, He’s in the temple throwing the furniture and calling it a den of brigands (vv. 15-18). 

The next morning, the fig tree is withered, and Jesus talks about throwing the temple mount into the sea with prayer (vv. 20-26).

The fig tree is the temple. Like all trees, the temple serves as a canopy and a covering (see the similar use of vine imagery in Psalm 80). It’s a firmament. It’s supposed to be a fruitful tree, nourishing Israel and the nations. It’s supposed to be a burning bush, radiating the light of God’s presence as well as serving the bread of God.

The temple has become an unfruitful tree; its worship is nothing more than fig leaves, a pathetic covering for an Israel as ashamed as Adam in Eden. 

And what few figs it produces are unripe and will be shaken off (Revelation 6:13). When the fruit/stars of the tree of Israel are shaken off, nothing is left but fig leaves, and that is not sufficient covering when the Lamb appears.


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