August 16, 2020
The role of the fig tree was to provide fruit. Hungry people could eat and be satisfied by its fruit. That was the purpose of the fig tree. The role of the temple was to connect people with God. People desperate for a relationship with God could come and be satisfied in His presence. That was the purpose of the temple. Both had failed to do what they were intended to do. In Jesus’ eyes both will suffer the same consequences. They will both dry up and wither. No matter how green the leaves were and how thick the trunk was if there was no fruit the tree had to be removed. No matter how beautiful the temple was, no matter how beautiful were its columns or how many times God has spoken to His people there, the moment that it failed to do what it was supposed to do it was no good. Jesus has no problem calling the Jerusalem temple, the same one that David built and Solomon consecrated, a “den of robbers.” Like a fig with no fruit, it had no use.
Do you have a “green” thumb? What do you enjoy about it?
How would you have responded to Jesus’ actions at the temple? Why do you think that Jesus responded this way?
How would you have responded if you were one of the religious leaders of Jesus’ time?
How is the modern church similar or different from Jesus’ comparison of the fig tree and the temple? What is your personal responsibility in this matter?