Cleansing and Cursing

Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem in a procession riding a donkey on Palm Sunday. (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11) He cleansed the Temple, left the city, and went to Bethany. The next day he came to Jerusalem, he was hungry and saw the fig tree from far off, hence expected to eat from that tree. (Mark 11:13) Lord Jesus cursed a fig tree that was attractive with lush green leaves, but no fruits. (Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14)
Hungry Lord Jesus: Coming from the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, the Lord should not have been hungry. Did the hyperactive hospitality expert Martha forget to serve breakfast?
Leaves: If the leaves were green, then fruits ought to be there. In the month of March, fig trees in the Palestinian region produce leaves and small fruits. Fig tree produces fruits in ten of the twelve months.
Hypocrisy: Outwardly Israel had a religion with sacrifices, incense, offerings, festivals, and Temple worship. But there was neither genuine faith nor spiritual strength to produce fruit.
Fruitlessness: The tree gave false hope to needy and hungry people. It disappointed those who came with expectations.
Future deception: If the tree is not cursed, it will continue to deceive more people in the future.
Miracle: Could the Lord have made miraculous fruitfulness on the tree? So that he could eat and not be hungry? Yes. Lord never performed miracles for Himself, he refused to convert stones into bread. But the Lord chose to curse the tree. Trees dry from top to bottom, but this tree dries from the roots.
Message to Israel: Cleansing of the Temple was the Lord’s condemnation for the hypocritical worship, and rejection of faith, love, truth, and righteousness. The cursing of the fig tree was the Lord’s condemnation of the nation of Israel who ceased to be a righteous nation bringing glory to God.
Lesson: The Lord expects His disciples to bear fruit, not be engaged in dead works. (James 2:26) All disciples should bear abundant and enduring Fruit of repentance, lips, and the Spirit. (John 15:5-8, Matthew 3:8, Hebrews 13:15, Galatians 5:22-23)
Am I fruitful or a hypocrite?