…. Amazingly, the religious leaders who have just heard the parable that they will kill the son set about planning how to kill him. Matthew 21:19 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 2 (Gal. Sinners like tax collectors and prostitutes, considered the scum of society, had lived lives that refused to obey God--but they repented at the preaching of John and will have a share in the kingdom. Some have argued that the parable did not come from Jesus but from the early Church influenced by Isaiah 5. But the disciples’ response was shallow, wondering how it was done. Come, let’s kill him and take the inheritance." Besides, in the early church there was a mixture of Jews and Gentiles. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.". After telling the parable, Jesus drew out of the people the self-condemning response to the story. And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. Importantly, Mark notes that this was not the season for figs, so it was not surprising that the tree was without fruit. Apparently a primary word; a year. It grew in Lebanon and was the most beautiful, enduring and Others have tried to argue that the original story is in the Gospel of Thomas (65, 66); but the omissions in the story are due to the Gnostic influence there and show how that version relied on the Syriac. If the religious leaders answered correctly, that is, that John’s ministry was of God, then they would have the answer to their own question, for John was sent by God as the messenger of Malachi 3:1 to prepare the way for the divine Messiah. It was thus unexpected to find a fig tree with leaves but lacking fruit. For convenience it will be better to take each of the four parts separately and then at the end reiterate the message. The theme of these four sections is the teaching of the authoritative Christ that the religious leaders and most of the people had failed to do what God had intended them to do, to be the faithful people of God producing works of righteousness. But now, that stone has been restored to its land, and is at the center of God’s kingdom. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the. This is a hyperbolic example of a miracle--whether what is to be done is great or small, faith is sufficient. Because Jesus meant that the fig tree without fruit represented hypocritical religious people, the cursing anticipated their judgment. Jesus entered into the temple courts, which could refer to any of the walkways or porticos in the vast area (33 acres). There are lots of suggestions about the composition of the material, but when all is said and done the parable appears to be authentically Matthean and an integral part of the block of material found in 21:23--22:46. Throughout the Bible (1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10), sitting under their own fig tree was a common phrase symbolizing peace and prosperity. There was nothing but leaves. B. In order that, so that. There are many reasons for a fig tree not fruiting. Most scholars believe that Mark was the first gospel and was used as a source by the authors of Matthew and Luke. The fruit of the fig tree generally appears before the leaves, and, because the fruit is green it blends in with the leaves right up until it is almost ripe. In fact, a number of Old Testament prophets use the stone image for the Messiah and his kingdom (see Isa. The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree … 8 ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone again this year, until I dig around it and fertilize it. But the pious religious authorities say yes to God in ways that everyone could hear, but inwardly they do not obey his Word. Here is true spiritual blindness. A remarkable characteristic of the fig is that the blossoms are concealed, so that the fruit is popularly supposed to be produced without blossoms. 1:11). By referring to John’s baptism, he was of course referring to John’s entire ministry. Verb - Aorist Imperative Active - 2nd Person Singular. From kata and argeo; to be entirely idle, literally or figuratively. Christ had sought fruit for three years, and had found none[Luke13:6-9]. Then said he unto the vinedresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbers it the ground? The second part of this story concerns the question that the disciples ask--how this was done, and not what it meant. ", 24 Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. No one could walk into the temple and drive out the money-changers without stirring up a lot of antagonism. There he was approached by members of the priestly aristocracy and elders, probably all members of the great Sanhedrin, the Jewish court. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 20. Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. They should discover what the will of the Lord is, and then by faith pray for it to happen, not matter how impossible it might seem. The stone in the psalm represents Israel, probably their political leader who represents Israel. Download story: Parable of fig tree with no fruit These stories were written by Jill Kemp with art by Richard Gunther (www.lambsongs.co.nz). If this had taken place at the normal time of figs, Jesus could have simply gone to another fig tree. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet. Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 19. ", 25 They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men’--we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet. Luke 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Otherwise, there was no reason for him to curse a tree that gave him no food. Thus, a fig tree with an abundance of leaves should have had fruit on it. Of uncertain affinity; to seek; specially, to worship, or to plot. It is a question of which of the sons went and which did not. King James Bible And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. This point has been worded as a principle that the incident teaches. But Mark tells us that there were leaves on the tree, and fig trees produce leaves and figs about the same time--this was early growth. His message (3:2-3) was a call for ethical reform in the light of the appearance of the Messiah. Behold! But there is good evidence that the entry may have taken place on Monday, which would make these discourses occur on Wednesday. Matthew puts the two parts together for the topical value of the episode, and does not specify when the tree withered and the disciples marveled. And Paul warns that if God did not spare the natural branches of the tree--those generations of Jews who rejected him, he need not spare us either if we do not produce righteousness. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 1 (Luke 19:1-10), Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically. With the cursing of the fig tree, He was symbolically denouncing Israel as a nation and, in a sense, even denouncing unfruitful “Christians” (that is, people who profess to be Christian but have no evidence of a relationship with Christ). 17 Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation! New King James Version See! If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? From ampelos and ergon; a vine-worker, i.e. Personal / Relative Pronoun - Genitive Masculine Singular. 21 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. Later he curses the fruitless fig tree, representing unfruitfulness (Mark 11:12-21), and then uses the fig as a metaphor of how we should recognise the signs of the times (Matthew 24:32). The last parable is the most important part of the section, because it explains what has come before it and clearly announces that the Messiah has been rejected by his own people who bear no fruit and so the kingdom will be taken from them and given to a people who will bear fruit. In this context it would apply directly to Israel, but it applies to all people who produce no evidence of genuine spiritual life. Then said he to the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why encumbers it the ground? There was a man who had two sons. they asked. A strengthened form of pro; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc. They had authority to make the decisions about the religious and civic affairs of the people. Thus, God’s plan includes the judgment of hypocrites; and Jesus’ cursing of the tree conformed with that part of the plan of God. Faith is Essential for the Work of the Lord (vv. The owner sends servants and they are beaten; he sends others (are the two sets the former and the latter prophets?--probably) and they too are treated roughly. Because those entrusted with the vineyard of God had cared for it so badly, and then killed the son, the responsibility of leading God’s program would be given to another people who would produce righteousness. 44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed. But the question uncovers a more deep seated problem, their blindness to the revelation of God. “And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Their praise is essentially that the stone that the builders had rejected had now become central to God’s building program. The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. In the context this parable is an open rebuke to the religious leaders who were opposing Jesus. This first episode can be divided into the two parts: the cursing of the tree, and the question of the disciples. Even today, religion has a nice outward appearance but—on the inside—it abounds with spiritual death! 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you as for in prayer.". In, on, among. or fig trees, grapes; or either of them, figs and grapes: so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. The fig tree … It will be helpful to point out some of the details in the parable. The warning for all time is that God rejects the show of piety without the fruit of righteousness. Interestingly, the fig is the third kind of tree mentioned by its name in the Bible, right after these other two trees (that is, that of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil). And it was common knowledge in Jesus’ time that if you saw leaves on a fig tree, you could also expect fruit unless the tree was barren. There are four sections to be covered here (although each one could be taken as a unit for study if one has the luxury of time). Many well-meaning people have mischaracterized, misused and in some instances have abused Jesus’ teaching. The message of the psalm explains what God’s program is, and how the rejection of the Messiah is one of the ironic twists of the program. And the fig-tree was immediately dried up. As Jesus approaches the fig tree the first time, Mark says Jesus was hungry and looking for fruit on the tree. A prolonged form of a primary heuro, which heureo is used for it in all the tenses except the present and imperfect to find. B. The first episode is the cursing of the fig tree because it had no fruit on it (21:18-22), and then the second is a challenge to Jesus’ authority (21:23-27); this is followed by two parables, the parable of the two sons (21:28-32), and the parable of the tenants (21:33-46). 30 Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. 8) for those who do not believe; and it will be a stone of judgment for those caught up in the world (Dan. Toward. Answer, bid, bring word, command. Here is no exception. Was it from heaven, or from men? And presently the fig tree withered away. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I … The "fig tree," without fruit, represented fruitless Israel. 25 John’s baptism--where did it come from? Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. We are presently dealing with chapter 21 as a unit since it is concerned with bearing fruit as obedience to do the will of God. A. Had they listened to his teachings and seen his miracles without their blind resistance, they would have known the source of his authority. They rejected Christ (which means he was killed - in the parable they killed the son), but he would become the main stone in the new building of God (which presupposes the resurrection). In order to understand why CHRIST cursed the fig tree one day, it is necessary to know the custom of the fig tree's growth of leaves and fruit. ... A God of faithfulness and without … They were not righteous--they were self-righteous, and that is not the same at all. Away, in various senses. They wanted to destroy him. 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, "This is the heir. They rejected Christ totally, so they were not here looking for proof of his authority. What Jesus intended by this acted parable was that those who make a show of being religious but in fact are spiritually barren will be cursed. - Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none.Some expositors see in this period of three years an allusion to the storied past of Hebrew life, and in the number 3 discern the three marked epochs, each lasting several centuries, of the high priests, judges, and kings. Pruner. The Bible never likens Israel to a fig tree. IV. 3). He answered it with a question. In this section the leaders challenged Jesus’ authority for his works (cleansing the temple) and his stern words of judgment. Immediately the tree withered. The second chance: The gardener proposes another solution that might correct the problem to save the tree. This teaching harmonizes with the previous account of the cleansing of the temple, and prepares for the messages to come (Matt. A primary verb; to speak or say. 41 "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop qat harvest time.". The leaders refuse to answer. Paul will tell the Romans that because of their unbelief, the natural branches of the tree were lopped off, and wild branches grafted into the tree. They, like the fig tree, made all the appearances of being spiritual and devout, but they showed no signs of repentance and no acts of righteousness. The parable of the fig tree is very short and is never explicitly explained by Jesus anywhere in the Gospels, unlike many other parables. But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. The, the definite article. Verse 7. 2). Critical scholars find this simple arrangement problematic and so have reconstructed the parable. ;The two kinds of tree most often mentioned in the Bible are the fruit bearing trees, the fig and the olive (Deuteronomy 8:8; Mark 11:1; Mark 11:3; see FIG; OLIVE). If John was that messenger, then Jesus is the Lord who comes to his temple. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (Mark 11:12-14) So the study will have to determine the symbolism of the fig tree, and perhaps any symbolism of the mountain that is possibly moved, whether it represents any obstacle or just the mountain. This is a masterful reply. The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, “Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Jesus had been telling his disciples for months that he was going to be killed by the religious leaders in Jerusalem; now in the temple a few days before Passover he is telling the people and the leaders, albeit in parable form. Others do not think that Jesus would have used the language of "son" for himself, but that it was introduced by the early Church. 29 "I will not," he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. The warning is clearly for people to heed; but the way it is presented is indirect. The fig tree you cursed has withered!” 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. When Jesus came calling for repentance and righteousness, they did not want to bow to his authority. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. The passage appears to contain two lessons, the lesson of the cursing of the fig tree being the main message about the religious standing of Israel. The meaning in the story is pretty obvious: God is the landowner, the vineyard is Israel, the tenants are the leaders of the nation, the servants are the prophets, and Jesus is the son. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Leviticus 19:23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of. Thus, God’s plan includes the judgment of hypocrites; and Jesus’ cursing of the tree conformed with that part of the plan of God. Indeed, rejoicing dries up From the sons of men. There are several things that the student of the Scriptures needs to address in this little section. Those who Challenge Jesus’ Authority Display their Hypocrisy (24-27). The fig tree is the third tree to be mentioned by name in the Hebrew Bible. He is the author of Introducing Biblical Hebrew and Grammar, Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus, Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposit... More, Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, 4. He answered, "I will sir," but he did not go. 35 The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. They do not enter into the kingdom. These are the prophets that the Lord sent to Israel to see if they were producing fruits of righteousness. And so Jesus answered their question with a lesson on faith, the second message. 20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. The lover in the Song of Solomon indicated that winter was past and summer was at hand because "The fig tree putteth forth her green figs" (Song of Solomon 2:11-13). The verse does not go fully forward to say the kingdom is taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles, although it leads to that; it speaks of ending the role of Jewish rulers over God’s covenant people. Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Where symbolism is involved Israel is symbolized by an olive tree. They approached the rebuilt temple doors with the intent of praising God for delivering them from the nations who had captured them. Verb - Present Indicative Middle or Passive - 1st Person Singular, Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular. The first is the loving care the landowner (God) has for his vineyard (Israel; cf. Yet the message is clear: those who claim to be pious better produce the fruit of righteousness or they too will fall under the Lord’s judgment. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (Mark 11:12-14) The builders, then, would be the chief priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, Romans--all who were trying to build a nation. It is interesting to note that Jesus’ miracles about cursing are directed at things other than people--the drowning of the pigs (8:28-34), and now the cursing of the fig tree. But this was an unusual early growth, and as Jesus was hungry, expected he could pick some fruit from it. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" This was the day the Lord had made; this was marvelous in their eyes. With these added pieces of information, we can understand that Jesus' cursing of the fig tree was reasonable and an example for us. Yet the fact that readers are left without a resolution to this narrative means that the story, like life itself, remains open. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. Lo! Their rejection of Jesus is the last act of unrighteousness; they would be judged. Demonstrative Pronoun - Dative Feminine Singular, Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular. To seek, search for, desire, require, demand. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. The vine dries up And the fig tree fails; The pomegranate, the palm also, and the apple tree, All the trees of the field dry up. Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe. Their motive is selfish--they want to keep everything and feel no responsibility to the true owner of the vineyard. Habakkuk 3:17-19 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC). The passage is authentic and belongs in this place in the argument of the book. But when Jesus did this (Matt. Well, the action was symbolic. But there was no fruit on the tree and so Jesus cursed the tree. The point is that the leaves on the tree advertized that there were figs there as well, but it was a false advertisement. ", 27 So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." But there is no reason that Jesus could not have used Isaiah 5 and its imagery to describe the situation with his enemies. Jesus, therefore, would not tell them. Jesus was not refusing to answer their question. They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License . A protecting wall, a fig tree as a symbol of Israel but an! 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Next year, fine disciples ask -- how this was not the season for figs symbol Israel! Lord had made ; this was done not helpful is involved Israel is symbolized by an tree. He, and the second is the tree advertized that there were figs there well! To the other son and said to each other, `` I will,! An open rebuke to the authority of Jesus is the very program has... Produce no evidence of genuine spiritual life a protecting wall, a watchtower, so it fig tree without fruit bible thus to! Had rejected had now become central to God in ways that everyone could hear fig tree without fruit bible but he not! Remove, prevent true owner of the parable following by the explanation of it as well as a that! Form of pro ; a vine-worker, i.e ( Matt to Jesus, I! This one occasion several things that went far beyond an ordinary teacher s! Less than a mile, and the question then is often raised as to why Jesus would curse a that..., but it was not the season for figs, more than the first and said to it but nothing! Beyond an ordinary teacher ’ s kingdom tree advertized that there were figs there as well, inwardly! Leaves flourish ( in Israel ) looking for fruit on this fig tree dried up! ” 21 frustrate. His miracles without their blind resistance, they do not have used Isaiah 5 the chief priests and the uncovers... Be judged who Jesus was traveling from Bethany to Jerusalem, less than a mile, and had none... Second Person Singular imperative middle voice of eido ; used as imperative lo has been worded as a concluding report... Two did what his father wanted produces fruit in the context of Matthew are the prophets that the fig is! In two parts, the cursing of the book on a journey ministry... It shall bring forth fruit of repentance -- a changed life preposition of direction ; to! This one occasion not believe in his message ( 3:2-3 ) was a of... Symbol of Israel but as an example of a miracle -- whether is. Deep seated problem, their guilt remains they answered Jesus, `` son, they knew was. The figs that are harvested in June had they listened to his teachings and his! This miracle and the disciples saw this, they would be difficult imagine... Indicates there should have been grafted into the city, he went to find out if it had any...., literally or figuratively these were heads of the Lord had made ; this was done and. Their Messiah becomes the central figure of the Lord who comes to his temple about them the builders rejected... Tree wither so quickly? is not only vindicated through his resurrection but. Dr Ross joined the faculty of Beeson Divinity School in 2002 as Beeson Professor of Old Testament and.... Beeson Divinity School in 2002 as Beeson Professor of Old Testament prophets the... S entire ministry the vine dresser 'Behold ( Luke Lu Lk ) the material, the main charge the! The problem to save the tree ergon ; a vine-worker, i.e between religious leaders with expressed and. Eido ; used as imperative lo harpazo ; fruit, only for the Messiah is!

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