The Fig Tree

And seeing a fig- tree in the distance with leaves, he went to see if by chance it had anything on it: and when he came to it, he saw nothing but leaves, for it was not the time for the fruit. And he said to it, Let no man take fruit from you for ever. And his disciples took note of his words.

Mar 11:13

Jesus saw a fig-tree and wanted to taste fruit from it, yet there was none. So he put an end to the fig-tree. My question is: why a fig-tree?

Many derive from the Old Testament that the fig-tree is a symbol for Israel, and I believe they are right. But let me dig a little deeper. Israel has been scattered throughout the world and the fig-tree is blooming again and therefore a sign of the times for some (I tend to disagree), yet the first time a fig-tree is mentioned it was long before Israel even existed.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loincloths. Gen 3:7

Adam and Eve realized their nakedness and were ashamed. What they looked for was a cover up. But that cover up only worked as good as a hospital gown, giving a whole new meaning to ICU – just do not turn around.

Man is looking for a cover up for his sins. He realizes that he has done wrong and tries to cover up before each other and God. Yet even in the garden that did not suffice. God himself had to shed blood to make a covering.

There it was an animal, as it always was during the Old Testament. But we know that it was not but a foreshadow of the death of Jesus. Neither the animal skin nor the sacrifices were sufficient to release us from sin, they only covered up too. More efficiently than the fig-leaves, true. But only Jesus Christ and his sacrifice sets us free.

There is no fruit in human covering. There is no fruit in religion or law. There is only fruit in the vine. The true vine, Jesus. He is the branch, growing into the stem, we are the fruit, growing into branches, to bear fruit again.

Jesus put an end to religion, to human works, when he said: “It is finished”. He fulfilled the law being free of sin. His blood, his death put an end to every kind of human cover-up.

And did you know that Zaccheus climbed a sycamore-tree, which is a ficus sycomorus, a fig-tree. He tried to see God from the wrong vantage point. He tried to be close to God on human terms. Jesus told him to climb down from this tree. Jesus wanted to stay at Zaccheus’ house. He wants to live in us, wants to dwell in our earthly houses, and set us free from the inferior fig-tree. Fast.

And running ahead, he went up onto a sycamore tree, so that he might see Him; for He was going to pass through that way. And as He came to the place, looking up, Jesus saw him, and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry, come down, for today I must stay in your house. Luk 19:4-5

What do you see as covering? Any comment?