Monday, April 18, 2011

Cursing the fig tree and cleansing the temple

Here are the scriptures for today: Matt. 21:18-19 and Mark 11:12-14 (cursing of the barren fig tree), Matt. 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-18, and Luke 19:45-48 (second cleansing of the temple) and Matt. 21:17, Mark 11:19 and Luke 21:37 (return to Bethany).

On Monday christ reaches a fig tree that has leaves but isn't bearing fruit. He curses it, saying it won't bear fruit again, and it withers.
We have a fig tree at home, and I've noticed that a fig tree is unique (I think) in the way it bears fruit. You know when spring has arrived when the leaves start to grow, but at the same time the fruit starts, although the figs aren't ripe for a while, until they turn purple. (My mom is allergic to the white milky goo that comes out of the stem when you pick them. Just a little random piece of info for ya.) So it stands to reason that a fig tree with leaves must also have fruit. If you look up "fig tree" in the Bible Dictionary it mentions this account of Christ cursing the fig tree. It says "Jesus' cursing of the fig tree for its fruitlessness is an allusion to the fruitlessness of Israel." There is also that time that Christ looked down at Jerusalem and wept because he knew that Jerusalem would eventually be destroyed due to their own wickedness. This of course breaks my heart to think of Jesus so sad that he would weep, but you can also use these instances to remind yourself how deeply he loves, and that his love includes you and me. Or at least I try. Mostly I start getting choked up. This whole time of easter is so emotional for me, which is why I wanted to study it more this year. I want to know more of what Jesus Christ went through for our world so I can better love and appreciate him.

The second thing he did that we know of is he cleansed the temple. He enters and becomes angry at the moneychangers who were selling things (animals, etc. for offerings) dishonestly. And I'm unsure of if they were allowed to sell things like that in the temple in the first place. (If anyone knows more about that, feel free to pipe up! I'm doing this to learn.) Christ goes through the temple and drives them out saying "It is written my house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of theives." Oh boy would I hate to be one of those he needed to drive out. The sad thing is that he had done this same thing 3 years earlier during another passover. Sometimes it takes a couple times for us to learn, huh? Just be sure you don't mess with the Lord's house. Like Texas, but way more hardcore.

1 comment:

marie ashbrook said...

That's interesting, I think I'll read those verses. Very thought-provoking.