Sermon: Jesus the Judge
Bible Passage: Mark 11:12-14; 20-21
1. Prophets used fig tree as symbol of judgment (Jer 29:17, 1 8:13 2 ; Hos 2:12 3 )
2. During the Passover season (mid April), in Palestine fig trees produce edible buds followed by the appearance of large green leaves signifying the approach of summer
3. Rain and hail storm can cause the buds to fall off the fig tree
4. It was reasonable for Jesus to expect to find something edible on
II. Symbolic Meaning
1. Lush green attractive tree symbolized the nation Israel, particularly the Temple (Jer 8:13 & Hos 9:10)
2. To view from far, the tree looked laden with fruit, but it was bankrupt of any fruit
3. The intercalation points to Jesus’ emphasis of the fruitlessness of the Jewish people
4. This happened despite the Temple where centralized regular worship was taking place, the Word was preached, and there was a robust priestly community that was involved in rituals and religion
5. Just as the fig tree, the claim of the Jewish people along with the Temple was completely inconsistent with its life—a complete failure in the part of the nation Israel
6. Jesus’ cursing of the tree was not an angry reaction at the barren tree, but it was a dramatic symbolic action of what was going to happen to the Temple shortly (AD 70 the Temple was destroyed and Jews were scattered from Jerusalem)—Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree was a symbolic or prophetic of what was to happen
7. Also, through this incident, Jesus teaches His disciples the need for faith and persistence in prayer to be fruitful
8. This incident presents Jesus as the Judge
III. How does the passage affect us today?
1. Are you guilty of false advertising/projection of yourself?
2. Are you covering up your spiritual bankruptcy with external spirituality?
3. What is causing your fruit to shed? Internal or external?
4. Jesus suggests that the disciple could become what Israel had become—i.e., a fruitless deceptive people
5. This passage teaches that Jesus is the Judge and He does not accept false projection
Cultivate carefully your spiritual roots, so that you will bear fruits AND avoid settling for mere leaves