Why did he do it?


Matthew 21:12-22

King James Version (KJV)

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

19 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. And presently the fig tree withered away.

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

(Passage from BibleGateway.com)

Now mind you, I understand why Jesus got angry and overturned the tables, when he found the people gambling in the temple.  But regarding the fig tree…I have to admit that I don’t understand why he cursed the fig tree so that it would never bear fruit again.  I mean, he could’ve blessed it so that it had fruit all over it instead.  But instead he cursed it.  And not only that, but then he told his disciples they could do the same thing with faith…curse fig trees, throw mountains into the sea…whatever they asked, believing.

I kind of see this as being an example that Jesus felt all that we feel (and this is not a teaching I’m trying to do here…it’s an opinion…because I don’t know the answer).  He had his moments of frustration too, I guess.  How many times do we do that kind of thing out of frustration?  I know I have, many times.  If not out of frustration in his hunger, then why did he do it?  Jesus was good and kind.  It’s hard to imagine him as someone who would get frustrated and curse a tree because its fruit wasn’t in season yet.

I was thinking of this in terms of my frustration recently about things that aren’t ‘lined up’ in my life the way they need to be…things I want to take care of but just can’t do yet…have to wait, and that’s frustrating.  And I’ve been frustrated about things like the air conditioner going out and how frustrating that was…and the refrigerator.  Now mind you, I wasn’t about to curse either of those and say, “May you never make cold air again!”  As it turns out, we did get another fridge, and we had to wind up getting a new unit for the a/c because the old one was done.

This is not something where I’m criticizing Jesus and what he did…I would never do that.  It’s just something that I don’t understand.  So for anyone who would think I’m guilty of some kind of blasphemy here…I simply say, Pshaw!!! 🙂  You don’t know me if you would think that.  But I am a person who likes to understand things…who questions things that don’t make sense to me.

So what about you? Do any of you other Christians out there have any thoughts on this?

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About Anne Sikes

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7) Sharing the journey through daily thoughts and struggles, examination of Scripture, poetry, music and art.
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6 Responses to Why did he do it?

  1. Chrystal says:

    I’ve wondered about that myself before….along with a few other things. 🙂

    • Anne Sikes says:

      Someday maybe I’ll ask him. 🙂 Or…maybe I won’t care anymore when that day comes. In that passage though, people usually focus on the rest of the things said…especially the part about being able to do anything when you have faith to do it. And yes, I do have some other areas with question marks attached to them too. Glad I’m not the only one! LOL

  2. You’re not alone wondering about that scripture…I also don’t really understand it. There are other things also….one thing comes to mind and that’s when he was calling Peter and Andrew to follow Him..As I recall he didn’t want them to even go and say good-bye to their families …just go!…In ‘my’ thinking that was very abrupt of HIm to expect that…but I know that it’s what we should be prepared to do..Diane.

  3. wilmoth7Beth says:

    The fig tree often symbolized Israel. Do a google search on it and you will find more info on it. Have to run and help Noel today. Talk to you later!

    • Anne Sikes says:

      Hmmm…interesting! The first 2 sites I looked at in the google search seemed pretty iffy and grasping to me. This one at least gave several different interpretations that are out there, before giving his own opinion. http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/qtreecursed.html Me…I don’t know what I think. As for it representing Israel, Jesus spoke in parables a lot of the time, but seems like the way he would’ve done it if it was about Israel, would’ve been to then say, “The fig tree is like unto Israel…”, the way he did with other parables. But the passage just said he was hungry and cursed the tree for not bearing fruit. I think I would tend more to agree with the person’s conclusion at the link above, that it’s a comparison with Christians who don’t bear fruit…don’t ‘feed those who are hungry’, so to speak. Thanks Beth, and have a good day! ♥

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