The Expository Files

The Fig Tree Proves It

Mark 11:12-14, 20-21

"Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. And when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, 'Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.' And His disciples heard it. Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, 'Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.'" (Mark 11:12-14, 20, 21)

The downfall of man came when he was convinced that God could be questioned and the will of God be tested. "Has God indeed said?" has plagued man since the garden concerning his relationship with God. How simple the law was given and simple to understand. In the midst of such simplicity, man made it difficult. The law given by God has not been difficult to understand. Mark records for us in Mark 12:37, "And the common people heard Him gladly."

The nature of Jesus Christ has puzzled man from the beginning. Herod did not understand the true nature of the little baby born in Bethlehem. All through His life, Jesus battled the prejudiced minds of the religious leaders concerning who He was. "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?" (John 5:43,44)

The mob crucified a man named Jesus of Nazareth as they failed to understand the nature of Jesus. Peter declared on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Peter shows that Jesus was a man and he was divine. The Jesus he refers too is the same man "attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst." (Acts 2:22) Jesus was human and He was divine.

The account of the fig tree in Mark 11 is a clear illustration of the nature of Jesus. Jesus was hungry and he was able to see a fig tree in the distance. He perceived it had leaves and He went to see "if perhaps He would find something on it." If Jesus was all deity he would not have been hungry nor would he have had to go over to the fig tree to determine if it had any fruit on it or not. His humanity demanded he be fed and he walk to the tree to examine it. His deity or power is shown when He found no fruit on the tree he cursed the tree and it withered. Man could not do that by mere words.

Do you understand how Jesus was able to incorporate His humanity and His deity all in one in His life on all occasions? God gives us the answer to understanding the humanity and deity of Jesus in Job 38:2-7 - "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? "

Read Job 38-41 and you will find the answer to the question of Jesus' nature. When you finish reading these verses, read 1 Timothy 6:20,21 and then go out and do what the Lord expects of you. Preach the word! Save souls!

By Kent E. Heaton Sr.
From Expository Files 6.8; August 1999