Those Darn Fig Trees!

Phil is back again. No, not Dr Phil, our local church Phil. He has a lot of good thoughts, this time about fig leaves. So, here is Phil…

“Do you remember the Scripture in which Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered and died the next day? (Mark 11:13 – 21). Ever wonder why He did that? Could it be (and this is just conjecture) that when Jesus saw the fig leaves on the tree, He was reminded of what took place in the Garden of Eden? In Genesis 3:7, the Bible says that Adam and Eve used fig leaves in an attempt to cover their nakedness (wrongdoing). Their self effort (legalism) to make themselves presentable to God could be signified by the fig leaf, and I believe that it (self effort) is what truly separated them from their Father. God went looking for them in the Garden after they screwed up, but Adam and Eve hid from Him for fear of being exposed. When God asked them what they had done, neither one of them asked for forgiveness; instead, they either blamed God or made excuses—more cover up. Had they only responded appropriately to the Father’s call, then who knows what would have happened? Adam and Eve simply chose to trust in themselves and their silly fig leaves and excuses, rather than in the love of the Father.”

“Jesus cursing the fig leaf could very well be a picture of the end of the dispensation of the Law (self effort) and the ushering in of the dispensation of God’s grace. Mark 11:13 says; “And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. 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’.” Do you see that? The season of the fig had passed! Likewise, the season of self effort—of trying to make yourself presentable to God by your own works—has ended: It ended at the hands of Jesus and He has the nail scars to prove it.”

“What about you and me? Are we still relying on fig leaves to make ourselves presentable to God? Are we hiding behind excuses or good works to conceal our shortcomings? Or are we relying on what Jesus has provided and on the kindness of our Father? The fruit of leaning on our own understanding and our own efforts is separation from God—the occurrences in Eden proved this beyond any shadow of doubt. Leaning on Jesus and what He has done for us and relying on the kindness of God brings righteousness, peace and joy to our lives. It’s our choice to make and when you really think about it, it’s a no-brainer.”

“As far as God is concerned, there is nothing between us and Him—let’s make sure that the same can be said as far as we are concerned. Just say “no” to figs J.”

Let me know your thoughts. Have you ever used a “fig leaf”? Or, have you experienced the freedom of knowing that you are OK because of Jesus? -Peter

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