So Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And after he had looked all around, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
The next day, when they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. In the distance he noticed a fig tree covered with leaves, so he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. Then Jesus said to the fig tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit!” And his disciples heard these words.
When they reached Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple, and began to drive away all the people he saw buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the stools of those who sold pigeons. And he would not let anyone carry anything through the temple area.
Jesus then taught the people, “Does not God say in the Scriptures: My house will be called a House of Prayer for all the nations? But you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
The chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard of this, and they tried to find a way to destroy him. They were afraid of him, because all the people were astonished by his teaching.
When evening came, Jesus left the city.
Early next morning, as they walked along the road, the disciples saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter then said to him, “Master, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered.” And Jesus replied, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and have no doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it shall be done for you. And when you stand to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive, so that your heavenly Father may also forgive your sins.”
Fig tree is symbolic of prosperity and peace. Jesus saw Nathanael under the fig tree; this signifies peace under God’s blessing. The fig tree represents the oppressive political leaders and the hypocritical religious authorities of the Temple. The religious leaders paraded in their gallant robes and looked religiously devout, but it was merely for show. The poor Temple worshippers were prevented and distracted from praying, because the merchants occupied their place at the Temple. The religious authorities did not even lift a finger to right the situation, because they profited from the merchants who paid the Temple tax. Jesus cursed the fig tree, because it was barren.
Today’s religious scenario doesn’t differ much from the time of Jesus. Certain pastors prey upon and take advantage of gullible devotees under the guise of religion. A well-known TV evangelist wrote a letter to a widow in a nursing home asking for $200. His reason was that if she did not have the money, she should borrow it and send it to him. A local newspaper published the letter. The evangelist claimed that God instructed him to send this letter to the widow. Unfortunately, the lady had been dead for three months! (Bible.org)
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