The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. The he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. (Mark 11:12-14)
What an odd little vignette the disciples had just witnessed. Why would the Lord curse something so seemingly innocent as a fig tree, especially because He and they both knew that figs were not expected this time of year? As they considered this act, they followed Him into the temple where he again cleaned the temple, casting out those who would treat it like a cheap bazaar. Now, Jesus’ curse made sense. When Jesus speaks to and of the fig tree, he is directing his ire at the Temple and Israel. The ‘season’ spoken of in Marks recollection, is not Spring but the time of the Kingdom of God. He speaks prophetically of the Temple that he approaches and its lack of fruit, despite having the appearance of being fruitful.
As we approach the cross with our Lord, we should carefully examine our own fruitfulness. Do you have leaves and make an appearance of your devotion to Christ but bear no fruit?