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Author Topic: Jesus curses the fig tree  (Read 1530 times)
Joy
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« on: August 03, 2010, 10:11:19 AM »

Typical of Mark's gospel is his use of sandwiching a lesson between two similar incidences, to make it stand out.  In the account of the fig tree, Dr. Gray points to the O.T. reference of the fig tree in Hosea 9:10 that depicted the chosen people Israel as the fig tree.  
"I found Israel like grapes in the desert, I saw their fathers like the firstfruits of the fig tree in the top thereof: but they went in to Beelphegor, and alienated themselves to that confusion, and became abominable, as those things were, which they loved."

Sandwiched between the cursing and the next day's withering of the tree, is the scene with Jesus in the temple cleansing it of the money changers.  The words He used, "You have made it a den of thieves," is a reference to God speaking in the O.T. through Jeremiah 7:10, "Is this house then, in which my name hath been called upon, in your eyes become a den of thieves?  See what I did to this house because of the wickedness of my people Israel."
The imagery reminds the Jews of the destruction of the first temple, and Jesus predicts the destruction of the second temple.  The next scene reveals the fig tree completely withered, an object lesson for His disciples.

Next, while Jesus was in the temple, he told the parable of the vinedressers.  Dr. Gray said that the temple was decorated with a vineyard and grapes in solid gold, so Jesus had a purpose in using this imagery so familiar to the Jews, saying the vineyard would be given to others.  They were incensed by this, since the temple was everything to these people, and they sought to lay hands on Jesus for this prophecy.

I found in a book of apologetics that some had attempted later to rebuild the temple to destroy the prophecy of Christ, but that God sent fierce fireballs to prevent them from working, and the work was never again begun.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 11:10:31 AM by Joy » Logged
ncjohn
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 11:18:57 AM »

I need to go back and reread those passages. I think I have managed to miss much of this through years of familiarity with hearing the story.
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reen
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 03:27:05 PM »

quote: Joy
Typical of Mark's gospel is his use of sandwiching a lesson between two similar incidences, to make it stand out.  In the account of the fig tree, Dr. Gray points to the O.T. reference of the fig tree in Hosea 9:10 that depicted the chosen people Israel as the fig tree. 
"I found Israel like grapes in the desert, I saw their fathers like the firstfruits of the fig tree in the top thereof: but they went in to Beelphegor, and alienated themselves to that confusion, and became abominable, as those things were, which they loved."


Most interesting, the quote from Hosea.
Thank you for your post, Carole, addressing the episode of the fig tree.
 

reen


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