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Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

“‘But like the bad figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt. I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a curse and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish them. I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.’” Jeremiah 24:8-10

            In Mark 11, Jesus saw a fig tree and cursed it, preventing it from being fruitful.  That day He went to the temple and turned over the tables, chastising the people for losing their way with God.  Later when He and the disciples walked by, the tree was dead and the fruit rotten.  When asked what this was all about, Jesus talked about their lack of faith. Without faith, God’s people are not fruitful.

            Jesus’ miracle referred back to the days of the prophet Jeremiah.  The people did not trust the words of the prophet to surrender to the enemy Babylon, go into exile and return seventy years later as a punishment for their sin.  God said the people would be protected and all would go well with them.  They didn’t have faith that God would protect them while in the enemy’s control.

            A good fig tree is fruitful.  A bad fig tree is useless.  Our faith determines whether we will by blessed by God or cursed so we shrivel up and become nothing but firewood.  Our faith makes us fruitful.