Sunday, 1 April 2012

Passion Week: Day 1 (morning)


When He had come into Jerusalem, all the city ...said, ‘Who is this?’ The multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from   Nazareth of Galilee.’,,,As the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.   Mark 11.11
     
Following His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the Sabbath ‘riding on a donkey’ as the King of Kings, Jesus returned to his lodgings at the house of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, in Bethany:

Now the next day, they had come out from Bethany…Mark 11.12

Jesus and His disciples were staying in Bethany for Passover. It was mandatory to go up to Jerusalem for the three Feasts; Passover, Shavuot, and Tabernacles, and because the thousands of extra visitors could not be accommodated within the walls of Jerusalem, the Rabbis ruled that anywhere within a Sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem was considered to be ‘within Jerusalem’ for the duration of the Feast.   A Sabbath day’s journey was 2000 cubits which was just under 1000 metres. Bethany was within a Sabbath day’s journey.

He was hungry. Seeing a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it.   When He ..found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs...Jesus said to it, ‘Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.’   
Mark 11.12-14

It is curious that Jesus said, Let no one eat fruit from you ever again, because He knew that  it was not the season for figs.

Since He never did anything without a reason, we need to look for a connection with a fig tree in the Old Testament to find out why He made such an apparently illogical remark.  There is a possible connection with the temptation in the Garden of Eden:

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.  She also gave to her husband, and he ate. Then their eyes were opened, they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.     Genesis 3.6-7

Was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil a fig tree from which they picked leaves to cover themselves after they had eaten its fruit?   

Since Jesus was about to become the sacrifice for the sin of Adam and Eve that started the whole tragic process of separation from God,  it was appropriate that He said, Let no one eat fruit from you ever again...because look what a disaster it caused the first time!!!

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