God does things in his time at the right time. He set seasons of all creatures to bear and to fruitful of its fruits. "It was not the season for figs" and Jesus knew it, then why He cursed?

Mark 11:12-14 (ESV): On the following day, when they came to bath any he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, "may no one ever eat fruit from you again". And his disciples heard it.

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    We are not told - but this is usually taken as an enacted parable. – Dottard Nov 23 '20 at 3:51
  • As Jesus did many times, this was an object lesson for his disciples. Jesus later explains to them the power of faith (Mark 11:20-25) – agarza Nov 23 '20 at 4:08
  • It simply means that it is excusable for children to act selfishly, but not for adults. In other words, “heaven” belongs to “children” who lacks it, while selfish “adults” will be thrown out. Another “enacted parable” is to walk on water in the evening. – Constantthin Nov 23 '20 at 23:05

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree when it wasn't the right season for figs?

To show that faith can be unreasonable.

Matthew 21:21

Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.


The answer is found in the OT metaphor.

"“10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.” (Hos. 9:10, KJV)

Israel was compared in the first part to grapes, and in the second part to the fig tree. The comparisons define the metaphors used throughout the prophesies, and in the NT.

In Joel 1:6-7, Judah is described as the Lord’s land, the Lord’s vine, and the Lord’s fig tree.

“6For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. 7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.” (KJV)

The land of Judah and Jerusalem, the remnant of Israel rebuilt after the Babylonian captivity was the Lord's fig tree.

John the Immerser told the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matt. 3:10, and in Luke 3:9 that the axe was already laid to the root of the tree, implying that Jerusalem and Judea were ready to be cut down.

As Christ was going into Jerusalem the second day after cleansing the temple, He stopped before the fig tree. Standing before Jerusalem, and standing before the fig tree was the same thing. The fig tree represented Jerusalem. Look at the parallel in Matthew.

“18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.“ (Matt. 21, KJV)

The fig tree had no fruit on it, only the leaves. This fruitless tree, even though it was not the season for the fruit, represented the fruitless, barren and unworthy people of Jerusalem.

Christ made this judgment so that His disciples heard Him. They would remember later what He had said. The judgment of the fig tree was the judgment against Jerusalem.

“37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matt. 23:37-38, KJV)

And the fruit of the fig tree was removed from Jerusalem “forever”. Just as Christ had told the Samaritan woman at the well,

“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” (KJV, John 4:21)

the righteous men and women of God are now to be found in every nation on earth, for all those in Christ (Gal. 3:26-29) as all those in Christ are now counted for the seed of Abraham, and are now the Israel of God.

For more about the fig tree and trees of righteousness see the post "The Fig Tree and The Mountain" at my blog ShreddingTheVeil.


He wanted to make a point to the disciples about their faith. If they believed correctly, then they would do the same.

Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, if someone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:22‭-‬24 NET


It is correct that we are not told directly what this incident in Mark is all about. There are numerous hermeneutical interpretations, so this is one interpretation for consideration ....

It’s not just about the fruit. The leaves are important. As is the ‘type’ of tree. Let’s look at these three aspects.

In Judaism; the fig tree is a metaphor for the tree of life — the Eytz Hayim - that we see in a millennial context in Ezekiel 47, and in the creation narrative in Genesis, and that we see in the book of Revelation at the end.

The leaves in Revelation are for the healing of the nations. There is more to the fig tree than the nation of Israel, but the main aspect of Israel concerning the fig tree is that here Jesus cursed the fig tree. Why? Because it had leaves - with no fruit.

Fig leaves are metaphors for good works in the Bible. Israel had works, but no fruit. The leaves normally occur at the same time as the fruit. So despite not being the season, nevertheless the presence of leaves ‘signalled’ the presence of fruit, but there was none. Here is the picture from a different angle - despite not being the season, the tree ‘said’ there was fruit. There wasn’t. So in response, Jesus ‘spoke’ to the tree.

MARK 11:4 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

But, as we’ve said, this is all symbolic. But, note that Jesus spoke loud enough for the disciples to clearly hear. So let’s look for the symbolism. What Jesus is trying to convey to his audience (Israel) is that the "Son of Man comes at an hour you do not expect";

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