We have been dipping in and out of Mark’s gospel for some time. We left it last time, just before the Triumphal entry. We pick it up again, with the teaching of Jesus through the last week of His earthly life, the time between Palm Sunday and His crucifixion. Jesus packs a lot of activity and teaching into this 7-day period. Though the passage we are looking at today presents us with an uncomfortable dilemma. A quick read portrays Jesus as acting quite out of character, cursing a fig tree because it doesn’t product fruit. But we need to see it the way Mark does, as a teachable moment, an object lesson or an enacted parable. Sandwiched between its dying is the account of Jesus clearing the temple. We are meant to see in the fate of the unfruitful fig tree the judgement of God on an unfruitful temple and people.
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