I will be completely honest: I'm not sure I have ever seen a fig. I know I haven't in real life. I have eaten plenty of fig newtons in my day. They are delicious! I am also the proud owner of a fiddle-leaf fig tree. It is in my dining room and now taller than I am. Joanna Gaines has something to do with this tree in my house, I'm sure!
Why all this talk about figs? Maybe you know where I am going by now. Let's quickly read a passage out of Mark 11:
"Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, (Jesus) was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, 'Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.'”
Jesus is Hungry
There is so much here that I want to share with you, but let's start with this idea that Jesus was hungry. Now this I can relate to! He is a person just like any of us. Being hungry is a state of being for me. My son is the same way at 15 and can eat whatever he wants as he is growing. For me, I have had to learn how to live hungry, as my metabolism isn't the same anymore! Can anyone else relate?!
So, Jesus is hungry and sees this fig tree as the solution to his hunger. We all know that "you aren't yourself when you're hungry!" Since there weren't Snickers around during this time, Jesus goes for the figs. When he gets closer to the tree, he realizes that there aren't any figs, curses the tree and moves on with life... Hold on! Jesus curses the fig tree? It wasn't even the season for figs! The poor fig tree.
The Kingdom of Heaven
Let's back up for a moment to the beginning of Jesus' ministry on earth. The Bible tells us that Jesus went around preaching the repentance of sin and that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. Later, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches his disciples, and those on the hillside, how to pray. In that prayer he said, 'Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'
There is a grand conception that Jesus is introducing to us that the Kingdom of Heaven is here and now, not reserved for somewhere else and later. In fact, if you read in Revelation 21, it shows that heaven is in fact here on a new earth!
What does all of this have to do with a fig tree. I'm getting there. Let's first understand that the principles of the heavenly kingdom, can and should be lived out here in our earthly one. No longer should we use this "heaven is far off" mentality to excuse our normal, Spirit-less lives.
In the Garden of Eden (I know I'm going even further back in the Bible!) there were two trees, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. Fast forward all the way from the beginning to the end in Revelation 22, we see that one of these trees is still in existence: the Tree of Life. This tree is planted by the stream of water flowing from the throne room of God! Here is where the fig tree comes in. This Tree of Life produced fruit in every month and every season.
It is clear in Scripture that it wasn't the season for figs, but that is the earthly way of thinking. Jesus came to transform the way that we think to a heavenly way. In the heavenly kingdom, trees produce fruit at all times. There is no "out of season" for fruits like we see at your local grocery store.
You and I
This should speak to us beyond a fig tree. In fact, you and I are the fig tree. Our earthly mindset says that we are able to bear fruit periodically in our lives. It says that every once in awhile, something good will come of what we have said or done. Note, the fruit we bear is not for us, but for those around us.
The Kingdom mindset tells us that we can bear fruit in all seasons. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in 2 Kings 4. Elisha is meeting in Gilgal with his band of prophets and there is a famine in the land. He looks at his servant and asks him to feed the prophets.
Earthly mindset: There is a famine, how can I feed these men?
Kingdom mindset: There is a famine, but I can produce fruit in season and out of season.
Another familiar passage that comes to mind as I wrap up, is the boy with his lunch. Before this boy came forward with his fish and loaves, Jesus asked his disciples to feed the 5000 men, plus women and children. The disciples had an earthly response: "We don't have enough money or food to sufficiently feed this many people." I love how Jesus is not shook by this earthly mindset. Instead, he insists that they sit in small groups so that they may be fed.
Jesus is asking the same of you and me. Whether we have a lot or little, God is asking us to use it to advance His Heavenly Kingdom here on earth. His desire is that we bear much fruit, in season or out of season.