Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Withered Fig Tree and Temple Cleansing...together?!?

Let’s do this together, huh?  
  I recognize I am trying to lead us down a path.  
  I use italics, bold lettering, the space bar, the return key to identify 
      “How (I) read it thinking with (my) heart.”
I pray I will acknowledge and accept when you use 
Italics
Bold lettering
The space bar
The return key to identify
      “How (you) read it thinking with (your) heart.”
Hey, remember those Prayer Questions?  
“How do you read it?"
~ Luke 10: 26
"What are you thinking in your heart?"
~ Luke 5:  22
Let’s keep them close as we move forward together...
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area.
He looked around at everything and, 
since it was already late,
went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Cool.  Jesus is observant.  He’s making a plan…
     ...I suppose.  Am I projecting here?  Am I anticipating here?  What do you think?
    
The next day as they were leaving Bethany

he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
I love how the Gospel writer justified for us why the fig tree didn’t have any fruit right now!
     HA!  Why is that do you suppose?  Is the Gospel writer taking us somewhere or just reporting?
And he said to it in reply, 
“May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”
And his disciples heard it.
   Ah man…
Jesus cursed the fig tree 
   even though 
it wasn’t the fig tree’s fault ‘it was not the time for figs!’ 
      Was Jesus’ frustrations with everything he saw in the Temple getting the best of him?  I only guess Jesus was frustrated because the Fig Tree account and the Temple ‘cleansing’ account are kept together in the Church’s Scripture breakdown...
      What did Jesus see in the Temple?  What will Jesus see in MY temple?
      Or, Was Jesus reacting to hunger?
          How human is that?!?
How many times have I accessed others’ ‘temple’?
    Side note:  I refer to how I pray as my ‘temple’...
How many times do I succumb to ‘hunger…’ however that is defined...and CURSE
                                                                               whatever doesn’t meet MY needs?
                                                                               whatever interferes with how I pray?
Why did the Gospel writer deem it important to state ‘His disciples heard it’?

They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
I hear the Camel through the eye of a needle lesson all over again...
I hear Jesus saying to me, 
   “Don’t bring an agenda to prayer!  Leave the baggage outside...even HUNGER!
JUST TALK
JUST LISTEN
JUST BE WITH ME
LET ME JUST BE WITH YOU

     If You cure me, God, I will then…
     If You make me successful, God, I will then…
     If You make another love me, God, I will then...      
Then he taught them saying, 
“Is it not written:

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves.”

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it
and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.
Back to the Fig Tree!  The Temple Cleansing is sandwiched between the Fig Tree...

Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
Peter remembered and said to him, 
“Rabbi, look!
The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
Jesus said to them in reply, 
“Have faith in God.
Amen, I say to you, 
whoever 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 shall be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, 
all that you ask for in prayer,
believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
When you stand to pray,
forgive anyone 
against whom you have a grievance,
so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you 
your transgressions.”
Mark 11:  11-26
Whew…
I am leaving the rest alone...it is the Bold lettered Words that bring it home for me…
How do you pray with this Mark account…
When do you use Italics
             Bold lettering
                            The space bar
                            The return key to identify
           “How (you) read it thinking with (your) heart.”
Peace.

6 comments:

kkollwitz said...

This is an interesting way of writing, have you done other posts like this?

"My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples? But you have made it a den of thieves.”

Here Jesus quotes from Isaiah and Jeremiah, and means something particular by putting the two quotes together. Probably Jesus' most scripturally-complex statement.

"forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance,so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you your transgressions.”

Sounds like the Lord's Prayer...imagine that.

boyd said...

ah man...the first line in your comment cracks me up! I can read it imagining your wrinkled up nose while you were typing it...ah man.
or the word, 'alright' with a slight head nod while typing your comment...
you blog 'bout digressions...Maybe a Catholic needs to be digressive...digress is my middle name!
peace, guy!

evanscove said...

I'll admit that the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree has puzzled me. Why would He curse a tree when, as the text indicates, it wasn't that the tree had done anything wrong? It just wasn't the right time to find figs. Some have interpreted it as simply Jesus predicting that since no figs were on it by that time it was apparently incapable of bearing fruit in the first place. In other words, He didn't actually curse it; He was just making an observation. Or else He could have felt it necessary to perform a sign for the disciples, just like turning water into wine at Cana. Regardless, I'll defer to His wisdom and authority, rather than thinking I know better than our Lord.

Creative way of approaching this subject. Thanks!

Evan

boyd said...

evan...you've reported in your comment others' interpretation without hesitation. were they thinking they know better than our Lord? I invite you to share what puzzles you with the great prayer question you brought to the table, "why would He curse a tree when the tree had done nothing wrong?" pray with me, guy....
my prayer question right now, "Why would He sacrifice a fig tree to perform a sign for the disciples when he complain throughout the Gospels about everyone needing signs to believe?" pray with me, evan!
peace.
peace.
peace.

evanscove said...

Indeed, why would He feel the need to perform a sign at that point? Perhaps only He knows the answer. Or maybe I just need to do a little research...

Peace to you as well!

Evan

My Heart Beats and I sigh said...

brother...take your original prayer question and sit...be still our souls...breathe.

let the researchers do the external research.

let us search deep within our hearts...
peace.