Thoughts on a Fig Tree

 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. (Genesis 3)

Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’” (Luke 13)

The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it. (Mark 11)


Thoughts on a Fig Tree

Then he gave them this illustration, “Notice the fig tree…” 

Let all who have ears to hear, hear.


When You said, “Eat not of this tree…”

Your Word, I hid in my heart.

Do not. Do not. 

And covered

My shame in clever disguises

Of my own invention.

You walked with the lion’s tread

In this garden,

The low rustle of our Lord, about

This garden.

Oh God be merciful to me, a sinner.

I bear the fruit of law

Papa, look at me, I cover myself

In patchwork leaves, bare limbs and

empty hands, appendages

Stretched in supplication

With no fruit to show.

Oh God be merciful to me,

A sinner.

You will cover me in the slain…

I stand in my facade and mutter

Do not. Do not.

As if this is my covenant with grace

While quietly you slaughter

Preform the rites, without me O my Father

Between two parties, the covenant of grace

When I would barter and charade

With a barren tree. You climb towards Calvary

I stand inside the gates and

Mock you with my barren leaves

A human being

With all the appearances of health,

Now withering at the roots,

As my righteousness walks by.

My robes. The second-party to the covenant

For me.

Oh God, O God

Give mercy, O grant

Mercy unto me.


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Fig Tree

  1. I know this tree! It gives not one but two crops every year. I have tasted it’s fruit, made compote, and jams with its abundance. It needs little care and tending, yet it gives and gives. It gives beyond the grave. It is a beautiful picture of God’s grace and mercy. Bless the Lord oh my soul.

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