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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slog Bible Study: Mark 11:20

Posted by on Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Mark 11:20
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.

Discuss.

 

Comments (25) RSS

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Pope Peabrain 1
Why didn't he just do one of his magic tricks and make a bowl of figs? This is one of those examples of Jesus being off his rocker.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 2, 2014 at 6:07 AM · Report this
2
A temperamental asshole just like his dad.
Posted by mubhappy on March 2, 2014 at 6:49 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 3
Yep this is one of those passages that just doesn't make any sense, no matter how you slice it.

If he is the Son of God as well as God and is all knowing and all powerful, why didn't he know that the fig tree was out of season? Didn't he himself supposedly create the seasons.

And why didn't he have the tree produce figs through his touch, as Pope Peabrain suggests?

If he is compassionate why did he make sure that the tree never produce fruit again?

By this passage we can deduce that Jesus is not all knowing and not all powerful and a psychopath to boot.
Posted by passionate_jus on March 2, 2014 at 6:57 AM · Report this
4
No, the point of this passage is to be fruity and multiply. Stranger readers certainly qualify.
Posted by pat L on March 2, 2014 at 7:04 AM · Report this
5
Low blood sugar and in a bad mood. We've all been there.
Posted by jeffg166 on March 2, 2014 at 7:05 AM · Report this
6
I eat Fig Newtons all the time. So take THAT Son of God!
Posted by Arturo Bandini on March 2, 2014 at 7:44 AM · Report this
delirian 7
Figs are full of dead wasps. Just thought I'd put that out there.
Posted by delirian on March 2, 2014 at 7:52 AM · Report this
Foghorn Leghorn 8
GOD HATES FIGS!
Posted by Foghorn Leghorn on March 2, 2014 at 8:14 AM · Report this
RainMan 9
At least Adam and Eve were able to find a way to use fig leaves.
Posted by RainMan on March 2, 2014 at 9:02 AM · Report this
10
@8: For the combined, "Boo!" and "Yay!"

Posted by Brooklyn Reader on March 2, 2014 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Canucky Yank 11
The fig tree represents the temple. He curses the fig tree, goes back and clears the temple, and when they leave again, the fig tree is withered; foreshadowing the destruction of the temple.
In Greek and Roman mythology, figs are sometimes associated with Dionysus (Bacchus to the Romans), god of wine and drunkenness, and with Priapus, a satyr who symbolized sexual desire.
The fig tree has a sacred meaning for Buddhists; the Buddha, achieved enlightenment while sitting under a bo tree, a kind of fig tree. The bo or bodhi tree remains a symbol of enlightenment.
Islamic tradition mentions two forbidden trees in Eden—a fig tree and an olive tree.
The Charybdis Fig Tree is credited for saving Odysseus from being sucked in to the whirlpool.
Jesus' cursing the fig tree as a cloaked reference to Mithraism, one of Mithra's greatest symbols.

Posted by Canucky Yank on March 2, 2014 at 9:10 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 12
So Jesus, who is actually god AND the son of god at the same time (so the son of himself), somehow becomes hungry. So he goes to a tree that he himself created and knows that it won't have figs, looks for figs and of course finds none, then gets pissed that his own creation doesn't have the stuff that he himself made it not have.

Fucking religion, how does it work?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 2, 2014 at 9:55 AM · Report this
mikethehammer 13
There was a crazy looking guy yelling at a tree near my apartment the other day. I'd just figured he was probably mentally unbalanced, though if I see him again I'm gonna go ahead and assume he's the son of God.
Posted by mikethehammer on March 2, 2014 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 14
maybe he was being ironic? stop taking jesus so literally!
Posted by Max Solomon on March 2, 2014 at 10:22 AM · Report this
seatackled 15
Sounds like Bethany's a pretty lousy host, but maybe I would be, too, if my job was to eat out.
Posted by seatackled on March 2, 2014 at 10:31 AM · Report this
seatackled 16
@11
That's a pretty cool explanation.

@14
That's a good point, too. There was some Biblical scholar on the radio some years ago who pointed out that there's actually a lot of humor in the gospels. Think of a New York Jewish kid saying, "Better a camel should go through the eye of a needle than a rich man should make it to heaven."
Posted by seatackled on March 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 17
@11 There is a "sacred" fig tree that still grows in the Roman forum.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 2, 2014 at 11:25 AM · Report this
18
3 & 12, the whole trinity thing is a lot more recent than the bible, you need some serious mental/theological gymnastics to make that kind of stuff line up.
Posted by dutchie on March 2, 2014 at 12:14 PM · Report this
spaceapple 19
I read an article about weird biblical passages (I think in Slate) that mentioned this. I think the idea that the "tree wasn't in season" is supposed to have something to do with the people of the time not being prepared to understand his teachings.

So fuck them, right?
Posted by spaceapple on March 2, 2014 at 12:16 PM · Report this
sperifera 20
I'm sure those figs would have just tasted like sour grapes anyway.
Posted by sperifera on March 2, 2014 at 12:36 PM · Report this
blackhook 21
I always suspected Jesus was treephobic.
Posted by blackhook on March 2, 2014 at 12:53 PM · Report this
22
Jesus was a petulant, tree-hating bastard.
Posted by J.R. on March 2, 2014 at 1:21 PM · Report this
23
Italians use the same word for fig as they do for vagina. Something to think about.
Posted by NotYourStrawMan on March 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 24
@23: So, Vagina Newtons? Consider me intrigued . . .
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on March 2, 2014 at 2:35 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 25
So, Jesus* was a petulant, ignorant prick. What a surprise that so many of his believers follow suit.

*allegedly, in the absence of any real historical evidence for his existence.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on March 2, 2014 at 7:51 PM · Report this

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