Are we Ready?
A thought for Holy Tuesday
St Mark’s account of Tuesday in Holy Week begins with the disciples noticing that the fig tree, which Jesus had cursed the day before, had withered. It’s a strange and difficult story.
(Mark 11, 12 – 25)
Jesus is hungry, looks for figs on a fig tree, and not finding any curses the tree. It isn’t the sort of behaviour we might expect from Jesus – especially since it wasn’t the right time of year for figs anyway. We might think that Jesus is being totally unreasonable.
I think we need to see the cursing of the fig tree as an acted parable. It is closely linked with the cleansing of the Temple. The Temple is thriving, packed with people, but it’s not for the glory of God. The fig tree is thriving, full of leaves, but there’s no fruit.
Jesus comes, but the fig tree isn’t ready for Him.
Jesus comes, but the Temple isn’t ready for Him.
When Jesus comes to us, are we ready for Him?
Thankfully we have the wonderful message of Good Friday and Easter, that Jesus has taken all our sins, our shortcomings, our failures, our unreadiness, to the Cross with him. Jesus, who did not deserve to die, has died in our place. The Cross looked like a defeat, but Easter proclaims it as victory. Christ is risen. Sin and death are defeated. Eternal life is ours through Him.
If we accept what Jesus has done for us, we are ready.
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13, 20-21
Revd David Newman