Hungry?

Yesterday, I preached on Jesus and the fig tree.  It is such a strange pericope (aka story).  Both Matthew and Mark tell us (Matthew 21 and Mark 11) that Jesus was walking along, sees a fig tree, doesn’t find fruit, curses the tree and wham-o, it dies.

What?!?!

There is a broader point to the story, as I mentioned in the sermon: about prayer, about asking for what we want, and about the power of God to move mountains. [And as reminded by a commenter, there are broader symbolic connections with the nation itself.]

But, c’mon… what is it with this  fig tree?

This morning I sat down with my devotions and read from Albert Edward Day’s The Captivating Presence:

Sometimes the best of us have days when our dearest friend must say, “you are not yourself today”. That fact gives them a hard time and sends them away deprived of what they should have from us. BUT GOD IS ALWAYS GOD.

“You are not yourself today.”

That’s what I wish the disciples had told Jesus when he cursed that fig tree.  It wasn’t even the right season.  What was he thinking?

Well, probably, he wasn’t.

 

snickersHave you seen those Snickers commercials with Betty White and Joe Pesci and the like?

You know… the one where  they are handed a Snickers and transform back into their real selves with just one bite?

The tagline is “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.”

This story is also a reminder that while God is always God, Jesus was also fully human.

And human beings get hungry.

The next day, after leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. (Mark 11:12)

Early in the morning as Jesus was returning to the city, he was hungry. (Matthew 21:18)

When I get hungry, I get grouchy. Seriously cranky. My head hurts. I don’t want to do anything. I’m a bear to be around and I often lash out at whatever or whomever might be nearby.

What if Jesus just really needed a candy bar?

 

I wish I had the answers about how Jesus could be fully God and fully human all at the same time, but to me it is a mystery.  And I’m okay with that.

I’m okay with the unchanging, holy, everlasting, eternal, awesome God becoming one of us.

I’m okay with the idea that Jesus can be totally divine and holy and merciful and good and loving AND that he was a human being who cried as a baby and learned and changed as an adult, and yes, got hungry sometimes.

It doesn’t have to make sense and it doesn’t change my ability to turn to God or learn from Jesus.

Well, maybe it does change my feelings… maybe it deepens my appreciation of God’s love for us.  That God would go so far to get to know us so well.

3 Comments

  • Colleen SD McRoberts

    July 21, 2015 at 7:12 am Reply

    I simply have to share the following because your post about the humanity of Christ coincides weirdly with what I was reading this morning from Anthony De Mello’s “The Song of the Bird.”

    THE ZEN MASTER AND THE CHRISTIAN

    A Christian visited a Zen Master and said, “Allow me to read you the Sermon on the Mount.”

    “I shall listen with pleasure,” said the Master.

    The Christian read a sentence and looked up. The Master smiled and said, “Whoever said those words was truly an Enlightened Man.”

    This pleased the Christian. He read on. The Master interrupted and said, “Those words come from a Saviour of mankind.”

    The Christian was delighted. He read on to the end. The Master then declared, “That sermon was pronounced by someone radiant with Divinity.”

    The Christian’s joy was boundless. He left, determined to return another day and persuade the Master to become a Christian. On the way back home he found Jesus standing by the roadside. “Lord,” he said excitedly, “I got that man to confess you are divine!”

    Jesus smiled and said, “And did it do you any good except inflate your Christian ego?”

  • Chris

    November 7, 2015 at 4:49 am Reply

    The fig tree is used in the OT to represent Israel. In the same way the fig tree had no fruit, the nation Israel had no fruit. Jesus’ curse was a symbolic curse against the nation which was fruitless.

    • Katie Z.

      November 11, 2015 at 7:50 am Reply

      Yes, there is also the symbolic commentary on the nation. :)

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