I Said, You Are Gods

Wow, here is one that will knock your socks off… What did Jesus mean in saying men were gods (John 10:34-36)?

What has been popularly termed the “little god controversy” originated with Word of Faith pastors and teachers.

  1. The basic idea behind the controversy is that humans are actually divine, created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) not only in having a soul, having dominion over the earth, or living in relationship with others, but by being of the same “spiritual class” as God Himself.
  2. Evangelicals say this concept as misguided at best, or heretical and cultic at worst.

Take a look at this brief documentary style video on this “little gods” heresy. You’ll be surprised at who teaches this doctrine.

The main tenant of Word of Faith is that, when we ask something of God in faith, He is compelled to fill the request. As “little gods,” our words have much power. It is interesting that we put ourselves into the role of creator, speaking words and that destiny coming into existence. Joel Osteen promotes this concept of speaking your destiny into reality.

  1. This error is taught by some television evangelists, and its roots in Pentecostalism have made it more common in Charismatic churches.
  2. The Word of Faith movement has a number of popular monikers including “name-it-claim-it,” “prosperity theology” and “health and wealth gospel.”

The basis for the “little gods” claim is found in two Scripture passages. Psalm 82:6 reads, “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’” Jesus quotes this psalm in John 10:34, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I have said you are gods’?” However, both of these passages include explanations in the immediate context which clearly do not indicate human divinity.

  1. Psalm 82:6 is followed by a warning that “you will all die like mere men, you will fall like every other ruler” (Psalm 82:7).
  2. The reference is to mortal men who represent God’s authority in the world—kings, judges, and magistrates.

Psalm 82 is a warning to unjust leaders who consider themselves “gods” (Psalm 82:1) yet who “know nothing,” who “walk about in darkness” (Psalm 82:5).

  1. Jesus used this passage in response to those who accused Him of blasphemy.
  2. Essentially, Jesus asked why, when human rulers were called gods, “the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world” (John 10:36) was blaspheming by claiming to be God’s Son.

Claiming divinity for Christians is unsupportable, especially taking the rest of the Bible into account.

  1. God is God alone (Isaiah 37:16). We have never been God, we are not God now, and we never will be God.
  2. Jesus was fully God and fully man (a combination called the hypostatic union).
  3. If the “little gods” hypothesis is accepted, it imputes to Jesus a lesser divinity of some kind; He became a “little god” like us.
  4. John said that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14), but this does not indicate “a lesser divinity.”
  5. Jesus took on human flesh and blood in order to die for our sins (Hebrews 2:14), yet He retained His full position in the Godhead. God created us with a spirit, but that spirit does not hold divine qualities.

Here is something from John MacArthur on the doctrine of Joel Osteen. It’s pretty eye-opening, but not surprising if you read anything Osteen writes.

Here is some teaching from Warren Wiersbe on Psalm 82:

The throne in heaven (Psalm 82:1–4). The Lord stands as Judge and indicts the human judges for their failure to defend the poor and needy and condemn the wicked. Their partiality made a farce out of the legal system God ordained for Israel (Leviticus 19:15; Proverbs 24:23–25). What does He think of our judicial system today?

The foundations on earth (Psalm 82:5). The foundations for peace and order in society are righteousness and justice (Psalm 89:14; 97:2). Whether in the home, church, or government, abandoning righteousness and justice makes the very foundations tremble (Psalm 11:3) and brings darkness where there should be light.

The graves under the earth (Psalm 82:6–8). The human judges are called “gods” because the Hebrew word elohim means “mighty ones.” (It is also one of the names for God.) Leadership is a serious thing, for leaders stand in the place of God and will one day answer to Him. The selfish judges may have their days of pleasure, but one day they will die, and then what? The judges will be judged righteously by the Judge of all the earth, and there will be no escape.


The Judge (Psalm 82:1)

  1. Since God is the Lawgiver, God is the Judge.
  2. He presides over the congregation of Israel and the judges of the nation.
  3. There is no seat, bench, or jury box, God needs no one to tell him the facts.
  4. He will execute judgment since he knows what is going on.
  5. The gods – (Psalm 82:1, 6) are not the false gods of the heathens, nor holy angels (for they cannot die).
  6. These gods are people who have been given the awesome responsibility of representing the Lord on the earth, interpreting and applying his law.
  7. Jesus’ quotes verse 6 (John 10:34-36) telling the religious leaders that he has the responsibility of representing the
  8. Lord on the earth and seek to execute justice by applying the law correctly.

The Judges (Psalm 82:2-7)

  1. These judges did not live out Micah 6:8.
    1. Did not act justly (Psalm 82:2)
    2. Did not love mercy (Psalm 82:3-4)
    3. They walked in defiance of God’s will (Psalm 82:5)
  2. YOU in Psalm 82:2 is plural, indicating the guilty judges: taking bribes, failing to care for orphans and widows.
    1. They are to uphold the law
    2. They are not to show partiality.

The Judgment (Psalm 82:6-8)

  1. These people were in high offices and were considered gods. Gods were the judges who acted on God’s behalf.
  2. Moses would be as a god (Exodus 7:1) I will make you as God to Pharaoh.
  3. Jesus quotes this verse…
    1. To defend his claim to be the Son of God.
    2. That he was set apart by the Father and sent to earth.
    3. In spite of titles and offices, all these gods (judges) would die off, like any other human and pay the price for their sins.
    4. When God comes to judge the earth, no one will escape and his sentence will be just.

So, does the Bible ever claim divinity for Christians? (1 John 3:2, 1 John 4:1, Romans 6:5, 2 Timothy 4:3, Isaiah 37:16, 2 Peter 2:1)

Love Your Enemies

This is not so much a hard saying to understand, but it is certainly a difficult one to live out, “Love your enemies” and “Turn the other cheek” (Luke 6:27-36). Let’s get to know each other a little bit more:

  1. Who was your favorite villain on Saturday morning cartoons, or TV show?
  2. Why has Jesus made this shift in the object of love (Leviticus 19:18)?
  3. What are we to do to our enemies? Is that a noun or a verb, maybe an emotion or action?
  4. How can Luke 6:29-30 reinforce bad behavior? What is Jesus’ point (Luke 6:31, 36)?

Jesus assumed that anyone who attempted to live by his values would get in trouble with the world’s crowd. To be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, well that would expose people’s sin. The world shows their hatred of believers by avoiding us or rejecting us (Luke 6:22), insulting us (Luke 6:22, 28), physically abusing us (Luke 6:29), and suing us (Luke 6:30). This is something that we should expect as followers of Jesus (Philippians 1:29, 2 Timothy 3:12).

How are we to treat our enemies? We must love them, do good to them, and pray for them. Hatred breeds more hatred and does not bring about the life God desires (James 1:20). This cannot be done in our own strength, we need divine intervention (Romans 5:5, Galatians 5:22-23). There are two principles in action here:

  1. Treat others as we would want to be treated (Luke 6:31) – this assumes we want the very best spiritually for ourselves and we must imitate our heavenly Father by being merciful (Luke 6:36). We become more like God in our character (Luke 6:35).
  2. We will reap that which we sow (Luke 6:37-38) – if we judge others, we will be judged. If we forgive others, we will be forgiven. If we condemn others, we will be condemned. If we live to give, God will see fit for us to receive. If we live to get, God will see to it that we lose.

When Jesus said we are to love our enemies, he was creating a new standard for relationships.

  1. He proclaimed to the crowds listening to His Sermon on the Mount that they knew they were to love their neighbor because the command to love our neighbor was a law of God (Leviticus 19:18).
  2. That we must therefore hate our enemy was an inference incorrectly drawn from it by the Jews. While no Bible verse explicitly says “hate your enemy,” the Pharisees may have somewhat misapplied some of the Old Testament passages about hatred for God’s enemies (Psalm 139:19-22; 140:9-11).
  3. But Jesus replaced this idea with an even higher standard: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45).
  4. Jesus goes on to explain that loving those who love us is easy and even unbelievers can do that. Then He commands us to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).

Jesus explained to his followers that they should adhere to the real meaning of God’s law by loving their enemies as well as their neighbors.

  1. A Pharisee once asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus then told the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
  2. Here Jesus taught that His followers must demonstrate love to all kinds of people—no matter what faith, nationality, or personality—enemies included.
  3. If you love your enemies and “pray for those who persecute you,” you then truly reveal that Jesus is Lord of your life.

By using an illustration of the sun rising and the rain falling on both the good and the evil, Jesus shows God’s undiscriminating love to all people.

  1. His disciples then must reflect His character and exhibit this same undiscriminating love for both friends and enemies.
  2. Jesus is teaching us that we must live by a higher standard than what the world expects—a standard that is impossible for us to attain by our own efforts.
  3. It’s only through the power of God’s Spirit that His people can truly love and pray for those who intend to do them harm (Romans 12:14-21).

What about “turning the other cheek?”

The entire section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which this verse is found can be understood as one where Jesus actually serves to elevate the importance of following Israel’s moral law beyond the letter to the spirit of the law. Much of the material in the Sermon deals with the nature of his coming characterized by mercy, sacrificial love, and patience toward sinners while at the same time affirming the “last is first” principle upon which the kingdom of God is based. For instance, we are told to go the extra mile for someone who abuses us and to pray for enemies instead of resisting them. All of this can be generally summarized by saying we need to be pure inside and out and should be as accommodating as possible for the sake of a lost world.

To “turn the other cheek,” does not imply pacifism, nor does it mean we place ourselves or others in mortal danger. Like the principle of the eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth in Matthew 5:38, turning the other cheek refers to personal retaliation, not criminal offenses or acts of military aggression. Clearly, Jesus did not mean to negate all God’s laws and injunctions protecting us against violent crime or invading armies. Rather, Jesus is speaking here of the principle of non-retaliation to affronts against our own dignity, as well as lawsuits to gain one’s personal assets (Matthew 5:40), infringements on one’s liberty (Matthew 5:41), and violations of property rights (Matthew 5:42). He was calling for a full surrender of all personal rights.

Turning the other cheek means not to return insult for insult in retaliation, which is what most people expect and how worldly people act. Responding to hatred with love just might grab someone’s attention and afford us a chance to share the gospel. When we respond in a manner that is unnatural, it displays the supernatural power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus was the perfect example because He was silent before His accusers and did not call down revenge from heaven on those who crucified Him.

Conclusion:

Finally, after giving us the admonition to love our enemies, Jesus then gives us this command: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). As sons of our Father (Matthew 5:45), we are to be perfect, even as He is perfect.

  1. This is utterly impossible for sinful man to achieve. This unattainable standard is exactly what the Law itself demanded (James 2:10). So how can Jesus demand the impossible?
  2. He later tells us, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
    1. That which God demands, only He can accomplish, including the demand to love our enemies.
    2. What is impossible for man becomes possible for those who give their lives to Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts.

Judge Not, Lest You Be Judged

This may be one of those passages that prevents us from confronting a sinning brother, so let’s seek to understand it. Here is a question to get us started: “What is Jesus calling for in this passage?” no judgment? self-judgment? fair judgment? divine judgment?

The religious leaders were guilty of exercising a false judgment about themselves, other people, and even the Lord. Their false righteousness helped to encourage their false judgment. It may be why Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount with a discussion on judgment. There really are three judgments:

  1. Our judgment of ourselves (Matthew 7:1-5)
  2. Our judgment of others (Matthew 7:6-20)
  3. Our judgment by God (Matthew 7:21-29)

Our passage today brings us to the first section, judgment of ourselves. This is the first principle for a reason. Jesus did not forbid that we judge others, but we are to first judge ourselves. This involves careful discrimination and discernment. Christian love is not blind (Philippians 1:9-10). The person who believes all that he hears and accepts everyone who claims to be spiritual will experience confusion and suffer spiritual loss.

  1. We will be judged (Matthew 7:1) – the tense of the verb indicates a one-time final judgement. when we judge ourselves, we are preparing ourselves for that final judgment when we face God. The Pharisees played God as they condemned other people; and they never considered that God would one day judge them.
  2. We are being judged (Matthew 7:2) – this parallel passage in Luke 6:37-38 is helpful here. Not only will God judge us at the end, but people are being judged right now. We will receive from people exactly what we give. The kind of judgment and the measure  of judgment come right back to us. We reap that which we sow.
  3. We must see clearly to help others (Matthew 7:3-5) – the purpose of self-judgment is so that we are able to serve others. When we don’t judge ourselves, we hurt those to who we should minister. The Pharisees judged others to make themselves look good (Luke 18:9-14), but Christians should judge themselves so they can help others look good.

The eye is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, which Jesus used on a few occasions to make a point (like Matthew 6:22-23). We must exercise love and tenderness when we seek to help other people (Ephesians 4:15). There are two extremes to avoid in this spiritual self-examination:

  1. The deception of a shallow examination: we can be so sure of ourselves that we fail to examine our hearts honestly and thoroughly. The quick glance is not helpful (James 1:22-25).
  2. The debilitation of a perpetual autopsy: we can get unbalanced as we focus too much on ourselves, which leads to discouragement and defeat. Jesus forgives and restores, and Satan is the accuser (Revelation 12:10) and loves to condemn God’s people. Ask God to remove those things that blind us. When we KNOW of our sins and attempt to help others… that is called hypocrisy. That is the condemnation of Jesus.

We must exercise discernment because not everyone is a sheep, there are some wolves out there. We cannot let the wolves pull the wool over our eyes.

The reason we must judge (Matthew 7:6) – it is a privilege to handle the holy things of God, and he has entrusted his Word to us (2 Corinthians 4:7). No priest with throw meat from the altar to the street dog, or give pearls to a pig. So, while we are commanded to take the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15), we cannot cheapen the gospel by a ministry that lacks discernment.

  1. Even Jesus refused to talk with Herod (Luke 23:9)
  2. Even Paul refused to argue with people who resisted the Word (Acts 13:44-49)

The reason for judgment: it is not that we might condemn others, but that we might be able to minister to them. Jesus always dealt with people according to the needs; there was no memorized presentation he used for everyone.

  1. Nicodemus – he talked about new birth.
  2. The woman at the well – he talked about living water.
  3. When the religious leaders tried to trap him – he remained silent (Matthew 21:23-27).

This is one of the most debilitating verses in the Bible, because if we say anything about someone else, they throw this verse back in our face, “Judge not, lest you be judged” (Matthew 7:1-6). This is an issue that has confused many people.

  1. On one hand, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1).
  2. On the other hand, the Bible also exhorts us to beware of evildoers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil.
  3. How are we to discern who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about them?

Christians are often accused of “judging” whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, “Do not judge.”

  1. There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment (John 7:24).
  2. When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Matthew 7:2-5 says, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
  3. What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.

In Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do.

  1. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his Christian duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin (Matthew 18:15-17).
  2. This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship.
  3. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God’s Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.”
  4. We are to “judge” sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
  5. According to Matthew 7:6, let’s also assess a person’s heart before we share the pearl of great price.

Calling Someone a Fool

Here are a few questions to get us thinking today:

  1. How did your parents settle disputes between you and your siblings when you were a kid?
  2. What was the best advice you have been given on how to deal with anger?

In this passage from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his followers that when someone is angry with his brother, saying “Raca,” he is answerable to the court, and one who calls him a “fool” will be in danger of the fire of hell (Matthew 5:21-22).

  1. What legal case has especially cause your attention?
  2. How are murder and anger related?
  3. What new standard of right and wrong is Jesus creating?
  4. Does Jesus say that anger leads to murder? NO, he says anger IS murder.

There is something called holy anger (Ephesians 4:26), but Jesus is talking about unholy anger.

Matthew 5:22 is the only passage in the Bible where the term raca is used. Raca comes from the Aramaic term reqa. It was a derogatory expression meaning “empty-headed,” insinuating a person’s stupidity or inferiority. It was an offensive term used to show complete contempt for another person. Jesus warned that the use of such a word to describe someone was deserving of the severest punishment, “the fire of hell.”

The term means “a settled anger, malice that is nursed inwardly.”Jesus describes a sinful experience that involves several stages: Causeless anger which then explodes into words (Raca, or Fool).

In Matthew 5:21, Jesus recalled the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). In characteristic fashion, Jesus took the old law one step further by explaining the TRUE significance of the law—a deeper, spiritual meaning they had never seen.

  • First, Jesus warns that the very act of murder finds its roots in an angry, murderous spirit: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22a). God, who examines the thoughts and intentions of the heart, will issue judgment upon unrighteous anger.
  • Next, Jesus warns against name-calling, using “raca” as an example (Matthew 5:22b).
  • Then He issues a third warning against those who call someone a “fool” (Matthew 5:22c).

The first-century Jews recognized that “anyone who murders will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:21), but Jesus warns that even calling another person insulting names such as “raca” is sinful. Murder begins in the heart, and using a phrase such as “raca” is a sign that there is hatred within the heart. The hatred that causes one person to hurl insults is the same hatred that causes another to commit murder. The attitude of the heart is the same, and it’s this attitude that makes a person morally guilty before God.

Jesus not only warns us against expressing unrighteous anger, which CAN lead to murder, but he clearly commands that name-calling must be avoided. Such abusive words reveal the true intents of one’s heart and mind for which we will be held accountable: “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10; cf. 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9).

Anger is such a foolish thing. It turns builders into destroyers. It robs of freedom and makes us prisoners. Sinful anger robs us of fellowship with God and with others. It must be faced honestly and confessed; we put ourselves into prison when we refuse to be reconciled.

Jesus Cursing the Fig Tree

We don’t often find Jesus cursing anything, so this is an odd saying, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again (Mark 11:12-14, 20-26) – the cursing of the fig tree.

The account of Jesus cursing the barren fig tree is found in two different gospel accounts. First, it is seen in Matthew 21:18-22, and then also in Mark 11:12-14.

While there are slight differences between the two accounts, they are easily reconciled by studying the passages. Like all Scripture, the key to understanding this passage comes from understanding the context in which it happened. In order to properly understand this passage, we must first look at the chronological and geographical setting.

  1. For example, when did this occur, what was the setting, and where did it happen?
  2. Also, in order to fully understand this passage, we need to have an understanding of the importance of the fig tree as it relates to the nation of Israel and understand how the fig tree is often used in the Scriptures to symbolically represent Israel.
  3. Finally, we must have a basic understanding of the fig tree itself, its growing seasons, etc.

First, in looking at the general chronological setting of the passage, we see that it happened during the week before His crucifixion.

Jesus had entered Jerusalem a day earlier amid the praise and worship of the Jewish people who were looking to Him as the King/Messiah who was going to deliver them from Roman occupation (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11).

The next day, Jesus is again on His way to Jerusalem from where He was staying in Bethany. On His way, both Matthew and Mark record that He was hungry and saw a fig tree in the distance that had leaves on it (Mark 11:13).

Upon coming to the tree expecting to find something to eat, Jesus instead discovered that the fig tree had no fruit on it and cursed the tree saying, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:14).

  1. Matthew records the cursing and the withering of the fig tree all in one account and includes it after the account of Jesus cleansing the Temple of the moneychangers.
  2. Mark explains that it actually took place over two days, with Jesus cursing the fig tree the first day on the way to cleanse the Temple, and the disciples seeing the tree withered on the second day when they were again going to Jerusalem from Bethany (Mark 11:12-14 and Mark 11:19-20).

Upon seeing the tree “withered from the roots up,” the disciples were amazed, as that would have normally taken several weeks.

Having reviewed the general chronological setting of the story, we can begin to answer some of many questions that are often asked of it. First of all is the question, Why did Jesus curse the fig tree if it was not the right season for figs?

The answer to this question can be determined by studying the characteristics of fig trees.

  1. The fruit of the fig tree generally appears before the leaves, and, because the fruit is green it blends in with the leaves right up until it is almost ripe.
  2. Therefore, when Jesus and His disciples saw from a distance that the tree had leaves, they would have expected it to also have fruit on it even though it was earlier in the season than what would be normal for a fig tree to be bearing fruit.
  3. Also, each tree would often produce two to three crops of figs each season. There would be an early crop in the spring followed by one or two later crops.
  4. In some parts of Israel, depending on climate and conditions, it was also possible that a tree might produce fruit ten out of twelve months. This also explains why Jesus and His disciples would be looking for fruit on the fig tree even if it was not in the main growing season.
  5. The fact that the tree already had leaves on it even though it was at a higher elevation around Jerusalem, and therefore would have been outside the normal season for figs, would have seemed to be a good indication that there would also be fruit on it.

As to the significance of this passage and what it means, the answer to that is again found in the chronological setting and in understanding how a fig tree is often used symbolically to represent Israel in the Scriptures.

First of all, chronologically, Jesus had just arrived at Jerusalem amid great fanfare and great expectations, but then proceeds to cleanse the Temple and curse the barren fig tree. Both had significance as to the spiritual condition of Israel.

  1. With His cleansing of the Temple and His criticism of the worship that was going on there (Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17), Jesus was effectively denouncing Israel’s worship of God.
  2. With the cursing of the fig tree, He was symbolically denouncing Israel as a nation and, in a sense, even denouncing unfruitful “Christians” (that is, people who profess to be Christian but have no evidence of a relationship with Christ).

The presence of a fruitful fig tree was considered to be a symbol of blessing and prosperity for the nation of Israel. Likewise, the absence or death of a fig tree would symbolize judgment and rejection.

  1. Symbolically, the fig tree represented the spiritual deadness of Israel, who while very religious outwardly with all the sacrifices and ceremonies, were spiritually barren because of their sins.
  2. By cleansing the Temple and cursing the fig tree, causing it to whither and die, Jesus was pronouncing His coming judgment of Israel and demonstrating His power to carry it out.

It also teaches the principle that religious profession and observance are not enough to guarantee salvation, unless there is the fruit of genuine salvation evidenced in the life of the person.

  1. James would later echo this truth when he wrote that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).
  2. The lesson of the fig tree is that we should bear spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), not just give an appearance of religiosity.
  3. God judges fruitlessness, and expects that those who have a relationship with Him will “bear much fruit” (John 15:5-8).

Why would the writers record this at all unless it had some special significance? Let’s tie this to Luke 13:6-9.

  1. This tree was continually unfruitful, year by year, for three years.
  2. Then the man in charge was told to cut it down, because it served no good purpose.
  3. It is hard not to conclude that this tree represents the city of Jerusalem.
    1. Unresponsive to Jesus and his message.
    2. Therefore bringing on their own destruction.
    3. Jesus cares about the city, wept over the city in Luke 19:41-44.