Thursday, March 23, 2023
“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry” (Mark 11:12 KJV).
Who is this hungry man? Who else is a hungry man in the Bible? What exactly has caused their hunger?
Luke chapter 13 explains why the Lord cursed the fig tree: “ He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.  Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:  And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”
This Parable of the Barren Fig Tree summarizes Christ’s three-year earthly ministry. Remembering again that figs symbolize religion (see Genesis 3:7, the Bible’s first mention of figs), we establish how the Lord sought spiritual fruit in Israel but found none. Despite an outward appearance of life (green leaves), there was no internal fruit to satisfy God’s hunger for faith and righteousness in the nation (re-read Matthew 21:17-20 and Mark 11:12-14,20-21). The Law of Moses, which rabbinical scholars had watered down with manmade traditions, had not produced a nation that recognized its sin problem (and thus failed to acknowledge its need for the Saviour). The Old Covenant system was faulty—not because anything was wrong with it but because it could not impart life to sinners who had the problem (Jeremiah 31:32; Romans 7:12; Galatians 2:21; Galatians 3:19-24; Hebrews 8:7-13; et al.).
Coming into the early Acts period, the one-year extension of mercy given to Israel following Christ’s three years of earthly ministry (see Luke 13:8), we see the 12 Apostles (Matthias replacing Judas Iscariot) laboring under the power of the Holy Spirit to preach and therefore convert Israel to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is more unbelief and self-righteousness. Those first seven chapters of Acts ended with apostate Israel murdering Stephen, God’s prophet to the nation’s leaders. In chapter 10, Peter (or rather the Holy Spirit through Peter) now hungers for spiritual fruit in Israel….