The apple has for centuries appeared in artwork as the forbidden fruit, even though the Bible does not name it specifically. Could there be biblical clues pointing to the real identity of that fruit? Several years ago, I heard radio station manager, Ray Haynes, on Victory 91.5 talking about the fig tree and how there are some who believe the fig tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden, based on a closer look at the scriptures.
Here are two examples.
1) The fig tree is the first tree mentioned in the Bible and the reference is not to the tree itself, but its leaves that were used to cover Adam and Eve after they became aware of their nakedness.
2) The fig tree is the only tree, on biblical record, that was cursed by Jesus as he was preparing to go to Jerusalem to be crucified, to pay for the sins of the world.
After hearing this, I began to see and hear some more things about the fig tree that I never noticed beforehand. I ran into a friend and mentor who had just gotten back from Jerusalem, and as she was sharing about her amazing trip of a lifetime, she mentioned how delicious the figs were over there. I shared with her the possibility of the fig being the original forbidden fruit, and she nodded her head and said she could definitely see that being the case. Then after my godson's graduation, I hung out with my dear friend, Carla, who is gifted in the gardening and culinary arts. As we strolled her backyard after dinner, she showed me her fig tree, and began to look closely for any fruit. I had never noticed how large fig leaves were until this moment. I wondered if the fig leaves were the first to fall to the ground after Eve and Adam had eaten of it's fruit, thus being picked up and used for coverings as soon as they realized they were naked, or had they been pulled off.
The reason I'm writing this post is not to merely focus on the fig tree, but to focus on exactly what Jesus did on the cross as we approach Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Passover. I find it interesting that wood carried the forbidden fruit and was on the scene when sin infected mankind, then Christ came and worked with wood as a carpenter's son. Then he curses a tree before laying his life upon the wood of a tree. His covering for our sins was more than any fig leaf could possibly cover. Here is some of what is written about tree of the knowledge of good and evil and other verses where the fig tree is mentioned.
His covering for our sins is more than any fig leaf could possibly cover.
Genesis 2:8-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Genesis 3:2-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings
John 1:47-51New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:29-33 New King James Version (NKJV)
29 Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Matthew 21:18-22 (New King James Version (NKJV)
18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”
21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.
22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
John 3:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV)14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
So when you see a fig or fig tree, I hope you think about what Jesus did for you and me, and find your covering in Him!
Christina is an
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