In the Final Week of Jesus’ ministry, Bethany and Bethphage (cities located on the slope of the Mount of Olives) are mentioned. It was from here that Jesus arranged for the donkey on which He would ride triumphantly into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1ff.). That final week would find Jesus walking back and forth from Bethany to Jerusalem.
An interesting event happened in this area at this time:
And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there. In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. (Matt. 21:17-19).
Unlike our photo above, that fig tree in our text received a curse because though it had a pretense of leaves, it was barren; there was no fruit. This was a great object lesson for Jesus’ disciples.
Here is a view of the terrain at Bethphage, with Bethany behind, and the Mount of Olives continuing to rise ahead.
I was glad to have the opportunity to visit Bethphage yesterday. There are also several ancient tombs located there.
Click images for larger view.