Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Miracle of the Fig-Tree

Christ's single miracle of Destruction, the withering of the fig-tree, has proved troublesome to some people, but I think its significance is plain enough. The miracle is an acted parable, a symbol of God's sentence on all that is 'fruitless' and specially, no doubt, on the official Judaism of that age. That is its moral significance. As a miracle, it again does in focus, repeats small and close, what God does constantly and throughout Nature. We have seen [...] how God, twisting Satan's weapon out of his hand, had become, since the Fall, the God even of human death. But much more, and perhaps ever since the creation, He has been the God of the death of the organisms. In both cases, though in somewhat different ways, He is the God of death because He is the God of Life: the God of human death because through it increase of life now comes--the God of merely organic death because death is part of the very mode by which organic life spreads itself out in Time and yet remains new. A forest a thousand years deep is still collectively alive because some trees are dying and others are growing up. His human face, turned with negation in its eyes upon that one fig-tree, did once what His unincarnate action does to all trees. No tree died that year in Palestine, or any year anywhere, except because God did--or rather ceased to do--something to it.
~C.S. Lewis, Miracles, "Miracles of the Old Creation" (1947)

1 Comment(s):

At Thu Oct 20, 09:22:00 PM EST, Blogger MrKimi said...

At last, a sensible explanation of this episode. I particularly like "because God did--or rather ceased to do--something to it". I think of God keeping us all alive at every moment, even when we're bad.


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