Hangry! It’s a combination of the words hungry and angry. We commonly use this term at our house when our daughter hasn’t eaten because when she is hungry her temper is quick to ignite and her patience is nonexistent. Like many of us, she responds more reasonably when her stomach isn’t growling. It occurred to me as I read Mark 11 that Jesus may have had suffered a case of being “hangry” while He walked this Earth in human form.
The next day when they came out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 After seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to find out if there was anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples heard it.15 They came to Jerusalem, and He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple complex. Mark 11:12-16
The withering of the fig tree is the only miracle of destruction that is recorded in the Gospels. Throughout the Old Testament the fig tree is used to symbolize Israel and Jesus used this illustration to teach the disciples a lesson about faith (Mark 11:20-26), but I wonder if I started out as a lesson or was just reaction to a moment of intense hunger. Jesus was, after all, human when He walked this Earth. As the Son of God, He had access to the Father, but He was flesh and bones and suffered from hunger. I think He may have had a moment of “hangry” here at He approached the fig tree in the hopes of nourishment. Finding nothing but leaves left Him a bit miffed and He responded by cursing the fig tree.
Then the scriptures move right into His exchange and tossing of tables in the temple complex. I don’t know how much time had passed from the moment of cursing the fig tree to the temple, but Bethany is only 2 miles from Jerusalem (the temple). It would seem He left Bethany hungry and not getting anything from the fig tree He arrived at the temple in Jerusalem hungry and agitated.
No doubt Jesus was disturbed and angered by the “den of thieves” (v. 17) that were defiling His Father’s house, but I always thought it was a bit uncharacteristic of Him to come through tossing tables when He usually offered up a parable.
Was Jesus just “hangry”? This would make cursing the fig tree and tossing the tables at the temple understandable. I don’t know, but it’s fun to ponder it. It’s interesting to consider the complexities He must have faced as the Son of God walking around in human form. This is what’s so exciting about reading the Bible. There is always a new bit of information to ponder that I missed or never considered. Truly, we serve an amazing God! One who has such a great sense of love for us He sent His son to walk among us so He could relate to and understand the temptations we face in this flawed flesh.