What happened next has been interpreted in various ways, and viewing this through my emotional lens, I might be tempted to say that Jesus was “hangry” (angry for what He saw in the temple and hungry in the morning). Then, because He was hangry, Jesus simply cursed the tree. However, that is not likely the case here. Instead, Jesus saw the opportunity to use this moment to provide a powerful illustration. The fact that what happened with the fig tree frames the account of Jesus cleansing the temple is significant.
Do you know a donkey like the one Jesus is describing here? Maybe it’s a son or a daughter, maybe a sister, brother, father, or mother. They’re on the margins, they’re bound by habits and addictions, they rebel against the church, against spiritual leadership, and their parents. Some people have already given up on them, but Jesus is telling you to untie them and bring them to Him. After they meet Jesus, they will never be the same.
Mark said that Bartimaeus “began to cry out,” meaning he said it repeatedly. There are times when we have to knock and keep knocking, ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, because when we persist in faith, doors open, and prayers are answered. Sometimes we are embarrassed to keep asking, but this beggar wasn’t ashamed. He kept calling, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”