Black Sheep: "
It was Matthew and Mark that were doing the talking about the actual fig tree. They were describing an event, in a location.
Using your 'logic', the actual event never occurred, which throws into question all of the parts of the same story. If he didn't really kill a fig tree, then was he really hungry, did he really walk down the road, did the disciples really hear him curse the tree, did they really see it withered, was he really going to Jerusalem, did he really throw out the money changers?
I don't know the scripture right off, but paraphrased in my words, Jesus said to his disciples 'It is given to you to know the secrets of the kingdom'. In other words, they spoke freely among themselves discussing the religious and political system of the day.
In the same way, when you are among your "apostate" friends, I am sure you all speak freely about the lies, oppression, injustices, and evil manipulations. You say things among your close friends that you would not speak out in public, nor around your JW family. This is what Jesus meant by saying "I speak to you about the inner workings of this religious business and how politics are tied into it and how this system works." (These were the "secrets" or hidden agendas and manipulations of this 'kingdom')
Jesus also said that to the "others", meaning those outside of his little friendship circle, the messages must be veiled or disguised as stories. The reason for this was for their own protection. He was trying to get the masses to understand that they were being used, abused, and manipulated and that the religious rulers were using the excuse of god to control them.
It's the same way when you plant subtle hints among your JW friends and family. You may ask a question or make a statement hoping it will trigger them to think on their own or look deeper into what you are really trying to say. You cannot just come out and say there is no such thing as the FDS or that their 'god' is no more than a few old men in a boardroom. Same thing when Jesus made up allegorical stories to make them think on their own and to search for the double meaning of what he was trying to say. You can't just tell someone what you know and have them believe it. It must come through their own reasoning.
In keeping to that idea and format of using illustrations that have double meanings, it makes sense to me that Mark and Matthew could be describing a conversation in which Jesus used a strangler tree to illustrate the stronghold that the religious political system had on the people and how it would ultimately be to their detriment should they continue to allow this. The people could not live life to the fullest or have any happiness as long as they allowed this system to rule them and dictate their lives.
From this conversation, the disciples attempted to portray this in story form, embellishing on it to make it sound like a realistic story, i.e. 'he was hungry", etc.
Taking into account the differences in use of language and various translations or mistranslations, there is still enough there in those scriptures to decipher the meaning and to understand the intent.