The Fuitless Fig Tree

At the Sudan Interior Mission Kijabe Medical Center, SIM medical missionaries Bob and Marion Bowers treated a young man with a paralyzing snake bite and saw him live long enough to accept Christ as his Savior. In many Third World countries, snake bites are common-and fatal. For f … More


On the Monday morning following Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem He was hungry (v. 18). He saw a fig tree by the side of the road and noticed that it was covered by leaves. As he drew closer to the tree He discovered that there was no fruit on it. Figs normally came before the leaves, so here was a profession of bearing fruit when actually there was no fruit. In the Old Testament Israel often was likened to a fig tree. Just as this tree had leaves but no fruit, so Israel had a show of religion but no practical experience of faith.

When Jesus found no figs on the tree He cursed it and it immediately withered (v. 19). The curse was not because He was angry but to teach several lessons. God wants to produce fruit in the lives of His people. This tree was just taking up space and doing no good. Struck dead by the word of Jesus, the tree began to dry up from the roots. We too must beware of the peril of fruitlessness.

The disciples were amazed at how quickly the fig tree withered (v. 20). They continually marveled at the overwhelming powerful miracles that the Lord performed (Matt. 9:33; Mark 4:41, etc,). The same power is available to us by faith when we share the gospel and watch the miracle of new birth take place in others. Then Jesus assured them that if they had faith and didn’t doubt they could have whatever they ask for (vv. 21-22). The same power that killed the tree could have also given it new life and fruit. It is easy to just sit, soak and sour on the word and not be a fruit bearing Christian.


According to this passage it is dangerous not to be a fruit bearing Christian. To be a Christian and never bear fruit puts me in the same position as the fig tree. What reason would the Lord have for leaving me on this earth?

Matthew 21:12-22 (English Standard Version)

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