The Fruitless Fig Tree

Are you a tree with fruit? Have integrity and be strong in God. Be a friend of Jesus. The Lord cursed the fig tree for just having leaves and it with withered away.

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Matthew 21:17-20
“Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”

Mark 11:22
“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.”

Lesson in faith

This exhortation stands in connection with the miracle of the withering of the fig tree that was clad with leaves but bore no fruit. This happened the Tuesday morning of Passion week, and Jesus is in route back to Jerusalem after spending a night in Bethany with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.

It was actually not time for figs to be in season. It was approximately a month too soon. Many readers think it’s strange that Jesus would have expected to find fruit on the tree at all. But, in this case, the fig fruit precedes the foliage. So, for there to be leaves, means there should- by nature- have figs on it.

This fig tree, at the time when no figs were expected and far less any leaves, seemed to have outstripped all its fellow fig trees. Matthew calls it a “long fig tree”. It seemed to have exceeded all the demands of the season and to have reached a state of supernatural fruit bearing which no other fig tree had dreamed of ever reaching. There are leaves, but no fruit! This is hypocrisy. Jesus went up and, finding the leaves with ought to have denoted figs in a considerable state of ripeness. He glanced around, but finding not a single fig to justify the large pretense. He said, “Henceforth let no fruit grow on you forever”.

The fig tree is a lesson in faith. Faith is not feeling, it’s not an emotion, it’s not an opinion, it is a fact.

Praise, worship, and faith

Psalms 50:14-15
“Offer to God thanksgiving,And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Praise and worship are two different things.

Praise is thanking Him for what He’s done. Worship is thanking Him for who He is. If you live with worship and integrity, then God will deliver you in your time of trouble.


Adam uses fig trees to hide his shame, and God uses fig trees to find fruit. It is the will of God that we be fruitful and have faith in Him. We need to remember that a tree is known by its fruit, and if God can’t find fruit on our trees, He can cause us to wither too. But just like rain helps the withered trees in nature, God’s grace and mercy and our faithfulness and praise and worship can cause our spiritual tree to rebound too.