Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. Matthew 21
On the week before He died, Jesus cursed to withering a fig tree because it bore no fruit. You would think that everything that Jesus did, including lessons he taught, were particularly important in his final week. The withered fig tree is such a lesson. The purpose of a fig tree is to bear figs. What good is a fig tree that fails to do that? Our purpose is to bear fruit. What good is a Christian who fails to do so?
We like to think that fruit bearing is a pleasant extra. We are wrong. Failure to live up to our purpose, makes us worthless. Jesus could take his followers to heaven as soon as they take the first step in His direction. He doesn’t, because they have a purpose, a mission.
That purpose and mission had to be at the forefront of His mind as the date of His painful execution drew near. You would think that foreknowledge of everything that will happen would be a wonderful blessing. I bet Jesus didn’t think so on the Monday and Tuesday preceding the Friday of His death. As he cursed that tree, He had to have on His mind those of us whom He would call and save, but who would fail to produce a single fig for the Kingdom. Even knowing that, He moved on toward Friday.
Thank you Jesus. Isn’t the least I can do is to be a fruit bearing follower?