Friday, September 3, 2010

The Unfruitful Fig Tree: Matthew 21: 18-22

18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.  19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever."  And presently the fig tree withered away.  20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away.  21 Jesus answered and said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.  22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive."

Ok, we have the part of this passage which goes into having faith and not doubting, and if you have such faith you can also do what Jesus did to the fig tree, and you can say to this mountain be removed, and cast into the sea and it will happen.  God is saying in this portion of scripture that if you have faith then you can do things that seem impossible, because of your faith.  I don't think he is talking of literal mountains, although he could be, but, I think he could also be referring to our trials which could seem like giant mountains to us.  As it says in Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I think there is also something else of significance here which I learned through reading the footnotes in my Hebrew - Greek Key Word Study Bible.  It said that Jesus didn't curse the tree just because it failed to provide food for His hunger.  He cursed it because it had leaves and no fruit.  Then it went on to say that fig trees in that area bear fruit year round in the region where Jesus was.  But the significance of the fig tree goes much deeper than that.  It was symbolic of Israel, which produced leaves but bore no fruit.  He was entering Jerusalem where He was going to experience his final public rejection by Israel.  Even though Jesus had shown the people that he was God incarnate through His teaching, and everything that he did, they would still refuse to accept Him as such.  The withering fig tree illustrates the result of the Jews as a people rejecting Christ as their Messiah.  I wonder if that could also illustrate those non Jews of today who are rejecting Christ as their Messiah?  How can we pray for them, and lead them to Christ?  Will they come, or will they continue to reject Him?  Only with much prayer and Faith on the part of believers will they come, and accept Him as their Messiah.


  1. Julie, Thank you for sharing some good biblical insights about the fig tree.

    Your Questions:
    How can we pray for them,and lead them to Christ? Will they come, or will they continue to reject Him?

    Our job is to be a witness not only to the Jews but to all men.

    Will they come? Not unless the Spirit draws them. The main reason a Jew or any other sinner won't come to Christ and be saved is because they love darkness (pride) rather than light. John 3:18-21


  2. Thank you for sharing your study and your hunger for truth and God.

  3. Hi Julie -

    Daily, the Jews are in my prayers because the Word of GOD states:

    John 4:22
    ...for salvation is of the Jews.

    Exodus 4:22
    And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

    Romans 2:10
    But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

    Isaiah 45:4
    ...and Israel mine elect,...

    1 Corinthians 1:22
    ...For the Jews require a sign,...

    Prayer: Father, in the holy name of Jesus, please remove the blindness from the hearts and minds of the Jews. Open the eyes of their understanding and let them hear what the Spirit says to them. Give them signs to prove Your sovereignty and that Jesus is Yeshua, Rabbi, Saviour and Lord to whosoever will.

    Thank you, Lord - Amen

  4. Thank you all for your comments. They are appreciated. Sometimes, when God shows me something through scripture, I feel that he wants me to also share what I've learned with others, and this is the way I've chosen to do that. He is so good. Thank you for the verses that you shared Sandra, and Ron, thank you for your answers to my questions. It helped me to understand a little bit more.