During the course of His ministry, Jesus performed more than 40 miracles, including healing the sick, changing the natural elements of nature and even raising people from the dead. A miracle is considered an event that occurs outside the bounds of natural law. Each month, we will take a closer look at one of His miracles. Understanding the miracles of Jesus can change your life, and it all begins with believing through faith.
Matthew tells us that Jesus spent a long day condemning practices in the temple as well as healing the infirmed. Following this, He returned with his disciples the next morning. In Matthew 21:1819, it says, “Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 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.”
So, looking at this literally, Jesus killing a fig tree because he was hungry seems unusual. But, there is more here than meets the eye. This is different because it’s a miracle combined with a parable. It is literally an object lesson that Jesus used to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the church.
The fig tree was very common to the area both in Biblical times and culturally still today. If you saw leaves on a fig tree, you could also expect fruit. But, there were leaves on this tree—but no fruit.
In the Old Testament, the fig tree was a symbol for the nation of Israel. Cursing the fig tree was Jesus’ way of displaying that the whole nation had become spiritually empty. Just like many people today say the right words, but do not live righteously. Israel was just like this fruitless fig tree. They had all the signs of spiritual life, but they had no fruit.
Now this is also a lesson to churches today as well as individual Christians. There may be churches with large congregations and influence, but faith, love and holiness are not present. The Christian life is about growing and producing fruit that glorifies God. Thanks to that fig tree on the way to Jerusalem, we have a powerful example of what God expects from His children.
God is looking for genuine spiritual fruit in our lives. When we are all leaf and no fruit, we are living in hypocrisy. The Lord is looking for fruit in His church and in the lives of His children.
“Therefore, by their fruits you will know them,” – Matthew 7:20.