As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.) He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!” And his disciples overheard him. -Mark 11:13-14 (MSG)
This parable occurred early in the spring when the leaves of fig trees were beginning to bud. Figs normally grow as leaves fill out, but this tree, though full of leaves, displayed no figs.
The tree looked promising but offered no fruit.
In the same way the fig tree appeared to bear fruit, Jesus was showing his anger at religious life that displays no substance.
If you claim to have faith without putting it to work in your life, you are like a barren fig tree which boasts leaves, but offers no figs to those who are hungry.
Jesus shocked His disciples by condemning a perfectly beautiful tree, so consider this: what if Jesus were standing in front of you, me, right now? Could the story of the fig tree apply to our lives?
Do you appear to be a good-fruit-producing-Christian, or does your life offer no substance?
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” -Galatians 5:22-23 (MSG)