What is the connection between Chrstians and the Fig Tree On The Roadside – mentioned in Matthew 21, 18-19? You might think this is a very silly question. But the truth is – there is really a unique connection between this fig tree and our Christian life; and that is what I am going to discuss in this article.
Mathew 21, 18-19 describes an incident in which Jesus commands a fig tree on the roadside to wither, because, He could not find any fruits in it. This story seems really simple, but is there a connection between our Christian Life and this fig tree? Let us examine.
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. (Matthew 21:18-19 NIV)
I think, the event mentioned above takes place in the vicinity of Bethany. After a very busy day in Jerusalem, Lord Jesus came to Bethany to spend the night there.
Though He went there to rest, I think, He might have spent the whole night in prayer as His usual practice was.
Anyway, in the morning, He is returning to Jerusalem and on the way, He sees a fig tree. Since he was hungry, he approaches the tree with the hope of finding some fruits to quench His hunger. However, contrary to his expectation, the tree had no fruits in it. This made The Lord angry and He said to the tree;
“may you never bear fruit again”. And the fig tree tree withered immediately.
Well, what lesson we, Believers, can Learn from this small incident?
Saints, Please remember, Jesus called us and separated us to be His disciples with just a single purpose, that is to bear fruits for His Kingdom. After we become His disciples, we cannot be like a tree that is full of leaves but no fruits.
See, in the following verses, how Jesus describes our relationship with Him:
5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (John 15, 5-6)
According to the above verses; Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. If we remain in Him, definitely we will bear fruits. If we claim to be in the vine but still not bearing any fruits means; it is time to examine ourselves and make necessary corrections. Otherwise, our fate is going to be like that of the branches mentioned in the verses below:
Just like a fig tree’s sole purpose of existence is to bear figs, our highest purpose of being in the kingdom of God is to bear fruits for the kingdom. But how many of us really bear fruits for the kingdom of God? This is a very challenging question.
Are we like a fig tree that looks strong and healthy with full of leaves but no fruits; like the one that Jesus saw on the roadside?
Nowadays, many Christians live a very carefree life without bearing any fruits for the Kingdom of God. Their complete focus is on this world and its pleasures. They think, their eternal life is assured just because of a “sinners’ prayer” they repeated a few years ago. They find nothing wrong with the way they live as Christians.
Remember, Bethany was a place that Jesus visited frequently and I think, He might have seen this tree on the way many times, but until then He never approached it looking for fruits. But that day He decides to stop by, in order to find a few figs to eat.
Saints, similarly, one day Jesus will come looking for fruits in our lives too. If He did not come yet, it does not mean, He will never come. Definitely, He has set a day to examine our lives and if he finds nothing on that day, what is going to be our state? what is going to be our fate?
See what Prophet John the Baptist says.
10 The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:10 NIV)
So, let us not be fooled by the glitters of this world. Instead of bearing fruits for this perishable world, let us bear fruits for the eternal kingdom of God.
Let us be like the trees planted by the stream, that bring forth fruits in its season.Let us be like the blessed servant mentioned in the verses below.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?  It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. (Matthew 24:45-46 NIV)
Let us not be like a fig tree that withers because, it bears no fruits.