Jesus and the Fig Tree

Hello to all in the room,

Could someone please address the two stories of Jesus and the fig trees? I recall two separate passages where Jesus is walking with a disciple and sees a fig tree off in the distance. On both occasions He is delighted to see the tree because He is hungry and looks forward to eating its fruit. However, on both occasions, it is the wrong time of year for the fig tree to bear fruit, so Jesus finds the tree bare. Both times, He curses the fig tree, and He says “Now you shall never again bear fruit,” or something to this extent. The disciple accompanying Him is scandalized, and asks Jesus why He should punish the tree when in fact it is simply not the right time of year for the tree to bear fruit?

To my knowledge Jesus does not answer the question His disciples pose, but I would like an answer, if anyone in the room knows it.

Are we to take these passages as metaphors, and if so, what is the lesson? . . . If these passages are literal accounts, and do not serve as metaphor, then why did Jesus punish the trees?

The Jesus I have come to know through scripture is almost a different man from the one featured in these two passages. I know Him to be patient, loving and understanding. When I think of the days I “do not bear fruit,” I like to think Jesus forgives me and understands why I’m not doing so well! I do not like to think He then judges me harshly and would curse me, making it impossible for me to ever blossom again!!!

If anyone knows the answer it would go a long way in soothing my mind.


The only comment I can come up with - and it is really another question - what if the tree from which Judas hanged himself was a fig tree; and what if the cross of Jesus was fashioned from the wood of a fig tree. Would this give Jesus a reason to curse the fig trees?

Interesting and thoughtful . . thank you sincerely! Though you did not answer the question you did give me something to think about. I do tend to think this could just be metaphor–and in your example, possibly foreshadowing.

Some of us participated in a recent discussion about this passage here. I hope you find it helpful. :slight_smile:

Thank you, I enjoyed that! And it helped me to understand. I also just read someone’s post from another site that discusses the Bible and interprets Scripture, and I enjoyed it (and found it comforting). I’ll paste that below:

Fig trees, a popular source of inexpensive food in Israel, require three years from the time they are planted until they can bear fruit. Each tree yields a great amount of fruit twice a year, in late spring and in early autumn. This incident occurred early in the spring fig season when the leaves were beginning to bud. The figs normally grow as the leaves fill out, but this tree, though full of leaves, had none. The tree looked promising but offered no fruit, Jesus’ harsh words to the fig tree can be applied to the nation of Israel. Fruitful in appearance only, Israel was spiritually barren.

It’s an acted out parable. Jesus was showing his anger at religion without substance. Just as the fig tree looked good from a distance but was fruitless on close examination, so the temple looked impressive at first glance, but its sacrifices and other activities were hollow because they were not done to worship God sincerely.

Thank you and peace to each of you,

[quote="Light1111]Thank you, I enjoyed that! And it helped me to understand. I also just read someone’s post from another site that discusses the Bible and interprets Scripture, and I enjoyed it (and found it comforting).

You’re welcome. Yes, Jesus’ action here was a sort of living parable–a dramatic way of driving home his point.

No, the text says why Jesus “cursed” the fig tree. :slight_smile: The fig tree was symbolic of Israel and of fruitfulness. I’ve not heard of the tradition that fig trees were used as material for crosses nor that Judas hanged himself on one (note the small “t” tradition). It’s possible the wood of the cross and the tree upon which Judas hanged himself were fig trees, but both Scripture and the rest of Sacred Tradition (from which Scripture sprang) is silent on it, AFAIK.

Jesus knew that the ,it was no the season the fig tree bear fruits,

Jesus cursed. because the fig tree ,although it was not the season,
but fig tree has lot of leaves just as in the season which bears fruit… so it looked like the fig tree in the fruit bearing season,but it wasn’t ,
this Jesus act has its inner meaning…for eg if man go regularly to church to pray but do not love others.or obey gods words,he is just like that fig tree…an imposer…

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