The Fruitless Fig Tree

The curse of the fig tree is symbolic of something much greater in significance (Matthew 21:18-22). The account is found in the context of Jesus pronouncing judgment upon Israel for their unbelief and disobedience. We should see a close connection between what Jesus did to the fig tree and what He did in the temple when He cleansed it. Both of these acts prefigured the judgment of God which came upon Israel in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed the temple, the city of Jerusalem and most of its inhabitants. In chapter 24, Jesus makes explicit with words what His acts implied or foreshadowed here in chapter 21. In Matthew 24:2, Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem with specific reference to the temple’s demise.
This account of Jesus cursing the fig tree should be a warning to all of us who name the name of Christ. Listen to these words of Jesus recorded earlier in the gospel of Matthew, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:19). The follower of Christ is known by his fruits. May all of us who know Christ bear much fruit to the glory of God.