There is a story in the Bible about Jesus and a fig tree.
His unfairness towards this fig tree has always troubled me.
I don’t want to serve a God who makes fig trees die out of spite just because they don’t have fruit on them when He wants fruit.
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.….In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig-tree you cursed has withered! “Have faith in God” Jesus answered” (Mark 11)
Working on the premise that God is a God of love and does not do things out of spite, I finally researched this portion of Scripture.
I, discovered that God often does or allows things that make no sense to us BUT there is always a purpose, based in love, for what happens to those of us who put our trust in Him.
Fig trees are a source of food in Israel and it takes three years from the time they are planted to when they bear fruit. The figs are harvested twice a year – in late Spring and early Autumn. It was early Spring when Jesus walked past this fruit tree and the leaves should only have been beginning to bud. This tree, however, was full of leaves. Figs grow as the leaves grow and as there was no fruit it meant that the tree would not produce any fruit that year.
If we are not living in the fullness of God we are like that fig tree. We are called to bear much fruit “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit” (John 15:5).
If we are not bearing fruit we are spiritually barren and we will wither and die.God warns us about this in Revelations 3:16:
“So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
This tree symbolises God’s immense love for us, His desire that we live our lives to the fullest in Him. It is a reminder that if we are not producing fruit we are dying.
So, the next time something happens that makes me doubt God’s love, I will reflect on the fig tree. Either I am not bearing fruit or He has a wonderful plan that I am not privy to at this moment so I will just continue to do what Jesus said and “have faith in God”.