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
This is an odd one, isn’t it? If you’ve ever grown a fig tree, you’ll realise that it always has fruit on it – figs take two years to ripen, and they’re not as seasonal as other fruit trees, so it’s very unusual for a fig tree not to have fruit. But why should Jesus curse it for something that wasn’t its fault – it’s a tree! The story doesn’t make much sense until you realise that in the Old Testament, the fig tree was used as a representation of wealth and security, a symbol for the prosperity and happiness of Israel. Jesus is using the tree as a prophecy of the future of Jerusalem, whose leaders had been afraid of change and disruption and had not believed in him; its wealth and security would be lost for this lack of faith.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to trust in you and your work in my life. Show me the ways in which I can respond faithfully to you and help me not to fear and resist the changes you may bring to my circumstances. Amen
Action: look at how things have changed for you over the last year. Are there changes that you have found hard to accept? Bring them to God in prayer and ask for his courage and grace to sustain you.