The Parables of the Fig Tree can get a little confusing because there are three mentions in the Gospels about Fig Trees. But that’s okay because all Parable of the Fig Tree versions are discussed below!
I’ll refer to them as the Parable of the Budding Fig Tree, the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, and the Parable of the Cursed Fig Tree.
What is the Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning? What is the Parable of the Fig Tree Moral Lesson? It’s all included here!
- The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree
- The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
- The Parable of the Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus
- Parables of the Fig Tree (Budding Fig Tree)
- Parables of the Fig Tree (Barren Fig Tree)
- Parable of the Fig Tree Luke 13 (Barren Fig Tree)
- Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning (Barren Fig Tree)
- Parable of the Fig Tree Moral Lesson (Barren Fig Tree)
- Parable of the Fig Tree Life Lessons (Barren Fig Tree)
- Parable of the Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus
- Summary: Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning
- Summary: Parable of the Fig Tree Moral Lesson
- More Parables!
The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree
The first, and more common, Fig Tree Parable is the one included in three of the four Gospels. It’s in Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:28, and Luke 21:29. This one is the Parable of the Budding Fig Tree, whose branches are tender and buds are appearing.
If the Parable of the Budding Fig Tree is the one you’d like to learn more about, CLICK to GO THERE!
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
The second Parable of the Fig Tree is included in one Gospel, Luke 13:6. It is most commonly known as the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree; a tree which has not been producing fruit for some time.
If the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree is the one you’d like to learn more about, CLICK to GO THERE!
The Parable of the Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus
The third Parable of the Fig Tree is really not a parable, but an actual event regarding a fig tree. In this story of the Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus, Jesus curses the fig tree that has no fruit.
There are life lessons for us to be taken from it, so it is included here. This story is the Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus and is included in two Gospels, Matthew 21:18 and Mark 11:12.
If the Parable of the Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus is the one you’d like to learn more about, CLICK to GO THERE!
Parables of the Fig Tree (Budding Fig Tree)
Parable of the Fig Tree Matthew 24 32 35 (Budding Fig Tree)
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning (Budding Fig Tree)
This Parable of the Budding Fig Tree meaning is that, just as there are signs in nature as to when the seasons will change (as in the budding of the trees), so too will there be signs before Christ’s second coming and final judgment.
Jesus described what some of those signs would be: the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. (Matthew 24:29) He urges us to be aware and be ready.
Parable of the Fig Tree Moral Lesson (Budding Fig Tree)
The Parable of the Fig Tree Moral Lesson (Budding) is that, as Christians, we believe in the second coming of Jesus. That means when He comes, there will be an end to the world as we know it and there will be a final judgment of all people on Earth.
It’s up to each of us to have our hearts aligned with Christ when that time comes.
Parable of the Fig Tree Life Lessons (Budding Fig Tree)
1. The End Will Come
It sounds ominous – and it is! There really will be an end of the world as we know it at some point. Jesus wanted us to know the signs, so we can be prepared for it.
Even if we don’t live until the end of the world, we will face the same judgment when we die.
God has His arms open wide for all of us and there’s nothing He would like more than for everyone to turn to Him.
Unfortunately, that won’t be the case, and it’s at the final judgment when those who are welcomed to God’s heavenly home will be sorted from those who aren’t.
The choice is completely ours.
2. The Ways of the World are a Lie
It’s so tempting to follow the ways of the world and forget about the life God’s calling us to live. After all, the ways of the world are much more exciting, fulfilling, and happy, aren’t they?
Unfortunately, many people think that’s true, but it’s completely false!
Instead of being disgruntled that God has rules we’re supposed to follow (for our own good), anyone who chooses instead to turn to God now would find the most fulfilling life possible as a follower of Christ.
If you’re putting off Christ’s calling, you’re missing out on experiencing the most life has to offer.
Parables of the Fig Tree (Barren Fig Tree)
Parable of the Fig Tree Luke 13 (Barren Fig Tree)
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning (Barren Fig Tree)
The Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning (Barren Fig Tree) sets the expectation that God expects His people to bear fruit. That means He expects us to act upon our love for Him rather than just say empty words and promises.
He wants to see results in our actions. He wants to see us following His commandments and loving people as He asked us to.
When we don’t bear fruit, He offers patience and grace. He gives us time to change. He nudges us and nurtures us and does what He can to encourage us to bear fruit.
When we continually choose to ignore Him, He eventually lets us walk away from Him on our own path. We should never expect we can do whatever we want and God will be OK with that.
Parable of the Fig Tree Moral Lesson (Barren Fig Tree)
The Parable of the Fig Tree (Barren) was originally spoken to the Jewish people. They enjoyed God’s grace and gifts but really hadn’t turned to Him in their hearts.
If they’d truly had God in their hearts, they wouldn’t be acting toward others the way they were.
This parable is also meaningful for us today. It’s lesson is that we enjoy God’s grace, forgiveness, and mercy. As such, He’s looking for us to bear fruits in our hearts to become the people He intended us to be.
The fruit of our Spirit that would demonstrate our love of God are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Parable of the Fig Tree Life Lessons (Barren Fig Tree)
1. The Choice of Walking with God is Ours
God has shown amazing love and patience in the Bible. As one huge example, He sent Jesus to save us when humans proved too sinful to be worthy of God’s Kingdom on our own.
He’s also proven that His patience has limits. He flooded the Earth for a re-start, for one thing.
We can count on God’s complete love and understanding of our sinfulness. When we repent and turn to Him, He accepts us.
But if we choose to walk away from God, He will not force us to love Him, and He will allow us to cut ties with Him. The choice is ours.
Our behavior communicates our choice loudly and clearly.
2. We are Expected to Bear Fruit
Bearing fruit means showing evidence of something good. When an apple tree bears fruit, it has big, juicy apples hanging from its branches. God expects that if we love Him, we will bear fruit!
Why? Because if we really love God, we will be living the way He’s instructed us to live. We’d be following the commandments.
So, what outward signs would we show if we were living by the commandments? What fruit would we be bearing?
If you answered the fruit of the spirit, you would be correct. The fruit that would show our love of God are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Bearing fruit for God isn’t optional! Yes, He’s patient, but He’s expecting to see your fruit!
3. God Wants Us with Him
In the parable, the vineyard owner wanted to cut down the barren tree because it had already been given time to grow but was still not bearing fruit. The caretaker convinced the man to let him nurture the tree to see if he could encourage fruit before cutting the tree down.
God loves us with the most powerful agape love that exists. He gives us chances. He does everything He can to keep us with Him.
There’s nothing God dislikes more than losing one of His children.
Your Father in Heaven is doing everything He can to offer you the path of eternal salvation by walking alongside Him. You just have to turn to Him.
Parables of Jesus Devotional Book – Coming Soon!
Parable of the Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus
Parable of the Fig Tree Matthew 21 (Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus)
18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 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.
Why did Jesus Curse the Fig Tree When it Wasn’t in Season?
We can understand why Jesus might have been upset with the fig tree for not bearing fruit during the fig season, but in the version from Mark 11:13, it says, 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.
So if it wasn’t in season, why would Jesus have cursed the fig tree for not having figs? What is this Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning?
Jesus’ words and message were intended for the hypocrites (then and today).
At the time, this message was directed to the Jewish leaders, who claimed to be devout, but Jesus knew their words were hollow and their hearts were hardened. They claimed to be bearing fruit – meaning devout to God – but in reality, they were devout in lip-service only.
Their hearts were far from God. They were trying to find ways to persecute Jesus because He had been calling them out on their hypocrisy.
Even though it wasn’t the season for figs, the hypocrites still faked their piety. They assumed all their ‘showy leaves’ would fool the people, even though they really weren’t bearing any fruit.
God can see past all the showy leaves. He sees into our hearts. We can pretend to be a lot of things, but there’s no fooling Him.
By cursing the fig tree, Jesus was showing them He saw through their fakeness.
Parable of the Fig Tree Cursed by Jesus Lessons
1. God Sees Past the Showy Leaves
The fig tree was covered in leaves, but wasn’t bearing fruit. From a distance, the tree looked amazing, but upon closer inspection, it wasn’t able to provide the nourishment the hungry people needed.
We have to be careful not to idolize showy leaves. We tend to get preoccupied with the ways of the world. They convince us that the things we can see are the most important things.
We want to ‘outshine’ our neighbors and friends. We start caring more about the things we have and the way we come across to others than about the fruit we’re actually bearing for Christ.
These may be things related to our looks, our social status, where our children go to school or college, the size of our house, the emblem on the front of our car, or the size of our bank account.
None of these showy leaves matter to God. In fact, they only distract us from bearing the fruit He expects us to bear.
2. God Only Cares About What’s in Our Hearts
When we live for God and keep His Will for our lives in mind, our relationship with Him is rooted in our hearts and grows from there. It’s in our hearts that He speaks to us and it’s there that we reveal to Him who we really are. It’s this part of us that matters the most to Jesus.
We can’t hide what lies within us from God! If that thought makes you nervous, you probably have work to do to get your heart aligned with God’s Word and His Will.
He already knows the condition of your heart, so don’t hesitate to ask Him to guide you to become the person He intended you to be. He wants to help you draw closer to Him!
Summary: Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning
The Parable of the Fig Tree Meaning differs per parable and story, but their meaning can all be summarized in these points:
1. God will reveal signs before Jesus’ second coming, when the final judgment will happen. We should be alert to the signs and prepare our hearts accordingly.
2. We can’t fool God. He knows when our heart is set on Him and when it’s set on the ways of the world.
Summary: Parable of the Fig Tree Moral Lesson
These are the main Parable of the Fig Tree Moral Lessons that we can take from the three parables.
1. God foretold of the second coming of Jesus several times in the Bible and in the Book of Revelation. He wants us to be prepared for the judgment because He loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him. But the choice is ours.
2. God sees our hearts and knows when we genuinely love Him. He expects that our lives reflect our love for Him by bearing fruit, meaning that we act kindly, lovingly, and with restraint.
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Do you love the parables as much as I do? You may enjoy reading life lessons on these others (listed below), these activities for adults and children, or this list of Parables and Meanings. More parable lessons are underway. See them all HERE!
Do you love journaling? Does writing down your personal reflections help you process your thoughts more fully? Perhaps these Christian writing journals will be helpful as you reflect on the life lessons of the parables.
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