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SIH’s Think On These Things: The Cursing of the Fig Tree

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The next miracle in our series is The Cursing Of The Fig Tree …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 21:18-22, Mark 11:12-14, 20-25.

In this miracle, we find the Lord who was hungering coming upon a fig tree.   When the tree is examined it is found to be barren of fruit.  The Lord’s response to the barren condition of this tree is recorded for us…. “And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it”.   This was the Lord’s curse delivered upon this tree.  The result of this curse is described  “And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.” 

The Lord then, uses this event as an object lesson to teach His disciples of two important aspects of an effective prayer life…  The first aspect is the need for a God-given faith that is characterized by an understanding of the will and ways of God.  Secondly, the need for the forgiveness of others who have wronged us.…

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

In this miracle we can see, in a sense, an exact opposite type of miracle than all the others we have previously studied.  So far in our studies, every one of the previous miracles we have seen involved the Lord healing, or providing each individual need that was brought before Him.  In this study, we find for the first time, a miracle of the Lord bringing about harm and death to an object that was found to be in need.

The miracle was a display of grace and kindness to His disciples as the curse He pronounced ended up being the basis of a spiritual lesson on the importance of God-given faith and forgiveness to our prayer life.  But the tree was not a recipient of His grace, but of His judgment.  The tree, although it was in the fig bearing season did not bear figs, was thus deserving of judgment.  The phrase “for the time of figs was not yet” tells us that it wasn’t time to harvest the figs yet… therefore, it was to be expected that the tree would still have figs on it.

Folks, not only is our Lord a loving, kind and merciful God; but He is also a just God who will punish those who are not in submission for those who are living their lives within His will.  For those who have never accepted Him as their Lord, and therefore, have never willingly submitted to His authority we find the promise of an eternity of separation and punishment is awaiting them in the Lake of Fire. (Matt 25:31-46)

For those who have trusted in Him and submitted themselves to His authority, when we find willful, unrepentant sin on their part, they can be expected to face the chastening hand of the Lord as a loving, caring Father will punish His children in an effort to bring them back into communion with Him and help them to escape further disobedience and heartache. (Heb 12:5-9)

Folks, let’s all examine our lives and make the needed corrections.  If we judge ourselves effectively,  He will not have to judge us in this present world, or in the world to come. (1 Cor 11:31)

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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  1. mtsweat says:

    A very good explanation of a passage that has endured a whole lot of added meaning in recent years, Rob. It’s interesting to find your post on this topic today as I have just begun a journey back through Bonheoffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship.’ As he unfolds Luther’s life, something becomes really clear about the man… he stood firmly on ‘by faith alone’ but he never insinuated salvation by grace through faith led to a costless relationship with Christ. His argument was the sinner is justified in the world… but never the justification of sin and the world. Great thoughts here good friend. God bless.

    • Rob Barkman says:


      Sounds like an interesting study… I am currently working on a series about salvation and the role of the law in our lives. It seems like I’ve been reading alot of misunderstanding about the role of the law in the life of the believer who has been saved by grace. It is just like Paul said…. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? GOD FORBID! It seems as if the Lord is walking us both down the smae path in our studies. I’ll belooking forward to any postings you may have on the subject after the completion of your study. Lord bless you dear friend. Thank you for the kind words… the Lord is good to us both.

  2. terry1954 says:

    i always loved this verse, about your beliefs, and no matter how i try, life gets in the way, and i don’t have the faith and trust that i should. i wish sometimes, that i could just place the world on hold, and tell god everything i want to, but instead i talk to him like he is my best friend, through out the days. maybe he doesn’t think i am serious, since i don’t just sit and pray like being in a church

    • Rob Barkman says:


      NONE of us have the fiath that we should. As the Lord works in our lives, if we are submitted to His will, He gradually builds up our faith but there is always room for improvement in our faith. Sounds to me as if you are communicating with God just as He desires “i talk to him like he is my best friend, through out the days.”

      Also, remember, the Lord knows the hearts of all men. He knows that you are sincere and serious about what you say. He knows what you are going through with AL, and He knows the pain you are feeling. But in the midst of it all “He giveth more grace”. As you face these extreme difficulties in your life please remember He is with you every step of the way. His will is being done. He is using you for His glory and honor. Your service is not dcoing unnoticed.

      Lord bless you dear friend.

  3. Susan Michaels says:

    Thanks so much for this powerful teaching, and a reminder that God is ever teaching us through His Word…I had never thought of this story in quite this way before, as an analogy and teaching about praying with authority in Jesus’s Name. This has both encouraged me to humbly trust in God’s might and power, and it has raised the level of my faith today to pray with authority. Thank you!

    • Rob Barkman says:


      This is a very interesting miracle, that is for sure… there are so many different truths that we can learn from this one account. The Lord is good… and His Word is the PERFECT book for us all to gain in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Lord bless.

  4. Lyn Leahz says:

    You’re right on target here. What a much needed article in these perilous times in which we live. It won’t be long until we see our beloved Savior up on high calling for his beautiful bride; let us not be late for the groom. Those of us who are not ready will not be able to meet with Him in the clouds, and in that day will be calamity and terrible things as never before. The call to us today is repentance; 2 Chronicles 7:14. I say this over and over, I know, but this is God’s message for the United States, and the world—14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      How important it is to see our need of salvation, turn from our sins and submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ before it is too late. Thanks for a very important reminder. Lord bless.

  5. granbee says:

    It is giving great thanks I am that God does banish the unfruitful and the out-of-season in my life. This “banishment” is also a form of His great love for His children.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Many times He chooses to use trials to “prune us” which enables us to bear more fruit to His glory. Lord bless. Thanks for the comments.

  6. This reminds me of a quote – can’t remember who –

    If we do not yield to the LOVE of God
    and be changed by the GRACE of God
    there will be NO WAY to ESCAPE the WRATH of God.

  7. Debbie says:

    I really appreciate you sharing about this verse. I like to think of His love and grace . ..and I should think on those things, but I also need to think about where I need correction and discipline. If I am honest and go to Him with it for direction, He is faithful to guide me!
    God bless you as you reveal His truths to us!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Debbie, I am the same as you… I love thinking and teaching about His grace, love and mercy to mankind. But when I read about this tree I could think of nothing else but His hand of punishment and justice. Lord bless you.

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