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Jesus cursed the fig tree in Matthew. Why He did it?

The world is full of non-rooting fig trees. How many of us don’t remain just well-meaning but unrewarding? We settle for the easy things, omitting the joy of fruition and fruit. The merchants in the Temple merely reaped the “fruit”. Speculating on the good faith of the worshippers. It took a harsh word and a whip to set things back on their natural course. In this article, you will find out why did Jesus cursed the fig tree in Matthew. Also, you will find the meaning of the fig tree parable.

Fig tree Bible verse

In Scriptures there is the parable of the unruly fig tree, in which we see how Christ, coming from Bethany and hungry on the road, saw a fig tree and stopped at it, wanting to eat of its fruit, but the fig tree had no fruit, only leaves. Although the text shows that “it was not the time of the fig tree”,  seeing a fig tree by the road, Jesus went up expecting fruits but found nothing on the fig tree except leaves.

Jesus nevertheless cursed the fig tree saying: “From now on no one in the age to come shall eat of your fruit”. It is unjust to claim fruit from the fig tree when it is not harvesting time. But the injustice ceases if we realize that it is a matter of being. Or not being of use to God, of responding or not responding to His call. It is not the fig tree and the fig tree that is mentioned in this parable, but man”, adding that man must always be receptive to the heavenly call. Always available for Christ. And to be available means to be always ready, with staff in hand, with shoes on your feet. Almost ready for the journey, is the fruit.
With this parable, Jesus is addressing both the chosen people and all people, who are thus admonished to make the most fruitful use of their God-given time of life.

Read also: Who did Jesus say He was? Did Jesus say He was Son of God?

Fig tree Bible meaning – Jesus cursed the fig tree 

The fig tree means the human being and its fruits of it represent good deeds.

The unfruitful fig tree represents the man who shows himself as a Christianity on the surface. Pretending to be a servant of God, but with a heavy heart. Man does not know when the end of his life will come. Therefore he must be prepared at all times, lead a Christian life, adorned with virtues. Be receptive to God’s expectations and the needs of humans. The fig tree symbolizes man, and the figs represent his good deeds.

Fig tree spiritual meaning. What is its signification?

The spiritual meaning of the fig tree is that just as a gardener waters his garden, expecting it to bear fruit, God, giving people food and everything they need, wants to find in everyone the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
He awaits the repentance of the erring one and his return to the right path. So let us not be ungrateful, but let us be eager to do God’s commandments, praying earnestly and doing good works, walking worthily in the Lord. Pleasing Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work. And also increasing in the knowledge of God.  

Unless we produce the fruit of love, justice, and peace, we will be like the Temple. And the fig tree corresponds to the Temple. Even if the emphasis is shifted because the Temple is a cosmic symbol. But in the New Testament, it also becomes the symbol of man, who is the Temple of God, the Temple of the Spirit. And the tree is, even more, a symbol of man: rooted in the mother earth, it rises straight up to heaven. It unites earth and Heaven. It transforms matter and light into life; then the tree is born, blossoms, grows, produces leaves. Then fruits, diminishes, loses its leaves, sheds its leaves, dies, and is reborn.

And the fig tree is the domestic tree, which stands before the door of the house and produces that sweet fruit, which should be present in every house, in every Temple, the fruit for which the Lord is hungry. That fruit which He did not find in the Temple.

Read also: Jesus’ Agony in the Garden. Was Jesus scared to die?

The unfruitful fig tree

The cursing and withering of the fig tree are interpreted in the Byzantine tradition as an expression of the “foolishness of the law”. Of a “shady understanding of Scripture which does not bear good fruit”. The fig tree is a shrub of the Moraceae family, one of the many species of the genus Ficus. The fig tree is native to Southwest Asia and grows mainly in the Mediterranean as a wildflower. It has been known since ancient times, with the Egyptians dubbing it the multi-purpose food.

Figs are a rich source of the mineral calcium, which prevents osteoporosis and dental problems. Studies show that figs are among the best vegetable sources of vitamins and minerals which aids digestion.

It would be wrong to see this interpretation in a historical key, to see it as a way of distinguishing the Christian Church from the Jewish tradition, or even in an anti-Semitic key. Given that the hymns of Holy Week are dedicated to us, as liturgical participants in the Sacrament of Salvation, it is obvious that the warning is not primarily historical, but deeply existential. It is part of a spiritual pedagogy that wants to open people’s eyes to what Jesus Christ is and how we can be as close to him as possible.

Faith is not a one-way street: not only do we ask and expect something from the Lord, but the Lord asks and expects something from us, namely, to work together for our salvation.

Read also: Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness. Why does Satan tempt Jesus?

Does Jesus hate figs? Did He dislike fig trees?

Jesus does not hate figs. But He doesn’t like the unsuitable seeds. When we read today’s Gospel words about the cursing of the unruly fig tree and the expulsion of the merchants from the Temple in Jerusalem. We feel a sense of disappointment. It is hard for us to see the Saviour cursing, laying on the scourge, and driving out of the temple those who were trading. We need to know that in this case, God’s chastisement is a means to set things right and restore order.

In our text, it says that Jesus “hungered”. Why is God hungry? God, who is love, is hungry for love. Love wants to be loved. So, the hunger that the Lord has is the hunger for our love for Him, which is realized through our love of our brothers. If somebody does not have this fruit, the being is broken. The man who does not love the Father and does not love his brothers is a non-man, he is a withered fig tree, beyond all the leaves with which he is adorned. That is why the “dried fig tree” is important in its meaning: it shows us our reality.

Read also: How Jesus calmed the storm

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

Jesus cursed the fig tree because no matter how tasty it looked, it did not produce any fruits. The fact that it dried immediately is typical of Matthew. In Mark this fact is progressive: they only realize it the next day. Matthew, however, tells us that it dried up immediately… Jesus’ words are not a curse, but a statement of a situation that exists now. The Evangelist does not mean to say that “the leaves withered immediately”, but reveals to us that the tree is not so much cursed, but Jesus’ statement reveals to us, declares to us the situation that exists.


In this world, there are good people and bad people. God will give each one His just reward. As He will do with every man in the world. Let us bring fruits worthy of our Christianity. Thank you so much for your time. Have a good day.