"Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, 'Let no fruit grow on you ever again.' Immediately the fig tree withered away." (Matt. 21:18)
Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?
Fig trees were common in Israel. Growing to heights of twenty-five feet and widths of twenty to twenty-five feet, they covered the countryside. Because of their abundance, figs were a staple of the Hebrew diet. Here, Jesus—hungry for breakfast—saw a fig tree covered with leaves. Fig trees are unusual in that the appearance of fruit precedes the appearance of leaves.
But this fig tree was a hypocrite. Although it had leaves—the outward appearance of vitality and health—but no fruit. So Jesus cursed it, and it withered.
When you look at the Old Testament prophets and see the severity of the lessons they taught, cursing a fruitless fig tree should pose no problem for us. Seeing a barren fig tree, Jesus seized the moment to teach a lesson to His disciples, to you, and to me about hypocrisy, hope, and healing.
The lesson for me is don’t be so concerned about trying to look good on the outside that I forget the true beauty of what comes out of me from the inside. I must always be concerned about how I shape and develop my character which is what is inside of me, first, then making sure I look as professional as I can on the outside, second. More importantly than anything is becoming more of Jesus Christ on the inside (beauty) that all I care about is how I can like Jesus, which is the inner beauty of a man.
Father, I thank you for showing me these life lessons and critical values of a Christian and how I should live. Each day I grow into a better person because of what I read through Your Word. Thank you Lord I pray for these things. Amen.