About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact
About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact

Big Tree No Fruit


Matthew 21:18-22

Most of you having lived here in Texas for many years understand what this means: “Big Hat, No Cattle.”

Today, here in Matthew 21 we have “Big Tree, No Fruit.”

Look once again at the story.

Now, let me tell you something here about a fig tree…I don’t know much…not even sure I would know what a fig tree looks like.

So, Jesus curses the tree and it dies.

Well, any time you find a difficult passage and an event like this in the Bible, the thing to do is read what came before the event and what comes after because the passages surrounding it will usually give you an explanation.

Now the day before, Jesus came into Jerusalem on this little colt of a donkey.

But look what those same people do beginning in verse 12.

Jesus comes to Jerusalem and He enters the temple

And keep in mind what week this is….it is the Passover week.

You see, an adult male had to pay a temple tax to enter the temple.

And if you were poor you could offer up a dove for a sacrifice…but apparently those selling the doves were taking advantage of the poor.

So in this one place where people should have been able to come and worship God, people were being fleeced…and cheated.

But the irony is, on the outside it looked good.

Listen, when it came to devotion to God…to honoring God…to worshipping God.

So what you have here is the account of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem…which looked so good.

And what you have here in this story of the fig tree is what is called an “enacted parable”.

And that is why Jesus curses the tree and it withers and dies.

This fig tree represented the Jews and the nation of Israel…and what God promised would happen. And Jews understood that.

When it came to the nation of Israel, God was the planter and they were his special tree.

So God sent His prophets, His servants to work His field, and to clean it and weed it.

So God sent His own son to come and demand that His vine should bear fruit.

And that is what this story is saying.

  1. She is guilty of no production. She has not produced the fruit that God has asked of her.
  1. She is guilty of the crime of false profession.

John the Baptizer had predicted this day. Turn to Matthew 3:7-10.

 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8          “Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance; 9          and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10        “And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

When it came to pleasing God, they thought all they had to do was go to the temple 3 times  a year.

But that isn’t what impresses God.

Because these people weren’t, God would destroy their nation.

Go back to Matthew 21. Jesus’ actions in regard to this fig tree, shows His utter disgust for people who practice religion without substance.

These Jews had forgotten who God was.

And today, if we do the same thing as a congregation of God’s people…or as individuals…He will do the same to us.

So look now at the end of verse 20 and 21: And at once the fig tree withered. 20 And seeing this, the disciples marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21 And Jesus answered and said to them…

Jesus is speaking to His disciples…back in chapter 10 He had given them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and sickness.

Even though what Jesus says here is directed to the 12 disciples, it still teaches us the importance of a strong faith in God…one that does not doubt…one that fully trusts in God and one that agrees with His will.

Jesus taught His disciples a very important lesson with this fig tree.