THE BARREN FIG-TREE
In the morning, when Jesus had left Bethany and was coming towards Jerusalem, He was hungry. Seeing a fig-tree afar off, covered with leaves, he came to it, hoping to find some fruit on it. But the tree was a young one, and had not yet commenced to bear fruit. And He found thereon nothing but leaves. Then he said unto it, "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever." And the fig-tree withered away and was dead from the roots. When the disciples saw it they marvelled, saying, "How soon the fig-tree is withered away!"
Jesus answered, and said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do as I have done to this fig-tree, but, also, if ye shall say unto this mountain, 'Be thou removed and be cast into the sea,' it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believe that ye will receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye are praying, forgive any that have injured you, that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses against Him. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
How strange it seems that Jesus, who was gentle and kind, should pronounce a curse on this fig-tree, and cause it to wither away. Why did He do so? Because He wishes to impress upon His disciples the terrible danger of unfruitfulness. If we are the disciples of Jesus, we must bear good fruit; we must be loving, kind, and gentle, and try, like Him, to be always doing good.