Tag Archives: fig tree

Climbing a Tree

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. ~William Blake

There was a cherry tree in the yard of my childhood home. My brother and I enjoyed climbing it.

I remember once, during cherry season, my brother and I climbed higher than before, trying to get to those sweet cherries. When he had had enough, my brother climbed down.

I, however, was stuck.

There was no going up and no coming down. My mother had to come out, climb the ladder, retrieve me, and carry me down.

About a day later, I climbed the tree again.

I got stuck again.

I wasn’t allowed to climb the tree after that.

Zaccheus was familiar with a tree, too.

Luke 19 tells us that he ran ahead of the crowd to climb a sycamore-fig tree. He was short and wanted to see Jesus among the people.

He must have had a relationship with that tree for it to pop into his head. Sycamore fig trees are about the size of apple or cherry trees, full of ripe fruit in the autumn.  I wonder if his mom ever had to rescue him when he was a youngster.

Maybe he had a relationship with lots of trees since he was short. I don’t know.

But what I do know is that Zaccheus used what was right in front of him to get to know Jesus better.

He was excited, curious, determined.

He had heard something that piqued his interest and he wanted to know more. When Jesus saw him in the tree, Jesus invited himself to dinner at Zaccheus’s house.

What trees are along your path?

Is your child asking you questions about faith? Settle in those branches to read the Bible together and look for the answers.

Are you struggling with a health issue that the doctors don’t understand? Hold tightly to the trunk for a month of fasting and prayer while looking for healing and/or other options.

Maybe you’ve lost a job, a loved one, or hope. Don’t worry. Even a dead tree can be climbed.

Are you using what’s right in front of you to know the Savior of the world even better? Are you climbing your tree?

What does your tree look like?


As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:41-44 NIV

The Fig Tree

Everyone grows, but not everyone matures. ~Kemi Sogunle

Soon after we moved to North Carolina, I bought fruit trees. We were the owners of a small section of an old farm, and I was anxious to remind it of its purpose.

I planted several apple and pear trees, a peach, a plum, and a fig tree. The fig tree died.

My husband didn’t like weed eating around all of these trees. In a moment of Jesus- imitation, I think the preacher cursed the fig tree.

In Luke 13, the people are trying to establish their safety in God’s kingdom based on their ancestry. Jesus offers them little hope. He tells the story of a fig tree.

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” LK 13:6-9

The fig tree teaches us that we get a second chance, but nothing which only takes will survive, and there will be a limit to the second chances.

Is your trunk any stronger for the passing years? Do you open your Bible on Sundays but leave it resting on your bedside table every other day?

Maybe Spirit has been blowing spring zephyrs through your branches, but you’ve refused to bend in the breeze. Have you ignored the prodding to talk to the homeless man, invite your neighbor to dinner, or visit the nursing home?

Are your figs tough and pithy, unfit to eat? Has bitterness replaced your joy, hatred your love?

Take heart. There is hope. The gardener in Jesus’s story believes the fig tree can flourish with a little tender attention.

And Jesus believes it’s not too late for you.


See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 NIV