UNVEILING THE WISDOM OF THE FIG TREE: INSIGHTS FROM SCRIPTURE AND NATURE

By Deryn
Mar 20, 2024

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Fig Tree Collage depicting time from then until now

This month, we are looking at the fig tree. What are the lessons we can derive from the fig tree? It’s one of the three trees mentioned in Genesis, The Tree of Life, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the fig tree. It is one of the most mentioned trees in Scripture, both symbolic, and a metaphor. Its roots are common a thread that takes you from Creation right through to today. Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their shame and guilt, as well as their humanity.

Unveiling the Fig Tree’s Biblical Significance

On the other hand, in the New Testament, Nathaniel was sitting under a fig tree, exhausted in body and soul, when Jesus saw him. Nathaniel was seeking shade from the blazing sun and refuge from the demands of life and sought solitude, to retreat under the fig tree. He was engaged in interpreting the Law and prophets, yearning for the Messianic peace and the Redeemer. Seeking renewal, rest, and rejuvenation was his goal. He was in this posture of waiting when Jesus called him to become a disciple. Jesus called him “a true Israelite in whom there was no deceit.” What did that mean? Nathaniel was under the fig tree meditating on the Law. He was looking for the Messiah. With hopeful anticipation, he clung to the belief that every man will discover peace beneath their own fig tree, as the prophecies of the Messiah’s arrival claimed. He was meditating on questions like, ‘Would anything good come out of Nazareth?’ when Jesus called him on the adventure of finding out who the Messiah was.

Morton Bay Fig Tree, Australia

Morton Bay Fig Tree, Australia

Healing and Nutrition: The Practical Side of Fig Trees

Numerous varieties of fig trees exist. It is mainly an ancient type of sycamore Fig Tree, which is mentioned in the Bible. In the Old Testament, King Hezekiah used fig leaves to cure his skin ailments when he had boils. Dried figs were a standard part of the Middle Eastern diet then. Figs and fig leaves are still used as natural medications today. They are still considered a healthy part of the Mediterranean diet, as they are rich in fiber, calcium, and potassium.

Whether spread by birds or by people, the huge, buttressed rooted Moreton Bay fig, native to Australia, has been spread all over the world. Reputed to be the oldest Morton Bay Fig Tree in the USA is the one in Santa Barbara, California. The seedling was presented to a local girl by a sailor in 1876. The banyan tree is also a variety of fig tree, with its roots growing down from the branches.

Morton Bay Fig Tree, Santa Barbara, USA

Fig Trees: Nature’s Intriguing Pollination Process

Not all fruit from fig trees is edible by humans. The interesting thing about the fruit is that it is born directly off the branches. Fig trees don’t have visible flowers, but grow large, fleshy stems that contain small flowers inside an inflorescence. They are pollinated by female wasps of the Agaonidae family. The wasps enter the fig through a small hole in the stem and lay eggs inside. The fig wasp is about the size of a mosquito and pollinates the fig’s internal flowers. In return, the fig provides the wasp with a safe nursery to raise young. The fig produces an enzyme called ficin that digests protein, which dissolves the wasp’s body and reuses the nutrients to nourish the fig. So you can eat your figs in confidence you will not be eating the wasp!

Banyan Tree with Kevin sitting in the branches, Queensland Australia

Incorporating Fig Tree Wisdom into Spiritual Practice

In what ways can we incorporate the wisdom of the fig tree into our souls? It’s important to find a serene and solitary location for uninterrupted prayer in silence. We must create a space for authenticity with God and ourselves, where we can ask genuine questions. No guile, no concealment, and hiding behind a fig leaf! God knows our hearts and longings right now. We have the freedom to be completely open with Him. Jesus affirmed Nathaniel. What does Creator God say to you? He affirms you are his beloved son or daughter; He gives you a glimpse of your identity and vocation. Be open to divine surprises. As you meditate, you will see greater things in this – don’t predict what will happen under your ‘fig tree’. Rule nothing out. As you open up to Jesus, He will open up to you. Be ready to make your response to Jesus. Nathaniel said, “You are the king of Israel.” What will it be for you? What do you have to say to Christ? The thing we are searching for, what is it? When we go under our ‘fig tree’, what is it we require?

 

By meditating on the common fig tree, we can learn a lot. Integrating the fig tree’s teachings into our spiritual practice will guide us from shame to understanding the truth about Jesus, his identity, love, and mission, as well as ours.

 

Please share any insights you gained from meditating on the fig tree in the comments below!

 

Explore more about environmental rejuvenation, spiritual harmony, and sustainable living in our journey towards a brighter, greener future. In the months ahead, I will share a poem, featuring a specific tree or plant, and a painting with you. Please subscribe to my monthly newsletter as I will feature the poem in it. Additionally, I can offer you a coloring poster to help you identify your needs, boundaries, weeds, and future seeds. This is a meditative exercise, giving you time to slow down and think about these things. Get this here.

Poster to color in

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Dianne

    I don’t have any insights to offer, only that I want to go sit by my fig tree and wait for Jesus to come with a word, whatever that may be.

    Reply
    • Deryn

      You are fortunate to have your own fig tree! I have to walk past neighbors fig trees!

      Reply
    • Michelle Simko

      God is leading me to rest & trust Him in imagining sitting under a tree in my new homeland that I haven’t quite yet received. He is teaching me step by step listening to His thoughts even sense of humor & to have play time as a child. He is quite the comedian our Saviour!

      Reply
      • Deryn

        That is lovely, imagining your new homeland! We often forget to have the sense of humor, but I am quite sure that is what we need to have time out to play! Bless you as you wait for what you have not yet received – its coming!

        Reply

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