The Savior was hungry after traveling from Bethany to Jerusalem, and a fig tree in the distance looked like a source of food. But as Jesus approached the tree, He found that it bore no fruit (see Matthew 21:17–20; Mark 11:12–14, 20). In a way, the fig tree was like the hypocritical religious leaders in Jerusalem: their empty teachings and outward demonstrations of holiness gave no spiritual nourishment. The Pharisees and scribes appeared to keep many commandments yet missed the two greatest commandments: to love God and to love thy neighbor as thyself (see Matthew 22:34–40; 23:23).
In contrast, many people had begun to recognize good fruit in Jesus’s teachings. When He arrived at Jerusalem, they welcomed Him with branches cut from trees to pave His path, rejoicing that at long last, as ancient prophecy said, “Thy King cometh” (Zechariah 9:9). As you read this week, think about the fruits of the Savior’s teachings and atoning sacrifice in your life and how you can bring “forth much fruit” (John 12:24).