Parable of the Barren Fig Tree: Verse, Meaning & Lesson

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree is in Luke 13:6–9. Jesus told this parable to teach about God’s patience, opportunities for repentance, and the expectations of bearing spiritual fruit as evidence of growth.

This guide gives you a complete summary of the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, including the verses in Scripture, the meaning, and lessons that can be applied to the Christian life.

Note: This parable is also known as the Parable of the Unfruitful Fig Tree.

Parable of the Barren Fig Tree In Scripture

Luke 13:6–9 – Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

He spoke this parable. “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  He said to the vine dresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down! Why does it waste the soil?’  He answered, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilise it.  If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.’ ”

Read Luke 13

Parable of the Barren Fig Tree Meaning

This parable means that God offers patience and opportunities for repentance, but ultimately expects the bearing of spiritual fruit as evidence of growth. The act of cutting down the fig tree signifies judgment for those who remain unproductive despite the opportunities and care provided by the Lord.

Parable of the Barren Fig Tree Lessons

God’s Patience

A key lesson of this parable is that it illustrates God’s patience and willingness to give us time to repent and bear fruit in our lives. However, this patience has a limit, and we should not take it for granted.

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Opportunity for Repentance

The vine dresser’s request for more time to tend to the fig tree represents the opportunities God gives us to turn from our unproductive ways and start producing spiritual fruit.

Judgment for Unfruitfulness

The owner’s initial desire to cut down the barren tree serves as a warning of the eventual judgment that will come upon those who fail to live a fruitful Christian life.

Fruitfulness as Evidence of Faith

The expectation for the fig tree to bear fruit is akin to the expectation that Christians will show evidence of their faith through their actions and character. As a Christian, you should reflect on your spiritual condition, make the most of your time and grace given by God, and strive to live a life that bears good fruit. You can do this by praying to the Lord and asking fo the Holy Spirit to guide you in bearing good spiritual fruit.

Divine Cultivation

The gardener’s intervention to fertilize and care for the tree suggests that, with divine help and personal effort, it is possible to change and become fruitful in our spiritual lives.


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Read More Parables In the Bible

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree is just one of many parables in the Bible. Use the links below to explore more of Jesus’ parables, their meanings, and life lessons.

Summary of the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

We hope you enjoyed this summary of the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.

As you discovered, the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree appears in Luke 13:6–9. And the primary meaning of the parable is that while God offers patience and opportunities for repentance, He ultimately expects the bearing of spiritual fruit as evidence of growth. The life lessons include fruitfulness as evidence of faith, judgment of unfaithfulness, and divine cultivation.

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