We have just celebrated EASTER – the Crucifixion and Resurrection. So now we have the time to reflect on these events more and more. To help I draw your attention to the story (parable) Jesus told of the Fig Tree:
“A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.”(Luke 13;6).
The fig tree in the parable is in a special place. It was in the vineyard where the soil is good and it will be tended by the vine keeper. Outside the vineyard the soil was probably shallow and poor and rarely watered. And of course plants did not grow well. So Jesus was pointing our that this fig tree was in a special place .
Jesus was speaking to the the Jews of that time. They were the special nation with a special relationship with God; they had the Law; they had the prophets; they had special revelations from God; things no other nation had at that time. They were in a special place (their relationship with God).
But – they did NOT bear the fruit of that special relationship ! The fruits like penitence – holiness – and Godliness were not obvious.
So Jesus tells them the Parable (“remember a parable is a heavenly story with an earthly meaning !”) of the fig tree. The owner came looking for fruit on this particular tree, and found none.
The message of Jesus here was that those who are well favoured need to bear fruit.
But the message was not just for that time, but also for us here and now. We have the light of truth and teaching Bibles and liberty and – and so much that helps us be the people that God wants us to be. We can see in this parable then a warning – we will be judged by the fruit we bear.
There is another warning too – that nothing that only takes out can survive. There is a close connection between privilege and responsibility. We are all willing to bask in the sunshine of our Christian Faith, but as Jesus said; “for as you did to those in need so you did for me” (Matt 25;42)
The fig tree was well fed and watered but did not bear any fruit and the owner said it was a waste of space. We have inherited so much – Christian surroundings; freedom of worship; Bibles and teaching. It is our duty to hand these things on – to be the bearers of fruit and NOT like the fig tree; take out of life more than we put into life !
Fig trees usually bear fruit after 3 yrs., BUT NO – not this one – so the owner wants to chop it down – but the vine keeper appeals on its behalf .
Is this Jesus appealing on our behalf ? Do we need that 2nd chance or a 3rd or 4th or ??
God – our loving Heavenly Father – is the God of Love – so the fig tree is given a 2nd chance. Sts. Peter and Mark and Paul can testify to this; God does forgive (“Our God is so big, so mighty, ….O wonderful God” the children often sing !!)
However, the parable does make it quite clear that, there comes a final chance; if we keep rejecting God again and again; if God’s challenge and appeal fall repeatedly on deaf ears; then it is us who are shutting God out – NOT God shutting us out !
Remember John 3;16 “God so loved the world”; after all we read in the Old Testament of God trying to win back the people, and their rejection, yet He still sent Jesus to be our Saviour (Christmas and Easter).
We are in a special place – we must go and bear fruit !!
God Bless you