6 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. 7 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?’
8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
In the Old Testament, a fruitful tree was often used as a symbol of godly living. If that’s so, how can we become fruitful? A tree doesn’t force itself to bear fruit (as far as my understanding of botany goes)!
And what does fruitfulness mean?
This reminds me of John 15… start with remaining in Christ, as He remains in us.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (…) This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:4, 8
It’s not just a matter of works, good deeds or how much we are doing in the name of Jesus, as it says in Matthew 7:21-23:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
Luke 13:6-9 is a warning for us to not just “use up the soil”. Has anything changed in your life (inwardly and outwardly) since you’ve given your life to Jesus? Why or why not? (Su).
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God and Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
As you travel on your daily journey, take a few minutes to pray through your day before it starts: any tricky classes, meetings or people you’ll encounter in your day. Then after your day is done, take time to give everything back to God again as you travel home.