“He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” (Luke 13:6-9)
Why would a gardener spend time with a “fig tree” and “dig about it, and dung it” if it will never “bear fruit?” The whole purpose of being planted is to bear fruit. Yes, fruit bearing trees take time to get established. In Luke 13, the fig tree does not produce until after 3 years. Until that time, it is not expected to bear fruit. After that, however, it is required to bear fruit.
From the Garden of Eden through His Word to the Garden in Heaven, God uses “fruit” to illustrate His truths to us:
- Our soul being saved is pictured as “fruit” in Romans 1:13b, “…that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.“
- Our spirit being filled life is pictured as “fruit” in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.“
- Our sacrifice of praise to God ais pictured as “fruit” in Hebrews 13:15, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.“
CONTEXT OF LUKE 13
Jesus responds to two headlines in the news
- HEADLINE #1 – Some men of Galilee die
“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?” (Luke 13:1-2)
- HEADLINE #2 – Some men of Siloam die
“Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:4)
Pilate had just killed a group of Galilaeans, and in a another incident 18 men were killed when a tower collapsed. In Luke 13, the people asked Jesus a sensible question, “WHY?” Jesus answers each question exactly the same in Luke 13:3 and 13:5, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Jesus uses these 2 events to emphasize 1 word, Repentance. Then, He goes straight into the parable in our text verses. As you stdy this parable, the thought in context that must focused on is Repentance.
The answer to our crisis is Repentance.
PLANTED IN HIS VINEYARD
I. GOD’S EXPECTATION – We must bear fruit (13:6-7)
II. GOD’S REACTION – Longsuffering so we can bear fruit (13:9)
III. GOD’S CONCLUSION – Judgment if we don’t bear fruit (13:10)