Luke Chapter 13
Jesus tells the following parable starting in verse 6 of Luke 13 – “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.’”
Some may think that this fig tree represents unbelievers, which would make sense as they would not be producing fruit. But I think Jesus is actually talking about believers here. The fig tree is seen throughout scripture as being connected to and representative of Israel, in both the Old and New Testament. In Mark 11:12-21, Jesus curses a fig tree that was not bearing fruit and it withers and dies.
The point here is that Jesus and his Heavenly Father are not satisfied if you have the knowledge of them and their sacrifice, and then only go to church on Sunday and stay awake during the sermon. That is not Kingdom living. That is not bearing fruit.
Back in chapter 10 of Luke, Jesus said the way to gain eternal life was to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Is this love intended to be kept internal? Goodness, no. If you truly love God with ALL of your heart, then that should overflow. If you truly love your neighbor (simply others) as yourself, I think they would know.
What sort of things do you do to serve? What do you do to show the love of God to others? How do you use your God-given talents to honor Him? The answers to these questions are your fruit! If you can’t think of any way that you are bearing fruit in such ways, let the parable of the Fig Tree be a warning to you.
I know that DOING things sounds like Works, and we are told at times that it is Faith that saves. But I believe that Faith lived out leads to the works that bear fruit. In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
So, I go back to where I started, in Chapter 7. The coming Kingdom is real! It will be amazing! It will last forever! You and everyone you know will want to be there. So do everything you can to spread that news, and encourage and bless believers and non-believers in the meantime as well. That is truly bearing the fruit which Jesus will be looking for.