The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 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?"
"Sir," the man replied, "Leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down." -- Luke 13:6-9
It is likely that Jesus intended this parable to admonish the Jews, whose mercies had been so numerous but whose day of privilege would soon end. But the subject is equally applicable to any who are favored with religious knowledge, yet who do little or nothing with it.
We should live as Christians who are deeply impressed with our responsibilities to God, remembering that ours is a probationary state here on earth, but that eternity will be with us always, for better or for worse, depending on what we choose to do with it.
The favorable position in which the fig tree was placed
- The fig tree
- In a vineyard, not on some neglected waste ground
- Advantages of care, skills, etc.
- The church
- Called out of the world into the church
- Knowledge of the gospel
- Promises of the New Covenant
- Grace and influence of the Holy Spirit
The expectations of the proprietor
- The proprietor
- Seeking fruit
- Increase under cultivation
- God's expectations of the Jews
- More wise
- More holy
- More obedient
- God's expectations of the church
- Hearts yield the fruits of holy graces
- Lips yield the fruit of thanksgiving and praise
- Fruits of obedience in life
- Fruits of usefulness in service of God
The proprietor's disappointment
- Had sought fruit year after year, to no avail
- A tree not yielding fruit for three years is considered barren
- It might be strong and green, but it was barren
- This applied to the Jewish nation
- This may apply to the church