I remember just after September 11 many people were saying that the tragedies that happened on that day happened because of God’s wrath. They were saying that because America was wicked and God was punishing us for our wickedness. Jesus answered that in verses 1-5 in Luke 13; He was being questioned about recent tragedies. Jesus explained that those people were no more of a sinner than the rest of us and that wasn’t why those tragedies happened. He then warned them that unless they repented, they would have an eternal death. To solidify what He was telling them, He told them the parable that we are looking at today.
A man had a fig tree in his vineyard that had not produced fruit for three years. He wanted the tree cut down because it was wasting soil for something that may produce fruit. The caretaker asked the landowner to care for it one more year with extra attention, and then if it didn’t produce fruit he would cut it down. Jesus was warning the listeners that it was time to bear fruit; our faith requires action. He wanted to see a faith that was life changing and bearing God’s fruit. The fruit that God wants to see in our life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). John the Baptist also gave a similar message in Luke 3:7-9. Please read it!
John was warning them that just because they were genetically linked to Abraham, they needed more than that! They needed to have a fruit-producing faith in God. You see, when we believe that God loves us, our lives are changed. When we accept that our salvation only comes from Him, we change. We then begin to produce fruit to please God because we are so overwhelmed by His love for us. Psalms 1 touches on this, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Our live and active faith makes it a delight to follow God’s law. The law doesn’t save us, but it becomes our delight!
One more beautiful thought…Psalms refers to the person as a tree by streams of water. What does Jesus say about himself? He is the one who gives us living water (John 4:10)! When we place our trust in Jesus and His direction, we will produce fruit only the living water can produce.
Are you producing fruit for God? Are you placing your roots in the streams of living water?