What Will We Do With What We Have?
Luke 13:6 ¶ Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.
Luke 13:7 So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’
Luke 13:8 He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it.
Luke 13:9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
In this parable Jesus is referring to the Jews. They are the ones that have been planted in the vineyard, receiving spiritual food and nourishment for years. Now, for three years the Messiah has been visiting the vineyard and looking for the fruit which the tree should be bearing, and yet there is no fruit. The Messiah himself intercedes for the life of the fig tree — give it one more chance. The fig tree receives all the investment and care necessary for it to grow and is given one more year. It has been given everything necessary to bear fruit, and yet, she will put to death the one trying to give life.
Many of us who have grown up in the church find ourselves being well nurtured and fed. We have been raised in the vineyard and we have been give the best of all opportunities to grow and to bear fruit. Sadly, not many are bearing fruit these days. The fig trees are quite barren and we wonder what the problem might be! Could it be that we are a bit like the fig tree in the story — using up all the nutrients, enjoying the presence of the Messiah and yet, not producing fruit. In a strange sense it was as if the fig tree enjoyed all it could receive, but refused to give. The Jews were fed all the nutrients but somehow they didn’t get to the roots of who they were and the presence of the Messiah did not move them. They were oddly barren.
Do we find ourselves oddly barren as well? Maybe we ought to see whether we are absorbing — truly absorbing all that God has provided for us. If not, we are just enjoying the vineyard. The fig tree was not there just to be an ornament in the vineyard but to produce fruit. We are to be fruit bearers. That is why the Lord has cultivated us — and the Church.
We have been given all that we need to bear fruit. What will we do with what we have?
Lord, may my life bear fruit today and every day for your glory. Amen.