6 Then he told this parable: “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.’”
Jesus often taught in parables. Many of the parables, people did not understand, so He explained them to the disciples to reveal secretes to the Kingdom of Heaven. These parables all taught lessons or showed parallels to the Kingdom of Heaven. Some parables were about lost things, representing lost people. Some parables pointed to the work Christ would do. However, many parables taught about Christian living and the need for growth.
This parable is clearly teaching about growth. The man saw the fig tree did not produce fruit. Fruit is the evidence of growth. If the tree is not growing, then it is dying. In a Christian life, this fruit is actions that are an overflow of your heart. Loving, giving, serving, but people cannot possibly see the fruit inside your heart as you grow in relationship with God and your faith.
Here, though, the fruit is not present, the man tells the one who takes care of the tree to cut it down. However, the caregiver asks to care for this tree for one more year. He states he will dig around it and fertilize it.
God is showing mercy here. Three years is enough time to show the tree is dead. However, the tree is given another year and better conditions to produce that fruit.
Christian should produce fruit. If a tree does not produce fruit, it is just taking up soil. Likewise, if you are not producing fruit of a Christian life, you are probably producing fruit of a worldly life (however that’s a different parable). What’s important in this parable is the mercy of the worker which shows the desire for growth as he states `Let’s give it better conditions and another chance.’
Fruit is desired.
Friends, are you producing fruit?
Fruit grows in seasons. Maybe this is a season of preparation. Are you preparing to be fruitful by fertilizing your soil, pruning your branches?
Fruit has a harvest time. Maybe this is the time to share that fruit.
Maybe your tree needs some new soil. Get into the Word, prayer, and fellowship. Growth is not only possible but desired.
God is merciful. But He does want you to produce fruit.