Parable of Jesus: Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
Bible Text: Luke 13:6-9
Memory Verse: Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15:8
Introduction: God is in the business of sowing seeds into the lives of His people. His main agenda is to sow the seed of the kingdom into every willing life. In our previous studies, God is described as the sower who went about sowing seeds. The seed is the Word of God which is Christ. Galatians 3:16, John 1:1. Furthermore, we see that God is not just interested in sowing the seeds randomly, He also makes extensive attempts to plant a vineyard by Himself so that He can monitor the proceeds. We all are the plantings of the Lord. Isaiah 60:21, 61:3. Therefore, we ought to produce fruits meet for the Lord. God is eagerly expecting fruits from us. Let’s take a closer look at this parable.
1. God Plants a Vineyard: A vineyard is like a grape plantation. It is not just a wild forest but a deliberate designed and properly laid out plantation. Lots of resources is expended at making it yield good fruit. The difference between a wild forest and a vineyard is that the wild forest is not tendered and taken care of, no resource is spent at ensuring that things grow on it while a vineyard is well taken care of, carefully tendered and lots of resources goes into it. God did not just leave us to grow haphazardly or to grow without proper nurturing. We are the vineyard of the Lord and that’s why the Lord spends a lot of resource to ensure that we grow well. He exposes us to His word on a regular basis, gives us a good pastor to feed us, provides for our daily needs so we won’t look elsewhere, gives us spiritual gifts so we can become spiritually minded and so on. Just like in the Garden of Eden, He also visits us always so He can monitor our progress. Therefore, we must always note that God planted us, we must remain rooted in Him. John 15:4.
2. God Expects Fruits from Us: Nobody plants a tree without actually expecting the tree to produce fruits. Also, God is eagerly expecting us to be fruitful. A wild tree might decide not to produce fruits and because it was planted by nobody, nobody would expect such from it. We are not wild trees and so, God expects that we bear fruits. From the parable, we see that God has been coming year in year out seeking to find fruits in us, yet He is patiently expecting. Scripture further reveals that God would not like to just continue wasting resources on us, He expects a favourable return in terms of us bearing fruits. God does not just want us to bear anyhow fruits, He expects us to bear GOOD fruits. Isaiah 5:1-7
3. The Fruits of the Vineyard is Life, Wild Vine produces death. The good fruits of the vine produces life and gives vitalization to us, but the wild grapes produces death. God is very particular about us producing good fruits because they are wells of life. Jesus once said, make a tree good and it will produce good fruits but a bad or an evil tree will only produce a fruit of its kind. So, Jesus went further to say “by their fruits, ye shall know them….” Matt. 7:16. Looking at the story from 2 Kings 4:39, we understand that the gathering of wild gourds from wild vine introduced death into the food that was meant to revitalize the people. Had they partaken of the meal without the miraculous manifestation through the man of God, they would have all died. Hence, what was meant for life would have resulted in death. We must therefore be careful not to bear evil fruits or wild fruits. We must stay rooted to the word of God and not import in strange doctrines that will usher in death and corrupt practices into our life. Isaiah 5:2.
4. God Expects More from the Dressers. God has committed the work of dressing His vineyard to some people. They are seen as the dressers. They are people with a higher call on their lives, not just like the regular Christian but a well anointed people saddled with the responsibilities of nurturing, tending and dressing the vine. Like Adam in the Garden of Eden, their major responsibility is ‘to dress and to keep it.’ Gen.2:15. These people are given gifts to execute this assignment. “And He gave some, Apostles, and some, prophets, and some, Evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting (nurturing, tending, pruning and dressing) the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Eph. 4:11-12. Unfortunately, many of these people fail in their responsibility and rather than culture the people, lead the people astray. Rather than keep the vineyard, they have succeeded in destroying them. Jer.12:10-13. We also are expected to submit ourselves to our pastors but not at the expense of submission to God. Many unfortunately respect and honour their pastors more than they have for God. We must honour our pastors and spiritual leaders but must be careful not to go against God in doing that.
In conclusion, it must be said that we all shall give account of our stewardship. We are mandated by God to live right and to produce fruits meet for the master’s use to the glory of the Lord. And for the leaders, God is counting on His anointing on us and expects that we give our all to raising a quality spiritual people that will glorify the name of the Lord. Bear Fruit.