Parable of the Unfruitful Fig Tree (Barren)
Before Jesus’ ministry began
John The Baptist Teaches Repentance
He also was teaching the baptism of repentance.
In Matthew 3 we have a record of John’s preaching.
“Abraham as father” means saved by status as those being under covenant.
Show axe, tree
Jesus submitted to this baptism at the start of His ministry.
Then 40 days in the wilderness, tempted by Satan, heard John was arrested, went to Galilee to live in Capernaum by the sea.
Jesus also taught –
In our passage for today Luke 13
Jesus is teaching in Galilee.
He just finished talking about His purpose of bringing division, not specifically to divide people, but division will come over His message and life.
Jesus is teaching on signs of the end times.
Someone spoke up to address the issue of people from Galilee who were recently slaughtered while making sacrifices in Jerusalem.
The story and the parable seem simple at first.
Even almost seem unrelated.
But there is great depth to this passage.
Is Tragedy A Judgment For Sin?
“Hey Jesus, did you hear about the earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia?
Over 200k killed.”
Aren’t they strict Muslims...
Hurricanes in Texas, Florida.
Earthquake in CA.
Shootings, bombings, etc.
We tend to think that way, don’t we? Must be God’s judgment or punishment.
It’s easy to point the finger at someone else.
Instead of grief and help we offer pride and judgment.
Jesus addresses this like He often does - a few questions to make us think and then a parable to reveal the Kingdom principle.
Jesus also brings up another story of tragedy to continue making His point.
Are they really worse sinners?
As in – they get judged because they are worse and we don’t because we are good?
Jesus answers the question of guilt in both vv. 3 & 5
But does He really answer the question of God’s judgment?
However, the question isn’t really whether they were judged by God for their sin.
John 3:18 says those who don’t believe in Jesus are condemned already.
What DID Jesus say then?
Unless You Repent
Interesting thing is how Jesus turns it back to them.
First, were they worse than all the others, then – but unless you repent.
So, Jesus didn’t really say that the tragedy was not God’s judgment, it could well have been.
It isn’t for them to judge, though, because they are not better than those who perished.
Now Jesus gives them the parable:
In Matt 21:18-19, Mark 11:12-14 Jesus cursed a fig tree.
Appearance of bearing fruit but no fruit.
Fig tree is a symbol of Israel - Jesus was showing Israel had appearance of life and godliness but no fruit.
Again here, fig tree = Israel.
Application is for all.
Three years - could be a picture of Jesus’ ministry.
Could be a correlation between vineyard owner and Father, gardener and Jesus.
Jesus intercedes on behalf of His people to extend the offer of grace.
One more year, fertilize, care for, give it a chance to turn around, to bear fruit.
Not to say God is uncaring and ready to destroy everyone, and that Jesus is running interference.
The Father has given responsibility and authority to the Son to establish the Kingdom, and the Son does His part to bring them in.
But when there is no response, opportunity eventually is gone.
He gives multiple opportunities, but not unending.
Second chances but not unending
“YOU can cut it down” the Owner, the Father.
Just as John the baptizer taught, Jesus taught in
Does that sound harsh?
In God’s dealing with man He is more than gracious.
More than patient.
We all deserve judgment, punishment, death.
At some point our opportunity is gone.
When we don’t decide to follow Jesus, we’ve already decided against Him.
Our natural human state is to follow our own way.
Remember the parable of the Rich Fool from last week?
The Fruit Of Repentance
Unless you repent, unless you are bearing fruit, you will perish.
Again, looking at John the baptizer
What is the fruit of repentance?
People asked John what they should do.
His examples were showing life change through good works.
Fruit of the Spirit
Proof the Holy Spirit lives in us and we are yielded to Him.
The obvious signs of heart transformation.
Change in character.
Paul, in Acts 26:20 says he preached to Jews and Gentiles that they should repent, turn to God, and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds/works.
The way you live, the way you treat others, living with an open hand and generosity.
New Life & Character
Obedience and Love
The fruit of repentance is the outward expression of a transformed heart and a changed life.
Obedience, Love, Good Works.
Big Idea: Turn from your sin and produce the good fruit of a pure life.
What About You?
Is your life producing the fruit of true repentance?
Are you putting off fully committing your life to Jesus Christ?
Are you allowing something else to get in the way?
The intention is not to scare you or guilt you into a commitment.
That doesn’t last.
But, just like the rich fool, and just like the ones killed in tragedy, we don’t know that we will be given another opportunity.
God’s grace is now.
You are here now and hearing Him now.