Summary: As believers, we are saved and commanded to bear fruit. We will be judged on how we bear fruit. Jesus uses the parable of a barren fig tree to teach us of both the coming judgment of our productiveness, as well as how to bear fruit in the christian life.
HOOK: Figs – Janet preserving my
Gran’s homemade fig preserves. I love fig preserves.
READ: Luke 13:6-9
LOGO – Be doers of the Word and not hearers only
I. F RUIT:
First, we see in this passage that the purpose of a fig tree is to bear fruit
Let me give you some facts about fig trees:
• Fig trees begin bearing fruit within 2 years. Almost right away.
• Maturity in a fig tree means bearing MORE fruit.
• Fig trees are INCREDIBLY easy to reproduce
-- use cuttings --
We have a fig tree which is reproduced from Janet’s Grandfather’s original tree.
-- We as Christians are the fig tree.
-- Our sole responsibility is to bear fruit!
Psalms 37:23 says: The STEPS of a good man are ordered by the LORD
Often we want to recite: “The sitting of a good man is protected by the Lord.”
1. God created us to act:
• God’s first instruction to Adam/Eve – Gen. 1:28
• “Be fruitful”
• “Fill the earth and subdue it”
2. Our responsibility is to ACT, to DO!
READ: John 14:12-15, 21
3. This is NOT just a statement of integrity
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Transition: in John Jesus explains we have 2 audiences for our actions or inactions.
2. Those around us
II. Fruit –
Owner – inspects his garden
Read verse 6: Owner “came seeking fruit”
A. Purpose of the Inspection: the tree was there to produce FIGS for the owner
• Owner: is a bottom line guy – no fruit – no profit
• The garden is a reflection on the owner
God – owner of the vineyard
These same aspects apply to our Heavenly Father:
• God IS interested in our production: bottom line lie. John 15:1-2
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He take away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
I.E. Parable of Rich Fool -- Luke 12:13-21
• Jesus said: John 13:34-35
2 audiences for our action/inaction
Jesus said in Matthew 5:13 – Salt of the earth
Matthew 5:14-16 – Light of the world
B. Nature of the Inspection: tree must meet the owner’s standards
C. Consequences of Inspection: Judgement for the failure to bear fruit
“cut it down”
Question: How does the fig tree begin then producing fruit?
III. Fruit –
Read verses 7-8
If you have ever had a garden you understand this exchange better.
Gardener says: “I’m the one with dirt under my nails”
“I’m the one with cracked knuckles and a sore back”
“I’ve spent early mornings, hot days, etc.”
“Let me have one more year”
Phil. 1:6 “will be faithful to complete it”
Heb. 12:1-2 “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”
Gal. 2:20 “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”
In John 14 Jesus again uses the illustration of bearing fruit. He says if someone abides in Him then they will bear fruit. The issue is not trying to bear fruit but abiding in Jesus.
Evaluate the following commitments:
Are you a prayer warrior?
Do you have a daily quiet time?
When you have decision to make is it done after prayer and searching scripture?
When was the last time you did a book study?
These questions will help you look into a spiritual mirror and determine if you are abiding in Jesus –the gardner.
IV. Fruit – Inspection – Gardener – SERVICE
This story ends with an open question.
Will this tree bear figs?
Will it be cut down?
Jesus the master teacher – artfully sticks the question in our minds and hearts -----
The question then remains for us:
Q WILL WE BEAR FRUIT?
What is that area of service God has been stirring you to belong to? Has He stirred you about – teaching Sunday school
A mission trip
Volunteering in the kitchen or as a greeter for the church
Serving in the children’s ministry?
Are you bearing fruit? If not then this is your call to service. Transition to decision of commitment and invitation.