Summary: In the parable of the fig tree, the owner passed by the fig tree 3 times before he threatened to cut it down. How many times must Jesus pass by us before He finds fruit on our branches?


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Pastor James May


Luke 13:6-9, "He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."

To begin this message this morning I want to welcome you to the Garden of God. The reason I say that is that each of us are planted in this place this morning by God to bring froth fruit in season. We are planted by the Blood of the Lamb, cultivated by the Holy Spirit, and fertilized by the Word of God. Each of us is represented in the parable above in one way or another. Let’s look at the parable to see where we are right now.

God’s greatest desire is that each of us makes the decision to become a fig tree in His garden that will bear fruit. We spoke a few weeks ago of the fact that our Father in Heaven is the Husbandman and it is He who watches over his garden and works with us to trim away the unnecessary parts and make us more fruitful.

The owner of the vineyard was passing by this fig tree for the 3rd time. Each time he came by he had hoped to find some ripened fruit that would show that this fig tree was productive but each time he came there was no fruit.

I think the point that Jesus is making to each of this morning is that He is passing by each us one more time. He has passed by most of us a number of times, seeking for the fruit that we are to bear for the Kingdom of God.

Perhaps on one of those occasions, Jesus may have found the that we were thirsty and dry so He watered us with the Word of God that we might obtain the water of life freely from its life giving flow. He has given us His own precious blood to wash us, cleanse us and give us life eternal, but now there must come the works of faith as fruit that we bear.

Time and time again we come together and God speaks to us through His word as the message goes forth from God’s appointed minister.

Sometimes a few of the fig trees respond and there breaks forth some green leaves of good works upon their branches. The fruit begins to form but before it can ripen, the Word that we received slips away through neglect of study and meditation upon it, then the fruit that once held great promise, the green leaves and the life that the water of the Word gave to us are cut off and the fig tree begins to wither and die as it lapses back into its dry and thirsty condition once more.

There have been times when Jesus would pass by and the Word of God would go forth and many of the fig trees in this garden would never receive the water that was offered for our thoughts and our minds were not open to the water that came forth. We are too caught up in our own circumstances. Our roots are all pulled up around us tightly so that no water can come in. Our focus is not on God or upon His Word, it is on the cares of this life. So, Jesus passes by once again and there is no fruit yet on your tree.

Perhaps Jesus came by once again and saw that the water of the Word had begun to flow into your life and that your tree of spirituality was putting forth the green leaves. You were showing signs of the springtime of your life when the blooms are bursting forth. The joy of the Lord has come upon you and you seem to be prospering. Then, Jesus notices that the fruit that you are to bring forth really isn’t producing as expected.

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