Summary: A study of the Gospel of Luke 13: 6 – 9
Luke 13: 6 – 9
Return To Sender
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
Our Precious Holy Lord Jesus applied His warnings that everyone needs to be reconciled with God while there is yet time which we covered in chapter 12 verses 57-59, and preached that everyone needs to repent before it is too late as we witnessed in our last study of chapter 13 verses 1-5.
In The light of His warnings, we are going to see here how our Master will, by means of a parable that applies to them and us the teaching of John the Baptist, that we all should ensure that our lives are fruitful so that we will not be cut down, just as a useless tree. He gives a warning that if our lives are not fruitful we will face God’s judgment when the proper time comes.
‘And he spoke this parable, “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none.” ’
In the Old Testament fruit trees were regularly seen as symbols of Israel. You will most likely remember the comparison of a ‘vine. A fig tree would be an equally good symbol.
Psalm 105:33, “33 He struck their vines also, and their fig trees, and splintered the trees of their territory.”
I suggest that our Master and King Adoni Yeshua may deliberately have used the fig tree rather than a vine as a symbol so as to indicate individual lives within ‘His vineyard’, one of those planted in the vineyard of Israel, for the vine would have indicated Israel as a whole. The main point of the story, however, is that the tree should have borne fruit, but that the owner finds no fruit on it, presumably at a time when fruit would be expected.
“And he said to the vinedresser, Behold, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and have found none. Cut it down. Why does it also act as a burden on the ground?”
It appears that the owner had given it three years in order to see if its fruitless condition was permanent. He wanted to give it every opportunity. But when it still proved to be fruitless he called on the vinedresser to cut it down and prevent it from filling up useful space where another tree could be planted and from taking the nutrients out of the ground to no purpose.
Our Lord gave us understanding as to how not only a plant should be given the opportunity to develop, but applies to us as well. We read this in the book of Leviticus chapter 19, “23 ‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten. 24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the LORD.
Do you remember in the book of Acts when Paul was stuck down off his horse when he was on the road to Damascus to arrest Christians? Guess how long our Lord set aside for Paul to be developed in his new found faith? Yes – 3 years. We read this in chapter 1 of Paul’s letter to the Galatians these amazing facts, “1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) 21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.”