Summary: Christians must be Fruitful. They need do wht God designed them to do.
Last week being the anniversary of 911, we continued using scripture to point out what Jesus taught about disasters and tragedies natural or accidental and the death that leaves unfinished business. We compared two situations in Jesus Day with some of the terrible events in recent years.
The main point last week is that things happen in a fallen world and sometimes you don’t have a chance to take care of any kingdom business, that you might have been putting off for some reason of your own.
I hope that you have already or will very soon settle your accounts with God, through the cross of our brother Jesus Christ. If you have any fears or doubts please talk to me or someone that you trust and get the comfort and peace that you need.
“Die when I may,” said Abraham Lincoln, “I want it said of me that I plucked a weed and planted a flower wherever I thought a flower would grow.”
Abraham Lincoln wanted it to be said of him that he bore fruit. That he made a difference in the beauty and comfort of this world.
Today we are looking at the second part of the scripture, picking up where we left off.
This parable speaks of bearing fruit, and teaches that God has nothing to do with uselessness or fruitlessness.
If a person is working a nine to five job in the world, and fails to do his or her job, then he or she will loose their job. Why will a person lose his or her job? He or She will loose the job because no supervisor wants to see someone just occupying space. A worker is not brought in to just fill a position, but to make that position productive. In this parable Jesus shows that people who occupy space and are not productive are fired. In his description literally.
Verse 6 mentions a vineyard and a fig tree. Before this parable can be understood, one must first be able to interpret the symbolism behind the objects that Jesus was discussing. The first symbol is the man who planted the tree. This man is representative of the God of Israel. It is seen that Jesus also mentioned a fig tree growing in a vineyard. First of all, what has been learned from many of the other parables about what the vineyard symbolizes? The vineyard is symbolic of the Lord’s kingdom on earth. It often refers to his group of chosen people, namely the Jews.
Now, what does the fig tree symbolize? Jesus mentioned the fig tree on very few occasions, and the majority of the times he did it was in reference to its destruction. Some sources say it represents Israel others the Temple it self. What ever Jesus exact meaning, it tells us that the failure to bear fruit, will bring destruction.
In verse 6, we learn that “The man” came and inspected the fig tree and found no fruit. It is only normal for a person that plants a garden or vineyard or orchard will find fruit after some period of time. If the weather and plants are bad or care is not taken perhaps the owner will not be as disappointed. But there is an expectation of some kind of return. Some for of fruit. Some sign that something will be produced.
The verses of Jesus’ parable are referring to spiritual fruitfulness. The Scripture compares people to trees on many occasions. People can be barren or fruitful. Those who are fruitful bring life to the people around them. The offer shade and satisfaction to others in need.
Many Biblical experts tell us that this parable is about Israel and or the temple Or some general representation of both.
We are off the hook - Right? Sorry, I don’t think we can exclude Christians in the modern day from the situation that Jesus is talking about. We have been grafted in to the vine and we are in the vineyard. Christians are representatives of the Living God and we have obligations to keep.
Christians are to be fruitful. That means exactly the same today as it did in Jesus’ day. Christians are to direct people toward a relationship with Jesus Christ and God which automatically gives eternal life. It means that we get them into the vineyard and firmly planted in the scriptures so that they can receive their own nurture and growth.
Christians are useful and productive when they touch people for God and provide comfort and peace and a living knowledge of God.
When the Word of God truly abides in a person’s heart he or she will be obedient to it, and will do as all Christians are commanded in Matthew 28:19-20 which says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you . . .” Only when Christians are faithful and obedient to the Word themselves will they become fruitful.