Summary: The time is short, so repent now to make sure you’re producing spiritual fruit.
Text 1: Luke 13: 6-9
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.
7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.
9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
Text 2: Matthew 7:19-20
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Before this verse, Jesus had been preaching for quite a while. It was hot, he was tired because he didn't have a Speed The Light vehicle to drive around with air conditioning and a wineskin holder in the dash. The whole time he was preaching people were interrupting him, asking him questions and trying to trap him.
One time some people told him about a time when Pilate murdered some Galileans while they were sacrificing to God in the Temple.
I bet everyone started talking at once now, right? Cause that's not a controversial topic... I can see the CNN roundtable discussion now...
Pos accent -- "I heard that Obama said that drinking too much Coca-Cola is what really killed them!"
Thick southern accent -- "oh, that's a load of bull! Obama didn't say that! That's just what the liberal media wants you to think!"
I can see Jesus there, rolling his eyes and trying to make them hush long enough for Him to speak!
This is an example of the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
They were testing Jesus – funny voice: If You’re so smart, why did those people die while they were worshipping?!
They're really doubting the intelligence of the Son of God?
We hear this all the time, even now. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, plane crashes and school shootings. All supposed examples of God pouring out His vengeance upon sinners.
He responded with another example of a tower that fell and killed 18 people in Siloam. Through no fault of their own, they were killed by a falling tower.
Even in the absence of persecution, death can come unexpectedly to anyone, both good and evil.
Jesus then gave the following parable:
God’s grace shows up in the most unexpected places
No one plants a fig tree in a vineyard, it would ruin the grapes
Fig trees have branches that make a circle of shade 25-30 feet in diameter
Use up all nutrients and water in the soil
Attract birds that will eat the grapes
Likewise, God’s grace shows up here on Earth through Christ
It doesn’t belong here – we’re all evil sinners
It was God’s decision for his grace to come to Earth, not anyone else’s
God’s grace comes when everyone else has given up on you
Fig trees are expected to bear fruit at least once every year once they’re more than 4-5 years old.
Owner gave it 3 years, with no fruit. He’s ready to give up
The gardener pleads for more time – one more year.
First year: creation to the first sin
Second year: expulsion from Eden to the exile in Babylon (Old Testament)
Third year: Jesus’ birth to his ascension into Heaven (New Testament)
Fourth Year: Now until the return of Christ
The fig tree in the vineyard? That’s all of us. We are all a fig trees expected to produce spiritual fruit!
God is the owner of the vineyard. He’s seen us go without fruit time and time again, and has given us one last chance
Likewise, Jesus is the gardener. He has promised one last chance, one final year for us to show our fruit! At the end of the year, he will come back and check us all. If we have no fruit, he will cut us down and throw us in the fire!
Are any of you producing fruit?
The time is short, so repent now to make sure you’re producing spiritual fruit.
1. Worship like it’s just you and God
a. don’t worry about what other people will see, what they will think
David danced naked in the middle of the city, you can worship with no restrictions too!
I would rather you not dance naked, though. Please.
2. Jesus will change your life, but only if you let Him. So let Him!
a. Nothing is too “bad” or too “strong” for God