Summary: A sermon on about being a productive, serving, worshipping Christian
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
Have you ever bought something and it did not work? You spend good, hard earned money on something and bring it home, spent the time hooking it up and it does not work. How did it make you feel? Were you angry, hurt, sad, or some other feeling? What if the store would not take it back so you could not return it?
Last year Kristen and Jonathon bought a dishwasher to go into their trailer. Kristen was all excited. She was not going to have to wash dishes anymore. Dad and I went to Yazoo that following Saturday to install it. We had to cut out part of the cabinet, remove doors, and generally remanufacture the plumbing underneath the sink. Finally after days of work we were ready to hook up the wiring and slide it in. Then we turned it on or we tried to turn it on. Nothing. Dead silence. No sound what so ever. We turned it off and turned it back on like that was going to make it work. We checked the fuse box to make sure none had been tripped. Still nothing. We checked the wiring the plug end. Nothing, there was not even a buzzing sound. No matter how hard we worked the dishwasher just would not work. Kristen was disappointed. Now she had a pile of dishes and no dishwasher. Well she did but she did not want wash them by hand. She had spent hard earned money for a new dishwasher and it would not work. What a waste.
Have you ever wondered that Jesus may feel the same way when we refuse to work for Him? In Luke 13:6-8 we find a vineyard owner who is inspecting his vineyard. He comes across a fig tree that not put forth fruit in three years and he asks why is it still taking up space if it is not producing fruit.
A farmer once planted two fruit trees on opposite sides of his property. The one he planted to provide a hedge hide the unsightly view of an old landfill; the other to provide shade to rest under near a cool mountain stream which ran down beside his fields. As the two trees grew, both produced began to flower and bear fruit. One day the farmer decided to gather the fruit from the tree nearest his house – the one used to provide a hedge from the landfill. As he brought the fruit inside the house, he noticed that it was a little deformed – the symmetry of the fruit was not very good, but still the fruit looked edible. Later that evening, while sitting on his porch the farmer took one of the pieces of fruit for a snack. Biting into the fruit, he found it to be extremely bitter, and completely inedible. Casting the fruit aside he looked across the field to the other tree over by the mountain stream. After walking across the field, the farmer took a piece of the fruit from the other tree and bit into it. Find the fruit to be sweet and delicious he gathered several more pieces of fruit and took them to the house.
The fruit was greatly affected by the nutrition of the root. Just as the tree grew by the landfill to be bitter, and the tree by the stream produced sweet fruit, so the Christian has a choice. He can either put down his roots into the soil of the landfill of fleshly pursuits, or into the cool refreshing stream of the person of Jesus Christ. We must understand that the root bears the fruit. The fruit of the Christian is the outward evidence of the inward motivation.
You see as Christians we are to produce fruit. Not just one time or a few times but all the time. To be truthful a Christian can’t help but produce fruit. There is a need a drive in us that wants to reproduce. We want to lead more people to Christ; we want to serve our master.
There are two types of Christians. Those that are producing fruit and then you have those who are not. The fig Tree is barren, it is not producing. It is just standing in the middle of the vineyard doing nothing but taking up space. It is not contributing any thing. Then comes the owner and says why is it still here? Why has it not been dug up and thrown away.
The vine-man says wait. Give me another year to work the roots and fertilize it. Let me see if I can get it to bear fruit next year. Jesus is pleading four us. He is saying let me work with them just a little more let me get them to bear fruit. Let me water them and fertilize them with the word and maybe they will put on fruit next year.