Luke 13:9 “If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.”
The parable about the unfruitful fig tree (Luke 13:1-9) is all about second chances. The story concerns an owner who wants to cut down a barren fig tree because he has no use for it in his garden. His gardener, however, wants to give the fig tree another chance. He is willing to work at it, digging the soil around it, as well as fertilizing it throughout the year. The gardener seems to be convinced that this extra work will enable the fig tree to produce its fruit in due season.
The parable relates to us the real ministry of Christ. He is sent among us to reclaim us for God’s Kingdom. He works hard at preparing the way for our salvation. He gives us stories and teachings, parables and tenets to guide our lives. He even sacrifices Himself for our sins, hoping that we will recognize His hard work in our personal spiritual lives, so that we may become faithful and fruitful Christians. In other words, Christ graciously gives all of us a second chance, a new beginning, a fresh way to be restored to God’s favor and love.
I don’t know how Christ’s ministry affects your life, but I know that I am totally grateful for the work that He has done in me, to reconnect me to God. Without Christ, I still would be a hapless wanderer and a hopeless soul. With Jesus, I am a child of God’s grace and a redeemed servant in His Kingdom.
Question for reflection: Do I need a new beginning in my life? Am I willing to let Jesus work that new beginning in me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, only You can restore us to God and only You can make our lives fruitful. Please work within us and around us, so that we may recognize the second chance and new beginning that You willingly bestow upon us. May we be reclaimed by Your love and blessed through Your grace. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest Pentecost images called Beginnings. If you would like to view a larger version, please click the following link: Beginnings.