Jesus, on his way to the Temple, passed a fig tree planted along the side of the road. He used this sighting as a teaching moment and passed onto His disciples the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree. The following is taken from the 13th book of Luke:
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing 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.’”
Now we can imagine that the man is God the Father, the keeper of the vineyard is Jesus and each of us is the fig tree. The tree stands there with beautiful leaves, but no fruit. The man looks at the tree expecting fruit but finds none. He asks the keeper of the vineyard to cut the tree down. The keeper of the vineyard pleads for the owner to spare the tree instead of cutting it down so that he might tend the tree more in order to get it to bear fruit next season. Jesus to the rescue!!! Once again, Jesus intercedes on our behalf, asking the Father to spare us! We are beautiful trees in all of our fine foliage…but what about that fruit? Jesus promises to nurture our faith…to give us water and fertilizer so we can bear the fruit of the spirit. Christians are called to commune with the Father and the Son through prayer and fellowship. This promotes spiritual growth and that growth allows us to bear the Fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
How do we relate this to what is happening to us today in the Age of the Coronavirus? We Christians should be busy ensuring that we can bear fruit! Fertilize your faith by reading the scripture. Cultivate your faith with fellowship. Pray for and with Christians you know and nonbelievers alike. Finally, spread the Fruit of the Spirit around by loving and taking care of your family, friends and neighbors! Give to all who come to your vineyard! This way, you will be certain that when the Father returns, you will have fruit on your branches and there will be no need to chop you down!
1 Peter 1:23 “You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God.”