Luke 13: 6-9
Historically vineyards were not devoted exclusively to vines; apple and fig trees were planted in vineyards, also. The ancient Egyptians planted their vines and fruit trees in the same vineyard because fruit trees planted in vineyards would add a desired subtle flavor to the wine once it aged. So, not only would these fruit trees provide nourishment for the owner, they would also impact the enclosure they were planted in.
In this parable, the fig tree and the vineyard are meant to go together–The owner of the vineyard had a plan. And isn’t it good to know, like this fig tree, our lives have and are being intentionally directed by God? Our existence is not by happenstance. Therefore, we cannot afford to fail to take notice of the kind of fruit we are producing.
This tree was planted; this is not some wild, uncultivated fig tree.
The owner deliberately planted this fig tree in this particular place.
This fig tree was planted in a vineyard that was already healthy and productive.
In this particular text, the writer uses a word for planted, phyteuo (Grk), that gives the reader the overall sense of being in an immobile state partially anchored to the ground (other plants).
Remember, this fruit tree was planted, not only to provide nourishment, but also to add flavor to the vines. How do we add flavor if we are “partially anchored”?
This is a tree that is immobile and partially anchored. This is a tree that is unable to move; and, at the same time it is not fully committed to the place it has been planted.
Oh, how often do we find ourselves unable to leave where we are and where we are does not have our undivided attention–This makes it hard to produce fruit!
Question: Like this fig tree, are we present but unproductive?
Consider this: Perhaps we are not producing fruit as we should because we are not as committed as we ought to be.
Lord, help us to be more than present, but help us to be productive; you have planted us in the environment where producing fruit is possible, Amen.