Luke 13: 6-9
Imagine yourself a land owner. Can you smell the richness of the soil? Several years ago you decided to plant a certain fig tree in a particular place, best suited for it to produce fruit. From a distance, you can see the tree has been growing. Full of leaves, the tree appears poised to please because it has been positioned to produce. Matter of fact, you planted this tree in a place where it would receive optimal sunlight in order to have optimum influence, and fruit at the opportune time? With reasonable expectation, you begin to make your way toward the tree to enjoy the fruit from its branches, but when you get to the base of the tree you realize there is no fruit. Now, imagine doing this for three years, three consecutive years, only to discover there is no fruit each year. You were disappointed the first year, but this is the third year.
The text says, “He came looking for fruit and did not find any.” The word for “looking” in the Greek is “zeteo” which is seek; look for; desire. This word, zeteo, gives the sense of trying to get, or reach something one desires. This is God desiring fruit from you. Think about that for a moment.
Too often we want God to be pleased with what we give him, and many of us have convinced ourselves that God is alright with what, or whatever, we are giving him; but, God has already determined what he wants. He is looking for fruit.
From a distance, this is a tree that gives the appearance of being healthy and productive; but when it is called upon to provide something that would nourish, it is found to be barren. The owner is disappointed, because this is a tree that is fit to bear fruit; it is not an immature tree.
He is looking for fruit, in Greek the word is “karpos” that is fruit that is ripe; reproductive fruit of a plant or tree consisting of the seed. In other words, the owner knows the tree is mature enough to produce fruit that is ripe, ready to eat, and enjoy. This tree is mature enough and has been around long enough to produce fruit that originated from the seeds he planted.
The owner’s expectation is reasonable; anything he has given life to, he is expecting fruit from. Nothing about the text suggests that the owner came looking prematurely, or before the fig tree was sufficiently mature to produce fruit. It is the fig tree that is not living up to its reason for being planted.
Question: How long have you been a Christian? How ripe is your fruit? Does your fruit originate from seeds he has planted? Or, are you still beautiful with a tree full of green leaves only?
Lord, please forgive us for being barren when you were looking for ripened fruit, help us to be more than beautiful trees full of leaves and no fruit. Amen