He Is Looking For Fruit – Day 5

Luke 13: 6-9

My father once told me a story about a time he got caught hanging out in the wrong place. He and his cousin were playing basketball at a gym in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The game was rough, and words were exchanged between my father and some of the other boys. My father didn’t know he was playing basketball with a group of gang members. There they were in an unfamiliar place, with about 30 young men standing around them, all ready to do them harm, when an unfamiliar voice from the back asked, “What are you boys’ names?” Having the same last name, my father and his cousin in unison blurted out their name. To their relief, that same voice said, “Leave them alone. I know their people.” Oh, what comfort to have an advocate in that precarious moment. How sweet those simple words of reprieve! Needless to say, my father and his cousin quickly made their way home.

We conclude this week’s devotional series with the fig tree experiencing a similar saving grace. The deserved judgement has been pronounced by the land owner, “Cut it down!” But another voice, the voice of the vineyard keeper, speaks up and says, “Let it alone.”

“Let it alone” means, release it from your presence and do not oppose or prohibit me from working with it. ‘I know this tree has disappointed you for some time, but release it from your judgement and “allow it one more year.”’

The vineyard keeper is asking for permission to dig around the tree and place dung on it.Fig_Tree

Digging was considered hard work; work, those who were uneducated typically engaged in, and here it is, the vineyard keeper assumes the responsibility of personally getting his hands dirty to find the cause for the fig tree’s lack of fruitfulness.

And, although the fig tree had been draining the ground of its nutrients, the vineyard keeper is offering dung to it to help provide more nutrients to fertilize the soil. What grace!

Isn’t it good to know we have someone who is willing to speak up for us? Request another chance on our behalf, a do-over. Have you ever just needed a chance? Not just another chance, a new chance? Now that you know better, an opportunity to produce fruit, the fruit of repentance?

The Lord is looking for fruit that is consistent with repentance. As believers, we are called to live a life that reflects our profession—we are who we say we are. Christians. And it is evident by our fruit—A changed life.

The parable ends with a suspenseful conclusion; we are left with two possibilities: “Bear fruit”, or be “cut down.” Although there are two possibilities, the text leaves us with hope, because the vineyard keeper is personally working on the fig tree.

Has the Vineyard Keeper been digging around your tree? Are there smelly situations going on in your life?

Question: What is in your heart that is not in keeping with a changed life?

“Lord, thank you for being patient with us; help us to bear fruit that is consistent with repentance. Amen.”