He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:Luke 13:6-8,
In the first five verses of this chapter, Jesus points out to the self-righteous that they need to be more focused on themselves than judging the behavior of others. He follows with the parable we have before us today. The Barren Fig Tree teaching shows us a historical warning as well as a practical instruction.
The primary reason this parable is used here is to serve as a warning to the natural country of Israel. God, the vineyard owner, has come time and again to this most favored nation looking to see if they had turned from their wicked ways and back to Him. However, God finds that national Israel just keeps moving further and further away from Him. The timing of three years and one year in the parable is no mere coincidence. Jesus’ earthy ministry lasted about three and half years. During that time, Jesus gave plenty of warnings to repent and instructions of how to do so. But the nation as a whole rejected Him. Jesus intervened for the nation just like the vine dresser in the parable. However, history shows us the result. The nation of Israel as a whole rejected Jesus as the Christ, and thereby rejected God. The consequence was their complete destruction as a nation forever in 70 A.D. It was not pruned. It was cut down and removed.
While this parable did serve its primary purpose as a warning to natural Israel, it can also serve as warning to God’s people. God expects His children to be bearing fruit, and lots of it. Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father. He died for our sins and provides instruction in His word on how we should respond to so great a salvation. We should not expect anything other than what we deserve if we leave off serving the Lord.
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let themslip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;Hebrews 2:1-3
We, by the grace of God, will not suffer for all eternity because of our sins. However, we should fully expect chastisement if we go astray for too long.
Because God loves us.