Studies - Biblical - Fig Tree In Vineyard Parable


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The parable of the fig tree in the vineyard is a personal favorite of mine.

The typical sermon or interpretation is that the "certain man" represents God the Father.  And the "dresser of the vineyard" represents God the Son, Jesus and how He is our advocate with the Father. Basically, Jesus keeps us from being tossed in the fire.

Luke 13:6-9 KJV
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:

And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

I grew up on a farm.  I know full well what it is to dig around a plant, and to fertilize it.  I was using a hoe in the garden by age 4.  My first crop to tend was a potato patch about a quarter of an acre.  I had lettuce beds, radishes, corn - other crops.  But the potato crop was I think my favorite.  Tending the plants involved frequent hoeing and pulling weeds and mounding and fertilizing.

Over the years, I learned there was a lot of science to the chore.  If you don't hoe around the plants, capillaries form in the soil.  The hot sun dries up the soil killing the roots and the plant cannot thrive.  So this act of hoeing, or "digging" around the plant keeps the soil from drying out & killing the plant. It breaks up the fallow ground.

We had fertilizers that we could use.  But once in a while we used the manure from the barn or chicken coop.  I found out quickly that if you put the manure too close to the plant, it would kill the plant.  Too far away & it did no good.  Likewise, too much would chemically burn the plant.  Too little and it would do no good.

So I full well know this concept of "digging about it and dunging it."

With that life lesson & experience in mind, I started studying this passage and praying for a deeper understanding.

First, let's start in verse 6: "... A certain man had..."  This indicates that this fig tree was there on purpose.  No one planted it there by mistake.  The "certain man" had it done on purpose.

Now then... Where are trees planted?  In orchards, groves, woods, or forests.  Not vineyards.  Vineyards are for grave vine plants.  That is an interesting revelation.  Have you ever thought that you were completely out of place?  Have you thought that you maybe took a wrong step and you were not where you were supposed to be? 

This passage tells us that you may be in a place because the "certain man" put you there for a certain purpose.  If He is an owner, one would think He knew what He was doing.  And in the typology, God, being the owner of your world, certainly knows what should be planted where.  So your circumstance might not be an accident at all.  You may be in that place because the fruit you create, the fruit you leave behind you, is exactly what is needed in that part of the farm.  Or you may be in that place to learn how to see the need and create the fruit, because you are gifted to make the exact type fruit that place needs.  That "certain man" is wanting fruit that only YOU can make.  You are special.  Fit for a particular purpose.  And put in just the right place for your fruit to do a work.

So let's put these things together in one thought process.  Have you ever felt like everything around you has been churned up & piled up so much your surroundings are unrecognizable and has turned to dung?  If you find yourself in such a place, God may well be watching so you can learn that you can survive your way through it all.

What "fruit" is He looking for?  That one is easy.  The answer is found in Galatians.

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The fruits:

As the saying goes, we go through things to build character.  These fruits are taught by wisdom and enduring through troubles and tribulations.

A light hearted-comical way of putting this is "Be Happy In The Poo."

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