Jesus called us out last week. In the Parable of the Fig Tree, Jesus makes a clear, simple point to His Followers: Produce fruit! He doesn’t pull any punches in this parable (Luke 13:6-9) about a fig tree that hasn’t produced fruit in three years. The vineyard owner is ready to cut it down, but the gardener convinces him to let him fertilize it and work with it with one more year; then if the tree still isn’t producing, it can be cut down and burned.
This is a pretty simple parable that carries a big challenge. It builds on what we talked about last week - the faithful must be fruitful! Jesus expects us to be producing fruit in our lives. He talks about this often - see John 15:1-5. So how do we produce fruit and what does that fruit look like? To be clear, fruit comes from Christ. He produces fruit in and through us. Without Him, we “can do nothing.” It is imperative that we stay connected to Him. If there is anything pulling you away from Him, disconnecting you from Him, then you cannot produce fruit. But when you are connected to Him, you absolutely will!
There are a couple of ways that Christ produces fruit in you and me:
By shaping our character. He prunes and shapes us so that we will produce fruit, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. (John 15:4). These are fruits that are evident in our lives when we are living under the control of the Holy Spirit…. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22. Are you exhibiting these fruits in your life? Are you faithful enough to boldly ask God to prune any branch in your life that is not productive?
By shaping our calling. All Believers are challenged by Christ to embrace the Great Commandment and the Great Commission (Matthew 22:37-40; 28:19-20). We have a clear purpose and calling to: Reach out to those who are far from Christ and lead them to full devotion to Him! Who are you building a relationship with to lead to Christ? Who are you investing in right now to “make a disciple?” Will you ask God to open your eyes to those opportunities in your life to “produce fruit”? If you are a parent, that starts in your own home. At Watermark, we are committed to partnering with you to help your children own their faith.
I want to produce fruit. I want you to produce fruit. Jesus expects that of us. So let’s do it! For much more, please listen to The Parables Part 8 - When the Clock Is Ticking.