This is my 5th blog in a series called “Jesus Said”. The purpose of this series it to take a closer look at the word of God and discover the message God has for us so we don’t drift away from the life He desires for us. Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1 Today we are looking at what Jesus said about fertilizer. Yes, fertilizer. Stick with me!
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” Luke 13:6-9
Although this parable is said to symbolize Israel’s disobedience towards God, let’s break down and see how it can relate to our own lives by looking a little closer at three phrases or ideas: 1) for three years, 2) dig around it and fertilize and 3) cut it down. Here we go again, last there was the gouging of eyes and this week more cutting, but at least it’s just a fig tree this time. Let’s break it down:
1. three years – Scripture tells us that we have a patient God who is slow to anger. He will never leave us, but he has given us free will which sometimes provides us with just enough rope to tie ourselves up in a BIG mess. Amen!?
2. dig around it and fertilize – When we create a mess, God does what He can with it to turn it into a beautiful Abstract piece of art to molds and shapes us in ways that make us stronger, more faithful and trusting of His ways. We may dig the hole, but God uses that hole to fill it up with fertilizer. The purpose of fertilizer in soil and in us is to promote growth and increase productivity. God desires that for each of us.
3. cut it down – Unfortunately, sometimes we are stubborn, slow learners who have to learn the hard way (Ugh, that would be me). When this happens and God has been patient, fertilized hoping for a change, but gets no response we give Him no choice but to leave us to our own devises. We are so caught up in ourselves, our pride, fear and addictions the fertilizer useless; the disease and infection has spread to far. The tree dies (or our hearts do) and it must be cut down. Cut down so it can be replanted with, hopefully, richer soil, greater strength and no disease. A fresh start!
The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:2
Thankfully, we don’t need to be cut down to start over. However, I can’t promise it won’t feel as if you have been. We only have to believe in our risen Lord, ask for a fresh start and accept the gracious and merciful gift of forgiveness and love. Being forgiven doesn’t mean that the consequences of our actions will disappear. Paying the consequences for ignoring the benefits of the fertilizer still come with the love and forgiveness, but the love and forgiveness are real!