“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not, you can cut it down.'" Luke 13:6-9
The parable Jesus told isn’t really about a Fig tree. It’s a story about the Jewish people, God’s chosen people … and … it's a story about us too, we who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ. All who call themselves Christians receive a call to bear fruit.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus says very clearly, “My Father's glory is shown by your bearing much fruit, and in this way, you become my disciples. John 15:8
Like that Fig tree, our job is to bear fruit for the master … for God.
Are we bearing fruit for God?
This thing we call religion isn’t a private thing; it’s a call to action. It’s a call to share the Kingdom of God with those around us.
God's Kingdom is all about fruitfulness.
Bearing fruit requires action. Action that results from developing a close relationship with God and knowing what He desires. It comes from an intimate, sensitive connection to Jesus. Jesus once said, "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing." John 15:5
Apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, it's impossible to bear fruit.
How is your relationship with Jesus?
Fruitfulness is Christlikeness. The definition of Christlikeness is a person who has qualities like Jesus Christ. Examples of Christlikeness are being kind, forgiving, sincere, and caring and being a person who produces healing. When we become more like Jesus, when He increases in our lives, we can deliver the fruit that honors God. Jesus is the nourishment we need to produce fruit.
Being Christlike means giving a human face to the gifts we receive through the sacraments. The gifts we speak of here are the “fruit of the Spirit” … love … joy … peace … patience … kindness … goodness … faithfulness … gentleness, and self-control. When we see these traits in our lives, we will begin to see the fruit.
The fruit God wants us to share is our faith, a faith that brings people to Him, including new believers and fallen away believers. That's the fruit Jesus wants.
Jesus is encouraging us all to till the soil of our faith and develop a Christ-like attitude full of … love … joy … kindness … attitudes we develop through studying the Bible and daily prayer time and being charitable, giving to those who need it.
That’s how we till the soil; that's how we bear fruit.