Parable: Fruitless fig trees; one is cursed, the other is given a year time, to give fruit.

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India

Email: Pastor True Gospel


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1. Sins may not cause Calamities, terminal ailments, or accidents.

Before Jesus tells the parable, he gives two incidents as its context. In Luke 13:1&2, Jesus says, a few Galileans were killed by Pilate, and it was not because of their sins. In 4 he says, eighteen people were killed in Siloam by a wall fell on them, and it was not because of their sins. But he says in verses 3&5 "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." That is, if these people do not repent, they will have such calamity. Why should they perish for their sins, while others are not? what is the difference? Because they follow Jesus and others were not. Is there a punishment for following Jesus? No, if you follow him, you better obey him; and do not follow him as a hypocrite. This is the context.

2. Jesus curses a fruitless fig tree, it is not a parable, but it was real.

In the context of the parable, we saw that we must not put up a show. "Matthew 21:18 Now in the morning as he (it is Jesus Christ) returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!" At the Palm Sunday, Jesus was hailed as a hero. At the very next morning, there was no one to give him breakfast, and Jesus was hungry. He saw a fig tree and went to it hoping that he may get some fruit from the tree to quench his hunger. But the fig tree has no fruit at all. So, Jesus cursed the tree and the tree instantly withered away. Such trees are expected to give fruit. There are so many people like this fig tree. They put up a show as godly people, but they have no fruit for God at all. God curses them as he cursed the fig tree. It is a figure of eternal judgment passed upon people now, while they are yet living. Many such cases are recorded in the scripture. Usually, preachers will not mention this. God is love, and he is also consuming fire. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

3. God is the Owner; we represent fig tree; Is Jesus Christ the gardener?

Study a parable to know its mystery, but not the mere story. "Luke 13:6 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. 7 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? 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." Here we see the owner and the gardener. The owner of the vineyard tells the gardener to cut off the fig tree that is in the vineyard, since it has not given any fruit for the last three years. The gardener pleaded with the owner for the tree, to give another year saying, if the tree does not give any fruit by next year, we will cut it off. As soon as we see the interceding, we jump in and say that God the Father is the owner, Lord Jesus Christ is the gardener, and the fig tree represent the sinners or us. We Christians have a wrong understanding about God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We always think that God the Father wants to punish us for our sins; and Jesus Christ always wants to forgive our sins and to take us to heaven. This ideology is deep rooted in us, and our Christianity is perverted because of it. The truth is: God the Father is the originator of our salvation; Jesus Christ never says no to God the Father, even in Gethsemane to the cross; and he always does what the Father says. Their works are in unison as they are one. The interceding of Jesus Christ is entirely different thing. It comes in a different context. We must not mix it up.

4. Gardener is a minister of God in the church, which is the body of Christ?

In the parable, the owner is God. He has a vineyard. Vineyard is the place of vine, branches, and grapes that are fruits. Jesus Christ represents the vine; his true followers, who are sons of God, who abide in Christ; are branches. This is the vineyard, which is the spiritual church, which is the body of Christ. A fig tree is planted in the vineyard. The tree does not abide in the vine, but it is planted on the ground in the vineyard. So, the fig tree is not rooted in Jesus, but on the ground. So, it is not spiritual, as the branches are. Still, it is in the vineyard, which represents the spiritual church, the body of Christ. This parable is about the fig tree and the vineyard, but not about the branches. It is figure of speech. Here, the fig tree represents new believers attending a spiritual church, for more than three years. It is enough time for them to give fruits. But they just visit, come and go in the church. In verse 7, God tells the gardener, "Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" The gardener of the vineyard is a servant of God. God's vineyard is spiritual church. Servants of God will keep the church. "Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" A church is the body of Christ. God will give at least one or more of the above ministers to a church. Most churches will receive at least pastors, who are also teachers. They are responsible to raise the children of God, "unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"

 5. Ministry of God establishes new believers and get rebels out of church.

The fig tree represents the new believers who have joined and attend the church regularly. They have no fruit means; they do not have the fruit of righteousness. They do not have conviction, repentance, or any change in life. They attend church for social and religious purposes; or even to sing songs, get in the flow of music and such excitement parts. Their purpose is not to become godly, but to show off that they are religious. God says, why it cumbereth the ground, that is, why they take up space in a spiritual church, remove them from the church. If they are fakes, pastors must cast them out of the church, since it is the body of Christ. But in the churches of the world, the pastors cannot do it since they are appointed by the people. But in the body of Christ, which is the church of God, God appoints them. So, they can, and they must do it. It is referred here as "cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" Why should the fruitless tree fill the church, which is the vineyard of God? It is not eternal judgment, but purifying the vineyard, which is God's church. God tells his gardeners to get them out of his church. "Luke 13:8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." The godly pastors may plead with God, to give them a chance for one more year. Meanwhile, they will follow up by leading them with things like water baptism, repentance, confessing sins, and such. It is for a limited time. If still there is no fruit for another year, such people should be removed from the church. Please notice that this is not referring to the eternal punishment, but it is purifying the church by removing the fake believers, which are show pieces, who have no fruit of righteousness, that is, they do not live a righteous life.

Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
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