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Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

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Title: Parable of the Barren Fig Tree


1
Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
2
a placing beside (akin to paraballo, to throw or
lay beside, to compare). It signifies a
placing of one thing beside another with a view
of comparisonIt is generally used of a
somewhat lengthy utterance or narrative drawn
from nature or human circumstances, the object of
which is to set forth a spiritual lesson
(Vines Expository
Dictionary of NT Words)
3
specifically a narrative, fictitious but
agreeable to the laws and usages of human life,
by which either the duties of men or the things
of God, particularly the nature and history of
Gods kingdom, are figuratively portrayed
(Thayers Greek-English Lexicon
of the NT)
4
Approximately 1/3 of the teachings of Jesus were
in parabolic form
Purposes of parables given by Jesus
1) To reveal truth to inquiring minds that wanted
to know
2) To conceal truth from those not truly
interested
5
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why
speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered
and said unto them, Because it is given unto you
to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,
but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath,
to him shall be given, and he shall have more
abundance but whosoever hath not, from him
shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in
6
parables because they seeing see not and
hearing they hear not, neither do they
understand. Matthew 1310-13
7
Must keep in mind the context in studying parables
What is the context in which we find the parable
of the barren fig tree?
Jesus was teaching about the events of life and
what causes them (Lk. 151-5)
He then enters into this parable
8
Who was to blame for Judahs rebellion against
the Messiah?
Had God done something to cause this rebellion by
the Jews?
Many blame God (either advertently or
inadvertently) for their problems
God was not to blame the Jews themselves were
9
Notice what is seen in this Parable of the Barren
Fig Tree
10
Property of a Certain Man
11
He spake also this parable A certain man had a
fig tree Luke 136
12
This certain man represents God, the owner of
the vineyard and the owner of Judah (the fig tree)
13
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my
beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved
hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill And he
fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof,
and planted it with the choicest vine, and built
a tower in the midst of it, and also made a
winepress therein and he looked that it should
bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild
grapes. And now, O inhabitants of
Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray
you, betwixt me and my
14
vineyard. What could have been done more to my
vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore,
when I looked that it should bring forth grapes,
brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to I
will tell you what I will do to my vineyard I
will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be
eaten up and break down the wall thereof, and it
shall be trodden down And I will lay it
waste it shall not be pruned, nor digged
but there shall come up briers and thorns I
will also
15
command the clouds that they rain no rain upon
it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the
house of Israel, and the men of Judah his
pleasant plant and he looked for judgment, but
behold oppression for righteousness, but behold
a cry. Isaiah 51-7
16
This certain man represents God, the owner of
the vineyard and the owner of Judah (the fig tree)
Just so, He is the owner of every man by virtue
of His being mans Creator
17
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it
was and the spirit shall return unto God who
gave it. Ecclesiastes 127
18
Prepared in a Certain Fashion
19
He spake also this parable A certain man had a
fig tree planted Luke
136
20
God had prepared them to be the people through
whom His Son would come
They would be the first recipients of the gospel
21
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy
Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses
unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the
earth. Acts 18
22
God had prepared them to be the people through
whom His Son would come
They would be the first recipients of the gospel
He planted them in a fertile place and promised
them a favorable position if they would obey His
will
23
But exhort one another daily, while it is called
To day lest any of you be hardened through the
deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers
of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our
confidence stedfast unto the end While it is
said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden
not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 313-15
24
Even so we are not children of chance
In becoming Christians we were planted in His
vineyard through our baptism into Him
25
Praising God, and having favour with all the
people. And the Lord added to the church daily
such as should be saved. Acts
247
26
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us into the kingdom of his
dear Son Colossians 113
27
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into
death that like as Christ was raised up from the
dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk in newness of life. For if we have
been planted together in the likeness of his
death, we shall be also in the likeness
of his resurrection
Romans 64, 5
28
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my
heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted
up. Matthew 1513
29
Planted in a Certain Place
30
He spake also this parable A certain man had a
fig tree planted in his vineyard
Luke 136
31
Among the things promised to the descendants of
Abraham was land, the land in which they would
settle and be made ready for the coming of the
Messiah
32
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of
thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy
father's house, unto a land that I will shew
thee And I will make of thee a great nation, and
I will bless thee, and make thy name great and
thou shalt be a blessing And I will bless them
that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee
and in thee shall all families of the earth be
blessed. Genesis 121-3
33
Among the things promised to the descendants of
Abraham was land, the land in which they would
settle and be made ready for the coming of the
Messiah
That land was given to them and that land promise
was fulfilled
34
And, behold, this day I am going the way of all
the earth and ye know in all your hearts and in
all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of
all the good things which the LORD your God spake
concerning you all are come to pass unto you,
and not one thing hath failed thereof.
Joshua 2314
35
When ye have transgressed the covenant of the
LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have
gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves
to them then shall the anger of the LORD be
kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly
from off the good land which he hath given unto
you. Joshua 2316
36
In like fashion, every Christian has been
planted in His vineyard, His church, His
kingdom, that which was purchased by His blood
There are not many vineyards, but one
God is its keeper and Christ its vine we are the
branches
37
I am the true vine, and my Father is the
husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not
fruit he taketh away and every branch that
beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring
forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the
word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me,
and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit
of itself, except it abide in the vine no
more can ye, except ye abide in
38
me. I am the vine, ye are the branches He that
abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth
forth much fruit for without me ye can do
nothing. John 151-5
39
Presumed to Be a Certain Way
40
He spake also this parable A certain man had a
fig tree planted in his vineyard and he came and
sought fruit thereon
Luke 136
41
Had an expectation from it
It was a fruit tree planted in a fertile place
receiving the proper care
It should have borne fruit but none was
forthcoming
Judah should have borne much fruit, but it was
barren
42
Likewise, God expects each of us to be
fruit-producers
43
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is
hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Matthew 719
44
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much
fruit so shall ye be my disciples.
John 158
45
Likewise, God expects each of us to be
fruit-producers
Some may be more favorably situated than others
some have more ability than others some have
more opportunity than others but all can and
must produce fruit
46
Perplexed by a Certain Condition
47
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 Luke
136, 7a
48
Some ascribe the three years to the time of the
Lords personal ministry on earth
Others maintain that it is symbolic of the
attempts to reach the Jews through the law, the
prophets and the Christ
The Jews, as a whole, were not convinced by all
of these
49
Even though the law and prophets spoke of Him,
and He Himself taught them, urged them and
pleaded with them during His time on earth, they
still rejected Him
That which should have brought forth much fruit
was actually fruitless
What will the Lord find with us when He returns?
50
Proposal of a Certain Action
51
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?
Luke 137
52
Seeing it had borne no fruit, though it should
have, the husbandman requires that it be cut down
(Judah was to be cut off)
Cumbereth means to render barren or sterile
to make of none effect make idle
A barren fig tree member lowers congregational
morale
53
If we are not bearing much fruit for the Lord, we
are merely taking up space and cumbering the
ground
54
It is not the critic who counts not the man who
points out how the strong man stumbles or where
the DOER of deeds could have done better. The
credit belongs to the man who is actually in the
arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and
blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes
up short again and again, because there is no
effort without error or shortcoming, but who
knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions,
who spends himself for a worthy cause who, at
55
the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high
achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails,
at least he fails while daring greatly, so that
his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who knew neither victory nor
defeat. Citizenship in a Republic, Teddy
Roosevelts speech at the Sorbonne, Paris,
France, April 23, 1910
56
Pitied to a Certain Extent
57
And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it
alone this year also Luke
138a
58
This year represents one last effort to summon
Israel to repentance
Some think it represents the ministries of John
and Jesus (and even up till the time of
Jerusalems destruction in A.D. 70)
Regardless of what it stands for in this parable,
it is symbolic of Gods longsuffering and grace
59
Just as He was patient with Israel, He is patient
with us
60
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as
some men count slackness but is longsuffering to
us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but
that all should come to repentance.
II Peter 39
61
Just as He was patient with Israel, He is patient
with us
God waited patiently in the days of Noah (I Peter
320)
Jerusalem was not destroyed until some 40 years
after the Lords death
However, His patience will not persist forever
62
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that
know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ Who shall be punished with
everlasting destruction from the presence of the
Lord, and from the glory of his power
II Thessalonians 18, 9
63
Pampered for a Certain Time
64
And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it
alone this year also till I shall dig about it,
and dung it Luke 138
65
The Lord did all He could with and for a
rebellious people
66
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the
prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto
thee, how often would I have gathered thy
children together, even as a hen gathereth her
chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Matthew 2337, 38
67
The Lord did all He could with and for a
rebellious people
He is doing all He can for us
68
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath
appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying
ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live
soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present
world Looking for that blessed hope, and the
glorious appearing of the great God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ Who gave himself for us,
that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and
purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works. Titus 211-14
69
Preserved by a Certain Outcome
70
And if it bear fruit, well
Luke 139
71
Notice that there was a condition placed upon the
salvation of the tree- IF it bear fruit
The same condition is placed upon each of us
72
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he
taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit,
he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more
fruit. John 152
73
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to
make your calling and election sure for if ye do
these things, ye shall never fall
II Peter 110
74
Purged Because of a Certain End
75
And if it bear fruit, well and if not, then
after that thou shalt cut it down.
Luke 139
76
If no fruit was forthcoming after the extended
period of grace, the vine dresser stated that the
fig tree should then be cut down
The choice of whether it would continue in the
vineyard or be cut down and cast into the fire
was entirely up to the fig tree
The decision of where we will spend eternity is
up to each of us
77
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree Shows Us
Property of a Certain Man
Prepared in a Certain Fashion
Planted in a Certain Place
Presumed to be a Certain Way
Perplexed by a Certain Condition
Proposal of a Certain Action
Pitied to a Certain Extent
Pampered for a Certain Time
Preserved by a Certain Outcome
Purged Because of a Certain End
78
It is interesting that this is the way the
parable ends
The story does not reveal whether or not the
additional year was successful
We know, of course, that with Israel it wasnt
But, how the story ends for each of us is yet to
be written
79
(No Transcript)
80
Sources Consulted -Parables of Our Lord (Faulkner
Univ. Lectures, 1994) -The Parables of Jesus
(Power Lectures, 2000) -Studies in Luke (Shertz
Lectures, 2003) -Sermon- The Barren Fig Tree,
by Allen Webster
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