February 28, 2016 - The Parable of the Fig Tree

And he told them this parable:
“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
Third Sunday of Lent

At first blush, this seems like a warning: produce fruit or get cut down.  Sure, you may be given another chance, but God's patience will not last forever.  He wants a return on His investment.  

But notice that the gardener takes full responsibility for whether the fig tree produces fruit or not.  He asks nothing of the tree, but promises to aerate its roots and fertilize it.  He does not impose a deadline, but puts off judgment indefinitely. 

God does not distinguish between the productive and the unproductive. He does not reward the good or punish the bad.  God always interjects himself between His beloved creatures and judgment.