Five Stories of Love in Action – WFC Bible Notes
This week we look at four ‘stories’ from Luke’s Gospel found in Luke 13
Reading: Luke 13:6-8
6 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. 7 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?”
8 ‘“Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig round it and fertilise it.
Thought for Reflection:
To begin with this seems like a fairly straightforward story of judgment; the fig-tree hasn’t been fruitful and so it is cut down. The vineyard owner gives it three years to prove its worth – he is generous and gives it a good chance. But then comes the last line which changes things; the vineyard gardener pleading for even more time to give him chance to nurture the crops with fertilizer. Interestingly, the story doesn’t tell us if he got his way or not.
The context of the parable helps us. Jesus is in the midst of a conflict with those who were influential in religious circles at the time, popular thinkers and religious leaders. Perhaps he is explaining his role and theirs. On our own we are unfruitful, but Jesus has come to nurture and tend us so that we can become so. He is the gardener who is committed to and loves his vineyard. The question is left hanging in the air, will we accept his care so that we can be fruitful for God? If we want to be successful, the only way is through Christ’s help.
Prayer: Help us Jesus to open today to the nurturing work of your Spirit. Make us fruitful for your Father.