I have been reading the Bible for a long time, but I can honestly say I don’t believe I have ever really noticed this parable.
Once upon a time there was a man who had a fig tree in his vineyard. He came to it looking for fruit, and didn’t find any. So he said to the gardener, “Look here! I’ve been coming to this fig tree for three years hoping to find some fruit, and I haven’t found any! Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?”
“I tell you what, Master,” replied the gardener; “let it alone for just this one year more. I’ll dig all around it and put on some manure. Then, if it fruits next year, well and good; and if not, you can cut it down.” (13:6-9)
I am amazed by the amount of grace in this little parable. One man is ready to give up on the fig tree. The other one (Jesus?) wants to wait just one more year. One more chance! That is our God! Yes, it is grace mixed with expectation. This fig tree needs to produce. But, when others are ready to cut it down, Jesus isn’t. Not yet.
Do we ever write people off too soon? It seems like this parable is implying so.