Having a garden can be fun. Watching seeds grow into plants and eventually produce fruit can be extraordinarily rewarding. But as all gardeners know, every year, some plants are more productive than others, and some seeds never grow at all. When seeds fail to grow, and plants fail to produce, they become more frustrating than fun.
As Christians, God expects our faith to grow and to be productive. In Luke 13:6-9, Jesus uses a parable to describe God’s patience and desire for us to have a productive faith. Jesus tells of a man with a fig tree that failed to produce fruit after several years. The man ordered the tree to be cut down, but the “vineyard-keeper” asked for an opportunity to till the ground and add fertilizer.
The tree’s owner represents God the Father, the vineyard-keeper represents Jesus, and we are the fig tree. God expects each one of us to have a productive faith. Because Jesus intercedes on our behalf, the Father still patiently waits for us to bear fruit.
Compared to what God expects, is our faith producing more, less, or maybe even nothing at all?