As we continue through Luke’s Gospel, Jesus gives the crowd a parable.
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 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?’
“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'”
Luke 13:6-9 NIV
I believe that the direct application of this is that Jesus was giving Israel a time-limit to accept Him as the Messiah. Unfortunately, they didn’t, and temporarily lost their place in the Holy Land.
There is, however, a more important application to the lives of God’s people. Beyond any question, God is looking for fruit in the lives of believers.
When the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us, He begins to transform us into Christ’s image. He wants us to live like Jesus did. This means that we bear spiritual fruit.
This fruit does not simply mean that we’re being nice people. You can be nice without the Holy Spirit’s help. The fruit that God is looking for is on a whole different level. The list of these characteristics is given in Galatians 5:22-23.
Back in 2017, I did a detailed series on each of these fruits. To read that series of posts, click here.
It should be clear from an understanding of the Fruit of the Spirit, that we need the power of God to fulfill them. The fruit are an outgrowth of a deepening walk with the Lord. The more time we spend with Him, the more we become like Him.
Unfortunately, there are those who read about this fruit, and feel that it would be nice to live like that, but I can’t work on that right now. We need to understand that bearing fruit is not optional. As a matter of fact, they’re not even something we can do by trial and error.
They’re called the fruit OF THE SPIRIT for a reason. They don’t come to us by disciplining our flesh. It’s not even a result of making up our mind to accomplish them. They can only spring from our spirit being led by the Holy Spirit.
You may think that Jesus is being judgmental with Israel in the above passage. You might feel that the Lord will look the other way as you do your own thing. What does the New Testament teach about this?
The writer of the book of Hebrews was speaking to a people who were under persecution. They were thinking about going back to Judaism. Listen to what he tells them.
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
Hebrews 6:7-8 NIV
You may think this sounds hash. But, in reality, by rejecting the Fruit of the Spirit, you’re actually rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit in you. In that case, you’re in danger of losing the blessings of God in your life.
Jesus said that if we remain in Him, we will bear much fruit (John 15:1-8). He said that He was the vine, and we are the branches. If that’s the case, then you could say that the Holy Spirit is the life-giving sap running through every part.
If we block the work of the sap, then our branch will begin to wither. There will be no fruit, and it will be worthless as a part of the vineyard. No one want to be in that position.
Spend quality time in your relationship with the Spirit of God. Allow Him to continue His work in you. Then watch as your life produces the fruit that speaks to the glory of God.
Question: How fruitful is your life right now?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi