The Story of a Fig Tree

I have never seen figs growing on a tree, though I have often seen a fig tree in a big public space like a shopping mall. Have you?
Fig trees in Bible times had leaves like a maple tree but much bigger. In fact, when Adam and Eve wanted to cover themselves so that God would not see them, they sewed fig leaves together and made aprons. Most of you know the rest of their story, and you know whether their fig-leaf aprons worked out.
In today’s story, there was a fig tree planted in a field of grape vines. That’s a funny place to plant a fig tree with its big shady leaves, but that’s where it was, and I think the man who took care of the field really liked it. But, after all, it was not his to decide one way or the other about the tree. He was the caretaker of the field for the owner.
Do you have a field too? Maybe you do, even if it’s only a space to run around in or maybe play a game of ball or maybe have a vegetable garden. Is it yours? Psalm 24:11<<A Psalm of David.>> The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1) says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”
Does God really own the world? Yes. You mean the whole world? Yes, it’s all His. Even if it’s in a mess? God didn’t make it a mess. He made it very good, and it still belongs to Him even if we have made it a mess.
One day the owner of the fig tree came looking for juicy, ripe figs, when it was time for the figs to be ripe. Do you know how many figs he found? None at all  ...  not even one!
Oh well, maybe the tree needs to grow more. But the second year was the same, and the third year too. About then the owner thought, What’s the use? No figs  ...  not even one. Cut it down, he said. It’s just taking up valuable space.
Now this is scary. God has a lesson in this story of the fig tree that applies to you and me. We live in God’s world, and we know that planet Earth is somewhere in space and that God is the owner. Has He really said, “Destroy it”? Yes, He has, and He has promised it will happen. Read 2 Peter 3:10 and see.
But the fig tree in our story had a caretaker, and the caretaker told the owner that he had a plan for the tree. And our Jesus had a plan too. In fact, it was God’s plan, and God and Jesus His Son followed through with the plan with complete togetherness.
This was their plan: Jesus the Saviour gave His life for us. We are sinners and deserve to be totally destroyed, Earth included, but Jesus our Saviour has died to redeem us. And now God is waiting  ...  waiting  ...  will you come to Him now? Will you be the fruit that God is waiting for in a world that does not want Him? “Our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity [sin]” (Titus 2:13-1413Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:13‑14)).
The caretaker’s plan for the fig tree was to wait another year. I will dig up the soil and add fertilizer, and we’ll see if it bears fruit next year. And so God is waiting. He has not yet destroyed the world we live in, but He has promised that it will happen! While He waits, He is busy and the Caretaker is busy. Jesus sends troubles to wake up sinners, which is like digging up the soil. And He sends blessings and invitations like the one you are receiving right now, which is like the good of the fertilizer.
The story does not tell us what happened to the fig tree, perhaps because God wants you to give Him your answer right now. We can see that the world is saying “No” to God’s ownership, but He is waiting for your answer. You are one person, and He loves and cares about you. Are you one of the fruits of His harvest? God Himself wants you. Will you come?
Think About God’s Word!
1. Why did the owner want to cut down the fig tree?
2. We know that the world will be destroyed someday. How does that change our priorities today?
Project: How many places in God’s Word can you find a promise that the Lord will bring judgment? Hint: Start your search in 2 Peter 3.