Jesus speaks a parable in Luke 13 regarding a man who plants a fig tree and waits for three years for fruit without success. He decides to cut it down. But the gardener says “Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertiliser. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down”.
Jesus told this parable in response to those asking Him if people who had suffered a freak accident had had that accident because they had sinned badly. Jesus says, No. He explains that all sin is bad and the penalty for sin is death. No matter how terrible or minor your sin is, Jesus explains we all need to come to repentance. Essentially Jesus is saying bad things don’t happen because you did something bad but because they happen. We are all equally as bad because of sin and each of us personally need to repent and accept Jesus. Once again we see, it isn’t actually sin that separates a man from God but rather an individual’s reluctance to repent of their sin and accept Jesus.
But Jesus through this parable shows the heart of God. God gives us chance after chance. He gives everyone time to come to Him. He doesn’t just bring down judgement immediately but endeavours to woo mankind, offering salvation. This parable also shows us the power of prayer.
I want to encourage you today not to give up on your friends and family who have yet to accept Jesus. I know you might not see any fruit, spiritual hunger or action, but don’t cut them down, continue to pray for them, continue to believe for them, continue to love, engage and example Jesus to them. Don’t give up no matter how far away they seem to be. Just like the fig tree, we can’t know what’s going on the inside.
Think of someone right now who seems away from God and pray for them. You never know this might be their year.
Much Love and Blessings
Ps Mark and Nina.