Replacing the unfruitful


            He also spoke this parable:  “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  Then he said to the keeper of the vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none.  Cut it down, why does it use up the ground?  But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.  And if it bears fruit, well.  But if not, after that you can cut it down” (Luke 13: 6-9.)


                A parable is story used to illustrate some important truth.  The Lord’s parables contained characters and settings that corresponded to actual settings and characters during the time that he spoke them.  In this parable the vineyard owner represents God.  The ‘vineyard’ represents the whole earth which God created, and the tree represents the nation of Israel which God divinely planted in the midst of all of the other nations.  Jesus Christ represents the ‘keeper of the vineyard.’  He was God’s final attempt to produce goodness in the hearts of the Jewish people (so that they would not need to be removed and replaced.)  For four years he interceded for the Jews, hoping that they would turn and be fruitful; but they repaid his love with hatred; for kindness he was given crucifixion.  With their rejection of Christ came God’s rejection of them.  The nation of Israel was replaced as God’s representatives to the world on the day of Pentecost when Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to everyone who believed.  On that day the words Christ had previously spoken to a gentile woman came true; ‘She said to him, “You Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”  Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father […]The hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”’   Today, the new temple is the body of believers; a building composed of living stones.  The new people are all those who have received God’s Spirit and have become fruitful (Note:  Despite God’s replacement, it is clear that God has not totally cast them away.  In the coming kingdom there will be a remnant of Jews who have placed their faith in Christ; these Jews will rule and reign over the ‘Body of Christ.’)

                The human body is a wonderfully designed machine composed of many different organs, each with a different function; yet by far the most important is the heart.  It’s so essential to life that heart dysfunction is the number one cause of death in the United States.  Since 1967 it has become possible to take out a dead heart and replace it with a fully functioning one.  Many people have been saved because they were willing to part with something that no longer produced what it was intended to produce; life.

                The products of a correctly functioning believer are kindness, love, compassion, peace, respect, generosity, friendship, outreach, selfless action, patience and truth (to name a few.)  If these things are not visible in your life, then your heart may need to be replaced.  The only person who can take your dying heart and replace it with a living heart is Jesus Christ.  Ask him to make the change in your life, and he will do a miracle.  Let go of your old life and grasp on to your new life (eternal life); let his Spirit flow in to you, and you will produce an abundance of fruit.

                “Lord we desperately want to be productive for You.  We want to see others come to You and be healed.  We ask that You not forsake us, but that you give us new hearts filled with Your Spirit; and nourish us so we can produce much fruit for You.  We can’t do it on our own Lord, we need You; we need a miracle; we need a work of Your hands to be the men and women You have called us to be.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask we ask all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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