6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 He told the vineyard worker, ‘Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?’
8 “But he replied to him, ‘Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 Perhaps it will produce fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.’”
There must be a dozen of ways to look at this one. Here’s one you probably haven’t heard of yet—I think that it’s really about intercession. The worker wants another year and is willing to make things happen to save this precious tree. He’s even intending to put in even more sweat and blisters, just to bring the tree back to life. He seems to be a diligent chap, and will make a special effort to “git-er-done.”
He intercedes for this tree and will give it an extra boost. The sun is hot, and it really might be easier to knock off earlier, grab a cold one and take it easy. But that’s not his way.
The vineyard guy wants to give the tree a second chance.
Isn’t that a lot like our heavenly father? He deals with us patiently. He will do whatever is needed for the tree to grow. I believe that this parable deals specifically with the ministry of a patient intercession.
“You should accordingly exercise your mind to remember your friends, relatives, and fellow workers to determine if they are in need. As you remember each one so shall you, in turn, intercede for them. If in interceding on their behalf your spirit remains cold and dry, then you know you are not to pray for them.”
Art by Eugène Burnan