The Barren Fig Tree was a parable teaching us that trees (as well as people) that do not produce fruit are useless.
Jesus was aware that many people had trouble understanding spiritual concepts, so sometimes he told them stories based on day to day living. He spoke to them in parables.
In one parable, he spoke about a barren fig tree.
"Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still have found none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?' He replied, 'Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure around it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" ....... Luke 13:6-9
The God of Israel sent us an avatar, Jesus, to teach us spiritual truths. Some people would not listen, and their lives would continue to be barren. Some others would hear his messages of loving one another, and treating others kindly, and they would be fruitful. The beautiful spiritual condition of their hearts would be seen by others because of their good works.
Billions of people have put their trust in the concept that works are not necessary because they believe that they are “saved by grace”. We really need to be careful here, and check it out for ourselves to determine if it is true or not.
Jesus told us in Mark 3:35 that whoever shall do the will of God, the same is his brother, sister, and mother. Notice the word "do" here. That refers to works. Without "doing" the will of our heavenly Father, we are not related to Jesus. That would mean we are not related to God either.
Are works required to get to heaven? If you say, "No," then in my opinion, you are trying to get to heaven in a leaky boat.
Let's look at another validation that works are necessary along with faith. (We remember scripture tells us faith without works is dead.) In Rev. 20:12-13, we are told that the books of life were opened, and the dead were judged out of those things written in the books, according to their works.
Again in Rev. 21:7-8, we read that God will be the God of those who overcome. But the fearful, murderers, idolaters, etc will be burned in the lake with fire and brimstone. There is no grace here for those who didn't have any good works produced from a good, loving heart. They are dead from God.
A barren fig tree is essentially good for nothing. It may as well be dead.
It may be true that good works will not get you to Heaven, but good works are not done for the purpose of earning your way to Heaven. When you treat others with respect and love without conditions, good works are automatic. You do good works because that is who you are. That is the message of the Barren Fig Tree parable.
by Dorothy K Daigle
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