Alex’s Commentary – Luke 13:6-9

The story is outrageous on purpose; the Lord Jesus Christ uses exaggeration in his telling of the fruitless tree to emphasize his main point: there is something fundamentally wrong with the human heart (sin), and only the Triune God can fix it. His audience understood the unnatural, the against-design behavior of the fig tree. Even trees growing on the side of Judea’s dusty roads would yield fruit every year! And here you have a tree planted on good ground, taken care of, which has not produced fruit in a long time. The three certainly deserve what is coming. But instead of receiving justice, the tree (us!) receives grace at the expense of the vinedresser’s reputation and work. This is a surprising twist in the story since no vineyard administrator would risk it all for a lost cause like this one.

And yet, he did. He did not because he was obligated, not because of his job; he did it out of love and compassion for the fruitless tree. From God’s perspective, this is not a gamble; his work always produces fruit in the human heart, at the very least fruit of repentance.


For Your Consideration

  1. What are the similarities between this passage and the other readings for the same Sunday in our Lectionarium?
  2. What connections do you see between Fruitless Tress and previous Lent messages?
  3. Consider the work of Jesus Christ, the Vinedresser, on your behalf and present prayers of thanksgiving and adoration.
  4. How does His work enable you, personally, to serve others with humility, compassion, and generosity?
  5. What fruit of repentance is He producing in you?
  6. Who around you needs to meet Jesus Christ, the Vinedresser? Ask the Triune God that He may reveal Himself to them – may be using you as an example.

Extra Credit

  • Read the passages for this coming Sunday.
  • Pray that everyone who may come to worship (in person and online) may hear His message clearly.
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