He told them this parable: "A man had a fig-tree growing in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it, but found none.

"So he said to the vine-dresser, 'Look here! For the last three years I have been looking for fruit on this fig-tree without finding any. Cut it down. Why should it go on using up the soil?'

"But he replied, 'Leave it, sir, this one season, while I dig round it and manure it. And if it bears this season, well and good. If not, you shall have it down!'"
My comment:

I think that people tend to interpret this parable in a personal, and fearful kind of way. I know I used to think along those lines: "Oh no, I may be that unfruitful tree; so I'd better watch out!" If such interpretations encourage anyone to be a better human, I suppose that's to the good.

But this is, after all, from our good harm-reduction Doctor Jesus. Not from some kind of divine forced-labor taskmaster.

What, then, is this referring to? To the people (and leaders) of Israel. The fig tree and the vineyard are standard prophetic metaphors for Israel; there is no doubt that Jesus' hearers understood him as referring precisely to their nation and its rulers.

Why does Jesus curse that fig tree later on, when he comes to the Temple? That was not some ill-tempered personal snit about wanting a fig! When he tells parables there about the workers in charge of the vineyard, that they haven't been paying the Owner His due... The High Priest and his supporters know this is about them; and they don't like it!

Does it do us any good to think about the sad state of 1st Century Israel and her religion?

Well, yes, that people are our example-- of being called to serve God, but misunderstanding what He wants of us. "The Jews" of the gospels-- stand for us! They mistake their religion in the same ways that Christians, since then, habitually mistake our own.

And the present day Society of Friends:

Do we 'use up the ground' where God intended us to live and bear fruit? Does the contemporary Society of Friends, that is, sit at the entrance to God's Kingdom, so that neither we nor anyone else are entering through our gates?

How, except by God's help, could we ever hope to rectify such a state of affairs?

Views: 68

Comment

You need to be a member of QuakerQuaker to add comments!

Join QuakerQuaker

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Keith Saylor posted a blog post

The Power of God preserves forms and brings to see where forms are not.

Pr. He saith, If they can but destroy all formes, the power will fall with it; for the form…See More
8 hours ago
Robert Kirchner posted a discussion

Looking for a reference

There's a story I once came across about an early Friend, and I can't remember which one, or where…See More
7th day (Sat)
Keith Saylor posted a blog post

The Impulse of Immanent Being

There is a way of being, consciousness, or self-awareness that is innate in human beings and which…See More
4th day (Wed)
Noah Merrill updated their profile
8th month 17
Kirby Urner posted a video

A Pensive Cowboy

Another American sounding off on various issues. Stetson hat.
8th month 17
Anne Marie Hutchinson shared Mike Shell's discussion on Facebook
8th month 15
Paulette Meier updated their profile
8th month 13
Paulette Meier liked Anne Marie Hutchinson's blog post A Japanese Filmmaker’s Perspective on Filming a Quaker Blessing for the Urakami Cathedral Cross
8th month 13

© 2019   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service