Is This Your Last Year? by Jerry Vines

Is This Your Last Year?
Luke 13:6-9
Jerry Vines
1/04/04

This passage is an amazing parable with a sobering truth. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus would take something the people were familiar with and tell a story about it. He would use that story as an illustration of spiritual truth.
This story is a story that would be very familiar to the people who would be living in His day. Here is a man who owned a vineyard. In that vineyard he had a tree. The purpose of a fig tree is to produce figs. That is why it is in existence. You would reasonably, normally expect that in a period of time you could come to the tree and in season you could pick the figs. A fig tree was useless if it did not produce figs. All it did was just occupy space. It was of no good.
So for three years the owner of the vineyard had come seeking fruit on that fig tree and he couldn't find any. He evidently was rather frustrated about the matter so he said to the man who was keeping the vineyard for him, "Just go ahead and cut down this old fig tree. It's not bringing forth any fruit. It's just cluttering up the ground. Just cut it down and let's get rid of it."
The keeper of the vineyard said to the owner, "Sir, let's give this fig tree one more year. Let me work on this fig tree. Let me dig around it and fertilize the soil. Let me work with this tree for a little bit and give it one more year. If at the end of the year there is still no fruit, then we can cut it down."
That's an amazing truth, isn't it? One more year to live. The fig tree had only one more year to produce and then it would be all over.
What would you do if you knew that you had only one more year to live? I asked them in data processing in our church office how many members we have lost through death in the past year? They told me that 86 members of our congregation went out into eternity last year. You know the names of some of them. You know many of those who have died. They may be a me ...


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