Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Luke 13:7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
Luke 13:8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
Luke 13:9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
This is the last passage of the memory verse list I shared with my high school Sunday school class. I believe that anyone who will learn these verses by heart will find these verses will encourage prayer and growth in the Christian life. I’m sure that the proper interpretation of Luke 13:6-9 is more difficult than I realized when I first memorized the passage as a teenager. But the application I made of it later was to not give up on reaching others if we do not see immediate results. I think it would help if more churches, pastors, youth leaders, and Sunday school teachers would make the effort to reclaim those who seem to be slipping away out the back door of the church. Sometimes there may be great effort to bring a person to the point of spiritual birth. We need to go beyond that to develop mature, growing disciples. I believed back then that the job of the teacher or pastor is to teach the pupil as much as possible. I wanted to literally teach myself out of a job when it came to teaching about the Bible and spiritual things. I wanted my Sunday school pupils and the attenders to a home Bible study to come to know as much or more than me, their teacher. I did this with repeated personal contact in small group settings or one on one. I found a particularly effective way to reach teenagers in greater depth was to share with them important books I found most helpful. To do that, I bought a duplicate or two of a good title and put it in a bookcase and invited, in one case, the members of the Bible Discussion Club at Cass Technical High School to read and study them. Some got worn out. A few turned up missing. But I believe God has used those books in the lives of those who had the opportunity to read them. One of the titles was Evangelism Explosion by Dr. Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. The Bible Club members were eager to win souls. They learned the material in that book, and then rewrote it to better suit reaching teenagers at school. But one time one of the students brought a friend up to my classroom and asked me to demonstrate once again how to use the Coral Ridge Program on the student he brought with him. I did so. The next day the student came up to my room (it was on the seventh floor, so that is a lot of stairs to climb!) all breathless and excited. He asked me if I had heard what happened to the friend he brought with him the day before. I had not. He let me know that she went home that day, only to discover that her mother had packed her suitcase and was deserting the family. The girl he had brought with him the day before was the oldest child of eight. That left the responsibility for the other children in her hands. She was devastated. She went to a room where she would not be disturbed. She prayed, and asked the Lord to save her. I believe the Lord answered her prayer. It ultimately was through her and her then future husband that resulted in my moving from Detroit itself out to the country. And, having moved way out here, I met my wife at a little church I happened to visit one very snowy Sunday when it would be too difficult and hazardous to drive to Covenant Baptist Church in Detroit where I then taught the Lamplighter’s Class, a college and career age Sunday school class. Beyond that, one of that young lady’s future children became a missionary and is on the mission field now. By the way, the young man who brought his friend to me became a pastor in Memphis, Tennessee. Looking back, I’m sure we all can testify that God works in many wonderful and to us most mysterious ways to bring about His will.
For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:
(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1135 for Luke 13:6-9.
(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1157 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Luke 13:6-9.
(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:
Luke 13:6. fig tree. Jg 9:8-12. Ezr 9:8, 9. Ps *80:8-13. SS 2:13. Is *5:1-4. Je 2:21. 8:13. 24:3. Ho 9:10. Jl 1:7. Mt 7:17. *21:18-20. Mk 11:12-14. Jn 1:48. his vineyard. Ps 80:8-16. Is 5:2. Mk 12:1. and he came. Lk 20:10-14. Mt 21:34-40. Jn +*15:16. Ga 5:22. Ph 4:17. sought fruit. Lk 8:14. Jn 15:5. Ph 1:11. T 3:14. found none. Lk 8:14. Jn %15:5.
Luke 13:7. Then said. FS56, Is +14:16. these three years. Le 19:23. 25:21. Ro 2:4, 5. seeking fruit. SS 6:11. Is 5:2. Ezk 24:13. Mt 21:19, 23, 33. 2 T 1:10. He 6:8. on this fig tree. Jg 9:11. SS 2:13. cut it down. Lk 3:9. +*12:46. Ex 32:7-14. Dt 20:19. Ec 11:3. Ezk 20:8, 9. Da 4:14. Mt *3:10. 7:19. Jn +*15:2, 6. Ro 11:20-23. 2 P 2:9, 17. 3:7, 9. why. Ex 32:10. Ho 6:4. Mt 3:9. cumbereth. Gr. katargeō [S#2673g: Rendered (1) destroy: Ro 6:6. 1 C 6:13. 15:26. 2 Th 2:8. He 2:14. (2) do away: 1 C 13:10. 2 C 3:11, 14. (3) abolish: 2 C 3:13. Ep 2:15. 2 T 1:10. (4) cumber: Lk 13:7. (5) loose: Ro 7:2. (6) cease: Ga 5:11. (7) fail: 1 C 13:8a. (8) deliver: Ro 7:6. (9) make without effect: Ro 3:3. (10) make void: Ro 3:31. (11) make of none effect: Ro 4:14. (12) bring to nought: 1 C 1:28. (13) come to nought: 1 C 2:6. (14) vanish away: 1 C 13:8b. (15) put away: 1 C 13:11. (16) put down: 1 C 15:24. (17) to be done away: 2 C 3:7. (18) make of none effect: Ga 3:17. (19) become of no effect: Ga 5:4]. Ro 3:3, 31. 7:6. 2 C 3:7, 11, 13, 14. Ga 5:4.
Luke 13:8. Lord, let. Ex 32:11-14, 30-32. *34:6, 9. Nu 14:11-20. Jsh 7:7-9. Ps 78:38. 106:23. Je 14:7-9, 13, etc. 15:1. 18:20. Ezk *12:3. Jl 2:17. Ro *2:4. 10:1. 11:14. 2 P **3:9, 15. this year also. Lk 24:47. Ac3:26. and dung. Lk 14:35.
Luke 13:9. And if. FS184C, Mt +4:9. Lk 19:42. Ex 32:32. Ezr 9:13-15. Is 5:5-7. Ezk 12:3. Da 3:15. it bear fruit. Mt 13:23. Ga *5:22, 23. well. FS63D2, Ge +30:27. FS63F, Ge +33:10. FS37A, Ex +32:32. Da 3:15. if not. FS184C, Mt +4:9. after that. Ac 13:46. Ro 11:221. cut it down. Lk 3:9. Ezr 9:14, 15. Ps 69:22-28. 80:14, 15. Is *5:5-7. Da 9:5-8. Mt 3:10. Jn *15:2. 1 Th 2:15. He *6:8. Re *15:3, 4. 16:5-7.