The threatened violence in this story of the fruitless fig tree tells the disciples the rough conditions of following Jesus. Rejection, hostility, violence ; and eventually death met Jesus on his path, and that is the same path on which his followers journey.
It is much easier to bulldoze than to renovate, but Jesus came to save, not to bulldoze. In this parable, the saving comes in the form of the earthy, unglamorous spreading of manure. Jesus uses the filth of farm animals to bring life. Although we are constantly tempted to use shortcuts, to take things into our own hands, God’s way can often take a lot longer than we’d like it to. Manure is a long-term fix.
If God isn’t in a hurry with people, we shouldn’t be either. The way we go about our lives of following Jesus should be the same way God works in the world and in us. Impatience is our greatest temptation.
Are you more of a “chop it down!” type of person or a “Let it be!” type?
What are some types of “manure” that would be helpful in your life to bring fruitfulness?