He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.…
I. Those whose lot it is to live within the pale of the visible Church, are a highly favoured people. Compared with the rest of mankind, they are like an enclosed field or garden, in the cultivating or adorning of which the proprietor lays out great pains and expense.
II. God requires, and has a right to expect, that those who are so highly favoured should bring forth fruits of a corresponding kind. It is the peculiarity of the gospel that privilege precedes duty, but it is always taken for granted that duty shall follow.
III. There is often great ground for lamentation and complaint, that those who are favoured by God, in point of privilege, fail in rendering Him homage. How many are there who despise the goodness, and long-suffering, and forbearance of God! How many are there who know not this the day of their merciful visitation!
IV. God is justly and sorely provoked by such conduct. " Cut it down," says He, "why cumbereth it the ground? " What is the use of its remaining longer, but to fill up room in that garden on which I have bestowed so much pains, to intercept the light of the sun from the other trees that are bearing fruit, to draw away the sap from them?
V. God is pleased to spare unprofitable members of the Church, and to extend their day of grace, notwithstanding all their provocations.
(T. McCrie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.