Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kingdom of God - A kingdom that yields fruits! (Part #1) - A "nation" that failed to produce fruits.

Dear in Christ,

Have you ever heard of a Kingdom that yields fruits? Do we have such examples in the scriptures? However, Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God as something that can yield fruits.
Mat 21:43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its (the Kingdom's) fruits.
I am yet to come across studies focusing on the "kingdom that produces fruits" aspect. Most of the studies and commentaries are about the transfer of the kingdom from one party to another.

At this point of time you should be thinking of every tree in the scriptures, right from the tree(s) in Eden to the tree of life that yields 12 types of fruits, mentioned in Revelation 22. Instead of focusing on the trees, let us focus on two nations (people), one that did not yield fruits and another that produced fruits.

A "nation" that failed to produce fruits.

Right from the time John the Baptist started his public ministry Jews were admonished to produce fruits and were warned of the consequences of non-compliance.

Mat 3:8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
Mat 3:10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
The very same thought has been carried forward by Jesus:
Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
According to the context, false prophets are the bad fruits. But they are not alone. As the narrative of the gospel progresses we see more categories added to the list of bad trees.
Mat 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Mat 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
In this context, blasphemers are the trees that produce bad fruit.

What if they failed to bear fruit?

Once, as Jesus was addressing the Jewish audience, someone told him about a few Galileans who were killed and their blood was mixed with their sacrifices by Pilate, the governor. After warning them that they also would perish in the same way, unless they repent, Jesus proceeded to tell them a parable.
Luk 13:1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
Luk 13:2 And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?

Luk 13:3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Luk 13:6 And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.

Luk 13:7 And he said to the vinedresser, 'Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?'

Luk 13:8 And he answered him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.

Luk 13:9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" 

(At this point of time I am not convinced about the popularly accepted symbolisms for the owner, the fig tree or 3 years. It doesn't really matter.)

The vineyard in the parable is Jews, because Jesus was telling his Jewish audience that they were about to perish because they refused to repent.

The owner of the vineyard is at his wits end as the fig tree failed to yield figs. The the vinedresser begs the owner to give it another year before cutting it down and the owner yields. The most important point is that fig tree is not granted infinite time to yield fruits. Its time to be cut down was approaching. 

The point that Jesus was making is: Jews were required to produce the fruits of repentance and if they don't, they will perish. And they did perish in 70 AD. 

... to be continued in Part #2
In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

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