The kingdom of God is fruitful


Luke 13:9 (ESV): 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.


This chapter begins with some people telling Jesus about one of Pilate’s atrocities in which he had abused some Galilean Jews. Jesus quickly responded, saying that the atrocity that these Jews suffered was not due to any greater sinfulness than that of other Jews. Rather, we all will perish if we do not repent.

Jesus then told the parable of this unfruitful tree. God expects his followers to produce fruit of righteousness. If we do not, the result in terms of this word picture is to be cut down.

Spiritually, the person who does not live faithfully for God backslides and abandons their salvation. The vinedresser asked for another year to work with the tree to see it become fruitful.

Immediately following this, Jesus healed a woman who had suffered with a disability for 18 years, but he did so on the Sabbath. The ruler of the synagogue was indignant, but this story graphically pictures the unfruitfulness of the Jewish religious leaders and system of that time.

Jesus then told two short parables picturing the kingdom of God’s impact like that of a mustard seed becoming a great tree and leaven working through a whole batch of dough.

God’s kingdom produces fruit.


In the business world, fruitfulness – making quotas, cutting expenses, etc. are highly prized. Sometimes, companies can almost be ruthless in their efforts to maximize profit and cut expense.

Is it unreasonable for God to expect his people to also be fruitful spiritually? Yet our text shows the grace of God. He is patient with those who are faithful and sincere in their desire to follow him. Yet he does expect results. Lack of spiritual fruit demonstrates lack of spiritual vitality.


Heavenly Father, may I demonstrate the fruit of righteousness in my life. Thank you for your grace. You do not call for legalistic works-righteousness. But your life will produce fruit in us. May it be so in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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