Purpose of Pruning
1. To understand this parable, consider that the purpose of a parable is to teach a big picture principle. Read Luke 13:6-9 and begin to think about the bigger picture. Write down your first impressions.
2. You will notice in most of Jesus’ parables that they start with the words, “a certain man”. Why do you think this is so?
3. In this parable the certain man had something. What did he have and what did he expect from it?
4. How were his expectations met? 13:6
5. What was his reaction to the failure of his expectations being met?
6. How do you react when your expectations are not met?
7. What is the most common way your expectations are not met? What do you do to deal with it in a constructive way?
8. In Jesus’ story, he used the time frame of three years – in verse 7 – why do you think he did that? What was he really saying to the audience of the day?
9. If you were a religious leader in the Jewish church, and Jesus said he came looking for fruit and found “NONE” – how would you have reacted? What would you have put forth as evidence that you had fruit?
10. What was the fruit that Jesus was looking for?
11. Read verse 7 again. In a very real way, Jesus describes consumers and producers. What is the difference in this story? How does it apply to us today?
12. What real life experience in Jesus’ life was an enactment of this parable about the fig tree?
13. In this story there is the ‘owner’ of the vineyard and the ‘keeper’ of the vineyard. Who do they represent and what message does this story send about them?
14. Read verse 8. What did the keeper offer to do to save the fig tree?
15. What would digging and fertilizing do for the tree?
16. What do the digging and fertilizing represent in our lives?
17. What does it mean to you that verse 8 says of the keeper, “I will dig and I will fertilize”?
18. What does verse 9 mean?
19. What does the word “if” imply in verse 9?
20. What are the options in verse 9? How do they apply to people today?
21. What is the real problem in this story? Think beyond the obvious.
22. Now that you have thought through these questions, was your original idea about the point of this parable confirmed? If not, what is your new main point of the story?
23. Now read verse 7 again. The message is that if you “look” you can see that fruit is not being produced. What was it that was so evidently not there?
24. What can you really take away from this story that will help you or you can use to help encourage someone else?