S4E19: The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

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In this episode we discuss the parable of the Barren Fig Tree from Luke 13:6-9. This parable uses familiar imagery from the prophets to reiterate the urgent need to repent and to live life in light of the coming judgment. Within the context of Jewish remnant theology, this parable is best understood as Jesus reminding his audience that unless they repent (vv. 1-5), they will be cut down and perish in the coming judgment. 

Show notes

  • The apocalyptic context of the parable (4:45)
  • Vineyards and figs in the prophetic tradition – Isaiah 5; Jeremiah 8:13; Hosea 2:12; Joel 1:7; Isaiah 34:4; Zechariah 3:10 (8:11)
  • Judgment becomes a redemptive mechanism for God’s ultimate faithfulness to the covenant – Jeremiah 4:1-10 (11:49)
  • Remnant theology apocalypticized – Isaiah 11:10-11; Zechariah 8:12-13; 4 Ezra 12:33-34 (17:49)
  • The national and individual response to the covenant – Deuteronomy 29:18-20; Malachi 3:13-15 (22:58)
  • Modern approaches to the parable (29:27)