Jesus did much of his teaching by telling stories and he even gave us a couple of trilogies, short stories in sets of three. One is in Matthew chapter 21 where the main teaching and the target audience remain the same. The middle short story is called the Parable of the Vineyard Tenants and here God comes to collect his fruit: “When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.” Matthew 21 verse 34.
Well to cut a short story shorter they are not willing to yield up any of the fruit that God, the vineyard owner, is rightfully seeking. And so to the question of the fruit: what exactly is the nature of this fruit that God is rightfully seeking? Often, when we think about fruit we assume that it must be something like good deeds or perhaps even good character, the fruit of the spirit, but I would suggest that here the fruit is something other than these.
The religious Pharisees were the target for these three short stories and in all of them there is the very same theme of rejection due to unbelief. Remember Jesus’ words: “Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’” John 6 verses 28-29. Belief, then, is the primary fruit God desires and then following on from that comes repentance, a fundamental change of attitude and outlook upon life and the world around, and then only after that do we have good works.
So then, are you yielding up the fruit of belief in Jesus that God expects to collect?