Jesus save in so many ways and there are many analogies to help us understand that, like the Good Shepherd, the Great Physician and the High Priest. In Luke 16, we glimpse Him as a Gardener.
And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'"
When the ax is ready to remove a fruitless tree, Jesus steps in and says, ‘let me dig around her roots and poor fertilizer around them. If she doesn't bear fruit for another year, then I'll chop it down.’
Jesus strives to give us one last chance, but we may fail to recognize it, since from our point of view, things will be quite uncomfortable. Who wants their roots disturbed? Who wants soil removed to expose the buried parts of oneself? And after that, the final step is to apply fertilizer. We know how good that is for a garden, but would you sign up for having poop applied all around your core? I wouldn't.
But without it, we won't bear fruit. And by 'it,' I mean digging, rousting, removing and exposing. I mean having stinky circumstances that are embarrassing, painful, confusing and life changing. These are the things that wake us up to an eternal perspective and inspire us to work more for the Kingdom than this ashen world.