Luke 13:6-9Jesus tells this parable on the heels of being asked a question about 2 tragedies that had just happened in His community. Details about this are found in vs 1-5. Apparently, in one case, Pilate, the acting governor, had slaughtered and mixed the blood of the people that he had killed with the sacrifices that they were making at the synagogue at the time that he killed them. In the other case, a tower had fallen on 18 people and kill them. So in the minds of those asking Jesus this question, was the assumption that the the victims must have sinned really badly to deserve this fate.
Jesus, in fact, answers by asking “do you think they were greater sinners than others, specifically you? Do you think that God was punishing them with these disasters happening?” The answer, is “no”. In fact, Jesus said, if you don’t repent you will perish as well! Judging by the conversation, Jesus was probably talking to some of the pious religious leaders. None-the-less, many of us hold a fundamental belief that only good things happen to good people and that if something bad happens to you, you’ve apparently done something wrong and are being punished. What Jesus was saying was that we have all sinned and we are all in danger of being judged for our sin. Then Jesus tells this parable: there was a tree that was old enough to be a fruit bearing tree, yet for 3 consecutive years the landowner had come to pick fruit off of it but there was no fruit. So the land owner decided it was time to dig it up.
The land owner tells his gardener, “dig this worthless tree up – it’s just taking up space.” The gardener replies, “give it one more year. I’ll turn the soil over by it; I’ll add fertilizer; I’ll water it and give it some extra care, then, if it’s not producing fruit by the end of the year, we’ll dig it out and destroy it.” In the big picture, Jesus was probably telling these religious leaders that God had planted a fig tree – namely the Nation of Israel – in the world, His Garden, to bear fruit and to point people to God. They had failed to do so and was in danger of being dug up. Jesus, the gardener, was interceding on behalf of that sterile fig tree. He’s asking the Father for a chance to work with it, cultivated and see if it can become a fruit- bearing tree. He’s asking God the Father for a little bit more time.
Many of us are like that fig tree. We’ve been planted in a “Christian environment” were the Truth is taught, but Truth has failed to take root in our hearts and we bear no Christian fruit. Now trees don’t sit down and make a “fruit-bearing” plan because they feel a need to–they bear fruit because they’re trees. We too don’t bear fruit because we we’re suppose to-we bear fruit because of the Life of Jesus Who lives inside us. Jesus said it this way, “they will know that you’re Mine because of your fruit. (Matt 7:16) Galatians (5:19-23) makes the following list of fruit–I challenge you to seriously consider which list your fruit resembles.
FRUIT OF THE . . .
gentleness fits of rage
So, which list of fruit describes you? All off us need to take Jesus’ warning to heart: “if you don’t repent you will perish as well”. Turn towards Jesus today!
Think about it!