Free Bible Commentary
“Luke 13:1-9”Categories: 50 Days with Jesus
“Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’ 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.”’”
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Think of the worst disaster that you can remember, or the most heinous crime committed against humanity. Did the victims of these tragedies deserve their horrific fate? Did they suffer so terribly because they were such despicable sinners? “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (verse 3). It was not uncommon for people in the time of Christ (or today for that matter) to believe that any accident, illness or ill treatment was supernatural retribution for some terrible sin they had committed (John 9:1-2). But as Solomon truthfully wrote over 2500 years ago, “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). In other words, sometimes stuff just happens.
What lesson should we learn from the untimely deaths of unsuspecting victims? That should remind us that we could be next! And since the same kinds of misfortune could befall any one of us at any time, we need to prepare to meet our God now! When Jesus tells us to repent or we will likewise perish, He is talking about perishing for eternity. We are all going to perish physically unless Jesus returns in our lifetime. Jesus is telling us to repent, to turn from our sinful ways, and make our lives right with God. Then if some tower should unexpectedly fall on our head, we will only die physically, not suffer the eternal destruction of Hell (2 Thessalonians 1:9). After Jesus healed a man who had been ill for 38 years, he told him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you” (John 5:14). Sin without repentance produces much worse consequences than any physical ailment that you could possibly imagine.
The lesson from the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree is this: God is patient, but His patience will not last forever (verses 6-9). That was true for Israel in the time that Christ visited His rebellious people, and that is true for each of us individually as well. God gave Israel time to repent of their wickedness, but they refused and suffered the consequences as a nation. God will only tolerate defiance and rejection for so long. God also gives each person individually time to turn from their sins and turn to Him in loving obedience. But we never know when our time on earth will be over. The appropriate time to make your life right with God is now. Now is really the only time that you can be certain you have.
“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Please read Luke 15:1-10 for tomorrow – Parables of the lost sheep and lost coin
Have a great day!