November 26th, 2006
The principle of the “one last chance” applies to many things in life, and it applies to life itself. Life doesn’t last forever, and time is ticking away for everyone. You only get one shot at it, so you need to do whatever you need to do before time runs out. In today’s reading, the gardener decided to give the fig tree one last chance. There’s only so long that you can stand in the garden if you aren’t producing fruit. If, after your “one last chance” you still aren’t producing any fruit, then you get chopped down to free up the soil for some other tree which can produce fruit.
Luke’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 13
13:1 Some of the people who were there told him about how Pilate had mixed the blood of some Galileans with their sacrifices. 13:2 Jesus asked, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, causing them to suffer like this? 13:3 I can tell you that they weren’t. But if you don’t repent you will all die the same way. 13:4 What about the eighteen people who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell? Do you think that they were worse offenders than everyone else who lives in Jerusalem? 13:5 They weren’t. But if you don’t repent you will all die the same way.”
13:6 He told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it, but found none. 13:7 He said to the gardener, ‘I have been looking for fruit on this fig tree for three years, but haven’t found any. Cut it down. Why should it be wasting good garden space?’ 13:8 The gardener answered, ‘Sir, let it go for this year. I will dig around it and fertilize it. 13:9 If it bears fruit, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.'”
13:10 He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. 13:11 One of the women who was there had had a crippling spirit for eighteen years, and she was bent over, unable to straighten herself up. 13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are freed from your ailment.” 13:13 He placed his hands on her, and at once she stood up straight, and glorified God. 13:14 The synagogue leader was indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and said to the crowd, “There are six days in which people should work. So come on those days to be healed, and not on the Sabbath day!” 13:15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Don’t all of you untie your ox or donkey from its stall on the Sabbath, and lead it out to water? 13:16 Shouldn’t this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had imprisoned for eighteen long years, be untied from her bondage on the Sabbath day?” 13:17 His opponents were humiliated when he said this, but the crowd rejoiced because of the wonderful things that he did.
13:18 He said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? What can I compare it to? 13:19 It is like a mustard seed, which someone took and planted in the garden. It grew to become a large tree, and the birds nested in its branches.” 13:20 Again he said, “What can I compare the Kingdom of God to? 13:21 It is like yeast, which a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”
13:22 He travelled through towns and villages teaching, heading towards Jerusalem. 13:23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He said, 13:24 “Make every effort to go in the narrow door. I can tell you that many people will try to get in, but will not be able to. 13:25 Once the houseowner has got up to shut the door, you will stand outside knocking at the door, begging, ‘Sir, Sir, please open for us,’ but he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 13:26 You will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 13:27 He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know where you come from. Get lost, you troublemakers.’ 13:28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown outside. 13:29 People will come from the east, west, north, and south, and will sit down in the Kingdom of God. 13:30 Some people who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.”
13:31 On the same day some Pharisees came to tell him, “Get out of here and go away, because Herod wants to kill you.” 13:32 He said, “Go and tell that fox, ‘I will cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and on the day after I will complete my mission. 13:33 I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is not right for a prophet to die outside of Jerusalem.’
13:34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you kill the prophets, and stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children together, like a hen gathers her own chicks under her wings, but you refused! 13:35 Now your house is left deserted. You will not see me again until the time when you will say, ‘Blessed is the person who comes in the name of the Lord!'”
Entry Filed under: Trust