Father, prepare my heart to meet You. Help me to turn my whole self to You.
Read LUKE 13:1–9
 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.  Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.  Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’  “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.  If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the lesson of the fig tree?
The two parts of this passage can seem very different, but one underlines the other. First is Jesus’ reaction to two recent tragedies in Jerusalem: a horrendous massacre of Galilean pilgrims at the hand of Pontius Pilate (1), and a tragic building collapse that killed 18 people (4). The second part is the parable of a barren fig tree given one more chance to bear fruit (6–9). Jesus repeats twice his statement that those who died so brutally did not suffer because they were more sinful than those who are still alive (3,5). Their death was not punishment. Conversely, the fig tree was not saved because it was fruitful. It was given only a stay of execution for one year to see if it would live up to the man’s hopes (8,9). Its survival was not reward. Those of us who are able to count our blessings do not necessarily enjoy God’s favor—just his mercy. Jesus is giving us all a second chance to repent and bear fruit—but how long will that chance last?
Open your heart to God so that he can work in you that you might bear fruit.
Master Gardener, do what You would in my heart and life so that I might bear eternal fruit in You.
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