Day 148: May 28, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Luke 13:1-9 Read Online


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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!”

—Luke 13:5

Repenting and Bearing Fruit
by Ann Edwards,

We can all remember where we were on September 11, 2001. Significant events can be markers for us as we find ways to relate to what’s happening around us. We all felt numb just trying to wrap our minds around what was happening. We seemed gripped by the grief we all felt and especially the grief that was for the families who suffered losses.

Some religious leaders made statements that we suffered the loss because of the sin in America. Wow! Now that was harsh and hard to hear.

But in the first-century, many of the Jewish leaders believed that if you followed the law and did everything right you would have a successful life. So if bad things happened to others, it was obvious of the sin in their life. We know that we can’t judge the sin of others because there’s enough within our own life to judge.

As we read Luke 13:1-5, we see Jesus refused to be part of the discussion making the events suffered relate to sin in the lives of those who died. In verse 3 He said, “No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!”

Clearly Jesus was making an important point because He used the same words again in verse 5. We all must repent and trust Him for salvation. We must look inside ourselves to determine what is in need of repentance. If we do not repent, indeed, we’ll all perish.

The parable of the “Barren Fig Tree,” which follows this passage continues the theme of repentance. The parable is a story of a man who planted a fig tree in the vineyard.

He came looking for the fruit of the tree, but there wasn’t any. He told the vineyard worker, I’ve come for three years looking for the fruit of the tree and I’ve found none. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?

The vineyard worker replied, “Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Perhaps it will bear fruit next year. But if not, you can cut it down.”

The tree is planted in good soil and has received wonderful care by the vineyard worker.  We find the parable to be speaking of Jesus as the vineyard worker and those who are in need of repenting, the tree. The vineyard worker has done all He can to help the tree bear fruit.

We are encouraged by what the vineyard worker has done, awaken the tree by breaking up fallow ground and encouraged by the promises found in the gospel, which warms the soul, as the fertilizer is to the tree.

Now, we get the picture. Jesus is interceding on our behalf. He’s asking God to bear with us a little longer. God will be patient, but we can’t expect Him to always be patient. God longs for His people to be fruitful and to honor Him. He’s there to offer forgiveness, so we can put things right.

Reflection Questions

  1. What confession do I have to make in order to put things right with God? Who do I need to forgive?
  2. In what ways can God use me to bear fruit for Him?
  3. To whom am I pouring my life?

About the Author

Ann Edwards

Before joining our staff, Ann served for 25 years as a Preschool Specialist in Training and Events at Lifeway Christian Resources. Prior to Lifeway, she served in Preschool Ministries at churches in Montgomery, Alabama and Wichita Falls, Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Judson College in Marion, Alabama and a Master of Religious Education degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Her background includes curriculum writing, training, equipping resources, and how-to books for teachers and leaders. Ann is married to Bruce Edwards, Student Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and they live in Nashville.