Luke 13:1-9 – The Barren Tree

Read Luke 13:1-9

People are born, they live, and then they die. How and when we die is not something we can predict. Jesus brings up two situations where people were tragically killed, perhaps “before” their time. Many times we see people die today in car accidents, from disease when young, or other disastrous circumstances. Do we ever ask ourselves, “were they more of a sinner than me?” I hope not.

Jesus is warning us in these verses to not focus on the fate of others. We are only responsible for ourselves, so that is where the focus should be. It’s like that in life. We all know a busy body, right? That person who just has to be in everyone else’s business. They are likely to have an opinion or two on how people are living their lives,  too. May this passage speak to them and urge them to stop such ungodly behavior!

You know it’s important when Jesus uses a parable. He wants to drive home the message. What better way than with a visual, something tangible we can all identify with. He uses a fruit bearing tree, or lack thereof in this case. As a bit of background, in those days, a tree bearing fruit is often used to portray strength, godliness, etc.

So, when Jesus talks of a barren tree and the master’s frustration that it has been three years without any fruit, what is his message to us? Perhaps that God has been patient with us up to now,  but his patience is wearing thin and has an end point. We need to get our affairs in order. Now, not next week or next year. We need to get ourselves right with God. We don’t have “forever” to get ready for forever (eternity).

Let’s take a moment to reflect on our attitudes. Are we looking around at others making judgments of how they are living their life? Or, are we looking in the mirror at ourselves wondering how we got to where we are and want to get back on track with God? Maybe we’re right with God, and everything is going great. If the latter, we need to get busy and start getting others to do the same. Repent. Turn back to God. Be ready.

Let’s pray. Father God, you are a patient and loving God, yet in your wisdom you have set boundaries. Thank you for giving me another chance to get my priorities straight. Cleanse my heart from the hardness and selfishness. Forgive me from being distracted by unimportant things. I pray for my dear children that they will also know your love and turn to you for their every need. May I be someone’s gardener, pleading with you for one more year for the fruit to grow! Use me then to water and nourish. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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