Death! Life! Fruit! Luke 13:1-9

fig-tree

A fruit tree that was planted and does not produce fruit?  What good is it? Perhaps it makes beautiful flowers but never matured to produce fruit. If the gardener’s intention for planting this fruit tree was because he needed its produce; say, because he needs apples to make apple sauce, no flower would be able to replace that need. Perhaps the gardener would pull it out and replace it with a fruitful tree.

Would the gardener be at fault for doing this? Perhaps in the eyes of those who want to protect trees but if it is the gardener’s land, he has a right to use it according to his needs and plans. He can use the space to plant a tree that is fruitful. The tree was allowed to grow and in its DNA, it was given its whole identity and purpose but never completed it. This is the parable Jesus is using in our scripture from Luke 13:1-9

As I was first reading the Scripture, I wanted to refuse the idea that The Lord was talking about the end of the Galileans and those who perished by the tower of Siloam in comparison with the unfruitful fig tree. As I read it, it seemed to me that if He put them together it is because in this case, they belong together.

No, It doesn’t mean that in all cases when disaster happens or people die is because they are being cut off due to un-fruitfulness. There are plenty of scriptures that denote otherwise. We are told that God’s intention was not for us to go through death but death came into place due to sin (Romans 5:12)  Therefore, all of us have to go through this process. Sometimes death also happens for our own protection and that of others, God’s glory or simply because our time is up.

The following passages give us a glimpse of reasons why we are taken. Romans 5:12,  John 11:4, Numbers 23:10, Psalm 116:15, 2nd Samuel 12:23, 1st Kings 14:13. We must understand that we are eternal and that God’s idea of life is not our misconception of it. When He speaks of life, It is not the physical one but His gift of abundance through His son Jesus! It is a time designed to be focus on Him to determine our purposes on this earth and extract all He has place in each one individually. We are all unique and special! All with our own purpose and abilities that are only truly found when in Him.

We can be breathing and appear to have life but without God, The bible says we are dead. Not only are we denying ourselves and the world of our full potential, but our selfless motives, even if doing good works, do not bring us life at the end. Jesus said in John 15:4  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

One perfect example of God’s reference to death when under His will is in the book of 2nd Chronicles 34:26-28. King Josiah was a good King. He found God’s written word and attempted for his people to return to God’s commands! He repented and returned to God but the rest of the people did not. God was going to bring punishment to the people but promised King Josiah that He would take him so that he could rest with his fathers and be spared from seeing God’s punishment to the people. King Josiah was killed.

As we go back to our scripture for today, Jesus said that we must repent and find out what kind of tree we are so we can produce fruit. In other words who we are and what our purpose is, or we will perish as the Galileans and those who perished under the tower. He said they were not taken because they were worst sinners than the rest of the people but we would perish as well if we remain un-repented.

I don’t know about you but this makes my internal alarm go up! It makes me question myself as to what kind of returns I am bringing my Master? What kind of fruit does He expect of me?  Is He giving me more time to dig around it and fertilize it to see if I produce? What is our greatest command? Jesus  said in Mathew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, “I am with you always, even to the end of age”

Therefore, our fruit should be to make disciples, Christ ambassadors, torch holders that point the way for others! He has placed you and me in different situations and has given us different gifts! Use your God-given gifts and challenges to build up His kingdom!, to shine His glory so no one will perish! To produce the fruit The Master so desires from Us!

 

 

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