Some religious people of Jesus’ day believed that calamities were the result of God’s disfavor. Jesus addressed that notion head-on by discussing two major events: (1) the massacre by the Romans of Galileans who had come to Jerusalem to worship and (2) the collapse of a tower in Siloam that killed eighteen people:
“Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”
Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’
“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
(Luke 13:1-9 NLT)
Jesus’ message is startlingly straightforward: repent or perish.
Please please please choose the former. And then don’t be like the fig tree: let the Holy Spirit grow lots of love, joy, peace and the other Fruit of the Spirit in your life.
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Cynoclub)