Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’
Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Lent
How Jesus turns the conversation from what we might think about them, to how we ought to be thinking about us!
And he suggests what may have been almost idle speculation about them should in fact be a rather urgent consideration about ourselves and what lies in store for us.
Jesus is in confrontational mood!
But he also enacts the parable.
We are the fruitless tree. Unless we repent – unless we learn to live love, live truly godly lives – we will perish.
As we are we merit being chopped down, being given up on as a bad job. But the Lord cares enough to offer us another chance….
- How will you make use of the opportunities he puts your way at this time?
- How might you help others to do the same?
Fruitfulness. Synagogue frieze, Capernaum. (c) 2017, Allen Morris