1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
In our Scripture verses for today, we have our Lord teaching about two things, suffering and the need for repentance. As we continue through the Lent season, we would do well to remember how susceptible we are to life’s tragedies, and how much we need God’s forgiveness. As believers, we have a need to make sense of the world, especially in light of our faith and the fact that God exists. We need to rationalize how our belief in God translates to our circumstances and our consequent responses to those circumstances. While we may never understand everything in this life, we can trust that God is good and in control of all things. Our duty is to repent and be faithful to Him, no matter what comes our way.
Please read and think about each question as it applies to your Christian journey with Christ.
- What is your default reaction to suffering and trials in this life? What can we learn from Jesus’ parable that may be relevant to how we react to our troubles?
- Have you taken time during this Lent season to focus on repentance? What does it mean to produce “good fruits”?
Lord, give us a mind to understand the meaning behind our suffering, and let us be faithful to your call to endure all trials by faith. Let us come to you with a penitent heart, and let us bear good fruit in keeping with our repentance. In Jesus name, Amen.