There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
— Luke 13:1-9
St. Augustine describes humanity in the City of God as “homo incurvatus in se.” Martin Luther would expound on that idea in his Lectures on Romans. This phrase states that humanity is“curved in on itself” -- that our hearts, without regeneration, are self-centered, selfish entities that turn from God to ourselves.
Scripture teaches us that we were created by God, for God -- to reflect His beauty and to find satisfaction completely in Him. Instead we willfully and pridefully redirect our attention from Him to ourselves leading to separation from God and enmity between our fellow brothers and sisters.
This condition is not found only within a specific people group or ethnic body, but is the condition of all humans. We live our lives blind to the fact that we need God and need to be pointed back towards Him.
The passage from Luke 13:1-9 calls us to examine our own hearts. We are quick to assign blame for certain calamities on sin, and though that might be true, the call, here, is for universal repentance. Whether or not calamitous circumstances befall us, we are called to repent of our sins lest we ultimately face an eternity bereft of our Creator.
The good news? Our great Savior, Jesus Christ, has come to provide a way back to our Father in heaven. He did not abandon us, but instead, like the vinedresser in the parable, He has come so that we can produce fruit for His glory. The call to repentance is one where we remind our heart of how much Jesus hates sin but also of how much He truly loves us.
Respond to Jesus! Repent of your sins and allow His Holy Spirit to move in your life once again.
Father, thank You for reminding us of our need for Jesus. We ask that the Holy Spirit would convict us so that we would repent for the sins we have committed and so that our hearts would be curved towards You. Help us to bear good fruit for Your glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ministry Director, CU Lumine (Columbia University)
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