Summary: The Lord is patient toward us but still expects repentance. Throughout the years He has shown exceptional patience but one day that patience will run out, and where will you be?
The Need for Repentance
Text: Luke 13:1-9
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7
1. Fruit trees are nice to have.
2. They give us beautiful blossoms, nice shade, and most of all delicious fruit to eat.
3. When a tree no longer produces the fruit desired, it is no longer useful for its purpose and is usually cut down burned and replaced.
4. Fruit trees can teach us much about the Christian life.
5. (READ TEXT)
6. We will look at the context of the parable of the Barren Fig Tree
7. Then we will look at two aspects of the story
a. The troublesome tree
b. The tolerant owner
8. The story of this tree will show us the need for repentance as Christians.
TRANSITION: What is this story all about?
I. The context of the story
A. The crowd tells a story
1. The story is of a massacre in Galilee
2. Some Galileans were killed by Pilate’s soldiers while making sacrifices in the temple.
3. The crowd apparently believed that the slaughter was the fault of the ones slaughtered.
B. Doctrine of retribution
1. The concept wrestled in Job
2. The tower of Siloam
a. Fell on innocent people and killed 18
b. Not because they were bad, but in wrong place at wrong time
3. Connection of Siloam to correction of DOR
a. John 9:1, disciples thought man at Siloam was blind due to sin
b. Jesus corrected there also
4. Not all suffering is due to sin, but some is
C. Verse 5, "If you do not repent, you will all likewise perish."
1. The definition of likewise is "in the same manner."
2. Not a tower necessarily, but death, separation and misery
D. Then he tells the story of the barren fig tree
1. Two questions:
a. Who is the fig tree?
b. When are the three years?
2. The fig tree is the Jewish nation.
a. Isaiah 5 bears this out to some detail.
b. The good vineyard who produces worthless fruit or none at all due to the thorns and thistles let in
c. God was continually trying to replant the Jews and work and hone them into what he wanted them to be
d. But they kept on being fruitless and barren
3. The three years
a. Some say this is the three years of teaching Jesus did on earth.
b. One question becomes what is the forth?
c. Jesus was not here an extra year, some number of days, then he ascended
d. The time is not likely literal, but figuratively represents the years and years God waited on his people to respond and correct their fruitlessness.
E. God is the patient owner who waits year after year to destroy the wicked and gives chance after chance.
1. Even after his patience wears thin he gives another opportunity
2. He waits another year for the desired affects of fruit bearing
3. With the Jews this was to no avail, they would not repent
4. They were cut down
TRANSITION: For not repenting the Jews were cut down. Let us take another look at the troublesome tree
II. Troublesome tree
A. As we discussed, the tree was the Jewish nation, God’s people of old.
B. Galatians 3:24, "Therefore the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."
1. The purpose of this old law is to teach us how to come to Christ.
2. Those who do not study history are bound to repeat it.
a. Is the cutting down that the Jews experienced something we wish to repeat?
b. If not we must understand what went wrong with them.
C. What went wrong with Judah?
1. They did not repent.
2. The troublesome tree refused to produce fruit for the tolerant owner.
3. As he pleaded for production they whined about the work.
4. As he asked for compliance they ignored him.
5. As he warned of the doom to come they waved their hand in disbelief.
6. As he brought down punishment from on high they then cried out in sorrow and repented
7. Only to let a generation go by and lose sight again.
D. Jewish repentance lacked two things:
a. They waited until judgment was coming to repent.
b. They were in captivity when they repented in Nehemiah’s day
c. And when Ezra read the law at the Water Gate and the people repented and tore their clothes in chapters 8-9
d. This is nearly 300 years after Assyria conquered Israel and 200 after Babylon conquered Judah and Nebuchadnezzar takes the first captives from Judah.
e. They were obstinate and refused to repent of their sin when they were warned repeatedly.
2. It also lacked depth.