Humble Fruit

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Some Galileans had been killed by Pilate while bringing sacrifices to the Temple.

Possibly followers of Judas Gaulonites (of Galilee) a failed “Messiah,” who led a revolt against Rome; resisting taxes and declared God alone was the ruler of Israel. Later they were held under siege and killed by Rome at Masada.
Is this why some of the Judaeans thought the Galileans might be guilty and deserved punishment to death?
Remember Jesus and many of his disciples were Galileans.

Some Jews died at the pool of Siloam because a tower, possibly of the Temple, fell on them.

Did they deserve the punishment of death over others in Jerusalem?

The first group died by evil intention. The second group died accident.

The people Jesus was speaking to seem to have believed that good things happen to good (blessed) people, and bad things happen to bad (cursed) people. (Some might call that Karma)

The terrible truth: God allows the possibility of tragedy.

That makes us ask, “Who can be saved (from tragedy)?”

The fact is, good or bad, Everyone Dies.

Some by acts of violence, some by accident or happenstance.
It just feels worse when someone we love dies.

We hear about people dying in the news all the time.

How many of those do we actually pay attention to?
When large numbers of people dies, we pay attention.

When someone we know dies, we pay close attention.

We start to ask whose fault it was, who could have prevented it.
When we hear that their death may have occurred because of their own recklessness, we might even blame the victim.
Many still die by events beyond their control or beyond our ability to make sense of it.

Maybe, instead of seeking the meaning of death, we should be seeking the meaning of life.

The fate of the Galileans was like the fate of Jerusalem

When Rome destroyed the Temple and killed thousands in 70 A.D.
Those contemporaries who would have read the Gospel of Luke would have this on their mind.

The tragedy of the fallen tower could hardly have been predicted or prevented.

Jesus tells a story about an unfruitful fig tree

Maybe to explain why he responded with “I tell you no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” to both tragedies.

The vineyard of this parable could represent the people of Israel.

Their “faith” became unfruitful, having lost focus of reliance up on God alone for their salvation, and instead relied on their genealogies and rituals.

The vineyard could also represent disciples of Jesus Christ.

Many become unfruitful and rely on their “attendance,” “memberships,” and “traditions” instead of relying on God in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation.
Though all loss of life leaves many to grieve...

Jesus makes spiritual death a greater tragedy.

God, represented as the owner of the vineyard, expects to find fruit on the trees he plants.

The owner took several years to look for the fruit, as God has visited his people many times to get their attention.
Moses and the Law
The Judges & the Prophets
Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God.

Does not the vineyard owner have the right to judge which plantings are fruitful? And which are failing?

There is an advocate, the Vinedresser, who appeals to the good mercy of the Vineyard Owner, God, to allow for one more year of providing room for growth and fertilizing.

Should not those who have been unfruitful not humbly receive trimming and fertilizing by the advocate/nurturer?

Is it not obvious that this is the only way to growth?
Recognizing the just judgment of God.
Recognizing the good and faithful graces and mercy of God.
Recognizing our unfruitfulness through repenting of our sinfulness and waywardness.

Admitting the truth of our sin in repentance before God opens the way for faithful and holy lives of love.

Fully knowing who we are before God, finding forgiveness through the grace of the cross of Christ, we grow the fruit of the Spirit in abundance.

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Gentleness.

By this humble fruit, all will know that we are God’s people, a people who loves like God.

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