Luke 13:6-9 and Second Chances

Jesus constantly offered forgiveness and second chances to all people.  It did not matter who the person was or what that person did.  This is seen with tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, thieves, religiously boastful and prideful, and even those who tortured and killed him.  In fact, a case could be made that one of the biggest messages of the entire New Testament, thanks to Jesus, is that God gives second chances.

Now look at this parable from Luke:

James_Tissot_The_Vine_Dresser_and_the_Fig_Tree_700 Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none.   He said to his gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’   The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it one more year, and I will dig around it and give it fertilizer.   Maybe it will produce fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”

The fig tree was a symbol for Israel throughout the Old Testament (especially in the Prophets).  Now that we exist on this side of the resurrection, it can be a symbol for God’s people which include non-Jewish people who are Christian.  Paul uses the image of an olive tree in Romans to get at the same idea.

The fruit would be a life in relationship with God; one that produces repentance and acts of mercy and charity towards others.  It is a life of faith where the faith is strong enough to change the way of life to be conformed to Christ’s call on our lives for obedience.

And look at the final sentence.  There will come a point when the opportunity to begin producing fruit will be over.  There will come a time when there will be no more time for second chances.  God offers us every opportunity we could have to turn our lives around, but those opportunities are not infinite.  At some point in the future, there will be a harvest (either the end of the world or the end of our lives individually) and our time will be up.

Make the most of today, because we do not know if we have tomorrow.  If you need to take God up on his offer of a second chance, take it.  God reaches out to us with love, but we have a limited time in which we can respond to that love.

Use your time wisely.

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