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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


15. Jesus' Call to Repentance (Luke 13:1-9)

LUKE 13:06-09
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”

God has a vineyard that is the world, in which there are precious plants. Each man is supposed to bear fruits worthy of the spirit of heaven, also the trees of the vineyard are to bear fruit at all times. But God found nothing in men but wars, boastfulness, fornication, bigotry, and scandals, so he decided in his heart to consume the evil kind.

Our present society is no better than Jewish society at the time of Jesus. In his day Jesus did not find holy fruits for God in his nation, and he knew that God was determined to consume the nation.

Jesus describes himself in this parable as the interceding vineyard-keeper who asks God for a delay of one more year before he cuts and exterminates the nation, though it uses the earth to no avail. Perhaps another nation takes its place and bears fruits better than it. They deserved to be consumed, but Christ asked one more year of repentance for them, saying: “I want to do everything to correct them, to cultivate their hearts with the words of judgment which are like the cleaving plowshare, and to revive them with the blessings of my power that they may repent, believe truly, and love. If this people does not ripen during this year and return to their Lord, let him cut them in pieces. In fact, God dealt with the Jews as a nation, pulled them up by the roots, and burnt them for hundreds of years in the furnace of his angry judgment.

We must not feel complacent about God’s wrath, for daily news reports to us everyday the pride, hatred, impurity, and lying. The whole world has become like a cess-pool of adultery; the Spirit of God dwells only in the few. How long, do you think, will God bear with us? We all deserve destruction, but Christ’s intercession for his church, and the power of the Holy Spirit who is working in believers prevents God’s wrath. Christ has cultivated people for one thousand nine hundred years with the word of his holiness, and fertilized it with the power of his Holy Spirit. Is God satisfied with the poor harvest of weak believers? Or does the Lord stand with his ax held high to inflict the last blow on us, and consume men. They have disobeyed him by following proud leaders who will also perish.

We all live by Christ’s intercession and faithfulness. We wish with all our hearts that his last word to us would not be to cut us off, but that we may bear fruit to his satisfaction. Do not imagine that things will improve, but repent, and ask spiritual repentance for your people, not with sentimental feelings, or repentance with false tears, but let the Lord renew the hearts practically, convert the minds, and establish the work of his love through filling hearts with his gospel.

PRAYER: O interceding Lord, we thank you that you love all men, and intercede for us before the Father. Forgive our selfishness and covetousness, consecrate us to serve love in purity, have patience with us and with all men. Help us to surround our friends and neighbors with our prayers, and preach the gospel to them that they may bear holy fruit.

QUESTION 91: What do we learn from the intercession of the keeper of the vineyard?


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