Lent Week 3 Readings: Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalm 63:1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9,
Disaster falls on those who deserve it. If only, I say. If only God’s judgement might bring such trouble on the wicked. But take a moment to think, am I in trouble if this is the rule? After all how wicked do you need to be?
People in Luke 13:1-9 passage died quickly, unexpectedly, tragically and possibly at a place and time when they may have felt very safe. Jesus says, not because they deserved it more than others. In fact, this could still be you – “unless you repent, you too will perish”!
Part of the point here is disaster does not mark people out as under God’s judgment, it is unrepentance. Not opening yourself up to God’s invitation for change, living life your own way is a big problem. God’s judgment is upon unrepentant people. Thank God this is only part of the point.
There is the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-9).
Nothing in the story is unusual, until the tree is not cut down. Jesus’ point is clear: despite your history of ignoring God, of not bearing the fruit of obedience, your judgment is delayed because God is merciful. He labours and longs for you to turn and have a faith that bears fruit.
Mercifully, God comes to us, the unfruitful fig tree, and believes we can change – “I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.” God’s labour on the Cross for us tells us how far he goes to enable our change. Literally laying down his own blood and bone. Unbelievably the one thing which can halt the power of this incredible mercy is my unrepentance.