What I’m Thinking: God for Us

Jesus told his hearers to consider their own relationship with God and not to judge others – he also told them that God would help them be righteous.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the thirteenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, its opening words (Luke 13:1-9). Jesus said two very important things in this section.

The first was when people told him about some Galileans who had been slaughtered by Pontius Pilate. Jesus asked if they thought that those people were any worse sinners than any other Galileans. Likewise, Jesus asked them about those killed when the Tower of Siloam had collapsed in Jerusalem. Were those people any worse sinners than any of their neighbors? No, said Jesus. But if you do not repent, you will also perish in the same way.

With those words, Jesus removed the connection between misfortune and morality. That is, one’s moral condition does guarantee either a safe life for one living righteously or disaster for one living unrighteously. There are more things in the world that affect us than simply our own moral compass. It is good to live faithfully but it does not guarantee good fortune.

On the flip side, good fortune or bad fortune says nothing about the moral standing of those experiencing it.

But then Jesus went on to tell a story about a landowner who found a fig tree in the property that was not bearing fruit. The landowner told the gardener to cut it down. “Give me one more year,” said the gardener. “Let me do some intensive care of it. That should make it bear fruit, but if it doesn’t, well, then, yes. We can cut it down.”

So in the first part of this section Jesus told us to pay attention to our own spirituality, to our own sin and our own repentance and redemption. In this section Jesus reminds us that God is on our side, that God wants us to succeed, that God wants us to bear fruit. And God will do what God can do to see that that happens.

Friends, none of us are going to live a perfect life, but we can live better than yesterday. We can live better than today. And we can do it with the help of God.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , | Posted on March 14, 2022

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