Grace Baptist Church

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Jesus' Sermon on Repentance

Jesus' Sermon on Repentance

Sep 27, 2015

Passage: Luke 13:1-9

Preacher: David Miller

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: gospel, jesus, parable, preaching, repentance


Visiting pastor David Miller teaches from Luke 13:1-9 in a message entitled “Jesus’ Sermon on Repentance.” Here Jesus, as usual, uses the opportunity to preach the Gospel spreading the good news throughout Israel. In this story Jesus once again affirms “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12); there is only One in Whom eternal life is found.

Two main components of the call to repentance are explained by Jesus. The first is the urgency of the call. There were some men who told Jesus about bad news caused by Pilate (v. 1). Jesus used the moment to explain that normal evils in the world, such as the falling tower (v. 4), were not necessarily moral evils. Moral evils, however, required repentance and payment. Christianity does not provide an escape from the evils of the world, after all Jesus, God incarnate, had to suffer through normal world evils with all the others in His circle. Still repentance is necessary. Interestingly, the word “you” in vv. 3 and 5 is singular indicating recognition of sin and repenting from it is an individual act and not necessarily a corporate or church-wide act. 

Fortunately, God’s justice is balanced by God’s mercy. Repenting is the first step in entering into a relationship with God through the salvation work of Jesus Christ, the Savior, on the Cross. We need not perish eternally but we do have responsibility. That responsibility leads to the second component of Jesus’ message, a patient timetable. The vignette beginning in v. 6 illustrates a timetable set in motion. A tree has been planted and fruit looked for. The tree, failing to produce, is marked for destruction. Yet the plea of the gardener, interceding on behalf of the tree, saves the tree for a while, but only a while. The analogy is obvious. The fruit we are responsible to produce is repentance for our sins, our own moral evils. Even as God is long-suffering in not demanding immediate judgment and destruction, judgment and destruction are nevertheless inevitable without the fruit of repentance and a turning to God. 

In a peculiar manner this story does not provide resolution. Presumably some “trees” bear fruit and enter into the joy of their master while others do not produce and are judged and destroyed. Similarly we do not know for sure the fruit in the lives of others. We do know, however, what happens next. The Bible is clear that all men are eventually either saved or lost for eternity. While God’s patience is still being graciously provided men should turn to Him in repentance and faith while there is still time. God’s provision for you is sufficient.