When a person becomes a Christian they receive a new heart, new name, new doctrine, and a new home. Of course this results in A New Concern for all of life.
1. Repenting And . . A New Concern. Vs 1-5
A. Repentance and . . Tragedy. Vs 1-2 & 4
1 At that time, some people came and reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood
Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And He responded to them, "Do you think that these Galileans were more sinful than all Galileans because they suffered these things?
4 Or those 18 that the tower in Siloam fell on and killed--do you think they were more sinful than all the people who live in Jerusalem?
B. Repentance and . . Truth. Vs 3 & 5
3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well! 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!
Almost every Christian expresses concern when tragedy strikes. Some
try to judge why the tragedy occurred. The Lord indicates bad things happen
even to good people, and may not be caused by personal sin. Our concern
must focus on personal repentance, and not on trying to figure out why
an event happened. The Lord mentions two tragic events, and two pronouncement
of calling for all to repent. Our new concern as Christians must center
upon personal and national repentance. Verses three, and five share the
Lord saying the same words about repentance.
2. Reviewing And . . A New Concern. Vs 6-9
A. Reviewing the . . Productivity. Vs 6-7
6 And He told this parable: "A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came
looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 He told the vineyard worker, 'Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?'
B. Reviewing the . . Possibilities. Vs 8 -9
8 "But he replied to him, 'Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
9 Perhaps it will bear fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.' "
Does the Lord have the right to inspect, and review the fruit produced
in our lives? Of course He does! If he finds little or no fruit produced;
what should He do? He can eliminate us or give us additional time to produce.
Since He is all-knowing; He can judge how to relate to us. If you and I
do the judging it will probably be best for us to give additional time,
and cultivation to help someone be a productive Christian. Fruitfulness
is the goal for our Christian life and abiding in Him does produce fruit.
Our concern for fruitfulness needs to grow as long as we live.
3. Resolve And . . A New Concern. Vs 32-33
A. Resolve and . . Ministry. v 32
32 He said to them, "Go tell that fox, 'Look! I'm driving out demons and performing
healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete My work.'
B. Resolve and . . Mission. v 33
33 Yet I must travel today, tomorrow, and the next day, because it is not possible for a
prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem!
Should we stop ministry because some governmental authority threatens
us? A missionary told me of a man in India who converted to Christianity,
and became an outstanding preacher greatly used by the Lord. The governmental
officials threatened his life if he continued preaching. He told them "go
ahead and kill me, my death will probably cause more to believe." He further
told them "we Christians die well." The authorities believed this bold
preacher was right, and allowed him to live. Jesus had a ministry to perform
and Herod could not stop Him. The mission of Jesus would not be complete
until He came back to Jerusalem for His crucifixion. As part of our Christian
concerns we may very well know a ministry God desires for us to fulfill,
and resolve to finish that mission in the manner the Lord dictates.
4. Realization And . . A New Concern. Vs 34-35
A. Realization about . . Historical Concerns. v
34 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The city who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
B. Realization about . . Heavenly Concerns.
35 See, your house is abandoned to you. And I tell you, you will not see Me until the time
comes when you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
Does God choose to limit Himself? The words "but you were not willing"
seem to indicate He does. He was willing to do some mighty works in Jerusalem,
but did not, because of the hardness of their hearts. Historically Jerusalem
had stoned, and killed the God sent prophets. We must include in our new
concerns the realization that ministry in difficult places may not result
in numerical success. Jesus pointed to the future, and prophesied Jerusalem
will some day welcome His appearance. Of course this refers to His second
coming. Truly we are a people with A New Concern. Amen? Amen!