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Judgement Already Happened In Part

The parable of the dunged tree, (for lack of any other name) is at least to myself a bit confusing. From what is said; there is more that isn't. How does it tie in to the first half of the passage? But anyway, here's the passage and following some of the problems I have understanding it. - The main one being, "Am I trying to make it say more than it is?"

For your reference;

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Luke ch13:v1-9
Luk 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
Luk 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luk 13:4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
Luk 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luk 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Luk 13:7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why encumbereth it the ground?
Luk 13:8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it :
Luk 13:9 And if it bear fruit, well : and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Ok, I started this page thinking I would write a laundry list of my difficulties, but when it comes to the crunch I see where I was wrong.

Before any discussion of content belonging more within the book of Romans, (judgement and condemnation by the law, sin and remission, the outward Jew's no Jew at all etc) Ill just point out where the whole tree thing comes from.

Jesus made the comment that men die not because of their sin over any other sinner, but all will perish unless they repent. Likewise, as all would perish, so is the whole tree cut down and destroyed. If even one repents, there should at least begin to be some fruit on the tree, though maybe not a huge crop.

As any good gardener should know, once a tree can show that it can bear fruit, branches from fruitful trees may be grafted into such a tree. A fruitful tree is one which, so covered in fruit that the branches break under the weight. Then the tree is at risk from disease, so A suitable tree that is capable of sustaining fruit may have grafted in branches added to relieve the strain on other trees, sharing the load. Though this is not mentioned within this passage, it is food for thought.

There need not be any poor branches that will not bear fruit, as any gardener with a set of cutters knows well. If there are better branches from other trees to be grafted in, why preserve poor branches on what is essentially a good tree?

Rather than worry about the fact that when talking about grafting, which is not mentioned in this passage from Luke, What concerns me a little more is the idea that an analogy is made that the tree is almost totally given up on by the vineyard's owner, (God), and it is left to the gardener to give it its "Final last chance".

I find this passage more telling that the judgement arrives "on swift wings" and that the whole world, not just the Jews are on their "very last chance" EVER. - Of course I knew this before - but this parable puts it in language that is almost brutally to the point. Without long descriptions and the theology of "why", or flowery visual imagery this parable shocks me.

The unfruitful tree is clearly Israel, and the dunging the nourishment of the work of God,.. Then the tree will either become fruitful or not - the result is that erring on the side of favour to the tree by the gardener (who knows perhaps better than the owner of the tree) that there is a good chance that it may bear fruit in the future allows Israel to continue. The result is that the tree is fruitful only because it was initially a good prospect and that God has tended it.

The importance of this passage as to Israel (the tree), is that God is ready to destroy its place in His vineyard - it takes up the ground without usefulness - Israel is to be aware of this last chance to remain in the vineyard - There is also the analogy to Christ as the salt with which the vessel is to be made salty again. It is not possible apart from God, but this is the last chance for Israel to repent before they are cut off completely - they must be found in that particular "tree" that finds nourishment in and from Christ. There is the figurative unfruitful tree or a like preserved fruitful tree. We are not told there is the possibility of both trees - only one is mentioned,.. but a believer in Christ has to be fruitful to be preserved, not merely apathetic to the example and teaching of Christ.


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