In Luke chapter 13 Jesus warns the people they must repent or they will perish. It begins when someone mentions a tragic event, the death of some Galileans at the hands of Pilate. Jesus relates another tragic event when a tower built for safety becomes the means of death instead eighteen people. Jesus uses both of these events to address a mistaken notion that those who suffer greatly must therefore be great sinners. He sums it all up when he says, “but unless you repent, you too will perish.”
He then shares a parable to make the point more clear. This parable presents a challenging point for us when we consider the idea of repentance. In his parable, Jesus shares the story of a vineyard owner who has a fig tree that hasn’t produced any fruit for three years. Having had enough of it he tells his servant to cut it down as there is no reason for it to use up the soil. The servant asks that the tree be given one more year with some extra care and attention. The owner agrees, but only for one more and if it then still produces no fruit it is to be cut down.
So how does a tree not bearing fruit relate to repentance? Jesus told the parable in order to illustrate what he was talking about in regard to repenting, lest you perish. through this parable Jesus makes it clear that we should be bearing fruit and if we are not we need to repent of our barren state. To repent means more than merely saying we are sorry. It is a decision to follow up that sorrow with true change in our lives. Those who bear no fruit are to repent and begin to bear fruit. In Luke 3:8, john the Baptist tells the Israelites to bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance. The lack of fruit shows no repentance. The lack of repentance causes the barren, fruitless condition. the barren fruitless tree will perish. Jesus said in Luke 15:8, “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” Is there fruit of godliness in your life? Is it easily visible?