Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XLVIII: The Credibility Of The Christian Faith Seen In Christ's Absolute Impartiality In Judging Men
(Luke 13:1-9)
  1. Introduction
    1. Some of the world's religions cater to favor the welfare a specific people or cultural group above other groups. Mormonism, for example seems to favor American peoples as special to God and Muslims the Arab peoples due to the importance and proximity of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
    2. Yet, the true faith should be totally impartial. Accordingly, Jesus demonstrated in Luke 13:1-9 the total impartiality of his view of people especially when it comes to God's judgment. It offers a lesson for us all:
  2. The Credibility Of The Christian Faith Seen In Christ's Absolute Impartiality In Judging Men.
    1. Luke's Gospel was written to demonstrate the credibility of the Christian faith to Theophilus, Luke 1:3-4.
    2. Hence, Jesus revealed the credibility of Christianity in Luke 13:1-9 by showing the great impartiality and hence certainty by which God judges all unrepentant men:
      1. In the context of Christ's urging people to repent to avoid judgment (Luke 12:54-59), some listeners gloated that some socially despised Galileans had been slain by Pilate presumably because they were guilty of deep sin, Luke 13:1. (G. Campbell Morgan, Luke, p. 161)
      2. Jesus responded to these people who socially disdained Galileans with a warning, Luke 13:1-5:
        1. Christ countered the idea that these slain Galileans were any worse sinners than any other group of people in Israel who considered themselves socially or ethnically superior to Galileans, Luke 13:2.
        2. In fact, their deaths were a sample of God's judgment administered at the hands of the agent of God in this case, the government official, Pilate, Luke 13:3 with Romans 13:1-4. Thus, these Judeans who gloated at the death of these Galileans were doomed for judgment of similar kind unless they repented and believed in Jesus as well, Luke 13:3 in light of Luke 19:41-44.
        3. Going further, Jesus referred to the death of some people upon whom a tower in Jerusalem, the tower of Siloam, had fallen, Luke 13:4 (Z.P.E.B., vol. Five, p. 437). These non-Galilean Jerusalem dwellers had died by an alleged "act of God", a sample of what would happen to the rest of the unbelievers in all of Israel unless they changed their minds about Christ, Luke 13:5 with 19:41-44!
      3. Christ next gave a parable teaching us to keep short accounts with God, for though God is patient, His impartiality means that His judgment is irrevocably SURE once it falls, Luke 13:6-9:
        1. Jesus explained that a certain man had a fig tree that was supposed to bear figs, but which failed to do so for three growing seasons. Accordingly, he urged the fig dresser to cut it down, Luke 13:6-7.
        2. The dresser in compassion urged the owner to give him one more year in which he would work the soil around the tree and fertilize it, Luke 13:8. If it then bore fruit, he would suggest sparing the tree, but if not, even he the dresser would agree to cut it down, Luke 13:9.
        3. In the parable, the dresser represents Jesus and Israel the unproductive, unrighteous fig tree. The owner is the righteousness heavenly Father who demands that Israel be judged. Christ compassionately interceded to hold off judgment in hope of finding repentance. His desire to dig around the tree, disturbing the soil and fertilizing it amounts to His allowing Pilate's atrocity against the Galilean sinners and the falling of the Siloam tower as wake-up calls for the nation to repent. If Israel failed to repent, though patient, Jesus would end His call for repentance and judge the nation.
        4. In actuality, the latter is just what happened. Israel failed to repent, and Christ was sent to the cross. Accordingly, when Jesus rose from the dead, He ascended to the right hand of the Father and was enthroned above all powers on earth, Acts 1:9; Dan. 7:13-14; Heb. 1:1-4. There, Jesus later judged Israel by letting the Roman legions storm Jerusalem and destroy its temple in A. D. 70.
Lesson: (1) Christianity is the TRUE faith because unlike many other false religions, it advocates God's reward and judgment with full IMPARTIALITY. (2) However, such perfect IMPARTIALITY means we must never become complacent, for God's impartial ity means God's judgment WILL SURELY FALL on ANY who do not get around to repent! (3) Thus, keep short accounts with God: due to His impartiality, God's compassion and slowness to anger (Ps. 103:8) is balanced out with a consuming fire in His disci pline (He. 12:28-29). See also 1 Corinthians 11:29-34 for Christians.