In today’s Gospel Jesus mentions two horrific local events – the villainous Pilate slaying some Galilean opponents and a tower unexpectedly falling and killing 18 people (Luke 13:1-9). In Jesus’ day people believed that tragedies of these sorts came upon people because they were nefarious sinners.
Jesus explains that neither situation is deserving because the victims themselves were great sinners.
We must not look to the sinfulness of others, but instead recognize our own need for repentance and humbly receive God’s gift of forgiveness.
Then Jesus tells the parable of the man caring for the fig-tree. It would be perfectly acceptable for he owner of a vineyard to cut down an unfruitful tree (vv. 6-7). However the fig tree curiously is allowed more “time” to produce its best fruit (vv. 8-9).
God offers us His forgiving love so that we will live as instruments of mercy and peace.