Today's scripture focus passage: Luke 13:6-9
And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”Here Jesus reminds His followers ~ including Christians throughout the ages ~ that we are all, essentially, living on borrowed time. We are all sinners, we all deserve death, and every breath we take is ONLY by the grace and patient mercy of God. He cautions us that we don't know how long that will be.
MacArthur does a great job of giving a couple of little Greek lessons in his sermon and points out the phrase "next year" is really not an accurate translation of the wording used. The direct translation would more accurately read, "...in the coming time..." There's no clear indication of how much time we're actually talking about here ~ next season, next year, next growth cycle. We just don't know how much time God will give us. He extends the universal blessing of TIME from His common grace to all mankind, but we don't necessarily all get the same amount and none of us knows when our time will be up.
This goes back to the discussion last Tuesday about living in readiness, which is all part of the same conversation Jesus and His followers have been having. Humanity is certainly on borrowed time. But thanks to God, believers are also on eternal, heavenly time! We still need to use our time here on earth wisely, but we don't need to fear the words, "Time's up!"
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year reading: Colossians 4; Proverbs 11; Isaiah 23-24
Tomorrow's scripture focus passage: Luke 13:10-17