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A green tree!
A green and fruitful tree would surely bring joy and delight to those who had access to it. Such a tree would be greatly appreciated. But if the fruit of a tree was just to be cut off and trampled into the ground, such a useless tree would be neglected and condemned.
It seems to me that Jesus had this kind of picture in His mind at the time of this story.
Israel had been chosen by God as the nation through which He would send the promised "Messiah" into the world.
Now, at last, the Messiah had come - Israel was like a "green tree" that had produced its long expected "fruit" - the Saviour of the world had come from the Jewish nation.
But at that time an awful thing happened in Israel! The glorious fruit that had come to Israel from God was being cut off by them to be despised and rejected.
(Hundreds of years earlier the prophets had said it would turn out this way!
This should have been Israel's greatest hour - delighting in the "fruit" that God had graciously given them by sending to them His only Son. Instead, they despise the Christ God had given them!
They even succeeded in having Pilate, the Roman governor, condemn Him to death.
"As they led Him away, .. a large number of people followed Him."
Jesus knew the awful curse that would come upon those people who did not want to recognise and receive the Saviour God had given for them.
So He said to those in the crowd who "mourned and wailed for Him":
"Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and for your children."7*.
You see, not only the adults who reject Jesus, but their children too, who follow their example and are kept from having a simple faith in Christ, will be filled with terror and dread on the day of judgment.
Those parents who let their children be taught to turn to someone or something other than Jesus to get forgiveness and acceptance with God will then wish they had never had children! Jesus told them the day would come when they would say, "Blessed are the barren women..!" And then "they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!' and to the hills ‘Cover us!' For if men do these things when the tree is green," Jesus said, "what will happen when it is dry?"
So, Israel was like a green tree, and Jesus, God's son, was the promised fruit it produced. "He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."10*.
Look to Jesus right now, in faith, to be your only hope and Saviour. And never be guilty of hindering others, young or old, from putting their trust in Jesus as the only Priest and Saviour.
Be sure you're not among those who will experience the judgment Jesus spoke of in Luke chapter 23, verses 26-31.
E-mail John at
if you have any questions about what I've said.
There will be a different message next week as we continue to browse through Luke's Gospel in the Holy Bible. Why not put Good News Compage on your favourites list?
To read more of Luke's account of the life of Jesus turn to the Gospel of Luke in the Holy Bible.
Bye for now,
John Nixon, Ballincollig, Co.Cork, Ireland.
There will be another message for you next week.
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Bible quotations from N.I.V.
1 Genesis 26:4. 2 John 4:22-26. 3 Isaiah 53. Matt 26:24, 54. 4 John 1:12. 3:16-19. 5Luke 23:23-25. 6 Luke 23:26-27. 7 Luke 23:28-29. 8 Matthew 18:6-11. Exodus 20:4-6. 9 Luke 23:29-31. Matthew 24:30-31. Jude 14-16. 10John 1:11-12.