Luke 13:1-9

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.




Jesus referred to two recent disasters that emphasised the importance of repentance. There is no secular record of these events, so we have no other details. (Jesus’ world was not too different to our own). He asked His listeners if the people who were killed were any worse than any other people. He then answered His own question. They were no better or worse than anyone else.

So what did this mean to anyone who heard about this? It showed people that death can happen at any time and so repentance must be current. The repetition of the word ‘repent’ reveals the use of two different Greek words – the one means repenting for a once off transgression; the other means repenting on an on-going basis. Jesus warned that those who did not repent would perish.

In the parable He then told, the owner of the vineyard represents God who will look for evidence of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He is patient and He keeps looking. But still there is no fruit. Jesus, the gardener, asked for a period of grace so he could give the vine special care. The owner of the vineyard agreed – but He also gave the order that if it still did not bear any fruit the time had come for it to be cut down and destroyed.


What experience have you had of fruit trees – planting, growing, fertilizing, pollenating, spraying, harvesting? Or have you just enjoyed their fruit – perhaps picking apples in an orchard or strawberries at a nursery you visited? How do these questions reflect your own harvest of spiritual fruit?


  • What fruit of the Spirit are you trying to grow at the moment? Why is it worth the effort to you to improve and grow in this regard? What difference will it make to who you are and how you relate to people and to God?
  • How does the idea that God inspects you for the fruit you bear make you feel? Are you threatened by the idea because you are not doing so well? Or are you encouraged because God shows that He cares for you by taking such an intimate interest in what is happening in your life? How can you encourage those amongst you who feel threatened?
  • What will you do with the period of grace the owner of the vineyard offers?
  • What is stopping you from bearing fruit for God? Spend a moment or two in silence and consider this question for yourself. What change do you need to make to allow yourself to bear fruit? How do you think God and/or other people can help you to turn around and become more fruitful?
  • The fruit tree was given one year. What would you do if you knew your time on earth was short? Who would you want to see? What would you want to say? What would you say to God? How does such a thought make you feel?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?


Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.


When you thought about the fact that time may be short, you listed people to see, things to say and do. Take the opportunity during this week in Lent to do these things. How does this thought make you feel? Be accountable to one another. Encourage one another not to miss out on this time of grace.


Luke Chapter 13

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