PASSAGE: “At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’ Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig round it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down’” (Luke 13:1-9).
QUESTION: Traditional Christians interpret this passage from v 1-5 to mean, there is not differing values on sin, (turning away from God) and unless they repent (turn back to God) they will perish as the Galileans and the victims of Siloam. I think this for traditional Christians means either eternity in hell, or being dead as in do not exist.
Then in verse six comes the parable of the fig tree, this is interpreted as the fruit which is correspondent to attitudes of love, joy, patience, kindness, self control etc., which are a mark of repentance. Without this repentance, which is evident from the displayed fruit, the tree will be cut down which means the same as verse five. I would think that cutting down the tree in this context does not exhibit the fruits of the spirit and therefore contradicts the message. I would value a unity metaphysics interpretation on this passage please.
COMMENT: Metaphysically, the two messages I see in this passage involve Oneness and spiritual commitment. Jesus begins by making it clear that "bad" things do not happen only to "bad" people. The slain Galileans and the victims of Siloan were not unique in drawing to themselves negative life experiences. So long as we share their underlying beliefs in separation and judgment, we make ourselves subject to the same fate. We are all One at the dimension of spiritual consciousness—the dimension where our true identity lies. Repent means literally to “rethink,” to shift our understanding of God, of ourselves, and of our spiritual purpose. If we stay within the limitations of collective consciousness, we will experience the consequences of those limitations. And the parable of the fig tree suggests, I think, that if we are not willing to assume our spiritual responsibilities—to allow our lives to bear fruit of love, abundance, compassion—then we will be passed by. The creative Power of God is eager to flow through us, empowering us and transforming our lives. If we do not allow that to happen, the Power will find other outlets and we will be “cut down.” I think the vinedresser is Jesus, willing to be patient a while longer, to give us another year, to nurture us with teachings and demonstrations of the truth. If we still fail to “get it”—or if we worship the vinedresser instead of using the spiritual nourishment he offers to express our own power—then we will be left behind as the kingdom moves into expression through those willing to be spiritual channels. We won’t be destroyed; we’ll be recycled so that our innate spiritual energy can express more freely, and we can make better choices.