In Theology 101, Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney begins the conversation much like this. “The primary question in theology is “What do we do with the issue of suffering?””
For much of our history, we, humans, have been tempted to explained pain and suffering as a direct consequence of being naughty. Sure, drinking and driving, smoking related illnesses and the like can support this theory but I’ve buried a centurion* with a daily smoking habit and a fit, clean living 30 year old whose life’s work made profound contributions to the world of science.
Jesus addresses this vexing issue in the rhetorical questions leading up to this parable.
Was it their sin that led to the disaster that ended their earthly existence? No! But you can do something about yours!
So you might be a fig tree that hasn’t had the right environment to live a fruitful existence.
But there is a gardener who is intent on giving you the best possible odds at having another chance!
Rev. Michael Duke
*(A person over 100 years old, not a Roman official. That person would be even older!)