Jesus was gathered with a group of Jews at the synagogue. One of them brought up a recent massacre of Galileans. These Galileans believed that God was their only master, so they could not have any other earthly ruler. They would not pay tribute to Caesar. Pilate slaughtered many while they were in the act of giving sacrifices, mixing the blood of the Galileans with the blood of the sacrificed animals.
“Do you think that these Galileans were the worst sinners of all Galileans because they were killed this way?” asked Jesus, knowing that this was a popular idea among the Jews. “No, that is not the case. But if you don’t repent, you will all be killed in a similar way.
What about those eighteen people killed by the fall of the tower in Siloam? Do you think they were the worst sinners living in Jerusalem? Again, no they were not. But if you don’t repent, you will die in a similar way.”
The Jews were confused by these claims, so Jesus gave them a parable.
“A certain man had a fig tree in his vineyard. He went to pick its fruit but found none. He told his gardener, ‘I have looked for fruit on this fig tree for three years and still it will not produce. Cut it down so it doesn’t take up space in my vineyard any longer.’
The gardener answered, ‘Give it one more year, and I will care for it. If it doesn’t give fruit next year then I will cut it down.’”