Luke 13:1-5 – Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
We don’t know exactly what this news event pertains to but we can conclude that there were some Galileans that Pilate’s administration had killed while they were offering sacrifices. And, we don’t know the exact reason these people told Jesus about it. However, we might intimate from Jesus’s response to them that they shared the news in some sort of self-righteous air. Even though Pilate may have been unjust in killing them, they must have had secret sin, otherwise God would not have allowed them to be so barbarously cut down. Rather than consider them as martyrs, they automatically reckon them as bad guys. Maybe it was because they didn’t belong to their party, they were somehow different or they held some point of difference. At any rate, it seems apparent that they considered this act of Pilate a just act of God upon those Galileans.
Jesus followed their report with a story that also told of an incident where people’s lives were suddenly lost. Not long before this occasion, eighteen persons had been killed when the tower of Siloam fell. Some have thought maybe this was an adjoining tower to the pool of Siloam. This is the same pool where the lame and infirmed people came and waited for the stirring of the water so they might get in and be healed. It has been posed that it may have been some of these folks who were killed at that time. Whoever they were, it was a sad story, the likes of which we hear from time to time. We are all familiar with a couple of large towers that fell not too many years ago in New York City. Jesus cautioned His hearers not to misinterpret these events by concluding that these must have been great sinners. He asks them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?” And, to the incident with the tower He asked, “Do you think that they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?” He answered the questions Himself with an emphatic, “NO!” Then He declared, “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” By this, Jesus declares that we cannot judge people as great sinners because of their sufferings or because disaster befalls them. Job’s friends were guilty of the same error of judgment as they concluded that he must have done something very sinful to deserve such suffering.
The words of Christ remind us that we are ALL equally guilty and that we shall ALL certainly perish apart from repentance! Unless we repent, we shall perish eternally, just as these people perished out of this life! The same Jesus that calls people to repent because the kingdom of heaven is at hand, tells them to repent or perish. So, He sets before all of us life and death, good and evil, and He puts the choice in our hands! If you happen to find yourself sitting in judgment of others who are suffering or have been the victim of some disaster, give heed to Christ’s words, “Unless you repent, you too will perish.” We face two dangers: One is that we will sit in self-righteous judgment of others when they are no worse sinners than we are; the second is that we will patronize sin and not repent! Do you think others are worse sinners? Have you repented of your sin and unbelief? Perhaps you’ll begin to see things in a different perspective when you do!
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the families of the week: John & Christine Fargo (Giovanni, Isabelle, Claire), Dave & Ilene Fetzner, Betty George.
Saturday: Pray for those who are dealing with disaster or crisis in their lives.
Sunday: Worship God and allow His kindness to lead you to repentance – NOW!
Monday: Settle your account with God right now, before it’s too late!
Tuesday: Don’t jump to conclusions when those you may not agree with are suffering!
Wednesday: Don’t ruin the day of your opportunity to repent!
Prayer Challenge – Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live! – Ezekiel 18:30-32