Scripture: Luke 13:1 At that very time there were some present who told (Jesus) about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4 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? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”
Observation: Jesus uses news of the death of some people from Galilee as a teachable moment. In Jesus’ day, it was presumed that God the Father controlled everything. I mean everything. So if people were killed by Pilate’s troops, one would have assumed it was because of their sin, which God must punish. However Jesus takes issue with this assumption. His questions in v.2 and v.4 have an implied answer. No. Those killed were not worse sinners, yet they died anyway. I believe Jesus’ point is that life is not fair. Bad things can happen to good people and bad people alike. However, there is one certainty – we will all die someday. And when we do, will we be counted among those who will inherit eternal life in Jesus Christ? Time is short…
Application: This idea that God controls everything is still alive and well. I’ve heard many a Christian suggest that, when something awful happens, it must be according to God’s plans. Well, maybe. But there is more at work in this world than our God. There is evil in the world along with the good. And while the Kingdom of God has ultimately triumphed in the death and resurrection of Jesus, there are still casualties in our present struggle. Good people die and bad people prosper. Life is not fair. Yet Jesus reminds us that we are all ultimately accountable for our sin in the end. Today he calls you and me to “repent” of our sins to receive the grace of forgiveness and life everlasting.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, it’s true that life is not fair. Death often comes like a thief in the night, unexpected. Give us grace to be ready whenever our time comes to see you face to face. Help us to repent of our sin that we might be cleansed of all unrighteousness. By your grace alone. Amen.