Our world has had its share of tragedies in recent years. From the slaughter of kindergarten students to the murdering of office co-workers, our jaws drop every time we hear of another calamity. However, these kinds of events are not new. In Luke 13, fresh news of a mass murder reached the people surrounding Jesus. We are not sure how the conversation went, but based on Jesus’ words, it seems like they have a messed up theology regarding the situation. The conversation may have gone something like this:
Did you hear about the people killed while they were worshiping?
No, what happened?
Pilate’s soldiers came in while they were sacrificing. Right in the middle of their worship, the soldiers killed them. How horrible is that?
The worshipers must have sinned. They must have done something to tick God off.
It is in this sort of situation that Jesus speaks. Jesus brings up another disaster.
(Luke 13:4 NIV) 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?
In other words, do you guys really think that bad things happen to people because they sinned in a particular way? This was a common worldview for the people of God. Job’s friends exhibited the same line of thought when they approached Job in his suffering. The disciples once asked Jesus if a man was blind because of his sin or his parent’s sin (John 9). Jesus corrects their poor theology (way of understanding God).
(Luke 13:5 NIV) I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Jesus corrects their finger pointing. Instead of trying to figure out why bad things happen (assuming that the victims somehow offended God), they should examine their own hearts.
On Sunday, we will explore Luke 13:1-9. Join us as we consider this passage and its relevance for us today.