“Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."” Luke 13:1-5 NASB
We began our study in Luke 13 with a look at the brevity of life. Yesterday, we paused to remember 9 11. (Follow the links to get caught up.)
Today, we return to Luke 13. Jesus was speaking to the "crowd", people who had come to hear Him, but weren't necessarily disciples. They "reported to Him about the Galileans". I can hear them talking with Jesus. Maybe it went something like this...
"Hey, Jesus, did you hear about those men from Galilee that got killed in the temple?"
"Tell me about it." (Because He already knew, but he wanted to hear them admit what they had on their minds.)
"You're from Galilee. You might've known them. Anyway, they were in the temple to offer their sacrifice, and Pilate's soldiers came in, swords a'blazing, and killed them. It was terrible. Blood was everywhere. Sacrifice blood. Galilean blood." What sin must they have committed to deserve something like that? (They didn't say this part, but they probably thought it.)
Jesus, as usual, went straight to the heart of things. "It was terrible. Did you think they were killed in this way because they were worse sinners than you are? Unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
I would think a hush fell over the crowd. Really, what could you say to that?
"Do you think the men who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them were worse than the people who live in Jerusalem? Unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
When Jesus had an important point He wanted to be sure His listeners understood, He repeated it. This is an example of the confirmation of importance by repetition.
Twice in one conversation, Jesus said, "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (I've repeated it to confirm it's importance, too.)
This short passage was not about the perils of traumatic death, nor about a murder committed in the temple.
Jesus was speaking about the deadly consequences of sin.
Unless we make a conscious decision to address the sin in our lives, we, too, will be in grave peril, because the wages of sin is death. That death is an eternal separation from God, spent in hell.
We can have eternal separation if we choose, but it would be so much better to repent, turn to our loving Heavenly Father, and spend eternity in heaven.
With one short sentence, Jesus brings us to a decision point. Unless you repent...
Why wait? Repentance must be done.
Let's pause to take a close look at our lives. Are we living the way Christ intended us to live? Are we obeying Him? Are we living in such a way that others can see Christ in us? If not, let's simply repent and choose His ways, His paths.
Our Father, who are in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Help us to not only ask for forgiveness, but also turn away from our sin and choose your way. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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