This Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[Luk 13:2 NIV] 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?
Here Jesus is confronted with one of the great presuppositions of fallen man. Jesus is dealing with this mindset that, “bad things, only happen to bad people.”
While we don’t know much about these two tragedies’ the first seems to involve the murder of a group of Galileans which was made worse by Pilate mocking their deaths mingling their blood with pagan sacrifices. The other event seemed to be a construction accident where a tower collapsed and caused the death of eighteen men (:4).
It seems the people were rejecting Jesus’ warnings about the need for repentance as they assumed wrongfully that because they were free from tragedy, they must be right with God.
Jesus uses the illustration of the construction collapse (:4) to remind them that tomorrow is promised to no one. The implication that the men who died in the ambush were no worse sinners than those who died in the accident. The lesson Jesus wanted them to focus on was not “why” it happened but “how” we respond to it.
While we don’t have control over all the dangerous in our lives our biggest issue is not our mortality but our immortality. Jesus told the crowd in Matt 5:45 – “the rain falls on the just and unjust.” Our job is not to judge our lives based on the false assumption that we are better or worse than others but on the Word of God.
May the tragedies and struggles of the world around us teach us to treasure the moments, number our days, and guard our hearts and mouths from becoming like Job’s friends.