Tuesday 25 August 2015

Bible Book:

“Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.” (vv. 2-4)

Luke 13:1-9 Tuesday 25 August 2015

Psalm: Psalm 74:1-12


These two violent incidents are not recorded elsewhere, However,the Romano-Jewish historian, Josephus, records an incident whichsounds very similar to the first:

Pilate took money from the Sacred Treasury to finance thebuilding of an aquaduct to bring water into Jerusalem. The Jewswere understandably outraged and a large crowd assembled toprotest. Pilate ordered his soldiers to mingle among the crowds indisguise and then to turn on them with cudgels. Many were killed.There would almost certainly have been Galileans, Jesus' owncountrymen, among them. And some may also have been going also tothe temple to offer sacrifices.

In relation to the second incident, there was a pool at Siloam(John 9:7), and it may be that the Tower ofSiloam was associated with the building of the aquaduct. Were theworkers being punished for taking part in an illicitly fundedenterprise, some may have asked.

Disaster, even illness, was often seen as a punishment for sin.In John's Gospel, Jesus' disciples asked him about a blind man,"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was bornblind?" (John 9:2). The answer was neither, but thatGod's works might be revealed in him (John9:3).

Jesus' response to a politically and socially sensitive questionwas to look at these tragic deaths from another angle. Death, ineach case, came suddenly and unexpectedly: how could those who diedhave been prepared for it?  So it will be, he said, for thosewho do not repent while they have time.

Here was a privileged fig tree, growing in the secure andfertile environment of a vineyard rather than in open ground. Butit was not producing the fruit the owner should expect at threeyears' maturity. The gardener, however, urged that it be givenanother chance.

Jesus' listeners, like the tree, are offered the opportunity torepent.

To Ponder

  • What events taking place around you make you stop and thinkabout eternal realities?
  • What is your personal reaction to sudden disaster or tragedy?Many have been reported widely in the media such as the recent Bangbok bombing or the plight of migrants in the Mediterranean?
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