Luke 15:1-5 “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’”

Tragedies, be they natural or man-made, engender all sorts of conversations when they happen.  Certainly, this has been true in recent years with the hurricanes, shootings, and other tragedies we’ve witnessed in America.  Such things are nothing new, as this glimpse of the conversation above about tragedies in first century Palestine shows us.  Jesus’ response was in striking contrast to what we typically hear in the wake of such things.  He didn’t talk about the motives of the perpetrators, or who was responsible for the construction of the tower in Siloam.  He didn’t try to make sense of it, and he didn’t try to minimize the horror of it all with platitudes.  Some would say He was callous in his response.  However, it is wise to take note that these words from the One Who is love, were anything but callous.  His words were a warning of facts that He longed for everyone to face for their own welfare.  He spoke the truth about life and death. He knew that, whether we like to hear about it or not, everyone will die by one means or another. And His concern, i.e., the main concern from this One Who knows everything, wasn’t with how these people died or who was responsible, but whether any of them were ready to die.  He wanted the people in His day to know, just as He wants all of us to know, that everyone is born a sinner, and everyone will die because of that fact.   He wants us to know that if we die as sinners, the tragedy that caused our death will pale in comparison with the eternity that will result which is apart from Him. He wants us to know that this will befall anyone who dies, “unless you repent.”  And He wants us to know that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” 

So what about you?  Do you think about the fact that you, too, will die, but that God has made a way for you to live forever? Listen to these great words from the Savior from John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”  Do you believe in Him?  Are you ready to die?  It is only if you know Him that you can be ready. That is just one of the facts of life.

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