Journal Luke 13 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “There were some present at that very time who told (Jesus) about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And (Jesus) 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.”” Luke 13:1-5
Observation: Even during Jesus’ time, there were those who were trying to find escape clause reasons in the Gospel. “You are bad, therefore no salvation life available for you…”
Is Jesus’ arm so short He cannot save whom He chooses? Of course not.
Analysis: Sometimes I need to try putting meat on the bones concerning certain passages.
In the rest of Luke 13, there are some easy and familiar passages to write about. Not today for me. Wherever I see places that folks want to chat with Jesus and ask questions, it is enough to pay attention to because more than likely, the same kinds of questions asked of Jesus are the same questions asked today.
“What about [that thing] or [the other thing]? Flood, earthquake, fire, explosions? Is God’s DISPLEASURE with mankind being shown? Did those poor folks DESERVE that because of their sin?”
That’s what is really being inquired of here. Four key words/insinuations: SIN, DESERVE, DISPLEASURE, and CONSEQUENCES.
Any Christian can fall into that mode of thinking. I can absolutely lose sight of the Gospel—if I ever had a handle on the Gospel at all?
“Oh, no, I have a full grip on the Gospel”, I might think. But then, I only remember 2005, New Orleans, and Katrina and fall into shame with what I thought then.
That’s the angle of what these folks were asking Jesus: These folks DESERVED what they got, right?” Extrapolation: “If I don’t do what they did to deserve God’s punishment, then I will be OK before God?”
“ALL have sinned. ALL have fallen short…” It is astounding that as soon as those two statements show up, thoughts start going in the direction of: “except him; except those; but not her….” Excuses begin to flow like water, even from Christian mouths.
No wonder Spurgeon taught about the Gospel every time he was up.
Prayer: Father, you are good to remind man of the Gospel every day. You are good to remind those who claim redemption of the need to grow deeper in the Gospel every day. It is good to be reminded that the Gospel is only good news to the ones you call, and it is not good to those who have no ears to hear. Joy unspeakable on one side; weeping and gnashing of teeth on the other. All have sinned, daily I am proof. I am also proof of your redemptive love. AMEN.