Summary: Bad things have happened to people many times over the years. There were some people who spoke to Jesus about a recent event. His reply wasn't something they expected to hear.

Based on a sermon preached at First Baptist Church, Chamois, MO on 9-12-2021.

This is not an exact transcription.

Introduction: The question has been asked many times before: Where were you on 9-11, 2001? I was a substitute school teacher that day. During the second period, I think, the principal came to each classroom and handed each teacher a flyer showing a jet airliner crashing into a skyscraper. My original thought is that this was some kind of joke—I mean, even then, people had versions of photo editing software, even though it was not so sophisticated as today’s software—to show us an interest of his away from school. We soon found out this was no joke.

We were at war.

And for 20 years our nation did what it could to fight against the enemy forces who did this to us. Sadly, it seems all of it was spent and used for nothing. Only God Himself knows for certain.

Even so, one thing we do know for certain is that the 3000 people who died on 9-11, and those who suffer even today from what happened, must never be forgotten. Many families will bear the wounds and scars of that day forever.

People in the days of Jesus also experienced their share of unexplained events. The text mentions a pair of events and the replies of Jesus to both. The lesson He wanted them to learn is a lesson we should heed even today.

1 A current event: the massacre of some Galileans

Text, Luke 13:1-3, KJV: 1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Jesus had been teaching many things and Luke 12 gives a summary of His teaching. Perhaps, during a pause, “some”—we don’t know who nor how many—spoke to Jesus about some Galileans whom Pilate had, basically, murdered along with the sacrifices they were bringing to the Temple (where else would a Jew of Jesus’ day go to sacrifice?)

Why did they bring this to the Lord’s attention?

First, being God in flesh (some call Jesus the God-man, being fully God and fully human), Jesus would have known about this already. I can almost imagine the sadness in His heart as not only did He know these Galileans were doing right, but they were executed anyway. He also knew that before too much longer, He too would face judgment before this same man. John 18 and 19 record some of the conversations (!) they had with each other.

Second, some in that crowd likely knew Jesus was originally from Galilee. Could they have thought He might have known some of these Galileans? Would this, perhaps, spur Him to take action against Herod, Pilate, or any other authorities? He might have remembered that when He fed the 5000 men (and maybe others?), the people wanted to make Him king! But clearly, this was not the time, nor the place, for Jesus to be crowned King. That day is coming, in the future, but not that day.

And to follow up with that thought, several commentators observed that the people of Judea (Jerusalem and the surrounding area) had some less than favorable opinions of the Galileans (those in the north of Israel). According to these commentators (Bengel, Barnes, John Trapp, and others) the Galileans were considered uncouth, hot tempered, and in a word, sinners (a classic example, Simon Peter!). Needless to say, those of Judea thought themselves better than the Galileans in many ways.

No matter what they thought, I doubt they were prepared for the words of Jesus. He asked them if they really thought these who had been killed were worse sinners than other Galileans. A prevailing concept was that if you were prosperous, you had God’s blessings; if something bad happened to you, you deserved it. The Book of Job is full of this, for example, when God had declared Job innocent but allowed Satan to test Job—dreadfully. Job’s friends came and spent most of the book telling Job what an awful sinner he was because of his current state. By the way, let me encourage you to read the Book of Job—just take a single conversation at a time, say, when Job speaks, then a friend speaks.

And Jesus wasn’t finished. He brought the issue right back to them—“except YOU repent, you will all likewise perish.” The people should have remembered just a short time before this, when John the Baptist and even Jesus Himself had preached repentance, and many had indeed repented at this preaching. But now, Jesus reminds them there was a need to repent, again. The warning about perishing came true for many in Jerusalem about 40 years later, when thousands of Jews were crucified, others sold into slavery, and others left in Jerusalem.

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