Summary: Understanding Why Bad Things Happen

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Luke 13: 1-5


A. Tragedy and injustice have always been

a part of life

1. Jesus spoke of two that took place in His day

a. There was a tower in Siloam that fell

killing 18 people

b. There were Galilleans who had not only

been executed by the Romans but their

blood was then mingled with their

sacrificial offering

c. One incident was an unspeakable tragedy

and the other was an act of injustice that

infuriated the Jews

2. We still live in a world where such things


a. The events of September 11 are still fresh

in our minds

b. That was both an act of tragedy and


B. How are we to react to such things?

1. Certainly we feel outrage and helplessness

when such things happen

2. Probably, we have all asked the question,

why, when such things happen

3. In this passage, we find some insight into

the why and the wherefores of tragedy and



A. The prevailing thought in Jesus’ time was that

all misfortune occurred because of a sin in

one’s life

1. This idea is seen in John 9 when Jesus’

disciples asked about a blind man and said,

did this happen to him because of his own

sin or his parents

2. It is true that sin has consequences

a. Sin brings guilt which takes our joy and

can destroy our minds

b. Certain sins destroy our health--

addictions to food, drugs, alcohol--

sexual sins that bring about disease--

tobacco that brings about cancer

c. Certain sins bring about poverty--

covetousness, living beyond our means,

refusing to be content

3. Sin also invokes God’s wrath and anger

a. Sin is so foreign to God’s nature that it

angers God

b. When God’s anger is expressed, it is

detrimental to man

c. God’s anger is seen in the tragedy of the

flood and at Sodom

4. God has an unchanging law-- we reap what we

sow-- spiritually as well as physically

B. Because our lives are so intertwined with

others, we often face misfortune and tragedy

because of someone else’s sin

1. Children do often suffer because of the sins

of their parents

a. The child of an alcoholic or drug addicts

does suffer because of his parent’s sin

b. The children do suffer when mom and dad


c. The children do suffer when the parents

gamble away the livelihood of the family

d. The children often suffer as the parents

pass their sinful lifestyle on to their


2. Innocent people often suffer at the hands of

the wicked

a. Thieves often steal from the innocent--

Naboth and Ahab

b. Innocent people are often the victims of

murder-- David and Uriah-- 911 victims

c. Wicked people often hate good people for

no reason but the result of it is that the

innocent suffer-- they hated Jesus without

a cause

3. Sin has caused this world to suffer tragedy

and injustice



A. Not all tragedy and injustice is due to sin

1. From a human point of view, there is tragedy

and injustice that we can’t explain

a. Job was a righteous man, yet look at what

he suffered

b. From a human point of view, he didn’t

understand it and couldn’t explain it

c. He was left to wonder, why?

d. We have all been there

2. What Job couldn’t see, God reveals to us in

the book by his name

a. Job was a victim of Satanic attack

b. God allowed that assault on Job to reveal

to the world the quality of Job’s faith

c. In passing the test, Job revealed to the

world that faith in God can carry us

through the severest trial

3. God also reveals in this book that tragedy is

not always the result of a sin in our lives

or the lives of others

B. With that in mind, Jesus here rebukes the self

righteousness that often takes place when

tragedy happens to others

1. We often think that because we haven’t been

in the fire that we are more righteous than

the ones who have

2. Jesus dispels that attitude in v. 2-5

3. We can never base our righteousness or our

standing before God on the basis of:

a. A comparison between ourselves and someone


b. Whether or not we are being blessed

C. Jesus warning to all here is to repent

1. No matter how bad things may get here, there

is something far worse in eternity

a. That something is to perish in hell

b. To perish in hell will be a tragedy

because it is not necessary

c. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin

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