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Summary: Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus: The Purpose of Tragedies

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Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:

The Purpose of Tragedies

Luke 13:1-9; 34-35

In this passage, Jesus gives us the purpose of death and tragedies. These verses are filled with awesome implications about the way the world really is. And it is not the way people think it is. My aim today is to impress upon our consciences that people are perishing. If we are going to be a people participating with God in his mission and be the kind of witness for Christ that Christ has designed us to be, we need to know and feel what is really at stake - that unrepentant people are perishing.

1. Jews Perspective on Tragedy (vs. 1-2, 4)

Jesus is still among a crowd of thousands (12:1) and some asked him about the deaths of Galileans who died tragically, prematurely, and unexpectedly. Pilate massacred Galilean Jews who were going to worship and then mingled their blood with the blood of their sacrifices. The event probably refers to the Passover because that was the only time individuals killed their own sacrifices. Pilate would be present to squelch and uprising. Then Jesus tells of eighteen people who died when a tower in Siloam fell. Siloam was the pool associated with the water supply from Gihon to Jerusalem. The tower probably was part of the wall and like a guard station. Pilate also built an aqueduct to improve the water supply and it is possible that the tower and its collapse had something to do with the building operation. In both incidents people died of tragedy, prematurely, unexpectedly. The massacre was brought up because the Pharisees in general believed that calamities were a punishment for sin. Ones suffering in life was in direct proportion to ones sin just as ones prosperity was in direct proportion to ones piety.

Job 8:4 If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression. 5 If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, 6 if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation.

John 9:2 And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

2. Jesus’ Perspective on Tragedy (vs. 3, 5; 6-9)

Jesus’ points out that tragedies are not opportunities to judge others but a warning to us all. Their sin was not extraordinarily horrible. It was ordinarily horrible just like your sin. If you do not repent, you too will experience a horrible end. All humanity is so horribly sinful that it should not shock us as though something unwarranted was coming upon innocent people. There are no innocent people, only guilty people. All death, no matter how it comes, is a reminder that the wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23).

Romans 3:10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.”

The question is not when or why people die but avoiding the greater fate we all face after death unless we repent. Those asking the question were no less sinners than those who died. Jesus’ answer is to repent while you can because you never know when your life will end. Death regularly comes unexpectedly, often tragically, and prematurely. You are just as guilty as those people who died horrible deaths. What is amazing is not that guilty sinners perish but that God is slow to anger that you and I can sit here today with another chance to repent. If you are not cognizant of Gods mercy and grace that you are here rather than living a life bent on hell you do not grasp how hideous your sin is and how gracious and merciful and loving God is to save you.

All tragedies point to the fact that we are all sinners and we all perish unless we repent. Jesus must mean something more than physical death because everyone dies whether they repent or not. I think he means that their death was horrible not because they were killed tragically but because they faced judgment. Unless you repent, your death will be horrible because you will perish.

SV John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

ESV John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

ESV 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

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