“Now there was some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:1-5).
Some people who were present in the crowd told Jesus about a tragic event happened. It is like the news of a severe tragedy that we hear from another person or TV. They said to Jesus Pilate, a Roman Governor of the province had mixed the blood of Galileans with their sacrifices. The location was a troubled province and on top of this Galileans were prone to attack any time. We do not know for sure what exactly was this historical incident. However, some Jews were sacrificing at Jerusalem; Pilate or his people came attacked suddenly and killed them. Because of this sudden attack and murder, the victim’s blood mixed with the blood of the animals they were slain for sacrifice. No doubt, It was a horrible atrocity.
At this time of tragedy, Jesus gave a thought-provoking question and an answer, “do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?” In other words, do you think this horrible atrocity happened to them because they were worse than other people? Then Jesus answered the question. He said, “I tell you, No! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
This sad and heartbreaking thing happened was not because the victims were worse sinners than others. But it is a reminder and warning to all people regarding the urgent need for repentance.
Then Jesus reminded the crowd another tragedy happened in those days right in their area. A tower in Siloam fell on eighteen people who died immediately. Jesus asked the same question. “Do you think they were more guilty than all others living in Jerusalem?” He said the answer, “I tell you, No! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” He repeated the same answer both times. Both unexpected tragedies reported here reminds not only of physical death but more than that the spiritual death, away from the presence of the loving God all through eternity. Apart from the presence of a good and loving God is what the hell is all about.
The tower fell on eighteen people and they all died was not because the victims were more guilty than others. The same reminder and warning to all of us regarding the immediate and dire need of repentance.
Immediately after this conversation, Jesus said a parable. A man had a fig tree, and he looked for fruit, but it did not have any. Then the man said to the servant this -for three years now he was looking for fruit on the fig tree and did not find any. Cut it down! Why should it use the soil? But the servant replied, leave it alone for one more year, and I will dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.”
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” was the loud announcement Jesus made when He started and continued his ministry. The message of the LORD is the same today. We do not know how long a time we have. None of us know how long will there be an opportunity to repent and turn to Him. Hence it is critical to repent and turn to Jesus Christ.
For some of us, Lord gave extended time, didn’t He? He dug around us and fertilized us, didn’t He? God allowed listening to His word, again and again, didn’t He? Now, the question is- where is the fruit? Would you humble in the presence of the Lord and pray now? God have mercy on me and forgive me. You talked to me many times. However, I did not come to you for salvation. Or, I did not repent of my sins and changed my course though I am a believer in you. We all need repentance, and that is the urgent call from God.
Repentance means a change of action. We can feel sad and sorrowful about what we did. However, Godly sorrow drives us to the cross where He carried our sins and sorrows and leads us to the feet of Jesus Christ. Repentance and running to Christ brings forgiveness and salvation. A believer in Christ should also have an ongoing repentant mindset because we are all tainted, influenced by sin and live in this sin country now. Will you go to Christ in repentance? Jesus Christ says, “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
The message is loud and clear today- Repentance is the key to God’s salvation, protection, deliverance, and blessings in your lives. Repentance is not a bad word. It does not need to hurt your pride. Repentance is a beautiful word that unlocks freedom and blessings in your life.
Got a moment for today’s prayer? “Father in heaven, I come to you as I am. I believe Jesus Christ died and rose again for my sins and iniquities. I am sorry for my sins. I repent and turn to you. Please wash and cleanse me today. Please help me to live for you in the future. Thank you for saving me. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”