Today in God’s Word
Exodus 10; Luke 13
In the reading of Luke 13, my mind was drawn to Jesus emphasis on the reality of our need for repentance and the travesty of ignoring God’s requirement.
Don’t answer to the wrong question with the wrong conclusion.
Luke relates an account Luke 13:1-5 not recorded anywhere else in Scripture or in Jewish history about some Galileans who were brutally executed by Pilate as they offered sacrifices in worship to God. This probably took place during one of the religious festivals and would have occurred in the Temple because that is the only place sacrifices could be offered in Jerusalem where Pilate governed over Judea. Jesus anticipates the questions that were in their mind, “What awful sins did these men to commit such that God brought judgment on them even as they offered sacrifices?” Jesus then cited another incident familiar to His listeners about the collapse of a tower near the pool of Siloam of which 18 people died in the tragedy. Jesus poses the rhetorical question of whether these were worse sinners than other Jerusalem residents.
The answer is of course, “No” but the popular Jewish opinion of that day was that such sudden, violent deaths were a result of God’s judgment on the victims. But Jesus redirects the question from “How terrible were their sins?” to “Have they been forgiven?” The true question in the matter is not about the severity of their sins. All of us have the guilt of sin in us Romans 3:23; 6:23. Neither is the question about death. Because of original sin, death comes to all of us Genesis 3:19, so the crux of the matter is not physical death or the timeliness of death, but what happen after our death. The heart of the matter is whether we have repented of our sins and received the gift of eternal life Acts 2:38. We must not find ourselves asking the wrong questions. On another occasion, Jesus’ disciples asked a similar question about who was culpable as sinners for the blindness of a man since birth—himself or his parents John 9:2-3. Jesus explained that it was neither, but that God would use the man’s blindness (a genetic birth defect caused by the Fall of man into sin Genesis 3) to display Father’s mighty power in the Son.
The danger of turning a deaf ear to our need of repentance is to perish in eternity Luke 13:5. Sadly, most of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were full of questions that really didn’t matter while refusing to ask the question desperately needed by every sinner like the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:31. Answering that question with repentance and faith leads to life while any other answer results in separation from God forever. Have you addressed the right question and come to right conclusion of repentance and faith Acts 20:20-21? If not, will you now?
Most readers of this devotional already have believed the gospel by repentance and faith. So, what’s our response to these realities of Jesus’ teaching? One response is worship and thanksgiving for God’s grace to us. Another response is to examine the fruits of repentance in our own lives. Are we continuing in our walk of faith? If not, why not and what steps do we need to take to realign our progression in faith with our confession of faith? Finally, though certainly not exhaustively, with this sobering reminder of the peril on unrepentant hearts, are we burdened to share the gospel with others and plead for their repentance 2 Corinthians 5:20? May God warm our hearts for eager obedience to Him and compassionate love for others.
Soli Deo Gloria!