Monday 11 April, 2016
13 At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”
As I read this passage, I wonder what they were thinking about with regard to the Galileans. Did they somehow deserve to die? Did they have some hidden sin that no one knew about? Is this how God punishes people for their sin? And Jesus adds to this the episode when a tower fell down and killed 18 people, was this God’s judgement? We used to call earthquakes and other natural disasters “Acts of God.” We couldn’t explain why they happened, they just did, and IF it was an Act of God, was this punishment for some hidden sin?
I think there is an understanding or expectation that people somehow deserve what they get, either good or bad. When bad things happen to bad people we hear the words “they deserved it” and when good things happen to good people they “deserved it”, but when good things happen to bad people, it’s either luck or unfair, and when bad things happen to good people, that’s either unlucky or for some reason did they deserved it?
We want an explanation for why things happen, good or bad, but we don’t believe that God causes bad things to happen to good people, so did they do something to deserve it? Jesus says no! Stuff happens. God says the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous, the sun shines on both.
The real issue as Jesus says is that we are all sinners, and how we die in this life is not really important, but rather that we repent and turn to God so that we don’t perish in the next!
But how do we respond when bad things happen in this life?
Rom 8v28 And we KNOW that God causes everything – good and bad – to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
So rather than looking for reasons as to why stuff happens, focus on God, turn too God, trust God, love God so that no matter what happens in this life, its being ready for the next that is important.
Father I thank you for your great love for me, that you have plans for me, and that you are working things out for my good. Help me to keep my eyes on you and not be distracted by what I see.
Written by Andrew Martin
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