“I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Luke 13:5 NIV
Human beings are never short of excuses in justifying or excusing ourselves from taking responsibilities for our own faults. In Luke 13, we were told “…there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.” Luke was silent about their intention and purpose but Jesus’ response clarified what was in their heart. “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.” Jesus’ rhetorical question reflects a popular view that tragedies and physical ailments were due to personal sin. Conversely, if one was well and not suffering, it probably meant they were right with God. Jesus was quick to correct such grave misunderstanding about the way of God. “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” God’s silence or inaction is due to his mercy, as Jesus’ subsequent parable reveals.
A gardener was about to cut down an unfruitful fig tree when his vinedresser interceded, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’ God’s silence does not always mean consent. Instead, it may be his mercy giving us a chance for repentance, more time to get right with him. Let us be attentive to the voice of the Spirit calling us to repentance. And as we hear him, let us turn wholeheartedly to the One who loves us and seek His grace to live a life worthy of Him.
Rev. David Lee