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Today’s Reading: Luke 13:1-9
1 There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? 3 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo- am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, Behold, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. 9 And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’ ”
Jesus uses current events to teach spiritual truths. While neither Pilate’s bloodshed nor the Siloam tower incident is known outside the NT, both examples are used to stress the urgency of repentance. Jesus even denies what many in his day affirmed, i.e., that God permits only grievous sinners to suffer violent deaths (Job 31:3; Prov 10:24). To reject, or even neglect, Christ’s call for repentance is to gamble with disaster (Heb 2:3).