There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And [Jesus] answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:1-5
O that all of the Twin Cities, in shock at this major calamity, would hear what Jesus has to say about it from Luke 13:1–5. . . .
Jesus implies that those who brought him this news thought he would say that those who died, deserved to die, and that those who didn’t die did not deserve to die. That is not what he said. He said, everyone deserves to die. And if you and I don’t repent, we too will perish. This is a stunning response. It only makes sense from a view of reality that is radically oriented on God.
All of us have sinned against God, not just against man. This is an outrage ten thousand times worse than the collapse of the 35W bridge. That any human is breathing at this minute on this planet is sheer mercy from God. God makes the sun rise and the rain fall on those who do not treasure him above all else. He causes the heart to beat and the lungs to work for millions of people who deserve his wrath. This is a view of reality that desperately needs to be taught in our churches, so that we are prepared for the calamities of the world.
In a sermon on Luke 13:1-5, John Piper said:
The really amazing thing in this universe is not that guilty sinners perish, but that God is so slow to anger that you and I can sit here this morning and have one more chance to repent.
For more, see
- “Putting My Daughter to Bed Two Hours After the Bridge Collapsed: What Do Tragedies Like This Mean for Us?”
- Piper responded to Rabbi Kushner on the collapse of the bridge.
- “The Opening of the I-35W Bridge.”