“Because They Suffer” ( Luke 13: 2, ESV ) by Carley Evans

Jesus warns that those who suffer are not worse sinners than others. He uses the example of eighteen who are killed when the tower in Siloam falls on them. He says these are not “worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:4) Then Jesus twice tells us that “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)

Sin is sin, says Jesus. We all alike are sheep gone astray, and unless we repent and rely upon the sacrifice of Jesus, we die in our sin.

A woman is caught in adultery, and the Pharisees bring her to Jesus for judgment. The Pharisees challenge the Lord to follow the Law of Moses, which calls for the woman to be stoned to death. They rhetorically ask,”So what do You say?” (John 8:5) Jesus writes in the dirt. When He stands, He says to the Pharisees, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) He writes in the dirt again. One by one, the Pharisees walk away, “beginning with the older ones” until Jesus and the woman are alone. (John 8:9) Jesus stands up, looks at the woman and asks her where her accusers have gone. He wants to know if anyone is left to accuse her. And she says, “No one, Lord.” (John 8:11)

Jesus tells her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:11)

Repent, or perish; sin is sin; all alike are gone astray. And, Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn you.” I can hear Him say, “Why would I condemn you? I came here to earth to save you, not to judge you. My blood covers your sin. You suffer, but not any more than anyone else. Come; turn and follow Me.”

9 thoughts on ““Because They Suffer” ( Luke 13: 2, ESV ) by Carley Evans

  1. Wonderful message Carley. Interestingly, you bring to surface a verse that has plagued me in my studies for years. We use Luke’s reference to repentance in his 13th chapter often in witnessing. “You will also likewise perish.” He is referring to the physical deaths of these people of course, and then warning His hearers of their perishing in like manner unless they repent. I guess, because the following verses seem to be directly focused on Israel (6-9), I am trying to determine whether He is instructing on salvation, or is He warning of the impending fall of Israel, where one day they are told to flee Jerusalem if they wish to survive (physically). I’m probably making much of nothing, considering that regardless of the intent here, repentance is preached throughout the Bible in the way we associate it with this verse. Anyhow, thanks for a great post…

  2. When I wrote this post last night, I was thinking about the reaction of many/some American “Christians” who, rather than rally to the support of the Japanese people, started to say things like, “Well, it’s no wonder — look at how few Christians are in Japan; look how unrepentant that nation is,” etc. Granted they couched this criticism in a call to prayer for Japan, but it was still disappointing to me.

    I doubt many American Christians called Katrina punishment for sin in New Orleans, or the massive floods and tornadoes this year in the Bible Belt/Midwest as suffering because of a lack of repentance.

    Anyway, sin is sin. Suffering is universal.
    God is love.
    Thanks mtsweat.
    In Christ, Carley

  3. Short response earlier at break time, and it was an excellent answer, but this truly is a topic that interests me greatly. We are guilty of immediately attaching these verses to… just what you stated, “Japan has few Christians, therefore they were punished.” I, (and, once again, I could be completely off-base) truly think Jesus, out of compassion, was warning the people hearing Him, that unless they abruptly changed their minds about who He was, and believed all His reports (let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains) they would perish under the hands of the Roman empire also. anywho, (yeah, I know that’s not a word) I appreciate your excellent handling of the Word of God. God Bless

  4. I’m going to mull that over, mtsweat. I wrote a rather rambling response to yours, but it didn’t go anywhere particularly intelligent or insightful, so… a pause for now. Just to let you know — I’m thinking along the lines of the differences between strict punishment and loving discipline… and whether God loves Christians more than He loves the world…

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