When tragedy strikes, it should compel us to think about eternity.
Read Luke 13:1-5.
Anyone who wants to have power over sin, power over suffering, power over death can come to Jesus and receive grace.
Whenever a tragedy takes place and people lose their lives unexpectedly, the same age-old questions pop up: Where is God in all of this? How can a loving, merciful God allow this loss of life? Why didn't He—the all-knowing God—stop this from happening? And if God is not all-powerful, why should we worship Him?
In Luke 13, Jesus addressed two specific events that were on the minds of the people in the crowd. First there was the murder of some Galilean Jews who had come to Jerusalem to worship at the temple. The second event was a natural disaster. A tower in Jerusalem had fallen unexpectedly, and when it came down, it crushed 18 people who were standing nearby. Two very different tragedies, but with the same result: Many people died suddenly.
The people in Jesus' day had come to the terrible and misguided conclusion that the men and women who died must have been guilty of some great sin. Jesus had heard what the people were saying, and He decided to set the record straight. "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? . . . Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish" (Luke 13:2, 4-5).
I believe Jesus would tell us to take the tragedies we've experienced as God's warning. He would tell us that God's judgment is coming upon all who refuse to believe in Him, all those who will not repent of their sins and turn to the Son of God for forgiveness. On that day, the suffering of those apart from Christ will be more tragic, more severe, and it will be without end.
But, of course, God did not abandon His people to judgment. He provided a way of escape—one still available to everyone today. Anyone who wants to have power over sin, power over suffering, power over death can come to Jesus and receive grace—not just for this lifetime, but forever and ever in heaven with Jesus.
Prayer: Father, when tragedies arise, help me to turn to You and remember You promised to never forsake me. Thank You for Your lovingkindness toward me. I know goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6). May I honor You with my trust. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Jesus answered, 'Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?'" (Luke 13:2).