There was a recent event that was much on everyone’s mind. A tower fell suddenly, killing many. It was unexpected and shocked the neighboring counties to the core. The first chance they got, they put the question to the highest authority they could find, and the question was, were those who were killed deserving of such a death?
The tower was the tower of Siloam, and 18 were killed. The question was posed to Jesus. Here is His answer–
Luke 13:1-9- Call to Repent
“Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Matthew Henry says, “Mention was made to Christ of the death of some Galileans. This tragical story is briefly related here, and is not met with in any historians. In Christ’s reply he spoke of another event, which, like it, gave an instance of people taken away by sudden death. Towers, that are built for safety, often prove to be men’s destruction. He cautioned his hearers not to blame great sufferers, as if they were therefore to be accounted great sinners. As no place or employment can secure from the stroke of death, we should consider the sudden removals of others as warnings to ourselves. On these accounts Christ founded a call to repentance. The same Jesus that bids us repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, bids us repent, for otherwise we shall perish.”
The verses continue,
“And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
A warning indeed. Is the Lord giving us ‘one more year’? A tiny season further to produce fruit? Is He waiting even now, but has determined to cut the time off if there is not any to bear? “Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.” (Ecc 9:12).
This summary of the verse from Wikipedia of all places, says, “In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus mentioned the tragedy when he was told about some Galilean insurgents who were killed by the Romans. Those who told Jesus this may have expected him to say that their deaths were punishment for their rebellious and belligerent behavior. Yet, in mentioning the collapse of the tower of Siloam, Jesus taught that death can come upon anyone, regardless of how sinful they are. He went on to teach that the need for all people to repent is the true lesson from such tragedies.”
The wages of sin is death. That is why 9/11 happened. Because our default condition is evil and deceitful. We do not ask why this happened but should instead ask why does this not happen every day? Why are we protected to the extent that we are? Why should we enjoy pleasures and grace and His creation for one moment longer than we do? The Vineyard-keeper waits patiently for fruit, for growth, but oft times there isn’t any. We praise Him that He has not yet said ‘cut it down!’
One day the moment will come when He closes the church age and He calls His bride to Him for the consummation of the age. The vines will be cut down. The fig tree will be cut down. But He has promised a remnant. His people will be the stump and from that the Holy Seed will emerge. (Isaiah 6:13)
I read of an article about the one American who was off the planet on the 9/11/01 terror day. He took a photo of the tower in what they have come to believe is the moment it fell.
|Remembering 9/11, Astronaut’s painful view from space|
Is this what God saw when He looked down? A tiny planet, filled with teeming humanity, some his enemies and some His friends, killing each other in a false god’s name? But all of whom He loves?
Is this what God saw when He looked down at the moment His Son died, shedding a tear, as so evocatively portrayed in the Passion of the Christ movie?
Is my neighbor a worse culprit than me? “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
The warning is of repentance, and that by faith through Him no tower will ever be necessary in your life again. Why? HE IS THE TOWER.
“The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.” (2 Samuel 22:3)
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10).
Be safe in your eternal destiny, and repent.