“No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish too.”
Jesus learns that Pilate has murdered some Galileans as they were offering sacrifices in the Temple. He tells the crowd that they did not die because they were more sinful than others. No, everyone must repent or they too will perish.
He then tells a parable about a barren fig tree. The landowner tells the gardener to cut it down because it is a waste of space. But the gardener suggests they give it another chance. They can leave it in the ground, give it extra attention and more fertiliser, then if it still fails to produce they can cut it down.
A week ago a man entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and went on an evil killing spree that has shocked both New Zealand and its neighbour Australia.
Many things have been said and written, some of them helpful and others not so helpful. Some have demanded tougher gun laws, others have pointed out the hypocrisy of the media that gloss over Islamic terrorism while obsessing over this incident.
Jesus says that it is not important to think about whether any particular group of people is more sinful than others, or who is more worthy of judgement.
We must all repent, every one of us, and turn away from our sins. Otherwise we too will perish.
These events come as warnings to us, reminders that we too will die and face God.
It doesn’t matter whether we are less sinful than others whom we might want to judge. What matters is our own relationship with Jesus.
Turn away from your sins today and ask Jesus to forgive you. Make Him Lord of your life, seeking to follow Him in all you do.
Today, Lord, I give up on judging who is the worst sinner. I recognise the sin in my life and I ask you to take it away. I choose to follow Jesus, and I ask for your grace to do that. Amen.