I get so off-track sometimes thinking certain things are important or this big point is the one thing I need to focus on, when in actuality, I’m nowhere close to understanding the basic point of life and the gospel. In the beginning of Luke 13, some people came to Jesus and told him about all these Galileans being killed by Pilate while they were offering sacrifices. What horrific news! Jesus was from Galilee, too; surely he would want to know what had happened to people he might have known. Instead, Jesus brings the focus of the discussion back to the most important part: “Unless you turn to God, you too will die.” (v.3,5)
I wonder if the news-bearers really were wanting Jesus to verify if these victims were “worse sinners than all other Galileans” (v.2). It wouldn’t surprise me if they were asking for back-up on their wrong thinking; don’t we do the same thing? We see hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, droughts, epidemics, wars, and more all around the world, and we’re so quick to judge those affected, thinking that God must have been punishing them for their sins or all these horrible things wouldn’t have happened.
If we’re using that logic, the little girl walking home from school who is kidnapped, raped, and murdered must have done something terrible to deserve such treatment. Thank God He doesn’t use our logic! The horrifying things that happen in this world are not God punishing us for our poor behavior – they cannot be since we know that it is God’s desire that all people should come to a saving knowledge of him (1 Timothy 2:4), not be killed before they have a chance to really know Him. All the injustice that happens is simply part of living in a fallen world. It has nothing to do with God’s heart for all people.
Jesus recognized the uselessness of addressing the “who’s to blame” question when people brought tragedies to his attention, wanting validation for their holier-than-thou attitudes. His focus, instead, was on bringing their attention to the real bottom line: without being in relationship with God, we’re going to die, too. The point is not to dwell on all the awful things that frequently invade our fields of vision or get caught up in being better than so and so, but to remember that we are all mortal. We’re going to die just like all these other victims do. But, we have a choice; we can choose to live for God here and be assured our souls will have eternal life with Him when the time comes that we die in the flesh, or we can choose to live without Him and die once in the flesh and then again repeatedly for eternity.
I’m choosing to trust God’s heart for me, even in the midst of all the heartbreaking events of our lifetime. I choose to believe that though my body may fail, my soul will live on with Him. I will keep praying for victims of disaster and malice, for their families and loved ones left behind, and I will do my best to refocus our attention on the True Bottom Line.
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.