Unless we change our directions, we are likely to end up where we are heading to”. We deem this Chinese proverb as enlightening, especially at this present moment.
In the gospel, Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did”
Jesus tells the crowd unless you repent, you will also perish. This is a call to change direction otherwise we are heading to something more serious than a disaster.
In the gospel of today, Jesus refers to two disasters that are well popular in His time. One of them is man-made while the other is a natural disaster.
Luke says that people came and disclosed to Jesus how Pilate attacked the Galileans who were offering sacrifice at the temple and mingled their blood with the sacrifice.
There is no detailed report on this event but Jesus uses the event and that of the eighteen people killed by the Tower of Siloam to present a striking point.
Anything can happen at Any Time
In response to the people, Jesus asks them “‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you”
The Jews have this belief that God punishes us when we sin and rewards us when we live righteous lives.
We can see such belief in Psalm 145:20 and Ezekiel 18:20. From Jesus’ statement, there is a probability that the people think that these tragedies happened to those people because of the intensity and magnitude of their sins.
But Jesus is trying to let them know that good and bad thing can happen to anyone.
Therefore, the people that perished in these tragedies is not a sign that they are sinners. It is not a sign that God hates them but that the unexpected can happen at any time.
This is the reason we have to be ready at all times and change from the bad things that we do. Nobody can predict the next hour. Anything can happen to anyone.
Unless You Repent.
Jesus asks them to repent or perish otherwise life may take them unawares. This is a call for all to change and repent because we do not know what the future upholds. Those who died in these tragedies as Jesus mentions may not be ready to die. They may not have thought that such kind of trouble would befall them. In essence, anything can happen at any time.
The only way to avoid being taken unawares is to repent from the evil we do, otherwise, our souls will perish in the eternal fire. In essence, repentance and total change of heart is the only way to avoid this imminent damnation.
Unless We Change
In the same manner, the only way to save our lives and the future now is to change. The country needs to change from the root. Our political leaders have to wake up. The incessant killings in the land have to stop.
These atrocities cannot lead us anywhere. More problems begets more problems and more violence begets more violence. We cannot solve our problems with evil. If we want to have a change, then good initiatives, good ideas, innovations etc have to come in.
A good leader will always listen to the yearnings of the people he leads rather than killing and impoverishing them. He will always try his best to respond to them positively.
Unless we change direction, the destination we are already driving to may lead us to ruin. Thus, we need to redress our steps.
Let us begin to do well wherever we are and have people’s interest at heart. Therefore, we have to quit doing things only to be praised. Always work from the heart. Because a good tree is known by its fruit.
God Expects Us to Bear Fruit.
Jesus ends this encounter today with a parable. He says
‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”
Just like in the gospel, God expects us to bear fruits with all the human and natural resources He lavishes us with. We do not have any excuse, we have to do better.
This is a call to all leaders to respond positively to the yearnings of the people. This is also a call for us to redress our steps. we are heading to more problems and destruction.
We need true change. We want to be a testimony to the good foundations you can lay for the future generation.
Every year, the price of goods keeps increasing with no hope of amelioration. Even basic amenities like water, constant power supply, good roads etc are now used just to play politics and people are suffering.
Every day, hunger, wickedness, extortion, greed, insecurity continues to rise. If we want a new era to greet our nation, we all must change. Otherwise, the future will be more disastrous.
2. We also have to make use of all the gifts that God has given us and work for Him. He also expects us to bear good fruits. In John 15:8, Jesus says that it is the Father’s glory that we bear fruit.
Therefore, Good fruits gladdens the heart of God. Therefore, when we choose to live with evil, it will come back to hurt us later, now or in life after. Unless we change, there will be no change.
May God bless you dearest and have mercy on us. May He give us the grace to come back to a newness of life.
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