In today’s Gospel from the third Sunday in Lent (Luke 13:1-9), Jesus offers a dire warning to all (Note: at the bottom of the page is a photo that may be disturbing):

[1] There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus?  [3] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.  [4] Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo’am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?  [5] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” [6] And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. [7] And he said to the vinedresser, `Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’  [8] And he answered him, `Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure.  [9] And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

Jesus offers some very tough and direct advice:

  • Jesus is using a current event to drive home His Gospel – both the killing of Galileans by Pilate and the collapse of the tower in Siloam were recent tragedies that Jesus used to get people’s attention.
  • Jesus repeats the warning twice:  “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”  We should always pay attention to Christ, especially when He takes the trouble to repeat Himself.
  • Jesus specifically refutes a common belief:  that only the grievous sinners will face destruction.  Instead, Jesus is saying that all people, even us today, must take repentance seriously, for if one does not repent, they are living near a faulty tower that may fall on them.

Jesus used vivid images that may have shocked the people of His day to get them to wake up.

Here is a picture of what it looks like when a building falls on people; Lord have mercy on their souls.