“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)

Jesus spoke of 2 events which probably had occurred within recent memory of His listeners. These concerned people who died violently. The religious zealots who were proud of their self-righteousness maintained that those who died under those tragic circumstances were cursed by God because of their sins. Jesus pointed out that all men are sinners, all of His listeners were under the curse of God and all are in need of repentance, all in need of a Savior. Jesus also reminded them that God extended mercy to Israel and Judah but they refused to heed them. Finally He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ as the greatest and perfect act of mercy to lead people to Him in repentance and faith. Those who would reject Him would be judged with righteousness and severity.

These days we see many such unexpected tragedies not only resulting from terrorism and violence but also accidents, illness and so-called natural disasters. While ultimately we cannot explain or understand why God allows such suffering to afflict us, we can assume that these events and tragedies are reminders to us that we ought to get right with God while we can. They warn us of the shortness and uncertainty of life. Tomorrow is promised to no one. We must live our lives in light of this uncertainty. We must not be doing things that we would be ashamed of when that time comes. And we must tell others of the grace and mercy found in Jesus alone. The Lord wants to warn them to come to Him before it is too late lest they miss out on His eternal blessings.