When Jesus Said “No”

The daily Bible reading from the New Testament last Friday got me thinking about our current circumstances.

Jesus was asked about two tragedies that were on everyone’s minds; the first being the slaughter of some Galileans by Pilate as they were offering sacrifices in the temple, and the second was the death of eighteen upon which a tower had fallen. When asked if what had befallen them was because they were greater sinners than others, Jesus said, “No, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

He then went on to tell a parable about a fig tree that wasn’t producing fruit. When the gardener suggested it be cut down, the owner said to give it more time to be cared for and fertilized.

These verses from Luke 13 made me think about what we’re going through, because it’s only natural to wonder why things happen the way they do. Why are some stricken by a deadly virus, and others not? Why would a tornado strike in the midst of a pandemic? Is God making a statement, or do such things just happen? And knowing the love of God, how do we make sense of such?

I’m not sure we should even try to make sense of it all, because the only answer Jesus gives here is “No”, followed by a call to repentance. Apparently we are to simply trust that God knows what’s going on, live fruitful lives during what time we do have, and help others do the same.

Having said that, I am very grateful for the grace that has been shown us during this trying time of separation. I’m not aware of any in our body who have been impacted beyond financial insecurity, inconvenience, and disappointment by the restrictions placed upon us. In fact, the only calls I’ve received relative to needs have been offers to help any who might be in need.

I don’t think that means God has shown us special favor. He sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous alike. I’m just overwhelming grateful for the undeserved grace He has shown to us.

God Bless, Rick

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