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God, I thank you that I am not like those people

Luke 13:1-5

13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Cross,Jesus,God,Holy Spirit,Daily Devotion,Good and Bad

Sadly, we are all victims, victims of ourselves, of our hearts and of our sinfulness. We can constantly try to find hope outside of Christ when we proclaim that an innocent person has fallen victim to an evil act or evil person, because the good person will be saved, the good person will be avenged. But if we believe that there are those who are good and those who are bad, those who are innocent and those who are guilty, we fall into the trap of believing that we are not that bad, that we don’t really need saving. We set up a sliding scale where the Hitler’s or Pol Pots are on one side as the ‘bad guys’, and because we have not committed atrocities, we are one of the ‘good guys’ on the other side of the scale.

This is quite a simple framework to divide good and bad and many would agree irreligious and religious… where I think I sub-concisely make this divide between good and bad is in the area of moral judgement. As I reflect on this, I think it is revealed in that I would be horrified if one of my sons was drinking, smoking, and committing adultery, but I would be fine if they were selfish, greedy, prideful because one side is more exposed while the other can be hidden better or at least more acceptable.

I fall into the sin of moral judgement, where I don’t really believe that my sins are as bad as other people. In this scriptural account, I would be one of the crowd trying to proclaim how this tragedy took the life of these ‘good’ people so I could deceptively also put myself in the same category with those who have lost their life as one of the good guys.  But what Jesus responds with is the confronting reality: they were not innocent; they were not good; they were sinners and you will share the same fate unless you repent. My response can only be I am not good, I am a sinner, I need saving and one day I will die. Just as these ‘sinners’ have tragically lost their lives, I too am a sinner and I will lose my life as well.

God is graciously merciful, but there is a limit to his patience: our time will run out. Now is the time to repent and turn to Jesus and trust in him. Each new day is a gift of grace given to us by God. 2 Peter 3:9 states ‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’. We can turn to Jesus today, tomorrow and every day we have left, living for him, knowing that we are pilgrims here on earth, on the way to our real home heaven, because we are saved by his amazing grace.

Head: The crowd were trying to create a scale with Pilate as the bad guy on one end and the innocent people on the other end. But Jesus cuts straight to the heart of the matter.

Heart: How have you deceived yourself into believing that your sins or moral judgments are not as bad as those people?

Hands: How does knowing where you will go when you die affect how you live today?


Lord thank you for the life that you have given me. Thank you for another day that I have to live and enjoy the creation that you have blessed me with. Lord thank you that heaven is my real home and that I am currently on a journey home to live forever with you. Help me to live each day, remembering that my life is a vapour, help me to live a full life for you and not just a long life for myself, because you are worthy of all praise and my whole life.

A song to listen to: Who You say I am

Ben Harvey- Adelaide Presbyterian Church

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