The blame game
Luke 13: 1-5 “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 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? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Many years ago I went to speak to a group of Christians from different Church backgrounds on the subject of suffering. After my talk an old man came to me who clearly hadn’t heard much of my talk and said, “They should be forced not to have more than one child and then they wouldn’t have so many mouths to feed.” I was appalled at his understanding of why there is famine today.
We continually live our lives surrounded by blame. Whose fault is it? That’s what we want to know.
When sharing of what someone has gone through, do you know that awkward feeling of needing to hide what they may have done wrong because you know the listener is going to pick up on that and exploit it? Maybe the person over-reacted. Maybe they didn’t respond in the best way. Maybe they made mistakes. Maybe they angered Pilate? Were those 18 building the tower of Siloam? Were they lousy builders?
“Ah I see! They had it coming to them. They made it worse. They are to blame.”
People can go further in their judgment, “God judged them. That’s why they suffered.”
“Is that what you think?” Jesus asked. “If that is the wise judgment you use, then it will be used on you too. If failure, suffering and death is based on sin then you are as guilty as those you point at.”
Using this measure: Jesus was asking them if they thought they were so good they wouldn’t die.
Clearly, it is nonsense. In fact Jesus says unless you repent you will perish.
We may look down at people thinking they had it coming to them. But in the same way, so do we.
This same Pilate would sacrifice another Galilean: Jesus of Nazareth!
Therefore, was Jesus a worse sinner than us?
Ironically yes. He became sin for the world, all the sin was heaped on Jesus who had no sin so that we might be righteous. The judgment wall fell on Jesus that we might walk free in our repentance.
Therefore, if bad things happen to you now it is not because God is judging you. Even if you die, you die in Christ, you will not perish and you will rise again.