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“They must have had it coming”. Jesus divided. Jesus divided people into two groups (Luke 12:49-53) Those who are with him Those who are opposed. Jesus divided. Jesus warned people to ‘read the signs of the times’ (12:54-56) They failed to understand who He really was

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Jesus divided
Jesus divided

  • Jesus divided people into two groups (Luke 12:49-53)

    • Those who are with him

    • Those who are opposed


Jesus divided1
Jesus divided

  • Jesus warned people to ‘read the signs of the times’ (12:54-56)

    • They failed to understand who He really was

      • Think band-aids and energy drinks

    • As a result they were in danger of judgment


They divided
They divided

  • The problem of presumption

    • The religious leaders and the people made judgments about who was ‘in’ and ‘out’

    • They assumed those who suffered must be under judgment (cf., e.g., John 9:2; Job 4:7; 8:4, 20; 11:11, 14-18; 22:4-5)


They divided1
They divided

  • The problem of presumption

    • Jesus warns them not to misread events

      • They overlooked their own sinfulness


1There were some present at that very time who told him about 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 this way?” 3No I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”


Jesus explicitly warns them
Jesus explicitly warns them

  • Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish

    • What does it mean to ‘repent’

      • Agreement that a change in how one lives is necessary

      • Making the necessary change


Jesus explicitly warns them1
Jesus explicitly warns them

  • Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish

    • They were in no better position than those who had died

    • They mistook God’s mercy for their righteousness

    • They were, in fact, in danger of God’s judgment


Jesus explicitly warns them2
Jesus explicitly warns them

  • The parable of the unfruitful fig tree (13:6-9) was an indictment of Israel’s unbelief

    • God had given them ample opportunity to ‘produce’

    • Their time was running short (vv 7, 9)


Jesus explicitly warns them3
Jesus explicitly warns them

  • They were in desperate need of repentance

    • They should no longer fool themselves into thinking they were ‘okay’

    • They should no longer abuse God’s patience

    • They should no longer presume on their ‘election’


“The lack of judgment in the present should not be considered a sign that all was well in Israel. It was a sign of God’s mercy, not approval. Judgment, however, would not be held in abeyance forever. As in the time of Jeremiah, the people of Israel had before them ‘the way of life and the way of death’ (Jer 21:8).” [Stein, Luke, 371]


Jesus offered salvation
Jesus offered salvation considered a sign that all was well in Israel. It was a sign of God’s mercy, not approval. Judgment, however, would not be held in abeyance forever. As in the time of Jeremiah, the people of Israel had before them ‘the way of life and the way of death’ (

  • Jesus offered to ‘take their place’ (cf. 13:34)

    • Repentance would lead to salvation

    • Rejection of Jesus would lead to judgment


Too often we are they
Too often ‘we’ are ‘they’ considered a sign that all was well in Israel. It was a sign of God’s mercy, not approval. Judgment, however, would not be held in abeyance forever. As in the time of Jeremiah, the people of Israel had before them ‘the way of life and the way of death’ (

  • We can become quite comfortable with our ‘goodness’

    • We see the sin in others

    • We fail to see the depth of our own failure/sin (cf. Matthew 7:1-5)


Too often we are they1
Too often ‘we’ are ‘they’ considered a sign that all was well in Israel. It was a sign of God’s mercy, not approval. Judgment, however, would not be held in abeyance forever. As in the time of Jeremiah, the people of Israel had before them ‘the way of life and the way of death’ (

  • Lent is an appropriate time of year for us to remember our failures and sin

    • Not for the sake of being self-focused

    • But for the sake of being aware of the magnitude of God’s mercy and Christ’s love

      • Which we do not deserve


Too often we are they2
Too often ‘we’ are ‘they’ considered a sign that all was well in Israel. It was a sign of God’s mercy, not approval. Judgment, however, would not be held in abeyance forever. As in the time of Jeremiah, the people of Israel had before them ‘the way of life and the way of death’ (

  • We should keep in mind both elements of the gospel

    • God’s mercy, love and forgiveness

    • Our sin and failure

    • We can become unbalanced if we forget one or the other


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