In one easy stroke Jesus puts humanity in its place.
He said in Luke 13:4-5, “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
For anyone who thinks they are better than someone else; for anyone who thinks they are good; for anyone who thinks they will escape judgment, Jesus comes along and says “all will perish.”
One of the great challenges of our day is the misplaced confidence we have in ourselves. We approach life with an arrogance and a disregard for what comes next after this life. So many choose to ignore this reality or believe this life is all there is. But there is more. And how we view our own mortality will affect how we spend eternity.
I’m no better than anyone. I make mistakes. I am selfish. And our society wants to tell those who are self-deprecating, “No, you’re not. Everybody makes mistakes. Don’t be so hard on yourself.” But the end result of this thinking is an acceptance of sin and a rejection of the consequences of wrong-doing.
Is anyone of us better than the man who shot and killed innocent people in Arizona? Am I better? Does my eternity some how look brighter than his? Jesus clearly says, “no, it doesn’t.” Unless we repent, which simply means to turn back from the self-centered direction you are going and to rely upon God who is waiting for us to turn to Him, we are no better off than even the most crazed lunatic of our day.
So, when you are confronted with tragedy and with evil, what is your response? Do you too quickly judge and bring condemnation upon others or is your first response something like this: “I am no better off, but by the grace of God.” Will you choose today, with me, to turn back to God and turn your back on your selfish tendencies? If so, simply pray this prayer with me:
Dear God, the Father, I have been wandering and putting too much emphasis on my own desires and needs. My greatest need is to turn away from myself and re-discover Your grace. Thank you for Jesus who covers all of my sin. I renew my commitment to Him and I find myself under His covering where I am forgiven. Help me live my life, not for myself, but for others. Your grace is sufficient for me. Amen.