Whatever else Church folk see Jesus as it is very unlikely that many if any would readily think of Jesus as being a model in critical thinking. Not because Church folk do not like to think too much, though that is true in part but it is just that critical thinking is not appreciated as a spiritual enterprise hence that side of Jesus is not well known or appreciated.
Sloppy thinking is in my view an impediment in understanding the truths of Scripture and is a major factor in some people not appreciating some of the truth claims of Christianity.
Jesus challenged the unwarranted conclusions drawn in the text from two incidents seen in his time
In our text Jesus questions and rebukes sloppy thinking in two incidents that he cites.
Incident # 1 – Lk. 13.1, At the opportune moment when Jesus was teaching about interpreting the times (Lk. 12. 54-56), some folk came along and told him about people from Galilee who were slaughtered‒at the command of the governmental agent, Procurator Pontius Pilate‒while they were sacrificing animals in worship in Jerusalem.
The persons who related this tragedy possibly thought that Jesus would use their story as a sign in line with what he was just teaching but Jesus turned the tables on them and the others. Jesus asks a tough question which challenges the sloppy line of reasoning that was forming in many minds concerning the tragedy involving the Galileans.
That question and answer, slightly amplified, is this. ‘Do you think these Galileans who were slaughtered were worse sinners than all other Galileans, [you here included]?
No, Jesus continued, they were not worse sinners! Hear me well unless you all repent (resolutely turn your back on sin and head in the path of right living before God) you too will all perish.’
Don’t misread and misunderstand the words “you will all likewise perish” in v.3 as meaning you will die by slaughter like them. No, the force is you too, you also, will perish unless you repent. No false sense of personal security because of your sloppy thinking about people’s spiritual status based on the mishaps in their lives.
Incident # 2 – Lk. 13.4, another story unique to Luke’s gospel, 18 people killed in the natural disaster of the toppled tower in Siloam. Again, a slightly amplified reading of Jesus’ question and answer. ‘Do you think they were guiltier and more deserving of punishment than all other Jerusalemites, [you here included]?
No, Jesus continued, they were not guiltier nor more deserving of punishment than all other Jerusalemites, [you here included]! Hear me well unless you all repent (resolutely turn your back on sin and head in the path of right living before God) you too will all perish.’
Again I say, don’t misread and misunderstand the words “you will all likewise perish”, now in v.5, as meaning you will die in a natural disaster like them. No, the force is, you too, you also, will perish unless you repent. No false sense of personal security because of your sloppy thinking about people’s spiritual status based on the mishaps in their lives.
Jesus’ challenge was a shocker to his hearers. What has this got to do with us who are neither Galileans nor Jerusalemites? Much every way. Many of us today, church folk and others, indulge sloppy thinking by assuming spiritual safety because we are Churchgoers, related to Churchgoers, church members or baptized or whatever. Sermons challenging you to commit to Jesus Christ are allowed to pass you by because you assume you are cool with God. Jesus is challenging every false sense of security.
Hear me well as a feeble spokesman for our Lord YOU ARE ONLY SAFE SPIRITUALLY IF YOU HAVE ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOUR AND ARE CURRENTLY IN A RIGHT LIFE RELATONSHIP WITH HIM.
If that is not true of you, then you will perish in hell like those who never ever had anything to do with Church or God in Christ.
Pardon my being brutally frank with you in the interest of your eternal destiny. Being in Church even as a member, being a clergyperson, does not necessarily mean that you are a Christian. A mouse in a mint ball jar is not a mint ball because of its location!
I may offend some of you yet again but I reiterate for emphasis, IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE CONVICTED YET NOT CONVERTED, VERY POSSIBLE TO BE REMORSEFUL BUT NOT REPENTANT, BAPTISED IN WATER BUT NOT WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB OF GOD. It is POSSIBLE TO BE RELIGIOUS BUT NOT REGENERATED, Goodlooking lifewise but lost.
The essence of that intensely insightful parable of the fig tree in Lk. 13.6-9 is but a warning to repentance before it is too late. Someday you’ll hear God’s final call to you to take His offer of salvation true. This could be it my friend if you but knew God’s final call, God’s final call. Except you repent you shall all likewise perish. Change your destiny by surrendering to Jesus right now