Life Is Short: Luke 13:1-9

Focus Passage: Luke 13:1-9 (NIV)

 1 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.”

 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

 8 “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

Read Luke 13:1-9 in context and/or in other translations on!

While we often time read this passage and focus in on the parable that it includes, we can learn a valuable truth from what is shared immediately before the parable is told.

In the conversation leading up to the parable, Jesus is told about a group of Galileans who were killed in a certain way. The implied question is whether they were worse sinners than others who had died. Jesus draws the question out into the open and then compares it to another accidental event where a tower fell and killed a number of people.

The big idea that I want to bring out from this passage comes from looking at these two death events. The first event was a “government” slaughter – the ruler chose to kill a group of people for whatever reason. The second event was a “natural” disaster – a tower fell down and killed a group of people.

What stands out to me in both these cases is that we don’t choose when we will die. Even those who have chosen to commit suicide don’t always “succeed”. Both these cases are situations where the people who died did not die from some act they chose to do. Instead, these deaths were thrust upon them from an outside source.

Which brings us to the big idea that is a theme running through these first few verses: Life is short, and we don’t choose when we’ll die. The bad that happens around us is a reminder to live a life that continually leans on God. That is the only way to ensure we’ll be saved for the life to come.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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