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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Thursday 18 July
Precious lives

 

Read Luke 13:1–17
‘No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’ (verse 5)

The demands that Luke placed on a believer’s life to be ready for the coming of Jesus in chapter 12 seem to have tapered off. In today’s reading, the focus is on another demand: to recognise one’s guilt and seek repentance. The examples Luke posed are a reminder that radical change is needed in order that one should not perish.

So often we believe that good things should happen to good people and bad things to those who are considered bad. Jesus, however, dispels this notion. He reminds his audience that the sudden death of the Galileans or the 18 in Siloam was not because they were more guilty than the survivors. The loss of precious lives is a reminder that we all will die, and in this perspective repentance is of utmost priority. It is often said that married couples should not go to bed angry in the event that one of them dies and the opportunity to say sorry is lost. As Ephesians 4:26 puts it: ‘Do not let the sun go down on your anger.’ Jesus’ chilling words ‘unless you repent, you will all perish as they did’ (verse 3) point not to guilt, but to the suddenness of death and the urgent task of repentance, or changing one’s mindset. However, all is not lost. The parable of the barren fig tree is symbolic of a space or opportunity left for repentance. It shows how the gardener sees the preciousness of the fig tree and willingly offered to tend it, so it could flourish and not die. The message of repentance still echoes today. Are we listening?

†   Lord, may I take every chance to repent and change my ways, that the sun might not go down on my anger. Amen.