Prepare to Listen. Take your time using this prayer: Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain. (Ps 119:36)
Prayerfully Read Luke 13:1-5
At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2He asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’
As Jesus’ journey continued, ‘some people’ told him of Galileans slaughtered by Roman soldiers while offering sacrifices in the Temple. It’s possible they wanted to warn Jesus of what could happen to him if he persisted in going to Jerusalem. Perhaps they also wanted to know whether this tragedy had anything to do with God’s plan for his people. Perhaps they also hoped to goad Jesus into action against the Romans. If so, it didn’t work.
His stern response isn’t a warning to repent to avoid perishing in hell, as has sometimes been presumed. Instead, he warns of consequences of persistent rebellious behavior in the now. Repent isn’t merely confessing sin and changing a few external behaviors. It goes much deeper. As Richard Rohr writes, the Greek word “is describing a primal change of mind, worldview, or way of processing… we think we can change a few externals while our underlying worldview often remains fully narcissistic and self-referential.” In other words, Jesus calls us to a change that goes deep into the heart and affects how we see God, ourselves, our opinions, the world. This will lead to decisions about changing that will affect our behavior, sometimes in dramatic ways. But change begins with the heart. When we persist in going the way we know, the way we always go, we’re likely to perish because we’ll stagnate and be ineffective in what we do. Repent, change your mind, not to avoid hell but to avoid the disaster of living in a way that is opposed to Jesus’ Way.
What do you think you need to change your mind about?
Respond to Jesus
Keep showing me the truth, Lord, about yourself and your ways so that I live the repentance you call me to. Amen
Live obediently. Be willing to make radical changes to fit Jesus’ way.
 Rohr, Richard. The Universal Christ. New York, NY: Convergent. 2019, p. 92.
I began reading my Bible when I was 8 years old. I loved it then (albeit didn't understand much) and I still love reading and studying it. I may understand a little more but I keep learning new stuff, seeing things I missed for years. This journey with Luke during Lent has been another new learning experience for me, deepening my relationship with Jesus. I pray it will do the same for you.