Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 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? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)
In my early twenties I thought God abandoned me. Since I didn’t acknowledge God, I didn’t repent. As the above scripture indicates, I should’ve perished. But God never gave up on me. He placed good people in my life that rescued me. Even though God pursued me, I was lost, always on the verge of tears. According to the website whatjesustaught.net (author unknown), the Greek word, ἀπόλλυμι (apollymi), translated as “perish” in the above scripture can also mean “to be lost.”
Jesus also answers a question we often ask. Is God involved when bad things happen? He exclaims twice, “I tell you, no!” God was not involved when bad things happened to me. It was always a result of bad choices I or others made. God doesn’t make people murder or towers fall.
Repenting is freeing. Jesus doesn’t want us to be lost or anxious. He wants to take our wrongdoings from us so we can be free to love. That’s why he says twice, “Unless you repent, you will be lost.”
Dearest Father in Heaven. “I’m sorry for ______. I know before I say it, You forgive me. But I know You also want me to ask forgiveness of the person I hurt. That’s harder, so give me courage. Thank you for Your love and grace that regards me as righteous and for pursuing me when I get myself in trouble. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.