Questions Jesus Asked #96

Luke 13:1-5 –  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.”  NIV

Jesus asked these similar questions to confront the misconception that just because something bad happens to someone they must have done something terribly wrong.  The same goes with the converse idea that just because everything is going well for someone they must be in good relations with God. This is a common misconception among a lot of religious people. It was confronted by God in the Book of Job, one of the earliest Bible books written. The prologue to Job’s story begins by the writer making it very clear that Job was righteous before God and dearly loved by Him. Yet God allows Satan to cause suffering in Job’s life to display his faith. Job’s friends suffered with Him for a while, but then basically assumed that Job had sinned somehow and needed to confess and get back on the right path. It was no different in Jesus’ time, and it is largely not different today … unless I am the one who is suffering. Continue reading

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Questions Jesus Asked #41

Matthew 21:40 – “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”  NIV

Jesus asked this question at the end of a parable (Matt. 21:33-39) about a landowner who built and planted a great vineyard and then leased it out to tenants.  These tenants did not give the owner his portion when his servants came to collect the owner’s share.  They mistreated his servants by beating or even killing them. In one final attempt the owner sent his son to collect what was the owner’s share. The tenants reasoned that if they killed the heir, then the vineyard would eventually become theirs. They proceeded to throw the son out of the vineyard and kill him. This is where Jesus asks the question to his listeners.

Given the context of the situation, those who heard Jesus’ parable knew that He was comparing the tenants to Jewish religious leaders who wanted so desperately to get rid of Jesus.  They were the ones who had the responsibility to steward the resources of the vineyard which represented Israel. Like the tenants in the parable, they had forgotten who built the vineyard and really owned the vineyard. They forgot that although it had been entrusted to them to run, they did not own it and a portion of the produce was due the owner. As tenants they would receive the remainder of the produce. Continue reading