Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 24, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 13:1-9 (NKJV)
13:1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
Sometimes particular sins committed by men have no direct consequences in this life. For a long time, God may allow iniquity to go unpunished. Such was the case for the rich man clothed in purple, who in his lifetime received good things, although he treated his neighbor Lazarus badly (Luke 16:25). At other times, particular sins of men have direct consequences. Such was the case for King David, who received the death of his newborn son and adversity in his household as punishments for his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah (2 Sam. 12:11-14). Finally, sometimes men suffer afflictions even when no particular sin is being punished. Such was the case for the blind man in John 9: “His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.’”
Jesus does not say which of the three cases applies to the Galileans. Instead He says: “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” When horrible events occur or natural disasters strike, our reaction should not be “Who sinned?”, but “Lord have mercy upon us.” All the evils of this world are the result of sin, whether sin in general or particular sins. These events remind us that we all need deliverance. We all need the forgiveness of sins which saves our souls from perishing.
Collect: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit, that being ever mindful of the end of all things, and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here, and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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