Friday, October 22, 2010


1. Some shared with Jesus the latest news of a horrible massacre. Pilate had attacked some Galileans in the midst of their worship in the temple and slaughtered them. The crowd was being harsh and making a very harsh judgment on these Galileans. They thought that their fate was due to their sins. They saw everything as the fulfillment of what Jesus was preaching all these days.

2. Jesus clearly refuted their thoughts. He warned them of the same fate and did not really approve their understanding of the tragedy. Jesus did not connect suffering with sin. He narrated another story to make them understand that sin alone is not the cause for the suffering. If that is the case, all of us should be constantly suffering due to our sins.

3. People must bear fruit or else they shall perish. Jesus wanted to drive home the need for repentance by sharing the parable of a man’s seeking fruit. The man represents God; the vineyard keeper represents Christ; the vineyard represents either the world or Israel.

4. The fig tree was greatly privileged. It was planted in the vineyard. It had the same soil, nourishment, rain and sun from heaven. This is true of all persons who are born in nations where the gospel is freely preached. But there is a great responsibility on the part of these privileged ones.

5. Who were the Galileans slaughtered by Pilate? Two suggestions are made about the Galileans. First they were followers of Judas of Galilee who opposed taxation imposed by the Romans (Acts 5:37). Pilate either knew that some of Judas’ followers were in the temple worshipping or mistook some group of Galileans as his followers and slaughtered them. This is much known. Pilate set out to build a new water system in Jerusalem. He need money for that and so insisted that money be taken from temple finances. Galileans were an inflammable people and therefore their protest might have caused this tragedy.

Suffering is part and parcel of life. For the past few days I am hearing a lot of tragic news connected with people whom I knew. There was a case of murder of our staff member, death of my class mate due to bike accident, a death due to cancer and a death due to old age and tomorrow 22nd October is the 5th death anniversary of my own sister who passed away in a tragic accident. Physical separation of people causes us great suffering. We cannot blindly hold the view that sin causes suffering. Suffering has its own salvific value. All that we can ask God is to give us the strength to bear up these sufferings and find a new meaning out of every suffering.

The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible
William Barclay The New Bible Study Bible

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