The Falling Tower – Gospel in Life

The Falling Tower

Tim Keller |  August 13, 2000

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  • Repentance
Luke 13:1-9
RS 115-5


Today’s passage from Luke 13 gives us two incidents that we would call tragedies today. The first one in verse 1 took place when Pontius Pilate, the Roman colonial governor of Judea, evidently had fallen upon some political enemies and destroyed them. What was particularly grisly about this was Pilate had sent his henchmen to find his political enemies at a time they were making sacrifices so when they were killed, their blood was mixed with the blood from the sacrifices. Then in verse 4, Jesus tells about another incident in which 18 people drowned in a reservoir due to a tower collapsed.

The question that comes up is a natural question, a very relevant and very contemporary kind of question. Why the asymmetrical way in which pain and comfort is distributed amongst the human race? Why is it that some people have all the “luck,” and why other people seem to have all the bad “luck”? Jesus’ answer, of course, is totally unique and completely counterintuitive. It’s absolutely counter to the wisdom of this world.

Luke 13:1-9

This passage presents Jesus’ teachings that are not easy to grasp. It uses two events – a cruel act and a natural calamity, and a story about a fig tree to explain the importance of repentance. It challenges the common idea that people suffer because they have done wrong, and emphasizes the need for personal change. The passage cautions us against thinking too highly of ourselves and relying too much on our own skills. It shows us that repentance is a continuous journey that brings us humility, happiness, and peace. At the same time, it highlights the unmerited favor we receive from God.



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