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What Jesus Says to the Self Righteous

October 18, 2009 Speaker: Reid S. Monaghan Series: Let Jesus Speak

Topic: Biblical Scripture: Luke 13:1–13:5

A group following Jesus wonders outloud about the circumstances surrounding the heinous murder of a group of Galilean worshippers.  They likely thought that this temporal tragedy was the judgment of God upon them.  Jesus says an emphatic NO!

Were they worse sinners because they died in this way? No, in fact, Jesus teaches us that unless we all repent, we will likewise perish.

This sermon touches on the issue of self-righteous assumptions when bad things happen to others in the world.  Is temporal tragedy always the judgment of God upon individuals? What about the law of Karma?

Rather than simplistic explanations Jesus takes this occasion to point out to all of us our need for repentance of sin and forgiveness from a holy and just God.   

Bad Things Happen to All Kinds of People

We live in a broken world where we receive great common grace and goodness from God and we all endure the painful realities of life outside of Eden. There is sickness, evil doing, disasters, etc. None of us are immune to the pain of suffering of life and all face or own rapidly advancing death. In this world we need repentance or a deeper perishing than even death will await us. 

Simplistic Explanations for Evil and Suffering Will Not Do

Religious Explanations

  • God doesn’t like them…
  • Karma did it…

Secular Explanations

  • Poop just happens…there is no answer coming
  • But then Protest! Protest What?! To whom?


GK Chesterton once said “When belief in God becomes difficult, the tendency is to turn away from Him; but in heaven’s name to what?

There is None Righteous, No Not One

  • No one is innocent as all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
  • Eternal, Final and JUST Justice will come from God

Instead of Self Righteousness – God Kindly offers Repentance and Christ’s Righteousness

Romans 2:1-5 (ESV) 1Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Community Meditation

  • If something bad goes down in life do you find yourself ever wondering if you are doing something wrong? How could such self examination be a good thing? How can it be a negative thing?
  • Jesus used tragedy to teach us two things 1) That those who suffer are not worse sinners than anyone else 2) We are all sinners in need of repentance or we face something worse than death.  How can tragedy remind us of our need for the grace of God?
  • Romans 2 teaches us that God’s patience and kindness leads us to repentance?
  • Read the Junk Drawer this week.  How are the ideas of Karma and Divine Judgment similar? How are they radically different?
  • Discuss how the grace of God differs from the idea of Karma?
  • Read John 8:1-11 for the coming week


More in Let Jesus Speak

December 13, 2009

What Jesus Said to a Murderer

December 6, 2009

What Jesus Said to the Humble

November 29, 2009

What Jesus Says to the Powerful