Luke 13:3
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
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13:1-5 Mention was made to Christ of the death of some Galileans. This tragical story is briefly related here, and is not met with in any historians. In Christ's reply he spoke of another event, which, like it, gave an instance of people taken away by sudden death. Towers, that are built for safety, often prove to be men's destruction. He cautioned his hearers not to blame great sufferers, as if they were therefore to be accounted great sinners. As no place or employment can secure from the stroke of death, we should consider the sudden removals of others as warnings to ourselves. On these accounts Christ founded a call to repentance. The same Jesus that bids us repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, bids us repent, for otherwise we shall perish.Suppose ye ... - From this answer it would appear that they supposed that the fact that these men had been slain in this manner proved that they were very great sinners.

I tell you, Nay - Jesus assured them that it was not right to draw such a conclusion respecting these men. The fact that men come to a sudden and violent death is not proof that they are especially wicked.

Except ye repent - Except you forsake your sins and turn to God. Jesus took occasion, contrary to their expectation, to make a practical use of that fact, and to warn them of their own danger. He never suffered a suitable occasion to pass without warning the wicked, and entreating them to forsake their evil ways. The subject of religion was always present to his mind. He introduced it easily, freely, fully. In this he showed his love for the souls of people, and in this he set us an example that we should walk in his steps.

Ye shall all likewise perish - You shall all be destroyed in a similar manner. Here he had reference, no doubt, to the calamities that were coming upon them, when thousands of the people perished. Perhaps there was never any reproof more delicate and yet more severe than this. They came to him believing that these men who had perished were especially wicked. He did not tell them that "they" were as bad as the Galileans, but left them to "infer" it, for if they did not repent, they must soon likewise be destroyed. This was remarkably fulfilled. Many of the Jews were slain in the temple; many while offering sacrifice; thousands perished in a way very similar to the Galileans. Compare the notes at Matthew 24. From this account of the Galileans we may learn:

(1) That people are very prone to infer, when any great calamity happens to others, that they are especially guilty. See the Book of Job, and the reasonings of his three "friends."

(2) that that conclusion, in the way in which it is usually drawn, is erroneous. If we see a man bloated, and haggard, and poor, who is in the habit of intoxication, we may infer properly that he is guilty, and that God hates his sin and punishes it. So we may infer of the effects of licentiousness. But we should not thus infer when a man's house is burned down, or when his children die, or when he is visited with a loss of health; nor should we infer it of the nations that are afflicted with famine, or the plague, or with the ravages of war; nor should we infer it when a man is killed by lightning, or when he perishes by the blowing up of a steamboat. Those who thus perish may be far more virtuous than many that live.

(3) this is not a world of retribution. Good and evil are mingled; the good and the bad suffer, and all are exposed here to calamity.

(4) there is another world a future state - a world where the good will be happy and the wicked punished. There all that is irregular on earth will be regulated; all that appears unequal will be made equal; all that is chaotic will be reduced to order.

(5) when people are disposed to speak about the great guilt of others, and the calamities that come upon them, they should inquire about "themselves." What is "their" character? What is "their" condition? It "may" be that they are in quite as much danger of perishing as those are whom they regard as so wicked.

(6) We must repent. We must all repent or we shall perish. No matter what befalls others, "we" are sinners; "we" are to die; "we" shall be lost unless we repent. Let us, then, think of "ourselves" rather than of "others;" and when we hear of any signal calamity happening to others, let us remember that there is calamity in another world as well as here; and that while our fellow-sinners are exposed to trials "here," we may be exposed to more awful woes "there." Woe "there" is eternal; here, a calamity like that produced by a falling tower is soon over.


Lu 13:1-9. The Lesson, "REPENT OR Perish," Suggested by Two Recent Incidents, and Illustrated by the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.

1-3. Galileans—possibly the followers of Judas of Galilee, who, some twenty years before this, taught that Jews should not pay tribute to the Romans, and of whom we learn, from Ac 5:37, that he drew after him a multitude of followers, who on his being slain were all dispersed. About this time that party would be at its height, and if Pilate caused this detachment of them to be waylaid and put to death as they were offering their sacrifices at one of the festivals, that would be "mingling their blood with their sacrifices" [Grotius, Webster and Wilkinson, but doubted by De Wette, Meyer, Alford, &c.]. News of this being brought to our Lord, to draw out His views of such, and whether it was not a judgment of Heaven, He simply points them to the practical view of the matter: "These men are not signal examples of divine vengeance, as ye suppose; but every impenitent sinner—ye yourselves, except ye repent—shall be like monuments of the judgment of Heaven, and in a more awful sense." The reference here to the impending destruction of Jerusalem is far from exhausting our Lord's weighty words; they manifestly point to a "perdition" of a more awful kind—future, personal, remediless.

See Poole on "Luke 13:1"

I tell you, nay, They were not greater sinners than others of their neighbours, nor is it to be concluded from the bloody slaughter that was made of them; others might be much more deserving of such an end than they, who yet escaped it:

but except ye repent; of sin, and particularly of the disbelief of the Messiah:

ye shall likewise perish; or perish, in like manner, as these Galileans did: and so it came to pass in the destruction of Jerusalem, that great numbers of the unbelieving Jews, even three hundred thousand men were destroyed at the feast of passover (c); and that for sedition, as these men very likely were.

(c) Vid. Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 11. & l. 7. c. 17. Euseb. l. 3. c. 5.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luke 13:3. οὐχί, an emphatic “no,” followed by a solemn “I say to you”. The prophetic mood is on the speaker. He reads in the fate of the few the coming doom of the whole nation.—ὁμοίως, in a similar way. ὡσαύτως, the reading in T.R., is stronger = in the same way. Jesus expresses Himself with greater intensity as He proceeds = ye shall perish likewise; nay, in the same way (Luke 13:5, ὡσαύτως), your towers and temples falling about your ears.

3. except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish] The first meaning of the words was doubtless prophetic. As a matter of historic fact, the Jewish nation did not repent, and myriads of them in the siege of Jerusalem perished by a doom closely analogous to that of these unhappy Galilaeans (see Jos. B. J. v. 1, 3, 7, 11, 12, and especially 13; vi. passim, vii. 3). And since all life and all history are governed by the same divine laws, the warning is applicable to men and to nations at all periods.

Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5. Λέγω ὑμῖν, I tell you) The Lord puts forth this from His treasures of Divine knowledge.—πάντες, all) Galileans and inhabitants of Jerusalem alike.—ὡσαύτως) This signifies, in the same manner: Ὁμοίως means, in like manner. Ὡσαύτως means something more than ὁμοίως [Engl. Vers. loses this by translating ὡσαύτως, likewise]. The event accordingly corresponded to the prediction: for the Jews were punished by the same nation to which Pilate belonged: and also at the same time, viz. the Passover time, when the offering of sacrifices prevailed: and also with the sword.

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