There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.…
I. Now, first, let us inquire what are those FALSE CONCLUSIONS which men are apt to draw from the stirring and startling events of providence.
1. The first feeling in the mind of man, when God sends afflictive dispensations, is to lose sight of Divine providence altogether. This is to drive God out of His own world — to refer the thing altogether to second causes. "Oh! it was an accident; it was some chance event; it was some unfortunate circumstance; or it was something which occurred from carelessness, want of watchfulness, want of circumspection, want of foresight and provision"; forgetting a Divine hand, losing sight of an almighty Providence.
2. And this is the second remark I have to make — that when the event which occurs is so marked and peculiar that man cannot altogether lose sight of Divine providence or of the Divine hand, he then is disposed to attribute some special guilt or some special misfortune to the sufferers themselves. He tries to find out some particular circumstances in the case which has occurred that may apply peculiarly and expressly to the parties concerned.
II. But now I come, in the second place, to inquire into those SOLID AND IMPORTANT LESSONS which these events are really designed to teach us.
1. Now, of the lessons which this solemn event is intended to teach, the first is this — that we are all standing on the brink of an eternal world. Beloved brethren, it does not require any mighty effort of Jehovah, any vast convulsion of nature, to destroy us or to carry us out of the world. A single spark will do it; a little smouldering spark getting amongst combustible matter, or thrown into any other circumstances in which these accidents by fire occur, is a sufficient agent in the hand of your God to destroy life. A little disorder in any part of the animal frame can do the same. The air you breathe is impregnated with disease. The very ground on which you walk may prove your death. A fall, a stumble — a thousand minute accidents — may kill you.
2. This event reminds us of the punishment due to sin.
3. A loud and most solemn call to repentance.
(D. Wilson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.