Sermon on Luke 13:1-9 for the 3rd Sunday in Lent
1. What kinds of speculation have you heard about the cause of recent tragedies? When it’s done by Christians, how do you think it affects our witness to the good news of Jesus?
2. A common idea throughout history is that suffering is caused by a one-to-one relation to some sin or evil we’ve done. How did the friends of Job show this view? Job 4:7; 8:4; 22:5. How did the disciples of Jesus? John 9:2-3. How does Jesus counter this idea? Reread Luke 13:1-5; cf. John 9:3; 11:4.
3. We cannot trace a particular cause for all suffering or tragedy. Does this mean that we never suffer as the result of our own sins or those of others? Isaiah 64:1-9. Does grace mean we can sin with impunity? Romans 6:1-4. How does the Bible affirm that God is nevertheless sovereign over all that happens on earth, good or evil? Isaiah 45:5-13; Matt. 5:45.
4. Since suffering and death are a daily reality, is it simply the scale of human tragedies that makes us more conscious of questions about evil and life and death? What should our response be when such disasters occur?
5. Reread Luke 13:1-9. What greater tragedy does Jesus want us to avoid by repenting of our sins? Cf. John 5:14. Does God desire sinners to die? Ezek. 18:23; 1 Tim. 2:4.
6. What is God’s greatest intervention against evil in human history? When will evil finally be eradicated altogether?