Judging the sins of others

In Luke 13:1-5, Jesus uses two current events to teach His followers that we need to be really careful about determining that some sins (usually the ones we don’t struggle with) are more grievous than others.
The first event mentioned was that a group of Galileans had been killed by Pilate and their blood mixed with that of their own sacrifices. More than likely these men had caused some kind of disturbance and Pilate wanted to make an example of them. The second event was a tower in Siloam that had fallen and killed 18 people.
Jesus made it clear than these people did not die because they were any worse sinners than the rest of those to whom He was speaking. They did not die because they deserved that more than anyone else. Since each of us is a sinner, we all deserve death and without faith in Jesus we will not only die physically, but also spiritually. Therefore, rather than focusing on the sins of others, we need to recognize our own sin and repent.
This reinforces one of the main ideas from my sermon this week – that if we’re going to be effective witnesses for Jesus, Christians need to treat non-Christians with compassion and not condemnation. One of the ways we tend to condemn those who are not yet disciples of Jesus is to treat certain sins that we see in others as worse than whatever sins we struggle with in our lives. Without Jesus, we will die in our sins, too – no matter how benign they might seem to us.

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