Small Voice Calling > The Call > Moved to Tears > Suffer
The Song: Suffer
Then he saw his houses burning
On both sides of a border
Saw the guiltless suffer
With the guilty and the rest
And when they called his name
And he knew he couldn’t help them
That’s why Jesus wept
The Bible: The Tower of Siloam
The Gospel according to Luke, Chapter 13, Verses 1 to 5 (Luke 13: 1 – 5).
It seems that the Romans had killed some worshipers from Galilee whilst they were offering their sacrifices in the Temple. In a separate incident, 18 people had died when a tower collapsed on them. Jesus asked the crowd if they thought the people who died were worse sinners than anybody else. He answered it himself with a definite ‘No!’; and he warned the people that if they didn’t change their ways, they would suffer the same fate.
The implication is that people believed bad things happen to bad people. Well, that’s true. And bad things happen to not-so-bad people too. The trouble is that we’re all bad to a degree. The wider context of the story is that of the need to turn away from doing bad things and to live the sort of lives God wants of us. Then we’ll see things differently and stop worrying about what other people might or might not have done to ‘deserve’ their lot in life.
Reflecting on similar questions years later, St Paul concluded:
We do not live for ourselves only, and we do not die for ourselves only. If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14: 7 – 8).
St Paul’s view is that if we ‘belong to the Lord’ and live in his shalom, we can leave the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what happens to us in God’s capable hands.