Tuesday, March 19
As Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem, it was reported that Pontius Pilate was upsetting and irritating the Jewish people by ignoring their religious beliefs and demanding that they live by Roman laws and standards. In this scripture, Pilate is using the Temple money to build an aqueduct, and brutally killing those who rebelled against the usage of the money. Furthermore, while some Jews were on pilgrimage from Galilee offering their sacrifices in the Temple, Pilate sent troops to kill them – fearing a possible riot. The scripture says that their blood mingled with the blood of their sacrifices, polluting their Temple.

The moral of the story is, yes, Pilate killed the Galileans in Jerusalem, but the Galileans were no more sinful than any other Galileans seeking revenge against the Romans. Jesus’ message is you must repent and follow God’s directions, or you will be destroyed. Many years later in 70 A.D., Jerusalem was destroyed when the Jewish people refused to follow God’s direction of peace which Jesus urged throughout his ministry. Jesus is making it clear that unless you repent and follow him you will suffer the consequences.

There is an alternative to the promise of destruction which is offered in the example of the fig tree that produces no fruit. The fig tree is given a second chance when the gardener promises to re-cultivate the fig tree in hopes of producing fruit. In other words, are we following God’s example for our lives? Are we producing good fruit for God’s Kingdom? More importantly, are we doing the will of God?

Prayer: Dear God, standing here in your presence. Thinking of the good things you have done. Waiting here patiently, just to hear your still small voice again. Holy, righteous, faithful to the end, Savior,
healer, redeemer and friend. I will worship you for who you are, Jesus. Amen. (“For Who You Are,” by Hillsong Live)

Loretta Tate

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