Section 109 | Two Alternatives: Repent or Perish
1 Now there were some present at the same time some who told him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.1 2 Jesus answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things?2 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.3 4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem?4 5 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.” 6 He spoke this parable. “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none. 7 He said to the vine dresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil?’ 8 He answered, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.’ ”5
- The WEB version makes this very odd translation of the Greek. The NLT is much more clear: “About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple.” Its likely that these Galileans were followers of Judas Gaulonitis, or Judas of Galilee whose campaign was sparked by the Roman census in 6-7 BC. This Judas was a contemporary of Jesus, who proclaimed the Jewish state as a “republic” which claimed God alone as king their and ruler, embracing the Decalogue as supreme law. His revolt continued to spread even after his death. Gamaliel mentions him during his own speech before the Sanhedrin in Acts 5:37. Some would regard them as the theological predecessors of the Zealots and Sicarii who would conceal daggers and kill Romans during assemblies. In the recent Feast of the Passover, Pilate had the guard murder a large number of Jews as they were offering their sacrifices in the temple. Their murder mixed their blood with the blood of the Passover lambs. It is likely here that it was the Pharisees who posited a question of Jesus as to the sinful nature of Galileans, and their doom under the Roman Guard.
- Neither approving, nor condemning Pilate’s action Jesus asks the Pharisees a question in response to their conclusion/conviction that the Galileans were sinners evidenced by the discord and death brought upon them the just judgment of God.
- Jesus makes it clear that they were not worse sinners than any others nor perhaps the Pharisees themselves.
- At the fall of the second Temple in 70AD as many as 300,000 men were destroyed at the Feast of Passover.
- CR Section 129a Mt 21:18-22, Mk 11:12-14.