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America’s Tragedies: What Would Jesus Christ Say?

On Sept. 11 almost 5,000 men and women who went to work that morning in New York City's World Trade Center never came home. The staggering loss of life in history's deadliest terrorist attack was more than double the number of servicemen killed at Pearl Harbor and more than triple the number who perished in the Titanic's sinking. It claimed more than eight times the lives lost in the previously greatest airline disaster.

The United States was plunged into mourning, its sense of security and invincibility shattered. In their anguish millions turned to religion for comfort and solace-and rightly so.

In times like these we naturally wonder how God views such events. They are so remarkable, so powerful, that we've devoted this entire issue to answering various aspects of that question.

What would Jesus Christ tell us in the wake of what has happened?

He addressed two tragedies of His day that remarkably parallel recent events. Just as America's disaster involved random murders and the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, the tragedies Jesus referred to involved unspeakable brutality and the destruction of a well-known landmark-the tower of Siloam in Jerusalem.

We read in Luke 13 that people told Jesus a shocking story: On the Roman governor's orders, several men had been brutally murdered while bringing sacrifices to the temple. Jesus' response should stir us to reevaluate our personal mortality and standing with God: "Do you suppose that, because these Galileans suffered this fate, they must have been greater sinners than anyone else in Galilee? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all of you come to the same end" (Luke 13:2-3, Revised English Bible).

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Keywords: Jesus and tragedy tragedies tragedy repent 


Jesus' teachings: Repentance: Key Subjects Index
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