Pascho is the Greek verb for ‘to suffer’ not to be confused with pascha which is the Greek noun for ‘pass-over’ the Jewish feast that celebrates the Exodus.
This word pascho (not pascha) is used in Luke only for the suffering Jesus entered into on the cross; except of course in this passage Lk. 13:2.
This passage in Luke is such a relief; finally Jesus is speaking of a topic we all desperately want to know about. Why is there suffering? I wonder why we all want to know about it so desperately? Do we want a certain answer to punish ourselves or others? Jesus’ view is fascinating. He claims that all are equally sinners or debtors (Greek?) (NRSV – offenders) whatever they suffer but we do need repentance to avoid worse suffering and death.
Fruitlessness is sin, it is forgiven for so long but it does need amending in the parable of the fig tree. Jesus is equally resolute in his denial of a link between sin and suffering as he is in his affirmation of this connection. We probably know it from the small and big parables in our lives. The suffering Syrian nation is not more sinful than any other nation but if all were to repent worse could be avoided both there and here. Isaiah also wants us to repent, to ‘return to the Lord’ to ‘forsake the wicked way’ and the ‘unrighteous thought’.
28 February 2016
Luke 13:1-9 and Isaiah 55: 1-9
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.