Jesus was once asked about some “Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices” (Lk. 13:1).
Jesus answered this question and His response was in the form of a question. He wanted people to consider whether or not “these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things?” Jesus then answered what He asked with a "no" reply. Were the Galilaeans “special sinners?” Were they “especially wicked people” who deserved fierce judgment from God? Jesus’ answer was “of course not.”
Rather than suffering special punishment from God, these
men were essentially “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” They
had the unfortunate experience of meeting up with evil men and
subsequently lost their lives. Jesus then used this
information to tell His listeners that they should “repent” (change
their lives for the better and live according to how God wants) or
they too would “perish.”
Jesus then illustrated His point a second time with the “tower in Siloam.” We are not given much information about this tower, but we do know that it fell and “18 people” died in the accident. Jesus again asked if those involved in this accident were “sinners above” others living in the city of “Jerusalem.” His answer was again no.
We have many modern parallels to the things described in Lk. 13, one of which happened on September 11th, 2001. The United States was attacked; planes crashed into both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers. Thousands of people died, but their deaths were in no way related to personal sin or criminal wrongdoing. People were in the wrong place at the wrong time and they perished. We often hear of other instances involving tornados were all kinds of people die (the young and the old, the good and the evil). Physical death or various problems are by no means proof God is punishing people.
We cannot know when the end of time will come (Mt. 24:36), but we can be ready for Jesus’ final return. Part of being ready is “repenting” (Lk. 13:3).