Most news reports focus on sad, evil events. “Three People Die in Weekend Crash” says the headline on the front page of the paper. Listen to the news on your car radio and you might hear something like, “Today in western Kansas, a tornado ripped through several towns. As emergency workers rushed to the scene, observers feared that hundreds of people are dead.” Or, you watch the local news on TV, where you might see video footage of fire trucks in Elkhart, spraying water on a burning building. Maybe you’ll also see a report on who was arrested for possession of cocaine, who was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend, and who was arrested for fraud. You might hear about the continuing wars in country X, the fighting among rival factions in country Y, and the the religious conflict in country Z.
One day some people came to Jesus with sad, evil news. This is one of the few times in the gospels when Jesus commented on some of the news events of his day. In the first century, there were no newspapers, no radios, no televisions broadcasting the ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. There was no Internet where Jesus could read the morning edition of the Jerusalem Post or the Rome Tribune on his iPad. None of these sources of news that we take for granted today had been invented yet. The only major source of news was other people—in other words, gossip networks. If there was a big fire that destroyed buildings in the village of Bethany, an eyewitness might tell the news to a traveling fig merchant, who might carry it with him up north to Galilee and pass it on to people in towns like Nazareth or Cana. In turn, those people told other people, and so the news traveled rapidly from one place to another until everyone heard it. News got to people by word of mouth.
- Luke 13:1 - 5