Jesus on the Problem of Evil
by Aaron Brake
In Luke 13:1–5, we have Jesus’ clearest teaching on the problem of evil:
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
Not only is this Jesus’ clearest teaching on the problem of evil, but we also see Him addressing both moral and natural evil in His response. Notice that Jesus is first questioned regarding an example of what we would call moral evil: the murder of some Galileans by Pilate. In providing an answer, Jesus Himself introduces an example of natural evil: the falling of the tower in Siloam, which killed eighteen.
How did Jesus answer the problem of evil presented to Him? His answer is short and to the point…