Judgement and disaster in Luke 13

There is a very deep-seated human tendency to see disasters that befall others as somehow indicating a moral judgement of the victims. At a personal and petty level, we find it in the language of ‘Serves them right!’ and ‘They got what is coming to them!’ The converse of that is the way that we somehow grant those who have prospered a moral status which allows them a platform from which to tell us how we should be living our lives. After all, if they have got on in life, then surely they have something important, useful—perhaps even moral?—to tell us. We find it immensely difficult to get our heads round the reality that, very often, these things appear to happen by chance—that either someone was just in the wrong place at the wrong time for no particular fault of their own, or conversely that someone else happened to be in the right place at the right time. I have been struck by how often those who are very well off came by their good fortune because they just happened to come across an opportunity at the right moment.