Chapter 13 of Lukan Studies The Gospel of Luke - New Testament Bible study

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All have Sinned


13:1 Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.


Some who were there told Jesus about  some Galileans whom Heron had killed while they were making their animal sacrifices to God.


13:2 He answered them, "Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things?"


Jesus responded by asking them if they thought that these people who were killed were worse sinners than anybody else because they had

suffered.   It was commonly believed that if things were going wrong for you then you had committed sin as did Job's friends with him.


13:3 No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all perish as well!


Jesus tells them quite clearly that everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and needs to repent, otherwise they will perish also.


13:4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem?


He reminds them of another incident where people were killed by the collapsing of a tower in Saloam and ask them the same question concerning these.


13:5 No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all perish as well!"


He repeats that these people were no worse sinners than anyone else and that unless they repent they to would perish.


God's Longsuffering


13:6 Then Jesus told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.


Jesus tells a parable about a man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard.   When it was time for it to have fruit he went to look for some but found none.


13:7 So he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, 'For three years now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue to deplete the soil?'


Turning to his vineyard keeper he tells him to cut down the fig tree for it has not borne fruit for the past three years and was taking goodness out of the soil.


13:8 But the worker answered him, 'Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it.


The keeper pleads for the fig tree to be given another chance.   Over the next twelve months he would dig the soil around it and fertilize it.


13:9 Then if it bears fruit next year, very well, but if not, you can cut it down.


If it still does not bear fruit after this then let it be cut down but if it does all will be well.In this parable the man is God, the fig tree is the Jews whom he expected to walk upright before Him and bear fruits of righteousness according to all the blessings and privileges that He had bestow upon them.   The vine keeper is the Lord Jesus Christ whom God sent to save them from their sins, to bring them back to God.


Healing on the Sabbath Day


13:10-11 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, and a woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten herself up completely.


One Sabbath Day when Jesus was teaching in the synagogue there was a woman present who had been afflicted by a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years that caused her to be bend over double and she could not straighten herself. The origin of her sickness was sin and the agent was the Devil who had sent his demon to afflict her.


13:12-13 When Jesus saw her, he called her to him and said, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." Then he placed his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.


On seeing her Jesus called her to Him and said "you are healed". Then on touching her she stood up straight an praised God.


13:14 But the president of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, "There are six days on which work should be done! So come and be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day."


The ruler of the synagogue was more concerned about Jesus healing the woman on the Sabbath than he did about the woman's welfare. In great anger he told Jesus that He should have waited until another day before healing the woman.


13:15 Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from its stall, and lead it to water?


Jesus's rely to him was to call him an hypocrite, a pretender, for he takes his animals to give them water on the Sabbath day.


13:16 Then shouldn't this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be released from this imprisonment on the Sabbath day?


This woman who is more important than any animal who is indeed a descendant of Abraham, the father of the faithful, who had been bound by Satan for all those years be set free from his bondage on the Sabbath.


13:17 When he said this all his adversaries were humiliated, but the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things he was doing.As He said this and had shamed those who opposed Him all the people greatly rejoiced for all the wondrous things that he had done.


Similes of the Kingdom of God


13:18 Thus Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? To what should I compare it?


Reflecting on the Kingdom of God Jesus considers how He can best describe it so that is followers would understand.


13:19 It is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the wild birds nested in its branches.


First of all He likens it to a mustard seed that a man plants in his garden and it grows into a huge tree that provide a place for birds to nest and roost in, to find shelter and security.


13:20-21 Again he said, "To what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until all the dough had risen."


Secondly it is like yeast that a woman mixes with flour so that it works through the dough to make it rise or grow.   One thing is clear from the similes of the Kingdom of God is that it will grow and that it provides salvation, security and an eternal home.


Only One Way to Heaven


13:22 Then Jesus traveled throughout towns and villages, teaching and making his way toward Jerusalem.


On His way to Jerusalem Jesus visited every city and village teaching the people of about the Kingdom of Heaven.


13:23 Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few be saved?" So he said to them,


Someone asks Him if it is only a few that will be saved.


13:24 Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.


Literally agonize, endeavor to enter into the Kingdom of God by the narrow gate (John 10:9 and John 14:6). There are many who will seek to enter the Kingdom of God but will not be able to because they will not come through the God given Way.


13:25 Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the door and beg him, 'Lord, let us in!' But he will answer you, 'I don't know where you come from.'


When the master of an house locks the door it will be too late for anyone to enter although they stand outside knocking to be let it.   When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to receive His church and takes them away to be with Him in heaven, the day of grace of opportunity will be ended.   Those who come knocking after this and crying "Lord, Lord open for us and let us in" will receive the answer "I do not know you or where you come from".


13:26 Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.'


They will reply to Him that they ate and drank with Him, in other words they had made a profession of friendship and loyalty to Him and they had taught His words.


13:27 But he will reply, 'I don't know where you come from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!'


His reply to them will be the same "I  don't know you or where you are from, get away from me all you evil doings".  


13:28  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves thrown out.


In that day these "professing believers" will weep and grind their teeth  when they see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and they will be driven away.


13:29  Then people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their places at the banquet table in the kingdom of God.


People will come from every corner of the world and sit down with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God.


13:30  But indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."


The Jews were chosen by God and to them He entrusted the scriptures and gave them the promises. It was to the Jews that Jesus Christ came first but they rejected Him (John 1:11). The Gentiles who heard, believed and accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour afterwards, the last, will become first.


Jesus Warns Jerusalem


13:31  At that time, some Pharisees came up and said to Jesus, "Get away from here, because Herod wants to kill you."


On this same day some Pharisees came to Jesus and warned Him to flee away as Herod was out to kill Him.


13:32  But he said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Look, I am casting out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete my work.


He told them to go and tell Herod, that sly and crafty, skulking and cowardly fox Amp. Bible, that He will continue to cast out demons, heal the sick today and tomorrow until He has accomplished what He came into the world to do. That is, to give His life upon the cross for sin and on the third day arise from the dead.


13:33  Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is impossible that a prophet should be killed outside Jerusalem.'


However He must continue His journey today and tomorrow towards Jerusalem for a prophet cannot die outside of this city.


13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it!


Jesus' cry to Jerusalem is that although they have killed the prophets and stoned to death those whom God sent to her yet His love continually reached out to them and would gather them unto Himself just like a mother hen gathers her chick to safety under her wings. But they were not willing to come.


13:35 Look, your house is forsaken! And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!' "


This is the warning that He gives to Jerusalem. In a little while the day would come when the city and temple would be destroyed and left desolate (A.D. 70 by the Romans). They will not see Him again until the time of His second coming and in that Day they will welcome Him  and say "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" (Matthew 24:30).


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Chapter 13

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