Call to Repent
1Just at that time some people came who told Jesus about the [a]Galileans whose blood Pilate [the governor] had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus replied to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they have suffered in this way? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways and live changed lives], you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you assume that [b]those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed were worse sinners than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways and live changed lives], you will all likewise perish.”
Parable of the Fig Tree
6 Then He began telling them this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree that had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it, but did not find any; 7 so he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and have found none. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground [depleting the soil and blocking the sunlight]?’ 8 But he replied to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, [just] one more year until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit after this, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
Healing on the Sabbath
10 Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had an illness caused by a spirit (demon). She was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are released from your illness.” 13 Then He laid His hands on her; and immediately she stood erect again and she began glorifying and praising God. 14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work ought to be done; so come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 But the Lord replied to him, “You hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders)! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead it away to water it? 16 And this woman, a daughter (descendant) of Abraham whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As He was saying this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things that were being done by Him.
Parables of Mustard Seed and Leaven
18 So this led Him to say, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a [c]mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky found shelter and nested in its branches.”
20 And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three peck measures of flour until it was all leavened.”
Teaching in the Villages
22 Jesus journeyed on through cities and villages, teaching and making His way toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone asked Him, “Lord, will only a few be saved [from the penalties of the last judgment]?” And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door [force aside unbelief and the attractions of sin]; for many, I tell you, will try to enter [by their own works] and will not be able. 25 Once the head of the house gets up and closes the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door [again and again], saying, ‘Lord, open to us!’ then He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you are from [for you are not of My household].’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27 but He will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping [in sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [in distress and anger] when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out and driven away. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and they will sit down [and feast at the table] in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
31 At that very hour some Pharisees came up and said to Him, “Leave and go away from here, because Herod [Antipas] wants to kill You.” 32 And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox [that sly, cowardly man], ‘Listen carefully: I cast out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I reach My goal.’ 33 Nevertheless I must travel on today and tomorrow and the day after that—for it cannot be that a prophet would die outside of Jerusalem. 34 [d]O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones [to death] those [messengers] who are sent to her [by God]! How often I have wanted to gather your children together [around Me], just as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 Listen carefully: your house is left to you desolate [abandoned by God and destitute of His protection]; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed [to be celebrated with praise] is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
- Luke 13:1 These evidently were Jews who had come to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the temple. They probably were identified, rightly or wrongly, as rebels whose goal it was to overthrow Roman domination. The graphic description suggests that they were executed outside the temple complex after they had offered their sacrifices.
- Luke 13:4 No further details regarding this tragedy are recorded.
- Luke 13:19 In ancient Israel the mustard seed was the smallest known seed, and in rabbinic teaching the mustard seed was used as an example of something very small (in the Talmud).
- Luke 13:34 The nation of Israel personified.