Some people who were there at that time told Jesus about certain Galileans. Pilate had mixed their blood with their sacrifices.
Jesus said, "These people from Galilee suffered greatly. Do you think they were worse sinners than all the other Galileans?
I tell you, no! But unless you turn away from your sins, you will all die too.
Or what about the 18 people in Siloam? They died when the tower fell on them. Do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?
I tell you, no! But unless you turn away from your sins, you will all die too."
Then Jesus told a story. "A man had a fig tree," he said. "It had been planted in his vineyard. When he went to look for fruit on it, he didn't find any.
So he went to the man who took care of the vineyard. He said, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree. But I haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
" 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year. I'll dig around it and feed it.
If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' "
Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on a Sabbath day.
A woman there had been disabled by an evil spirit for 18 years. She was bent over and could not stand up straight.
Jesus saw her. He asked her to come to him. He said to her, "Woman, you will no longer be disabled. I am about to set you free."
Then he put his hands on her. Right away she stood up straight and praised God.
Jesus had healed the woman on the Sabbath day. This made the synagogue ruler angry. He told the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days. But do not come on the Sabbath."
The Lord answered him, "You pretenders! Doesn't each of you go to the barn and untie his ox or donkey on the Sabbath day? Then don't you lead it out to give it water?
This woman is a member of Abraham's family line. But Satan has kept her disabled for 18 long years. Shouldn't she be set free on the Sabbath day from what was keeping her disabled?"
When Jesus said this, all those who opposed him were put to shame. But the people were delighted. They loved all the wonderful things he was doing.
Then Jesus asked, "What is God's kingdom like? What can I compare it to?
It is like a mustard seed. Someone took the seed and planted it in a garden. It grew and became a tree. The birds sat in its branches."
Again he asked, "What can I compare God's kingdom to?
It is like yeast that a woman used. She mixed it into a large amount of flour. The yeast worked its way all through the dough."
Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching the people. He was on his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them,
"Try very hard to enter through the narrow door. I tell you, many will try to enter and will not be able to.
The owner of the house will get up and close the door. Then you will stand outside knocking and begging. You will say, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you. And I don't know where you come from.'
"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you. You taught in our streets.'
"But he will reply, 'I don't know you. And I don't know where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil!'
"You will sob and grind your teeth when you see those who are in God's kingdom. You will see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets there. But you yourselves will be thrown out.
People will come from east and west and north and south. They will take their places at the feast in God's kingdom.
Then the last will be first. And the first will be last."
At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus. They said to him, "Leave this place. Go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you."
He replied, "Go and tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons. I will heal people today and tomorrow. And on the third day I will reach my goal.'
In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day. Certainly no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
"Jerusalem! Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and throw stones in order to kill those who are sent to you. Many times I have wanted to gather your people together. I have wanted to be like a hen who gathers her chicks under her wings. But you would not let me!
"Look, your house is left empty. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.' "#1(Psalm 118:26)#2