Just at that time people came to tell Him about the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
"Do you suppose," He asked in reply, "that those Galilaeans were worse sinners than the mass of the Galilaeans, because this happened to them?
I tell you, certainly not. On the contrary, if you are not penitent you will all perish as they did.
Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, do you suppose they had failed in their duty more than all the rest of the people who live in Jerusalem?
I tell you, certainly not. On the contrary, if you do not repent you will all perish just as they did."
And He gave them the following parable. "A man," He said, "who had a fig-tree growing in his garden came to look for fruit on it and could find none.
So he said to the gardener, "`See, this is the third year I have come to look for fruit on this fig-tree and cannot find any. Cut it down. Why should so much ground be actually wasted?'
"But the gardener pleaded, "`Leave it, Sir, this year also, till I have dug round it and manured it.
If after that it bears fruit, well and good; if it does not, then you shall cut it down.'"
Once He was teaching on the Sabbath in one of the synagogues
where a woman was present who for eighteen years had been a confirmed invalid: she was bent double, and was unable to lift herself to her full height.
But Jesus saw her, and calling to her, He said to her, "Woman, you are free from your weakness."
And He put His hands on her, and she immediately stood upright and began to give glory to God.
Then the Warden of the Synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured her on a Sabbath, said to the crowd, "There are six days in the week on which people ought to work. On those days therefore come and get yourselves cured, and not on the Sabbath day."
But the Lord's reply to him was, "Hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his bullock or his ass from the stall and lead him to water?
And this woman, daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan had bound for no less than eighteen years, was she not to be loosed from this chain because it is the Sabbath day?"
When He had said this, all His opponents were ashamed, while the whole multitude was delighted at the many glorious things continually done by Him.
This prompted Him to say, "What is the Kingdom of God like? and to what shall I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed which a man drops into the soil in his garden, and it grows and becomes a tree in whose branches the birds roost."
And again He said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast which a woman takes and buries in a bushel of flour, to work there till the whole is leavened."
He was passing through town after town and village after village, steadily proceeding towards Jerusalem,
when some one asked Him, "Sir, are there but few who are to be saved?"
"Strain every nerve to force your way in through the narrow gate," He answered; "for multitudes, I tell you, will endeavour to find a way in and will not succeed.
As soon as the Master of the house shall have risen and shut the door, and you have begun to stand outside and knock at the door and say, "`Sir, open the door for us' --"`I do not know you,' He answers; `you are no friends of mine.'
"Then you will plead, "`We have eaten and drunk in your company and you have taught in our streets.'
"But He will reply, "`I tell you that you are no friends of mine. Begone from me, all of you, wrongdoers that you are.'
"There will be the weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God, and yourselves being driven far away.
They will come from east and west, from north and south, and will sit down at the banquet in the Kingdom of God.
And I tell you that some now last will then be first, and some now first will then be last."
Just at that time there came some Pharisees who warned Him, saying, "Leave this place and continue your journey; Herod means to kill you."
"Go," He replied, "and take this message to that fox: "`See, to-day and to-morrow I am driving out demons and effecting cures, and on the third day I finish my course.'
"Yet I must continue my journey to-day and to-morrow and the day following; for it is not conceivable that a Prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou who murderest the Prophets and stonest those who have been sent to thee, how often have I desired to gather thy children just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not come!
See, your house is left to you. But I tell you that you will never see me again until you say, `Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"