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Luke 13

Luke 13:1-9 . THE LESSON, "REPENT OR PERISH," SUGGESTED BY TWO RECENT INCIDENTS, AND ILLUSTRATED BY THE PARABLE OF THE BARREN FIG TREE.

Luke 13:10-17 . WOMAN OF EIGHTEEN YEAR'S INFIRMITY HEALED ON THE SABBATH.

11. spirit of infirmity--Compare Luke 13:17 , "whom Satan hath bound." From this it is probable, though not certain, that her protracted infirmity was the effect of some milder form of possession; yet she was "a daughter of Abraham," in the same gracious sense, no doubt, as Zaccheus, after his conversion, was "a son of Abraham" ( Luke 19:9 ).

12, 13. said . . . Woman . . . and laid--both at once.

14. with indignation--not so much at the sabbath violation as at the glorification of Christ. (Compare Matthew 21:15 ) [TRENCH].
said to the people--"Not daring directly to find fault with the Lord, he seeks circuitously to reach Him through the people, who were more under his influence, and whom he feared less" [TRENCH].

16. ought not, &c.--How gloriously the Lord vindicates the superior claims of this woman, in consideration of the sadness and long duration of her suffering, and of her dignity notwithstanding, as an heir of the promise!

Luke 13:18-30 . MISCELLANEOUS TEACHINGS.

18-21. mustard seed . . . parable of "the Leaven" sets forth, perhaps, rather the inward growth of the kingdom, while "the Mustard Seed" seems to point chiefly to the outward. It being a woman's work to knead, it seems a refinement to say that "the woman" here represents the Church, as the instrument of depositing the leaven. Nor does it yield much satisfaction to understand the "three measures of meal" of that threefold division of our nature into "spirit, soul, and body," (alluded to in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 ) or of the threefold partition of the world among the three sons of Noah ( Genesis 10:32 ), as some do. It yields more real satisfaction to see in this brief parable just the all-penetrating and assimilating quality of the Gospel, by virtue of which it will yet mould all institutions and tribes of men, and exhibit over the whole earth one "Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ."

23. Lord, &c.--one of those curious questions by talking of which some flatter themselves they are religious.
said unto them--the multitude; taking no notice of the man or his question, save as furnishing the occasion of a solemn warning not to trifle with so momentous a matter as "salvation."

24. Strive--The word signifies to "contend" as for the mastery, to "struggle," expressive of the difficulty of being saved, as if one would have to force his way in.
strait gate--another figure of the same.
for many . . . will seek--"desire," that is, with a mere wish or slothful endeavor.
and shall not be able--because it must be made a life-and-death struggle.

25. master of the house is risen up and hath shut to the door--awfully sublime and vivid picture! At present he is represented as in a sitting posture, as if calmly looking on to see who will "strive," while entrance is practicable, and who will merely "seek" to enter in. But this is to have an end, by the great Master of the house Himself rising and shutting the door, after which there will be no admittance.
Lord, Lord--emphatic reduplication, expressive of the earnestness now felt, but too late.

26, 27. See on the similar passage ( Matthew 7:22 Matthew 7:23 ).
eaten and drunk, &c.--We have sat with Thee at the same table.
taught in our streets--Do we not remember listening in our own streets to Thy teaching? Surely we are not to be denied admittance?

27. But he shall say, No nearness of external communion with Christ will avail at the great day, in place of that holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. Observe the style which Christ intimates that He will then assume, that of absolute Disposer of men's eternal destinies, and contrast it with His "despised and rejected" condition at that time.

28, 29. (See Matthew 8:11 Matthew 8:12 ). Also

Luke 13:31-35 . MESSAGE TO HEROD.

31. and depart hence--and "go forward," push on. He was on His way out of Perea, east of Jordan, and in Herod's dominions, "journeying towards Jerusalem" ( Luke 13:22 ). Haunted by guilty fears, probably, Herod wanted to get rid of Him from our Lord's answer, to have sent these Pharisees, under pretense of a friendly hint, to persuade Him that the sooner He got beyond Herod's jurisdiction the better it would be for His own safety. Our Lord saw through both of them, and sends the cunning ruler a message couched in dignified and befitting irony.

32. that fox--that crafty, cruel enemy of God's innocent servants.
Behold, I cast out devils and I do cures--that is, "Plot on and ply thy wiles; I also have My plans; My works of mercy are nearing completion, but some yet remain; I have work for to-day and to-morrow too, and the third day; by that time I shall be where his jurisdiction reaches not; the guilt of My blood shall not lie at his door; that dark deed is reserved for others." He does not say, I preach the Gospel--that would have made little impression upon Herod--in the light of the merciful character of Christ's actions the malice of Herod's snares is laid bare [BENGEL].
to-day, to-morrow, the third day--remarkable language expressive of successive steps of His work yet remaining, the calm deliberateness with which He meant to go through with them, one after another, to the last, unmoved by Herod's threat, yet the rapid march with which they were now hastening to completion. (Compare Luke 22:37 ).
I shall be perfected--I finish my course, I attain completion.

33. it cannot be that a prophet, &c.--"It would never do that," &c.--awful severity of satire this upon "the bloody city!" "He seeks to kill me, does he? Ah! I must be out of Herod's jurisdiction for that. Go tell him I neither fly from him nor fear him, but Jerusalem is the prophets' slaughter-house."

34, 35. O Jerusalem,

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