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Luke 13

Listen to Luke 13

Repent or Perish

1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood 1Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And he answered them, 2"Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?
3 No, I tell you; but unless you 3repent, you will all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in 4Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?
5 No, I tell you; but unless you 5repent, you will all likewise perish."

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

6 And he told this parable: "A man had 6a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
7 And he said to the vinedresser, 'Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. 7Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?'
8 And he answered him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.
9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"

A Woman with a Disabling Spirit

10 Now 8he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
11 And there was a woman who had had 9a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.
12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your disability."
13 And he 10laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she 11glorified God.
14 But 12the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus 13had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, 14"There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day."
15 Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! 15Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?
16 And ought not this woman, 16a daughter of Abraham whom 17Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?"
17 As he said these things, 18all his adversaries were put to shame, and 19all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

18 20He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?
19 It is like 21a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
20 And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
21 22It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in 23three measures of flour, until it was 24all leavened."

The Narrow Door

22 25He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and 26journeying toward Jerusalem.
23 And someone said to him, "Lord, 27will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them,
24 28"Strive 29to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 30When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 31'Lord, open to us,' then he will answer you, 32'I do not know where you come from.'
26 Then you will begin to say, 33'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.'
27 But he will say, 'I tell you, 34I do not know where you come from. 35Depart from me, all you workers of evil!'
28 36In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see 37Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but 38you yourselves cast out.
29 And 39people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and 40recline at table in the kingdom of God.
30 And behold, 41some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."

Lament over Jerusalem

31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, "Get away from 42here, for 43Herod wants to kill you."
32 And he said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day 44I finish my course.
33 Nevertheless, 45I 46must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that 47a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.'
34 48O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that 49kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! 50How often would I have 51gathered 52your children together 53as a hen gathers her brood 54under her wings, and 55you would not!
35 Behold, 56your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, 57'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'"

Luke 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Christ exhorts to repentance from the case of the Galileans and others. (1-5) Parable of the barren fig-tree. (6-9) The infirm woman strengthened. (10-17) The parables of the mustard seed, and leaven. (18-22) Exhortation to enter at the strait gate. (23-30) Christ's reproof to Herod, and to the people of Jerusalem. (31-35)

Verses 1-5 Mention was made to Christ of the death of some Galileans. This tragical story is briefly related here, and is not met with in any historians. In Christ's reply he spoke of another event, which, like it, gave an instance of people taken away by sudden death. Towers, that are built for safety, often prove to be men's destruction. He cautioned his hearers not to blame great sufferers, as if they were therefore to be accounted great sinners. As no place or employment can secure from the stroke of death, we should consider the sudden removals of others as warnings to ourselves. On these accounts Christ founded a call to repentance. The same Jesus that bids us repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, bids us repent, for otherwise we shall perish.

Verses 6-9 This parable of the barren fig-tree is intended to enforce the warning given just before: the barren tree, except it brings forth fruit, will be cut down. This parable in the first place refers to the nation and people of the Jews. Yet it is, without doubt, for awakening all that enjoy the means of grace, and the privileges of the visible church. When God has borne long, we may hope that he will bear with us yet a little longer, but we cannot expect that he will bear always.

Verses 10-17 Our Lord Jesus attended upon public worship on the sabbaths. Even bodily infirmities, unless very grievous, should not keep us from public worship on sabbath days. This woman came to Christ to be taught, and to get good to her soul, and then he relieved her bodily infirmity. This cure represents the work of Christ's grace upon the soul. And when crooked souls are made straight, they will show it by glorifying God. Christ knew that this ruler had a real enmity to him and to his gospel, and that he did but cloak it with a pretended zeal for the sabbath day; he really would not have them be healed any day; but if Jesus speaks the word, and puts forth his healing power, sinners are set free. This deliverance is often wrought on the Lord's day; and whatever labour tends to put men in the way of receiving the blessing, agrees with the design of that day.

Verses 18-22 Here is the progress of the gospel foretold in two parables, as in ( Matthew 13 ) . The kingdom of the Messiah is the kingdom of God. May grace grow in our hearts; may our faith and love grow exceedingly, so as to give undoubted evidence of their reality. May the example of God's saints be blessed to those among whom they live; and may his grace flow from heart to heart, until the little one becomes a thousand.

Verses 23-30 Our Saviour came to guide men's consciences, not to gratify their curiosity. Ask not, How many shall be saved? But, Shall I be one of them? Not, What shall become of such and such? But, What shall I do, and what will become of me? Strive to enter in at the strait gate. This is directed to each of us; it is, Strive ye. All that will be saved, must enter in at the strait gate, must undergo a change of the whole man. Those that would enter in, must strive to enter. Here are awakening considerations, to enforce this exhortation. Oh that we may be all awakened by them! They answer the question, Are there few that shall be saved? But let none despond either as to themselves or others, for there are last who shall be first, and first who shall be last. If we reach heaven, we shall meet many there whom we little thought to meet, and miss many whom we expected to find.

Verses 31-35 Christ, in calling Herod a fox, gave him his true character. The greatest of men were accountable to God, therefore it became him to call this proud king by his own name; but it is not an example for us. I know, said our Lord, that I must die very shortly; when I die, I shall be perfected, I shall have completed my undertaking. It is good for us to look upon the time we have before us as but little, that we may thereby be quickened to do the work of the day in its day. The wickedness of persons and places which more than others profess religion and relation to God, especially displeases and grieves the Lord Jesus. The judgment of the great day will convince unbelievers; but let us learn thankfully to welcome, and to profit by all who come in the name of the Lord, to call us to partake of his great salvation.

Cross References 57

  • 1. Luke 3:1
  • 2. [Job 4:7; John 9:2; Acts 28:4]
  • 3. See Luke 5:32
  • 4. John 9:7, 11
  • 5. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 6. Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:13; [Isaiah 5:2]
  • 7. Luke 3:9; Matthew 7:19
  • 8. See Matthew 4:23; Mark 6:2
  • 9. Acts 16:16; [ver. 16]
  • 10. See Mark 5:23
  • 11. Luke 5:25; Luke 18:43; See Luke 7:16
  • 12. See Luke 8:41
  • 13. See Matthew 12:2
  • 14. Exodus 20:9; Ezekiel 46:1
  • 15. Luke 14:5; [Matthew 12:11]
  • 16. Luke 19:9
  • 17. [ver. 11; Acts 10:38; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 12:7]; See 1 Chronicles 21:1
  • 18. Psalms 132:18; 1 Peter 3:16
  • 19. Luke 18:43
  • 20. For ver. 18, 19, see Matthew 13:31, 32; Mark 4:30-32
  • 21. Luke 17:6; Matthew 17:20
  • 22. Matthew 13:33
  • 23. Genesis 18:6
  • 24. 1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9
  • 25. See Mark 6:6
  • 26. [ver. 33]; See Luke 9:51
  • 27. Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 2:15
  • 28. 1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 12:4; [1 Timothy 6:12(Gk.)]; See 1 Corinthians 9:25
  • 29. Matthew 7:13
  • 30. For ver. 25-27, [Matthew 25:10-12]
  • 31. Matthew 7:22, 23
  • 32. Matthew 10:33; Matthew 25:12; [2 Timothy 2:19]
  • 33. [Exodus 24:11]
  • 34. [See ver. 25 above]
  • 35. See Psalms 6:8
  • 36. See Matthew 8:11, 12
  • 37. See Matthew 8:11, 12
  • 38. See Matthew 8:11, 12
  • 39. [See ver. 28 above]
  • 40. [Luke 14:15; Luke 22:30]
  • 41. See Matthew 19:30
  • 42. [Matthew 19:1; Mark 10:1]
  • 43. See Luke 3:1
  • 44. [See Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:9; Hebrews 7:28]
  • 45. [John 11:9]
  • 46. Acts 3:21; Acts 17:3
  • 47. See Matthew 21:11
  • 48. For ver. 34, 35, see Matthew 23:37-39; [Luke 19:41-44]
  • 49. See Matthew 21:35
  • 50. [Matthew 26:55]
  • 51. [Psalms 147:2; Proverbs 1:24]
  • 52. Luke 23:28
  • 53. [Deuteronomy 32:11, 12]
  • 54. Ruth 2:12
  • 55. John 5:40
  • 56. [Isaiah 64:11; Jeremiah 12:7; Jeremiah 22:5]
  • 57. Luke 19:38; Cited from Psalms 118:26

Luke 13 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.