Luke 13

1 There were present at the same time some that told him of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate had mingled with his sacrifices.
2 And Jesus, answering, said unto them, Think ye that these Galilaeans suffered such things because they were greater sinners than all the other Galilaeans?
3 I tell you, No; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and slew them, think ye that they were greater debtors than all the other men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, No; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
6 And He spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit upon it and found none.
7 Then he said unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none; cut it down; why does it cumber the ground?
8 And he, answering, said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also until I shall dig about it and dung it,
9 and if it bears fruit, well; and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
11 And, behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years and was bowed together and could in no wise lift herself up.
12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight and glorified God.
14 And the prince of the synagogue answered with indignation because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and said unto the people, There are six days in which it behooves men to work; in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15 The Lord then answered him and said, Thou hypocrite, does not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall and lead it away to drink?
16 And regarding this daughter of Abraham, who, behold, Satan had bound eighteen years, does it not behoove us to release her from this bond on the Sabbath day?
17 And as he said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed, but all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and unto what shall I compare it?
19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and cast into his garden; and it grew and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the heaven lodged in the branches of it.
20 And again he said, Unto what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
21 It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.
22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.
23 Then someone said unto him, Lord, are there few that are saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the narrow gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in and shall not be able.
25 When once the husband of the house is risen up and shall have shut the door, and ye begin to stand without and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not from where ye are,
26 then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say unto you, I know you not from where ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 In that place shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And others shall come from the east and from the west and from the north and from the south and shall sit at the table in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Go out and depart from here, for Herod will kill thee.
32 And he said unto them, Go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out demons, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
33 Nevertheless I must walk today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets and stones those that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate; and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me until the time comes when ye shall say, Blessed is he that 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.

Luke 13 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010