Luke 13

Call to Repent

1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood 1Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus said to them, "2Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?
3 "I tell you, no, but unless * you repent, you will all likewise perish.
4 "Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in 3Siloam fell and killed them were worse 4culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?
5 "I tell you, no, but unless * you repent, you will all likewise perish."
6 And He began telling this parable: "A man had 5a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
7 "And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without * finding any. 6Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?'
8 "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;
9 and if it bears fruit next * year, fine; but if not, cut it down.' "

Healing on the Sabbath

10 And He was 7teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had 8a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all.
12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your sickness."
13 And He 9laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began 10glorifying God.
14 But 11the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus 12had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, "13There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day."
15 But 14the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites, 15does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?
16 "And this woman, 16a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom 17Satan has bound for eighteen * long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?"
17 As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and 18the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.

Parables of Mustard Seed and Leaven

18 So 19He was saying, "20What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it?
19 "It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and 21THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES."
20 And again He said, "22To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
21 "23It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in 24three pecks of flour until it was all leavened."

Teaching in the Villages

22 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and 25proceeding on His way to Jerusalem.
23 And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them,
24 "26Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 "Once * the head of the house gets up and 27shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, '28Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, '29I do not know where you are from.'
26 "Then you will 30begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets ';
27 and He will say, 'I tell you, 31I do not know where you are from; 32DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.'
28 "33In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.
29 "And they 34will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.
30 "And behold, 35some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last."
31 Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, "Go away, leave here, for 36Herod 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 I 37reach My goal.'
33 "Nevertheless 38I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot * be that a 39prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.
34 "40O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, 41just * as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!
35 "Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, '42BLESSED 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 42

  • 1. Matthew 27
  • 2. John 9:2
  • 3. Nehemiah 3:15; Isaiah 8:6; John 9:7, 11
  • 4. Matthew 6:12; Luke 11:4
  • 5. Matthew 21:19
  • 6. Matthew 3:10; Matthew 7:19; Luke 3:9
  • 7. Matthew 4:23
  • 8. Luke 13:16
  • 9. Mark 5:23
  • 10. Matthew 9:8
  • 11. Mark 5:22
  • 12. Matthew 12:2; Luke 14:3
  • 13. Exodus 20:9; Deuteronomy 5:13
  • 14. Luke 7:13
  • 15. Luke 14:5
  • 16. Luke 19:9
  • 17. Matthew 4:10; Luke 13:11
  • 18. Luke 18:43
  • 19. Luke 13:18, 19: {Matthew 13:31, 32; Mark 4:30-32}
  • 20. Matthew 13:24; Luke 13:20
  • 21. Ezekiel 17:23
  • 22. Matthew 13:24; Luke 13:18
  • 23. Luke 13:20, 21: {Matthew 13:33}
  • 24. Matthew 13:33
  • 25. Luke 9:51
  • 26. Matthew 7:13
  • 27. Matthew 25:10
  • 28. Matthew 7:22; Matthew 25:11
  • 29. Matthew 7:23; Matthew 25:12; Luke 13:27
  • 30. Luke 3:8
  • 31. Luke 13:25
  • 32. Psalms 6:8; Matthew 25:41
  • 33. Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 25:30
  • 34. Matthew 8:11
  • 35. Matthew 19:30; Matthew 20:16; Mark 10:31
  • 36. Matthew 14:1; Luke 3:1; Luke 9:7; Luke 23:7
  • 37. Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:9; Hebrews 7:28
  • 38. John 11:9
  • 39. Matthew 21:11
  • 40. Luke 13:34, 35: {Matthew 23:37-39;} Luke 19:41
  • 41. Matthew 23:37
  • 42. Psalms 118:26; Matthew 21:9; Luke 19:38

Footnotes 7

Luke 13 Commentaries