Luke 13

1 And some men were present in that time, that told to him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices of them.
2 And he answered, and said to them, Ween ye, that these men of Galilee were sinners more than all Galilaeans, for they suffered such things? [And he answering said to them, Ween ye, that these men of Galilee were sinners before all Galilaeans, for they suffered such things?]
3 I say to you, nay; all ye shall perish in like manner, but [if] ye have penance.
4 And as those eighteen, on which the tower in Siloam fell down [upon whom the tower in Siloam felled down], and slew them, guess ye, that they were debtors more than all men that dwell in Jerusalem?
5 I say to you, nay; but also all ye shall perish [but also ye all shall perish], if ye do not penance.
6 And he said this likeness, A man [Some man] had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit in it, and found none.
7 And he said to the tiller of the vineyard, Lo! three years be, since I come seeking fruit in this fig tree, and I find none; therefore cut it down, whereto occupieth it the earth?
8 And he answering said to him, Lord, suffer it also this year, [till] the while I delve about it, and I shall dung it [till the while I delve about it, and dung it];
9 [and] if it shall make fruit, [else] if not, in time [to] coming thou shalt cut it down.
10 And he was teaching in their synagogue in the sabbaths. [Forsooth he was teaching in the synagogue of them in sabbaths.]
11 And lo! a woman, that had a spirit of sickness eighteen years, and was crooked [and was bowed down], and neither in any manner might look upward.
12 Whom when Jesus had seen, he called [her] to him, and said to her, Woman, thou art delivered of thy sickness [Woman, thou art let go of thy sickness].
13 And he set on her his hands, and at once she stood upright [And he put to her the hands, and anon she was raised], and glorified God.
14 And the prince of the synagogue answered, having disdain for Jesus had healed in the sabbath; and he said to the people, There be six days, in which it behooveth to work; therefore come ye in these [therefore come in these], and be ye healed, and not in the day of sabbath.
15 But the Lord answered to him, and said, Hypocrite, whether each of you untieth not in the sabbath his ox, or ass, from the feed-trough, and leadeth to water? [+Forsooth the Lord answering to him said, Hypocrite, whether each of you in the sabbath untieth not his ox, or his ass, from the cratch, or stall, and leadeth to water?]
16 Behooved it not this daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo! eighteen years, to be unbound of this bond in the day of sabbath?
17 And when he said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed, and all the people joyed in all things, that were gloriously done of him.
18 Therefore he said, To what thing is the kingdom of God like? and to what thing shall I guess it to be like?
19 It is like to a corn of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden [cast into his yard]; and it waxed, and was made into a great tree, and fowls of the air rested in the branches thereof.
20 And again he said, To what thing shall I guess the kingdom of God like?
21 It is like to sourdough, that a woman took, and hid it in three measures of meal, till all were soured. [+It is like to sourdough, which taken, a woman hid in three measures of meal, till it were all soured.]
22 And he went by cities and castles, teaching and making journey into Jerusalem.
23 And a man said to him, Lord, if there be few, that be saved? And he said to them,
24 Strive ye to enter by the strait gate; for I say to you, many seek to enter [in], and they shall not be able.
25 For when the husbandman is entered, and the door is closed [Forsooth when the husbandman hath entered and closed the door], ye shall begin to stand withoutforth, and knock at the door, and say [saying], Lord, open to us. And he shall answer, and say to you, I know you not, of whence ye be.
26 Then ye shall begin to say, We have eaten before thee and drunk [We have eaten and drunk before thee], and in our streets thou hast taught.
27 And he shall say to you, I know you not, of whence ye be; go away from me, all ye workers of wickedness.
28 There shall be weeping and grinding of teeth [There shall be weeping and beating together of teeth], when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God; and you to be put out.
29 And they shall come from the east and the west, and from the north and the south, and shall sit at the meat in the realm of God.
30 And lo! they that were the first, be the last; and they that were the last, be the first. [And lo! they that were first, be the last; and they that were last, be the first.]
31 In that day some of the Pharisees came nigh, and said to him, Go out, and go from hence [In that day some of the Pharisees came nigh, saying to him, Go out, and go hence], for Herod will slay thee.
32 And he said to them, Go ye, and say to that fox, Lo! I cast out fiends, and I make perfectly healings [and I make perfectly healths], to day and to morrow, and the third day I am ended.
33 Nevertheless it behooveth me to day, and to morrow, and the day that followeth [and the day following], to walk; for it falleth not [for] a prophet to perish out of Jerusalem.
34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that slayest prophets, and stonest them that be sent to thee, how oft would I gather together thy sons, as a bird gathereth his nest under feathers [as a bird his nest under pens, or wings], and thou wouldest not.
35 Lo! your house shall be left to you desert. And I say to you [Soothly I say to you], that ye shall not see me, till it come, when ye shall say, Blessed is he, that cometh 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

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.