Luke 13

Genuine repentance and faith toward Christ is the only avenue of escape from perishing. Nothing can be expected concerning barren and hypocritical lives except that they should be cut down and cast away. Not all who say “Lord, Lord” will find entrance to His kingdom, and to be bidden by Him that day to “depart” means hell. Those who would be saved must enter in at the strait gate, having undergone a change of heart.

1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

3 I tell you, Nay: 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 sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

6 ¶ He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7 Then said he 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 cumbereth it the ground?

8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

9 And if it bear 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 which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, 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 ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought 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, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?

17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and 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 whereunto shall I resemble 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 air lodged in the branches of it.

20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?

21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.

23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

24 ¶ Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to 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 whence 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, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

28 There 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 they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down 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, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather 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 come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Luke 13:1-9 – ​Both Repentance and Fruitfulness Required

   Our Lord did not hesitate to hang great lessons on passing events. It is a great art to lead men’s thoughts from the outward and transient to the unseen and eternal. God often gives us texts in the happenings of His providence, and when men’s hearts are awed and softened there is a conspicuous opportunity for striking home.
   We have no right to suppose that sudden disasters prove the presence of special sin in those who are involved in them. Sin is avenged in this life, but rather in the natural sequences than by some sudden “act of God.” Accidents are not necessarily punishments, and we who witness the sad fate of others have no right to congratulate ourselves on our moral or spiritual superiority. Instead of judging others, let us look to ourselves and repent.
   The parable of the fig-tree, with its three years of effort to secure fruitfulness, was intended primarily for the Jewish nation favored with our Lord’s three years of ministry. But it is of universal application. God is always seeking fruit; love is ever pleading, but sometimes may have to acquiesce in judgment. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 13:10-17 – ​Good Work for the Sabbath

   There was in this woman a noble principle which led her to persevere in attending God’s house, although there was much to discourage her. Probably she was animated by a faith which made her specially susceptible to the healing word of Christ. Infirmity of any kind should drive us to the house of God. We shall meet Jesus there. When He says, loosed, all the powers of hell cannot bind us down. “He breaks the power of cancelled sin.”
   The charge of Sabbath-breaking by these men was very unreasonable, because on that very morning each of them had unloosened his beast to lead him to the wellhead. And if it was not wrong, in their judgment, to untie a beast, surely it would not be wrong to untie the knotted disease that bound this woman’s head to her feet by an invisible thong! Great human needs must have precedence over the observance of details of ritual. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 13:18-30 – ​The Penalty of Neglected Opportunity

   Notice here the inward movement and the outward effect of the gospel whether in the heart or in the world of men. The garden and the kitchen, the lives of men and women, respectively yield the same lesson. Though the seed of the divine nature is sown in secret, it cannot remain secret, but works its way into manifestation. Man’s method is from without inward; God’s, from within outward. You cannot estimate the results when a little child receives the incorruptible seed, I Peter 1:23.
   But the entrance into the full power and blessedness of Christ is by a narrow way. The strait gate is open to all, but it means that we have to deny and leave behind all that is carnal, whether good or bad in the estimate of men, so that the divine life may have the entire field. Merely to eat and drink in Christ’s presence betrays a self-indulgence which is foreign to His Spirit. You may sit at the Lord’s table and yet be a worker of iniquity! We may be first in privilege, but last in grace. Luke 13:29-30 remind us of Acts 10:34-35 and Romans 2:13. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 13:24—Enter in at the strait gate.

​   The question which the disciples asked was for their gratification and curiosity. Men have always been curious to know what will be the numerical result of the Redeemer’s work. But to such questions the Lord had no reply. He was only eager that none of those whom He loved should miss the full measure of blessedness that was within his reach; therefore He bade each be sure of entering the narrow door, so narrow that there is no room to carry through it the love of self, the greed of gain, the thirst for the applause and rewards of the world.
   We may be saved from the penalty of sin by one single glance at the Savior, who lived, and died, and lives for evermore; but we cannot be saved in the deepest meaning of the word, in the sense of being delivered from the love and power of sin, unless we are willing to enter through a door, so constructed and strait, that it seems impossible to effect an entrance. Art thou willing for this, willing to leave behind thy amassed and hardly-gained treasures, thy luggage and impedimenta, thy jewels and gewgaws, thy certificate of merit and credentials, thy notions of self-importance, the weights which thou hast carried so long, the pillows with which thou art always sparing thyself from the stern realities and efforts of a noble life? If thou art willing for this, and prepared to strive, even to the rending of thyself asunder, then thou shalt be saved from the love and tyranny of that wild, dark power, which, hitherto, has always dragged thee downwards.
   It is not enough to eat and drink of the blessed memorial supper, nor to listen to the voice of Jesus teaching in his Church. Many may do all this, and yet never be included in the Kingdom of Heaven. —Our Daily Homily

Luke 13:31-35 – ​The Lament for Those Who “Would Not”

   Our Lord was at that time in Perea, in the jurisdiction of Herod, who probably desired to get rid of Him, lest His presence should introduce political complications. Our Lord saw through and exposed his stratagem. How awful to be read by the light of divine purity! He also kept His eye on heaven’s dial-plate, and knew that He was immortal till His work was done.
   Jerusalem was clearly indicated as the scene of His death; and the city was already so deeply dyed with martyr blood that it would hardly have been congruous for Him to suffer anywhere else. Note that pathetic wail of disappointed love. God’s brooding love desires to interpose between us and the hovering peril; but we have the awful power to neglect or reject the covering wings of the Shechinah. See Ruth 2:12 and Psalm 91:4. —Through the Bible Day by Day