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Luke Thirteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

the Galilaeans. No extra-Biblical record of this blasphemous act of Pilate has been discovered as yet, but it would have been quite in keeping with his character, so there is no reason to question it.

Luke 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

repent. Earthly accidents, Jesus said, should not be given a judgmental connotation (Luke 13:2, 4). The vital issue is true repentance toward God (repeated again in Luke 13:5 because of its importance) without which men will perish eternally.

Luke 13:4 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?

Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Luke 13:6 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.

vineyard. Jesus' listeners should have recognized (from Isaiah 5:1-7) that “the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant.” In Isaiah's parable, the vineyard produced only wild grapes and, in Jesus' parable, the fig tree was barren. Later He cursed a barren fig tree on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:18-20) when it should have been bearing early figs, just as the tree in the parable. It should have been obvious that this was both an oral and a visual parable directed against the spiritually barren religious leaders of Israel.

Luke 13:7 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?

Luke 13:8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

Luke 13:9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Luke 13:10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

Luke 13:11 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.

Luke 13:12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

Luke 13:13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

Luke 13:14 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.

Luke 13:15 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?

the sabbath. The sabbath (meaning “rest”) had been instituted in commemoration of God's completed work of creating and making all things in six days (Genesis 2:1-3), and its observance had been enjoined as a national holiday for the Israelites when Moses received the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). However, it was not intended as a ritualistic burden, but as a blessing. As Jesus said: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). It would both perpetually remind man of His Creator and also provide a much-needed weekly time of rest and spiritual renewal. Furthermore, since Christ Himself was the Creator, He could affirm that “the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28). Even though most believers now take their day of rest and worship on the first day of the week, commemorating Christ's completed work of redemption as well as His completed work of creation, the principle is still the same. The day should be used for its created purpose, not as an excuse for extra gain or trivial pleasures. But as Jesus asked rhetorically: “Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9).

Luke 13:16 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?

Luke 13:17 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.

Luke 13:18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?

Luke 13:19 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.

Luke 13:20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?

Luke 13:21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Luke 13:22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.

Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Luke 13:25 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:

Luke 13:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Luke 13:28 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.

Luke 13:29 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.

Luke 13:30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

Luke 13:31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

Herod. No longer impressed by Jesus' miracles, evidently Herod had determined (perhaps at the instigation of the Pharisees) to rid himself of the uncomfortable teachings of Jesus, as he had those of John (Luke 9:7-9). But Jesus was not concerned, knowing that He must die in Jerusalem (Luke 13:33).

Luke 13:32 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.

be perfected. The Greek word for “be perfected” is the word from which our word “teleology” (the study and evidences of goals and designs) is derived. In view of Luke 13:33, Jesus was probably referring to reaching Jerusalem. It could not be that Herod (Luke 13:31) or anyone else could kill Him anywhere else. It may also involve a cryptic reference to His certain resurrection on “the third day” after His coming execution in Jerusalem.

Luke 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

Luke 13:34 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!

ye would not. This same lament is recorded in Matthew 23:37-39 following His final session of teaching the multitudes, with the Pharisees present. It was evidently first uttered here as He contemplated the sad fact that He, like other prophets before Him, was soon to perish in Jerusalem. His sad reminiscence of previous times the Lord had unsuccessfully called Jerusalem to repentance shows that, by this time if not before, He had a fully restored consciousness of His communion with the Father before His human incarnation.

Luke 13:35 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.