A New Concern
Explore the Bible Series
Background Passage: Luke 13:1-35
Lesson Passage: Luke 13: 1-9 and 32-35
Thirteen re-enforces several of the same themes that the Beloved Physician
emphasized in the Twelfth Chapter.† This
important section, for instance, reminds readers of the danger of Pharisaical
ďleavenĒ, the frailty of human life, the value of the human soul, and the
certainty of divine judgment.† We will
encounter similar themes in Chapter Thirteen.†
Luke thematically wove together a powerful and coherent message concerning the Lordís redemptive appointment in
I. The Certainty of Judgment and the Necessity of Repentance (Luke 13:1-9)
murder of the Galileans (vv.1-3): No other record of this event occurs in
antiquity, but the ancient Middle Eastern world apparently knew well of the
Roman procuratorís reputation for cruelty.†
tragedy at the
Application:† The Lordís teaching focused on the urgency of repentance.† He employed a term that indicates a change of mind; a reversal of oneís judgment.† Repentance and faith are twin graces.† Both come to the sinner as a grace gift of the Lord, and no man will enter heaven who has not repented of his sins and placed his faith in Christ for salvation. Preachers who fail to impress upon their hearers the necessity and urgency of repentance, do so at the peril of the souls of those who hear them preach and in direct opposition to the teaching and example of the Savior.
B. The Parable of the Unfruitful Fig Tree (13:6-9): First century†††
often planted fig trees in their vineyards, and it typically took two or three
years for the trees to mature.† After
three years, according to this parable, the owner of the vineyard decided that
the fig tree must be cut down; however, the keeper of the vineyard asked the
owner to wait a while longer before destroying the tree.† This parable is reminiscent of Mosesí
intercession for the people of
There is a plainer warning still in the passage for all unconverted Christians.† There are many in every congregation who hear the Gospel. Who are literally hanging over the brink of the pit.† They have lived for years in the best part of the vineyard, and yet borne no fruit.† They have heard the Gospel preached faithfully for hundreds of Sundays, and yet have never embraced it, and taken up the cross and followed Christ.† They do not run into open sin. But they do nothing for Godís glory.† There is nothing positive about their religion.† Of each of these the Lord of the vineyard might say with truth, ďI come these many years seeking fruit on this tree and find none.† Cut it down. It cumbereth the ground.Ē† There are myriads of professing Christians in this plight.† They have not the least idea how near they are to destruction.† Never let us forget that to be content with sitting in the congregation and hearing sermons, while we bear no fruit in our lives, is conduct that is most offensive to God. It provokes him to cut us off suddenly, and that without remedy.
II. Jesus Healed a Woman on the Sabbath (Luke -17)
A. The ed woman healed (-13):† As Jesus taught in a synagogue on the Sabbath Day, a woman came to his attention who suffered from a debilitating illness.† The Lord referred to her as ďa daughter of Abraham,Ē and Ryle believed this designation indicated that she was a godly person.† She suffered for an eighteen-year illness that left her bent and debilitated.† Luke observed that the woman suffered because of a spirit of infirmity.† Recall that Job, though a godly man, suffered greatly at the hand of Satan.† This poor, ill woman remained faithful to the worship of God despite her great affliction, and she encountered the Great Physician in the course of her faithful observance of the Sabbath. Jesus touched her, and she was immediately healed.
B. The opposition of the ruler of the synagogue (-17): Jesus, of course, had not violated the Sabbath principle by healing the infirmed woman.† The Scriptures permit and encourage acts of worship, necessity, and mercy on the Lordís Day. Christ pointed out that the ruler of the synagogue would not have hesitated for a moment to care for the physical requirements of his livestock; yet, he chafed at the Lordís concern and mercy toward a child of God. Above all, the worship of God was enhanced by this gracious act by Jesus (See vv. 13 and 17).
A. The Parable of the Mustard Seed (-19): The mustard seed, small and
grows into a great bush. The mustard plant grows so large (six to eight feet
high) that the birds roost comfortably in its branches. The
††††††††††††††††† B. The Parable of the Leaven (-21):† The Kingdom of God will not
†††††††††††††††††††††† merely grow like a mustard plant; it also permeates every aspect of a manís
††††††††††††† †††††††††being.† The work of grace is like yeast that a baker places in a lump of
†††††††††††††††††††††† dough.† The leaven permeates the entire loaf precisely as the grace of God
†††††††††††††††††††††† ďleavensĒ the entire personality of a child of God.
A. The narrow way (-33): The optimistic assertions of the two parables are balanced by Jesusí response to a question asked of the Lord.† Someone asked Jesus if only a few would be saved.† As he did on other occasions, Jesus did not directly answer the manís query.† Geldenhuys surmised that Jesus did not want his followers to focus on theoretical issues like the inquirer raised.† Instead, Jesus insisted that sinners center on the urgency of the gospel.† The Lord bid men to follow him without regret or hesitation.† The gate of repentance and faith was open, and the Master called upon sinners to enter into the narrow way while the gate stood open. The day of the open invitation to enter the gate would soon pass.† Many would plead for the Lord to open the way again, but the door of grace would remain shut.† The Lordís hearers, most of them were religiously privileged Jewish people, needed to press into the narrow way quickly.†† If they did not, they would suffer a horrible retribution of eternal anguish and abandonment. Amazingly, some of his hearers sought, probably insincerely, to flee from the wrath of Herod.† It appears that this may have been a thinly veiled effort to persuade the Lord to leave their region.
Christís lament over