Luke 13: Sorrow for the Lost

Why do we think bad things should never happen to good people?

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Luke 13:1–3 At this time, some people came to tell Jesus about Pilate and the Galileans who had been murdered as they were offering sacrifices in the Temple.
Jesus said, “Do you think, because they suffered in this way, that these Galileans were greater sinners than others? I assure you, they were not. But unless you turn to God, you will suffer a similar fate.”
King James
Luke 13:1–3 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

How does not turning to God guarantee a fate like those who were murdered or were victims of some accident?

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Luke 13:1–5 At this time, some people came to tell Jesus about Pilate and the Galileans who had been murdered as they were offering sacrifices in the Temple.
Jesus said, “Do you think, because they suffered in this way, that these Galileans were greater sinners than others? I assure you, they were not. But unless you turn to God, you will suffer a similar fate. What about those eighteen people who died when the tower of Siloam fell? Do you think they were greater sinners than everyone else in Jerusalem? I assure you, they were not. But unless you turn to God, you will suffer a similar fate.”
King James
Luke 13:1–5 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 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? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

How might Jesus have explained to his disciples the meaning of the fig tree that bore no fruit?

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Luke 13:6–9 He gave this illustration: “A man planted a fig tree in his vineyard but was disappointed when he came looking for fruit and found none. So he said to his gardener, ‘Look, for three years I’ve expected to pick fruit from this fig tree, and it is still barren. Cut it down. Why should it be allowed any space in the ground?’ ‘Sir,’ the gardener said, ‘give it one more year to bear fruit. I will cultivate it and fertilize it. Maybe it will yield figs next season. If not, I will cut it down.'”
King James
Luke 13:6–9 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. 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? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Why did the synagogue leader reprimand the people for coming for healing and not Jesus for doing the work?

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Luke 13:10–14 Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath.
A woman there, crippled by an evil spirit for eighteen years, was bent over and could not straighten up. When Jesus saw her, he said, “Woman, you are now set free from your infirmity.” After he placed his hands on her, she immediately stood up straight and praised God.
The leader of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had done work on the Sabbath, so he said to the people, “If you want to be healed, come on one of the six days when men should work, not on the Sabbath.”
King James
Luke 13:10–14 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 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. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 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.

What was hypocritical about insisting that no work be done on the Sabbath?

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Luke 13:15–17 “You hypocrites!” Jesus said. “Don’t you do work when you untie your donkey or ox from the stall and lead it to water? Shouldn’t this daughter of Abraham, who has been tied up by Satan for eighteen years, be released on the Sabbath?”
Those words humbled his critics, and the people rejoiced at the wonderful things Jesus was doing.
King James
Luke 13:15–17 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? 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? 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.

What does a mustard seed or a little yeast have in common with the Kingdom of God?

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Luke 13:18–21 Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? What analogy will help you understand? It is like someone planting a tiny mustard seed in his garden, and the plant grows until it becomes so big that birds can perch in its branches.” Again he said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? It is like a little yeast that a woman kneaded into three measures of flour and made the whole batch of dough rise.”
King James
Luke 13:18–21 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? 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. And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

What was the content of Jesus’ “salvation” message?

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Luke 13:22–29 On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went.
Someone said, “Sir, will only a few people be saved?”
Jesus said, “You must give a wholehearted effort to enter the Kingdom because the entrance is narrow. With a halfhearted effort, many will try to enter but will fail. After the homeowner rises to lock the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside, knocking, and saying, ‘Sir, open the door!’ but he will say, ‘I do not know you or where you are from.’ You will beg, saying, ‘We ate and drank with you. We heard you teaching in our streets.’ But he will answer, ‘No. I am telling you, I do not know where you are from. Get out of here, you workers of unrighteousness.’ When you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, you will cry and grit your teeth in pain because you have been shut out. People will come from everywhere, from the east, west, north, and south, to sit at God’s table in the Kingdom.”
King James
Luke 13:22–29 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 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: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 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. 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.

Why would the seats of highest and lowest honor be reversed in the Kingdom of God?

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Luke 13:30 “You see, some who have the seat of lowest honor here will have the highest there. And some who have the seat of highest honor here will have the lowest there.”
King James
Luke 13:30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

Why did Pharisees warn Jesus about a threat from Herod? Why wasn’t Jesus intimidated?

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Luke 13:33 “I must carry on my work here today, tomorrow, and the next day, because it would never do for a prophet to die outside of Jerusalem.”
King James
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.

What made Jerusalem and its Temple desolate?

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Luke 13:34–35 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. You kill the prophets and those who have been sent to you. Many times, I have wanted to gather you to myself like a hen brings her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. So now you have your desolate Temple to yourselves. You will not see me again until the day when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”
King James
Luke 13:34–35 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! 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.