Christ Teaches On Repentance
Verse 1 – There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
Verse 2 – And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffer such things?
Verse 3 – “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Verse 4 – “Or those eighteen on whom them, do you think they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
Verse 5 – “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
It is not known why Pontius Pilate killed these 18 Galileans, but they were killed in the temple area. The widespread opinion was that these men were punished for some specific sins. Jesus was telling them that these men’s sins were no greater than their own. He switched the focus to repentance, because He knew, not very far in the future, people listening to His voice, would perish in the destruction of the entire city of Jerusalem by the Roman army. They needed to be ready by repenting when it happened. Disaster comes to the just and the unjust. Where we spend eternity is a decision we need to make while living.
Verse 6 – He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
Verse 7 – “Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; ‘Why does it use up the ground?’
This may refer to Jesus three years of ministry to the Jewish people. He had traveled throughout the country, and very few were followers. So the owner of the vineyard wanted this fig to be cut down to the ground. It was only sucking up the nutrients of the earth and producing nothing, just like the people.
Verse 8 – “But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year fertilize it.
Verse 9 – “And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”
This parable refers to Israel’s last chance before judgment. If they rejected Jesus’ message and miracles, the time for patience would be ended. However, a future hope for Israel remains, Romans 11. Look how important an intercessor is; Moses interceded for the people because God was ready to wipe them all out, but relented.
Verse 10 – Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
Verse 11 – And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.
This infirmity was brought upon this woman by an evil spirit-Satan (Luke 13:16), who by divine power of inflicting diseases on mankind, as evident from Job.
Verse 12 – But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”
Verse 13 – And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
Verse 14 – But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”
Verse 15 – The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?
Verse 16 – “So ought this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound-think of it-for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?
If the farm animals were loosed to get water on the Sabbath, should not this woman also be loosed from Satan’s bondage on the Sabbath? If they could show mercy to the animals, should not more mercy be shown to this woman?
Verse 17 – And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.
The Mustard Seed
Verse 18 – Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?
Verse 19 – “It is like a mustard seed, which man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”
The smallest of seeds is planted, just as the gospel being started with a few, was nourished and grew. The church, body of believers, was given the grace of God, which begins to grow and mature just as the mustard seed grows into a huge tree. As the grace of God gets stronger and stronger in a person, faith matures and grows also. Just as the huge mustard trees provide nesting places for many birds, so is this Gospel a place of refuge to a lost and dying world!
Verse 20 – And again He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God?
Verse 21 – “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of mill till it was all leavened.”
While it is true that leaven, or yeast, often symbolizes evil in the Bible, this passage is a clear exception. Here leaven is used positively and calls to mind the potency of Jesus message and works on behalf of humanity.
The Way to the Kingdom
Verse 22 – And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Verse 23 – Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
Verse 24 – “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
Do you know how many people sit in church Sunday after Sunday thinking they are saved and going to heaven, who are actually not saved at all? They talk the talk, but nowhere is there a changed life or a relationship with Christ. They go though the motions, but never truly submitted to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. These are those who Jesus refers to when He says: “Many will seek to enter and will not be able.
Verse 25 – “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’
By this illustration of making it to the “door,” it shows how close some will come, but not quite fully committed. They had only called Him Lord, but never had they truly and heartily yielded to obedience to Him. When the Master of the house says, “I do not know you,” it means, “They are not His,” they are strangers, not sheep of His fold.
Verse 26 – “Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ (We went to church every Sunday.)
Verse 27 – “But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.
Although many people know about God, only a few have acknowledged their sins and accepted His forgiveness. Just listening to sermons and hearing about His works are not enough. You have to turn from sin and place your faith and trust in God through the blood of Jesus Christ!
Verse 28 – “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.
So many Jews thought that because they were descendants of Abraham Isaac, and Jacob, they were entitled to enter heaven automatically, but Jesus tells them otherwise. We are not saved just because our parents are.
Verse 29 – “They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.
Verse 30 – “And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”
“Last who will be first” – Though the Gentiles were historically not part of God’s covenant people, Israel became the first to receive the Messiah. “First will be last” – By contrast the Jews were chronologically first in God’s plan, but they became spiritually last since the majority rejected Christ. Jews will only receive Christ widely near the end of the age (Romans 11:25-27).
Christ Mourns Over Jerusalem
Verse 31 – On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”
Verse 32 – And He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’
Verse 33 – “Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
Verse 34 – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!
Verse 35 – “See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ”
It is doubtful that these Pharisees wanted to protect Jesus by telling Him Herod wanted to kill Him. They just wanted Him out of their region because they were jealous of Him. By verse 32, it makes it clear, Jesus stayed another three days. Jerusalem had repeatedly rejected God’s compassionate outreach as pictured as a mother hen wanting to protect her babies. “Your house has left you desolate,” refers to the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army in 70 A.D.
“He who comes in the name of the Lord,” is quoted in Psalm 118:26, and was later shouted out at Jesus’ triumphant entry. However, here it looks beyond that to the second coming of Christ (Zechariah 12:10; Revelation 1:7).