Day 1: (Read Lk 13:1-9). “Called to Repentance”
1 13:1 Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
2 3 4 13:2 He answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all
the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? 13:3 No, I tell you! But unless
5 6 7 you repent, you will all perish as well! 13:4 Or those eighteen who were killed when 8 the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the
9 10 others who live in Jerusalem? 13:5 No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all
11 12 13 14 perish as well!”13:6 Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted
15 in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 13:7 So he said to 16 17 the worker who tended the vineyard, „For three years now, I have come looking for
18 19 fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it I find none. Cut it down! Why
20 21 22 should it continue to deplete the soil?‟ 13:8 But the worker answered him, „Sir,
23 24 leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. 13:9 Then if it 25 26 27 bears fruit next year, very well, but if not, you can cut it down.‟”
(Lk 13:1-5) The Jews looked at tragedies and concluded that the victims must have
deserved it. But what lesson did Jesus want them to learn from the sudden deaths?
2. (Lk 13:6-9) what does this passage about the fig tree tell us about Jesus’ mission? ________________________________________________________________________
3. What does the passage tell us about the response God expects of His people?
Luke gives us more of Jesus’ parables that
any other Gospel – (16 parables). For the
most part, Jesus used parables to explain
to his followers the Kingdom of God and
the type of faith needed to enter the
Definition: At its simplest a parable is a metaphor or simile drawn What is a "Parable"?
from nature or common life arresting the hearer by its vividness or
strangeness and engaging the listener into active thought. It conveys
a lesson or moral. “It is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.”
Implications of this definition: The meaning of most parables is not so obvious, or at least it shouldn't be. If
we assume we know what Jesus is
talking about, we are probably missing
the main point; if we are too familiar
with the story (having heard it so often
before), we might not think carefully
enough about its real meaning.
Most parables contain some element that is
strange or unusual. They should cause you to
say, "Wait a minute! That's not how farmers
do their work! That's not what kings usually
do! That's not what normally happens in
nature!" And this strange element should cause you to think!
Parables do not define things precisely, but rather use comparisons to describe some
aspect of how God acts or interacts with human beings. 2/3 of Jesus’ Parables center on the Kingdom of God.
Jesus, the Greatest Parable: In Chapter 13 Luke sets the scene for the greatest parable of all, Jesus. Jesus, the carpenter and itinerant preacher is amazingly
revealed as the Messiah who will inaugurate the Reign of God by his death and
resurrection. The main players in the ―Great Parable‖ are presented: Pontius Pilate, King
Herod, the Pharisees and scribes, the apostles, the crowd and Jesus the Savior.
Unfortunately the religious leaders reject Jesus as the One Sent by God. This will not
deter Jesus from his mission to usher in a new creation, a new era, a spirit filled
anointing—the Reign of God.
Call to Repentance: Luke 13: 1-5. With urgency Jesus calls for his people, the Jewish nation to reform their lives and accept
God’s word. He draws upon two current tragedies trying to move the people to
1. Galileans killed by Pilate: Although Jesus was a Galilean himself and Pilate was
a hard-hearted Roman official he uses the sensational tragedy to call his people to
repentance. Jesus insists that the Galilean victims did not suffer the sacrilegious
death because they were greater sinners than others. However, their sudden
deaths challenge those who remain to reform their lives while there is still time.
Yet the time is quickly running out. His death and resurrection is swiftly
approaching. Pilate will play his role.
2. Jews who were killed by fallen tower: Now in an accidental tragedy in which
18 countrymen from Jerusalem were killed Jesus emphasizes the consequences
for those who do not reform and accept the Kingdom of God.
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree: Luke
compares individuals and the nation of Israel
to a barren fig tree. The fig tree was a
common symbol for the Jewish nation. Jesus
has labored for three years to produce the fruit
of repentance and acceptance. Little time
remains for his people. Like the fig tree, the
nation will be removed expressly because of
its inactivity and unproductiveness in God’s
mission. This is the ―greater sin.‖ This is a
message that applies for all ages.
Luke placed this story after the parable of the
fig tree to show how the tree of Israel was responding to its last chance before being cut.
“Cure on the Sabbath” Day 2: Read Lk 13:10-17.
28 13:10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, 13:11 and a 29 30 31 woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was
32 33 bent over and could not straighten herself up completely. 13:12 When Jesus saw
34 35 36 her, he called her to him and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.”
37 38 39 13:13 Then he placed his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and
praised God. 13:14 But the president of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had
40 healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, “There are six days on which work should
41 42 be done! So come and be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day.” 13:15
43 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath 44 45 untie his ox or his donkey from its stall, and lead it to water? 13:16 Then
46 47 48 shouldn‟t this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen
49 50 long years, be released from this imprisonment on the Sabbath day?” 13:17 When
51 52 53 he said this all his adversaries were humiliated, but the entire crowd was
54 55 rejoicing at all the wonderful things he was doing.
1. What do you think the woman could symbolize in this healing story?
2. What has held you down or held you back in the past?
3. What did Jesus reveal about the spirit of the synagogue leader?
Cure on the Sabbath: Luke 13:10-17.
Luke placed this healing account after the parable of the fig tree to show how the nation
of Israel was refusing to repent and accept Jesus’ proclamation of salvation. Likewise,
this is Jesus’ last appearance in a Jewish synagogue as a teacher. He will be completely
rejected by the religious authorities. Yet by Jesus healing the woman not only in the
synagogue but also on the Sabbath it demonstrates boldly and clearly that he is the true authority.
The woman represents the Jewish faithful who have been held done by the empty
application of their leaders’ ways. They have norms and regulations but lack the spirit to
give them meaning. She has been in bondage for 18 long years. Setting her free on the
Sabbath and in the synagogue shows that Jesus has the spirit and power to save Israel.
Jesus emphatically points out that it is precisely on the Sabbath that the woman should
have been released for bondage. This is the action of God to save and free His sons and
daughters. Likewise, Jesus holds up the dignity of the woman. The religious leaders
treated their beasts of burden better than this daughter of Abraham. She deserves far
greater and has received it.
PARABLES OF THE REIGN OF GOD
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is the Kingdom preacher- par excellence. Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God is one of an event that
is about to break into human history. It is not a lecture on the
nature of God’s kingship or kingdom. Rather he prepares the world for his Father’s power and presence in the lives of all who
will receive Him. The Reign of God is about to enter humanity
through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Day 3: Read Lk 13:18-21. “Parables”
56 57 58 59 60 13:18 Thus Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what 61 should I compare it? 13:19 It is like a mustard seed that a man took and
62 63 64 in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the wild birdssowed65 66 67 nested in its branches.”13:20 Again he said, “To what should I compare
68 the kingdom of God? 13:21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed 69 70 71 with three measures of flour until all the dough had risen.”
1. How is the Kingdom of God like a mustard seed?
2. How is the Kingdom of God like yeast?
Parable of the Mustard Seed: Luke 13:18-19.
This first parable of the Kingdom draws its illustration
from a common plant known to the inhabitants of Palestine.
This parable evokes to mind:
1. How from a small beginning the Kingdom of God
grows inevitably into a great phenomenon in human
2. That God’s divine plan is active in our lives as the
growth of a mustard tree. Jesus’ challenge: Are
humans ready to build their ―nests‖ in the Kingdom
Parable of the Yeast: Luke 13:20-21. The parable compares the Kingdom of God with
leaven and its unseen power to infuse the whole mass of dough into which it is mixed.
Flour is important for bread, but without leaven there is no real bread! The forming
power of leaven is needed above all. God’s Reign will infuse and raise humanity to its
true purpose and identity.
These first two parables are paired together. They present the in breaking of Kingdom as
an inevitable growth and as an active power restoring humanity. The Kingdom of God is
an event that will develop and renew our lives. It embraces all humanity, men and
women. The first parable presents a man participating in the emergence of the Kingdom.
The second parable presents a woman who cooperates with the power of the Kingdom of
Day 4: Lk 13:22-30. “The door to the Kingdom”
72 73 74 75 13:22 Then Jesus traveled throughout towns and villages, teaching
76 77 78 79 and making his way toward Jerusalem. 13:23 Someone asked him, 80 81 “Lord, will only a few be saved?” So he said to them, 13:24 “Exert every
82 effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to
83 84 enter and will not be able to. 13:25 Once the head of the house gets up
85 and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the
86 87 88 let us in!‟ But he will answer you, „I don‟t know door and beg him, „Lord, 89 where you come from.‟ 13:26 Then you will begin to say, „We ate and drank
90 91 in your presence, and you taught in our streets.‟ 13:27 But he will reply,92 93 „I don‟t know where you come from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!‟94 95 13:28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see
96 97 Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but
98 99 100 you yourselves thrown out. 13:29 Then people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their places at the banquet table
101 102 103 104 105 in the kingdom of God. 13:30 But indeed, some are last who will
be first, and some are first who will be last.”
1. In what sense is the door to the Kingdom narrow? (Lk 13:25-27).
2. In what sense is the door to the Kingdom wide? (Lk 13:28-30).
THE DOOR TO THE KINGDOM: Luke13:22-30.
Jesus follows up the two parables about the Kingdom with two
teachings about the Kingdom. Both use the image of a door.
1. The narrow door: The Jewish belief held that the whole
nation of Israel would be saved. Jesus introduces the
image of a narrow door. The entrance to the Kingdom is
not made for crowds. Each person is responsible to the call
of grace. Jesus personally urges his listeners to strive (put
full effort) into entering God’s Reign. Our cooperation
with the grace of God is essential.
2. The master’s door: Entrance into the kingdom also, depends upon the master of
the house. The master is indirectly identified with Jesus himself who personally
knows those who have made the effort to participate. The entrance is to the
joyous banquet of the Kingdom that God abundantly opens to all who truly seek
Him, Gentile as well as Jew. In fact the last to arrive in salvation history, the
Gentiles will become the first to fully embrace Jesus and enter.
Day 5: Lk 13:31-35. “Prophets die in Jerusalem?
106 107 13:31 At that time, some Pharisees came up and said to Jesus,108 109 110 “Get away from here, because Herod wants to kill you.” 13:32
111 112 113 But he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, „Look, I am casting out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the
114 115 third day I will complete my work. 13:33 Nevertheless I must
116 go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is
117 118 119 impossible that a prophet should be killed outside Jerusalem.‟ 13:34
120 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who 121 122 are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children
123 together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have
124 125 none of it! 13:35 Look, your house is forsaken! And I tell you, you will not
see me until you say, „Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!‟”
1. What was Jesus’ attitude toward Herod?
2. Jesus called his people to repentance. He warned them about their stubbornness. He
performed signs and they rejected him. Yet how did Jesus feel about his rebellious
PROPHETS DIE IN JERUSALEM: Luke 13:31-35. King Herod the Fox: Luke 13:31-33.
Herod was a political puppet of the Roman Empire. He was one of the Jewish kings that
Rome placed in power. Herod has already murdered John the Baptist (Lk. 3:19-20).
Jesus knows that he desires to kill him also. The Pharisees warn Jesus about Herod only
because they want Jesus to leave their territory. Jesus shows disdain for Herod and
definitely has no fear of him. In fact most of the Jewish nation despised Herod as weak
and treacherous. Jesus nicknamed him ―fox‖. In Jewish thought, the fox was considered
cunning but base. Jesus does not leave the area because of Herod’s threats. Instead he
foretells that Herod will not cause his death. Rather the Judean powers in Jerusalem will
bring about his death. Like the prophets before him, Jesus will die in Jerusalem.
The lament over Jerusalem: Luke 13:34-35. Jesus foresaw that his people’s stubbornness would bring about their destruction. God’s presence was already absent from the Temple. In 70 AD, less than 40 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection
the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem was totally demolished and never rebuild.
Yet this passage shows what is in his heart for his nation. In comparing himself to a
mother-bird, Jesus uses a widely understood image to express his own love and concern
for his contemporaries. He reveals what is in his Father’s heart for the chosen people.
But Jerusalem will not seek its security in the protective wings on the heaven-sent bearer
of God’s wisdom. So it will be left like a helpless fledging, its house will be left
However, Jesus will bless Jerusalem when he enters it for the last time to embrace the
cross. Then they will proclaim, ―Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.‖