REPENT OR PERISHLuke 13:1-21 October 2, 2011
Luke 13:1-5 1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
“on the same occasion” helps connect this teaching of Jesus to the one which ends chapter 12. • 12:49ff—obviously a “judgment” is coming • They could tell signs of the weather, but could not see the “sign of the times” • Perhaps His hearers viewed this slaughter as typical of that to which Jesus is referring.
“Galileans were always liable to get involved in political trouble, because they were a highly inflammable people. Just about this time Pilate had been involved in serious trouble. He had decided rightly that Jerusalem needed a new and improved water supply. He proposed to build it and finance it with Temple monies. It was a laudable object and a more than justifiable expenditure. But at the very idea of spending Temple monies like that, the Jews were up in arms. When the mobs gathered, Pilate instructed his soldiers to mingle with them, wearing cloaks over their battle dress for disguise. They were instructed to carry daggers rather than swords. At a given signal they were to fall on the mob and disperse them. This was done, but the soldiers dealt with the mob with a violence far beyond their instructions and a considerable number of people lost their lives.” Being the time of sacrifice, obviously their blood mingled with that of the animals being offered at that moment.
The reference to the eighteen who perished in the tower collapse is even more obscure. • Whether it was a collapse of the city wall on innocent people standing near, or the workmen on scaffold, who died near the pool of Siloam, hard to tell! • The term translated “sinners” is the Greek word for “debtors.” (Debtors to God, since we all owe Him obedience?)
It was the common view that disaster came upon men as a punishment for sin. Jesus does not single out these for this horrible death merely because they were sinners. His point is not that all men sin, and are in danger of a kindred disaster. This calamity gave these no time to repent, so Jesus is urging his hearers to repent while there is time and opportunity.
Luke 13:6-9 6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
This parable carries on with the same thought, opportunity to repent does not last forever. “A fig tree normally takes three years to reach maturity. If it is not fruiting by that time it is not likely to fruit at all.” BUT IT WAS BEING GIVEN ONE MORE OPPORTUNITY!! Israel had been given every chance, but had steadfastly failed to be “debtors” to God. Jesus is saying they have one last opportunity—HIM
Luke 13:10-17 10 And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” 13 And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. 14 But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him? 16 And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.
Here is an example of “how” the people had failed to see themselves as “debtors” to God. • Meticulous and unmerciful legalism had replaced “love your neighbor as yourself” • Keeping their concept of the Sabbath was of paramount importance to them • They loved systems more than they loved people.
POINTS TO NOTE: 1. This is the last time we read of Jesus being in a Synagogue 2. This woman’s condition was a spinal spondylitis, a deformity of her vertebrae. 3. The result was that she was bent over, for eighteen years 4. There is no indication that the woman knew Jesus nor that she asked for healing. He apparently takes the initiative. 5. He placed His hands on her--seldom do we see Jesus do this, never when “casting out demons” 6. Though Jesus heals her, she praises God.
7. The ruler of the Synagogue, though really intending his remarks for Jesus, talks to the multitude. 8. Jesus uses the plural term “hypocrites” showing He was speaking not only to the ruler, but to all who agreed with him. 9. Watering an animal on the Sabbath—their law says a man might draw water from a well and pour it into a trough, but he could not hold a bucket to allow an animal to drink from it. 10. Verse 16 in the original literally says this woman “must” be loosed. 11.There were two very distinct reactions to Jesus here.
“Satan has bound” 1. To what extend does illness come from Satan? 2. Is that true even to today? 3. Does the fact that Jesus heals her on the Sabbath show that God does not want to allow Satan power even one moment when there is a possible way out?
Luke 13:18-21 18 So He was saying, “What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES.” 20 And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”
Based on this incident, Jesus give two kindred parables. “Therefore” connects these parables to the incident of the healing of this woman. Just exactly what point Jesus is making is of some doubt, but He at least is letting his followers know that although time and opportunity might be small, great changes could occur to the one willing to repent.