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Parables of Suppers (Luke 13,14)

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"Are there few that be saved?"

The Woman Bound by Satan Luke  13:11-17




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Luke 13

The problem of suffering
Now there were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered and said to them: Do you think that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they have suffered these things? 3 I tell you no, but unless you repent, you shall all in like manner perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them. Do you think that they were offenders above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you no, but unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
   6 And he spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit thereon and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser: Behold, these three years I came seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground? 8 And he answering said to him: Master, leave it alone this year also, I shall dig about it and fertilize it. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you shall cut it down.
   10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. 11 And a woman was there who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years; she was bent over and could in no way straighten herself. 12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her: Woman, you are free from your infirmity. 13 And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 And the ruler of the synagogue, being moved with indignation because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, answered and said to the crowd: There are six days in which men ought to work. In them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. 15 But the Lord answered them and said: You hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath release his ox or his ass from the stall and lead him away for watering? 16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, to have been freed from this bond on the Sabbath day? 17 And as he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the crowd rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

Brief parables of the Kingdom
   18 He replied: To what is the kingdom of God like? And unto what shall I liken it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in the branches of it.
   20 And again he said: Unto what shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 It is like the yeast which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all raised.

The last judgment
22 And he went on his way through cities and villages, teaching and journeying on to Jerusalem. 23 And one said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? And he said to them: 24 Strive to enter in by the narrow door. For I say to you, many shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
   25 When the master of the house is risen and has shut the door, and you begin to stand without and to knock at the door, saying: Lord, open to us!- he shall answer and say to you: I do not know who you are. 26 Then shall you begin to say: We did eat and drink in your presence, and you did teach in our streets. 27 And he shall say: I tell you, I do not know from where you are. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves cast out. 29 And they shall come from the east and the west, and from the north and the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.

Sorrow for Jerusalem
   31 In that very hour certain Pharisees came warning him: Get out and leave here. For Herod wants to kill you. 32 And he said to them: Go and say to that fox, Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow; and on the third day I shall reach my goal. 33 Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following. For it cannot be possible that a prophet can die anywhere except Jerusalem.
   34 O Jerusalem! Jerusalem that kills the prophets and stones them that are sent to her! How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you shall not see me, until you shall say: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.



13:3 Sin and suffering aren’t necessarily related in this life. The book of Job is all about this. Indeed, the wicked prosper. But sin will have its recompense- which creates the necessity for the coming of the day of judgment when Jesus returns.

13:7 The “man” who owned the vineyard [Israel] is God; the “vinedresser” is Jesus. The three years are the three years of Christ’s ministry. Jesus knew God so well that He asked Him to delay His plan to destroy Israel, to give them yet more opportunity to give spiritual fruit (v. 8). Moses and other Bible characters showed us that we can reason with God, and in some cases He is prepared to change His stated intentions. Prayer is so powerful! Earlier, Israel were the vine and the Lord Jesus the vinedresser. But now we are the vine, and God Himself the vinedresser (Jn. 15:1). We are in good hands; and the Father and Son who through Biblical history showed themselves so sensitive to spiritual fruit are the very same ones who will meet us in the last day.

13:21 The Gospel is like leaven [yeast]. It can influence a huge amount of flour. The Gospel we preach has more power and potential to radically change people than we realize.

13:23 We all tend to wonder about such questions of Divine ‘fairness’. Jesus gives no answer but says that we should focus instead upon our own salvation (v. 24)- rather than dabble in questions which are God’s concern and beyond our comprehension.

13:25 The ideas of standing at the door and knocking are all found in Rev. 3:20, where Jesus says that He does this to us. If we’ve not opened to Him, not responded to His promptings in this life, then He will not open the door to eternity to us when He comes again.

13:26 Eat and drink in your presence- A reference to the fact they had participated in the communion service? There will be some who break bread who will not be saved ultimately. We must ask “Lord, is it I?”.

13:28 You shall see… yourselves- The purpose of the judgment process will be for our benefit, to help people see themselves from outside of themselves, to see themselves as they really are. It’s not in order for God to gather information and make a verdict; He knows all things. In this sense, “judgment” is a metaphor not to be pushed too far.