Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Luke's Gospel Studies|
Chapter: Luke 13
Passage: Luke 13:1-9
A. Find Out:
1. What did they tell Jesus about? v.1
2. What did Jesus ask and then tell them? v.2,3
3. What then did he ask and tell them? v.4,5
4. What was Jesus' parable about? v.6
5. What did the man in the parable expect and then do? v.7
6. What did the vineyard keeper suggest? v.8,9
In the previous chapter Jesus had just been challenging the people to be alert to the times and make sure their lives were right before God. Perhaps to take the focus off themselves, some that were there told Jesus about an incident where Pilate, the Roman governor, had acted heavy-handedly and had executed some Galilean Jews while they were offering sacrifices. The point of this could be twofold: either pointing out how awful the Romans were by comparison (so we aren't that bad!), or wondering about how bad those Jews had been to warrant that sort of judgement. Jesus doesn't let us duck the truth!
Look, he says, they weren't any worse than any other Galileans, because (implied) everyone is a sinner and needs to repent – you too! Then he cites another incident that had happened, of a tower collapsing and killing the people below. Were they any more guilty? No! The truth is that everyone is the same. Everyone has the need to repent!
Then he tells a short story about a vineyard owner who had a fig tree that wouldn't bear fruit. After three years he wants to cut it down. The man who tends the vineyard for him suggests they give it one more year, doing all they can to help the plant. The implication is that this fig tree is Israel. Jesus is simply saying, you need to bear good fruit as God's people otherwise you may no longer be here!
1. Wrong Judgement
A. Find Out:
1. Who did Jesus encounter, where? v.10,11
2. What did he do and what happened? v.12,13
3. Who was indignant about what? v.14
4. What contrary illustration did Jesus give? v.15
5. How did he apply it? v.16
6. What responses did that evoke? v.17
Religion does not come out of this account very well! Religion in the form of Judaism could hold meetings in the local synagogue but it was clear from the story that their presence was limited to words. It took the Son of God to bring change to this woman's life. She had been a hunched up cripple for eighteen years and no one had been able to help her previously. Jesus walks in, sees the need and addresses it – and she's healed! What a glorious thing! How wonderful that she is set free after all this time! An opportunity for rejoicing!
Perhaps not! At least not in the eyes of the religious leader of the place! That really is the only way to describe him – a religious leader – not a spiritual leader! Instead of rejoicing at the wonderful thing that has just happened, he's upset that his usual routine of Sabbath worship is interrupted – and what's more, he sees this healing as work! How terrible when we downgrade the activity of God and call it work! Anyway Jesus plays them on their own playing field. Really, he says, you're upset because this is work on the Sabbath? Think again, don't your man-made rules of the Sabbath allow for looking after your animals? If that is so, how much more important is it that we look after people! The synagogue leaders are upset, but the people think it is wonderful – and so it was, both the healing and the rebuke!
1. Religion or Relationship?
2. Ritual or Relationship?
Chapter: Luke 13
Passage: Luke 13:18-21
A. Find Out:
1. What question did Jesus next ask? v.18
2. To what does Jesus first compare it? v.19a
3. Into what did it grow? v.19b
4. To what next does he compare it? v.20a
5. What happened to it? v.20b
Jesus now asks about the kingdom of God. Why? How does that fit with what has just happened? References to the kingdom of God are about the reign or rule of God on earth. How does He rule? In and through people, and by sovereign acts! These chapters have all been about the values of Christians, of those living under God's rule. Jesus has just broken a woman free from Satan's hold (v.16) – the rule of God has come and delivered her. So then he gives two illustrations, very simple but very vivid, that speak about this.
First he likens God's rule on earth to a mustard seed being planted. Such a seed grows into a big tree. Surely Jesus is saying that his activities are like the mustard seed – activities of one person that will grow and multiply greatly. If that is so, then he is saying that the rule of God as seen through men and women is going to be visibly seen to increase and increase. Just as we see God ruling through Jesus, so He wants to be seen through us.
Then he uses the analogy of yeast in flour. A woman preparing bread starts off with a lot of flour and a small amount of yeast, but by the time she's finished preparing the mix, the yeast will have multiplied and spread right the way throughout the flour. The message is clear: the work of God through Jesus may start out small, in one small geographical location, but it will spread throughout the world by the time the Lord has finished His work!
1. An expression of Jesus?
2. Faith for increase?
Chapter: Luke 13
Passage: Luke 13:22-30
A. Find Out:
1. What was Jesus doing and what was asked of him? v.22,23
2. What did he say to do and why? v.24
3. What does he warn will happen? v.25
4. What will be their plea but with what answer? v.26,27
5. Who will come in, but who will be left out? v.28,29
6. What principle does he state? v.30
As Jesus now travels around teaching, someone asks him about who will be saved. The motivation behind the question is not clear but Jesus reply, as always, says, “You make sure YOU get saved!”
The key to salvation is shown in verse 24 which is a shortened version of that shown in Mt 7:13,14. The key words are “make every effort” and “narrow door”. This is not to say work for your salvation but seek God earnestly and come through the door of repentance and righteousness. But these aren't the emphasis of what Jesus is saying in this passage. Most of the passage is taken up with warning about failure to enter the kingdom.
His first warning is that many will expect to enter (the Jews of his day) but find they can't (v.24).
The second warning is that the time for entry will be limited because the Owner (God) will eventually shut the door (v.25).
The third warning is not to assume that because they had Jesus in their towns that that was sufficient (v.26). It isn't.
The fourth warning is that it is only men of faith who will enter, those who had a relationship with God and who were obedient to Him (v.28).
The fifth warning is that people from other nations will come and the Jews' privileged status will count for nothing (v.29).
His final warning is that those who only recently heard will be before those who heard long back (v.30).
1. A Seeker?
2. Jesus is central
Chapter: Luke 13
Passage: Luke 13:31-35
A. Find Out:
1. Who told Jesus to do what, and why? v.31
2. What did Jesus say he was going to do? v.32
3. How did he qualify that? v.33
4. What did he then say about Jerusalem? v.34
5. What condemnation did he make? v.35
Jesus is making his way towards Jerusalem. As he draws near, the Pharisees from there are included in his audience and they try to turn him away with scare tactics – saying that Herod wants to kill him. But they don't know who they are dealing with and what his plans are. Jesus knows the future, knows what will happen and knows why it will happen, so the thought of death does not put him off.
He simply declares his intention to continue his ministry and then arrive at Jerusalem – where he will die (implied in v.33). Jerusalem is clearly his destination and so then he speaks about the city in what can only be described as a prophetic utterance.
He describes Jerusalem as a place that killed God's messengers. He speaks (as from God?) of having wanted to gather and look after the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the same way that a mother hen does her chicks, but they had never wanted that. Indeed, he goes on to say, your house – the Temple perhaps, or at least the city itself – is left desolate.
Now what does he mean by that? In the light of all that has gone before, it must mean that if you look at the state of Jerusalem, it is overrun by the Romans, it is spiritually dead and God is not in the Temple and nothing will change or improve until he, Jesus, returns. Possibly there is also prophecy here about the destruction of Jerusalem that would come in AD70 and its desolate state for the following centuries.
2. Called by God!
In this final group of 5 studies we have seen Jesus :
The content of this chapter is mixed. It is mostly teaching but it is interspersed with a healing/deliverance. The content of the teaching that is in this chapter could be summarised by “Be Ready!” Readiness in the kingdom of God, is doing what God wants you to do. If that involves repentance, then repent and make sure your life is right to meet Him. It means coming into the kingdom by the right way – repentance, and then responding rightly to God through Jesus and His Holy Spirit once you are in it. The Jews of Jesus' day were warned and warned in this chapter – but failed to heed the warning. Hence in AD70 Jerusalem was destroyed and Israel was in the wilderness for two thousand years!
1. Accident happen in a Fallen world & aren't signs of judgement.
2. Jesus looks for fruit from all of us.
3. Jesus is more concerned about people than about special days.
4. Unrighteous hearts will always be critical of Jesus.
5. The kingdom may have small beginnings but it will have a big end..
6. The kingdom of God will spread through the world before the end.
7. The way into the kingdom is narrow – by repentance only.
8. Many will not enter and will be shut out and judged.
Ask the Lord to give you a teachable heart, that is open and responsive to Him so that you do not miss out on anything that He has for you.
In these studies we have seen:
CONCLUSION - Luke 10 to 13
As we come to the end of this set of studies, we could perhaps take note of the following things that come out in them:
1. Human Questions
One of the things that stands out in Luke's Gospel is the amount of interaction of Jesus with people. Much of his teaching in these chapters comes as a result of comments or questions from people. e.g. 10:17,25,29,40 / 11:1,15,27,37,38,45 / 12:13,41 / 13:1,14,23,31. Jesus was clearly someone who the people felt they could speak to and ask questions of. There is a desire to know being exhibited in these chapters. Where Jesus is (being expressed) today, we should expect the same interest and desire to know.
The questions in these chapters range from how to receive eternal life to how to divide up an inheritance, and also include things about work, about how to pray, about the power for deliverance, about ritual cleanliness, about his teaching, about judgement through accidents, about working on the day of rest, about who will be saved, and about safety from opposition.
2. Divine Answers
Asking questions of Jesus is dangerous, because sometime we ask questions to appear spiritual, but Jesus always then focuses the question back on us – how about you? Jesus “answers” are a combination of teaching of truths (mainly through parable/stories) and questions.
Straight forward imparting of information came in response, for example, to ‘Lord, I'm doing all the work' (10:40), ‘teach us to pray' (11:1), and the challenge about being insulted (11:45), but pictures were given, for example, in response to the challenge about demons (11:15 -), the challenge about cleanliness (11:38). Questions were asked of the lawyer (10:26,36) and the synagogue ruler and his cohorts (13:15 ,16).
3. The Overall Scene
In this part of Luke, he shows us the tremendous interaction that going on, which we've already commented on above. Luke is a people-person and he shows us the tremendous amount of dialogue that was going on between Jesus and the people. The question that remains, is do we do the same with the people round about us?