Luke 13 Bible Commentary

B. W. Johnson’s Bible Commentary

(Read all of Luke 13)
Christ Still Teaching.

SUMMARY.--The Galileans Slain by Pilate. Those on Whom the Tower of Siloam Fell. The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree. The Suffering Woman Healed in the Synagogue. Parable of the Mustard Seed and Leaven. Entering in at the Strait Gate. The Warning about Herod. The Woe of Jerusalem.

      1. Some . . . which told him of the Galileans, etc. The incident referred to is not mentioned elsewhere. Tumults at the temple and bloody interference by the Romans were common. On this occasion, no doubt, many had been slain in the temple courts, and from what follows it is evident that those who brought the word thought it a judgment.

      3. I tell you, Nay. He does not deny that they were sinners, but that they were greater sinners than others. Except ye repent. All were so great sinners that only repentance could save them. It was only a generation until the words of the Lord were strikingly fulfilled. The impenitent Jewish nation was destroyed by the Roman sword, as were those Galileans.

      4, 5. Those eighteen, on whom the tower of Siloam fell. Nothing is known of the incident. The lesson is the same as before. These did not perish because they were greater sinners. All must repent or perish. Siloam was a suburb of Jerusalem, south of the city.

      6-9. Had a fig tree. A common fruit in Palestine. It represents here the Jewish nation. Found none. The nation did not glorify God by fruitfulness in righteousness. Three years. The period of Christ's ministry among the Jews. Cut it down. As worthless. Let it alone this year also. The last year of opportunity was then being given. After that year and the final rejection of Christ the doom of the nation was sealed.

      10-17. Behold, a woman who had a spirit of infirmity. This case of healing in the synagogue on the Sabbath is only given by Luke. We do not know when or where it occurred. In Matt. 12:10-13 and Mark 3:1-5, is recorded a similar case. The disease of the woman was probably paralysis. The ruler of the synagogue. The president of the body of elders. Moved with indignation. Because he thought Jesus had broken the Sabbath. The Mosaic law did not forbid healing on the Sabbath, but the "Tradition of the Elders" did. There are six days. He argues that the woman could have been healed on a week day. Thou hypocrite. Because he would help his ox or ass out of trouble on the Sabbath, but would not so help a human being. Whom Satan hath bound. All disease is the offspring of sin, but from Satan came sin.

      18-21. For notes on the parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven, see Matt. 13:31-33.

      22. He went on his way through the cities. It is supposed, east of the Jordan, in Perea.

      23. Are there few that be saved? The same question is often asked now. Christ never answers it, but bids the questioner to look out for his own salvation.

      24. Strive to enter in by the narrow door. The language implies that effort, earnest, agonizing is necessary. The word "strive" in the Greek is the one from whence our word agonize comes. The narrow door. The door of the kingdom is so narrow that we cannot take our sins, our lusts, our worldliness and worldly pleasures in with us.

      25. Hath shut the door. Even that narrow door shall be shut. The time of opportunity will pass by. Even here on earth, the heart hardens so that it will be impossible to stir it to repentance.

      26, 27. We did eat and drink in thy presence. Compare with Matt. 7:22, where see notes.

      28, 29. Ye shall see Abraham. See notes on Matt. 8:11, 12.

      30. The last shall be first. See notes on Matt. 20:16.

      31. There came certain of the Pharisees. Their object was to frighten Jesus away, and hence they asserted that Herod, Herod Antipas, would kill him. He was the tetrarch of Galilee and ruler of the country beyond the Jordan, who slew John the Baptist. See notes on Matt. 2:1.

      32, 33. Tell that fox. Herod's most marked characteristic was unscrupulous cunning. The Lord uses the term to indicate that he understood the scheme. It was an artifice of Herod and the Pharisees to get him away. Herod was afraid to kill him on account of his popularity. I perform cures to-day. The meaning is, "I will attend to my present work here, which is only for a little season," and the third day, in a short time. I shall be perfected. By the suffering at Jerusalem. See Heb. 2:10. In other words, he will go freely about his work, but will soon be put to death, but not by Herod, who had no jurisdiction at Jerusalem. In that city he would die, for It cannot be that a prophet should perish out of Jerusalem.

      34, 35. O Jerusalem. See notes on Matt. 23:37-39. These words were probably uttered twice.