The Teaching for Kingdom Members by the Son of Man, cont’d. Luke 12:1-19:27
Luke 13:1-9 The Necessity of Repentance
Luke 13:1-3-Some people came to Jesus and told him about a group of Galileans that had been killed by Pilate’s soldiers while they were making their sacrifices (there is no other record of this incident). Evidently, their own blood and the blood of their sacrifices had become mixed. Those telling Jesus assumed that because they had been killed while making their sacrifice that they were worse sinners than other people. Like many people they may have wondered, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” In this situation, it appears that they assumed that suffering is always directly proportionate to sinfulness. Or as it is said, “You get what you deserve.” Jesus quickly dismisses this incorrect thought. Suffering and death did enter into the world as the result of sin. So they were correct that there is a connection between moral evil and physical suffering. However, for an individual, the proportion of suffering is not necessarily directly connected to the degree of sin. Jesus knew that there was a danger that people might begin to think that because they had not suffered as much as others…that meant that they were better than others. So, He said that the fact is that we are all sinners and must repent. He redirected their thinking from the consequences of the sinfulness of others, to the responsibility for their own sinfulness.
Luke 13:4-5-To reinforce His point, Jesus tells of another similar incident and says again that all men must repent.
Tow in Siloam
Upon whom the tower in Siloam fell – The name Siloah or Siloam is found only three times in the Bible as applied to water – once in Isaiah 8:6, who speaks of it as running water; once as a pool near to the king’s garden in Nehemiah 3:15; and once as a pool, in the account of the Saviour’s healing the man born blind, in John 9:7-11. Josephus mentions the fountain of Siloam frequently as situated at the mouth of the Valley of Tyropoeon, or the Valley of Cheesemongers, where the fountain long indicated as that fountain is still found. It is on the south side of Mount Moriah, and between that and the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The water at present flows out of a small artificial basin under the cliff, and is received into a large reservoir 53 feet in length by 18 feet in breadth. The small upper basin or fountain excavated in the rock is merely the entrance, or rather the termination of a long and narrow subterranean passage beyond, by which the water comes from the Fountain of the Virgin. For what purpose the “tower” here referred to was erected is not known; nor is it known at what time the event here referred to occurred. It is probable that it was not far from the time when the Saviour made use of the illustration, for the manner in which he refers to it implies that it was fresh in the recollection of those to whom he spoke.
Barnes Notes on the Bible, http://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/13-4.htm
Luke 13:6-9-Jesus tells a parable of a fig tree that does not bear fruit…and will be cut down if it does not. Bearing fruit was the purpose of the tree and was the physical evidence that it was fulfilling its purpose. Repentance is the evidence that we are fulfilling our purpose. If there is no repentance…there will be judgment.
Luke 13:10-17 The Observance of the Sabbath
Luke 13:10-17-Jesus heals a woman who had been bent over double and could not even stand up straight for 18 years. The sickness was “caused by a spirit” (:16-“Satan”). This took place while Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on a Sabbath. The woman began glorifying God…and the synagogue leader became upset. What a difference of response. Could it be that the leader was jealous? How many years had he seen this woman come to the synagogue and he had done nothing? The leader says there are six days in the week to do work, the Sabbath is a day of rest. Jesus tells them that they have no problem giving their ox or donkey water on the Sabbath and by their own standards that constitutes work. Shouldn’t this woman at least be given the benefit that their animals receive? In fact, Jesus says that there is no better day in the week for her to be healed, than the Sabbath…because it is a day for worshipping God (:16).
Luke 13:18-21 The Expansive Growth of the Kingdom
Luke 13:18-21-Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed…then to leaven. In both instances, what started small grew to become much larger.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for saving me, the sinner. It is easy to judge others as being greater sinners than myself. And yet, from what You say here we are all sinners and all in need of salvation. Please help me to make Your way of salvation known to all people, from all places.