The Narrow Door
Comments for Study 26
Memory Verse: 24
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE JESUS' LATER MINISTRY TRAVELS.
CLICK HERE FOR A TIMELINE FROM BABYLON TO HEROD & ROMAN CONTROL OVER ISRAEL.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE A CHART COMPARING JESUS' PARABLES.
I. Unless You Repent (1-9)
>1. What terrible thing did Pilate do to some Galileans?
* Luke 13:1 "Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices."
* Luke is the only one to record the Galileans blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Luke is in the middle of recording many events unique to his gospel. This unique record started in Luke 9:51 (or Luke 10:1) and continues to Luke 18:14 (i.e., the sending of the seventy-two in Luke 10:1-23, a unique visit to Martha and Mary's house in Luke 10:38-42, ten healed of leprosy in Luke 17:11-19). Much in these eight plus chapters are parables unique to Luke's gospel. (See a chart comparing Jesus' parables by using the link above.) Luke 18:15, Matthew 19:13, and Mark 10:13 record the same event, people bringing little children to Jesus. The events only recorded in Luke's mid-chapters seems to document events that happened during Jesus' trip to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (winter) as John 10:22 records. Jesus was crucified during the Feast of Passover (spring). If these facts are true then its possible that Luke 17:11 or possibly Luke 18:31 documents the start of Jesus' final trip to Jerusalem. (See chart to the right.)
* "there were some present at that time" -Most likely those who brought this information to Jesus were disciples. At least pretend disciples brought this news to Jesus' attention.
* "the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices" -Galileans had traveled to the temple in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices. Their blood became a part of their sacrifices by the hand of Pilate, a well historically documented tyrant.
* "Galileans" -Jesus and most of his disciples were from Galilee. Jesus was probably in Galilee at this time. Luke 13:31 states that Jesus was still in Herod's territory and Luke 13:22 states that he was traveling to Jerusalem.
* "Pilate" -Pilate was the Roman appointed governor (procurator) of the area; probably appointed by Caesar. Many in Rome were anti-Semite including Pilate. His reign started in A.D. 26. Tablets with his name on it have been found in Palestine. Pilate had put up a Roman emblem in the temple and removed it only when the Jews said they will die trying to move it themselves. He committed other acts that upset the Jews and the Samaritans. His position was in jeopardy at this time. Shortly after Jesus crucifixion he was called back to Rome. Pilate was a highly successful man until shortly after he was made governor of Palestine.
* "whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices" -Some commentators state that these Galileans were killed. However, the wording here doesn't say that they were killed. Jesus does state that they suffered, but not that they were killed. One explanation is that these Galileans were attacked while they were offering sacrifices until they bleed and that blood mixed with their sacrifices, or more likely is that Pilate ordered his soldiers to stop the sacrifice, cut them, and poured out their blood into the sacrifices.
* No historical evidence exists outside of Luke's gospel that this happened. Though it is well documented that Pilate committed many awful acts like this against the Jews.
* This was an act of sacrilege to any devout Jew.
>Why did some tell Jesus?
* Most likely they wanted Jesus to do something about Pilate's horrific act believing as the Messiah, Jesus was sent to stop such evil acts.
* Jesus had been speaking about judgment, so either they looked for judgement against Pilate, or these Galileans were being punished by God for some sin. Jews believed that God brings judgement on his people through other nations as the Lord himself explained about the Babylonian conquest.
* The book of Job deals with the subject of why people suffer. Job's friends believed that he suffered because of some secret sin which he needed to confess. Job's friends were wrong.
* Jews were very frustrated and wearied by the Roman occupation.
* The fact that Jesus was from Galilee was a well known fact during his ministry.
* Oppression from others comes to all in one way or another.
* The one who told Jesus this was trying to manipulate him. We humans try to manipulate others all the time whether purposely or out of habit whether for good or as is usually the case for selfish reasons. Jesus was not manipulated.
>What did Jesus teach them about the relationship between sin and suffering? (2-3)
* Luke 13:2-3 "Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
* Sin and suffering doesn't always indicate the other. Suffering doesn't always happen because a sin we committed, and sin isn't always an indication that we will suffer. The fact is that we all sin (Romans 3:9-18) and we all suffer.
* 1 Peter 4:12-19
* They had a standard and they thought that they were better than the average, not just good enough but better than others. Place any name and any people group throughout the ages in replace of the pronouns and this would be true. Place yourself there too. Do you acknowledge your weaknesses, faults, and sin, but rationalize them away by saying, "True, but I'm not that bad, not as bad as others."?
* Does everything have a purpose? Does suffering have a purpose? Does sin have a purpose? Yes to all three questions. Though God is not the cause of suffering and sin he can use them as a purpose to a good end. (Romans 8:28)
* Jesus' reply to the statement surely was not what was expected.
>What warning did he give?
* "unless you repent, you too will all perish."
* Jesus command to repent, meaning to change ones ways, implies that we all do wrong and we all refrain from doing what is right and need to stop these and do the opposite.
* Perish here is "kathairo" in Greek meaning "to cleanse, to prune, and to expiate."
* Jesus' directly states that sin has an absolute finish of perishing.
* The death of the Galileans was equated to Jesus' declaration of perish here. Death is perishing here.
* Death is the result of sin. (Romans 6:23)
* The more important why question to ask is, "Why did Jesus make this shocking and judgemental declaration?" Jesus wasn't being harsh or self-righteous. Rather, he wanted people to accept their guilt so that they could turn to God's salvation.
>2. What other tragic event did Jesus mention?
* Luke 13:4-5 "Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
* Jews in Jerusalem in Jesus' day believed they were better than Galileans. Galileans had little to counter the belief. Jesus' disciples were also impressed by the Jews of Jerusalem. (Luke 18:26)
* Jesus changed the topic to talk about Jews from Jerusalem. They were no different from other people in God's eyes.
* Jesus was brought to the attention of an act of man. Jesus brought them to the attention of an act of God meaning not that God caused this, but that no one pushed the tower down onto these people.
>How is it different and the same as the previous?
* "do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?"
* The similarities between the two is a tragic and shocking end to an awful and dreadful action. The differences here is the origin of the cause and to whom did the act fall upon.
* "do you think" -Jesus wanted them to make a judgment here.
* What we call an "act of God" is not necessarily something God did on a whim or out of improper motives, but rather they are something that we cannot say a human caused it. To state that a natural disaster like a earthquake, a flood, a drought, or a hurricane is something God did might not be accurate. The Lord did bring judgments to Sodom and Gomorrah as well as Egypt in the time of Moses through natural disasters. The important thing to remember is that they were judgements, not acts of evil. The judgment to come spoken of in Daniel and Revelation is judgment for sins. Sin has consequences. Blaming God for the tragic consequences of sin is not right just as stating tragic events are always the cause of sin ie not right.
>How did he reinforce his previous teaching?
* "unless you repent, you too will all perish"
* "repent" -A definition for repent is to acknowledge God is all situations and aspects of your life knowing your lacking, then find God's mission in your life and bear fruit in it. Turn from sin, resist the sinful nature, go against your human nature and let God take your life on the path he has for you. Let God take your life so you can live it to the full. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what the God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will." (Romans 12:1-3)
>What should we learn?
* Not seeking and being in a loving relationship with Jesus will end in destruction.
* No one is better than another. We are all guilty and should and do suffer, but no one is without hope.
* Elevating others is wrong. Elevating ourselves is wrong. Though it might make us feel good, it will only disappoint in the end.
* Do you want to judge based on actions? OK, we're all guilty and deserve judgment. Now judge others based on the actions of Jesus on the cross.
* Don't judge others, judge ourselves.
>3. Why did the man plant a fig tree in his vineyard?
* Luke 13:6-9 "Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.
7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
8 "'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it.
9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'"
* "A man had a fig tree" -The man is God, Jesus himself. The fig tree is Israel. Israel is often illustrated as a fig tree in the Bible.
* "planted in his vineyard" -Vineyards were common in Israel. Grapes were and still are used there to make wine. Planting a fig tree had a clear purpose and desired want of results. The gardener took area from the vineyard wine production to produce figs.
* "he went to look for fruit on it" -If the fig tree is not old enough to produce seeds, it will also not produce fruit. Typically, a fig tree will not fruit until it reaches two years old, but it can take some trees as long as six years to reach the right maturity. There is nothing that can speed up the rate a tree matures.
>How did its lack of bearing fruit describe his ministry?
* "but did not find any" -The tree had reach maturity and should have been producing fruit.
* "For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any" -Three years was being generous.
* "Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?" -The land could be reverted back to grape productions.
* "leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it." -The owner will care for it for a short time more, but if nothing changes it will be cut down. This parable concerns "repent or perish".
* Jesus' ministry by this point had been going on for three years. Most of his ministry was in Galilee. Now he was leaving the area and would not be coming back. He knew this. Jesus was stating that the Galileans were given ample time to make a decision on who he was, who they were, and what fruit was required of them.
>What was Jesus teaching in this parable?
* "If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down." -Repent or perish.
* He was patient and enduring.
* Give the tree a chance.
* Usually three years is past the time for a fig tree to bear fruit. Jesus says, "coming" so this might mean wait for three years, then come for three years.
* Jesus' parable is relevant to anyone to this very day. God gives us ample evidence to make a proper decision about truth. (Romans 1:18-25)
* Just because something bad doesn't happen immediately after a sin doesn't mean that we are guilt free.
* Repentance doesn't need to happen right away just as judgement's clock doesn't always have a warning bell.
II. You Hypocrite! (10-17)
>4. When and where did this event take place?
* Luke 13:10 "On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,"
* "On a Sabbath" -Sabbath is our Saturday. Luke does not state which Sabbath. A walking trip from Galilee to Judea was only a few days. There probably weren't any synagogues along the Jordan in Jesus' day and there certainly weren't any in Samaria. So Jesus was either at the southern edge of Galilee or most likely on the eastern edge of Judea. However, it is also possible that Luke is not following chronological order.
* Luke is the only one to record this event.
* "synagogues" -A synagogue was a local building where the nearby area Jews met throughout the year.
* "Jesus was teaching" -Jesus regularly went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Jesus was often called to speak on the passage that was read that Sabbath, being a teacher with disciples of some prominence.
* Many people who claim the name of Jesus in my time do not regularly gather with other Christians at a local church even though its a simple drive or walk away. They believe it is not needed especially since Sunday worship services are presented live on the internet. The need for community gatherings in God's name was designed by God to be personal interaction. If it was good for Jesus, why isn't it good for us today?
>What was the woman's problem?
* Luke 13:11 "and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all."
* Her physical problem was a spiritual problem too.
* "eighteen years" -She might have been depressed at times. Yet she still came to the synagogue.
* Being bent crippled wasn't to pretty. So she had little chance of relationships with men and marraige.
* Some people might have made fun of her and/or patronized her.
* Not all physical problems are spiritual, and not all spiritual problems are revealed physically.
>How did Jesus help her?
* Luke 13:12-13 "When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God."
* "he said to her... he put his hands on her" -Jesus word and touch healed her.
* "When Jesus saw her" -Jesus valued people. He was preaching and he looked at people not past people.
* "he called her forward" -Women and children were to stay in the back of the synagogue during service. Jesus calling her forward was very unusual, even scandalous.
* The woman obeying Jesus is not stated, though implied. Her obedience was not easy because it was breaking unwritten social laws.
* "Woman" -A respectful term in those days.
* "you are set free" -Did the woman know that her physical problem a caused by a spiritual bondage? If not, then she did now.
* Jesus had complete control over demons.
* Jesus came to set us free from Satan's bondage.
>What did she do?
* "immediately she straightened up and praised God"
* "immediately" -No delay, not incomplete, not temporary, and not private healing. Some may say that Jesus' healing was actually a process. This is not what Luke wrote happened.
* "praised God" -A great sin is to be blessed by God and not praise him. A praise in those days was vocal and visible. Some modern societies deny verbal and visible praising God. Sad, but true. However, most cannot say that is stopping them from praising God. They just don't do it because they are ashamed to. This is no excuse.
* Praising God is good for the body, soul, and spirit.
>What does this reveal about Jesus?
* He loved personally and deliberately.
* He loved even without thought on what would happen to him.
* He loved practically.
* Compassion verses criticism.
* He lived to help people and glorify God.
>5. How was the synagogue ruler's criticism reasonable?
* Luke 13:14 "Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."
* Jesus' healing on the Sabbath had often been criticized. (Luke 6:6-11, 14:1-6, Matthew 12:1-8, 11-12, John 5:1-18) Matthew did not record Jesus' healing on the Sabbath and the religious leaders objection to it, though he did record their rebuke to the disciples picking grain and thus working on the Sabbath. There Jesus stated, "It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." (Matthew 12:11-12) Mark 2:23-27 records a similar objection from the religious leaders on the Sabbath.
* "Indignant" -Indignant is "aganakteo" in the original Greek meaning "be much displeased" thus having greatly afflicted grief.
* "synagogue ruler" -A synagogue ruler was chosen from the Jewish men of the community, no small feat in those days. Prominence, prestige, and power came with his position. He was responsible for among other things, ensuring that the congregation kept the faith and traditions. The synagogue tradition started sometime after the Babylonian captivity, when the Jews accepted the truth that they were being punished for their sins and the sins of their fathers. They were far away from Jerusalem which lay in ruin and the temple was completely destroyed. Local synagogues started as gathering places for Jews. When they returned to Israel those who lived far away from Jerusalem continued and developed the synagogue concept. A synagogue ruler had the responsibility and pressure of his community to keep the Jewish way of life.
* The synagogue ruler was reasonable because from his point of view, they could have waited a day to be healed and thus not disrupt the service, including reading the word and the sermon, and thus break established worship order and according to them, the law of rest. They had a definition of what it meant to rest and not rest on the Sabbath. The religious Jewish leadership had taken God's direction, "Remember the Sabbath... On it you shall not do any work..." (Exodus 20:6) to extremes that were not acceptable to God and Jesus often pointed this out. The traditions that they created because a burden.
* Jesus was determined and resolute as he made his way to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51) Yet, he would always stop on the Sabbath to rest in God and the synagogue. He probably would stay where he was at for the night. So waiting till the first day of the week, our Sunday to heal her could have been possible, though inconvenient. Did Jesus wait to conform to man made laws? No.
* "said to the people" -The synagogue ruler's problem was with Jesus, but instead of addressing Jesus he rebuked his congregation.
* The synagogue ruler was proud, legalistic, mad, and heartless towards the people around him.
* The synagogue ruler didn't have the strength to challenge Jesus. Jesus was very popular at this time. Jesus had often embarrassed the religious leaders. They knew Jesus wisdom and command of the scripture was impressive. He would not risk rebuking Jesus. Nor did he want to accept Jesus' teaching, even though at this time Jesus was in the seat of teaching during the Sabbath at the synagogue.
* The woman would have been greatly and publicly embarrassed.
* The religious leaders had more compassion on their animals than they did for those who were supposed to be under their care.
>Why did Jesus call them "hypocrites"?
* Luke 13:15 "The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?"
* "The Lord answered him" -Jesus would not and did not let the rebuke go unanswered no matter how predominate the ruler was.
* "Hypocrites" -Hypocrites is "Hypokrites" in the original Greek meaning, "an actor under an assumed character".
* "!" -The old scribes pressed hard when writing, thus leaving more ink on the paper to signify strong expression when someone talked.
* Jesus called them hypocrites because they were pretending to have zeal for the law when in fact they were using it to attack Jesus and belittle his healing.
* Jesus rebuke was coming to the rescue of the woman who was just publicly rebuked.
* Jesus love was not bound by the law nor man's understanding of the law.
* The synagogue ruler was critical to others and generous to himself.
* The religious leaders had two standards.
>How did Jesus interpret what he had done for this woman?
* Luke 13:16 "Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"
* "a daughter of Abraham" -Jesus sighted the man of faith, thus stating she had faith like Abraham.
* "whom Satan has kept bound" -Jesus declared that she was in Satan's bondage.
* "set free" -Satan would no longer bind her; physically nor spiritually. Satan does have power over those who do not have a relationship with Jesus. Either we are controlled by the Holy Spirit or not. If not then an evil spirit can subject us to its control.
* Jesus came to set people free from the bound of sin and Satan. (John 8:31-38; Romans 6:16-23, 8:1-17; Galatians 5:1; Hebrews 9:15)
>Why were the people delighted, while his opponents were humiliated?
* Luke 13:17 "When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing."
* "opponents" -Not that Jesus opposed them. Rather, they opposed Jesus and his actions.
* "Delighted" -Delighted is "chairo" in the original Greek meaning "glad, hail, joyfulness, joyous, and rejoice".
* "with all the wonderful things he was doing" -Jesus' miracles, kindness, and challenging the religious leaders harsh words.
* Jesus exposed the religious leaders hypocrisy, something that many of them suspected and perhaps already knew.
* Jesus love and compassion was cause for delight.
* The people acknowledged Jesus, not the religious leaders.
III. What is the Kingdom of God Like (18-21)
>6. What are the characteristics of a mustard seed?
* Luke 13:18-19 "Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."
* This parable is also in Matthew 13:31-34 and Mark 4:20-34.
* "The kingdom of God" -A common term equal to "The kingdom of Heaven" as recorded by Matthew. The kingdom of God is a common topic for Jesus.
* "it grew to become a tree" -Mustard plants can grow to be six to eight feet tall.
* "compare" -Similarities between the two. Teachings like this are called a similitude.
* Previous commentaries on Luke concern more about the kingdom of God. See Section III, question 6 in Luke 14 study. and See Section II in Luke 15 study. The kingdom of God is one of the subjects of the manuscript "The Believers Future - Hope that Inspires" also found on this web site.
>What was done with the mustard seed in the parable?
* "which a man took and planted" -An action involving intent.
* "a man" -Jesus is the man. We can follow Jesus' example.
* "in his garden" -The garden is at the time of telling this similitude Israel. Now it includes all the world.
>How is this like the kingdom of God?
* Both start very small and grew till they are large. God's kingdom grows in a person's heart. God's kingdom grows one person at a time.
* Both have great potential.
* Both exponentially grow.
* The power in both is very deceiving at first.
* The kingdom of God grows through seemly small events.
* The kingdom of God starts with Jesus.
* Jesus believed and taught that God's kingdom would prevail over Satan's and mankind's kingdoms.
* "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
* Ezekiel 17:22-24 states, "'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. "'I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.'"
* Nebuchadnezzar's dream had himself represented as a tree. (Daniel 4:19-22)
>What do you think the birds in the tree represent?
* "birds of the air" -Birds here are people who didn't come from the seed the man planted. They enjoy the shade and eat the seeds. They make the tree their home, building nests and raising families.
* Ezekiel 31:3-9 records the Lord comparing Assyria to a large tree with birds in its branches. The birds nesting in its branches were all the great nations enjoying Assyria's shade.
* "So it towered higher than all the trees of the field; its boughs increased and its branches grew long, spreading because of abundant waters. All the birds of the air nested in its boughs, all the beasts of the field gave birth under its branches; all the great nations lived in its shade. It was majestic in beauty, with its spreading boughs, for its roots went down to abundant waters. (Ezekiel 31:5-7)
>7. What is yeast used for?
* Luke 13:20-21 "Again he asked, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
* Yeasts are eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as members of the fungus kingdom.
* Most yeast reproduce through an asymmetric division process known as budding.
* Yeast grow and are active. They change and influence the characteristics of the substance they are next to.
* Yeast is used in baking such as to raise bread, and to make cheese, beer, and wine.
>Why is it an apt illustration of the kingdom of God?
* Only a little yeast is used to do the work.
* Yeast completely changes whatever it comes in contact with.
* Yeast is powerful and effective even in small amounts.
* The action of yeast is hard to see at first, but in the end it's work is evident.
* Yeast is dynamic and explosive.
* Jesus said the disciples are like new wine. (Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37-39)
>What do we learn about the kingdom of God from these parables?
* The kingdom of God completely changes whatever it comes in contact with for the better.
* Just a little of the kingdom of God is enough to do good, powerful, and complete work.
* A little effort is needed for God to change.
* One parable has a man planting and the other has a woman applying yeast, both are influential in doing what they want and like.
* The kingdom of God grows and changes.
* The kingdom of God seems insignificant at first, but proves the opposite.
IV. The Way to Enter the Kingdom of God (22-30)
>8. Where was Jesus going?
* Luke 13:22 "Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem."
* Luke is the only one to record the exchange that prompted the parable of the narrow door. See comment in question 1 above.
* "Jesus went through the towns and villages" -Jesus had a mission to bring people to God. He went where they lived. He needed to be in Jerusalem for the feast, but he still took time to go where people lived.
* "teaching" -Jesus worked continuously.
* "Jerusalem" -The center of Jewish life because the temple of God was where they were to meet God. Now God was on his way to Jerusalem.
>What might have lead the question that was asked?
* Luke 13:23 "Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them,"
* "Someone" -We didn't know who. They could have been a Jew or a Gentile. Most likely it was a Jew. They could have been a man or a woman. Most likely it was a man.
* "Saved" -Meaning saved from death.
* Several reasons exist for what lead this person to ask this question. Perhaps he heard and thought about what Jesus had taught in verses 2-9. Jesus' teachings had convicted him because he was an average person of his day, no different than those Pilate had desecrated or who was killed when the tower collapsed; and here Jesus was saying he had to repent or he would perish. Another possibility was the man noticed how though many came to hear Jesus so that there were often large crowds, few actually remained loyal to Jesus and followed him. This would explain Jesus' answer about not putting off making a decision and thus be fickle. Or perhaps he couldn't accept how everyone needed repentance even though many, he thought appeared to be good people who obeyed God's law and were good citizens. A slight possibility is that this person was trying to trap Jesus. If Jesus answered, "Yes," then many could have left Jesus in contempt. Another slight possibility was that he admired Jesus' hard line stand for everyone needing to repent.
* Jesus did not answer the question directly nor exactly; like claiming only 144,000 will be saved as the Jehovah Witnesses teach. Instead, Jesus urgently gave a guide on how to be saved.
* A parable that has a similar teaching is the broad and narrow gates and roads. (Matthew 7:13-14)
>How can we make every effort to enter by the narrow door? (24)
* Luke 13:24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to."
* "Make every effort" -Jesus spoke an absolute here similar to "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5; Joshua 22:5; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27)
* "to enter the narrow door" -This is an action. The narrow door is Jesus and the cross. (Mark 8:34-35; John 10:7-9, 14:6)
* The broad door is the common way according to what each person thinks is the right way, and then God weighs our good and bad works and decides if we've been good enough to enter his kingdom.
* "I tell you" -We need to listen to this imperative.
>Why will some people not be able to enter?
* "many... will try to enter" -Trying is living an average contemporary casual Christian life, like the people who came to see Jesus or be healed by him and then went home. Every morning we wake up is another day to start and continue our relationship with Jesus. Every evening is a time to reflect on how God was with us through the day.
* Trying our own way.
* Trying is not being fully committed and not taking it seriously.
* Trying is not truly repenting.
* Trying is giving up.
* "effort" -We cannot sit and watch the kingdom come. We cannot admire or condemn other people's lives. Every relationship needs effort to mature and continue. The more the effort in a relationship the better it becomes.
* We personally have to struggle to accept Jesus, follow Jesus, and apply his teaching.
* Agony of the soul is sometimes needed as we work out our salvation. (Philippians 2:12-13)
>9. Who might insist that they know the owner?
* Luke 13:25-27 "Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.' Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'"
* "the owner" -God.
* "the house" -God's kingdom.
* "gets up and closes the door" -The time is now because its end is sure and beyond our control. The owner closes the door.
* We need to have a sense of timing. Don't put off for later what we will not be able to do tomorrow. Act now for one day we will not be able to act. The "its too late" time, though sure to being, start is unknown.
>Why does he call them evildoers?
* An insufficient encounter with Christ is evil.
* Just knowing Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life is not enough effort. Just calling ourself a Christian doesn't make us a member of The Kingdom of Heaven.
* Paul's understanding of this passage is in 2 Timothy 2:3-6.
* Evil is pushing God off and resisting his love gestures.
* Evil is a state. Doing evil is an action or lack of one.
>Who will be at the feast in the kingdom of God and who will be excluded?
* "I don't know you or where you come from." -No relationship.
* "We ate and drank with you." -They spent time with Jesus, without being in love with him. They had a superficial encounter with Jesus.
* Those excluded were and are active in a congregation as much as the people who don't want to have anything to do with a church.
* Don't be mere hearers of the word, be doers.
* Matthew 7:23, 25-30, 25:12.
* "People... from east and west and north and south" -The ends of the earth. All peoples. The Gentiles. (Psalm 107:3)
* "last ...first, and first ...last" -Opposites.
>Where will those who are excluded be?
* They will not be in the kingdom of God.
* These people didn't want to know Jesus in this life, and they won't get a chance to know him in the next.
* Review Judas Iscariot's life.
* We need to apply this teaching to ourselves, not others.
V. Jesus' Sorrow for Jerusalem (31-35)
>10. What advice did some Pharisees give Jesus?
* Luke 13:31 "At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, "Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.""
* "At that time" -Right after the previous event.
* This is early 30 A.D.
* Luke is the only one to record Jesus calling Herod a fox. See comment in question 1 above.
* "some Pharisees came to Jesus" -These religious leaders where not with Jesus, they came to him. So they were probably not believers nor disciples.
* "Leave this place" -Jesus was making his way to Jerusalem from Galilee. Herod Antipas had jurisdiction in Galilee. Pontius Pilate had jurisdiction in Judea where Jerusalem was. Pilate's reign started in A.D. 26.
* "Herod" -Which Herod is this is a hard question to answer because there was so many rulers named Herod in Palestine at this time all descendants of Herod the Great, king at the time of Jesus' birth (Matthew 2:1-19; Luke 1:5). The most likely is Herod Antipas tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 B.C. to 39 A.D. (Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 23:7-12) His brother, Herod Archelaus was governor of Judea, Idumea, and Samaria from 4 B.C. to 6 A.D. (Matthew 2:19-23). A third brother, Herod Philip II was tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis from 4 B.C. to A.D.34 (Luke 3:1). A fourth brother, Herod Philip I was father of Salome who danced for the head of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:3; Mark 6:17). Herod Agrippa I, king of Judea from 37-44 A.D. killed James and put Peter in prison. He was these brothers' nephew and his father was Herod Arisobulus (Acts 12:1-24). Herod Agrippa I has a son, Herod Agrippa II who partook in Paul's trials (Acts 24:24, 25:13-26:32)
* The map to the right depicts the domain of Herod Archelaus as was given to him by Augustus after the death of King Herod the Great. Pilate was the fifth Roman prefect given part of this area, Judaea after Herod Archelaus' death.
>Why do you think Herod wanted to kill him?
* Herod didn't like Jesus because he stirred people up. Yet he was also was enthralled with Jesus because all he heard Jesus was doing.
* Herod was afraid of what Jesus could do and was doing with his rule.
* Herod didn't like what John the Baptist had done in his kingdom and life. He was concerned because it appeared Jesus was doing as John had done.
* Were these Pharisees lying? Probably not. Though it is true that when Herod finally meet Jesus during Jesus' trials, he did nothing to him except question and mock him.
>What message did Jesus have for Herod?
* Luke 13:32-33 "He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.' In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day--for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!"
* "fox" -Foxes are cunning and deceitful animals.
* "drive out demons" -Jesus has full authority over demons. Jesus is LORD of all. Demons are the angels (evil spirits) that rebel against God's rule. They no longer have bodies, but as spirits they can occupy the bodies of people who do not have a loving relationship with Jesus. Jesus drove these demons out of people. (Matthew 4:24, 8:28, 9:32, 12:22, 15:22, 17:18; Mark 1:32, 5:16, 7:26; Luke 4:33, 8:27, 9:42, 11:14)
* "today and tomorrow" -In Semitic usage this phrase could refer to an indefinite but limited period of time.
>Who else was this message for?
* Jesus' message was also for the Pharisees and for Satan.
* Jesus responded by bringing up his power over demons and people. Jesus has full authority over all. He sent this message to all; demons and men.
* Jesus wanted demons and men to know that no one and nothing could stop him from his destiny.
* Jesus' destiny to the cross and resurrection was his choice to make, not anyone else.
>What does it teach us about Jesus?
* "reach my goal" -Jesus knew he was about to die and then rise from the dead in Jerusalem. This was his main goal. Jesus' life had a predetermined plan that would be carried out, and no harm could come to him until his purpose was accomplished (Luke 4:43, 9:22)
* Jesus was not afraid of men's power and authority because he knew God was in control.
* Jesus was not swayed by men's opinions because he was determined to do God's will.
* Even though Jesus knew he had a limited time to live, he chose to do God's will though it meant his own protection.
* We can follow and be inspired by Jesus' example. We will not die before the time God has allotted. And even when our physical body cease to exist, we will live and one day soon we will receive a new resurrected body.
* We can also learn from Jesus to keep to the mission he has given us, "Go, preach the gospel, raising men and woman as disciples and baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
>11. Why was Jesus so sorrowful about Jerusalem?
* Luke 13:34-35 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
* Matthew 10:37-39 also records Jesus saying this, only there directly after Jesus pronounced seven woes on the Pharisees. Jesus said it twice, here to Herod and there to the Pharisees. Thus Jesus said it about both Israel's political and religious leaders at the time.
* Matthew 23:37-39 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
* God is a passionate God. Jesus, the exact representation of God, God in the flesh (Emmanuel) reveals God's love and compassion and respect for us.
* Jesus loved the people of Jerusalem. He respected them enough not force himself on them. Rather, he extended his love, the love of God, and let them decide. The people of Jerusalem rejected him and his love. They rejected God.
>What does this show about him?
* "but you were not willing" -Jesus wants people to repent, but respects our choice to decide.
* "desolate" -Compassion drove Jesus to give people a warning of what would happen if they continued to reject him.
* Jesus' suffering and death was coming, but he didn't forget other people's needs.
* "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem" -This is a lament. Jesus was going to suffer and die in Jerusalem, but he still cared deeply for them.
* We can learn from Jesus the definition and actions (and lack of action) that is compelled by love.
>What promise did he give?
* "your house is lift to you desolate" -Desolate is "eremos" in the original Greek. When something is desolate it is empty, lonesome, wasted, and barren like a desert compared to a jungle. A desolate is a place that is missing that which is core to its life and existence. Jesus promised to come again as the judge. Without Jesus whom Jerusalem would reject in a few months, it would be desolate.
* "you will not see me again until you say" -Jesus entered Jerusalem shortly after this and the crowds stated this. But a few days later they cried out to crucify him.
* "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." (Psalm 118:24-29)
* "The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." (Matthew 21:9-11)
* Also recorded by Mark 11:8-11 and John 12:12-16.
Click the house to go to the Bible Study HOME Page