13:1 Now there were some present at that time [see 12:54-59 for immediate context] who told Jesus about [the new reported to Jesus likely was current or had recently occurred] the Galileans [killed as they were offering their sacrifices] whose blood Pilate [the Roman governor of the province of Judea (AD 26-36); probably ordered the killing of the Galilean worshipers] had mixed with their sacrifices [incident occurred at temple in Jerusalem because Jews forbidden to offer sacrifices elsewhere].
13:2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners [indicates popular belief that bad things happened to bad people] than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?
13:3 I tell you, no [those killed were no worse sinners than others just because of the nature of their death]! But unless you repent [means a change of mind, a transformation of attitude about God and about sin], you too will all perish [suffer God’s judgment for their sins].
13:4 Or [note that Jesus referred to another “current event” to reinforce His point…] those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam [tower probably part of wall of Jerusalem and located near pool of Siloam] fell on them [a construction accident]—do you think they [the victims of the construction accident] were more guilty [because of he nature of their deaths] than all the others living in Jerusalem?
13:5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish [failure to repent of sin has serious consequences].”
13:6 Then he told this parable [Jesus used a familiar situation to make spiritual application]: “A man had a fig tree [in this parable, the fig tree likely represented the people of Israel (as in Hos. 9:10; Mic. 7:1-2; Jer. 24:1-10) who failed to believe in Jesus as God’s Messiah and Son], planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it [a reasonable expectation], but did not find any.
13:7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years [indicates patience on the part of the owner of the vineyard] 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 [deplete the soil of water and nutrients]?’
13:8 “‘Sir,’ the man [the worker who tended the tree] replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.
13:9 If [indicates the possibility of change] it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down [some view this prophecy as fulfilled in AD 70 when Titus (eldest son of Roman emperor Vespasian) invaded Jerusalem].’”
13:10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,
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.
13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”
13:13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
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.”
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?
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?”
13:17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
13:18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?
13:19 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.”
13:20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?
13:21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
13:22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.
13:23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them,
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.
13:25 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.’
13:26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
13:27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
13:28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.
13:29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
13:30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
13:31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod [the same Herod who had killed John the Baptist] wants to kill you.”
13:32 He replied [to the Pharisees (13:31)], “Go tell that fox [a reference to Herod Antipas (son of Herod the Great) who was as crafty as a fox], ‘I will drive out demons and heal people [these activities were spiritual rather than political] today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal [Jesus would complete His work on His own timetable].’
13:33 In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem [Jesus continued to Jerusalem because that is where He would die]!
13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem [this city represented the core of the nation; spiritual and political capital of Israel], you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you [cf. 1 Kings 19:10; 2 Chron. 24:19-21; Jer. 2:3-; 26:20-23], how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings [cf. Ruth 2:12; Ps. 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7; 91:4], but you were not willing!
13:35 Look, your house [may refer to the temple, the city, or to the people themselves] is left to you desolate [abandoned; the consequence of rejecting the Messiah; cf. Jer. 12:7]. I tell you, you will not see me again until [prophetic statement points to His future return and anticipates the day when all will acknowledge him as Lord (cf. Phil. 2:10-11)] you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”