Bearing Fruit of Repentance
Repent or perish (1-5)
Parable of the unfruitful tree
Healing A Woman with Infirmity on
the Sabbath (13:10-17)
Parables of the Kingdom (13:18-21)
Entering through the Narrow Gate
Lament over Jerusalem (13:31-35)
Sinners, repent, perish, fruit,
cut it down, Sabbath, loosed, glorified/glorious, kingdom of God, mustard seed,
grew, leaven, enter through the narrow gate, I do not know you, last/first,
today, must, Jerusalem.
1a. It was supposed that those
who met with disasters were worse sinners than others. Such assumption implies
that those who did not suffer such things were more righteous.
1b. Tragic deaths do not
necessarily indicate that such people were worse sinners. On the other hand,
those who are spared should not be complacent. Everyone who does not repent
will suffer the final death (cf. Rev 20:11-15).
2. Fruit represents a person’s
speech, conduct, and way of life (cf. Lk 6:43-45; Mt 7:15-23). In this context,
bearing fruit means living a life that reflects true repentance (cf. Lk 3:8-9).
In other words, we need to live according to God’s commands rather than
according to our sinful desires (Gal 5:16-26).
3. 1. God is patient with us in
order to lead us to repentance (Rom 2:4; 2Pet 3:9). 2. We should not try God’s
patience. Once the period of grace is over, we will have to face God’s judgment
(Rom 2:5; 11:22).
4. God made the Sabbath day for
us to rest. That is why He wants us to set aside all work on this day. But the
synagogue ruler, thinking that healing was considered working, condemned such a
good deed. He thought of the Sabbath as a day bondage when God intended it to
be a day of release from our burdens.
5. For practical reasons, they
laid down rules that allowed animals to be released and to drink on the
Sabbath. But they forbade the sick and needy, who were of more value than
animals, from being loosened from their bondage on the Sabbath. They allowed
work when it was for their own convenience but condemned it when it was done
for the need of others (cf. Lk 11:46).
6. Whenever Jesus confronted his
adversaries concerning the Sabbath, the point of contention was always on what
was lawful to do on the Sabbath, not whether Sabbath was necessary. Nowhere in
the Scripture did Christ ever abolish the Sabbath.
7. The magnification of power
that is hidden in something small.
8. Because birds and leaven
frequently represent the evil one, sin, and hypocrisy in other parts of the
Bible (Lk 8:5,12; Rev 18:2; Mt 16:6-12; 1Cor 5:6-8; Gal 5:9; Ex 12:15), these
parables have been interpreted as referring to the workings of heresy and sin
hidden in the expansion of God’s kingdom. However, the parables may have a
positive connotation—the kingdom of God advances with great power even though
it may seem to have a humble beginning.
9. Whether there are few or many
who are saved should not be an issue of concern. Instead, the Lord focused on
the question of who will be saved and warned us that “many will seek to enter
and will not be able.” Regardless of the number of the saved ones, we all need
to strife to enter the narrow gate lest we be thrust out of God’s kingdom.
10a. Entering into God’s kingdom
is like going through a narrow gate because many people find the cost of
discipleship to be too high a price (Lk 14:33; Mk 10:21-25; Acts 14:22). The
narrow gate may also imply that we must enter God’s kingdom while there is
still time because one day this door will be shut (Lk 13:25).
10b. Entering God’s kingdom
requires denying ourselves and changing our ways to conform to God’s will. Not
only so, we cannot afford to procrastinate but must take immediate action to
follow Christ because the door will be shut one day.
11a. While these people appeared
to know the Lord, they never obeyed His will (cf. Mt 7:21-23; Lk 6:46).
11b. We may often seem to be
associated with church-related activities, but if we fail to carry out the
Lord’s will in our lives by living a life pleasing to God, the Lord will not
acknowledge us when He comes.
12. We should not be complacent
just because we have been called into God’s kingdom ahead of others. If we do
not remain steadfast in our faith, we will see others in God’s kingdom on that
day while we ourselves are cast out (cf. Mt 21:28-32).
13. These are parallel verses
that indicate what lay ahead of Jesus. “Today and tomorrow” represent the short
duration of the present. Jesus will continue his powerful ministry for a short
while, casting out demons and performing cures. But on “the third day,” he will
be “perfected.” This statement alludes to His suffering, death, and
resurrection (9:22; cf. Heb 2:10).
14. Jesus’ words here convey a
strong sense of purpose. He said, “Nevertheless I must journey….” Although He
was fully aware of the sufferings that awaited Him, Jesus was fully determined
to accomplish God’s will in the final destination—Jerusalem.
15. These words show the Lord’s
grief over the unrepentant people. God is eager to protect us with His love,
but we often stubbornly reject Him. Not wanting to force us to submit to Him,
God can only lament over our waywardness the way a father laments over his