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Lesson 20
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Lesson 20

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Bearing Fruit of Repentance (13:1-9)

Repent or perish (1-5)

Parable of the unfruitful tree (6-9)

Healing A Woman with Infirmity on the Sabbath (13:10-17)

Parables of the Kingdom (13:18-21)

Entering through the Narrow Gate (13:22-30)

Lament over Jerusalem (13:31-35)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

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.

II.    Segment Analysis

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 prodigal son.


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