Gospel Meditation

Luke 13:1–17

Repent or Perish, The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

A Woman with a Disabling Spirit

Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.

clearly defined but was used by religionists and philosophers to refer to the highest of that which is supernatural.

1.         Jesus is told that some Galileans had been slaughtered by Pilate, the Roman ruler of Judea. The idea being that what happened to these Galileans was due to their being sinners. Galileans were generally looked down upon by Judeans.

2.         Jesus answers that this did not happen because of these Galileans being sinners, but more importantly, unless a person repents, only perishing awaits. “Perishing” is a term meaning being forever being sentenced to hell.

3.         Then Jesus reminds the crowd of 18 inhabitants of Jerusalem that had been killed while repairing a water tower, and then are these 18 worse sinners than others?

4.         The parable of the fig tree, and Israel, the nation, was likened to a fig tree, well, it did not produce fruit in its third year and should be uprooted. But the lead farmer, the vinedresser, argues for waiting a year before doing this extreme measure. The meaning may be that Jesus is hoping that the nation of Israel, instead of rejecting Him, would receive Him. (Jesus makes 3 trips to Jerusalem.)

5.         Over the centuries, with the rise of the Pharisaical teachers, rules for the Sabbath became increasingly severe and limiting. Here a woman who had suffered greatly for18 years is healed by Jesus.

6.         The ruler of the synagogue, would be a Pharisee, complained that the healing was work and no work could be done on the Sabbath.

7.         Jesus says such thinking, and rule keeping, is hypocritical and reminds the leader of the synagogue that he himself will lead animals to the water trough on a Sabbath, which is a form of work, but this is overlooked.

8.         Here a woman who had suffered greatly is healed and Jesus is condemned for doing this work. The condemners are put to shame, possibly a healthy sign, and the crowd who are present, rejoice in this.

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