1 – 5
At that time some people were there with Jesus. They told him about what had happened to some people from Galilee. Pilate killed those people while they were worshiping. He mixed their blood with the blood of the animals they were sacrificing to God.
Jesus answered, Do you think this happened to them because they were more sinful than all others from Galilee? No, they were not! But if all of you do not change your hearts and lives, then you will be destroyed as they were!
What about those 18 people who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were more sinful than all the others who live in Jerusalem? They were not! But I tell you, if you do not change your hearts and lives, then you will all be destroyed too!
The question is not why did these people die but why are we still alive? Is it worth God’s time to keep us alive and keep waiting for us to do the job He sent us here to do?
6 – 8
Jesus told this story: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for some fruit on the tree, but he found none. So the man said to his servant who took care of his vineyard, ‘I have been looking for fruit on this tree for three years, but I never find any. Cut it down! Why should it waste the ground?’
But the servant answered, ‘Master, let the tree have one more year to produce fruit. Let me dig up the dirt around it and put on some fertilizer. Maybe the tree will produce fruit next year. If the tree still does not produce fruit, then you can cut it down.’”
The Bible says that Israel was like a fig tree that God planted. Jesus saw that the Jews were not living lives that bring fruit. Do we look as if we have fruit but we do not?
10 – 14
Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. In the synagogue there was a woman who had an evil spirit in her. This spirit had made the woman a cripple for 18 years.
Her back was always bent; she could not stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, your sickness has left you!” Jesus put his hands on her. Immediately she was able to stand up straight and began praising God.
The synagogue leader was angry because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day. He said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come to be healed on one of those days. Do not come for healing on the Sabbath day.”
It is ok to have some traditions but not if those traditions are more important than helping people!
15 – 17
The Lord answered, “You people are hypocrites! All of you untie your work animals and lead them to drink water every day—even on the Sabbath day! This woman that I healed is our Jewish sister.
But Satan has held her for 18 years.
Surely it is not wrong for her to be freed from her sickness on a Sabbath day!” When Jesus said this, all the men who were criticizing him were ashamed. And all the people were happy for the wonderful things Jesus was doing.
Jesus showed the Jewish leaders that they cared more about their animals than this woman.
18 – 19
Then Jesus said, “What is God’s kingdom like? What can I compare it with? God’s kingdom is like the seed of the mustard plant. A man plants this seed in his garden. The seed grows and becomes a tree. The wild birds build nests on its branches.”
This mustard seed is not growing in a way that we expect. The wild birds are mixed with God’s people, and we welcome them and make them thirsty for a new kind of life.
20 – 21
Jesus said again, “What can I compare God’s kingdom with? It is like yeast that a woman mixes into a big bowl of flour. The yeast makes all the dough rise.”
God’s church is like this woman. We plant some small ideas as we talk with people and God makes these ideas grow.
22 – 29
Jesus was teaching in every town and village. He continued to travel toward Jerusalem. Someone said to Jesus, “Lord, how many people will be saved? Only a few?”
Jesus said, “Try hard to enter through the narrow door that opens the way to heaven! Many people will try to enter there, but they will not be able. 2 A man gets up and closes the door of his house. You can stand outside and knock on the door.
You can say, ‘Sir, open the door for us!’ But he will answer, ‘I do not know you! Where did you come from?’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you. You taught in the streets of our town.’
But he will say to you, ‘I do not know you! Where did you come from? Go away from me! All of you do evil!’
You will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God’s kingdom. But you will be thrown outside. Then you will cry and grind your teeth with pain. People will come from the east, west, north, and south. They will sit down at the table in the kingdom of God.
We do not just know something about Jesus but we know Him and He knows us. Until you have believed in your heart that He is the Son of God who died to pay the penalty for your sin and came back from the dead to give you new life then you do not know Him you just know some things about Him.
30. Those who are last now will be first in the future. And those who are first now will be last in the future.
Some churches do not want people who are not like them to come into the church. These people will be first and these churches will be last.
31. At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away from here! Herod wants to kill you!”
Do not listen when your enemies try to act like they are trying to help you!
32 – 33
Jesus said to them, “Go tell that fox Herod, ‘Today and tomorrow I am forcing demons out of people and finishing my work of healing. Then, on the third day, I will reach my goal.’ Yet I must be on my way today and tomorrow and the next day. Surely it cannot be right for a prophet to be killed anywhere except in Jerusalem.
Jesus is speaking of being buried for three days and finishing His work when He rose from the dead.
34 – 35
Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets. You kill with stones those men that God has sent you. Many times I wanted to help your people. I wanted to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
But you did not let me. Now your house will be left completely empty. I tell you, you will not see me again until that time when you will say, ‘God bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Jesus shows us how He is very patient and waiting for people to come to Him. It is a sad thing when God has left the Temple or church because He is not wanted there.
If sinners be damned, at least let them jump into Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, begging them to stay. Charles Spurgeon