Luke 13:1-17

Luke 13:1-17

Today’s passages cover three quick encounters illustrating the necessity of repentance.

First, the crowd asked Jesus about those killed by Pilate while offering sacrifices. They asked “Were they worse sinners?” Jesus answered saying “no,” and provided an example of another recent tragedy when a tower fell and killed 18 people. Citing these two instances Jesus tells the crowd that if they do not repent, they will perish. It’s a little unclear how the stories connect to repentance, but two truths seem to stand out. 1. Death can happen anytime anywhere. None of us are guaranteed another breath outside the grace of God. 2. One can only be ready for that moment if they repent.

Second, Jesus told the parable of a fig tree that did not bear fruit. In three years a fig tree should bear fruit, so the owner ordered it cut down. The vinedresser interceded and sought to carefully tend the plant so that it may bear fruit and not get cut down. The next encounter shows us who the vinedresser is who has come to tend the fig tree.

Third, Jesus heals the women he described as “a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years.” In freeing the women, Jesus set her upright. By tending to the woman, one touch produced a fruit of healing. She was graphically released from her bonds, stretching out for the first time in almost two decades.

Luke strategically tells this final true story in such a way to illustrate his point. The fruit that comes from repentance is an upright and worshipful heart. You never know when your end will come so you cannot wait. Jesus has done all that is necessary that you may bear fruit, but we need to repent from sin.

We immediately see the negative example of fruitless sinners. The ruler of the synagogue became “indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath.” This man had just seen a miracle—he had just seen God’s power reclaim a physical deformation caused by living in a sinful world. Instead of rejoicing, he got mad because Jesus did it on the Sabbath instead of one of the six other days. Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy—they bind and loosen whenever and however they want. However, they do not share the heart of God. They do not rejoice when the bonds of sin and Satan are broken. They do not recognize true spiritual fruit. In fact, they get mad at it.

This passage reminds me that there is an urgency to the Gospel. We cannot wait until tomorrow. Bad things do not only happen to bad people and good things do not only happen to good people. We must pursue the fruit the Lord desires to see—the bindings of Satan loosened in people’s lives.  True spiritual fruit looks like walking in uprightness and worship. Likewise, we celebrate seeing this fruit born in others as well.

  • What are some of the things you’ve celebrated recently?
  • What does this say about your heart affections?
  • What recent spiritual fruit can you point to?

By: Tyler Short

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