Luke 13

Stop doing wrong things or die

1 At that time, some people were with Jesus. They told him what happened to some people from Galilee. They had been burning animals as a gift for God. Pilate sent some soldiers to kill them.

13:1Pilate was the head of the Roman government in Jerusalem.

2 Jesus replied, ‘Think about those people from Galilee. Perhaps you think that they had done more bad things than other people from Galilee. Do you think that is why they had to die? 3 No! But I tell you this. All of you have done many bad things. So you must change how you live and you must turn to God. If you do not, you will also die as they did.

4 And you remember what happened to those 18 people in Siloam. A high building fell down and it killed them. Perhaps you think that they had done more bad things than the other people in Jerusalem. 5 But I tell you, no, they had not. All of you have also done many bad things. So you must change how you live and you must turn to God. If you do not, you will also die as they did.’

A story about a fig tree

6 Then Jesus told this story. ‘A man had a garden where he grew fruit. He had planted a fig tree there. But when he came to look for fruit on it, he could not find any. 7 So he said to his gardener, “Look, for three years, I have come to look for fruit on this tree. But I have never found any. So cut the tree down! I do not think that it should be here. It is wasting the ground.”

8 “Master,” the gardener replied, “please leave the tree in the ground for one more year. Let me dig round it and let me put some good soil there. 9 If I do that, next year, the fig tree may have some fruit on it. If it does not, I will cut it down for you.” ’

13:8This will make the ground good to grow things.
13:9The people are like a tree that has no fruit. But God wants them to believe. And he wants them to obey Jesus. If they do that, they will be like a tree with fruit. If they refuse to believe in Jesus, they will die.

Jesus makes a sick woman well again

10 One day, Jesus was teaching in a Jewish meeting place. It was the Jewish day for rest.

11 There was a woman there that had a bad spirit inside her. It had lived in her for 18 years and it had made her ill. Her back was bent. She could not stand up straight. 12 Jesus saw her and he called her to come to him. He said, ‘Woman, you are now better from your illness.’ 13 He put his hands on her and immediately she could stand up straight. She praised God.

14 But the leader of the meeting place was angry because Jesus had made a sick person well on their day for rest. He said to the people there, ‘There are six days each week when we should work. Come on any of those days and get well. But you should not come on our rest day to get well.’

15 ‘You are wrong,’ the Lord Jesus said to him. ‘You teach one thing but you do something different yourselves. On the day for rest you will undo the rope on your ox or your donkey and take it outside. You then give it water to drink. Is that not true? 16 Now look at this woman. She belongs to the family of Abraham. But a bad spirit from the Devil has made her ill for 18 years. It is like he has tied her up. So it must be right to make her free on our day for rest.’

13:15An ox is like a large cow. Because it is very strong, people use it to work for them. It can pull many things in a cart. A donkey is like a small horse. People also use donkeys to carry heavy things. They tie them up at night in a special place.

17 These words made the leaders of the meeting place feel ashamed. But the other people there were very happy. They were happy because they had seen Jesus do many good and powerful things.

Jesus tells stories about seeds and yeast

18 Then Jesus said to them, ‘I will tell you a story about the kingdom of God and what it is like. 19 It is like a very small seed of the plant called mustard. A man took this seed and he planted it in his garden. The seed grew and it became a tree. It was so big that birds came and made their homes among its branches.’

20 Jesus went on to say, ‘Here is another example of what the kingdom of God is like. 21 It is like how yeast works. A woman took some of it and she mixed it into three large bowls of flour. Then the yeast went through all the flour so that it grew big.’

A story about a narrow door

22 Jesus was continuing his journey towards Jerusalem. On the way, he went through towns and villages. In each one, he taught the people. 23 One day, somebody asked him, ‘Sir, will God only save a small number of people?’

24 Jesus said to the people there, ‘Do your best to go in through the narrow door. I tell you that many people will want to get in there. But they will not be able to go through it. 25 Soon the master of the house will get up and he will shut the door. And then you may still be standing outside the door. You will knock and you will say, “Master, please open the door for us to come in.”

But the master will reply, “I do not know you. I do not know where you come from.” 26 Then you will begin to say, “But Master, we had meals with you. You taught us in the streets of our villages.”

27 But he will tell you, “No! I really do not know you. I do not know where you come from. You have done very bad things, so go away from me, all of you!”

28 Then you will cry very much because you are standing outside. You will bite your teeth together. You will see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the place where God rules. You will also see all God's prophets there. But God will shut you outside. 29 At that time, people will come from everywhere in the world, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. They will all come to take their place in the kingdom of God. There they will sit down together to eat a great meal. 30 Listen! At that time, some people that are not important now will become the most important. And some people that are now the most important will not be important then.’

13:28Biting their teeth together may have shown that they were angry. Or it may have shown they were in much pain.

31 At that moment, some Pharisees came to Jesus. ‘Go away from here,’ they said to him. ‘Go somewhere else, because Herod wants to kill you.’

32 ‘Herod is a bad man,’ Jesus replied. ‘Tell him this: “I am still causing bad spirits to come out of people. I am still making sick people well again. I will continue to do all these things for some more days. On the third day I will have finished my work.” 33 Anyway, I need to continue my journey for some more days. If they are going to kill a prophet from God, it has to be in Jerusalem.

34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed God's prophets. And they have thrown stones to kill other people that God has sent to you. Many times, I have wanted to bring all of your people near to me. A female bird covers her babies with her body to make them safe. But you would not let me keep you from danger like that. 35 So listen! Your great house will now become like a wilderness with nobody in it. I tell you this. You will not see me again until the day when you say, “Great is the man who comes with the authority of the Lord God.” ’

13:35God will leave his house in Jerusalem. He will let their enemies kill very many people in Jerusalem. This happened 40 years later when an enemy attacked them. The enemy killed very many people.