Luke 13:10-30

10 One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 He saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight.

  • Change of scene from crowd to synagogue, where God should be understood
  • Christ was able to see the Spiritual dimension, it was being overlooked (18yrs)
  • Literal translation: Spirit of Weakness

12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” 13 Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!

  • ‘Dear Woman’…He touched her: personal, intimate expressions of relationship
  • Her healing was total & instant (literal: ‘you are released from your weakness’)
  • Instant healing and instant, intense praising of God!
  • She recognized the power of God manifested in Christ

14 But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”

  • The religious establishment does not recognize God’s power
  • This guy & his followers are more concerned with ‘protocol’ than people

15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water?

  • Jesus says to those who use religion for power & control: ‘You are an Actor’
  • They define work based on their lives / What we do is ok / Justification of sin
  • This is religious legalism, Rules rather than Relationship
  • If you don’t intentionally have Biblical Theology & Culture legalism

16 This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?” 17 This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.

  • One of your own (Abraham reference) that you did nothing for
  • He asks why it matters how she is released rather than that she is released
  • They had shame, it was about who they were not just what they had done
  • Everyone else rejoiced: the only ones who didn’t rejoice were Christ’s enemies

18 Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? 19 It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.”

  • He had called out what the Kingdom of God is not like (legalism)
  • He illustrates what it IS LIKE: little actions that grow into big things

20 He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? 21 it is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”

  • Next example of how God works: yeast! (longstanding biblical metaphor)
  • When God’s Kingdom become part of you it will effect everything you do
  • God’s work in us is not ‘compartmentalized’

22 Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied, 24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.

  • Christ was about getting around and teaching; but He had a destination
  • The question is asked with a recognition that salvation is not ‘Universal’
  • ‘Work Hard’, better translation would be: ‘Do your best’ (Not about earning it)
  • Narrow door is one of many choices, narrow speaks of limited capacity
  • Bottom line: Many Will Fail !

25 When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

  • The Master (God) is the one who determines who can enter by the narrow door
  • People will want to go in and ask to go in (eternity with God)
  • But God will speak the truth: You are unfamiliar to ME

26 Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’ 28 “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out.

  • Basically they say: we did life with You, You were here among us…
  • But God has chosen who He will bring into His kingdom / establish relationship
  • We are not in relationship (as HE defines it) and He will not be in their presence
  • Those who realize their fate will mourn / they will recognize the divide

29 And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. 30 And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then.”

  • The Kingdom will be made up from people all over the world
  • Our way of evaluating who is important is shown to be opposite of God’s way
  • What matters to God is not what matters to the world / society / modern culture

Following Christ / God’s Kingdom, is about helping people where they are, not religious forms & rules.
God’s Kingdom is built by small faith-filled actions that grow into bigger things & influences.
God’s Kingdom ways lead us to an entrance into that Kingdom, it’s a specific way.
God’s Kingdom is not about being in the right place & doing things; it is a relationship
The inhabitants of God’s Kingdom will be diverse and without ‘worldly significance’.
How can we avoid making our ‘Religious Protocols’ more important than people?
What are some small actions you can take to seek and distribute God’s influence?
Is obedience to God’s Word analogous to the narrow door?
How can you move from being around God, to being in a deeper relationship with God?

We are a Body of people, a church that seeks to live more fully based on Scripture. The Word of God is our source of how we think and how we act. Now more than every, let us anchor our lives to God’s Word. When we look at a passage like this bit of Luke, what are we looking for? Truth! When we find God’s truth in Scripture what do we do with it? We commit to live by it, learn how to live by it…We let it change the way we think, feel and act.

Today’s Passage: What does Jesus Christ say about how God’s eternal saving grace is dished out? What does Christ say regarding salvation along family lines? Is the eternal division of family members a Biblical reality, whether we like it or not? Is our lifespan determined by our actions or by God’s sovereign providence? Can you take all the time you want when responding to God’s offer of saving grace? Serious questions… in the Scripture we find clear and understandable answers. Last Sunday the text in Luke 12 ended with this statement by Christ:

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. Luke 12:48b

Luke 12:49-59 & 13:1-9

49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!”

  • The fire He casts is the outpouring of God’s Spirit, indwelling Christ’s followers
  • This is His mission! To buy us back from hell through His sacrifice on the cross
  • He wants it to happen ASAP… but He will be obedient to the ‘Plan’
  • His ‘Baptism’ (what He will be immersed in) is paying the price for OUR sin!
  • Jesus knows what He will face and it weighs on Him, but it doesn’t deter Him

51 “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

  • What He is going to do, Cross & Resurrection, makes some eternally different
  • God in His providence will grant eternal life based on HIS grace, not family
  • Christ speaks directly against universal salvation
  • Because some will be indwelled with God’s Spirit and some not, it will divide
  • He is exhaustive in His examples to show it will divide regardless of relationship

54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

  • We have intellect, information & experience we combine to understand things
  • He calls them hypocrites (Actors) because they act like they don’t get it
  • He is saying; ‘You have the info, now respond’ (Surrender)
  • Why don’t they know how to interpret who He is? The problem is PRIDE!

57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

  • What keeps us from seeing what is right / God’s offer of eternal life in Christ?
  • Instead of admitting our guilt and humbling ourselves we want control
  • If you see it as ‘Your’ life to do as you wish you will face judgement
  • If you hold on to your life you will surely lose it. (parable looking at eternity)

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” ~ Jesus @ Luke 9:24

1 At that very time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. 2 “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? 3 Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.”

  • Some sort of announcement of a current event,
  • Jesus disconnects everyone’s time to go from everyone’s actions
  • Perishing: the end of this life without an eternal relationship with God (context)
  • We all will ‘Parish’ = eternity apart from God without repenting & turning to God

4 “And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”

  • 2nd example of why people die & how we should perceive God’s providence
  • Those who know God & those who don’t will be mixed together, even in death

Matthew 13: Parable of the wheat & the weeds. The divide between the ‘repentant’ and the ‘perishing’ is the indwelling of God’s Spirit.

6 Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. 7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’

  • You could be a fig tree in God’s garden, brought there by HIS providence
  • God has an expectation that you will produce fruit (kingdom living & purpose)
  • The Man & the Gardener are God speaking within His Triunity
  • There has been a certain amount of patience with this tree ‘taking up space’

8 “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. 9 If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”

  • God in His grace always gives more chances than any of us deserve
  • But those chances do have a predestined end to them, based on God’s will
  • Are you a fig tree in God’s garden? Where are you in the process described?


Jesus was both humanly anxious and divinely resigned to accomplish His mission.

Christ’s work on the cross will bring about division in families because of God’s Spirit.

Now that the Gospel has been revealed, we are to respond.

Humility is the only way to escape judgement.

None of us know when we will die, we have a closing window to get ‘right with Christ’.

God is patient, but not infinitely patient, at some point the patience ends.


How might you better practice humility before God in your relationships?

How do you react to God’s providence when it is not what you would prefer?

In what ways are you accountable to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ today?

How can you do more of what God requires of you based on what you have been given?

  • When was the last unexpected visit you had from a relative or friend?
  • Were you ready?
  • What did you do when you saw them at the door?
  • What did you pick up first?
  • What were you wearing?
  • Did you run to the mirror?
  • Did you brush your teeth?
  • Men, did you smell your underarm?

Luke 12:35-48

35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him

37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.
Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will
come and wait on them

38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in
the middle of the night or toward daybreak.

39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was
coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.

40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master
puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?

43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.
44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’
and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and
drink and get drunk.

46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do
what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.

48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Application questions:

  • What are you doing with your life to be prepared for Christ’s return?
  • Will He catch you sleeping and not looking?
  • Will He find you beating His people?
  • Will you have a meal prepared for Him and welcome Him in?
  • Will you welcome Him in and begin to introduce Him to those you are discipling?
  • What stories will you share about Your God delivered you from danager?

Sermon by Woody Johnson