Luke13: 1-9

Written by kathleen on Feb 02, 2014 in - No Comments


Luke 13 The importance of repentance.

(1-5) Jesus uses two recent disasters to drive home a point.

There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.           And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

The Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices: We don’t have a record in secular history about the specific incident mentioned here. But there was a similar incident before the ministry of Jesus; Pilate wanted to build an aqueduct from the Pools of Solomon to the city of Jerusalem.

To pay for it, he demanded money from the temple treasury, money that had been dedicated to God -and this outraged the people. When the Jews sent a delegation to beg for their money back, Pilate sent into the crowd soldiers dressed as common people, and at a certain signal they took out daggers and attacked the people asking for the money.

This doesn’t seem to be the same incident mentioned here, but it shows how consistent it was with the character of Pilate to slaughter those who desired to worship the Lord in Jerusalem.

  1. Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans: Jesus cites two instances of disaster that were well known in His day. One was an evil done by the hand of man, and the other was seemingly a natural disaster (eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them).

It’s an interesting thing that so often when tragedy strikes, we are prone to think that immediately it is God’s judgment on us.

And when tragedy strikes a group of people, we sort of look at it as God’s judging them. Surely they must have done something evil or something wrong so they’re being judged of God

We normally think of some people as “good,” and some people as “bad,” and believe that God should allow good things to happen to good people and bad things to bad people. Jesus dispels this notion.           BJ even the good die young

But Jesus’ point is not that the Galileans in question were innocent; but they were simply not more guilty than the others. The Judeans; those who lived in Judah and around Jerusalem looked down upon those in Galilee.

They would call it the Galilee of the Gentiles and looked down on the Galileans as less spiritual.

So, they brought it up to Jesus; but Jesus turns it around and brings up a tragedy that took place in Jerusalem.

You see at the lower end of the city of Jerusalem was the pool of Siloam.

And the pool was fed by waters from the spring of Gihon through a tunnel that Hezekiah had dug through the rock in order to bring the water into the city.

Now evidently, and we don’t know anything historically about it, there was a tower there at the pool of Siloam that collapsed and when it did, eighteen people were killed; so Jesus makes mention of that and says unless you repent you will all likewise perish: getting away from the question “why did this happen?” and turns it into “what does this mean to me?” because we are all guilty of sin before God!

Those who died in both of these instances did not think they would die soon, but they did, and we can suppose that most of them were not ready.

The personal application is that we all may die at any time, so repentance must be a top priority.

If you were to look at the ancient Greek grammar, we see that Jesus mentions two kinds of repentance, and both are essential. Repentance in a way takes place in 2 stages Verse :5 (unless you repent) describes“once and for all” repentance.  And the verb tense in verse 3 (unless you repent) describes a continuing repentance.

In this situation Jesus’ warning that they must repent or perish had almost an immediate fulfillment. Within a generation those citizens of Jerusalem who had not repented and turned to Jesus perished in the occupation and destruction of Jerusalem lead by Titus and his Roman legions that surrounded the city and began to slowly squeeze the life out of the Jewish stronghold.

By the year AD.70, they had breached Jerusalem’s outer walls and began a systematic ransacking of the city. Their assault culminated in the burning and destruction of the Temple that served as the center of Judaism. And then went on for another three years until 73 AD with the fall of the various pockets of resistance including the stronghold at Masada.

The word repentance has been neglected in many of today’s churches but while it may have dropped out of some pulpits, it has not dropped out of the Word of God. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about repentance

The Mandate for Repentance In fact the first sermon Jesus preached was one of repentance: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). And in the last message He gave to the church included repentance in Revelation 3:19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Here in Luke 13 Jesus preaches a message of repentance. Twice in this passage Jesus states emphatically:  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

People were talking about some who were put to death by Pilate and others who were killed when a tower fell on them.

They were wondering what sins they had committed that were so terrible that they deserved death.

But Jesus said, “No, they didn’t die because they were more sinful than anybody else; and just because you are not experiencing trouble, doesn’t mean you don’t need to repent.”   So we’re all mandated to repent, but what is the Meaning of Repentance?                                         

  1. Repentance is more than conviction of sin.

You can be convicted of sin and still not repent. Paul preached to Felix until he literally trembled under conviction Acts 24:24-25 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” he didn’t get saved. He was convicted, but he did not repent!

  1. Repentance is more than confession of sin. You can confess your sin and still not repent. There are a number of episodes in the Bible where men literally said, “I have sinned.” They confessed their sin, but none of them repented. Consider these 5 examples: when we refuse to repent

A Horrified ConfessionExodus 9:34 when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart When God brought hail and fire on Egypt, Pharaoh realized he had sinned” He was scared

A Hypocritical Confession — Balaam wanted to serve God but also wanted to take some profit off the top. His talking donkey saved him from the wrath of God, and in Numbers 22:34, “… Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned…” he never changed!

A Half-way Confession — King Saul decided to keep some of the spoils of war against God’s commands. When confronted by the prophet Samuel, he replied in 1 Samuel 15:24, “I have sinned because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.” he had an excuse!

A half hearted Confession(Joshua 7:20) There was Achan in the battle of Jericho. He brought home some of the spoils of war. When found in his sin, Achan answered, “indeed I have sinned” But his was a half hearted confession.  He was not sorry for the sin but only sorry he got caught!

A Hopeless Confession — In Matthew 27:4 Judas confessed after betraying Jesus and said, “…I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood…” it was a confession of remorse without hope!

We must understand Repentance is more than conviction or confession of sin. Every one of these men used the words “I have sinned,” but not one of them repented.

  1. Repentance is a heart change. To repent is to turn from sin and turn to Jesus. There is a negative and a positive action involved. In Acts 20:21 Paul said we are to testify “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” You cannot repent to God unless you turn to Jesus. You must tell God you are sorry for your sin and turn to Jesus and ask for forgiveness.
  2. Repentance is a continuing change of heart. And it is not something you do once in order to get saved and then forget it. Repentance is a crisis followed by a process. Our life should be one of repenting day-by-day God reveals to us things He would change in our behavior and attitude allowing us to become more like Jesus .
  3. The Motive for Repentance

Eph 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.

Because we are all sinners according to Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Acts 17:30 says, “God commands all men every where to repent.”

Repentance is the only way to remove the curse of guilt that has been passed down through the generations.                                                                          

The guilt of sin drives you away from the cross; repentance from conviction draws you to the cross therefore your heart will never find rest apart from repentance.

We are told in Isaiah 57:20, “But the wicked (the unrepented) are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest…”

Repentance allows God’s grace to work in your heart.           

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

God will save you, but you cannot cling to your sin and to Jesus at the same time!

Matt 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

  1. With out Repentance Judgment will come

 (Luke 13:6-9) principles regarding God’s judgment

He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’“

This is the plea for one more chance. One more opportunity for to bear fruit. We know God is gracious and He gives us chance after chance to be fruitful for Him.

Jesus tells us that God desires fruit from our lives. Jesus said, “I am the vine, my Father is the husbandman. And every branch in me that brings forth fruit he purges it, that it might bring forth more fruit. John 15:1

 “Abide in me, let my word abide in you that you might bring forth much fruit. Herein is your Father glorified” (John 15:7, 8).

The fig tree had leaves but no fruit. It looked good but it didn’t bear fruit. Just like some people may look good; but God wants’ their life to bring forth fruit.

Of course, the fruit of the Spirit is love and is displayed in many ways. Someone has said that God loves to walk in His garden and just enjoy His fruit which is love. You see He just wants you to love Him. And wants you to receive His love and have a loving relationship with Him. 

Jesus also used this parable to illustrate principles of God’s judgment when He said. He came seeking fruit:            The first point is simple: God looks for fruit. The fruit of our live shows what kind of person we really are. An apple tree will produce apples, not grapefruit.

If our lives have really been touched by Jesus Christ, it will show in the fruit we bear, even if it takes a while for the fruit to come forth.

What fruit is God looking for? It certainly has to begin with the fruit of the Spirit, mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

The second point He makes with the statement Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit . . . let it alone this year:

The typology of God as a farmer in the parable shows the patience of God in judgment. He waited three years and gave it a second chance.

2 Peter 3:8-9 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.                                                  

The third point; the farmer did not leave the tree alone. He gave it special care. Perhaps God is showing His special care for you right now but it feels like there is manure all around you!

The thing is don’t resist God’s work. Flow with it and start to bear fruit as He continues to work in your life

Fourth point The farmer shows that God is just in His judgment. If not, after that you can cut it down:

There finally will come a day of reckoning. God does not make an endless string of threats.

Ps 9:8 He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.

1 Peter 4:5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.  You’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and shameless immoral life.                                                                                                       

Now it’s time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore. But you don’t have to give an account to them. They’re the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself 1 Peter 4:5 msg.

Fifth point we all are required to give an answer

Rom 14:11-12 It is written: “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God. 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Phil 2:9-11Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Fire, signs of the time, our response