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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Luke 13

Verse 1

1 There was more or less friction between the Jews and the Romans, although, the former were suffered to carry on their religious practices. Something had occurred that angered Pilate, and he enforced his penalties upon them even while they were engaged in their sacrificial devotions. The reporters came to Jesus with the news, thinking the incident was a sort of "judgment" sent upon them by the Lord.

Verse 2

2 Jesus informed them that the Galilaeans were not any worse than other sinners in God's sight, even though this misfortune had come to them.

Verse 3

3 Likewise does not mean they were to meet the same fate, but that they would perish just as surely if they did not repent of their sins.

Verse 4

4 Jesus then added another event which they doubtless knew about, though we have no other account of it. He then asked them the same question as in verse 2.

Verse 5

5 He gave the same answer as he did to the question about the Gall-laeans. All sinners look alike to God, when it comes to dealing with them concerning their future after their stay on earth is ended. (See comments at chapter 12:47, 48.)

Verse 6

6 This certain man in the parable represents God, and the fig tree and vineyard is the Jewish nation (Isa 5:1-6).

Verse 7

7 The dresser of the vineyard is Christ to whom God announced his determination of destroying the nation, meaning he would disown it.

Verse 8

8 The Jews were given many opportunities to render acceptable service to God. They were given the assistance of prophets and other teachers of truth.

Verse 9

9 When they proved unworthy of the favor of God, they were given over to the outside forces who laid them even with the ground. This has reference to the overthrow of the nation by the Romans.

Verse 10

0 The use of synagogues is explained at Mat 4:23.

Verse 11

1 Spirit of infirmity means the woman was bent over from weakness to such an extent that she could not straigthen herself up.

Verse 12

2 Her to him is not in the original text. The passage means Jesus called to her and told her that she was released from her infirmity.

Verse 13

3 The woman was cured immediately as all miraculous cures were done. People who demand "plenty of time" for their so-called divine performances are frauds.

Verse 14

4 The Jews pretended to be offended at the desecration of the sab-bath. But note that the ruler did not have the fairness to attack Jesus direct, although he was the one who had done the work, but condemned the people. This was cowardly, for there was no evidence that they had come to be healed.

Verse 15

5 Jesus had respect for the sabbath and for all other items in the law. But he knew that it was not reverence for the day that prompted the ruler to criticize him, but a desire to have a pretext for condemning him. Because of this Jesus called him a hypocrite. He further exposed the insincerity of the critic, by reminding him of his own practice of attending the care of his beast even on the sabbath.

Verse 16

6 Satan hath bound. The devil has supernatural power when God suffers him to exert it. The reader should see the comments on this subject at Exo 8:16-19, in volume 1 of the Old Testament Commentary. Yet there is no evidence that the present case of infirmity was a direct act of Satan. Diseases are in the world because of the sin of Adam, and it was the devil who induced him and his wife to commit it and thus bring disease and death into the world.

Verse 17

7 The argument of Jesus was unanswerable, which caused his critics to be ashamed. The people were truly glad to see the afflicted woman relieved.

Verse 18

8 To be like or resemble a thing does not mean identical in, every particular. That is why the precaution was offered at Mat 13:3.

Verse 19

9 See the comments on Mat 13:32 for the present verse.

Verse 20

1 Leaven has been misunderstood by many readers of the Bible. The same parable is discussed at Mat 13:33.

Verse 22

2 City and village are often used interchangeably in the New Testament. When named together as in this place, the former is somewhat the larger.

Verse 23

3 We are not told just why this question was asked Jesus by the man in the audience. It is reasonable to conclude it was because of the strict teaching he had been doing.

Verse 24

4 To enter in all comes from one Greek word, and the meaning is "to be among or of the number." That is, to be among the saved ones, since that is the question asked of Jesus. Strive is from AGONIZOMAI which Thayer defines, "To enter a contest; contend in the gymnastic games. To contend with adversaries, fight. To contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers. To endeavor with strenuous zeal, strive." The word originated with the athletic performances in which opposing persons engaged against each other. It is used by Jesus with reference to the struggle for salvation, because Satan and his followers are arrayed against the man who wishes to serve the Lord. To enter in is the same as in the beginning of the verse, and means that many will seek to be among the saved but will not be able. There is no account of a case where sinners tried to obey the commands of the apostles or other evangelists of the Gospel, and found it impossible. Hence we must look further for the date when this disappointment will befall human beings.

Verse 25

5 This verse tells when the disappointment will come that was spoken of at the preceding verse. It will be when Jesus closes the door to salvation which will be at the judgment day. This is proved by the passage of Mat 25:31-46. I know you not is explained at Mat 25:12.

Verse 26

6 They thought Jesus meant he would be literally unacquainted with them, hence they made the argument about their personal association with him.

Verse 27

7. I know you not is used in the same sense as in verse 25.

Verse 28

9 Abraham and the others named had been dead for centuries, and the kingdom on earth had not been set up when Jesus said those words, hence we know he meant the kingdom after the judgment. This paragraph is discussed at length at Mat 8:11-12.

Verse 30

0 First and last are explained at Mat 19:30.

Verse 31

1 The Pharisees were enemies of Jesus and wanted to get him out of the community. They thought they could frighten him by a threat about Herod (Antipas).

Verse 32

2 Jesus disregarded the insincerity of the warning, because there was no doubt that Herod would be disposed to do the very thing the Pharisees suggested. He therefore proposed sending him a message to let him know that the good work being done would continue regardless of any supposed danger. Fox is used figuratively and when so used is explained by Thayer to mean, "a sly and crafty man."

Verse 33

3 Jesus announced that he had a three-day journey to make soon in order to arrive at Jerusalem. And that was necessary because it was determined by the Lord that he should die by violence (Act 2:23), yet the Jews could not lawfully condemn a man until he had been brought before the Sanhedrin which was in that city. (See Josephus, Antiquities, Book 14, Chapter 9, Section 3.)

Verse 34

5 This is a fundamental statement and prediction. It occurs almost verbatim in Mat 23:37-39, which is commented upon quite fully at that place.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Luke 13". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/luke-13.html. 1952.