Turn Back to God
1About this same time Jesus was told that Pilate had given orders for some people from Galilee to be killed while they were offering sacrifices. 2Jesus replied:
Do you think that these people were worse sinners than everyone else in Galilee just because of what happened to them? 3Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don't turn back to God, every one of you will also be killed. 4What about those 18 people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were worse than everyone else in Jerusalem? 5Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don't turn back to God, every one of you will also die.
A Story about a Fig Tree
6Jesus then told them this story:
A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. One day he went out to pick some figs, but he didn't find any. 7So he said to the gardener, “For three years I have come looking for figs on this tree, and I haven't found any yet. Chop it down! Why should it take up space?”
8The gardener answered, “Master, leave it for another year. I'll dig around it and put some manure on it to make it grow. 9Maybe it will have figs on it next year. If it doesn't, you can have it cut down.”
Healing a Woman on the Sabbath
10One Sabbath, Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11and a woman was there who had been crippled by an evil spirit for 18 years. She was completely bent over and could not straighten up. 12When Jesus saw the woman, he called her over and said, “You are now well.” 13He placed his hands on her, and at once she stood up straight and praised God.
14 The man in charge of the synagogue was angry because Jesus had healed someone on the Sabbath. So he said to the people, “Each week has six days when we can work. Come and be healed on one of those days, but not on the Sabbath.”
15The Lord replied, “Are you trying to fool someone? Won't any one of you untie your ox or donkey and lead it out to drink on a Sabbath? 16This woman belongs to the family of Abraham, but Satan has kept her bound for 18 years. Isn't it right to set her free on the Sabbath?” 17Jesus' words made his enemies ashamed. But everyone else in the crowd was happy about the wonderful things he was doing.
A Mustard Seed and Yeast
(Matthew 13.31-33; Mark 4.30-32)
18Jesus said, “What is God's kingdom like? What can I compare it with? 19It is like what happens when someone plants a mustard seed in a garden. The seed grows as big as a tree, and birds nest in its branches.”
20Then Jesus said, “What can I compare God's kingdom with? 21It is like what happens when a woman mixes yeast into three batches of flour. Finally, all the dough rises.”
The Narrow Door
22As Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he taught the people in the towns and villages. 23Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
24Do all you can to go in by the narrow door! A lot of people will try to get in, but will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and locks the door, you will be left standing outside. You will knock on the door and say, “Sir, open the door for us!”
But the owner will answer, “I don't know a thing about you!”
26Then you will start saying, “We dined with you, and you taught in our streets.”
27 But he will say, “I really don't know who you are! Get away from me, you evil people!”
28 Then when you have been thrown outside, you will weep and grit your teeth because you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God's kingdom. 29People will come from all directions and sit down to feast in God's kingdom. 30 There the ones who are now least important will be the most important, and those who are now most important will be least important.
Jesus and Herod
31At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “You had better get away from here, because Herod wants to kill you!”
32Jesus said to them:
Go tell that fox, “I am going to force out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and three days later I'll be through.” 33But I am going on my way today and tomorrow and the next day. After all, Jerusalem is the place where prophets are killed.
Jesus Loves Jerusalem
34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed the prophets and have stoned the messengers who were sent to you. I have often wanted to gather your people, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you wouldn't let me. 35 Now your temple will be deserted. You won't see me again until the time when you say,
“Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of the Lord.”