Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.CHAPTER 13
1. The Necessity of Repentance. (Luke 13:1-5.)
2. The Barren Fig Tree. (Luke 13:6-9)
3. The Healing of a Daughter of Abraham. (Luke 13:10-17)
4. Parable of the Mustard Seed. (Luke 13:18-19)
5. Parable of the Leaven. (Luke 13:20-21)
6. Solemn Teachings. (Luke 13:22-30)
7. The Answer to Herod. (Luke 13:31-33)
8. Lament over Jerusalem. (Luke 13:34-35.)
Luke alone gives the parable of the fig tree as well as the historical incidents preceding the parable. The absolute necessity of repentance is emphasized by the Lord. The fig tree is the nation Israel; but the individual application must not be eliminated. When there is no repentance, after God’s merciful patience, the delayed judgment will be executed. Israel illustrates this fully. The tree was hewn down, though the root remains. In Matthew we read of the budding fig tree, the sign that the summer is nigh.
The healing of the daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, is reported only by Luke. Attention has been called to the significance of the number 18. Upon 18 fell the tower of Siloam and the woman, who was bound for 18 years. “The number 18, which is 3 x 6 (six the number of man) speaks of evil manifested in its highest uprise”--Numerical Bible. Satan had manifested his dreadful power over this daughter of Abraham but the Son of Man, who came to seek and to save that which is lost, has the power to deliver her. She was made straight and glorified God. The expression “daughter of Abraham” signifies that she was a believer. Satan was permitted to afflict her body; it was the same with Job. See also 1Corinthians 5:5.
The parables of the mustard seed and the leaven appear in Luke in an entirely different setting than in Matthew. We have already seen in our annotations of Matthew 13:1-58, what these two parables teach. Here in Luke they are evidently closely linked with the parable of the barren fig tree, showing that when Israel has failed and passed under the national judgment, the Kingdom of God, as resting in the hands of man, becomes like any other kingdom of the world, sheltering the unclean (fowls), and internally it is corrupted by leaven.
Solemn teachings follow in answer to the question “Lord, are there few to be saved?” The door is open, but narrow. And the door to salvation will one day be shut for those who refused to enter in. And here we find the words which were omitted by Luke in the account of the healing of the Centurion’s servant. The application to the Jews, who rejected Him, and the acceptance of the Gospel by the Gentiles is self -evident. The person, whom our Lord calls “fox,” most likely was Herod himself. The “today and tomorrow” refer to His great work in bearing testimony and working miracles; the third day, when He would be perfected, is the day of resurrection. Then follows His lament over Jerusalem. The consecutive teachings of this chapter, beginning with the necessity of repentance, Israel’s failure, the demonstration of His power, His solemn words and finally His lament over Jerusalem are intensely interesting.