Jesus Tells People to Turn to God and Change the Way They Think and Act
1At that time some people reported to Jesus about some Galileans whom Pilate had executed while they were sacrificing animals. 2Jesus replied to them, “Do you think that this happened to them because they were more sinful than other people from Galilee? 3No! I can guarantee that they weren’t. But if you don’t turn to God and change the way you think and act, then you, too, will all die. 4What about those 18 people who died when the tower at Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more sinful than other people living in Jerusalem? 5No! I can guarantee that they weren’t. But if you don’t turn to God and change the way you think and act, then you, too, will all die.”
A Story about a Fruitless Tree
6Then Jesus used this illustration: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on the tree but didn’t find any. 7He said to the gardener, ‘For the last three years I’ve come to look for figs on this fig tree but haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up ⌞good⌟ soil?’
8“The gardener replied, ‘Sir, let it stand for one more year. I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9Maybe next year it’ll have figs. But if not, then cut it down.’ ”
Jesus Heals a Disabled Woman
10Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the day of rest—a holy day. 11A woman who was possessed by a spirit was there. The spirit had disabled her for 18 years. She was hunched over and couldn’t stand up straight. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her to come to him and said, “Woman, you are free from your disability.” 13He placed his hands on her, and she immediately stood up straight and praised God.
14The synagogue leader was irritated with Jesus for healing on the day of rest. The leader told the crowd, “There are six days when work can be done. So come on one of those days to be healed. Don’t come on the day of rest—a holy day.”
15The Lord said, “You hypocrites! Don’t each of you free your ox or donkey on the day of rest—a holy day? Don’t you then take it out of its stall to give it some water to drink? 16Now, here is a descendant of Abraham. Satan has kept her in this condition for 18 years. Isn’t it right to free her on the day of rest—a holy day?”
17As he said this, everyone who opposed him felt ashamed. But the entire crowd was happy about the miraculous things he was doing.
Stories about a Mustard Seed and Yeast
(Matthew 13:31–33; Mark 4:30–32)
18Jesus asked, “What is God’s kingdom like? What can I compare it to? 19It’s like a mustard seed that someone planted in a garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds nested in its branches.”
20He asked again, “What can I compare God’s kingdom to? 21It’s like yeast that a woman mixed into a large amount of flour until the yeast worked its way through all the dough.”
The Narrow Door
22Then Jesus traveled and taught in one city and village after another on his way to Jerusalem.
23Someone asked him, “Sir, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He answered, 24“Try hard to enter through the narrow door. I can guarantee that many will try to enter, but they won’t succeed. 25After the homeowner gets up and closes the door, ⌞it’s too late⌟. You can stand outside, knock at the door, and say, ‘Sir, open the door for us!’ But he will answer you, ‘I don’t know who you are.’ 26Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27But he will tell you, ‘I don’t know who you are. Get away from me, all you evil people.’ 28Then you will cry and be in extreme pain. That’s what you’ll do when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets. They’ll be in God’s kingdom, but you’ll be thrown out. 29People will come from all over the world and will eat in God’s kingdom. 30Some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.”
Jesus Warns Jerusalem
31At that time some Pharisees told Jesus, “Get out of here, and go somewhere else! Herod wants to kill you.”
32Jesus said to them, “Tell that fox that I will force demons out of people and heal people today and tomorrow. I will finish my work on the third day. 33But I must be on my way today, tomorrow, and the next day. It’s not possible for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem.
34“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you kill the prophets and stone to death those sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you were not willing! 35Your house will be abandoned. I can guarantee that you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”