The Character of Jesus 26

Luke 13:1 – 9

Expanding the Question; Addressing the Root Problem

  • (1)  Although it is possible that this information was presented to Jesus in hopes that He would say something derogatory about Pilate and, as a result, be arrested, it is more likely that actual motive is illustrated in Jesus’ response.  (Note: there is no historical record of these events, probably because they were not important in the larger scheme of history.)
  • (2)  Jesus replied that the calamities were not orchestrated by God, but were the result of human choices.  Yet, people commonly say, “Everything happens for a reason.”
  • (3)  The original question presumably stemmed from the common belief that bad things happened because of sin, so those Galileans must have been terrible sinners.  Jesus expanded His answer beyond what the audience was asking.  Essentially, He replied with the idea that everyone will die at some point and face judgment, so be ready.  Trying to explain why this happened to these particular people is pointless.
  • (4 – 5)  Jesus added His own example, also from current events, making the same point.
  • (6 – 9)  The parable expanded the question again, insinuating that He is the vineyard keeper who bought them some extra time.  So, rather than obsessing over why things happen as they do, thank Jesus for the tilling (discipline) and fertilizing (the Word and the indwelling Spirit) and extra time to produce (grace).
  • Other parables from the same period with similar extended scenarios:
    • (Luke 8:5 – 18) Parable of the Sower.  It’s about the soil, not the seed.  The proof of good soil is a crop.  Just being exposed to the seed is not enough.  Only good soil is acceptable.
    • (Mark 4:26 – 29) The Parable of Seed Growth.  The mechanism of growth between planting and harvesting is largely unknown, yet we rely on it.  The same is true of the Kingdom.  Sow, then be ready to harvest.  Both are necessary.  Don’t expect to know all the details of how it works.
    • (Matthew 13:24 – 30) Parable of the Tares.  Let God sort out the wheat from the weeds at Judgment.  Don’t trample the wheat trying to pull the weeds.
    • (Matthew 13:31 – 32) Parable of the Mustard Seed.  Mustard seeds are tiny, but grow into large plants.  Even when starting small, the Kingdom, when purposefully planted and allowed to grow, will do so.
    • (Matthew 13:33 – 35) Parable of the Leaven.  A little leaven affects a large amount of dough.  The kingdom, when well mixed, affects a whole society.  We do not make bread from leaven only.  The dough will not rise without leaven.
    • (Matthew 13:44) Parable of the Treasure Hidden in a Field.  The Kingdom has such value that we should go to great lengths to possess it.  Do we present it that way?
    • (Matthew 13:45 – 46) Parable of the Pearl of Great Price.  The Kingdom has such value that we should go to great lengths to possess it.  Do we expose the treasures or just the escape from judgment?
    • (Matthew 13:47 – 49) Parable of the Fishing Net.  The Kingdom will gather many, but not all will be suited to it.  Do not be surprised or worried that there are some bad fish.  That is normal and God will handle it.