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Bible Commentaries
Luke 13

Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy ScriptureOrchard's Catholic Commentary

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Verses 1-35

XIII 1-9 A Call to Repentance —Proper to Lk, carrying on the theme of the discourse just concluded. The fate of Israel is at stake, and the Jews will no longer find any advantage over other men. Indeed they will have the mortification of seeing themselves excluded from the Kingdom of God, while those whom they have despised as outcasts from God will be received, 25-30. Therefore while there is time let them bring forth fruits of repentance, a lesson emphasized by the Parable of the Fig-tree. The allegorical application is clear; Israel is receiving the most careful attention from the Divine Gardener, as the presence of Jesus proves, but failure to respond will entail speedy and final punishment. The note of impending disaster is increasing. 1. On Pilate’s slaughter of the Galileans, cf. § 72c.

10-17 Further Dispute about the Sabbath —Proper to Lk. The miracle which arouses the dispute exemplifies the above remark concerning God’s continued efforts to save Israel; but the response it calls forth from one who represents the leaders of Israel confirms the doleful prognostications of Jesus. In using the words ’whom Satan hath bound these eighteen years’ he does not indicate diabolical possession, though they seem to indicate supernatural knowledge on his part, for the miracle was not asked for. See note above (§ 757f) on disease and diabolical influence.

18-30 Three Parables of the Kingdom —The first two are among Mt’s collected parables of the Kingdom, 13:13-33; Mark 4:3-32, omitted in the Lucan parallel and reserved for this place where they are connected with the present context; cf. 12:32 and 51 ff. The comparisons which insist on the smallness of the beginnings serve to recall again the blindness and obstinacy of the majority of the Jews, and so provide an introduction to the third parable which foreshadows the reprobation of the Jews’ and the welcome accorded to the Gentiles; parallels in Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 25:11-12; Matthew 7:22-23; Matthew 8:11-12; Matthew 19:30. It will be noted that here, as often in the Journey Narrative, the teaching is occasioned by an interruption from the audience; 10:25; 11:1, 27, 45; 12:13, 41; 13:1 24-25. Omit ’but’ at the beginning of 25 (not in Gk) and join the two verses together as one parable, according to some commentators, though they appear separately in Matthew 7:13-14 and 25:10-12. The entrance to the Kingdom is narrow in the sense described by our Lord, i.e. severe renunciation is the condition of entrance.

26 gives a strong allegorical turn to the parable, thus identifying Jesus with the master of the house who admits to or excludes from the Kingdom.

28. ’There’, i.e. in that place which means exclusion from the Kingdom; outside the door, where they are shut out from the society of the patriarchs and consequently no longer true children of Abraham; cf. 16:22; 3:8; Galatians 3:7 ff. ’Weeping and gnashing of teeth here alone in Lk but oftener in Mt, expressing sorrow and terror; ß???µ79? means the chattering of teeth with fear rather than gnashing them with rage.

30. As in Matthew 19:30 and 20:16.

31-35 Lament over Jerusalem —cf.Matthew 23:37-39, where there is almost verbal correspondence with 34-35. Mt has the better context, where Jesus is at or near Jerusalem, while in Lk he is in Peraea, the territory of Herod Antipas; Peraea however extended to the west of Jordan and its frontier approached Jerusalem. He is in the neighbourhood of Machaerus where Herod had executed John; hence perhaps the warning in 31. It does not seem clear whether these Pharisees are welldisposed, or merely plotting to get Jesus into Judaea and within their power. His answer fits either case; he will not go up to Jerusalem until the time appointed for him to die there, and until that time nothing shall stop him from carrying out the mission bestowed on him by his Father.

32. The day here spoken of is not to be taken as the natural space of time. ’I am consummated’, te?e???+^µa? ’I reach the end’.

35. Omit ’desolate’, which has been added from Matthew 23:38. ’Your house’ seems to mean the temple; a foreboding of the cessation of the Mcsaic worship. 35b seems to foretell the greeting on Palm Sunday (cf. 19:38) but its parallel in Matthew 23:39 follows Palm Sunday. Hence the conclusion of the commentators that our Lord is here speaking of a future event that will take place after his Passion; according to some, his second coming; according to others, the time foretold by St Paul, Romans 11:25, when the Jews shall be converted and recognize Jesus as the Messias.

Bibliographical Information
Orchard, Bernard, "Commentary on Luke 13". Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/boc/luke-13.html. 1951.
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