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1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
Ver. 1. Told him of the Galileans ] So called from Judas Gaulonites, or Galilaeus, their captain; to whose faction also belonged those four thousand murderers, Acts 21:38 . For Pilate had not authority over the Galileans properly so called. See Josephus, xviii. 2.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
Ver. 2. Because they suffered such things ] None out of hell ever suffered more than those worthies, Hebrews 11:1-40 . Shall any therefore condemn that generation of God’s children?Psalms 73:15; Psalms 73:15 . SeeLamentations 4:6; Lamentations 4:6 ; Daniel 9:12 .
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Ver. 3. Except ye repent ] Aut poenitendum, aut pereundum. Either repent or perish. Men must either turn from sin or burn in hell.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
Ver. 4. The tower of Siloam ] A tower, belike, upon the wall of Jerusalem, which stood by the fish pool of Siloam, mentioned John 9:17 .
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Ver. 5. But except ye repent ] Except the best of you all repent more and more when ye see the examples of God’s wrath, &c. God would not have the wounds of godly sorrow so healed up in his own children, but that they should bleed afresh upon every good occasion. De aliorum plagis faciamus medicamenta vulneribus nostris. Make best use of others’ miseries.
6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Ver. 6. A vineyard ] So the Church is frequently called. See Trapp on " Mat 21:33 "
7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
Ver. 7. Cut it down ] Trees that are not for fruit are for the fire. God will lay down his basket and take up his axe. He will not always serve men for a sinning stock.
8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it :
Ver. 8. Lord, let it alone this year ] Happy that people that have praying vinedressers to intercede for them! God will yield somewhat to prayer, when he is bitterly bent against a people or person.
Till I shall dig, &c. ] Donec eam ablaqueavero et stercoravero. (Beza.) Ministers must try their utmost to fulfil their ministry that they have received of the Lord, Colossians 4:17 .
9 And if it bear fruit, well : and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
Ver. 9. Then after that thou shalt cut it down ] The fig tree, they say, if it bear not the fourth year after it is planted, will never bear at all. If good be not done at first coming of the gospel to any place, seldom is any good ever done there.
10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
Ver. 10. On the sabbath ] The soul’s marketday, on which the Lord Christ sells to his people "gold tried in the fire, white raiment, eye salve," &c., Revelation 3:18 .
11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself .
Ver. 11. And was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself ] This infirmity might proceed from the gonorrhoea; but, besides that, the devil had a hand in it, for she was bound by Satan,Luke 13:16; Luke 13:16 . Novi quandam mulierem (saith Dr Garenceires) quae adhuc in vivis est-quae cum tribus abhinc annis gonorrhaea simplici laboraret, ea neglecta, tantam seminis iacturam intra annum passa est, ut quae prius erectae et firmae staturae fuerat, luxatis vertebris non solum gibbosa facta est, verum etiam in tantum κυβωσιν incidit, ut mentum umbilico (stupendum dictu) ferme insideat: vicinis interea illud pro miraculo habentibus. (De Tabe Anglicana.)
12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him , and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
Ver. 12. Thou art loosed ] For she had been bound by Satan,Luke 13:16; Luke 13:16 . All wicked worldlings are worse bound, and go grovelling, but feel it not, look not out for help, look not up to heaven, till laid upon their backs by death, as swine ready to be stuck.
13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
Ver. 13. And he laid his hands upon her ] Both to show his charity, and to signify that his quickening flesh is that ordinary instrument whereby he maketh us partakers of his saving grace.
14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
Ver. 14. Answered with indignation ] He that will be angry and not sin must be angry at nothing but at sin.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
Ver. 15. Thou hypocrite ] The Syriac rendereth it Assumens vultum, thou that settest a good face upon it, thou that impersonate a better man than thou art; thou picture of piety, &c.
16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
Ver. 16. Whom Satan hath bound ] So he held Job in captivity, Job 42:10 , by afflicting his body, buffeting his soul for a year together, say the Hebrews; for seven years, saith Suidas.
17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
Ver. 17. For all the glorious things ] Which yet his adversaries sought to deprave and denigrate, as if done by I know not what superstitious abuse of the name Jehovah.
18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
Ver. 18. See Mark 4:30-31 .
19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
Ver. 19. See Matthew 13:31 .
20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
Ver. 20. See Matthew 13:33 .
21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Ver. 21. See Matthew 13:33 .
22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Ver. 22. See Matthew 9:35 ; Mark 6:6 .
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
Ver. 23. Are there few, &c. ] Few received Christ in the flesh, John 1:12 : he wondered at one good Nathanael. They are Methe mispar that look towards heaven. Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto. The most rest on that old popish rule, To follow the crowd.
Are there few? ] A curious question, and therefore not vouchsafed an answer: whereas otherwhere, in things needful to be known, the Scripture often answers the questions and objections of men’s hearts only. "Jesus knowing their thoughts," &c.
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Ver. 24. Strive to enter ] Strive even to an agony; or as they did for the garland in the Olympic games, to the which the word αγωνιζεσθε , here used, seemeth to allude. All would come to heaven, but all like not the way; they would not per angusta ad augusta pervenire: come through the narrow way to paridise, they like well of Abraham’s bosom, but not of Dives’ door. But let none think to live in Delilah’s lap, and then to rest in Abraham’s bosom; to dance with the devil all day, and then to sup with Christ at night; to fly to heaven with pleasant wings, to pass a deliciis ad delicias, e caeno ad coelum, &c., from pleasure to pleasure, out of the mud to heaven, to go to heaven in a feather bed.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
Ver. 25. And hath shut to ] God is not always with men in the opportunities of grace. He hath his season, his harvest for judgment, Matthew 13:30 , when troops of those that forget God are turned into hell, Psalms 9:17 .
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
Ver. 26. We have eaten and drunk, &c. ] These pretenders to Christ perish by catching at their own catch, hanging on their own fancy, making a bridge of their own shadow, &c.; they verily believe that Christ is their sweet Saviour, &c., when it is no such matter; they trust to Christ, as the apricot tree that leans against the wall, but is fast rooted in the earth: so are these in the world, &c.
We have eaten and drunk in thy presence ] Even at thy table, but it became a snare to them.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
Ver. 27. See Matthew 7:23 ; Matthew 25:40 . See Trapp on " Mat 7:23 " See Trapp on " Mat 25:40 "
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
Ver. 28. See Matthew 8:12 ; Matthew 13:42 ; Matthew 24:51 .
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
Ver. 29. And shall sit down ] As at a sumptuous supper. When, therefore, we are invited to a full feast, think of heaven: as Fulgentius beholding at Rome the majesty of the emperor, the glory of the senate, the lustre of the nobility, cried out, How beautiful is Jerusalem the celestial, since Rome the terrestrial appeareth with such splendour. So Master Esty, when he sat and heard a sweet concert of music, seemed upon this occasion carried up for the time beforehand to the place of his rest, saying very passionately, What music may we think there is in heaven? (Dr Hall’s Art of Divine Meditation.)
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
Ver. 30. See Matthew 19:30 ; Matthew 20:16 ; Mark 10:31 .
31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
Ver. 31. For Herod will kill thee ]
" Tu vero Herodes sanguinolente timo. " (Beza, Ep.)
If Herod or these Pharisees had been as wise as Pilate’s wife, they would never have meddled with that just man.
32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Ver. 32. Today and tomorrow ] i.e. As long as I wish, without his leave. Faith makes a man walk about the world as a conqueror.
I shall be perfected ] Or, I shall be sacrificed, as Pareus rendereth it, τελειουμαι , In sacrificium offerar.
33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
Ver. 33. Out of Jerusalem ] That slanghterhouse of the saints, that bloody city, Isaiah 1:21 ; Ezekiel 24:6 .
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Ver. 34. See Matthew 23:37 .
35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Ver. 35. See Matthew 23:38-39 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12