St Luke 13 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Luke: Luke Chapter Thirteen: Read here:

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/luke/13?lang=eng

13 Mustard tree

Destruction Awaits Those Who Will Not Repent: Luke 13: 1-5:

More especially, we shouldn’t judge people as evil because they suffer atrocities, because we could be next.

‘There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilæans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

‘And Jesus answering said unto them,

“Suppose ye that these Galilæans were sinners above all the Galilæans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

“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? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”’

Parable of the Fig Tree: Luke 13:6-9:

‘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.

‘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?”

‘And he answering said unto him,

“Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”

Jesus Healed a Woman on the Sabbath Day: Luke 13:10-13:

‘And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

‘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. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her,

“Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.”

‘And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.’

For those who have received a healing blessing through the priesthood power of God, they know that this power is real. For those who have faith to be healed, one day they will be healed. Because of God’s love for us and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we may all be forgiven of our sins, healed of our infirmities, and raised to eternal life.

The Sabbath Day is a Day of Healing! : Luke 13:14-17:

‘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.”

‘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? 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?”

‘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.’

Are we ever guilty of exacting the letter of the law without remembering the essence of the law, which is to love the Lord our God with all that we have and our and to love our neighbor as ourselves?

In every way, the Sabbath day we set apart by the Lord as a day of healing, with both physical and spiritual renewal. On the Sabbath, we are to rest from our labors, renew our covenants, and seek to reclaim souls to Jesus Christ. What greater healing is there?

The Parables of the Mustard Seed (and of Leaven Likened to the Kingdom of Heaven): Luke 13:18-21:

‘Then said he,

Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?”

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.”

‘And again he said,

Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?

It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

A mustard seed is very tiny, but from it grows a great tree. Yeast is a leavening agent that is only a small percentage of bread dough, but it makes the dough more than double its size. The kingdom of God may have had small beginnings in the preaching of the gospel, but it will continue to roll forth unto it fills the whole earth as Daniel prophesied.

Jesus Taught in the Cities and Villages along His Path: Luke 13: 22:

‘And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.’

Are we observant to the opportunities that are ours to teach and to serve in our daily lives, to go about doing good as the Lord did? Are we so focused on what is the next task ahead of us, or the next appointment we must be to, that we miss the opportunities to serve our brothers and sisters whom the Lord has placed in our paths?

If we pray and look for missionary opportunities every day, we will certainly be given them, and while we lose ourselves in the service of the Lord, we will bless the lives of others, and we will find ourselves. Our lives will be enriched and our purpose strengthened.   

Who Then Shall Enter? : Luke 13:23-30:

‘Then said one unto him,

Lord, are there few that be saved?”

‘And he said unto them,

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (vs. 23-24).

We know what the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are. Jesus has made it abundantly clear that in order to be saved we must have faith in Him; we must repent of our sins; we be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and we must receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands as Jesus’s ancient disciples did following His resurrection.

So many practicing Christians today have ignored these crucial principles and ordinances taught by the Savior Himself both to His disciples during His Mortal Ministry and to His disciples of the Latter-day.

“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”:

‘Then shall ye begin to say,

“We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.”

‘But he shall say,

“I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

“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.

“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.

“And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last” (vs. 25-30).

Being descendants of Abraham, or merely professing the name of Jesus Christ, will not save us. We must keep His commandments, following the principles and ordinances which He taught and which He Himself received; and, we must endure to the end. It is through faith in Jesus Christ and through the power of His Atonement that we will be saved.

But, as James said, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). This is in no way conflicting with Paul’s teachings that we are saved by grace and not works. James, unlike Paul, was not talking about the works of The Law of Moses, which was completely fulfilled after Christ’s resurrection. James was talking about the necessary ordinances of the gospel taught by the Savior, His brother, and about doing the works that Christ would have us do in enduring to the end.

Discipleship is not lip service; it is following the Master.

Jesus Would Finish His Work Despite Peril: Luke 13:31-35:

‘The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him,

“Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.”

‘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.

“Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

This he spake, signifying of his death. And in this very hour he began to weep over Jerusalem (JST),

“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!

“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.”’

[“Ye shall not know me, until ye have received from the hand of the Lord a just recompense for all your sins; until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (JST).]

Though Jesus knew He would be taken and wrongfully judged, though He knew He would suffer and die for the sins of the world, Jesus could not be thwarted from following the purposes of His Father and fulfilling the promises. He Himself had faith in those promises: that through Him all mankind might be saved by obedience to the principles and ordinances of the gospel and through faith on His name.

He completed His mission with His resurrection, bringing eternal hope to a fallen world.

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