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Chapter 13

1Just then some people came up to bring him word of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. 2And he answered,

“Do you think, because this happened to them, that these Galileans were worse sinners than any other Galileans? 3No, I tell you; unless you repent, you will all perish as they did! 4Or those eighteen people at Siloam who were killed when the tower fell upon them—do you think they were worse offenders than all the other people who live in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; unless you repent, you will all perish as they did!”

6He used this figure:

“A man had a fig tree growing in his garden, and he went to look for fruit on it, and could not find any. 7And he said to the gardener, ‘Here I have come three years to look for fruit on this fig tree, without finding any. Cut it down. Why should it waste the ground?’ 8He answered, ‘Let it stand this one year more, sir, till I dig around it and manure it; 9perhaps it will bear fruit next year. But if it does not, you can have it cut down.’ ”

10One Sabbath he was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and there was a woman there who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit. She was bent double and could not straighten herself up at all. 12When Jesus saw her he called to her,

“You are freed from your sickness!”

13And he laid his hands on her, and she instantly became erect, and praised God. 14But the leader of the synagogue, in his vexation because Jesus had cured her on the Sabbath, spoke out and said to the crowd,

“There are six days on which it is right to work. Come on them and be cured, but not on the Sabbath day.”

15But the Master answered,

“You hypocrites! Does not every one of you untie his ox or his donkey from the stall on the Sabbath and lead him away to water him? 16And did not this woman, who is a descendant of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen years, have to be released from those bonds on the Sabbath day?”

17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, and all the people were delighted at all the splendid things that he did.

18He said, therefore,

“What is the Kingdom of God like, and to what can I compare it? 19It is like a mustard seed that a man took and dropped in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the wild birds roosted on its branches.”

20And he went on,

“To what can I compare the Kingdom of God? 21It is like yeast that a woman took and hid in a bushel of flour, till it all rose.”

22So he went about among the towns and villages, teaching and making his way toward Jerusalem. 23And someone said to him,

“Are only a few to be saved, Master?”

He said to them,

24“You must strain every nerve to get in through the narrow door, for I tell you many will try to get in, and will not succeed, 25when the master of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock on the door, and say, ‘Open it for us, sir!’ Then he will answer you and say, ‘I do not know where you come from,’ 26Then you will go on to say, ‘We have been entertained with you, and you have taught in our streets!’ 27And he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from. Get away from me, all you wrongdoers!’ 28There you will weep and gnash your teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, while you are put outside. 29People will come from the east and west and the north and south, and take their places in the Kingdom of God. 30There are those now last who will then be first, and there are those now first who will be last.”

31Just then some Pharisees came up and said to him,

“Go! Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you!”

32He said to them,

“Go and say to that fox, ‘Here I am, driving out demons and performing cures, today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will be through. 33But I must go on today and tomorrow and the next day, for it is not right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem.’ 34O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! murdering the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her, how often I have longed to gather your children around me, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you refused! 35Now I leave you to yourselves. And I tell you, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessed be he who comes in the Lord’s name!’ ”

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