Luk 13 outline:
Luk 13:1-5, Unless you repent you will all likewise perish
Luk 13:6-9, The parable of the fig tree not bearing fruit
Luk 13:10-17, A woman loosed from her infirmity on the Sabbath
Luk 13:18-19, The parable of the mustard seed
Luk 13:20-21, The parable of the leaven
Luk 13:22-30, Enter through the narrow gate / the parable of the householder who has closed the door
Luk 13:31-35, Herod seeking Him to kill him + lament over Jerusalem
Luk 13 chiastic structure:
1a) Luk 13:1, Pilate who had mingled the blood of Galileans with their sacrifices;
1b) Luk 13:2-5, They were not worse sinners than the rest, but unless you repent, you will likewise perish;
1c) Luk 13:6-9, The parable of the fig tree not bearing fruit;
1d) Luk 13:10-13, Jesus loosed a woman from her infirmity on the Sabbath + she glorified God;
central axis) Luk 13:14, The ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day;”
2d) Luk 13:15-17, It is lawful to be freed from Satan’s bondage on the Sabbath + the multitude rejoiced in His glorious works;
2c) Luk 13:18-21, The parables of the mustard seed + leaven;
2b) Luk 13:22-30, Enter through the narrow gate/ those who will be thrust out of the kingdom;
1a) Luk 13:22-24, Few saved/ enter through the narrow gate/ many who will not enter;
1b) Luk 13:25a, The householder who has shut the door + those outside knocking to be let in;
1c) Luk 13:25b, He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from;’
central axis) Luk 13;26, You will say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets;’
2c) Luk 13:27a, But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from;’
2b) Luk 13:27b, ‘Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity;’
2a) Luk 13:28-30,Thrust out of the kingdom/ those from the east, west, north, and south/ the last first + first last;
2a) Luk 13:31-35, Herod seeking Jesus to kill Him / Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem.
B pair: Repentance is the key to salvation, not membership in the right club.
C pair: In the parable of the fig tree which did not bear fruit, we do not know the end of the story. We don’t know if in the fourth year the fig tree bore fruit or not. We just know the landowner and gardener waited for the fig tree to bear fruit, while they cared for it and fertilized it. In this parable, the fig tree may very well have been saved, but there is a delay of time before it becomes apparent by its fruit.
In the parable of the mustard seed and the leaven, the seed of faith (which is the seed that bears fruit) is hidden at first, and it is not apparent to others that growth is happening. Again, a time delay. The parables seem to be saying, that we will know them by their fruit, but fruit needs time to develop – therefore the LORD is patient with us (and with others).
That the central axis is the ruler of the synagogue’s rebuke of Jesus underscores this chapter’s message: things are not always what they seem.
He was the religious professional, but his rebuke was wrong, and his doctrine about the Sabbath was wrong. You would think he would have it right. But doing good, releasing from the enemy’s bondage, and setting free, are all worthy works for the Sabbath day of rest. Jesus was in the synagogue on the Sabbath day, after all, and not out in the field or in the carpentry shop working His job.