Luke 13* Christ exhorts to repentance from the case of the Galileansand others. (1-5) Parable of the barren fig-tree. (6-9) Theinfirm woman strengthened. (10-17) The parables of the mustardseed, and leaven. (18-22) Exhortation to enter at the straitgate. (23-30) Christ's reproof to Herod, and to the people ofJerusalem. (31-35)1-5 Mention was made to Christ of the death of some Galileans.This tragical story is briefly related here, and is not met within any historians. In Christ's reply he spoke of another event,which, like it, gave an instance of people taken away by suddendeath. Towers, that are built for safety, often prove to bemen's destruction. He cautioned his hearers not to blame greatsufferers, as if they were therefore to be accounted greatsinners. As no place or employment can secure from the stroke ofdeath, we should consider the sudden removals of others aswarnings to ourselves. On these accounts Christ founded a callto repentance. The same Jesus that bids us repent, for thekingdom of heaven is at hand, bids us repent, for otherwise weshall perish. 6-9 This parable of the barren fig-tree is intended to enforcethe warning given just before: the barren tree, except it bringsforth fruit, will be cut down. This parable in the first placerefers to the nation and people of the Jews. Yet it is, withoutdoubt, for awakening all that enjoy the means of grace, and theprivileges of the visible church. When God has borne long, wemay hope that he will bear with us yet a little longer, but wecannot expect that he will bear always. 10-17 Our Lord Jesus attended upon public worship on thesabbaths. Even bodily infirmities, unless very grievous, shouldnot keep us from public worship on sabbath days. This woman cameto Christ to be taught, and to get good to her soul, and then herelieved her bodily infirmity. This cure represents the work ofChrist's grace upon the soul. And when crooked souls are madestraight, they will show it by glorifying God. Christ knew thatthis ruler had a real enmity to him and to his gospel, and thathe did but cloak it with a pretended zeal for the sabbath day;he really would not have them be healed any day; but if Jesusspeaks the word, and puts forth his healing power, sinners areset free. This deliverance is often wrought on the Lord's day;and whatever labour tends to put men in the way of receiving theblessing, agrees with the design of that day. 18-22 Here is the progress of the gospel foretold in twoparables, as in #Mt 13|. The kingdom of the Messiah is thekingdom of God. May grace grow in our hearts; may our faith andlove grow exceedingly, so as to give undoubted evidence of theirreality. May the example of God's saints be blessed to thoseamong whom they live; and may his grace flow from heart toheart, until the little one becomes a thousand. 23-30 Our Saviour came to guide men's consciences, not togratify their curiosity. Ask not, How many shall be saved? But,Shall I be one of them? Not, What shall become of such and such?But, What shall I do, and what will become of me? Strive toenter in at the strait gate. This is directed to each of us; itis, Strive ye. All that will be saved, must enter in at thestrait gate, must undergo a change of the whole man. Those thatwould enter in, must strive to enter. Here are awakeningconsiderations, to enforce this exhortation. Oh that we may beall awakened by them! They answer the question, Are there fewthat shall be saved? But let none despond either as tothemselves or others, for there are last who shall be first, andfirst who shall be last. If we reach heaven, we shall meet manythere whom we little thought to meet, and miss many whom weexpected to find. 31-35 Christ, in calling Herod a fox, gave him his truecharacter. The greatest of men were accountable to God,therefore it became him to call this proud king by his own name;but it is not an example for us. I know, said our Lord, that Imust die very shortly; when I die, I shall be perfected, I shallhave completed my undertaking. It is good for us to look uponthe time we have before us as but little, that we may thereby bequickened to do the work of the day in its day. The wickednessof persons and places which more than others profess religionand relation to God, especially displeases and grieves the LordJesus. The judgment of the great day will convince unbelievers;but let us learn thankfully to welcome, and to profit by all whocome in the name of the Lord, to call us to partake of his greatsalvation.
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