Note: In chapters 13 and 14 Jesus continues his preaching ministry. The pharisees continue to harass Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. Jesus speaks of the narrow door of discipleship and later of the cost of discipleship. Our study focuses on an often asked question: Why?
PM Adult Bible Study – W – O – R – S – E – Luke 13: 1 – 9
See: Genesis 3:17, 18; Jeremiah 25: 8, 9; 2 Chronicles 29:8; Psalm 22:1, 90: 7, 8; John 9:2, 3; Matthew 5:45; 2 Peter 1: 5-8
W – Why of woes – vs. 1 Some in Jesus audience are preoccupied with a tragedy. They want to know the why of tragedy.
O – Options v. 2 There could be many reasons for tragedy to strike, but the standard explanation is that the sufferer was guilty of wrongdoing. Jesus wants to dismiss that assumption.
R – Repentance v. 3, 5 Jesus gives two examples of tragedy. He dismisses the assumption that these persons were worse than others. They were not suffering for greater sins. Then Jesus calls for repentance in the listener.
S – Spiritual sterility – v. 6, 7 Jesus speaks in a parable. The parable represents spiritual sterility. Those who are spiritually fruitless can expect to suffer.
E – Endurance – vs. 8, 9 In the parable the steward buys time for the fruitless fig tree. Jesus has bought time for us that we might produce spiritual fruit.
Exemplary story: When I was a teen, I was hired to clear an overgrown lot behind the owner’s house. I made good progress in clearing the lot, but I found in the overgrowth neglected iris corms. I pointed out to the owner that there were flower bulbs in her weeds. She insisted there were none and asked that I clear away everything. I kept the bulbs and planted them in the rich dirt of my parent’s farm. The next spring a beautiful bed of iris bloomed in May. Maybe God is hoping that you will bloom in the season to come.
Luke 13:1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
Prayer: Lord God, when tragedy strikes, may we be quick to add our prayers and support to the suffering.
Thought for the day: Filling our week with prayer time is far more productive than filling our week with gossip time.
Luke 13: 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?”
Prayer: Jesus, Son of God, may we place our faith in you when we see tragedy all around.
Thought for the day: God is prepared to answer difficult prayers, and God is prepared to answer hard questions.
Luke 13: 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Son of God, we repent of all the times we have disappointed you.
Thought for the day: Some tragedies are accidents, and some are man-made.
Luke 13: 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?
Prayer: Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we confess that we are too little concerned with our own spiritual health.
Thought for the day: We must tend our own spiritual welfare before we criticize that of others.
Luke 13: 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your faultless example of obedience to God.
Thought for the day: Jesus had a perfect record of obedience to God.
Luke 13: 6, 7 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, “For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, if we have been fruitless disciples, may you forgive us.
Thought for the day: What you do for Jesus in this life counts for eternity.
Luke 13: 8, 9 “Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, ten cut it down.’”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in this season of grace and favor may our service be a blessing to your children.
Thought for the day: Though days past have passed, today you can serve Jesus.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js photo: “Parable of the Fig Tree” by Lawrence OP on www. flickr.com