September 10, 2019
(Good News Translation)
Sustained by God’s Word of Wisdom
Luke 13:18-35: By means of three parables – about a mustard seed, yeast, and the narrow door – Jesus teaches about God’s Kingdom. The reading concludes with Jesus describing his love for Jerusalem and the city’s upcoming fate.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: LUKE 13:29
People will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
(Matthew 13.31,32; Mark 4.30-32)
18Jesus asked, “What is the Kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with?19It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and plants it in his field. The plant grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make their nests in its branches.”
The Parable of the Yeast
20Again Jesus asked, “What shall I compare the Kingdom of God with?21It is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.”
The Narrow Door
22Jesus went through towns and villages, teaching the people and making his way toward Jerusalem.23Someone asked him, “Sir, will just a few people be saved?”
Jesus answered them,24“Do your best to go in through the narrow door; because many people will surely try to go in but will not be able.25The master of the house will get up and close the door; then when you stand outside and begin to knock on the door and say, ‘Open the door for us, sir!’ he will answer you, ‘I don’t know where you come from!’26Then you will answer, ‘We ate and drank with you; you taught in our town!’27 But he will say again, ‘I don’t know where you come from. Get away from me, all you wicked people!’28 How you will cry and gnash your teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, while you are thrown out!29People will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God.30 Then those who are now last will be first, and those who are now first will be last.”
Jesus’ Love for Jerusalem
31At that same time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “You must get out of here and go somewhere else, because Herod wants to kill you.”
32Jesus answered them, “Go and tell that fox: ‘I am driving out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I shall finish my work.’33Yet I must be on my way today, tomorrow, and the next day; it is not right for a prophet to be killed anywhere except in Jerusalem.
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets, you stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times I wanted to put my arms around all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me!35 And so your Temple will be abandoned. I assure you that you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
What do the parables in today’s reading teach you about the Kingdom of God? The feast that is described in verse 29 hearkens back to the end-time banquet described in Isaiah 25:6-9. How do you envision this feast?