Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
And Jesus said to them, " Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?
"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
"Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?
"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.'
And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
"And he said to the vineyard-keeper, "Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?'
"And he answered and said to him, "Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;
and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'
And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all.
When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your sickness.'
And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God.
But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, " There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.'
But the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?
"And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?'
As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.
So He was saying, " What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it?
"It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES.'
And again He said, " To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
" It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.'
And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem.
And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?' And He said to them,
" Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
"Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, " Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, " I do not know where you are from.'
"Then you will begin to say, "We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets';
and He will say, "I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.'
" In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.
"And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.
"And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.'
Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, "Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.'
And He said to them, "Go and tell that fox, "Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.'
"Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.
" O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!
"Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, " BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!' 14
It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely.
And there in front of Him was a man suffering from dropsy.
And Jesus answered and spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, " Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?'
But they kept silent. And He took hold of him and healed him, and sent him away.
And He said to them, " Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?'
And they could make no reply to this.
And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them,
"When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him,
and he who invited you both will come and say to you, "Give your place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.
"But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, "Friend, move up higher'; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.
" For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.'
And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.
"But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.'
When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, " Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!'
But He said to him, " A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many;
and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, "Come; for everything is ready now.'
"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, "I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.'
"Another one said, "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.'
"Another one said, " I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.'
"And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, "Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.'
"And the slave said, "Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'
"And the master said to the slave, "Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.
"For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'
Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them,
" If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
"For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
"Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
saying, "This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
"Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
"Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
"So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
"Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
"It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.' 15