Luke 13-16

Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath, but the ruler of the synagogue challenges him: how can he work on the Sabbath?  He calls the ruler a hypocrite, since the ruler would give his donkey water on the Sabbath.  Parable of the Mustard Seed, of the Leaven: the kingdom of God has a humble beginning, but will grow to have enormous influence.  Jesus teaches in many cities: gate to the kingdom of God is narrow, and many will not enter.  Jesus finds Jerusalem especially difficult to convince.  Parable of the Great Supper: Jesus preached to the audience he most wanted to reach (most likely the Jews), who refused to listen; he therefore took his message to others (probably Gentiles), especially “the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind”.  Nobody who doesn’t give up everything can be Jesus’ disciple; a disciple must even “hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters”.  Parables illustrate why Jesus associates with sinners and tax collectors: the idea is that those who have gone astray deserve more attention and love than those who haven’t.  Story of the rich man and Lazarus: Lazarus is a beggar who begs at the rich man’s door until he died, and was carried into Abraham’s bosom; the rich man also died and his tongue was tormented by flame in Hades.  Thus the last shall be first and the first last in the kingdom of God.

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