1 It was around this time that some people told Jesus about Pilate's killing of some Galileans while they were offering sacrifices in the Temple. 2 “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than any other Galileans because they suffered like this?” Jesus asked. 3 “No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you will all perish as well. 4 What about those eighteen people that were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were the worst people in the whole of Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you will all perish as well.”
6 Then he told them this story as an illustration. “Once there was man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came to look for fruit on the tree, but he didn't find any. 7 So he told the gardener, ‘Look, for three years I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and I haven't found any. Chop it down! Why should it be taking up space?’
8 ‘Master,’ the man replied, ‘please leave it alone for just one more year. I'll dig the soil around it and put down some fertilizer. 9 If it produces fruit, then that's fine. If not, then chop it down.’ ”
10 One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by an evil spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not stand straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and told her, “You're freed of your sickness.” 13 Then he placed his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up, and she praised God.
14 However, the synagogue leader was upset that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. He said to the crowd, “There are six days for work. Come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 But the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn't every one of you untie your ox or donkey from the stall and take it to drink? 16 Why shouldn't this woman, this daughter of Abraham whom Satan has kept tied up for eighteen years, be untied and set free this Sabbath day?”
17 What he said shamed all his opponents, but everyone in the crowd was delighted by all the wonderful things he was doing.
18 Then Jesus asked, “So what is the kingdom of God like? What should I compare it to? 19 It's like a mustard seed that a man planted in his garden. It grew into a tree, and the birds came and nested in its branches.”
20 He asked again, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It's like yeast that a woman took and mixed into three measures* About 3 gallons or 13 liters. of flour which made the whole batch rise.”
22 Jesus went around the towns and villages, teaching on his way to Jerusalem.
23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”
Jesus replied, 24 “Try very hard to enter the narrow doorway, because I tell you that many will try to go in, and won't succeed. 25 Once the house owner gets up and closes the door, you'll be standing outside knocking on the door, saying, ‘Master, please open the door for us.’ But he'll reply, ‘I don't know you or where you're from.’ 26 Then you'll say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets!’ 27 He'll reply, ‘I tell you, I don't know you or where you're from. Get away from me, all of you who don't do what's good!’ 28 There will be crying and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you are thrown out. 29 People will come from the east and the west, the north and the south, and they will sit down to eat in the kingdom of God. 30 For the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”
31 At that moment some Pharisees came to Jesus and told him, “You should leave here. Herod wants to kill you!”
32 Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox that I will go on driving out demons and healing people for today and tomorrow, and on the third day I'll achieve what I came to do.† Or “achieve my goal.” 33 Well anyway I must continue on my way for today and tomorrow, and the day after. For it wouldn't be right for a prophet to die outside of Jerusalem!
34 Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you kill prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather all your children together just like a hen does with her chicks under her wings, but you refused! 35 Look, your house is left desolate, and I tell you that you won't see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”‡ Quoting Psalms 118:26.