What does it say?

This fairly long chapter (Luke 12) is a collection of teaching on a variety of very important life topics, issues that we deal with daily. This focus continues through the first nine verses of chapter 13. Imagine that you are part of this scene. Jesus and his disciples are moving through Galilee toward Jerusalem. People of all ages and backgrounds are coming and going. At times Jesus will address his remarks directly to his inner core of disciples, but they are never really alone. Interested observers and the curious lean forward to try and catch what Jesus is saying. At other times he will lift up his voice and say things to the assembled crowd, or he will respond to specific questions or comments.

Always, Jesus is taking illustrations from daily life, telling variations on stories they already knew, or using parables and other devices to challenge his listeners to discover by faith his truth.

In Luke 13:10 Jesus heals a woman who has been seriously ill for 18 years. This sets off another series of repercussions with the religious leaders threatened by Jesus and that oppose him. In response, Jesus gives a series of teachings designed to point to the genuine nature of the kingdom of God. This includes the well-known stories of the mustard seed that becomes a large tree and the woman that hides three measures of leaven in her dough and the need to enter in through the narrow gate. The Pharisees warn Jesus that Herod is plotting to kill him, quite possibly them trying to trap Jesus in their own plot. Whatever the case Jesus is undeterred, continues forward and grieves over the city that will offer him up to be crucified.

What does it mean?

If you follow the teaching here, through all the cultural, historical and literary devices that he uses, Jesus deals with the themes of hypocrisy (12:1-3); fear (12:4-12); greed (12:13-21); worry (12:22-34); the unexpected (12:35-40); need for follow-through (12:41-53); and focus on the important (12:54-59). In the first part of Luke 13, Jesus mentions an historical event in order to put the emphasis on the kingdom of God over nationalism (13:1-5). Then he gives a parable that deal with fruitlessness and the need for growth (13:6-9).

How will I respond?

See the essence of meaning in the sections of these two chapters, what is one topic that deals with a need in my personal life of that of someone close to me? I will meditate on the passage dealing with this topic and arrive at concrete steps to make application of this teaching of Jesus.