Translation Chapter 13

The need for tauba

13At that time some people came and reported to ‘Īsā about the Galileans[1]whose blood Pilate[2]had mixed with their sacrifices.[3]2 ‘Īsā replied, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you! But unless you repent,[4]you will all be destroyed as they were. 4 Or what about those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam[5]fell on them? Do you think they were more guilty than everyone else living in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all be destroyed as they were.’

6 Then ‘Īsā told this parable: ‘There was a man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it but didn’t find any. 7 He said to the gardener, “Look, for three years now I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree and I haven’t found any. Dig it out. Why should it use up the ground?”

8 ‘The gardener replied, “Sir, leave it for another year. I’ll dig round it and put down manure. 9 Then it may bear fruit next year. But if it doesn’t, dig it out.”’[6]

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)heals again on the Sabbath

10 On a Sabbath ‘Īsā was teaching in one of the synagogues. 11 A woman was there with a spirit of weakness that had caused her to be crippled for eighteen years. She was bent over and was unable to straighten up at all. 12When ‘Īsā saw her, he called her over and said to her, ‘Sister,[7]you are set free from your condition.’ 13 And he placed his hands on her, and at once she was able to stand up straight again, and she praised Allah.

14 The synagogue leader was angry that ‘Īsā had healed on the Sabbath. He said to the people, ‘There are six days when you should work. Come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath!’

15 The Lord replied to him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath release your ox or donkey from its stall and lead it out to get water? 16This daughter of Ibrāhīm has been bound by the Shaytān for eighteen long years. Should she not be released on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’

17 When ‘Īsā said this, all who had opposed him were put to shame, while the whole crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things he was doing.

The kingdom of Allah is like a mustard seed and like yeast

18 Then ‘Īsā said, ‘What is the kingdom of Allah[8]like? What can I compare it to? 19 It’s like a mustard seed which somebody took and planted in their garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds roosted in its branches.’

20 Again he said, ‘What can I compare the kingdom of Allah to? 21 It’s like yeast, which a woman took and mixed in with about thirty kilograms of flour until it was spread all through the dough.’

Are there only a few people who will be saved?’

22 Now ‘Īsā passed through towns and villages, teaching as he continued his journey towards Jerusalem. 23 Someone said to him, ‘Master, will only a few people be saved?’[9]

‘Īsā answered them, 24 ‘Strive hard to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter but won’t be able to. 25 When the owner of the house gets up and shuts the door, you will stand outside and knock, saying, “Lord, open the door for us!”

‘But he will answer, “I don’t know you or where you’re from.”

26 ‘Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets.”

27 ‘But he will say to you, “I don’t know you or where you’re from. Go away from me, all you evildoers!”

28 ‘There will be weeping and grinding of teeth there, when you see Ibrāhīm, Ishāq and Ya’qūb and all the prophets in the kingdom of Allah, but you yourselves thrown outside. 29 People will come from east and west and from north and south, and they will eat at the feast in the kingdom of Allah.[10]30 Yes, there are those who are last who will be first, and those who are first who will be last.’

‘Īsā al-Masīh’s sorrow over Jerusalem

31 Just then some Pharisees came to ‘Īsā and said, ‘Leave here and go somewhere else, because Herod[11]wants to kill you.’

32 ‘Īsā said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox, “See, I am casting out jinn[12]and healing the sick today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete my work.” 33 In any case, I must keep going today, tomorrow and the day after – for a prophet cannot die outside Jerusalem![13]

34 ‘Jerusalem! Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone those sent to you. How many times have I wanted to gather your children together, like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 35 Look, your house[14]is abandoned. I tell you, you will certainly not see me until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”[15]


[1]People from the region of Galilee.

[2]Pontius Pilate was governor of the Roman province of Judea from AD 26 to 36.

[3]These animal sacrifices or qurbān would have been offered in al-Bayt ul-Muqaddas.

[4]Or, ‘do tauba’, also v5. Tauba or repentance is a turning of a person’s whole life from sin to the path of Allah.

[5]Siloam was a part of Jerusalem.

[6]InBook of the ProphetIsaiah 5:1-7 there is a similar parable where the vineyard represents the Banī Isrā’īl. The hearers would understand the vineyard to represent the Banī Isrā’īl here too. The fig tree probably represents the leaders of the Banī Isrā’īl.

[7]In the Greek language in which the Injīl was originally written, ‘Woman’.

[8]Or, ‘reign of Allah’, also in v20, 28, 29. See Appendix D, The Kingdom of Allah.

[9]Being ‘saved’ here refers to the future salvation at the qiyāmat (resurrection) when the kingdom of Allah will come in its completeness. It is the same as inheriting eternal life or al-jannat.

[10]Often the kingdom of Allah was described in terms of a great banquet where people from all nations are reconciled and feast together, eg Book of the ProphetIsaiah 25:6-8,

On this mountain the LordAlmighty will prepare
    a feast of the finest food for all peoples,
a banquet of vintage wines –
    the most succulent of meats and refined wine.

 On this mountain he will destroy
    the cover that is spread over all peoples,
the veil that covers all nations;    

 he will swallow up death for ever.
The Sovereign Lordwill wipe away the tears
    from every face;
he will take away his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lordhas spoken.

See Appendix D, ‘The Kingdom of Allah’.

[11]The king of that area who had been appointed by the Roman Empire, see 3:1.

[12]Or ‘demons’.

[13]This is not intended as a literal statement that absolutely no prophets have ever died outside Jerusalem, as we know from the Holy Books that many did die elsewhere. ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)is possibly using hyperbole or even irony here.

[14]This refers to al-Bayt ul-Muqqaddas.

[15]Quoted from Zabūr, Psalm 118:26.