Luke 13:1-17

Talks for Growing Christians

The Parable of the Fig Tree; Healing a Crippled Woman

Luke 13:1-17

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Lesson Number 36

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Parable of the Fig Tree predicted the future of Israel.
  2. The healing of the crippled woman exposed the hypocrisy of Israel.

Practical Application

  1. Use tragic events as an opportunity to teach the Word.


  1. What two tragic events did the Lord address here?
  2. What was the general opinion about why these people died?
  3. How did the miracle of the healing of the crippled woman portray the spiritual condition of Israel?
  4. Was there anyone in Israel who was not spiritually crippled?
  5. What is the purpose of the Lord’s miracles?


  1. One was an atrocity in which Pilate, for some unknown reason, slaughtered some Galileans who had come to Jerusalem to sacrifice at the Temple. The other tragic event was the collapse of a tower which killed 18 people.
  2. To the self-righteous way of thinking, those who were killed were not innocent, and must have been greater sinners than everyone else.
  3. In the context of the sinful hypocrisy of Israel, the nation is seen as spiritually fruitless and spiritually crippled.
  4. Yes, there was a godly remnant of Jews during our Lord’s day who repented and turned from crippled Judaism to the Lord.
  5. All the miracles of the Lord were demonstrations of the power of God, and were also designed to teach.


  1. Review the Parable of the Fig Tree. What do the various aspects of the parable represent? Historically, the “fig tree was cut down” in 70 A.D., when Rome destroyed Jerusalem.
  2. Tragic events seem to happen with increasing frequency these days. These events prompt people to ask, “Why?” Are you ready to give an answer? Discuss the number of answers in Scripture, including the one the Lord used here: Tragic events are a wake-up call for everyone to get right with God.


  1. The hypocritical opponents of Christ cared more for the welfare of their animals than for a poor woman who had been handicapped for 18 years. There are many people who have the same values today. Do you recognize the value of people as far superior to that of animals?

Key Verses

  • “Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?” Luke 13:7
  • “And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” Luke 13:17

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