"Somehow of all the Gospel writers, one would have liked to meet Luke best of all." - William Barclay

(1907 - 1978)
Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, Barclay dedicated
his life to "making the best biblical scholarship available to the average reader."

The result was the Daily Study Bible, a set of commentaries on the New Testament, exploring verse by verse through Barclay's own translation of the New Testament, listing and examining every possible interpretation known to Barclay and providing all the background information he considered possibly relevant.

The 17 volumes of the set were all instant best-sellers and continue to be so to this day.

Barclay wrote many other popular books, mostly in the same accessible but scholarly style. In The Mind of Jesus (1960) he states that his aim was "to make the figure of Jesus more vividly alive, so that we may know him better and love him more."


The Words of Jesus Christ
published by
700 Sleater-Kinney Rd SE
No. 303-B
Lacey, WA 98503




Chapters Thirteen and Fourteen

"To what is the kingdom of God like, and to what will I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and cast into his garden; and it grew until it became a tree, and the birds of the air found a lodging in its branches."

At this time some men came and told Jesus about the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. "Do you think," he answered, "that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans because this happened to them? I tell you, No! But unless you repent you will all perish in like manner. Or, as for the eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell - do you think they were debtors to God beyond all those who dwell in Jerusalem? I tell you, No! But unless you repent you will perish in the same way."


Jesus spoke this parable; "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and did not find it. He said to the keeper of the vineyard, 'Look you - for the last three years I have been coming and looking for fruit on this fig tree, and I still am not finding any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the ground?' 'Lord,' he answered him 'let it be this year too, until I dig round about it and manure it, and if it bears fruit in the coming year, well and good; but if not, you will cut it down.'"

Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath; and - look you - there was a woman there who had a spirit of weakness for eighteen years. She was bent together and could not straighten up properly. When Jesus saw her he called her to him. "Woman," he said, "you are set free from your weakness"; and he laid his hands upon her; and immediately she was straightened. The president of the synagogue was vexed that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. "Are there not six days," he said to the crowd, "in which work ought to be done? Come and be healed on them and not on the Sabbath day." "

Hypocrites!" the Lord answered. "Does each one of you not loose his ox or his ass from the manger on the Sabbath, and lead him out and give him drink? And as for this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom - look you - Satan bound for eighteen years, should she not have been loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?" And, as he said this, his opponents were put to shame, and all the crowd rejoiced at the glorious things that were done by him.

So Jesus said to them, "To what is the kingdom of God like, and to what will I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and cast into his garden; and it grew until it became a tree, and the birds of the air found a lodging in its branches."

Again Jesus said, "To what will I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened."

Jesus continued to go through towns and villages, teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. "Lord," someone said to him, "are those who are to be saved few in number?" He said to them, "Keep on striving to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will seek to enter in and will not be able to. Once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and when you begin to stand outside and knock, saying, 'Lord, open to us,' he will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, 'We have eaten and drunk in your presence and you taught in our streets.' He will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me all you who are workers of iniquity.' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there, when you will see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God and yourselves cast out. And they will come from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, and take their places at table in the kingdom of God. And - look you - there are those who are last who will be first, and there are those first who will be last."

At that hour some Pharisees came to Jesus. "Depart," they said to him, "and get on your way from this place, because Herod is out to kill you."

"Go," he said, "and tell that fox, look you, I cast out demons and I work cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day my work is perfected. I must be on my way today, and tomorrow and the next day, because it is not possible for a prophet to perish out of Jerusalem. Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Killer of the prophets! Stoner of those who were sent to you! How often I wanted to gather together your children as a hen gathers her brood under her wings - and you would not! Look you; your house is desolate. I tell you, you will not see me until you shall say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

On the Sabbath day Jesus had gone into the house of one of the rulers who belonged to the Pharisees to eat bread; and they were watching him. And - look you - there was a man before him who had dropsy. Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Or, is it not?" They kept silent. So he took him and healed him and sent him away. He said to them, "Suppose one of you has an ass or an ox, and it falls into a well, will he not immediately pull it out, even if it is on the Sabbath day?" And they had no answer to these things.

Jesus spoke a parable to the invited guests, for he noticed how they chose the first places at the table. "When you are bidden by someone to a marriage feast," he said, "do not take your place at table in the first seat, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited, for in that case the man who invited you will come and say to you, 'Give place to this man.' And then, with shame, you will begin to take the lowest place. But, when you have been invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that, when the man who has invited you comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, come up higher.' Then you will gain honour in front of all who sit at table with you. For he who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Jesus said to the man who had invited him, "Whenever you give a dinner or a banquet, do not call your friends, or your brothers, or your kinsfolk or your rich neighbors, in case they invite you back again in return and you receive a repayment. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind. Then you will be happy, because they cannot repay you. You will receive your repayment at the resurrection of the righteous."

When one of those who were sitting at table with Jesus heard this, he said, "Happy is the man who eats bread in the kingdom of God." Jesus said to him, "There was a man who made a great banquet, and who invited many people to it. At the time of the banquet he sent his servants to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, because everything is now ready.' With one accord they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.' Another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am on my way to try them out. Please have me excused.' Another said, 'I have married a wife, and, therefore, I cannot come.' So the servant came and told his master these things. The master of the house was enraged, and said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the town and bring here the poor, and the maimed, and the blind and the lame.' The servant said, 'Sir, your orders have been carried out and there is still room.' So the master said to his servant, 'Go out to the roads and to the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you that none of these men who were invited shall taste of my banquet.'"

Great crowds were on the way with Jesus. He turned and said to them, "If any man comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you, if he wishes to build a tower, does not first sit down and reckon up the expense, to see whether he has enough to finish it? This he does lest, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete the work, all who see him begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was unable to finish the job.' Or, what king when he is going to engage battle with another king, does not first sit down and take counsel, whether he is able with ten thousand men to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he finds he cannot, while he is still distant, he sends an embassy and asks for terms of peace. So, therefore, everyone of you who does not bid farewell to all his possessions cannot be my disciple."

Jesus said, "Salt is a fine thing; but if salt has become insipid, by what means shall its taste be restored? It is fit neither for the land nor the dunghill. Men throw it out. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear."

turn to chapters fifteen and sixteen

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