John – Chapter 2

Christ Changes Water to Wine

Verse 1 – On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.

Weddings in Jesus day were a week-long celebration, so on the third day of the wedding they still had a way to go.

Verse 2 – Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.

Verse 3 – And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

To run out of wine would have been an embarrassment. Why do you think Jesus mother went to Him with this problem? She must have known only He could fix the problem. Wouldn’t you like to know what all she had seen while Jesus was growing up?

Verse 4 – Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

Now to us, someone calling their mother “woman,” would be disrespectful, but not here. This was the normal way of speaking, which showed great tenderness, and strong affection. He told her His time had not yet come, perhaps He hadn’t intended to start His showing of miracles yet and reveal Himself.

Verse 5 – His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Mary trusted Jesus enough that she didn’t even reply to Him. She knew He would take care of whatever she needed. Shouldn’t we do the same when going to Christ when we need help? We ask, we trust, and we wait for Him. He doesn’t ignore those who belong to Him.

Verse 6 – Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece.

Verse 7 – Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.

Verse 8 – And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.”

Verse 9 – When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.

Verse 10 – And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guest have drunk, then that which is inferior, but you have kept the good wine until now.”

Let me say this first: Only the servants, the disciples, and Jesus’ mother knew He had changed the water into wine. Jesus nor anyone else ran around saying, “Look what Jesus did!” Neither should we go about bragging about what we do for others, drawing attention to ourselves as if to say, “Look how good I am!”

The second thing I need to address is to the ones who use this as an excuse to drink, “Jesus turned water into wine”, so there must be nothing wrong with me drinking it!” Poppy-cock! Did any of you read where Jesus participated in the drinking of it? Ya, me neither. I don’t know one person who drinks that has never gotten drunk at one time or another. Drunkenness is wrong and its as plain as the nose on your face all through the Bible.

The Disciples Believe

Verse 11 – This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

Miracles are not just supernatural events, but events that demonstrate the power of God. However, many have to see a miracle before they will believe.

Verse 12 – After this He went down to Capernaum. He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.

Verse 13 – Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Jesus would have attended four Passover’s during His ministry. So this was the first Passover; the second, John 5:1; the third, John 6:4; and the fourth and last, John 18:28. John is the only writer that gives an account of all four Passovers after Jesus started His ministry, about 3 and one half years. Keep in mind, Jesus only had five disciples at this time.

Verse 14 – And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business.

The temple area was always crowded during Passover with thousands of out-of-town visitors. The temple tax had to be paid with local currency. Merchants and moneychangers were set up everywhere. There was not much time or room for worship, the true point of going to the temple.

John records the first temple cleansing. A second cleansing occurs at the end of Jesus’ ministry, about three years later in Matthew and Mark.

Verse 15 – When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers money and overturned the tables.

Verse 16 – And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

This kind of makes me think of all the “coffee machines” that are set up out in the lobby of churches now. No, they are not selling it, but people come in late to the worship service, interrupt others, and have this attitude of carelessness of why they are there in the first place. This stinks to high heaven. Can’t they drink their coffee at home and wait and socialize after church? How about coming into God’s house with one agenda, to WORSHIP GOD, hear God’s word, and see the lost come to Christ!

Verse 17 – Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”

Jesus was filled with righteous anger because they had shown such flagrant disrespect for God. Same goes for the coffee drinkers.

Verse 18 – So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”

In other words: “By whose authority do you do these things?”

Verse 19 – Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Verse 20 – Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”

Verse 21 – But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

Verse 22 – Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

I think John gives the disciples much more credit and thoughts of their understanding much more plainly, than the other Gospels.

Verse 23 – Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.

Verse 24 – But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew men,

Verse 25 – and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

Jesus was discerning, and He knew that the faith of some followers was superficial. Some of these same people who claimed to believe in Him now, would later be the ones that would yell “crucify Him!” It’s easy to believe when it’s exciting and everyone else are around believers also. But Christians have to keep their faith even when it’s not popular to follow Christ!

 

 

 

 

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The Gospel According to John – Chapter 1

Introduction: The Gospel of John is different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke, in that over 90% of its material is unique. John’s Gospel does not focus on the miracles, parables, and public speeches that are prominent in the others. Instead, John emphasizes the identity of Jesus as the Son of God and how we, as believers, should respond to His teachings.

Jesus nicknamed John and his brother, James, “Sons of Thunder.” Their father was Zebedee and their mother Salome. John was evidently among the Galileans who followed John the Baptist until they were called to follow Jesus. After Christ’s ascension, John became one of the “pillars” of the church in Jerusalem along with Peter and James. Tradition says that John later went to Ephesus, perhaps just before the destruction of Jerusalem, and was later exiled by the Romans to the island of Patmos.

John was an eye and ear-witness to the things he wrote in this Gospel.

The Deity of Christ

Verse 1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

This passage echoes Genesis 1:1. John located Jesus existence in eternity past with God. “The Word” conveys the notion of divine self-expression or speech. God’s Word is effective. He speaks and things come to being.

Verse 2 – He was in the beginning with God.

Verse 3 – All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Because we have a Creator who also placed gifts and a purpose in each of us, there should be no room for pride. We exist because we were made with a purpose in mind. You are valuable and unique. Apart from God, we are nothing.

Verse 4 – In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Verse 5 – And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

When Christ, the Word, breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul, He filled Adam with light and knowledge. Adam had knowledge of God, of His being, His perfections of the persons of the Trinity, of his relation to God, dependence on Him, and obligation to Him.

Verse 6 – There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

John the Baptist was a miracle, born to two aging parents Zacharias and Elizabeth, named by an angel.

Verse 7 – This man came from a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.

Verse 8 – He was not the Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

We, like John, are the reflection of that Light which is Jesus the Messiah. Christ has chosen to reflect His light through His followers to an unbelieving world. Our reflection is to point others toward Jesus.

Verse 9 – That was the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world.

Verse 10 – He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

Verse 11 – He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

Although Christ created the world and every person in it, they rejected Him. Even God’s own chosen people, the Jews, whom He prepared for the purpose of showing the rest of the world the coming Messiah, rejected Him.

Verse 12 – But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

This is very clear: The true children of God come into being through faith in the Messiah, not physical birth.

Verse 13 – who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Which were born not of blood – the birth spoken of here is regeneration, expressed by being born again quickened by the Spirit and grace of God! This new birth transforms us with a new spirit, new attitudes, new desires, and motives. If you don’t see this transformation, then something is diffidently wrong.

Verse 14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

In the past, God had made His presence known in the temple. Now God has taken up residence among His people in the Word – made flesh – Jesus Christ. Full of grace and truth, and lovingkindness. Jesus is both God and man.

Verse 15 – John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”

Verse 16 – And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

Verse 17 – For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Law and grace are both aspects of God’s nature that He uses in dealing with us. However, because we could never keep the law perfectly, we needed a perfect sacrifice that was able to keep the law perfectly. And that was Jesus the Christ who fulfilled the law and became the perfect sacrifice for you and me.

Verse 18 – No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Verse 19 – Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

Verse 20 – He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

Verse 21 – And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

Verse 22 – Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”

Verse 23 – He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

Verse 24 – Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.

Verse 25 – And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

Verse 26 – John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know.

Verse 27 – “It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”

Verse 28 – These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

These Pharisees had heard about a man baptizing and were curious as to whose authority John was doing this act under. Judaism practiced baptism for purification, but normally non-Jews were only baptized to convert them to Judaism. What these Pharisees really wanted to know is who gave John the right to treat God’s chosen people like Gentiles. This baptism showing their repentance, was new to them.

Christ’s Baptism

Verse 29 – The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said “Behold!” The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Every morning and evening an innocent lamb was sacrificed in the temple for the sins of the people. Jesus is and was our sacrificial Lamb, once and for all!

Verse 30 – “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.

Verse 31 – “I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

John didn’t know that Jesus was the Messiah before it was revealed to him and Christ’s coming to his baptism, and pointed Him out to others.

Verse 32 – And John bore witness saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.

Verse 33 – “I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

John’s baptism with water symbolized the repentance of sin and the washing away of sins. But after Jesus’ ascension, all believers would be baptized with the Holy Ghost and be endued with power.

Verse 34 – “And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

Verse 35 – Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.

Verse 36 – And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

Verse 37 – The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

One of the two disciples of John the Baptist was Andrew (John 1:40). The other was probably John, which wrote this book of John.

Verse 38 – Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), “Where are You staying?”

Verse 39 – He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).

Verse 40 – One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.

Verse 41 – He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).

Verse 42 – And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A stone).

Verse 43 – The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”

Verse 44 – Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

Verse 45 – Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.”

Verse 46 – And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Why wold Nathanael say “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Perhaps, because a Roman army garrison was located there.

Verse 47 – Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”

Jesus saw that Nathanael was a true Israelite at heart, inwardly, not of the flesh, but after the Spirit. This was a rare thing to find. He was a man with real Jewish faith, and Jesus called this to the others attention.

Verse 48 – Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

Jesus displayed His supernatural knowing where Nathanael was and who he was. No one knows you like Jesus does. You can never hide true motives or attitudes with Him. He sees the heart.

Verse 49 – Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!.”

Verse 50 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”

Verse 51 – And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

This is reference to Jacobs dream in Genesis 28:12-15. Christ being the only Mediator between man and God, as a ladder is used to ascend and descend.

Luke – Chapter 24

The Resurrection

Verse 1 – Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

While it was still dark, and a Sunday, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome, and other Galilean women, came to anoint Jesus body with expensive spices.

Verse 2 – But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

Verse 3 – Then they went in and did not find the body of Jesus.

Verse 4 – And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

Verse 5 – Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

That sounds like an appropriate question for two angels to ask. After all, had Jesus not told them several times that He would rise on the third day? I imagine angels are the ones that are perplexed when we don’t believe until we see.

Verse 6 – “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,

Verse 7 – “saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”

How would these angels know what Jesus had said, unless they had been watching and listening from heaven? How do we know that all of heaven doesn’t hear what we say, all the time? We don’t. But from this verse, it tells me certain angels are allowed to watch and listen to what takes place on earth, in order to assist and bring messages from God All Mighty. Shouldn’t we then, be more cautious of what we utter?

Verse 8 – And they remembered His words.

How easy it is to forget what God’s word says when we’re scared or in a panic, like these women did. God’s word is always true.

Verse 9 – Then they returned form the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

Verse 10 – It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.

Verse 11 – And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.

Verse 12 – But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed marveling to himself at what had happened.

In that day, women were not considered to be credible witnesses. The disciples thought what they told them was nonsense. However, Peter was curious enough to run off to the tomb and see for himself. I’m sure it baffled Peter even more to see Jesus clothes that He was taken to the tomb in, still there. If someone was going to steal a buried body, would not the clothes be gone also? (John 20:3, 4, we learn another disciple went with Peter to the tomb, probably John.)

Verse 13 – Now behold, two of them (two of the disciples) were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.

Verse 14 – And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

Verse 15 – So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.

Verse 16 – But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

Sometimes, we are likely to miss Jesus and withdraw from the strength of other believers when we become preoccupied with our dashed hopes and disappointments. Only when we keep our focus on Him will we see Him in our midst!

Verse 17 – And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

Verse 18 – Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

Verse 19 – And He said to them, “What things?” and they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,

Verse 20 – “and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

Verse 21 – “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.

Verse 22 – “Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us.

Verse 23 – “When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.

Verse 24 – “And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.’

Verse 25 – Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

Verse 26 – “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”

Jesus had heard enough. Even though these disciples knew the Biblical prophecies, they failed to understand that Christ’s suffering was His path to glory.

Verse 27 – And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the thins concerning Himself.

Jesus reintroduced the Old Testament prophecies to these disciples, concerning Himself. Christ is the thread woven throughout all Scripture. He is the central theme that binds them together.

Verse 28 – Then they drew near the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther.

Verse 29 – But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

Verse 30 – Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.

Verse 31 – Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

Verse 32 – And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

Verse 33 – So they arose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,

These two could not wait for daylight to travel back to Jerusalem, and tell the others, it was too important and exciting. Please, don’t ever lose your zeal in telling others about our Savior.

Verse 34 – saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

When Cleopas and the other disciple walked into the room where the eleven sat, someone (from the eleven) shouted that Peter had seen the Lord! Paul also mentions Jesus appeared to Peter alone (1 Corinthians 15:5). Cephas was another name for Peter.

Verse 35 – And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

Verse 36 – Now as thy said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”

Verse 37 – But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.

Their fright was understandable, because Jesus suddenly appeared in their midst in a locked room.

Verse 38 – And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?

Verse 39 – “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Verse 40 – When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.

Verse 41 – But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?”

Verse 42 – So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.

Verse 43 – And He took it and ate in their presence.

Jesus body was not merely a restored body, like Lazarus’. He was able to appear and disappear. Jesus’ resurrected body was immortal. This is the kind of body all believers will be given at the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:42-50).

Verse 44 – Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

Verse 45 – And He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

In the Book of Acts, Luke makes it clear that Jesus spent 40 days with His disciples between His resurrection and ascension.

Verse 46 – Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,

Verse 47 – “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Verse 48 – “And you are witness of these things.

Verse 49 – “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

They were to stay in Jerusalem and wait. It ended up being only 10 days and then the Holy Spirit would come on them all to endue them with might, power, knowledge, understanding, love, and sound mind, and the boldness they needed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Verse 50 – And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

Verse 51 – Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.

Verse 52 – And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

Verse 53 – and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.

But it doesn’t end there. Luke continues what happens next int he Book of Acts! I hope by reading Luke, it has inspired you to ether renew your faith, or encouraged you to keep going. All four Gospels help us to know Jesus more and more, which should inspire us to be more like Him!

 

 

Luke – Chapter 23

Pilate Tries Christ

Verse 1 – Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate.

Verse 2 – And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”

Verse 3 – So Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”

The three charges the Jews brought against Jesus were fabrications. The claim that He was opposing payments of taxes to Caesar, was an out right lie. And at no time did Jesus attempt to overthrow the Roman government.

Verse 4 – Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”

Verse 5 – But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

Verse 6 – When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean.

Verse 7 – And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Like Pilate, Herod Antipas was in Jerusalem for the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Herod was over Galilee, so Pilate sent Jesus to him. This is the same Herod who had put John the Baptist to death.

Verse 8 – Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.

Herod wanted to be entertained, like a child at a magic show.

Verse 9 – Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.

Verse 10 – And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him.

Verse 11 – Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.

Verse 12 – That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other for before that they had been at enmity with each other.

This is what evil does, joins forces with others that have no conscience. Herod had the authority to stop this entire charade, but instead chose to mock and ridicule. He decided to just turn Jesus back over to Pilate to decide His fate.

Putting the responsibility to do what is right off on someone else, is still sin. James 4:17 – Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Verse 13 – Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people,

Verse 14 – said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;

Verse 15 – “no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing worthy of death has been done by Him.

Even today, no one can find fault with Jesus, but just as the religious leaders back then, some today still refuse to acknowledge Christ as Lord.

Verse 16 – “I will therefore chastise Him and release Him.

Verse 17 – (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

Verse 18 – And they all cried out at once saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas” –

Verse 19 – who had been thrown into prison for a certain insurrection made in the city, and for murder.

Barabbas had took part in a rebellion against the Roman government (Mark 15:7). How ironic it is that Barabbas was guilty of the very same thing Jesus was accused of, but yet innocent.

Barabbas deserved to die for his crimes, but Christ took his place, and Barabbas was set free. And so it is with us!

Verse 20 – Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them.

Verse 21 – But they shouted, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Verse 22 – And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”

Verse 23 – But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.

During this time, Jesus was severely flogged! He was slapped repeatedly, struck with fists, mocked and a crown of thorns was placed on His head, and was beat with a stick, before being placed on a cross. Pilate could have left all of that out, knowing He was going to be crucified anyway, but those beatings and stripes placed on Him was all for “you and me.” Our transgressions did this to an innocent “Lamb of God.” (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Verse 24 – So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested.

Historical records indicate that Pilate had already been warned by Roman authorities about tensions in this region. The last thing he needed was a riot in Jerusalem during Passover. So he turned Jesus over to the mob!

Verse 25 – And he released to them the one they requested, who for insurrection and murder had been thrown in prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Christ Is Crucified

Verse 26 – Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.

Verse 27 – And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him.

Verse 28 – But Jesus, turning to them, said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.

Verse 29 – “For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which never nursed!’

Luke alone mentions the tears of the Jewish women while Jesus is going through he streets to His execution. He knew that only about 40 years from then Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed by the Romans.

Verse 30 – “Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ‘

Verse 31 – “For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”

This is a common proverb with the Jews – “two dry sticks, and one green, the dry burn up the green.” A few righteous persons among the wicked men suffer with them, but if righteous men suffer, how much more the wicked?

Verse 32 – There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.

Verse 33 – And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

This was on a hill outside of Jerusalem, also called, “the skull, or Golgotha.” The skull is Aramaic, the name is Golgotha, the Latin equivalent is Calvary.

Verse 34 – Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. “And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Verse 35 – And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

Verse 36 – And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine,

Verse 37 – and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

Verse 38 – And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

The people reading that sign had no idea how true it was. Jesus, who turns the world’s wisdom upside down, was just coming into His kingdom. His death and resurrection would strike a death-blow to Satan’s rule and would establish Christ’s eternal authority over the earth.

Verse 39 – Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

Verse 40 – But the other, answering rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

Verse 41 – “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Verse 42 – Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

Verse 43 – And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Revelation 2:7 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ‘

Verse 44 – And it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

The three hours of darkness, from noon until about 3 o’clock, was a sign of divine judgment against sin and the sinners who unjustly executed the Son of God.

Verse 45 – Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.

The curtain in the temple, between the holy place and the holy of holies, was caused by a great earthquake. This symbolized open access to God made possible through the death of Christ!

Verse 46 – And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commend My spirit.’ ” And having said this, He breathed His last.

Verse 47 – Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

In Matthew and Mark, the centurion acknowledged that Jesus was the Son of God.

Verse 48 – And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.

Verse 49 – But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Christ Is Buried

Verse 50 – And behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man.

Verse 51 – He had not consented to their counsel and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God.

Verse 52 – This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Verse 53 – Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of rock, where no one had ever lain before.

Even though Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin, he had disagreed with the rest of them to crucify Jesus. He was a good and righteous man, and also a secret disciple of Jesus.

Verse 54 – That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

Verse 55 – And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.

These women followed Joseph to the tomb so they could return with spices to anoint Jesus body after the Sabbath had passed.

Verse 56 – Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

 

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 22

Judas Agrees to Betray Christ

Verse 1 – Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover.

This feast lasted seven days, which was a commemoration of the haste in which the Israelites left Egypt, so no leaven was put in the dough, because there was not time for it to rise. The Lord passed over the houses that were marked with lambs blood, then the death angel slew all the firstborn of Egypt.

Verse 2 – And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared people.

Verse 3 – Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.

Satan’s part in the betrayal of Jesus does not remove any of the responsibility from Judas, he still had a choice. Whatever Judas thought, Satan assumed that Jesus death would end Jesus’ mission and destroy God’s plan for mankind. This is another proof through scripture that Satan can not tell our future of our lives in God’s design.

Verse 4 – So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him.

Judas had no idea that what he was about to do was all part of God’s plan and purpose.

Verse 5 – And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.

Verse 6 – Then he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.

Verse 7 – Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed.

All leaven and yeast, was to be removed from households at the beginning of the week of Passover . The day that the Passover lamb was sacrificed, was called the Day of the Unleavened Bread. The lamb was sacrificed from mid afternoon to late afternoon on Thursday.

Verse 8 – And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat,”

Verse 9 – So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?”

Verse 10 – And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters.

Ordinarily women, not men, went to the well to get water, so this man stood out in a crowd.

Verse 11 – “Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”

Verse 12 – “Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.”

Verse 13 – So they went and found it as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.

Verse 14 – And when the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.

Verse 15 – Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;

Verse 16 – “for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

This verse signifies: This ceremonial meal will not be necessary ever again. Jesus was the sacrificial lamb that was slain, for the penalty of death for all mankind’s sin. 1 Corinthians 5:7 – Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover was sacrificed for us.

Verse 17 – Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves;

In verses 17 and 20, Luke mentions two cups of wine, while Matthew and Mark mention only one. In the tradition of the traditional Passover meal, the wine is served four times. Christ spoke the words about His body and His blood when He offered the fourth and final cup.

Verse 18 – “For I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.”

Verse 19 – And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Verse 20 – Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

All Christians agree that the Lord’s Supper commemorates Christ’s death on the cross for our sins and points to the coming of His Kingdom in glory. When we partake of it, we show our deep gratitude for Christ’s work on our behalf.

The new covenant refers to the sacrifice of Christ that would never have to be repeated ever again (Hebrews 9:23-28). The prophets looked forward to this new covenant that would fulfill the old sacrificial agreement (Jeremiah 31:31-34). John the Baptist called Jesus “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).”

Christ Predicts His Betrayal

Verse 21 – “But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table.

Verse 22 – “And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

Yes, all of this was in God’s plan from the beginning. There had to be a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus was that sacrifice, so no matter how or whom the betrayal came, it had to happen. However, Judas was a willing participant and that choice he made would cost him dearly.

Verse 23 – Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.

Verse 24 – But there was also rivalry among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.

Jesus just got finished telling them about His suffering, betrayal, and death, and these disciples argue about which one of them are the greatest!

Verse 25 – And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exorcise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors.’

Verse 26 – “But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.

The world’s system of leadership is very different from the leadership of God’s kingdom. Worldly leaders are often selfish and arrogant as they claw their way to the top. Christians leaders are to serve others, having a servants-heart.

Verse 27 – “For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

Verse 28 – “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.

Verse 29 – “And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,

Verse 30 – “that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Jesus just told them in the Kingdom to come, all 12 will be great. 1 Samuel 2:8 – He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and He has set the world upon them.”

Verse 31 – And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.

Satan can do nothing without God’s permission. He is the accuser of the brethren, the wicked one, the tempter, for he goes about seeking whom he may devour. This is where our testings and trials come into play in a Christians life. However, God does not allow him to simply have his way with us to watch us be destroyed. God always has a purpose and a victorious outcome in each trial or test we go through. We see this in numerous lives throughout scripture, Peter and Job, just to name two.

Verse 32 – “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.

This verse can apply to anyone who has “backslidden” temporally. Satan comes against God’s people – continuously. However, when we fail, don’t be discouraged. Get back up, renew your faith, then help others that may have been discouraged also.

Verse 33 – But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”

Verse 34 – Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Betrayal and denial are both bad, but with Judas betrayal and Peter’s denial, they had different outcomes. One repented the other did not.

Verse 35 – And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, sack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.”

Verse 36 – Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise, a sack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.

Verse 37 – “For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”

Verse 38 – Then they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

The disciples would face hatred and persecutions and would need to be prepared. Today, we don’t carry literal swords, but the Word of God, being our sword, used as a weapon. Ephesians 6:10-20 – (Verse 17) – and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God’

Verse 39 – And coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.

Verse 40 – When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

The Mount of Olives was located just east of Jerusalem. Jesus went to an olive grove called Gethsemane, which means “olive press.” The strongest temptation that the disciples would soon face, was not to believe that they had been deceived when Jesus is killed. That’s a good reason for us all to pray that we enter not into temptation, because in this day and time, there are some very convincing evils out there in the world.

Verse 41 – And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,

Verse 42 – saying, “Father, if it be Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus was fully aware of the pain and suffering He was about to endure. It was no small thing to be crucified, but to have the sins of the entire world placed on Him, we can’t imagine. Just as an olive is pressed to retract the precious oil, our Savior was punished and crushed for “all our sins!”

Verse 43 – Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.

Verse 44 – And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Although God the Father could not allow Jesus to bypass the suffering, He sent an angel to give Him strength to endure it. When Jesus began to sweat “great drops of blood,” some believe that this condition is called hematidrasis, in which sweat and blood are mingled in extreme cases of anxiety.

Verse 45 – When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow.

They had cried themselves to sleep. Human physical weakness, can lead to spiritual weakness and temptation.

Verse 46 – Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

Judas Betrays Jesus

Verse 47 – And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him.

Verse 48 – But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

A kiss on the cheek was a common greeting between friends and family, but this was the signal of betrayal that was set up before-hand with the chief priests.

Verse 49 – When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”

Verse 50 – And one of them ( Peter – John 18:10) stuck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

Verse 51 – But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

What does this show us? Right in the middle of the ones coming against Jesus, He chooses to “do good to His enemies!” You would think that his miracle would have caused those standing around to realize this was the “divine Messiah.” Nope! Can’t see the truth when your blinded by darkness and hatred.

Verse 52 – Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs?

Verse 53 – “When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But his is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

The religious leaders hadn’t done anything in daylight, but instead came secretly at night, under the influence of the prince of darkness.

Verse 54 – Then, having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed at a distance.

That which is done in darkness, will soon be exposed to light!

Verse 55 – Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.

Verse 56 – And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”

Verse 58 – And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”

Verse 59 – Then after about an hour passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”

Verse 60 – But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

Verse 61 – And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

Peter’s experience that night changed his life. Just as it can change our lives with one experience with Jesus. We can deny Jesus, but then shame and guilt of the way we have lived comes rushing in. With repentance Christ was able to use Peter to build the church! True repentance in our own lives can cause us too to be used in a mighty way for the Kingdom of God!

Verse 62 – Then Peter went out and wept bitterly.

From our own repentance and regret, God can use it to bring another to Him.

Verse 63 – Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him.

Verse 64 – And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck You?”

Verse 65 – And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.

Verse 66 – As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council saying,

Verse 67 – “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe.

Verse 68 – “And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go.

Verse 69 – “Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”

Verse 70 – Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” And He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.”

Verse 71 – And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His mouth.”

This was the testimony that they had been waiting on, for Jesus to say He is the Son of God. They considered this claim blasphemy, and was all the evidence they needed to put Him to death.

Do you ever wonder what happened to those who were directly involved in crucifying Jesus? I do, and can tell you, those who accepted Christ as the True Messiah were saved, but those who didn’t, are forever in hell, probably remembering Jesus words, over and over.

 

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 21

Christ Teaches on the Widow’s Mite

Verse 1 – Then He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,

Verse 2 – and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.

Verse 3 – So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;

Verse 4 – “for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty has put in all the livelihood that she had.”

The rich was proud of how much they gave, wanting everyone to see them giving. The widow gave out of her heart, not obligation or a spirit of pride.

Verse 5 – Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said,

Verse 6 – “As for these things which you see, the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

This temple was not the temple built by Solomon. That temple had been destroyed during the Babylonians siege. This temple had been started by Ezra when the exiles returned from Babylon. This temple was not complete until A.D.63, some 30 years after Christ’s crucifixion. However, it was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Roman army.

Verse 7 – And they asked Him saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

Verse 8 – And He said ” “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many, will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.

Verse 9 – “But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”

Verse 10 – Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Verse 11 – “And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

The appearance of people claiming to be the Messiah, date setting, and wars will continue throughout our present age. Earthquakes, famines, and plagues will intensify also. Some people like to call these happenings “Global Warming.” I say that because they don’t know  scripture and there is a lot of money certain people can make when giving long-winded speeches. These are “birth pains,” because the end is near. Even if it’s 200 years from now, it’s closer than it ever was before. We, as Christians, are not to be ignorant of these signs!

Verse 12 – “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and rulers for My names’ sake.

Verse 13 – “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.

These persecutions soon began. Luke records many in the Book of Acts.

Verse 14 – “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;

Verse 15 – “for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

Verse 16 – “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will send some of you to your death.

Stephen was stoned to death; James, the brother of John, Herod killed with a sword, all were put to death except John, before the destruction of Jerusalem.

Verse 17 – “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.

Let me say this: These apostles were mocked, hated and put to death, because they preached the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and they lived what they preached. They weren’t hated because they were mean-spirited, thieves, or took advantage of others, like the Pharisees did.

Verse 18 – “But not a hair of your head shall be lost.

Verse 19 – “In your patience possesses your souls

None of Jesus followers will suffer spiritual or eternal loss.

Verse 20 – “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.

Verse 21 – “Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.

Verse 22 – “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Verse 23 – “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.

Verse 24 – “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

It was a time of Judgement when the Roman army took siege of Jerusalem. The survivors of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, were spread all over the known world. From 70 until the emergence of the modern state of Israel in the mid-twentieth century, Jerusalem was controlled by Gentiles. The “time of the Gentiles,” refers to the current opportune time in which Gentile nations embrace the gospel. Israel is spiritually hardened and will remain so until near the end time (Romans 11:25, 26).

The Second Coming

Verse 25 – “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;

Verse 26 – “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.

These cosmic effects will cause great anxiety among the world population. I honestly don’t believe we have seen the half of it yet. Just this past year, we saw hurricanes and earthquakes that caused historic destruction. However, when the fullness of the shaking has come, we wont’ believe our eyes!

Verse 27 – “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Daniel 7:13 – “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

Revelation1:7 – Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Verse 28 – “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

When believers see these events start to happen, know that the Messiah’s return is near. However, for those who have rejected Him and are not paying attention, take heed, there will be no place to hide!

Parable of the Fig Tree

Verse 29 – And He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.

Verse 30 – “When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.

Verse 31 – “So you, likewise, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.

Verse 32 – “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things are fulfilled.

The “generation” that is living when these things come to pass.

Verse 33 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Verse 34 – “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

Those who are not looking for Christ’s return, will be caught unaware. Those who fill their lives up with the cares of this world, are only concerned with themselves, won’t even know it is happening. Will we be caught doing the Fathers business, or will we not be thinking about His return at all?

Verse 35 – “For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Is this because the saints have already been resurrected?

Verse 36 – “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The only way a person is going to escape “all these things” is to be among those who are raptured before they happen.

Verse 37 – And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet.

Verse 38 – Then early in the mourning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.

 

Luke – Chapter 20

Religious Leaders Question Christ’s Authority

Verse 1 – Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him

Verse 2 – and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”

In other words they asked, “What right do You have to throw out the moneychangers, perform miracles, and preach the gospel?”

Verse 3 – But He answered and said to them, “I will also ask you one thing, and answer Me:

Verse 4 – “The baptism of John – was it from heaven or from men?”

Verse 5 – And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’

Verse 6 – “But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”

There are many churches today that won’t give the pastor permission to preach the full gospel. Some will tell him to “Tone it down,” or, “We don’t believe that in this church.” They have boards set up that have to approve or disapprove everything. They take away the authority that is placed on a pastor. These priests and scribes are still active today.

Verse 7 – So they answered that they did not know where it was from.

Verse 8 – And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Parable of the Vineyard Owner

Verse 9 – Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time.

This is to be understood as the Lord settling the people of Israel in the land of Canaan. From the time of Moses and Joshua, when the first settlement was made, to the time of Christ, fourteen or fifteen hundred years, the owner of the land was absent.

Verse 10 – “Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.

The Lord sent forth prophets and messengers, to bring forth fruits of righteousness. The Jews not only mocked these prophets and messengers of the Lord, but despised them and beat them.

Verse 11 – “Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.

Verse 12 – “And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.

Verse 13 – “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.

Verse 14 – “But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’

The Jewish religious leaders did not kill Jesus to claim His inheritance, but rather to forcefully and finally reject Him as Messiah and heir to David’s throne.

Verse 15 – “So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?

Verse 16 – “He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”

Verse 17 – And He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’?

Verse 18 – “Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

Jesus looks ahead to the Gentiles being added to God’s plan for His new covenant people, the church. This is one of Luke’s major focuses in his next book, the Acts of the Apostles. The people who are in the temple and hearing Jesus could not imagine God doing such a thing. Jesus is the cornerstone whom the builders, the religious leaders, rejected (Psalm 118: 22).

Verse 19 – And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people – for they knew that He had spoken this parable against them.

Verse 20 – So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.

Verse 21 – And they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You don not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God truly:

These spies, pretending to be honest and righteous, flattered Jesus before asking Him a trick question, hoping to catch Him off guard.

Verse 22 – “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

Verse 23 – But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me?

Verse 24 – “Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.”

Verse 25 – And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Verse 26 – But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.

Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, was a proper recognition of the legitimate role of human government in God’s plan. Jesus statement demonstrated that all facets of life have reference to God, including the need for us to submit to government rule.

Sadducees Question Resurrection

Verse 27 – Then some of the Sadducees, who deny there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him,

Verse 28 – saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.

Verse 29 – “Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife and died without children.

Verse 30 – “And the second took her as wife, and he died childless.

Verse 31 – “Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children and died.

Verse 32 – “Last of all the woman died also.

Verse 33 – “Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”

Verse 34 – And Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.

Verse 35 – “But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

Verse 36 – “nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

Heaven is not an extension of this life as we know it on earth. Our relationships tied to this life are limited by death. In heaven we will not marry or reproduce. As Christ is the Son of God by His resurrection, believers will be son’s of God by our resurrection to eternal life.

Verse 37 – “Now even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised when he called the Lord God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’

Verse 38 – “For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were dead to men, but not to God, because their spirit and souls were alive with Him. Remember, God calls things that are not, as though they were.

Christ Questions the Scribes

Verse 39 – Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.”

Verse 40 – But after that they dared not question Him anymore.

Verse 41 – And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s Son?

Verse 42 – “Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,

Verse 43 – till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘

Verse 44 – “David therefore calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”

In other words; How can He be both Lord and Son? The Pharisees knew that the Messiah would be a descendant of David, but they did not understand that He would be more than a human descendant – He was God in the flesh! Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 to show that David knew that the Messiah would be both human and divine.

The point being: Whom do we say Jesus is? Other spiritual questions are irrelevant unless we first decide to believe Jesus is who He says He is.

Verse 45 – Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to the disciples,

Verse 46 – “Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,

Verse 47 – “who devour widows houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

Beware of rich evangelist who are always begging for money, but yet they themselves live like kings, never spending the money on anyone else but themselves. This is what the Sadducees and Pharisees did.