Luke – Chapter 16

Verse 1 – And He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him this man was wasting his goods.

Verse 2 – “So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

A rich man would often employ a manager who handled all the business affairs of his estate. The charge that this manager had been that he had squandered the rich man’s possessions, either indicating neglect or criminal conduct. It must have been true.

Verse 3 – “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.

Verse 4 – ‘I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

Since the steward was fired, he had to find another job. He said he was not able to do physical labor and was too ashamed to beg, so he focused on a way that other people would allow him to live with them.

Verse 5 – “So he called every one of his masters debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

Verse 6 – “And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’

Verse 7 – “Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

At first glance, it seems that the steward is cheating the rich man. However, the steward was fired for mishandling his money and possessions, so evidently there was some crookedness going on with these charges for the goods in the first place. The steward was probably charging a commission for these transactions and simply made the bill what it should have been in the first place. This is exactly what the Pharisees would do when exchanging currency in the temple by overcharging people.

Verse 8 – “So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

Verse 9 – “And I say to you, make friends for yourself by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

I always had a hard time figuring out exactly what these verses meant, but a little longer study makes it clear. The rich man is not God, because God doesn’t praise people for being an unjust steward. The landowner represents the world finances. He praised the steward for correcting the cheating that he had done in the first place, and therefore made friends with the debtors. The sons of this age are unbelievers, whereas the sons of light often fail to utilize their financial resources to win people to faith. Thus Jesus encouraged His followers to use their money shrewdly in order to advance God’s kingdom.

Verse 10 – “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

Verse 11 – “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (riches and wealth, blessings and gifts), who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Our integrity often meets its match in money matters. God calls us to be honest even in small rationalize away. Heavens riches are far more valuable than earthly wealth. Every believer is a steward of the gifts God has given. If we can not be trusted with what we already have, we would be a poor steward if more was entrusted to us of more value.

Verse 12 – “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s who will give you what is your own?

Are we faithful and good stewards to what belong’s to God and others? If not, how can we expect to be faithful to what has been given to our ownership?

Verse 13 – “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Is Jesus talking about money? Yes, He is. Money has the power to take God’s place in people’s lives. Do you ever notice when talking to people who have no worries about money, because they are never in lack, never mention God in any conversation? They mention where they go, how much they spend, what they buy for their families, but not God being the one who has blessed them. They don’t seem to need anything from Him. I have found that people who are never in any kind of lack, are the hardest to talk to about Jesus. Their security all lies in their wealth. But talk to someone who has had to work hard and struggle, go through many hardships, and you will hear from them how good God has been, because He brought them through everything. I’d much rather live in a poor neighborhood than a rich one, because I can more than not, find people who need help!

Verse 14 – Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all things, and they derided Him.

This was evident in Matthew 23:4, when they would take widow’s houses and then recite long prayers for them.

Verse 15 – And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

The Pharisees scoffed at Jesus, because they thought it possible to love God and money. But their admiration from the people was an abomination to God.

Verse 17 – “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

John the Baptist ministry was the dividing line between the Old and the New Testament. All the precepts, promises, types, figures and prophecies, had their full accomplishments in the person, miracles, obedience, sufferings, and death of Christ, Matthew 5:18.

Christ Teaches On Divorce

Verse 18 – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.

Most religious leaders of Jesus day permitted a man to divorce his wife for nearly any reason. Jesus teaching about divorce went beyond Moses. Divorce may be legal, according to the law, but in God’s eyes it is still adultery. Remarriage is legitimate in cases where the former marriage was dissolved due to sexual immorality.

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

Verse 19 – “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.

Verse 20 – “But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,

Verse 21 – “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.

This rich man certainly didn’t use his wealth to help the poor.

Verse 22 – “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

Verse 23 – “And being in torment in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

The circumstances were reversed when these two men died. Lazarus was in comfort and the rich man was in torment. The rich man’s eyes were blinded to the things of God while he lived , but after death he sees his mistake.

Verse 24 – “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.

Verse 25 – “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

Hades or hell, is not a place of unconsciousness. They are fully aware of the darkness that surrounds them. The rich man didn’t go to hell because he was rich. He went to hell for being selfish of the riches and blessings that had been given him, and he used them all for himself, self-centered and self-righteousness.

Verse 26 – ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you, cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

Before and after death, there is a huge divide between believers and non-believers. While living, there is still time for the non-believer to become a believer. After death there is no second chance. There is “No state of purgatory!” This is a man-made belief that there is a place after death that the soul is purified and then they pass on to heaven. It is part of the Roman Catholic doctrine and in no way is it scriptural. We have two choices while living and breathing on this earth, “Heaven or hell!”

Verse 27 – “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,

Verse 28 – ‘for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

Did you notice that the rich man is not sorry for ignoring Christ, only that he didn’t want his brothers to come there. It’s not real concern for his brothers, it’s still a selfish response.

Verse 29 – “Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’

Verse 30 – “And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will not repent.’

Did they not have the same opportunities to listen to what Moses had written or what the prophets had said concerning the coming of Christ?

Verse 31 – “But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

If people won’t hear the gospel and repent, they are not going to believe even with someone being raised from the dead. How much more today will people be held accountable for ignoring the gospel, with it so available to us all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Luke – Chapter 15

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Verse 1 – Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near Him to hear Him.

Verse 2 – And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

Verse 3 – So He spoke this parable to them, saying:

Verse 4 – “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

Verse 5 – “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

Verse 6 – “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

Verse 7 – “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

Before we came to Christ, we were that one lost sheep. Christ looked for us and sought us out. He was controlling the circumstances that lined everything up to bring us in His path. You didn’t by chance, just happened to go to  church “that day,” or wherever you were when you were born-again. It was a divine plan to bring you into the fold – the family of God.

Notice another thing in these verses: When the shepherd found the lost sheep, “he placed him on his shoulders.” He did not put it on its own legs to go alone; there was no rebuke of “Why did you run off?” The shepherd bears their weight and their weakness, to safety. They are no longer in danger and he carries them as if a trophy and great victory.

All of heaven celebrates when one sinner repents, shouldn’t we do the same? Are you still interested in seeing the lost saved, or have you lost your zeal of what it’s like to be forgiven?

Verse 8 – “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she finds it?

Verse 9 – “And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’

Verse 10 – “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

All of God’s creation is precious and valuable to Him. He grieves over every loss and rejoices whenever a child is brought into the kingdom. Perhaps we would have more joy in our churches if we shared Jesus’ love and concern for the lost!

We don’t live unto ourselves. We are to live our lives as an example to a lost and dying world, so that they too can have eternal life with the King of Kings.

Verse 11 – Then He said: “A certain man had two sons.

Verse 12 – “And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me,’ So he divided to them his livelihood.

It was not unusual for a father to disburse the estate before his death. The oldest son – first-born, would receive  a double portion, so this son asking for his portion received one-third of the inheritance. This son showed his arrogance and disregard for his father’s authority and head of the family, by initiating the division of the estate.

Verse 13  – “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.

This sets the state for which a sinner is in; away from the family, away from God, and away from any feeling of guilt for how he is living.

Verse 14 – “But when he has spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.

Sin brings man to a starving and famishing condition. They have no desire for the word of God, but despise it. A regrettable person is in “want” of everything that is good; wisdom, knowledge, grace, holiness, all the necessaries of life, because sin is the beginning of “want.”

Verse 15 – “Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

This young man had hit “rock-bottom.” To feed and tend to pigs was humiliating and degrading. Self-righteousness can be compared to swine because of selfishness; doing all they do for themselves, and not for God and His glory. They prefer dung over pearls.

Verse 16 – “And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

Is not this the place most of us found ourselves before coming to our senses and turning towards Christ? All must come to a place in their lives where we realize, “This ain’t working!” That is where this young man was. He had nothing and no one was helping him with anything. Alone, we can do nothing about a situation.

Verse 17 – “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Verse 18 – ‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,

Verse 19 – and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘

True repentance has to be a realization of wrong living. A rebellious heart leads to sinful actions. One must come to the conclusion, “There is a better life.” This young man had to admit to himself first that he had sinned! If you can’t admit that you’ve sinned, then you won’t truly repent.

Verse 20 – “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.

Once a person realizes they have been living in sin, then they have to do something about it! They come to the Father. Like the father in this story, God waits patiently for us to come to our senses.

verse 21 – “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

The son didn’t finish by saying, “Make me a servant,” because a son is still a son. Galatians 4:6, 7 – And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba Father!” (Verse 7 ) Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Verse 22 – “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.

When a sinner repents, God doesn’t beat them up with their past! He gives forgiveness, grace, and love! Most people know their past sins, and they don’t need to be reminded how bad they’ve lived. Our God is not a God of the past. He creates in us a new heart, a new way of thinking, and a new way to love. That’s what this father did for his son by celebrating to the fullest all the love he had for him.

Verse 23 – ‘And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;

Verse 24 – ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

We are considered dead in spirit until we are born-again. Colossians 2:13 – and you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,…

Verse 25 – “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

Verse 26 – “So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.

Verse 27 – “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.

Verse 28 – “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.

This older brother represents the Pharisees attitude toward sinners. New converts need the support and love of the body of Christ so that they will continue to grow in Christ. This older brother was a scathing rebuke of the Pharisees self-righteousness.

Verse 29 – “So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandments at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.

Verse 30 – ‘But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

Verse 31 – “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.

Unforgiveness will breed bitterness. Envy of someone’s blessing will only cause strife. Learn to forgive others as the Father has forgiven you.

Verse 32 – ‘It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive, and was lost and is found.

Don’t ever be resentful when sinners are welcomed into the kingdom, no matter what their past is. Remember, we were one too. How easy it is for some to resent God’s gracious forgiveness of others whom we consider to be far worse sinners than ourselves. But when our self-righteousness gets in the way of rejoicing when others come to Jesus, we are no better than the Pharisees.

 

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 14

Verse 1 – Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

Verse 2 – And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy.

Dropsy is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in body tissue and cavities.

Verse 3 – And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

Verse 4 – But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go.

Jesus had been invited to a Pharisee’s house before and had ridiculed them mercilessly. This time the invite was to trap Him into doing something unlawful on the Sabbath. None of them answered Jesus’ question because He had humiliated others when they had tried to answer.

Verse 5 – Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”

Verse 6 – And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

Have you ever met people who it seems it’s their mission to find fault with others ministry work? Jesus had thousands that would come to hear Him teach and be healed by Him, but these Pharisees and scribes only looked for Him breaking one of their laws. That’s what happens when someone has a critical spirit. They are blinded of the actual miracles that take place and only want to criticize when or how a person did it.

Verse 7 – So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:

Verse 8 – “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than yo be invited by him;

Verse 9 – “and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.

Verse 10 – “But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher! Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.

Verse 11 – “For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The best seat would be sitting beside the host, as if to say, “Look at me! I’m a close friend of the host, so give me honor also.”

People do the same thing in the church. They have to always be close with the pastor, but if you met them in a hallway, they couldn’t even say hi. If you exalt yourself, you will be humbled, and sometimes that can be embarrassing.

Verse 12 – Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.

Verse 13 – “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.

Verse 14 – “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

Service is more important in God’s kingdom than status. God’s kingdom is open to everyone, not just the one who can return a favor.

P arable of the Great supper

Verse 15 – Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

Verse 16 – Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,

Verse 17 – “and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’

Verse 18 – “But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask to have me excused.’

Verse 19 – “And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’

Verse 20 – “Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”

Verse 21 – “So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to the servant, ‘Go out quickly into streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’

Verse 22 – “And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’

Verse 23 – “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Verse 24 – ‘For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.

In Jesus story, many turned down the invitation to the banquet because the timing was inconvenient. The Gospel was first preached to the Jew, but because of the hardness of their hearts, it was then offered to the Gentile.

How many excuses did you give at first as to why you rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ? We all had excuses, until that time when something broke through our hardness, and we came to realized we may not have another opportunity. People give all kinds of excuses, but a time will come when the door to the Supper of the Lamb will be closed forever. Today is the day to make that choice.

Christ Teaches on Discipleship

Verse 25 – And great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,

Verse 26 – “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Hate his own expresses the same principle found in Matthew 10:37, where Jesus says, “The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Disciples must love Jesus more than they love their own family members. Sometimes that means, going with Christ, and leaving those behind who are the dearest to them.

Verse 27 – “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Jesus is talking about total submission to Him which will include, reproach, affliction, persecutions, and even death to some. Are you willing to be mocked and ridiculed for your faith in Christ?

Verse 28 – “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it –

Verse 29 – “lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him,

So many start out with great enthusiasm, but then fizzle out because they realize their old ways are not going to cut it with the “New life.” When people try to “straddle the fence,” they will soon find out, Christianity is all or nothing!

Verse 30 – “saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Verse 31 – “Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

Verse 32 – “Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.

Verse 33 – “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Verse 34 – “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?

Verse 35 – “It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

So many forget: “It’s how you end your walk of faith the matters.” We may fall along the way, but Christ will help you stand again. The one’s who will be left behind are the one’s who quit. The concept is: “If you finish!”

 

 

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 13

Christ Teaches On Repentance

Verse 1 – There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

Verse 2 – And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffer such things?

Verse 3 – “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

Verse 4 – “Or those eighteen on whom them, do you think they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?

Verse 5 – “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

It is not known why Pontius Pilate killed these 18 Galileans, but they were killed in the temple area. The widespread opinion was that these men were punished for some specific sins. Jesus was telling them that these men’s sins were no greater than their own. He switched the focus to repentance, because He knew, not very far in the future, people listening to His voice, would perish in the destruction of the entire city of Jerusalem by the Roman army. They needed to be ready by repenting when it happened. Disaster comes to the just and the unjust. Where we spend eternity is a decision we need to make while living.

Verse 6 – He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.

Verse 7 – “Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘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?’

This may refer to Jesus three years of ministry to the Jewish people. He had traveled throughout the country, and very few were followers. So the owner of the vineyard wanted this fig to be cut down to the ground. It was only sucking up the nutrients of the earth and producing nothing, just like the people.

Verse 8 – “But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year fertilize it.

Verse 9 – “And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”

This parable refers to Israel’s last chance  before judgment. If they rejected Jesus’ message and miracles, the time for patience would be ended. However, a future hope for Israel remains, Romans 11. Look how important an intercessor is; Moses interceded for the people because God was ready to wipe them all out, but relented.

Verse 10 – Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.

Verse 11 – And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.

This infirmity was brought upon this woman by an evil spirit-Satan (Luke 13:16), who by divine power of inflicting diseases on mankind, as evident from Job.

Verse 12 – But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”

Verse 13 – And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

Verse 14 – But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”

Verse 15 – The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?

Verse 16 – “So ought this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound-think of it-for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?

If the farm animals were loosed to get water on the Sabbath, should not this woman also be loosed from Satan’s bondage on the Sabbath? If they could show mercy to the animals, should not more mercy be shown to this woman?

Verse 17 – 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.

The Mustard Seed

Verse 18 – Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?

Verse 19 – “It is like a mustard seed, which man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”

The smallest of seeds is planted, just as the gospel being started with a few, was nourished and grew. The church, body of believers, was given the grace of God, which begins to grow and mature just as the mustard seed grows into a huge tree. As the grace of God gets stronger and stronger in a person, faith matures and grows also. Just as the huge mustard trees provide nesting places for many birds, so is this Gospel a place of refuge to a lost and dying world!

Verse 20 – And again He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God?

Verse 21 – “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of mill till it was all leavened.”

While it is true that leaven, or yeast, often symbolizes evil in the Bible, this passage is a clear exception. Here leaven is used positively and calls to mind the potency of Jesus message and works on behalf of humanity.

The Way to the Kingdom

Verse 22 – And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.

Verse 23 – Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

Verse 24 – “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Do you know how many people sit in church Sunday after Sunday thinking they are saved and going to heaven, who are actually not saved at all? They talk the talk, but nowhere is there a changed life or a relationship with Christ. They go though the motions, but never truly submitted to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. These are those who Jesus refers to when He says: “Many will seek to enter and will not be able.

Verse 25 – “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’

By this illustration of making it to the “door,” it shows how close some will come, but not quite fully committed. They had only called Him Lord, but never had they truly and heartily yielded to obedience to Him. When the Master of the house says, “I do not know you,” it means, “They are not His,” they are strangers, not sheep of His fold.

Verse 26 – “Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ (We went to church every Sunday.)

Verse 27 – “But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.

Although many people know about God, only a few have acknowledged their sins and accepted His forgiveness. Just listening to sermons and hearing about His works are not enough. You have to turn from sin and place your faith and trust in God through the blood of Jesus Christ!

Verse 28 – “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

So many Jews thought that because they were descendants of Abraham Isaac, and Jacob, they were entitled to enter heaven automatically, but Jesus tells them otherwise. We are not saved just because our parents are.

Verse 29 – “They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.

Verse 30 – “And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”

“Last who will be first” – Though the Gentiles were historically not part of God’s covenant people, Israel became the first to receive the Messiah. “First will be last”  – By contrast the Jews were chronologically first in God’s plan, but they became spiritually last since the majority rejected Christ. Jews will only receive Christ widely near the end of the age (Romans 11:25-27).

Christ Mourns Over Jerusalem

Verse 31 – On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”

Verse 32 – And He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’

Verse 33 – “Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.

Verse 34 – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!

Verse 35 – “See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ”

It is doubtful that these Pharisees wanted to protect Jesus by telling Him Herod wanted to kill Him. They just wanted Him out of their region because they were jealous of Him. By verse 32,  it makes it clear, Jesus stayed another three days. Jerusalem had repeatedly rejected God’s compassionate outreach as pictured as a mother hen wanting to protect her babies. “Your house has left you desolate,” refers to the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army in 70 A.D.

“He who comes in the name of the Lord,” is quoted in Psalm 118:26, and was later shouted out at Jesus’ triumphant entry. However, here it looks beyond that to the second coming of Christ (Zechariah 12:10; Revelation 1:7).

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 12

Christ Warns About Hypocrisy

Verse 1 – In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Verse 2 – “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

In the New Testament, yeast is normally a symbol of corruption or evil. Hypocrisy behavior can fool man, but it will eventually be uncovered and made known by God, who is never fooled. I call them “pretenders.” Pretending to be something they are not. They usually expose themselves by what comes out of their mouth.

Verse 3 – “Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.

Verse 4 – “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

Verse 5 – “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

I believe there is less fear of God these days than any other time in history. People do exactly what they want to do to others without any remorse or fear of the consequences. They just don’t care. They make fun of there being an actual hell, and they make fun of the ones who do believe.

Verse 6 – “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.

Verse 7 – “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Does anyone know the exact number of hairs on your head? God does, so don’t ever underestimate how much He loves you. You are valuable to Him!

Verse 8 – “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God.

Verse 9 – “But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

How do people deny Christ before men? (1) by hoping no one will think they are a Christian, so that they can fit in with the crowd; (2) by not speaking up for what is right; (3) by being silent about your relationship with God; (4) and by accepting the worldly values and principles. Never, ever, be ashamed of being a Christian, and Jesus will never, ever be ashamed of you!

Verse 10 – “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemies against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.

According to the parallel passage in Mark 3:28-30, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to attribute to Satan the works of God’s Spirit. This is deliberate and ongoing rejection of the Holy Spirit’s work; and if you reject the Holy Spirit’s work, you reject God. This cannot be forgiven.

Verse 11 – “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.

Verse 12 – “For the Holy spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

The promise of the Holy Spirit’s help does not compensate for lack of preparation. In time of need, God will bring His truths to mind, when you know His word. However, He can’t bring anything to mind if you haven’t studied His word in the first place.

Parable of the Rich Fool

Verse 13 – Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Verse 14 – But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?”

Verse 15 – And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Verse 16 – Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of  a certain rich man yielded plentifully.

Verse 17 – “And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’

This story is about to show us what greed and covetousness is.

Verse 18 – “So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.

Verse 19 – ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ‘

Verse 20 -“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will these things be which you have provided?

Verse 21 – “So is he who lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

None of us knows whether we will see tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be more practical to spend more time concentrating on where we are going to spend eternity, then gathering wealth to leave behind?

Seek The Kingdom of God

Verse 22 – And He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what yo will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.

Verse 23 – “Life is more than food and the body is more than clothing.

Verse 24 – “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn, and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?

Verse 25 – “And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Verse 26 – “If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?

Can we change anything by worrying or being anxious? Jesus is plainly telling His disciples life is so much more than what we eat and what we wear, so quit worrying about small things that they will be provided for. We are to keep our mind stayed on Jesus and He will keep us in perfect peace. Take all your concerns to Him in prayer.

Verse 27 – Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of the these.

Verse 28 – “If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

Do you see what worrying and anxiety really is? It is a lack of faith in our Creator who promises to provide our every need. Do we trust that His words concerning us is really true? When He says He will supply our needs, He means it! When you doubt, you’ll go without!

Verse 29 – “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.

Verse 30 – “For all things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.

Verse 31 – “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

Part of seeking God’s kingdom is striving to live by His standards and principles. Christ in a believer’s life, should always be “center focused.” We don’t play around in some areas and then rigid in others.

Years ago, I asked God to show me exactly what it meant to, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you. And He did. Attitudes and behaviors had to change towards a lot of areas. We are willing to compromise in too many ares, and that’s not the way it should be. We don’t pick and choose which part of scripture we like and don’t like. When a believer starts to take this Christian walk seriously, “all these other things will be added unto us.”

Verse 32 – “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

It’s foolish not to look for the small things at the hand which freely gives us the greater things.

Verse 33 – “Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.

If our financial goals and possessions hinder us from giving generously, loving others, or serving God, sell what yo must to bring your life into perspective. Wealth on this earth can be stolen or destroyed, but heavenly treasures are eternal secure. Mercy and compassion are matters of the heart.

Verse 34 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We have to start with being honest with ourselves: Are you stingy when it comes to giving to the less fortification? Do you see others needs and are willing to do what you can to help?

James 4:17 – Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Verse 35 – “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;

Verse 36 – “and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.

Verse 37 – “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.

Verse 38 – “And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Verse 39 – “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed the house to be broken into.

Verse 40 – “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Are you longing for the return of Christ? Will He find you about the Father’s business, or will He catch you off-guard, concerned with only your life and your agenda?

Verse 41 – Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”

Verse 42 – And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?

Verse 43 – “Blessed is that servant whom the master will find so doing when he comes.

Verse 44 – “Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all he has.

Jesus doesn’t answer Peter’s question directly. Instead He says that the ones that He finds faithful will be ruler over all that he has.

Verse 45 – “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,

Verse 46 – “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

I believe this is a message for backsliders. Beware of making fun of those who are diligently serving the Lord, as the backslider falls away. They will have their place with the unbelievers.

Verse 47 – “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Verse 48 – “But he who did not know, yet committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For to everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

The more understanding we have, the more we are responsible for to use effectively for the kingdom. We are not responsible for what we don’t know, but it is our responsibility to seek it out. God expects all His children to learn, study, and seek His will and be obedient to it. When you start getting revelation on the things in scripture, more will be given. It is your responsibility to read scripture and find out what it says and then do it. So please don’t try to convince another that you are a follower of Jesus Christ, and you never go to church or pick up His Word.

The Cost of Discipleship

Verse 49 – “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

Verse 50 – “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!

Verse 512 – “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.

Verse 52 – “From now on five in one house will be divided: three against two and two against three.

Verse 53 – “Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother in-law.”

Jesus tells His disciples and those listening, “You will go through fiery trials when you become a disciple of Mine.” People will persecute and mock you for your faith. Then Jesus talks about His agony and suffering He calls “His baptism,” because He will be emerged in the world’s sin upon Himself. Then He goes on to tell them that when they become disciples of His, there will be division. There will be some that stand with you and some who will come against because of your faith. It’s not an easy road to walk, but Christianity is the only choice we have if we want an eternity with Jesus. Christ is bigger than anything or anyone that comes against His child. What are we willing to sacrifice to gain eternal life? Sometimes it’s our family.

Verse 54 – Then He said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is.

Verse 55 – “And when you  see the south wind blow you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is.

Verse 56 – “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?

Verse 57 – “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?

Verse 58 – “When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.

Verse 59 – “I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

Just as the multitude Jesus was talking to knew how to tell when rain was approaching or when it was going to be hot, so do we today. But people then didn’t recognize that the Savior of the world had come among them. So is it today; we can predict hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, and many disasters, but too many are ignoring the “signs of the times.” Jesus is coming back soon and there will still be people who haven’t prepared for that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke – chapter 11

The Lord’s Prayer

Verse 1 – And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

Verse 2 – So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Verse 3 – Give us this day our daily bread.

Verse 4 – And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

First, acknowledge God as your Father and praise Him. Show reverence to God All Mighty. Second, trust His kingdom is coming and will be established on earth as it is in heaven. Third, acknowledge that the Father’s will, will be done, trusting that He is sovereign and knows all things. Fourth, tell Him you trust Him to supply your daily needs, that’s a promise from Him. Fifth, ask Him to forgive you, as you forgive others who have wronged you. Release them for your own peace of mind. And sixth, the Lord tempts no one with evil, but He does test us. So ask Him to help you with the testing and trials you go through in life.

The Bible says in James 4:7 – Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The key is to “submit to God,” and then resist the temptations of the devil, and he will flee!

Verse 5 – And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;

Verse 6 – ‘for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;

Verse 7 – “and he will answer from within and say, “Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?

Verse 8 – “I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

This story always bothered me, because it gives the impression that if we aggravate God long enough, He will give us what we want. I always thought about the guy banging on someone’s door late at night too, how rude that would be. I missed the point completely. The point is to pray bold and persistent prayers. Unlike the reluctant homeowner, our loving God who cares for His children will respond generously.

Verse 9 – “And I say to you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Verse 10 – “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Asking, seeking, and knocking reflects the aspects of prayer. Prayers are not always answered in the way we want them though. Prayers will be answered in God’s timing and according to God’s will. The Father knows best and works all things out for our good.

Parable of the Good Father

Verse 11 – “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

Verse 12 – “Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

No loving father would give their child a stone, serpent, or scorpion in place of fish, bread, or an egg. When we pray for our daily provisions, our loving Father provides.

Verse 13 – “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

This verse goes much deeper than just asking for daily provisions. If you are born-again, then you have the gift of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you. So if you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these other things, provisions, will be added unto you. By seeking the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, you will know God’s will for your life and will be given revelations on how to conduct your life.

Christ Heals the Demonic

Verse 14 – And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled.

Verse 15 – But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

Verse 16 – And others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven.

Verse 17 – But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls.

Verse 18 – “If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub.

Verse 19 – “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.

It was total nonsense to think that Satan would drive out his own demons from his own kingdom. These people hated Jesus so much that they were blinded in seeing the power of God.

Verse 20 – “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Verse 21 – “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.

Verse 22 – “But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.

The implication is that Jesus being stronger than Satan, was in the process of disarming him.

Verse 23 – “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

There is no neutral ground. If you are not actively for Jesus, you are against Him. A lot of people think there are “grey” areas when it comes to the ways of God, but I can’t find any in scripture.

Verse 24 – “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’

Verse 25 – “And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.

Verse 26 – “Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

Jesus was illustrating an unfortunate human tendency – our desire to reform, often doesn’t last long. Unless Christ enters by faith and dwells in the person, nothing will prevent evil spirits from entering that person again and bring more evil with them. Then the person becomes worse than they were initially.

Verse 27 – And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”

Verse 28 – But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Jesus stated that a person who hears God’s word and acts upon it in faith is even more blessed than anyone who has mere family ties to Him. A person’s response to God’s word followed by obedience, is more important than who our ancestors were.

Christ’s Only Sign is Jonah

Verse 29 – And while the crowds were thickly gathered, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.

Verse 30 – “For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.

Verse 31 – “The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

Verse 32 – “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

Since Jonah’s preaching promoted repentance by the people of Nineveh, such preaching would be the only sign Israel would receive from Jesus. The queen of Sheba (queen of the South) responded to the wisdom of Solomon, which was not equal to the wisdom and salvation offered by Jesus the Son of Man. If Nineveh repented at Jonah’s preaching, how much more should the crowds repent at Jesus preaching.

The Ninevites and the Queen of the South turned to God with far less evidence than Jesus was giving His listeners and far less than we have today. With the knowledge and insight that is available to us, our response to Christ ought to be even more complete and wholehearted!

Parable of the Lighted Lamp

Verse 33 – “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.

Verse 34 – “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

Verse 35 – “Therefore, take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.

Verse 36 – “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shinning of a lamp gives you light.”

The lamp is Christ and the word of God; the eye represents spiritual understanding and insight. Evil desires make the eye less sensitive and blot out the light of Christ’s presence. Once sin starts to cover the light and darkness grows, that light will get dimmer and dimmer and sin progresses.

Woe To The Pharisees

Verse 37 – And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat.

Verse 38 – And when the Pharisees saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner.

The Pharisees had made an entire ritual of washing before a meal. Jesus wasn’t in to their ritual.

Verse 39 – But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness.

This washing that the Pharisees did, was not done for health reasons, but as a symbol of washing away any contamination from touching anything unclean. Not only did the Pharisees make a public show of their washing, but they also condemned everyone else to follow a practice originally intended for the priests.

Verse 40 – “Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?

Verse 41 – “But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.

They only gave alms to the poor in the public eye.

Verse 42 – “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the  others undone.

It’s easy to rationalize not helping others because we have already given to the church, but a person who follows Jesus will share and help needy neighbors. Our help to others shouldn’t stop with our local church.

Verse 43 – “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.

This second woe was because they loved the spotlight, not the Lord.

Verse 44 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Regarding this third woe; if Jews walked over “unmarked” graves, they became defiled. Ironically, Jesus said that following the teachings of the Pharisees was like walking over an unmarked grave; you would become defiled without knowing it, because the teachings of the Pharisees were corrupt and misleading.

Can you imagine, going into a house and sitting down to eat, the host then criticizes you for not following their ritual of washing, and then you blast them with words that show how corrupt and wicked they are?

“Woe” on the Lawyers (scribes)

Verse 45 – Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, “Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also.”

Verse 46 – And He said, “Woe to you also, you lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

These “burdens” were the laws the Pharisees had added to God’s law. Does this sound familiar with our law-makers we have today running this country? The law-makers don’t obey their own laws, but if the “regular” citizens break them, they go to jail!

Verse 47 – “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.

Verse 48 – “In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs.

Jesus point: They loved to build monuments after they had killed and silenced the prophets. The Pharisees and scribes were like their fathers.

Verse 49 – “Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’

Verse 50 – “that the blood of all prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,

Verse 51 – “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

God’s prophets had been persecuted and murdered throughout history. But this generation was rejecting more than a human prophet – they were rejecting God.

Verse 52 – “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”

They took away the key of knowledge by their erroneous interpretations of Scripture and their added man – made rules, they made God’s truth hard to understand and practice. They had closed the door to God’s love and thrown away the key.

Verse 53 – And He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail (make a violent attack) Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things,

Verse 54 – lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.

They wouldn’t be able to arrest Jesus for just merely words. They had to find a legal way to get rid of Him. These people could not be corrected: Proverbs 9:8 – Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Proverbs 23:9 – Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words. However, “Jesus took them to school!”

 

 

 

 

Luke – Chapter 10

Mission of the Seventy

Verse 1 – After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.

Verse 2 – Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the labors are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Verse 3 – “Go your way; behold I send you out as lambs among wolves.

Verse 4 – “Carry neither money bag, sack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road.

Jesus couldn’t reach all He needed to in such a short time. A lot of people forget that Jesus had more than only twelve disciples. The same goes today. We have missionaries all over the world preaching and reaching thousands. But these went before Him to prepare their hearts, so when He entered their city, they would be ready to hear the message of God’s kingdom.

Verse 5 – “But whatever house you enter, say, ‘Peace to this house.”

Verse 6 – “And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you.

Whether good or bad in Jewish custom, a man is called, “Son of … Wicked men were called children of wrath; Judas is called, son of perdition. Son of peace in this text not only means a peaceable, quiet man, but one also of good report for his uprightness. It would have been a dishonor to this mission, had the missionaries taken up their lodgings with those who had not a good report among them.

Verse 7 – “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wage. Do not go from house to house.

Shifting from house to house could offend the family who first took them in. Some families might begin to compete if they were to move from house to house. And, ministers of God should be paid for their work as the apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:17, 18.

Verse 8 – “Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. (Don’t be picky.)

Verse 9 – “And heal the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you!

Verse 10 – “But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say,

Verse 11 – “The very dust of your city which cling to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’

This makes it very clear: If you don’t receive the message of the Gospel, you can’t expect anything from God.

Verse 12 – “But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

In that day of judgment. Sodom was destroyed for their great wickedness, Genesis 19. Sodom will suffer at judgment day, but cities who saw the Messiah and rejected Him will suffer even more.

Verse 13 – “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented a great while ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

Verse 14 – “But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.

Verse 15 – “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be thrust down to Hades.

Verse 16 – “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

You can’t skip over Jesus and get to God! Plain and simple. The only way  to the Father is through Jesus Christ. If you reject Jesus, then you reject God, because He is God.

Verse 17 – Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Verse 18 – And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Verse 19 – “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the powers of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Verse 20 – “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

There’s nothing wrong with being excited when we lay hands on people and they are healed. However, be cautious about how you begin to think of yourself. Pride is what caused Satan to be cast out of heaven. Keep focused on what is so much more important, that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Verse 21 – In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

That Thou has not revealed these things to the Pharisees and scribes, who idolize their own wisdom; but has revealed them to the simple and humble of heart.

Verse 22 – “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

It is impossible for spiritually dead humans to know God the Father or His Son unless the Son through His Holy Spirit reveals both. That’s why people who are not “born-again”, have no understanding of scripture, it’s foreign to them.

Verse 23 – And He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see;

Verse 24 – “for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”

Jesus let His disciples know that it was both a privileged and a blessing to see the prophesies spoken of by the prophets and kings, coming to pass. In 1 Peter 1:12, he said that even the angels desired to see these things. Please don’t ever take your Christianity for granted. What a privilege we have, being able to have it all written down for us in any language we choose. By faith, we read, hear, and experience the grace of God through what Jesus has done for us all. Get to know Him, and never ever stop learning of His gracious love.

How to Inherit Eternal Life

Verse 25 – And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him saying, “Teacher, what shall we do to inherit eternal life?”

An expert in law refers to a scribe, many of whom were also Pharisees.

Verse 26 – He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

Verse 27 – So he answered and said, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Verse 28 – And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Jesus didn’t go on to explain that no one can do these things perfectly all the time. No one loves perfectly all the time in every situation but Christ.

Parable of the Good Samaritan

Verse 29 – But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Verse 30 – Then Jesus answered and said; “A certain man went down to Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

This lawyer wanted to justify himself by appearing to be a righteous man. Jesus is about to teach them, that a neighbor is anyone from any nation or religion, who is in distress and needs help.

Verse 31 – “Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

If the priest thought the man was dead, he couldn’t touch him because then he would be unclean. But the priest didn’t even check.

Verse 32 – “Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place came and looked, and passed by on the other side.

Verse 33 – “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

The Jews considered the Samaritans to be half-breeds, who had intermarried with foreigners and who were guilty of false worship. The half-dead man, was more than likely a Jew, because he was traveling to Jerusalem to Jericho. To this lawyer, the person least likely to act correctly would be the Samaritan. They were hated enemies of the Jews.

Verse 34 – “And went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

How many people do you know who would stop what they were doing, or stop where they were going to attend to someone’s need? Having compassion, does something about the situation.

Verse 35 – “On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.

Trust me when I say, “All Christians will be tested in this area, at one time or another.” Do we interrupt our daily lives to see to someone’s needs, knowing they could never repay us?

Verse 36 – “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

Verse 37 – And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Verse 38 – Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.

Verse 39 – And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.

Verse 40 – But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

Verse 41 – And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.

Let’s not be so hard on Martha, after all, she was trying to give Jesus and His twelve disciples a proper welcome, and she was overwhelmed with work. This would be like big family gathering, people sitting around, and watching one person wait on everyone, making sure everything was “just right.” However, Jesus doesn’t see it the way Martha sees it.

Verse 42 – “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Mary and Martha both loved Jesus. On this occasion they were both serving Him. But Martha thought Mary’s style of serving was inferior and a waste of time. We shouldn’t let our business interfere with just spending time with Jesus. Jesus didn’t blame Martha for being concerned about household chores, He was only asking her to set priorities and to not fault those who do.