Showing posts from 2022

Abiding: Thoughts on Journeying with Jesus

Friends, I am pleased to announce that my latest book is out: Abiding: Thoughts on Journeying with Jesus . This is a collection of my writings over the last several years. The book is available in Hardback, Paperback, and Kindle. Below is the Amazon U.S. link to the book, but it is also available in other Amazon markets. Thanks for your support. And I hope you enjoy! -

Whose Son?

While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts and the scribes and Pharisees were assembled there, Jesus asked the Pharisees this question: “What do you think about the Christ (Messiah)? Whose son is He?” “David’s,” the scribes and Pharisees answered.  Jesus said to them, “How can you say that the Christ (Messiah) is the Son of David? For David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared in the book of the Psalms: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’ Thus David himself calls the Christ (Messiah) ‘Lord.’ So, how can He be David’s son?”  The large crowd listened to Jesus with delight. And no one was able to answer a word, and from that day on no one dared to question Jesus any further. See Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44; Psalm 110:1

Greatest Commandment

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came and gathered around Jesus where He was teaching in the temple courts. They may have been trying to publicly discredit His teachings. Because one of the Pharisees, who was a scribe and an expert in the law, asked this question: “Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” Jesus replied, “This is the most important: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. And no other commandment is greater than these.” “Right, Teacher,” the scribe replied. “You have stated correctly that God is One and there is no other but Him, and to love Him with all your heart and with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, which is mo

Resurrection Riddle

That same day, some of the Sadducees came to Jesus. Now, like the Pharisees, the Sadducees were a Jewish sect and were represented in the Sanhedrin—the Jewish council. The Sadducees acknowledged the divine authority of the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Old Testament—but they did not acknowledge the rest of Scripture. And unlike the Pharisees, the Sadducees rejected supernatural doctrines, such as the belief in the existence of angels, the belief in the existence of spirits, and the belief in the resurrection. So, it is interesting that the Sadducees planned to trap Jesus using a question about the resurrection. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses declared that if a man dies and leaves a wife without children, his brother is to marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. Now, there were seven brothers. The first brother married and died without having children. So, the second brother married the widow, but he also died with no children. The third brother did likewise. This continu

Paying Taxes

Earlier, Jesus had been confronted in the temple courts by the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people the elders being the Sanhedrin; the Jewish council). That confrontation went much better for Jesus than for them. And they had departed after Jesus told them the parable of the tenants. The Pharisees continued to watch Jesus closely and they conspired to trap Jesus in His words so they could hand Him over to the rule and authority of the governor. To do the trapping, the Pharisees sent their disciples, and they also sent the Herodians. The two groups pretended to be sincere while they spied on Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that You are honest and that You teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You seek favor from no one because You pay no attention to external appearance. So, tell us what You think: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But Jesus saw through their duplicity and hypocrisy. He knew their evil intent. Jesus said, “You hypocrite

Tuesday, Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem in the temple courts, and Jesus was teaching the people. Jesus had been speaking with the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people (the elders being the Sanhedrin; the Jewish council). And they had departed after Jesus told them the parable of the tenants. Jesus then told the people another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. The king sent his servants to call those he had invited to the banquet, but they refused to come. “Again, the king sent other servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ “But those who were invited paid no attention and went away, one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized the king’s servants, mistreated them, and killed them. “The king was enraged, and he sent his troops to destroy those murderers

Tuesday, Parable of the Tenants

Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem in the temple courts, and Jesus was teaching the people. Jesus was still speaking with the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people (the elders being the Sanhedrin; the Jewish council). And Jesus had just told them the parable of the two sons. Jesus told them another parable and the details may have reminded the listeners of a similar story spoken by the prophet Isaiah. Jesus said, “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, he dug a winepress and vat, and he built a watchtower. Then he rented it out to some tenants and went away on a journey. And he was gone for a long time. “When harvest time drew near, the landowner sent a servant to the tenants to collect his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants seized the servant, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. “So, the landowner sent another servant, but the tenants struck him over his head, beat him, treated

Tuesday, Parable of the Two Sons

Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem in the temple courts, and Jesus was teaching the people. Jesus was still speaking with the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people (the elders being the Sanhedrin; the Jewish council). And Jesus had just refused to tell the Jewish leaders by what authority He did the things that He did. “But what do you think of this?” Jesus asked. He then told them a parable. “There was a man that had two sons. The man also had a vineyard. And he went to the first son and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “The first son replied, ‘I will not.’ But later he changed his mind and went to the vineyard. “Then the man went to the second son and told him the same thing: ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “The second son said, ‘I will, sir.’ But he did not go.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which of the two sons did the will of his father?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and prostitu

Tuesday, Trap of Words

Jesus and His disciples returned to Jerusalem and to the temple courts. And Jesus was walking and teaching and proclaiming the gospel. There He was confronted by the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people (the elders being the Sanhedrin; the Jewish council). These were the people who wanted to kill Jesus, and they had not been successful to this point. While it is not certain, it seems that they had decided on a strategy to catch Jesus by using His own words against Him. And so, they asked Him a very sensitive question: “Tell us. By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You the authority to do them?” Jesus replied by throwing the same sensitive question back at them. He said, “I will also ask you one question. And if you answer Me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” Then Jesus asked, “What was the source of John’s baptism? Was it from heaven or from people? Answer Me!” All the Jewish leaders deliberated among themselves on wh

Tuesday, Withered Fig Tree

The next morning, as Jesus and His disciples were traveling back to Jerusalem, they passed the fig tree that Jesus had cursed. The disciples saw that the tree had withered from its roots, and they marveled. Peter spoke up, saying, “Look, Rabbi (Teacher)! The fig tree You cursed has withered.” And the other disciples added, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” “Have faith in God,” Jesus said to them. “Truly I tell you that if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and have no doubt in your heart but believe that it will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand to pray, if you hold anything against another, forgive it, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your trespasses as well.” See Matthew 21:19‭b-‬22; Mark 11:20‭-‬26 Notes: 1. “Th

Monday, Routine

During the Passover Feast, Jesus made it easy for anyone in Jerusalem to find Him because Jesus kept to a specific routine. During the day, Jesus taught at the temple. When evening came, Jesus left the city and took a one-hour walk to the east—about 2.5 miles—to the Mount of Olives, where He spent the night. Early in the morning, Jesus walked back to Jerusalem and resumed teaching in the temple. And, because of this routine, everyone in Jerusalem did find and listened to Jesus.   See Luke 21:37-38

Monday, Temple Cleared

When Jesus and His disciples arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. Then Jesus began to teach the people. Recalling the words of Isaiah and Jeremiah, He declared, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” People brought the blind and the lame to Jesus at the temple, and He healed them. But the chief priests and scribes were indignant when they saw the wonders Jesus performed and when they saw and heard the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked. “Yes,” Jesus answered. Then He recalled the psalmist, saying, “Have you never read: ‘From the mouths of children and infants You have ordai

Monday, Fruitless

The next morning, as Jesus and His disciples were traveling from Bethany back to Jerusalem, Jesus was hungry. And down the road, in the distance, He saw a fig tree in leaf. Now, Jesus knew it was not yet the season for figs. But Jesus also knew that if a fig tree had leaves, it should also have figs. So, Jesus went to see if there was any fruit on the tree. When He reached the fig tree, Jesus found that there was nothing on the tree but leaves. In response, Jesus said, “May you never bear fruit again! May no one eat of your fruit again.” His disciples heard Him say this. See Matthew 21:18-19a; Mark 11:12-14 Notes: Israel as a fig tree: In the Old Testament, the fig tree often stood as a symbol for the nation of Israel (Jeremiah 8:13; Hosea 9:10). And the image of Israelites sitting under their own fig tree was a symbol of peace and prosperity (1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10). Israel’s spiritual health was represented in the metaphor of a plant bearing fruit (Isaiah 27:6). And

Sunday, Palms

Jesus and His disciples left Bethany and continued toward Jerusalem. And they came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of His disciples into Bethphage and He told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a donkey tied there, along with her colt, on which no one has ever sat. Untie the donkey and the colt and bring them to Me. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs them and will return them shortly.’ ” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Zechariah: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war will be broken. Then He will proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will extend from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates to the ends of the

Sabbath, Anointing

Six days before the Passover, Jesus and His disciples came to Bethany, the hometown of Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead, and his sisters Martha and Mary. And so, a dinner was given for Jesus there in Bethany. It was held at the home of Simon the jar-maker. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Jesus. While they were reclining at the table, Mary came to Jesus with a jar of translucent alabaster that contained a litra--about a pint--of expensive perfume, made of pure nard. Mary broke open the jar, anointed Jesus’ head and feet, and then wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.   When the disciples saw this, they were indignant, especially Judas Iscariot who was going to betray Jesus. They asked, “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold for three hundred denarii and the money could have been given to the poor.” Now, Judas did not agree because he cared about the poor, but because he was a

Going Toward Jerusalem

After Jesus told the people the parable of the ten minas, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. Now, the Jewish Passover was approaching, and many people went up from the country to Jerusalem to purify themselves before the Passover. The people kept looking for Jesus and asking one another as they stood in the temple courts, “What do you think? Will He come to the feast at all?” But the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where He was must report it so that the chief priests and Pharisees could arrest Him. See Luke 19:28; John 11:55-57

Parable of the Ten Minas

Jesus and His disciples were in Jericho and Jesus had just spoken about Zacchaeus and salvation. The people were listening to this. And many thought the kingdom of God would appear imminently because Jesus was coming near Jerusalem. And so, Jesus proceeded to tell the people a parable about the kingdom of God. He said, “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to lay claim to his kingship and then return. Before leaving, the man called ten of his servants and gave each of them a mina—equal to 100 drachmas, enough wages for 100 days of labor. The man told each servant, ‘Conduct business with this money until I return.’ “But the man's citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to rule over us.’ “When the man returned from obtaining his kingship, he summoned the ten servants to whom he had given the minas, to find out what each one had earned. “The first servant came forward and said, ‘Master, your mina has produced ten more minas.’ “His


Then Jesus entered new Jericho and was passing through. And in the town, there was a man named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and was very wealthy. Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was, but he could not see over the crowd because he was short. So, Zacchaeus ran on ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since He was about to pass that way. When Jesus reached that place, He looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down, for I must stay at your house today.” So, Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed Jesus with joy. All the people who saw this began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinful man!” But at the meal, Zacchaeus stood up and said to Jesus, “Look, Lord, I will give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will repay it fourfold.” Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man also is a child of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” See Luke 19:1-10; Numbers 5:

Bartimaeus and Another

Jesus and His disciples continued up the road to Jerusalem. They passed through old Jericho, the ruins of the city of the Old Testament. And as they were leaving, a large crowd was following them. Down the road, about two miles, was new Jericho—the palaces that were built by the Hasmonean dynasty and, later, by Herod the Great, and the city that built up around them. As they drew near to new Jericho, there were two blind men sitting beside the road, begging. One of the men was named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. When the blind men heard the crowd going by, they asked what was happening. The people told them, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” So, they cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The people that lead the way admonished the two men to be silent, but they cried out all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call them.” So, the people called the blind men. “Take courage!” they said. “Get up! He is calling for you.” Bartimaeus

Mother of James and John

Then, James and John came to Jesus along with their mother, the wife of Zebedee. The three knelt down and made a request of Jesus: “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” “What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus asked. They answered, “Grant that, in Your kingdom, one son may sit at Your right hand, and the other son may sit at Your left.” “You do not know what you are asking,” Jesus replied. “Can you drink the cup I will drink, or be baptized with the baptism I will be baptized?” “We can,” the brothers answered. Jesus said to them, “Indeed you will drink the cup that I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism that I will be baptized. But to sit at My right or left is not Mine to grant. These seats belong to those for whom My Father has prepared them.” When the other ten apostles heard about this, they were indignant with James and John. So, Jesus called the Twelve aside and said, “You know that those regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their

Jesus, Again, Predicts His Death

As Jesus and His disciples were going up the road to Jerusalem, Jesus walked ahead of them. His disciples were amazed, but the people who followed them were afraid. Jesus took the Twelve aside and, as before, told them what was going to happen to Him: “Listen, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that the prophets have written about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn Him to death and will deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, insulted, and spit upon. He will be flogged and crucified. And on the third day, He will be raised to life.” But His disciples did not understand any of these things. The meaning was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend what Jesus was saying. See Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34

Jesus Withdraws, Again

Because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, many of the Jewish leaders who had come to Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling council) and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man dies for the people than that the whole nation perish.” Caiaphas did not say this on his own. Instead, as high priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation, and not only for the nation but also for the scattered children of God, to gather them together into one. So, from that day on they plotted to kill Hi

Raising Lazarus

Jesus, once again deeply moved, came to the tomb of Lazarus. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” Jesus said. “Lord, by now he stinks,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man. “It has already been four days.” Jesus replied, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So, they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted His eyes upward and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me, but I say this for the benefit of the people standing here, so they may believe that You sent Me.” After Jesus had said this, He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The man who had been dead came out with his hands and feet bound in strips of linen, and his face wrapped in a cloth. “Unwrap him and let him go,” Jesus told them. See John 11:38-44

Comforting Martha and Mary

When Jesus arrived, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now, Bethany, was not far from Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia (a little less than two miles), and many of the Jewish leaders had come to Martha and Mary to console them in the loss of their brother. So, when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him; but Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give You whatever You ask of Him.” “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her. Martha replied, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though they die, yet shall they live. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she answered, “I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” After Martha said this

Lazarus Dies

While Jesus told the parable of workers in the vineyard, a man named Lazarus was sick. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha and he liced in the village of Bethany where Mary and Martha lived. For reference, Mary was the one who would later anoint Jesus with perfume and wipe His feet with her hair. Because Lazarus was sick, Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one You love is sick.” When Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now, Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. So, on hearing that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two days, and then He said to the disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “Rabbi,” they replied, “the Jewish leaders just tried to stone You, and You are going back there?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? If anyone walks in the daytime, he will not stumble, because he sees by the light of this world. But if any

Parable of Workers in the Vineyard

After Jesus spoke with His disciples about the rich young man, He told them this parable. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay each worker a denarius for the day and sent them all into his vineyard. “About the third hour (9 o’clock), the landowner went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. ‘You, also, go into my vineyard,’ he said, ‘and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So, they went. “The landowner went out again about the sixth hour (noon), and the ninth hour (3 o’clock), and did the same thing. “About the eleventh hour (5 o’clock), the landowner went out and found still others standing around. ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ he asked. “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “So, he told them, ‘You also go into my vineyard.’ “When evening came (about 6 o’clock), the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and

The Rich Young Man

Just then, a young man came to Jesus. The young man was a Jewish leader, and he was rich. He asked, “Good Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?” Jesus, replied, “Why call Me good, and why ask Me about what is good? No one is good except God alone.” Jesus then answered the man’s question. “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus answered, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Teacher,” the man replied, “all these I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said, “You still lack one thing. If you want to be perfect, go, sell everything you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he became very sad and walked away, because he was extremely wealthy. Seeing this, Jes

Jesus and the Children

Now, people were bringing their little children and babies to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. And when the disciples saw this, they rebuked the people who brought the children.   But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He called the children to Him, and He told His disciples, “Allow the little children to come to Me! Don't forbid them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And Jesus took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them, and blessed them. Then Jesus went on from there. See Mathew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17


Then some Pharisees came to test Jesus. They were hoping they could take something that Jesus said and use it against Him. It is possible that these Pharisees had not heard of the teaching Jesus gave on the mountainside by the Sea of Galilee. But it is also possible that the Pharisees were aware of Jesus’ teaching and wanted to test His consistency. They asked Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” “What did Moses command you?” Jesus asked. They answered, “Moses permitted a man to write his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away.” But Jesus replied, “Moses wrote this commandment for you because of your hardness of heart, but it was not always this way. From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ And ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” When J

Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Jesus also told this parable to some people who trusted in their own righteousness and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the other people—swindlers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and pay tithes of all that I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even lift up his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man, rather than the Pharisee, went home justified. For everyone who exalts themself will be humbled, but the one who humbles themself will be exalted.” See Luke 19:9-14

Parable of the Persistent Widow

Then Jesus told the people a parable about their need to pray at all times and not lose heart: “In a certain town There was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to the judge, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ “For a while the judge refused, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I neither fear God nor respect people, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice. Then she will stop wearing me out with her perpetual requests.’ ” And Jesus said, “Listen to the words of the unjust judge. Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He continue to defer their help? I tell you, He will promptly carry out justice on their behalf. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” See Luke 18:1-8

Coming of the Kingdom

The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. He replied, “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” Then He said to the disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see just one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. People will tell you, ‘Look, there He is!’ or ‘Look, here He is!’ But do not go out or chase after them. For just as the lightning flash lights up the sky from one end to the other, so will be the Son of Man in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man: People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. “It was the same in the days of Lot: People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, pl

Stumbling and Forgiving

Jesus reminded His disciples of lessons He taught them, while still in Capernaum, about temptations to sin and forgiveness. Jesus described the temptations as stumbling blocks in the path of the believer. He said, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for that one to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” Watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to say, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” See Luke 17:1‭-‬2‬‬‬4 Notes: 1. “millstone”: A large circular stone that is pressed and turned against another millstone to grind grain or other materials. A millstone can weigh up to 1,500 kilograms / 3,300 pounds. 2. “little ones”: Jesus compared believers to little children.

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

Jesus then told all the people a parable about ignoring teaching and repenting too late: “Now, there was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived each day in joyous splendor. And a beggar named Lazarus was laid at the rich man’s gate, covered with sores and longing to be fed with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “One day the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. And the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. “So, he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. For I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham answered, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things. But now he is comforted here, while you are in agony. And besides all this, a great chasm has been fixe

Parable of the Shrewd Manager

Jesus also said this parable to His disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So, he called his manager and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Turn in an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be my manager.’ “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking away my position? I am not strong enough to dig and I'm too ashamed to beg.’ Then he said, ‘I know what I will do, so that after my removal from management, people will welcome me into their homes.’ “And he called in each one of his master’s debtors. ‘How much do you owe my master?’ he asked the first. “‘A hundred measures of olive oil,’ he answered. “‘Take your bill,’ said the manager. ‘Sit down quickly, and write fifty.’ “Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ “‘A hundred measures of wheat,’ he replied. “‘Take your bill and write eighty,’ he told him. “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdl

Parable of the Lost Son

Jesus had another parable to tell the people about lost and found. He knew this parable would be difficult for the Pharisees and scribes to hear because they clung to teachings such as this in the Book of Deuteronomy: If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, his father and mother shall take hold of him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of his town, and say to the elders, "This our son is stubborn and rebellious. He does not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard." Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death. So, you shall purge the evil from among you. All Israel shall hear and fear. But Jesus knew that all the people needed to hear this parable, especially the Pharisees and scribes. And so, He began: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger son knew he would get an inheritance when his father died, but he

Parable of the Lost Coin

Jesus continued with another parable. “Or what about a woman who has just ten silver coins? If she loses one of the coins, does she not light a lamp, sweep her house, and search carefully until she finds the lost coin? And when she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors to say, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my coin that was lost!’ In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” See Luke 15:8-10 Notes: "ten silver coins": ten Greek drachmas, each worth about one day's wages.

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Now, all the tax collectors and sinners were coming to listen to Jesus. The Pharisees and scribes saw this and they began to grumble: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” In response, Jesus then told them all some parables about things that were lost and then found. The first was the parable of the lost sheep, which Jesus had taught His apostles privately while they were in Capernaum. But this time, Jesus told the parable in greater detail to make a point to the Pharisees and scribes. Jesus said, “Who among you, if you have a hundred sheep and lose one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go after the one that is lost until you find it? And when you find it, you joyfully put the sheep on your shoulders, come home, and call together your friends and neighbors to tell them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost!’ In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteou

Counting the Cost

Large crowds were now traveling with Jesus, and He turned to the people and said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.   “Which of you, wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost to see if you have the resources to complete it? Otherwise, if you lay the foundation and are unable to finish the work, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person could not finish what they started to build.’   “Or what king on his way to war with another king will not first sit down and consider whether he can engage with ten thousand men the one coming against him with twenty thousand? And if he is unable, he will send a delegation while the other king is still far off, to ask for terms of peace.   “In the same way, any one of you who does not give up everything they have

Parable of the Great Banquet

Jesus had just told His host whom he should invite to his banquets. And one of the other guests, who had overheard this, said to Jesus, “Blessed is everyone who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” In response, Jesus told this parable: “A certain man prepared a great banquet and invited many guests. When it was time for the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But one after another, all the invited guests began to make excuses. The first one said, ‘I have purchased a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I cannot come.’ “The servant returned and reported all this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the disabled, the blin

House of the Pharisee

One Sabbath, Jesus went to eat in the home of a leading Pharisee, and those in attendance were watching Him closely. Right there before Him was a man with dropsy, what we today call edema, an excess of fluid in the connective tissue of the body. Before doing anything, Jesus turned and addressed some of the guests who were experts in the law and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But all Pharisees and experts in the law remained silent. Then Jesus took hold of the man, healed him, and sent him on his way. And Jesus asked the Pharisees and the experts in the law, “Which of you whose child or ox falls into a pit on the Sabbath day will not immediately pull them out?” They all were unable to answer His questions. When Jesus noticed how the guests chose for themselves the places of honor at the table, He told them a parable: “When you are invited to a wedding banquet, do not sit in the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited. Then t

Jesus Continued Traveling, Healing, and Teaching

Then Jesus continued traveling throughout the towns and villages. And He continued teaching as He made His way toward Jerusalem. Someone asked Jesus whether a few people would be saved. Jesus answered by teaching them whether to choose the wide gate or the narrow gate. His teaching was the same that He had taught on the mountainside by the Sea of Galilee. At that very hour, some Pharisees came to Jesus to warn Him about Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Perea and Galilee. the Pharisees told Him, “Leave this place and get away because Herod wants to kill You.” But Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look, I will keep driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach My goal.’ Nevertheless, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.” See Luke 13:22, 31-33

Disabled Woman

One Sabbath, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues. And there was a woman present who, for eighteen years, had been disabled by an evil spirit—a demon. The woman was bent over and could not straighten up. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your disability.” Then He placed His hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and began to glorify God. Now, Jewish law permitted a physician to heal on the Sabbath in cases of emergency—of life and death—but the healing of a chronic condition on the Sabbath was against Jewish law. We don’t know whether the synagogue leader acted on his own, or whether he was encouraged by like-minded members of the congregation, but he became indignant and spoke—not to Jesus, but to the crowd—saying, “There are six days for work. Come and be healed on those days and not on the Sabbath.” Hearing the leader of the synagogue, Jesus said to him and others who thought like him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of y

Repent or Perish

At that time, some of those present in the crowd told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. The people thought that the terrible things which happened to a person were evidence of a person’s guilt. Also, they felt that the things which happened were punishments and the degree of the terrible things reflected the degree of that person’s guilt. And so, Jesus replied, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this fate? No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Jesus brought up another incident. “Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam collapsed on them: Do you think that they were more sinful than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he sai

Interpret the Times

Jesus taught the people that He came to bring conflict and require sacrifice. His teaching recalled some of what Jesus instructed His twelve apostles by the Sea of Galilee before sending them out. Then Jesus said to the crowds, “As soon as you see a cloud rising in the west, you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and that is what happens. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It will be hot,’ and it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky. Why don’t you know how to interpret the present time?  “And why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? Make every effort to reconcile with your adversary while you are on your way to the magistrate. Otherwise, your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and the officer may throw you into prison. I tell you that you will not get out until you have paid the very last penny.”  See Luke 12:54-59 Notes: Jesus explained to the people that they clearly understood t

Be Watchful

Jesus then advised them all not to worry. He reminded His disciples and the crowd of what He had taught on the mountainside by the Sea of Galilee. Continuing from His same teaching, Jesus then advised them all not to build their treasure on earth, but in heaven. Jesus then spoke of watchfulness “Stay dressed for service and keep your lamps burning. Be like servants waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake and on watch when he returns. Truly I tell you, the master will dress himself to serve and will have them recline at the table, and he himself will come and wait on them. Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, those servants will be blessed.” “But understand: If the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, they would not have let their house be broken into. You too, always be

Parable of the Rich Fool

A man in the crowd called to Jesus. Apparently, he was not satisfied with his portion of the family inheritance. Perhaps he was a younger brother and the eldest brother had received a double portion, as was the custom. Regardless, the man thought Jesus, in His authority as a teacher of the law, could influence the division of property to the man’s favor. And so, the man said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”   But Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed Me judge or executor between the two of you?” Jesus went on to warn the man and the crowd about greed, saying, “Watch out! Guard yourselves against every form of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of one’s possessions.”   Then Jesus told the crowd a parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced an abundant harvest. So, he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and wil