Showing posts from July, 2022

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

Warn and Encourage

The crowd of people had grown to many thousands, to the point that they were trampling on one another. Then Jesus began to teach, speaking first to His disciples. He reminded them of what He had said in the boat after they departed the region of Magadan and Dalmanutha: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”  Jesus then recalled some of what He told the twelve apostles before sending them out. “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed and nothing hidden that will not be made known. What you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops. “I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has the authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him! “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotte


 Jesus and His disciples went into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan, known as Perea. This region was under the control of tetrarch Herod Antipas. This was the place where John had first been baptizing. Again, large crowds came to Jesus. And He healed them, and taught them, as was His custom. Many of those who came said, “Although John never performed a sign, everything he said about this man was true.” And many of the people in that place believed in Jesus. See Matthew:19:1b-2; Mark 10:1b; John 10:40-42

Again, Who Are You?

Jesus and His disciples went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication, more commonly known today as Hannukah. It was winter and they were walking in the temple courts in Solomon’s Colonnade. And the Jewish leaders gathered around Jesus and demanded, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ (Messiah), tell us plainly.” Now, Jesus may have considered this question to be a continuation of His conversation with the Pharisees two months prior, following the Feast of Tabernacles. Because Jesus replied, “I already told you, but you did not believe. The works I do in My Father’s name testify on My behalf. But because you are not My sheep, you refuse to believe. My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” At this, just like two months

Mary and Martha

As Jesus and His disciples traveled along, they came to the village of Bethany, near Jerusalem. And a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. They were also welcomed by Mary, who was Martha’s sister. The sisters were so excited to have Jesus in their home. Mary sat down at the feet of Jesus. She wanted to hear everything Jesus had to say. But Martha was not listening to Jesus. She was distracted with preparations for her guests. Martha was cooking and cleaning. She wanted to make everything perfect for Jesus. Finally, Martha came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!” Jesus was gentle in His reply. “Martha, Martha,” He said, “you are worried and upset about so many things. But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen that good thing. And it will not be taken away from her.” See Luke 10:38-42 -

Who is My Neighbor?

One day, Jesus was teaching. And an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”   “What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?”    The expert answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus said. “Do this and you will live.”    But wanting to justify himself, the expert asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”    Jesus took up this question and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.    “Now by chance a priest was going down the same road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.    “So too, when a Levite came to that spot and saw him, he passed by on the other side.    “But when a Samaritan on a journey came upon him,

Revelation and Rest

After the seventy-two had returned, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and declared, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was well-pleasing in Your sight.”   Jesus then said to the crowd, “All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.   “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”   Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”   See Matthew

The Seventy-Two

Jesus prepared to visit a new area. And so, from His disciples, Jesus appointed seventy-two others and sent them, two by two, ahead of Him to every town and place in that area. And He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.    “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse or bag or sandals. Do not greet anyone along the road.    “Whatever house you enter, begin by saying, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay at the same house, eating and drinking whatever you are offered. For the worker is worthy of his wages. Do not move around from house to house.    “If you enter a town and they welcome you, eat whatever is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’    “But if you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go into the streets and declare,

Samaritan Refusal

Jesus and His disciples were traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem and they were passing through Samaria. Jesus sent messengers ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to make arrangements for Jesus and His disciples to stay there. But the people in the village refused to welcome Jesus, because He was heading for Jerusalem. When Jesus and His disciples learned the reaction of the villagers, there was a commotion from disciples James and John, the brothers whom Jesus called the Sons of Thunder. “Lord,” they asked Jesus, “do You want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”  But Jesus turned to James and John and rebuked them. And Jesus and His disciples went on to another village.  See Luke 9:52‭-‬56 Notes: "He was heading to Jerusalem": While the cause of the villagers' resentment is uncertain, it may have been the reminder that Jews worshipped at their temple in Jerusalem, while Samaritans worshipped at their temple on Mount Gerizim. -

Ten Healed of Leprosy

Jesus and His disciples were on their way from Galilee to Jerusalem. And they were walking through the area which bordered Samaria and Galilee. They entered one of the villages and were met by ten men who were lepers. The leper group was a mixture of Jews and Samaritans. The lepers stood at a distance and raised their voices, shouting, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  When Jesus saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as the lepers were on their way to Jerusalem to show themselves to the priests, they were cleansed. When one of the men saw that he was healed, he came back to Jesus, and was praising God in a loud voice. He fell facedown at Jesus’ feet, giving thanks to Him. It should be noted that this man was a Samaritan. “Were not all ten cleansed?” Jesus asked the man. “Where then are the other nine?” Then Jesus address His disciples: “Did no one return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” Then Jesus turned back to the man and said to him, “Ris

The Good Shepherd

Jesus and His disciples were walking through Jerusalem. And as they were passing by, Jesus saw a man who had been blind from birth. At that time, it was widely believed that physical disabilities were the result of sin. And so, Jesus' disciples asked Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God would be displayed in him. While it is daytime, we must do the works of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When Jesus had said this, He spit on the ground, made some mud, and applied it to the man’s eyes. Then Jesus told him, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So, the man went and washed, and came back seeing. At this, the man's neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging began to ask, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg” Some people cla