1. Many people wrote books on the life of Christ. Most of those books were not inspired by God; most were not holy scripture. Four are inspired: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. God wanted to use Luke's unique personality and style to write one of the books he would include in scripture.
Many Christians have the same spiritual gift from God but no two Christians use their gift in the exact same way. That's why it's very important for each one of us to be ourselves and do what God tells us to do even if others are doing similar things. Do things the way God made you to do it.
2,3. God inspired Luke which guaranteed that this book would be 100% accurate. However part of the process God used was the hard work which Luke put into investigating all the facts about Jesus.
God's sovereignty is no excuse for our complacency. It's important to pray hard, but it's also important to do the very best we can. If we do those two things God will use the way He chooses.
4. Luke was a doctor, and like a good Dr. he paid close attention to detail. God used his personality, and his precision to write the most detailed account of the life of Christ that we have. That doesn't mean that his account better then Mark's, Matthew's, or John's. It simply means that God uses different Christians to do similar things in different ways to appeal to a variety of people.
5. There were 24,000 priests in Israel back in those days. The priests were divided into 24 groups of 1000 priests per group. 24,000 Priests but there was only one temple. Consequently each of those 24 groups would serve at the temple two weeks a year. Zechariah was one of those 24,000 priests and God's providence insured that he would be on duty at this particular time.
The meaningless little things that happen throughout the day are full of meaning and purpose and God is in control of each one.
6. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were not sinless but they were blameless. Their faith in God caused them to live for him and to offer the proper sacrifices when they failed. Their faith in God was also the thing that made them blameless in the sight of God. Blameless simply means that God did not hold their sins against them; he did not blame them.
Our faith in Jesus Christ does the same thing for us. Our faith in Christ insures that God doesn't hold our sins against us. The bible says Christians are blameless; God doesn't punish us as our sins deserves.
7. Zechariah and Elizabeth didn't have any children and unfortunately people like them were seen as second class citizens in the eyes of many. Back then people assumed that if a married woman didn't have children it was because she had some sin in her life. That was a bad assumption, and that was a wrong assumption.
When people assume that the reason someone is not blessed in a certain way is because they have done something sinful that assumption is probably piling more hurt on someone who's already hurting. Elizabeth loved God, but she didn't have any children so If I had been their I would have told people to knock it off and leave her and her husband alone.
8,9. It may have seemed like the luck of the draw that got Zechariah into the temple burning incense that particular day. However, there are no accidents, and there is no luck when you belong to God; there are only appointments. Zechariah didn't know it, but he had an appointment with the angel Gabriel.
We never know what our divine appointments are for the day when we get up in the morning. God doesn't tell us what he has written on our to do list.
10. If you were a priest during the old testament days and you entered the temple to do your holy work you could die if you were careless. It was a very serious thing to go into God's temple. Consequently the people prayed while Zechariah did his priestly work.
11. This was no dream, and this was no vision. This was an appearance. Gabriel was there in person.
12. Zechariah wasn't just startled he was gripped with fear. Startled happens when someone says boo. But if you're in the holy temple, alone, before God, offering holy incense, in a room lit only by an oil lamp, and a holy angel suddenly appears you're going to be gripped with fear I don't care who you are. After the paramedics restart your heart perhaps you will be able to tell them what happened.
13. Zechariah has been praying and God is about to do the impossible in response to his prayers.
If every desire we had was easy to obtain then we could obtain them without much effort, and probably not much Glory to God either. God allows some of our desires to fall into the category of humanly impossible so that we will pray, and so that if he chooses to say yes he gets the Glory. Just a reminder that the good Lord is up there.
14. Their son will be a good boy, and a Godly man. No wonder he will be a delight to his parents. His parents are Godly people, and the greatest source of joy to any Godly parent is to see their sons or daughters living for the lord. Unfortunately the bible suggests that sometimes children fall away from the faith but if they are raised to know Jesus they have the witness of the holy spirit in them nagging them to come back and very often they do.
15. John their son will be very strict with himself. He will be what the bible calls a Nazerite. A Nazerite was one whose life was completely dedicated to God. That was john; he would live for God and he will eventually die for God.
16. John lived a life of self denial. The things of this world had no hold on him. It's a good thing they didn't because his ministry will call for someone who can't be swayed by anything that this world has to offer. John will preach a straight forward message of repentance. Some will turn to God as a result. Some will hate John as a result. But he will persevere because all he cared about was pleasing the lord and preaching the truth.
17. Because john will preach the pure word the hearts of the father's will be turned to their children.
The word of God bridges gaps. It is impossible to have a generation gap or any other type of gap between people who love the lord, and live the word. The holy spirit pulls together people who have differences and closes any gap that may otherwise be there.
18. Wrong question Zechariah! When God says something is true you do not ask: how can I know for sure? It's OK to ask how? It's OK to ask when? But do not ask God to prove that what he says is true. Zechariah is going to find out the hard way that that is not an appropriate thing to do.
19. If you've been praying for a son for years as Zechariah and Elizabeth had evidently been doing. If you are in the holy temple in the presence of God himself, and a mighty angel appears out of nowhere. If that angel says, God has heard your prayers Zechariah you will have a son, then you really ought to believe him. If an Angelic appearance in response to your prayer isn't enough of a sign all by itself then what in the world will do the trick for Zechariah?
20. It is no small thing to God if we don't believe something what is crystal clear in his word. One of the most basic facts about the character of God is that he is truthful. God does not like having his integrity questioned.
20. Several years ago a man told me that God would not answer a prayer if the one praying didn't believe him for the answer. That may be true at times, but it isn't always true. God is not controlled by our faith, or our lack of faith. God will answer Zachariah's prayer even though he is full of doubts. God will do what he said he would do right here even though Zechariah is full of doubts.
21. Zechariah was taking way too long; this was not normal. The priests who entered the temple had strict instructions to do their job and get out. God warned priests not to linger in his presence so something's not right here and the people know it.
22. Zechariah is a prisoner in his own body. He has a lot to say about his experience in the temple but he cannot speak it.
23. Zechariah had an amazing once in a lifetime experience, but he pretty much squandered it with his foolish unbelief.
There are certain once in a lifetime opportunity's from God. They're like Haley's comet. If you miss it the first time you won't get a second chance.
24,25. It is a shame that such a Godly woman like Elizabeth lived in disgrace for such a long time.
When God says do not judge he does not mean do not point out sin. Do not judge does not mean don't discern right from wrong, as some people think it means today. When God says do not judge he means don't look at a person's trouble and say, oh yes, they have committed some terrible sin and that is why they have problems. That is the type of sinful judging that Elizabeth, this Godly woman put up with for years.
26. Gabriel is sent by God to Nazareth. Gabriel is definitely the lord's number one messenger angel. 500 years earlier he was sent to the Prophet Daniel with a message from God. Six months prior to this he was sent to Zechariah to announce that his wife Elizabeth would have a miracle baby: John the baptist. And here he is again, this time he is sent to a young girl named Mary.
You know Gabriel didn't lose a step from the days of Daniel until the days of Mary. 500 years didn't slow him down one bit. He did not show up at Mary's home wearing bifocals and pushing an Angelic walker. You say that's nice for Gabriel. It is; but it's nice for us also because Jesus said that Christians are going to be like angels. When we are in our new body we will never grow old and we will never get tired and we will never get sick and we won't lose a step and we won't need glasses or anything else to make up for human frailties.
27. Mary and Joseph were betrothed which means they were engaged only it was more serious because although they had no physical relations the only way to end the betrothal would be through a divorce.
27,28. Mary will be the most blessed woman who ever lived. However in days to come she will also need to remember that the lord is with her, as Gabriel said. Mary can rejoice because she will be used by God but it won't be easy. All her life she will need to remember that God is with her; that she is in the will of God no matter how tough it may get and it will get tough. It will be difficult because the home town folks will not believe the virgin birth story which means she will be looked down upon as an immoral woman. Many will think that she had been immoral and what will make that hurt even more is that she cares about God.
29. Mary was troubled when she saw Gabriel and heard what he said. Angels always trouble those who they appear to. They can't help it; I don't think they try it's just that whenever a human being is in the presence of sinlessness they're going to feel uncomfortable. Mary was a Godly young woman but not Godly enough to feel comfortable in the presence of this sinless angel.
30,31. She won't have to name her little boy because his father already did that. His name is Jesus which means the lord saves. It took God coming into the world as a man and becoming the perfect sacrificial substitute on our behalf to save us from our sins. If God doesn't do that; if Jesus isn't born then the entire human race goes to hell.
32,33. If Mary didn't know before what this was all about she knows now. When Gabriel said that her little baby would have the throne of David she knew that he was the messiah. Jewish women from the very beginning dreamed of being the mother of the messiah and yet God chose this humble little girl who only had one thing going for her: a heart for God.
34. Mary did not say, no this can't be because I don't have a husband. She knew it would happen. She believed the word of God. She simply didn't know how it was going to come to pass.
It doesn't matter if we don't understand how the word of God works or how it will work itself out or how it will come to pass as long as we believe it and act upon it the way God expects us to.
35. She just got the answer to her how question. The answer is the miracle of the virgin birth. The holy spirit will create the embryo Jesus in Mary's womb and he will grow from there like any other baby. Jesus received his human nature from his Mother Mary and his divine nature from his father God. Jesus is not the son of Adam; he is the son of God and that is how he could be born without a sin nature and that is how he could be our sinless substitute 33 years later.
35. Jesus is referred to as the holy one which is why It is wrong to refer to any mere human as your holiness or the holy father or anything similar to that. Calling others holy waters down the real meaning and also waters down the uniqueness of Jesus. The focus of our faith must be on Jesus alone because he is the holy one.
36. Gabriel mentions Elizabeth Mary's relative for good reason. Elizabeth likewise will have a miracle baby in her old age so even if others don't believe Mary's story she will.
By the way since Elizabeth had been unable to conceive all her life she had lived with reproach. In those days and in that culture if a woman was unable to conceive her Godliness was questioned. Consequently even though Elizabeth was a Godly woman she was looked upon as being ungodly for years. Mary is going to experience the same sort of unfair reproach from people so having Elizabeth to talk to will be a great encouragement.
God works all things together for good including unfair treatment, including all bad things. We don't always know all the reasons and all the things that he accomplishes but there are times when the difficult things that we have gone through prepare us to help others who are going through similar circumstances. That would be the case with Elizabeth and Mary.
37. What a wonderful statement this is; nothing is impossible with God. If something is in God's plan, and in your best interest, he will do it and nothing will stop him. The bible says, our God is in heaven, he does whatever pleases him. Nothing is too difficult for God. No problem is too big for God to fix. What is a huge dilemma for us is nothing to God.
We have to remember that we are like little children to him, toddlers compared to God the father. What is a monumental problem to a toddler is often easily fixed by their father. No matter how big the problem may be; no matter how far advanced it may be; no matter how unfixable it may seem; it is a simple thing to God.
38. Two great things about Mary were her humility and obedience. She listened carefully to what God said. She thought about what he said. She thought about what she did not understand. She asked about what she didn't understand, and then she submitted to what God wanted. She submitted knowing that she could be walking into a hornet's nest full of trouble. There's a good chance that Joseph will not believe her and if he doesn't believe her he won't want her. There is a good chance that her father won't believe her and if that's the case she will be on her own. A woman on her own in that day had two choices: prostitution or begging and since she was Godly she would beg if need be. Of course it didn't come to that but when she agreed to do the will of God she had no guarantees.
You can't teach faith; you either have it or you don't. You either believe the word of God and trust in the wisdom of God or you don't; Mary did.
39,40. Mary left home to visit her relative Elizabeth who was also expecting a miracle baby. I'm thinking Mary needed someone to talk to; someone who would understand her situation, and if anybody would it would be Elizabeth. Elizabeth and are husband were Godly people and they would understand and they would believe Mary.
The bible says it's not good for man to be alone and I don't think it's good for women to be alone either and sometimes you can feel alone in the midst of a crowd and that's how Mary felt at home so she decided to visit someone who she could connect to.
41. Elizabeth is carrying john the baptist in her womb. Mary shows up at Elizabeth's front door and when the sound of Mary's voice hits john's years he jumps in Mary's womb. John knew that he was in the presence of his lord. John isn't even fully formed and he's already excited about God in Jesus. The immortal soul of john the baptist was already connecting to the soul of the savior even though the saviors body might have only been in inch long.
No one can tell me that abortion isn't destroying a human life; john was alive and john was human. An unborn baby is alive and it's human.
42. Elizabeth is filled with the holy spirit according to verse 41 and since that's the case the holy spirit takes control of her thoughts and her words and her actions. We know the holy spirit is in control of her words and her thoughts because she's about to say things that she never would have known apart from them being revealed to her by God.
42. Elizabeth knows that Mary is having a baby even though Mary is just a few days into her pregnancy. Gabriel told Mary Beth Elizabeth was expecting, but he never told Elizabeth that Mary was expecting. This is direct revelation from God to Elizabeth as she is filled with the holy spirit.
43. Notice what else God told Elizabeth. He told her that Mary's microscopic child is her lord. Jesus is too little to be seen but Jesus is already God made flesh. There isn't much flesh there, but he is Jesus, and he is lord.
A fetus is not potential human life. It is human life. Which means the soul of every child miscarried or aborted is in heaven with God.
44,45. The holy spirit also told Elizabeth that Mary believed Gabriel when he gave her the word of God which is the exact opposite of how her husband Zacharias responded to Gabriel.
46,47. She is praising God because God is her savior. Mary needed a savior because she was a sinner just like the rest of us. She was not saved or kept from sin as some teach; she was saved out of her sin like the rest of us.. Jesus did not save her from committing sin as some teach. There is no Biblical evidence for that. The Biblical evidence speaks against Mary as it speaks against all of us because God has said that all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. The only exception to that rule is Jesus because he is the God man and because the word specifically mentions that he was without sin.
48-50. God doesn't show mercy to everyone. The bible says here that he shows mercy to those who fear him. People who fear God forsake their sin and confess their sin. People who fear God fear his punishment. People who fear God know they deserve his wrath and therefore repent and plead for mercy. Those are the people who God forgives.
51,52. Prideful people don't get anywhere with God. People who have a wonderful self image may impress themselves but they don't impress God. Filthy vial sinful human beings, which is what we all are, are an abomination to the God who hate sin. For a sinner there's nothing to be proud about and there's no reason to feel good about ourselves. It only when we should feel good about is God who shows us mercy, who forgives us even though we're not worthy when we humble ourselves before him.
53. God isn't against the rich. God is not in favor of the poor who are poor because there too lazy to work. God does not show favoritism. To God people are people. To him there are the righteous and the unrighteous. To God there is this saved and the unsaved. If the wealthy trust in their wealth and put their wealth before God then they will be punished. If the poor are poor because they are oppressed than God will punish those who oppress them. God is against bad people and he is for good people no matter what their lot in life may be.
54-56. Mary returns home three months' pregnant. What will the neighbors think? More importantly will will Joseph think? Both are going to think the exact same thing but I guess it doesn't really matter because Mary is in God's will. All she can do is tell the truth and continue to live for God.
The only thing any of us can do is tell the truth, live for God, and let what happens happen. People will think what they will think.
57. God's time is the only time that matters. The sooner Christians learn that lesson the better off they will be. Elizabeth and Zechariah wanted a son long before this. Their time was much earlier than this but this was God's time and so they had their son: john the baptist.
58. Elizabeth was much older than most new mothers. She didn't have as many years to mother her child as most women do. But it looks as if she really enjoyed the time that she had.
Lesson: do not worry about what could have been but was not. Enjoy the moment you have and what God gives you the best you can.
59. All the friends and neighbors thought that Zechariah and Elizabeth would do the normal thing which was to name the boy after his father. However God had different plans; plans that only Zechariah and Elizabeth knew about.
60. Even though he couldn't speak for the last nine months Zechariah communicated to his wife that by order of God their son was to be named john.
61. People sometimes think that since God has never done something in a particular way that that means he never will; but that's not true. God is very firm when it comes to moral standards and truth, but styles and methods can change. The only box we can put God in is the box of his word. he'll never go against his word. The neighbors seem to be all shook up because the boy will not be named after his father. Well, the lesson is this: be open to new things from God.
62,63. Well they don't take Elizabeth's word for it. She said his name is john but they want to hear it from Zechariah. They recognize that Zechariah is in charge of family matters; his word is the final word and that is the way it should be.
64. Nine months of discipline from God are over and the first thing Zechariah does is praise God.
God's discipline is never any fun, but it is the best thing that can happen to us if we need it. Since that is true the correct thing for us to do is to praise God when we are in the midst of his discipline and also when it is over.
65,66. The people didn't know exactly what God would do, but they knew it would be big because clearly his fingerprints were all over the family of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Their prayers have been answered which is usually just the beginning of God doing something in a person's life. Answered prayer should be a catalyst to drive us closer to God than ever because whether his answer is yes or no he wants to do something in us and through us, that's for certain.
67. Prophecy isn't just predicting the future. Prophecy is simply being moved by the holy spirit to speak which could be teaching, which could be praising God. Zechariah will praise God and predict the future as he is filled with the holy spirit and begins to prophesy.
68,69. He's talking about the savior here in verse 69. In scripture horn represents power so he is saying that a strong savior is about to be born. He's strong enough to get the departed faithful into heaven and he is strong enough to save any sinner who repents and he is strong enough to throw the devil and his followers into hell when this world comes to an end.
69,70. God's prophets had been predicting the coming of the savior since the beginning of the world.
71. Christians have enemies both in the physical and in the spiritual realm. Someone says I don't think a Christian should have any enemies. Well that's news to Jesus because he said woe unto you when all men speak well of you. If you're living for Jesus and you speak the truth you are going to rub some people the wrong way. You are going to rub some people the wrong way and sometimes they can get very nasty but God says he'll save us from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
72,73. 2000 years before Christ God promised Abraham with an unconditional promise that the savior of the world would be his descendant. That promise has been fulfilled through Jesus.
74,75. The salvation that Jesus provides is outward and inward. The outward will be realized when we Christians are in our new bodies on the new earth. No enemies, no pain, no sickness, no lack of energy, no sadness.
The inward or spiritual part of our salvation is ours right now. It includes immediate and complete forgiveness of all sin. It includes victory over any sin no matter how ingrained it may be in us. We are free to live holy and enjoy God if we choose to.
76. Many old testament prophets predicted the coming of the savior. But john's ministry was unique because he actually introduced the savior to the world. John the baptist was the last old testament prophet.
77. John was a tough preacher, as we will see. But his preaching was full of mercy as well. He called sin sin. He preached repent or you will not escape the wrath of God. He preached salvation from hell through the forgiveness of sin. He preach judgment; he preached forgiveness.
No one ever gets saved unless the holy spirit convinces them that they are damned first. That feeling of condemnation brought on by the holy spirit is what produces repentance, and repentance produces forgiveness. There's no excuse for any preacher who doesn't preach both sin, damnation, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ like john did.
78,79. Jesus is the guide.. He guides us to the place where we will have peace with God if we follow him.
The world looks for peace in everything except the one place where it is found: Jesus. There is no peace says lord for the wicked. If the world would just quit rebelling against God and would start following the divine guide it would have the piece that its been looking for.
80. Basically it was God, john, and the wilderness for years. All john had was God and as a result he learned from experience that God is all you need.
Until we are satisfied having God, and if need be no one, or nothing else we are not in the place spiritually that God wants us to be.
2:1. Caesar Augustus was the first emperor of Rome. The roman senate gave him complete power which is why he could issue a Decree that everyone should be registered and no one had a choice, you just did it.
It looked like Augustus had it all but all he had was tinsel. He had the temporary applause of temporary people who lived in his temporary empire in this temporary world and then he died and went to hell where he has been for 2000 years going on forever because he rejected Christ.
1-3. Every Israelite was forced to leave their home and their work and return to the original hometown of their ancestors to register. This was not convenient but they had no choice because they were ruled by Rome.
We are born to bow. God warned Israel back in old testament days that if they didn't obey him and submit to him then they would submit to a foreign country and that's why they are under the control of Rome.
We are born to bow. If we don't bow to God then we will bow to sin and we will bow to man. If we do not serve God then we will eventually serve sin which will have dominion over us. If we don't submit to the rule of God then we will submit to the rule of man. Anarchy is not an option because God is a God of order.
4. Joseph had to make an 80 mile journey to Bethlehem in order to register. I have a feeling that the Israelite s were probably saying, I wish God was in control instead of Rome. God was in control; he was working behind the scenes. It's true the order to go to Bethlehem came from Caesar but God made it happen in order to fulfill the scripture which said that his son would be born in Bethlehem. It was inconvenient but it was God's will.
As Christians we may not always like what those in authority over us tell us to do but we should remember that submission to them is submission to God; unless of course they tell you to do something that is unbiblical.
4,5. If you're Joseph and Mary you don't find anything good in this situation at least not on the surface because she's expecting her child any minute and this is a 80 mile journey during the rainy season on the back of a donkey. On the surface it's all bad; on the surface none of it makes sense, but underneath it all God is fulfilling prophecy. Mary and Joseph are right in the middle of God's perfect will.
They knew that they would be the parents of God's son and I'm sure they looked forward to that, however I doubt that they expected the road that got them there would be this difficult.
Our future as Christians is wonderful. We're going to have a great reunion with friends and loved ones. We are going to have a brand new body and live on a brand new earth and it's going to be great. However the road that gets us from here to there has many potholes and ditches and a lot of other things that we would rather avoid.
6,7. Things just went from bad to worse. The good news is the they were right in the middle of God's will. The bad news is that when they arrived there wasn't a room anywhere to be rented.
It was very difficult for Mary and it was very difficult for Joseph also because he loved Mary. I'm sure he wanted her to be comfortable and the baby is the son of God so he wanted things to be good for him as well. I wonder if Joseph thought, where did I go wrong lord; where did I sway from your path; when did I deviate from your will. I must have missed your will somewhere along the line or we would not be in this terrible predicament.
Personal comfort isn't always included in God's will. That's why knowing we are in God's will because we are not breaking his moral law must be enough reward all by itself.
8. Shepherds were despised in that day. People didn't like them, people didn't trust them, many of them were thieves and many were liars. They had such a horrible reputation that they were not allowed to testify in court. They were not allowed to go into town, they had to stay out in the country.
9. God could have sent this angel to announce the birth of his son to anyone. One might think that he would've sent him to an important merchant, or a political ruler, or a religious leader but he did not. Conventional wisdom would think the angel would be sent to someone the world thinks is important but God seldom acts according to conventional wisdom because the values of conventional wisdom rarely line up with God's values.
God sent this angel to the down and dirty, lowly, despised, outcasts of society, shepherds. Among other things God was saying no one is too despised, or uncool, or backwards for me to care about.
10,11. The shepherds were afraid in the presence of this angel. They were afraid because they were sinners and they knew it, and if they ever forgot it there were plenty of people who would remind them. They were afraid but they didn't have to be because the angel was not there to judge or condemn. He was there to tell them that the savior was born.
12. The first part wasn't unusual, but the second part was. Babies were wrapped tight with cloths but most likely none were ever put in an animal feeding trough.
But consider this, if the son of God would've been born in a palace or an inn or in someone's house the shepherds would not have been allowed to see him; they never would've gotten past the door. Mary and Joseph and Jesus were in a stable. They were not in a stable because God couldn't figure out how to get them into a nice home. They were in a stable because that is exactly where God wanted them to be.
Sometimes God asks us to be inconvenienced and uncomfortable for the sake of others. How are you going to communicate Jesus to people in this miserable world who are in miserable circumstances if you aren't in some way involved in those circumstances? You won't! An ivory tower Christian who doesn't know what life is like in the real world won't get much of a hearing from a miserable sinner who has experienced the pains and the pressures of this life.
13,14. Peace on earth is what Jesus brought. Someone says, oh yes everyone should get along. Well that would be nice if it were possible but that is not why Jesus came He didn't come to bring peace at any price. He didn't come to bring peace between good and evil or between truth and error or between sinners and saints. He came to bring peace between us and God by dying for our sins.
15. The angels deliver their message to the shepherds and then they leave. Angels are never seen hanging around after they do their business. They do not get into small talk. They are working for God so they don't waste time they take their role seriously.
16. No doubt the shepherds told Joseph and Mary about their Angelic visit, and what a great encouragement that must have been. What a great encouragement to Joseph and Mary who find themselves in a stable with God's son.
Unpleasant surroundings and circumstances are much easier to handle when you are reminded of God's presence and approval.
17. Like the shepherds God has called Christians to be witnesses for Christ. I've heard preachers say that every Christian should take a class on personal evangelism, and how to witness for Jesus. I'm not saying that's bad but it can be a bad thing if it becomes a busy work substitute for simply telling people about Jesus. Several years ago I heard a baptist minister say that every Christian should go to a technical college and take a class on salesmanship so they can sell Jesus to the unsaved. I can't tell you how stupid that is! I can't tell you how ridiculous and worldly minded that is! You can't sell Jesus to anyone! The holy spirit sells Jesus!
Witnessing for Christ is very simple. You do what the shepherds did right here; they spread the word about what they had been told. Witnessing for Christ means telling people about your experience with Jesus. If you have faith in Jesus and you know he has saved you because of that simply tell people what Christ did for you; it doesn't have to be any more complicated than that.
18. Consider what may have been going through the mind of the people who listened to the shepherds story and you may understand why they marveled. The people were expecting a savior, and expecting him to be born in Bethlehem. However, they never expected him to be born in a barn. They never expected him to have humble parents. They never expected his birth to be announced to lowly shepherds.
On the other hand the shepherds were not the type to care about religious things so they would not have made up a story like this. So all these things made the people scratch their heads in amazement. None of it made sense.
19. Mother's usually do not forget the things that have happened concerning their children. Mary the mother of Jesus had many more things to consider than most mothers.
20. The people who the shepherds talked to did not get excited about Jesus like the shepherds themselves. One reason is that the shepherds had the angelic experience, but there is another reason; a reason which holds true today.
The down and out, and the despised are often more ready to receive the things of God then the more fortunate.
21. In accordance with the law of God for Israel Jesus, like every other little boy was circumcised on day number eight.
22. 33 days after the circumcision of a baby boy the parents were to bring him to the temple and present him to the lord God. Joseph and Mary are doing that with Jesus.
23. Meaning: every firstborn son in Israel was to be devoted to God.
24. As a way of dedicating the firstborn son to God the parents were to offer a lamb as a sacrifice. In the case of poor parents God said they could bring a pair of birds instead. Notice what Mary and Joseph brought. Jesus was not born into a wealthy family. He didn't have it easy growing up; he had to work for everything he had just like his Father Joseph.
Jesus could pull up a stool at the local coffee shop and converse with the plumbers, carpenters, store clerks, and everyone else who stops in and discusses how they would solve the worlds problems before they go to work. Jesus could relate to the average guy because he grew up an average guy only sinless.
25,26. You can study the bible from cover to cover and you will notice that it is the righteous and devote like Simeon who hear God's voice. They are the ones who see God do miracles, experience answers to prayer, get used by God, and have real joy.
Going through life with 1 foot in Christ and another foot in sin is a waste of the precious minutes God gives us. It is a flat, flavorless way to live.
27a. Simeon was in the temple because he was righteous and devout. If he had stopped being righteous he probably would have stopped going to the temple. If he had stopped going to the temple he would have missed being moved by the spirit to go into the temple here. That would've robbed him of the blessing he was about to experience inside the temple.
The blessings of God begin with our devotion to God. Devotion starts a chain reaction of blessing.
27-30. His eyes have seen God's salvation and his eyes were looking at Jesus.
To those who think that there are many roads to heaven, notice that Simeon did not say, my eyes have seen one of God's salvation's. First john 5:12 says "he who has the son has life; he who does not have the son of God does not have life."
30-34. Most people rest their legs on a hassock. Dick Van Dyke used to trip and fall over his. Jesus is sort of like a hassock. He is the only way to heaven. Some people find refuge in that by receiving Christ; they rest in Jesus. Others trip over the idea of him being the only savior just like Dick Van Dyke tripped over his hassock. However tripping over Jesus has much more serious consequences; it results in eternal hell for those who reject him.
34,35. What we do with Jesus reveals the secrets of our heart. Our attitude toward Christ is a barometer of our soul. Receiving Jesus reveals a humble heart, a heart for God. Rejecting Christ reveals a hostile attitude toward God.
35. Poor Mary. It must've been difficult at times to raise Jesus. She no doubt watched her son being abused and used from the time he was little, and of course he would never fight back. Then, worst of all she saw him as he was mocked, beaten, and nailed to the cross. It is much more difficult for a parent to watch their children suffer then it is for them to suffer themselves. A sword really did pierce Mary's soul.
36,37a. Anna was married seven years and then her husband died. She is now 84 and about to meet Christ. The greatest thing to ever happen to Anna was reserved for her 84th year.
37,38. At her age Anna probably didn't have much zip left in her step. But she was a storehouse full of God's word and wisdom.
A love for God, and the experience of age is a great spiritual combination. Christians who have lived for the lord do not become less effective and useful for Jesus as they age; if anything just the opposite.
39,40. As God, the Son knew everything. As man, he grew in knowledge and wisdom. Remember the bible says that Jesus set aside his rights as God when he became a man. His first words as a little boy were not profound. He did not say "mother, father did you know that the milky way is only one of billions of galaxies?" When Jesus was a toddler he didn't explain to his parents the theory of relativity even though as God he invented it.
Jesus grew and developed as a human being in the same way we all do with one exception he never sinned. When he was a baby he was a morally perfect baby. When he was two years old he was a morally perfect two year old.
41. Jesus had parents who respected God. Every year they went to the Passover feast in Jerusalem. His family did things God's way.
No one can force God on anyone. However parents can insist that as long as someone is living in their home they will respect God's ways. Parents owe that to God. As you would expect; Jesus was raised correctly.
42,43. As a 12 year old Jesus was soaking in the word like a sponge. He was so focused on the bible that it seems as if he didn't notice that the caravan he arrived with was gone and so were his parents.
44. Back in those days the women and children traveled in front of caravans while the men were in the back. A 12 year old like Jesus was right on the border of being an adult and a child. It's possible that his mother thought: Jesus is in the back with the other men. Joseph may have thought: Jesus is in the front with the other children. Well after about a day they realized that they were both wrong and it was panic time. I'd be concerned if I was Joseph and I thought I lost God's son. " Father I don't know how to tell you this but I misplaced your son the savior of the world".
45-47. If you're in Jerusalem back then and you want to talk about God then you want to be in the temple courts. The greatest teachers in Israel would gather there to talk about God and discuss the scriptures. Naturally 12 year old Jesus was right there in the middle of it all. He was saying things that even had the scholars amazed.
48. Mary is acting as if Jesus did something wrong. She is wrong to even imply that and she knows better than that, but clearly she is shook up.
Sometimes people say things they would not usually say when they are worried or afraid. I think that's one reason the bible tells us to be slow to speak.
49. Not surprising that a father and son like Jesus and his heavenly father would want to be together. They get along great so they want to spend time together; they enjoy each others company. That seems to be why it was strange to Christ that Mary and Joseph did not know where he was. Where in the world would I be accept with my father?
50. Mary and Joseph didn't understand what Jesus was talking about. His words didn't make sense to them however he still said what he said, and he still did what he did.
Our job is to put God first whether others understand it or not. We can't wait for obedience to God to make sense to everyone before we obey God. It is important for people to accept truth and to accept God's will and to understand that life does not revolve around what we want or we think.
51. Jesus knew that his real father was God the father. Jesus knew that he was God. Obviously Jesus was more spiritually advanced at this point than Joseph or Mary. However, as a boy living at home, he still honored and obeyed his parents. This is a real good part of scripture for children to read and understand.
52. Like other boys in that day Jesus learned his father's trade and worked as a carpenter. Somewhere between the age of 12 and 30 Joseph died and Jesus became the main provider in the home.
Jesus lived with slivers, callouses, and sore muscles. He can relate to the working man because he was one. He can relate to those with family responsibilities because he had them that's why the scripture says he is a sympathetic savior.
1. The bible is not primarily a book of history however it does contain historical facts and not by accident. Whenever scripture mentions, names, dates, places, and events they are historically accurate. God put historical facts within the context of his holy book which can be verified. If something in scripture wasn't historically accurate the entire teaching of scripture would be discredited, but the bible is always historically accurate. Archeology always verifies the accuracy of scripture.
2. These were dark days for the nation Israel. Rome was in charge of their country. Satan had a stranglehold on their religion. The religious leaders were teaching the doctrines of man rather than the word of god. In the midst of this political and spiritual darkness john the baptist comes on the scene and begins to preach the bible. For the first time in 400 years God is giving new revelation to his people.
3. Notice how repentance precedes forgiveness. No repentance equals no forgiveness. Jesus said unless you repent you will all likewise parish, and don't be deceived by the modern evangelical definition of repentance. Repentance is not simply a change of mind concerning who Jesus is as some say today. Repentance is always connected to sin. Repentance always means turning from sin and turning to god. John was sent by God to warn people that they need to repent or they will die in their sin, and that means hell, and that means burning forever, and that means eternal torment.
4-6. Back in those days when a king planned a visit he would send workmen in advance to clean up debris and also to fill in the potholes so that his journey would be smooth. That is what john was doing for Christ. He was sent ahead of Jesus to fill in the spiritual potholes. He was telling people to repent so that they would be ready for the arrival of Christ.
Repentance fills in the potholes and makes the soul ready for Jesus. There is no receiving Christ if there is no repentance.
7a. Not everyone who came out to be baptized was sincere. The insincere are the ones john called snakes. Someone says, that's too strong. In a way I agree because calling people who will not repent snakes is an insult to snakes. Snakes act like snakes because of their instinct. They may be repulsive to many of us but they are acting according to how God made them to act. Impenitent sinners on the other hand willfully reject their creator, and that's much worse.
7. John's point is this, if you're going to escape the wrath of God that is most definitely coming then you need to do more than go through a religious ritual like baptism.
If people don't repent they will experience the wrath of god. If people do not turn from sin then they will experience eternal punishment no matter how many religious rituals and ceremonies they go through..
8a. Repentance isn't simply saying the right things. Repentance is an attitude change that results in doing the right things. The religious hypocrites talked holy, but they lived like the devil. John refused to baptize them until he saw evidence of change. If they are baptized before they repent all they will get is wet and maybe a false sense of security for having gone through a religious ritual.
8. In other words, they can't inherit eternal life from their ancestor Abraham. Abraham was a great guy, a great man of faith; so what! The faith of Abraham cannot save his physical descendants which is what many believed. A parent can bail their rebellious child out of jail. They might be able to get them a job at the factory, but no parent, no ancestor can get anyone into heaven. Everyone has to repent for themselves. Everyone as to receive Christ for themselves.
9. God is getting ready to make firewood. He's about to stoke the flames of hell. Those who will not repent and get serious about Jesus are going in and they will not get out and if anyone tells you that hell isn't real or that it doesn't last forever they are lying!
10. These people never would have said, "what should we do", if john had not been faithful to Godin preaching the pure word. John hit them right between the eyes with the truth that made them feel uncomfortable. That really isn't done nearly as often as it should be today.
Too often comfortable sinners, sit in comfortable chairs, listing to comfortable Sermons their whole comfortable lives. They are all very comfortable until they die and tumble into hell because they never repented. At least john's listeners were convicted enough to ask, what must we do. At least his listeners and those who listen to all faithful preachers of god's word have an opportunity to repent if they choose to do it.
The miserable, limp wrist ed, self loving, wimps who just tell people what they want to hear will answer to God for the damned souls that sat and listened to them teach their nonsense.
11. In other words, be willing to change your sinful ways; start doing what is right in the eyes of god; that's what you should do.
12,13. Every sinner who refuses to repent has at least one pet sin that they are clinging to. For the tax collectors it was greed. They used their position to charge their fellow Jews more for taxes than the roman empire demanded and then they would pocket the difference for themselves. They needed to confess their sin, and do their best to give back what they took as proof of their repentance.
Repentance costs us something, but it is worth the cost.
14. Back then soldiers were sometimes brutal. They pushed people around because they could get away with it. Well God told them to stop it.
Principle of repentance: let God be in charge of how you do your job. Be a good person and be respectful to those you have contact with. Repentance gets right down into where we live doesn't it? Doing things god's way is repentance. It is more then simply staying away from a few pet sins; it affects all areas of our life.
15. John the baptist was the first prophet in 400 years. He was a straight shooter. He proclaimed the word of God without apology. He proclaimed the word of God whether people were blessed were irritated. Not everyone liked John but those who knew God could tell that he was a man sent from God by the way he acted and by the words which he spoke. That's why some of them thought he was the messiah.
16. In other words no I am not the Christ; I'm not nearly as important as the one who is coming. One of the things that made John such a great man of God was that he did not see himself as being anything special. John was a dedicated servant of God and of Jesus and that's what made him great.
17. Ask any farmer, grain is useful, but chaff is worthless. God is like a farmer who saves his grain but throws the chaff into the fire because it is worthless.
Spiritual lesson: Romans 3:12 teaches that those who will not repent are worthless. They end up in the fire; they end up in hell. Verses 16 in verse 17 go together. Impenitent, Christ rejecting sinners are damned and doomed unless they change.
18. John declared good news and bad news. He preached forgiveness and he preached damnation. He encouraged and he warned. He preach hell for those who will not repent and he preach god's mercy for those who do.
19. John blasted King Herod for his double sin of marrying his sister in law, who also happen to be his niece. John hit Herod with his sin right between his eyes over and over again. John feared no man because he feared god.
The more we fear God the less intimidated we will be by people. The more time we spend with God the less we are impressed with any people, ourselves or others. People are just people; sinners who need to be saved which is why john preached the same message to the king as he did to a beggar.
19,20. John would not compromise his message to please a vial sinner like Herod no matter what Herod could do to him. John was not interested in building bridges to the likes of people like Herod. He suffered for speaking the truth to those who hated truth. I wouldn't give two cents to any preacher who wasn't like John.
21a. Jesus did not need to be baptize because he never sinned. But he still did it to show support for John and his ministry. He stood by John because he was doing god's work.
It is important for the people of God who love God to stand by preachers who preach the word of god, to encourage, to give, and to pray for those who do god's work. John was in a battle as is any preacher who will not compromise holy scripture. If the righteous will not rally to men of God then they are on their own and God is not pleased with that.
21,22. Here is the Trinity. The father speaks from heaven. The son is in the water. The holy spirit is descending like a dove. They are three. They are one. But they are separate.
23. 30 out of Jesus' 33 years were lived in obscurity. He was a normal man who did everything the normal way. The only thing abnormal about Jesus was that he never sinned which in reality is normal.
Jesus had 30 years of routine days. By that God shows us that an ordinary life of an ordinary person can have divine meaning. By his life Jesus gave dignity to all honest work. There is a divine purpose behind our routine days.
23,24,38. There are two recorded genealogies of Jesus in the bible; the one recorded by Matthew and the one here in the gospel of Luke. Both trace our lord's ancestry back to David which proves that he is the physical heir and also the legal heir to the throne of David. Luke's genealogy is important because it traces Jesus back beyond David and beyond the ancestor of the Jews Abraham all the way to god. By doing that God is saying that Jesus is a relative to all people not just the Jews. God promised Adam that the savior would be his descendant and Luke proves that the savior is the descendant of Adam.
1. The holy spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where he will battle the devil. It was God's will for Jesus to be hungry, uncomfortable, and tempted for 40 days.
Some people believe that unpleasant circumstances means we lack faith. Truth is sometimes God leads us into situations that are very unpleasant where our faith is stretched and we are forced to trust him.
1,2. Jesus followed the holy spirit into the wilderness because God was more important to him than the comforts of this world. That is also why Jesus will defeat every temptation that Satan fires at him.
Satan had no leverage over Jesus because Jesus loved God more than anything that the devil could tempt him with. Satan has no leverage over any Christian who loves God more than they love anything or anyone. A person like that cannot be bought.
3. The devil is slick. He could sell snow for landfill. The temptation he threw at Jesus here seems to make perfect sense on the surface. Jesus, use your power to make food because you are extremely hungry. This is the tricky part: making food is not inherently sinful. However, it would be a sin to listen to the devil instead of waiting for God's leading.
Sin is not always doing something that is inherently evil; It can be doing an OK thing at the wrong time or for the wrong reason.
4. Jesus was tempted to disobey God to satisfy a physical appetite consequently he quoted the scripture that applied to his temptation. He quoted the scripture that teaches obedience to God's more important than satisfying a physical appetite.
The bible contains a verse that applies to every conceivable temptation. If you speak that verse the holy spirit will pour water on the fire of the temptation and give you victory.
5. Showing Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in an instant reveals that the devil has supernatural power. Satan can generate supernatural visions. He can make things appear in a supernatural way.
Do not believe everything you see. If you ever experience a vision or a strange dream don't automatically assume that it came from God. Measure everything by the holy scripture to determine if it's from Godot not because Satan's power of illusion is very effective.
6. God owns the world, but there is a sense in which the kingdoms of this world belong to the devil. God owns the world but Satan is called the prince of this age and that is because he either controls or greatly influences most of the people in this world. He influences people by tempting them to do what is wrong; he influences people through his power to deceive; he influences people by his ability to make wrong seem like right. The devil is very skilled at using people to do his dirty work and in that sense he has the ability to influence how things operate in this world.
7. The devil says lets make a deal. He says I'll make you an offer that is too good to refuse. Of course Satan's offers always contain fine print that is often overlooked. He made Jesus a fine sounding offer in verse 6 but here in verse seven we see the fine print. They are yours if you worship me Jesus.
Satan's gifts always come with a price tag. The devil is not generous. The devil is not kind. He hates, destroys, kills, and loves to see suffering. If he gives people their sinful desires it is only to see God hurt and the sinner suffer the consequences of their sin.
Worship me Jesus and it's all yours. He is crazy! Does he really believe that Jesus will become a devil worshiper? Satan is so self centered that he is self deceived to the point where He actually thinks he has a shot at getting Jesus to worship him.
8. Jesus says I don't want anything from you Satan, and I will not bow before you. Christ didn't come to bow before Satan, or sign a peace treaty with evil. He came to crush the head of the serpent, and he will on the cross.
We are not to compromise with Satan; we are not to compromise with evil no matter what we can get out of the deal. Bowing to evil to satisfy some desire is what the devil does.
9a. Many in Israel believe that the messiah would announce his arrival by standing on top of the temple in Jerusalem and so that is where Satan takes Jesus. Satan is going to tempt Christ to put on a big show in order to prove to everyone that he is the son of God, the messiah.
9,10. In other words, Jesus if you really believe that you are God's son; if you are 100% sure about that then jump. Jump because God says in Psalm 91 that he will protect his son in case of a fall. So go ahead; prove that you are God's son.
10,11. Notice how the devil said, " it is written". After the first two temptations which were unsuccessful Satan has figured out that the rule Christ lives by is holy scripture. So what does he do? He quotes a scripture, out of context of course, to tempt Jesus to do something wrong.
12. Every word in the bible is the word of God, but the words of scripture are not isolated words. The devil pulled a verse out of scripture, isolated it, and built a false teaching from it. Jump Jesus because it says right here in the bible that God will save you. It does say that but he twisted the meaning of God's promise.
Satan did what false teachers are still doing today. They pull a verse out of scripture, isolate it from the rest of the bible and build an entire doctrine of what they want that scripture to say rather than what the bible in its entirety teaches.
12. God had already spoken from heaven out loud and declared that Jesus is his son. The father doesn't have to catch Jesus in a fall to prove it.
The word of God puts an end to the discussion. The word of God puts an end to all debates. If God said it he doesn't have to prove it.
God's word is the last word on any subject so if someone insists that God confirm the truthfulness of his holy written word with a sign they are testing Godard that is sinful and that is what the devil is tempting Jesus to do right here.
13. This verse literally says, " when the devil had ended every possible kind of temptation he departed until a suitable time". In other words the devil tempted Christ with every temptation he could think of, but when the dust cleared Jesus walked out of that wilderness sinless. The devil left that wilderness a loser.
14. After defeating the devil Jesus returns in the power of the holy spirit.
If we remain faithful to God through temptation we will experience a new level of spiritual energy. Faithfulness lifts us to a higher spiritual plane.
15a. The temple in Jerusalem was used for sacrifices and ritual worship. The worship in synagogues was all about teaching God's word. Jesus went from synagogue to synagogue teaching the bible.
15. This was sort of a honeymoon period for Jesus and his ministry. He has not yet blasted the religious leaders for their hypocrisy or their man-made traditions which contradicted scripture. At this point he was praised by all. But he will not be praised by all for long; especially once he starts pointing out sin.
Everyone loves the preacher who either doesn't mention sin or speaks of it in a general way like "sin is bad". However when a preacher starts pointing out specific sins he starts rubbing the impenitent the wrong way and that's when he gets into trouble. Jesus will get into trouble because that is exactly how he conducted his ministry.
Life is too short, eternity is too long, and hell is too hot for a preacher of God's word to be vague.
16. Jesus went to the synagogue as was his custom.
People say: I don't have to go to church; I can worship Godwin my fishing boat, or on the golf course. Yes but the primary purpose for fishing is to catch fish and the primary purpose for golfing is to hit the ball. God deserves to have some time set aside for him each week when the primary purpose is to worship. Jesus went to the synagogue as was his custom.
17a. The bible says that Jesus was given the book of Isaiah and believe me that was no accident as we will see. Isaiah was the portion of scripture that he was supposed to read that day before those people.
Whatever you read in scripture today; whatever scriptures you are taught today are the scriptures which God has for you today. If God rules over every mundane thing that happens and he does then he certainly determines what scriptures we read and are taught.
17,18a. Jesus did everything he did in the power of the holy spirit.
Anything worthwhile we do for God; anything of eternal value we accomplish is done while we're walking in the spirit not while we are living with known, unconfessed sin in our life.
18. God's word is for everyone. Salvation through Jesus is for the rich and the poor. But since the poor have it rough in this world they are more likely to appreciate the things of God.
By the way, many people back then thought that if someone was poor it was because they were out of favor with God and that wealth was a sign of righteousness. Consequently, by saying I have good news from God to the poor Jesus was giving hope to allot of people who felt they had no hope. He was offering salvation to people who believed that God had turned his back on them.
God doesn't turn his back on anyone; people turn their back on him and if that continues until death they seal their own doom.
18. Deliverance to the captives is talking about giving people spiritual freedom. No one appreciates being forgiven by God more then the one who feels the full force of their own guilt. No one appreciates the unconditional love of Christ more then the one who understands they are too sinful to ever deserve such love. No one appreciates the power of Jesus to deliver from sin like the one who has been enslaved to some sin. Those wonderful things are promised to Christians when Jesus speaks of deliverance to the captives.
There is only one way to be set free from the guilt of sin and that is by receiving forgiveness through Christ. There is only one way to avoid punishment for sin and that's by receiving Jesus Christ. In addition to that there's only one way to be delivered from slavery to sin and that's by receiving Christ. Scripture says Jesus saves to the uttermost!
18. Jesus gave physical sight to the blind which proved that he was the messiah. But there's another sense in which Jesus gives sight to the blind even today. The bible says that the gospel is veiled to those who are perishing. The reason some people can hear that Jesus is the only savior and that one must repent and receive Christ as their lord and do absolutely nothing about it is because the devil has made them blind. Satan blinds the spiritual eyes of those who are headed for hell. He blinds them because some would be jolted into reality if he didn't. Some would be jolted immediately into repentance if he didn't blind them. Jesus by the power of the holy spirit opens the eyes of the spiritually blind. God alone has the power to lift the veil that blinds their eyes to the truthfulness of God's word, the reality of hell and their need of a savior.
18. Are bad people making your life miserable? They won't do it forever; Jesus will not allow it. Living in a fallen world that suffers from the curse of sin causes stress, it causes trouble, it causes sadness. The last thing anyone needs is to have some miserable lowlife come along and stir up more trouble and oppression. The last thing any child of God needs is to endure someone who piles on more headaches then are necessary. In the end Jesus will deliver his people from all troublemakers.
19. This is the time of God's favor so people better not squander it. The time of God's favor comes to a screeching halt when one dies or when Jesus returns. At that point it's all over but the shouting. Jesus came to announce that God has an amnesty program and that is where we are today. Today there is forgiveness for anyone who repents and receives Christ. Today is the day of God's favor; today is the day of God's grace; today is the day of forgiveness and salvation; this is the acceptable year of the Lord.
20. Vs. 18 and 19 were old testament quotes of what the messiah would say and do when he arrived. The people who listened to Jesus read were waiting for him to say something like: someday the messiah will be here, and he will do these things. If Jesus says something like that everything will be fine; everyone in the audience will say amen, but he will not say what they are expecting him to say.
21. In other words Jesus said I'm the one the prophet spoke about; I am your Messiah; no more waiting the time is here!
Keep in mind that the leadership back in those days had reduced God to a religious system. They had their man made religious ideas and they tried to keep God in their little box; it was all very convenient and comfortable. Well Christ has just brought God out of the realm of theory and into the realm of reality right where they are. He isn't talking about what God has done in the past or will do in the future. He is talking about what God is doing right now. He is saying God is relevant right now. He is making them real uncomfortable because they like isolating God to their little religious box rather then having him involved in governing their everyday life.
Some like to restrict God and Jesus to an hour on Sunday morning. Some people like to restrict Jesus to the stories in the bible. The bible is good for Sunday morning. Thinking about Jesus and how he wants us to behave is good for Sunday morning but when someone tries to apply those things to daily life they think that's religion gone overboard.
22a. At first the hometown people are impressed. "Boy that Jesus sure can speak well". The people were moved by his words. He spoke with such grace, and he spoke with such authority.
22. The people started thinking: wait just a minute we can't be impressed with this man because he's from here in Nazareth, and besides he's just a carpenter. What were we thinking being impressed with a hometown boy like him?
23. In other words, Jesus you have a reputation for doing miracles in other places. Well do something amazing here in your hometown, and we will believe that you did those other miracles and that you are the messiah.
24. The people of Nazareth knew our lord's family. They had known Jesus since he was a little boy.
The problem with the people of Nazareth is that they were too proud to be taught by one of their own. They were envious of his wisdom. I suppose their line of reasoning went like this: if Jesus is that smart and that spiritual than we haven't progressed as much as him and we can't handle that thought.
People need to be open to the truth no matter who is communicating it because God holds us accountable for the truth that we hear. We ought to be so hungry for truth that we will accept it from any source that happens to deliver it.
25,26. There was a severe famine during the days of the great old testament Prophet Elijah. But God didn't send Elijah to help any Israelite during that famine. God sent him to a foreign widow outside the borders of Israel.
27. There were many lepers in Israel during the days of Elijah's successor the Prophet Elisha. But God did not heal any Israeli leper. Instead he sent Elisha to heal a Syrian soldier. You see the people of God were living in sin in the days of Elijah and Elisha and that is why God blessed outsiders rather than his own people.
God loves to bless, and he will not be denied the joy he receives from doing it simply because his people remove themselves from the place of blessing through their sin. When that's the case he will find someone else to bless.
28. The people were furious over what Jesus just said. By our lord's two old testament examples he was saying that the Israelite s of his day in his hometown were as stubborn and rebellious as the Israelite s back in the days of Elijah and Elisha. The rebellious Israelite s of old testament days did not receive any special miracles and neither will the Israelite s from Jesus' hometown. Both were rebellious, and neither were blessed as a result.
28,29. Here you see the depravity of man at its worst. Jesus spoke the simple truth, and they tried to kill him for doing it.
Impenitent, sinful man hates truth, and if they are not deterred they will put their hatred into action by hurting the one who speaks it.
30. It was not his time to die so against all odds Jesus passed right through the people who intended to kill him. There was no purpose for Christ dying here so he didn't die.
Christians do not die until God gives the OK. Cancer can't kill them. A heart attack cannot kill them. A car accident cannot kill them. If God chooses to use those things then he does but they will have no effect unless He gives the OK.
31. Nazareth's loss was capernaum's gain. They didn't want Jesus in Nazareth so he took his blessings to Capernaum.
32. Most religious teachers in our lord's day tiptoed around the truth like dancing bear on captain kangaroo. Not Jesus! His words were convicting and moving, and it wasn't because he was a screamer because he wasn't. His words were powerful because they were true and he spoke them with authority which is the way the word of God should always be spoken.
33a. God help the church that preaches such watered down Sermons that the impenitent and even the demon possessed feel comfortable sitting in the services. That's what it was like in the synagogue's of Israel. They were so full of water down, man-made, Luke warm teachings of men instead of the teachings of God that no one felt convicted and no one felt uncomfortable even those who were demon possessed like man mentioned in verse 33. However he was in for a surprise during this service because Jesus was there.
33,34. You bet that demon knew who Jesus was! The demon also knew that he would burn in hell one day. The demon also knew that Jesus would send him there. He knew it and he was in a panic because he's afraid that Christ will send him to hell immediately.
35a. Christ told him to be quiet even though that demon was speaking the truth. He was right Jesus is the son of God. He was right Jesus will send him to hell someday. But Jesus did not want nor did he need the testimony of a filthy, vial demon. He didn't want anyone to get the idea that he was in partnership with demons.
Christians should not only stay away from evil; Christians should do their best to stay away from anything that he even looks evil whenever possible. You don't want the unsaved to get the wrong idea about Jesus because of something that you do that either isn't right or doesn't look right.
35. Notice how the demon tried to hurt the person before he came out of him. Once again we see just how much the devil hates people.
36. The people were amazed at our lord's authority over demons. He didn't have to repeat some sort of incantation, or go through a ritual to get rid of that demon. He said leave and it left.
The spiritual realm is full of mystery which is why the people are so amazed with our lord's ability to command evil spirits. If Jesus can tell this unclean spirits what to do and they do it then he has divine authority and everyone should listen to him.
37. His power and teaching added up to popularity. He had been kind to the man who he delivered from Satan. Combine that with the power he showed by defeating the devil and that adds up to a lot of excitement among the people.
38. Luke was a Physician so he mentions that peter's mother in law had a high fever; it wasn't just a fever it was a high fever. The people asked Jesus to help because they cared about her.
39. When the creator speaks the creation must listen. When the creator gives a command creation must obey. Whatever infection was causing that high fever ceased to be a problem the second Jesus rebuked it. That fever was not alive but it was part of God's creation and therefore it was subject to the creator who the bible says is Jesus. Our savior is also our creator.
40. Notice how Jesus gave each one of the sick people a personal touch when he healed them. He could have saved time and said OK when I count to three I will snap my finger and all who are sick will be made well. One two three, see ya later my boys and I are going to hit the sack.
Jesus did not do that because you are not a number to God. God does not know you by your SS number. You are an individual; a soul created by him and for him and he knows all about you personally.
41. Jesus wouldn't allow demons to speak in the presence of his followers. We know that Jesus didn't want any demon promoting him. On those occasions when a demon speaks the truth as was the case here in verse 41 it's only to set the table to get people to believe a lie. Eg Cheerios. The doctrine of demons is always a mixture of truth and error. The error part is the soul destroyer and the truth part is the chaser that makes the error easier to swallow.
42. These people wanted Jesus to stay. They had many needs and the only one who could take care of those needs was Christ. They were not thinking about others who needed Christ only themselves.
It's not enough for Christians to have Jesus and then be content with that. There should be a concern for others to have him as well. In fact one indication that a person really knows Christ is that they long for others to know Christ also.
43,44. The people in Capernaum felt that the lord's work with them was much too important to set aside for someone else. The truth is that while his work is important in even one person's life, each of us, like Capernaum, are just a tiny part of God's work. Sometimes we can't have our own way with things because God is doing something in other people's lives which might conflict with our blessings. God may have to say no to us, not because we are doing something wrong but because it interferes with his plan to help others. We have to learn to be satisfied with what God wants not just what we want.
1. Big crowds by Jesus and right now it looks like there will be a big spiritual harvest as well. But many of these people will not follow Christ.
Many people spend some time listening to truth, but not many actually receive truth. Many will listen to a message from God's word but relatively few will receive it and hold to it until the end.
2. The nets were the tools of the fisherman's trade which is why they mended and wash them at the end of each workday. So while Jesus is teaching they are in the shallow water working on their nets while listening to him.
3. The people were crowding in on Jesus so in order to avoid being crushed and also so that the people could hear and see him Jesus sits down in the boat, lets it drift away from shore a little bit and begins to teach the people.
4. To give you an idea of what obeying Christ would entail here consider that there fisherman's net was about 300 feet wide. They just finished mending, and washing and putting it away for the day. They had to do that every day and that was a big job. So to go back out into the deep water and once again let down their net would mean a lot of work. How many of us would enjoy going in for another shift after just completing along miserable day where everything that could go wrong did go wrong?
5. Fishermen worked the graveyard shift because the fish were more active at night. Peter and company were experienced fishermen; they knew that if they didn't catch anything during the night the chances of them catching anything after sunrise were less than zero but they obeyed the command of Christ.
6. And I bet they are not tired anymore; I bet they are thrilled and amazed beyond words. They obeyed Jesus and he made it worth their while. Obey Christ even when it is easier to disobey and he will bless you for it.
7. These men never would have dreamed that they would catch enough fish to nearly sink to boats. You never want to limit God because every day is anything can happen day with the Almighty.
8. This miracle resulted in such a powerful sense of God's presence that Peter couldn't hardly take it.
The closer a person gets to God the more overwhelmed they are by their own sinfulness.
8x. It was natural for Peter to feel the way he did, but it was wrong for him to tell Jesus to leave.
Never let your sin and your guilt to keep you away from/Christ/holy Scripture. Instead let it drive you to God and to your needs and you will find mercy from him every time.
9, 10a. This miracle had a big impact because it was done in their boat with their nets and with their business. It amazed them because it touched them in a personal way. That will bring an honest seeker to their knees every time. On the other hand people who have no interest in God pass miracles off as being just an interesting thing.
10b. Jesus didn't just do a miracle so that they would have lots of fish; that was part of it but it was also meant to be a foreshadow of the multitude of souls that would be brought into the kingdom of God through their preaching and through the New Testament that many of them were inspired by God to write.
11. Peter, and you, James, and John left all their fish which would have brought them a quite a bit of money. They left their fish, they left their boats and their friends and their families to become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God does not ask everyone to do that exact same thing but he does ask everyone to give him unconditional obedience whether it's convenient or not.
12. He showed faith by saying: Jesus I know you can heal me. He showed even more faith by submitting to the will of God as to whether healing him was the correct thing to do or not.
It takes faith to be open to a no answer from God; it takes faith to accept a no answer from God. When we pray about something we put it in God's hands and we should leave it there.
13. This man was filled with leprosy just like every one of us are filled with sin. Actually leprosy is a scriptural symbol of sin. In Jesus was willing to remove every speck of leprosy from this man just as he is always willing to remove every trace of sin from our soul if we sincerely ask him to do it while receiving him as Lord and Savior.
14. To be officially let back into society a priest had to pronounce that a leper was cleansed or healed. If this man runs around telling everyone that Jesus healed him then the priest, because priest were against Christ, might refuse to admit that he is cured. However, if he goes to the priest first and says check me out, and the priest says I can't believe it you are healed then the man can say oh by the way Jesus healed me. That would be an undeniable testimony to the people and the priest concerning the power of Christ because no one was ever cured of leprosy.
15. I guess he disobey Jesus. He was probably excited and grateful in his motives may have been good, but disobedience is bad even when the motives are good. The Bible says what, should we sin that good may come? The implied answer is no because it never does. This man's mouth, well-meaning as it may have been, pretty much destroyed the Lord's synagogue ministry because too many people are coming and most of them are coming to see a miracle worker not to hear the word of God.
16. The meekness of Christ is as impressive as his miracles. He loved to teach and to heal because he loved to help people, but he also liked to withdraw and be alone with his father in prayer. He preferred that to the applause of the enormous crowds.
17. The power that produced Jesus's miracles is the same power that produces answers to prayer today. It is the power that created the universe; it is the power of the living God. Jesus has that power; Jesus is that power, and the presence of the unbelieving spiritually dead Pharisees did not hinder Christ from doing any of his miracles at any time or using his power as Almighty God. Again I say to you Almighty God is no man's puppet and he is not a puppet of any person's faith or lack thereof either.
18. This house was jammed with people. Some were there to learn or to be healed; some were there to watch and some were there just to criticize.
19a. Back in those days homes had an outside stairway leading up to their flat roof. That's how these men were able to get up there so easily.
19x. Some people will help others but not if it involves hard work and sacrifice. Likewise some people want a blessing from God, but not if it takes determination. These men would not give up. They will get to Jesus and they will help their friend no matter what it takes and their determination is going to pay off.
20a. Jesus saw their faith. Jesus saw the faith of these men who persevered in bringing their paralyzed friend to him. Jesus also saw the faith of the man who was paralyzed and his willingness to go through what he went through to get close to Jesus.
Real faith can be seen because real faith does something; if we believe we act like what we believe.
20x. Healing this man's body is going to be wonderful for a few years anyway, but two seconds in hell and it won't matter that he was able to walk. That's why Jesus removes his sin as well. I've got a feeling that at the time the forgiveness that Jesus offered was not appreciated as much as the physical healing, but for the last 2000 years forgiveness has been by far the most important thing that Jesus gave him. It's like Jesus said elsewhere: what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?
21. You can forgive someone for hurting you but that doesn't remove their sin from God's records. The Jews are actually correct for a change; only God can forgive sin and actually remove it from the official records. The problem is they don't think Jesus is God.
22. Notice how Jesus perceived their thoughts. He read their minds and then he answered what they were thinking. If Jesus can read their minds, which is something that only God can do that he can also forgive sins just like only God can do. Did you know that God not only sees everything that you do and here's everything that you say but he also hears all your thoughts? Think about all the things that you think to yourself each and every day. Now multiply all of your thoughts in a single day by 6 billion. God hears all of the people and all of the chatter that goes on in their minds every single minute of every single day. If God was not God he would need an aspirin the size of the earth to get rid of his headache.
23. Anyone can say either one of those things but if the mere man said them they would be pointless. No mere man can say thy sins be forgiven the or rise up and walk and have those things happen. But both of those things are easy for a man to say and do if that man is also God.
24. The religious rulers were thinking that Jesus was a fake. Anyone can see your sins are forgiven; simply saying that doesn't prove anything, and that of course is correct. But Jesus went beyond just saying that. If you're going to talk like God than you better be able to act like God to prove that you are God. And that is exactly what Jesus did by healing this man of his paralysis.
25. If this man not only stood but walked home then this is a bigger miracle than most people might think. From not walking his muscles would've been shriveled and his tendons drawn together and even if he was healed of his paralysis he would not have been able to walk on those legs. There is no way that he could obey Jesus get up and walk if all Jesus did was give him back the feelings in his legs. So Christ did a double miracle; he healed his paralysis and he strengthened his muscles and tendons as well.
26. The people are giving Almighty God the credit for the miracle that was done through Jesus Christ. That's really going to worry his religious enemies.
27. Tax collectors were Israelites who purchased the right to collect taxes for Rome in a certain limited area in Israel. They were hated by their fellow Israelites because they were helping the Roman Empire. They were hated even more because everyone knew they were crooks who collected more tax then Rome required and kept the extra for themselves. It was a good living, they made a lot of money but it was a sinful living and all they had was there money.
28. Levi was at the crossroads in his life. He could continue down the road of sin and dishonest gain or he could go the other way and follow Christ. He did the smart thing; he left his business, crooked as it was, his company and all the dishonest money that came along with it. He changed his life; he repented, he followed Jesus not just physically but spiritually. And for 2000 years he's been glad that he made that choice.
29. Levi throws a party with Christ as his guest of honor. Levi also invites his goodtime friends over to meet Jesus.
One indication that a person is saved is that they have a desire to see others come to Christ as well. The Bible says let the redeemed of the Lord say so and so if you have no desire to see others come to Christ and submit to his Lordship then I doubt very much that Jesus is truly your Lord and Savior, at least I would say you have reason to be concerned.
30. There are two types of sinners in this verse. There was the dregs of society that Jesus was eating with and then there were the religious hypocrites who were full of sinful pride thinking that they were better than everyone else. Both types are doomed if they don't repent and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and receive him as their Savior.
31. Jesus came to fix bodies but he came more importantly to fix souls.
He came to help people who were under the control, dominion, and condemnation of sin, and he came to help people who were sick of their sin and wanted to repent. That is why Christ could not help the religious leaders. He could not help them and they didn't get help because they were not interested; they didn't ask for it and that's because they didn't think that they needed it. Self righteousness is a soul killer.
32. Jesus did not come to earth to have a good time with a bunch of wonderful people. He did not come for vacation to get away from the hustle and bustle of heaven for a few years. He didn't come to earth on a road trip. He came to earth for one big reason and that's to die on the cross and suffer for our sins so that we would not suffer for those sins. And he came to call sinners, which includes all of us, to repentance.
33. The Pharisees fasted twice a week and they made a big deal out of it also. They wore along sad face whenever they fasted. They wanted everyone to know just how much they were suffering for God and how holy they were. And now they want to know why Jesus's disciples didn't fast.
34 fasting at a wedding would be out of place. The bride and the groom would think: why isn't everyone eating and drinking and celebrating?
35. The disciples of Jesus are having a good time and Jesus will let them continue to have a good time for as long as they possibly can. There will be plenty of opportunity for them to be sad after Jesus is crucified.
It is God's will for us to enjoy the good things and the good people that he has placed in our lives while we are able to do so.
36. In other words mixing the old with the new will not work. New cloth makes a lousy patch for an old pair of pants. The old pants won't shrink when they are washed but the new patch will which means the patch will tear away from the pants and make the problem worse. Jesus is again pointing out something that is out of place.
37, 38. Wineskins were animal skins that were used for containers and actually to make wine. A winemaker would take an animal skin sew it together and then fill it with grape juice. Then he would tie it off to seal it in the grape juice would begin to ferment and as it did it would expand and the skin would stretch out which wasn't a problem for a new skin because skin stretches but only to a point. So that winemaker would not take an old stretched out wine skin and fill it with grape juice to make more wine because once that grape juice started to ferment and expand the skin would burst because there was no stretch left and it. Again it's the same thought: mixing the old and the new doesn't work and some things are just out of place.
39. In other words as a general rule people do not want to change. They want the old especially people like me who are fuddy-duddies and do not like change but a lot of people are that way especially spiritually speaking. Unquestionably most people like the old life without the interference of Christ. Most people do not want to change the way they live they do not want to give up sin they do not want to repent. Now many of those people wouldn't mind mixing the old with just a little bit of the new. They wanted mind having their sinful life and eternal life with Jesus at the same time. But like Jesus has been teaching mixing the old with the new doesn't work. If a person is going to be saved then they must, in their hearts, turn from their sin and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In other words to be saved a person has to be willing to give up the old life for a new life of obedience to Christ.
1. Many roads went through private green fields back in those days. And God being the gracious God that he is made a law which allowed hungry travelers to grab a few handfuls of grain along the way. So the disciples are not doing anything wrong here in verse one.
2. And the question that needs to be asked is: unlawful to who? Not unlawful to God that's for sure. The religionist of the day had made up one of their many many rules which was you cannot pick grain on the Sabbath. You may be hungry, weak, and shaky, but you better not grab a handful of grain because in their pathetic un-biblical eyes that was harvesting or working on the Sabbath.
3,4. Before David was King he was running for his life from wicked King Saul and he came to the tabernacle of God. David was very hungry and so he asked the priest for some food. While the priest said: all we have is this consecrated bread that only the priest can eat. But the priest said since you're in such rough shape David I'll give it to you; after all you are starving. Now, if it wasn't wrong to make an exception to one of God's actual laws to give a hungry man some food then it sure would not be wrong to break a man-made rule that had nothing to do with the word of God and let the hungry apostles eat here.
5. Jesus is God therefore Jesus is Lord. And since Jesus is Lord he is Lord of the Sabbath day as well. In fact as God Jesus invented the Sabbath and the rules for it and those rules had not changed and the religious leaders cannot twist them. If Christ says that something is okay then it's okay and he said that it was okay for the apostles to pick grain on the Sabbath so it was and that's the end of the argument. The discussion is over.
6. This is a different Sabbath but the same Lord Jesus so you can bet that there will once again be trouble with the religious rulers.
7. The religious rulers new that Jesus was compassionate and so they wait and they watch just hoping that Jesus will do the compassionate thing and heal this man. The rulers don't care about that man; they have no compassion for him whatsoever. To them he is just human bait. If Jesus does a miracle they can accuse him of working on the Sabbath.
8. Jesus knew that this was a trap so I'll give you one guess what he will do. That's right; he will do the right thing, he will do the compassionate thing he will do what his father wants him to do even though it's going to upset the religious rulers in the process. He will heal this man no matter who doesn't like it. Jesus will do what God wants him to do and he will not apologize for it and he will not try to hide it either. If every preacher and Bible teacher and every Christian in general had half the guts that Jesus did when it comes to standing up for truth and proclaiming that which is right righteousness would be prevailing a whole lot more in this world than what it is. The word of God pushes back darkness and evil even though darkness and evil will hate it but preachers and Bible teachers and pastors and Christians in general must not be cowards when it comes to the truth or darkness spreads and unrighteousness prevails.
9. Jesus is talking to the haughty religious leaders about doing. The leadership thought they were real holy because there were many things that they did not do. They did not eat food two days a week/help anyone on the Sabbath/eat with non-Jews/talk with anyone they considered to be a sinner. The question is what did they do? So Jesus asked them this question concerning what should be done on the Sabbath let's look at verse nine again.
9. God's law clearly for bid working on the Sabbath for money. However good works, works of compassion are never unlawful. If someone needed help and you refuse to help them simply because it was Saturday then you were out of God's will.
10. Jesus asked them a simple question in verse nine: "is it lawful to do good or to do evil." Everyone knew the answer to that question but none of the religious leaders had the courage to give the answer. They wouldn't say it because it would spoil their trap. Will Christ did not come all the way from heaven to play silly games with religious hypocrites so like it or not he healed the man.
11. Notice that they did not rejoice over this man's healing. Instead they get angry at Christ for being compassionate. They were furious because it was done on the Sabbath. There man-made rules were more important to them than the well-being of people. Some people are more concerned about being bossy than they are about being right.
12. Jesus stayed up all night and talk to the father. By the time morning came he was ready to do what the father required of him; he was ready to choose his 12 apostles.
The more time we spend with God the more natural his leading will be in our lives.
13. Jesus had many disciples and from that large group he picked 12 men to be his apostles. Apostle means one who is sent. These 12 will be sent out by Christ with special authority to preach his word and do miracles to authenticate that word. This will be a special group never to be repeated and with the exception of the apostle Paul who took Judas's place this number will never be added to.
14-16a. Peter often talked without thinking. James and John were hotheaded brothers. Philip was a slow learner. Thomas was a pessimist. One thing is perfectly clear when you get to know these men and that's that they were no different than you and I. They were not exactly the cream of the crop humanly speaking; they were good in some ways and bad in others. But the one thing that 11 of them had was a complete and total dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ.
16b. Someone says: well Jesus got 11/12 right that's a great batting average if you're playing baseball so that's not too bad at all. But no, he and the father got all 12 pics right. Jesus will not force Judas to betray him but Jesus knew that Judas had the heart of the betrayer. Christ prayed all night which led to picking all 12 of them including Judas which led to the cross which paid for our sins.
17, 18a. The news of this no-nonsense teaching and the miracles of Christ was spreading quickly. People were coming to hear and to be healed.
18x. They had been vexed by devils who are unclean spirits. They are unclean because of what they do and think and because of what they tempt others to do. They live for uncleanness their purpose in life is to do that which is abhorrent and filthy in the eyes of God and tempt others to do the same.
People are not designed to live in spiritual filth. That, in part is why these people were vexed. We have been created in God's image and we are designed to be holy like him. Living in sin doesn't work; it doesn't work for individuals for families for businesses for country's and for the world in general.
19. The touch of the people was like an unspoken prayer request for help. It was like a prayer and God answered it because he knew their heart.
Don't worry about using the exact right words when you pray. Do your best but remember that God knows your heart.
20. Christ is not saying that you will go to heaven if you die poor. This is talking about recognizing that you are spiritually poor; spiritually broke. The first step to eternal life is to recognize and admit to God that you do not have what it takes to work or earn your way to heaven. The fact is all of us are spiritually broke. Jesus says that you are blessed if you know that and admit it.
21a. This refers to people who hunger for holiness. In other words, if you hate your sin and long to do better than you can be sure that God will someday satisfy that desire; that is, if you have received Jesus Christ he will. If you are saved you will be raised in a body that will never sin and won't even want to sin.
21x. The closer you are to Christ the more the sinful things of this world will bother you. You will not be attracted to the world you will be sickened by the world and it will make you sad when you see those who don't care about Christ. To you God says: you won't always have to be sad; you won't always have to live that way. Someday things will be right and on that day good and God fearing people will be happy.
22,23. The next time you suffer for Christ and doing what is right don't get angry and don't get even and certainly don't back off and apologize. Gutless wonders back off from taking a stand for that which is right for fear of losing popularity let alone suffering in some way. Modern evangelicalism is filled with compromisers today who are buying into politically correct language and stands that contradict the Bible and all because they want to be popular. Stand fast for that which is right even when you suffer loss and always remember that God sees at all. You don't have to get even because God is just and he will punish those who will not repent and you don't have to get angry because God is going to reward you for all your suffering for his namesake. And you don't have to back down and you're a fool if you do because Jesus said he who endures to the end shall be saved and Jesus said if anyone turns back from following me my soul will have no pleasure in them.
The willingness to suffer for Christ is a sign that you are his child; it's a sign that you are forgiven and that you are one who possesses eternal life and that's a reason to rejoice.
24. And this isn't even talking about money. God would never say woe unto you if you are richer going to hell for sure. There's no sin in having money; there's no sin in having wealth. This is talking about people who think they are spiritually rich by their own goodness or their own merits and therefore have it made with God. If that's what you think you have a wonderful self-image and your heart beat out of hell. People like you think that you don't need anything; you think that you are the cream of the crop; you have a wonderful self-image. In fact, as you see it you are good enough to get into heaven without the help of the Savior and that's the bad part. And that's why Jesus says woe unto you. Woe unto you because you are kidding yourself. You are living in the land of make-believe if you don't think you need a Savior.
25a. Not full of food but full of themselves. Jesus is talking about people who you can't reason with using truth. No one can tell these people that they are not good enough to deserve eternal life; these people are full of conceit. They see no need to repent and receive Christ because they're just fine the way they are; they are filled with pride. Woe unto them because someday they will know what it's like to be in want of everything and that would include even a little bit of comfort.
25. This refers to laughing at sin, marking the word of God, and rejoicing over evil. It's talking about the ungodly entertainment of this world, it would include the filth that passes for entertainment on television, in movies, and on late night talk shows. There's nothing funny about it to God and those who laugh at filth and mock the word of God; everything's a big joke will someday mourn. Jesus says woe unto them and he says that because someday they will be in the flames of hell where Jesus says they will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. There will be no laughing over sin in the lake of fire.
26. The false prophets told everyone what they wanted to hear whether it was true or not and they were very popular because of it.
If everyone speaks well of us including those who have no desire to live for God; if those people also speak well of us then we are not speaking the truth or living the right way. Godly people will not be popular with ungodly people in this ungodly world. A righteous life is a rebuke to an evil life.
27a. God is not asking you to fall in love with your enemies. He's not even asking you to like your enemies. He is commanding you to love your enemies. That means do what is in their best interest and what is in their best interest whether it is the words you use or the things you do for them must always be within the boundaries of Scripture. Love does not exist outside the boundaries of Scripture.
27x. You do not have to like how people treat you or pretend that it's a good thing when it is not. However, the Lord doesn't want his people to respond to bad people the way people who don't know him respond. It pleases God when we are good to those who are bad to us.
28. God is telling us to ask him to bless people who say bad things about us and wish bad things for us. Ask God to do good things for people like that.
Someone says "I don't feel like doing that, or I just can't do that." But I think you can. Our free will is stronger than our feelings. How many times have you gone to work or school or done something else when you just didn't feel like doing it. You were able to do it in spite of your feelings because your free will is stronger than your feelings. Not feeling like it is no excuse; God won't buy it.
29a. Jesus is saying: don't be bad to someone who has been bad to you. Christ is saying: be patient with those who hurt you. You don't have to stay around them and continue to endure beatings but you don't have to get even either. Remember what God says: vengeance is mine I will repay saith the Lord.
29b,30. This is not talking about making a thief's job easy. The Bible says thou shalt not steal. This is talking about giving something to someone who needs it. It's talking about being charitable. Jesus is saying don't worry about getting it back or being repaid. And by the way just so you know the word "takes" refers to taking with your consent. There is a law against stealing and God wants it enforced. Allowing yourself to be sinned against with no resistance and not even a rebuke is unscriptural, it goes against what the Bible says we are to do when we are sinned against and therefore to not even rebuke someone who has sinned against you is sin in itself.
31. It pleases God when we look at others and ask ourselves: if I were that person what what I like someone to do for me? It pleases God when we think about the answer and then do it.
32. If someone is nice to us it's not a big deal if we are nice to them and return. Being nice to someone who has been nice to us is basically repaying them and even the worst sinners often do nice things to those who have been nice to them. It doesn't take a great moral character to do that.
33. The old saying goes: one good deed deserves another. And that's just it, it does deserve another. That's why if we are only good to those who have been good to us or we believe will be good to us in return then we have not done anything spiritually spectacular.
34. If we give because we are pretty sure we will receive in return that's not anything special. It really isn't even an act of giving or of kindness. Even corrupt politicians live by the rule: you do me a favor and I'll do you a favor. It's not an act of kindness; it's an investment and it expects a return order will probably never happen again.
35. Every day God loves those who do not love him back. Every day God does good things for those who heard him. Every single day God gives good gifts to people who he knows will never appreciate it let alone repay him.
Good things are worth doing just because they are good because they please God.
36. In other words, be tenderhearted, kind, and do good to all people whether they are your friend or enemy; whether they repay you are not.
37. This is one of the most highly quoted and most abused versus in the world today. If people don't know anything and don't care about anything written in the word of God they usually know this verse "judge not." And it amazes me how many people even professing Christians think that this means that you cannot point out right and wrong and you cannot call sin sin and you can't say that which is obviously evil is evil and you certainly can't say that someone's going to hell if they don't receive Christ. You must always answer by saying well I'm not the judge or the Bible says judge not so I really don't know. I really don't know if homosexuality is sin even though the Bible calls it an abomination, unnatural and vile. the Bible says judge not so I can't say that somebody who lives in perpetual fornication without repentance is sinning, and so on and so forth. But that's not what this verse means.
The Bible commands us to discern right from wrong. the Bible even commands us to judge all things and to hold fast to that which is good and abstain from that which is evil. The Bible says that we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (sin) but rather expose them. Well how in the world are you going to stay away from the unfruitful works of darkness unless you make a judgment that something doesn't line up with Scripture and therefore is sinful and in unfruitful work of darkness? And how are you going to expose that which is sinful and wrong if you don't make that determination between right and wrong? The answer is we must.
Do not be afraid to call evil evil; do not be afraid to call sin sin; do not be afraid to tell someone that unless they repent and receive Christ they're going to hell; these are all things that God commands us to do as Christians.
Someone says so what does this mean then? When God says do not judge he saying don't presume to know if someone died and went to hell because you don't know only God knows their heart only God knows if they did repent and receive Christ before they breathed their last. That final judgment is left to God. And another thing we are not to judge is someone's motives. We can judge right from wrong and we must use the Scripture to determine if something is right or wrong or true or false but we don't know the motive for some person doing that which is wrong. Wrong is wrong whether the motive is right or not, but only God knows how culpable a person is for the wrong that they do.
38. When we give to God he actually sees it as a loan and he will surely pay us back with interest. He doesn't always pay back with material things and he doesn't always pay us back in this life, but you get much more than you give and whatever it is it will be good.
39. The blind can lead the blind but the result will not be good. And the same thing applies to spiritual blindness. If there is a spiritually dead person in the pulpit then the listeners will be led down the road to spiritual death as well.
40. You cannot learn unless someone teaches you and if your teacher doesn't know the word of God or is afraid to speak it then you're not gonna learn anything.
That's bad when it involves school; it's disastrous when it involves your immortal soul..
41. This refers to people who focus on the failures of others while being totally ignorant or accepting of their own major failures.
It is not wrong to point out sin and to talk about what is correct. But it is wrong to find fault with others and not apply the same standards to yourself.
42. In other words, if someone isn't living for God then they need to get their act together before they lecture others about their lack of holiness. If they don't get their own act together than they're going to look foolish, their words will have no moral authority and no one will listen to them.
43, 44. The fruit of a tree, or a plant is never a higher quality than the tree or the plant itself. A tree cannot give more than it has; it cannot produce something anything other than what it is.
45a. People have a free will so there are no excuses for any sinful behavior. People sin because they are sinners by nature. Most people probably don't like the consequences of their sin however at the point of temptation they want to send more than they want any righteous alternative. Like a bad tree produces bad fruit a sinner produces sin.
45b. What we are on the inside; in other words what is most important to us will come out in our words. If a person's words are filthy it is because their soul is filthy. If a person enjoys talking about God it is because God is important to them. A person's words indicate what they believe and what they care about.
46. It doesn't make sense and it does no good to call Jesus Lord but then have no interest in reading the Bible and discovering the things that please him or doing the things that he commands.
47-49. The foundation here refers to a relationship with Christ which comes from taking in God's word, praying, and obeying. If you have that foundation you will get through the hardships of this life and you will be okay after you die. If you do not have that foundation you will never survive.
God's forecast calls for strong storms in each one of our lives. What is the advice that the Lord Jesus gives us? Get your foundation ready or you're going to be a mess especially in eternity.
1. Jesus had been speaking to many people including his disciples. After he finished he entered the town of Capernaum which actually became his adopted hometown after the people of Nazareth tried to kill him.
2. The servant is in big trouble he is so sick that he's about to die. It's good that God told us that because it will make this upcoming miracle even greater.
3. The threat of death caused this Roman to reach out to Christ. Often it takes the threat of death to get a busy person to slow down and start paying attention to eternity in Christ.
4. Normally the Romans and the Israelites did not get along at all. However this soldier respected God and therefore got along fine with the Israelites.
If a Roman soldier and these Israelites were able to get along because of their mutual respect for God then it is possible for any two people to get along if they will only put Christ first in their life.
4,5. He built the synagogue for the Jews at his own expense. The Bible says where your treasure is that is where your heart will be also. They are saying: this man has a heart for God Jesus.
6. The Roman started thinking: I don't deserve to have someone as great as Jesus in my house. And of course he really didn't, but Jesus was coming over anyway. No one is worthy of God's blessing, no one is worthy of having Jesus in their life let alone save them from hell, nevertheless Christ is willing to be our Lord, Savior, and yes even brother if we repent and receive him. We are not worthy of the least of his blessings, but he will save us from hell and give us eternal life if we ask.
7. He wanted things to be convenient for Christ and what a nice change of pace that must have been for Jesus, to hear about someone who was thinking about him for a change not themselves.
Just because someone with the servant's heart continually serves others without complaint doesn't mean they wouldn't appreciate someone else asking: is there anything that I can do for you?
8. Caesar could send this Centurion orders from a thousand miles away and he would obey them without question. This Centurion knows about authority so he knows that if Christ commands his servants sickness to leave, even from a distance, it will obey, it will leave.
9. Jesus said this Centurion had more faith than anyone in Israel. That means he had more faith then any of the apostles did at this time. That soldier was not a part of some religious "in group". He was just a man of faith who worked hard and live for God with a quiet but strong faith.
10. The Centurion was humble and he had faith and as a result his prayers were answered.
When you pray believe that God can do it and when you pray understand that you do not deserve anything good from the God that you have offended so deeply with your sin. If God in his infinite wisdom knows that it's best for you then he will grant it. Our job is to be humble and pray; God's job is to decide what is best.
11. Jesus had many disciples at this time. In other words he had many who were committed followers. But there was also a large crowd; they were curious; they were hearers of the word but not quite doers of the word or followers of Christ.
12. The only son of her mother and no doubt she never expected to be preceded in death by her only son. But death does not play by the rules of logic. Sometimes it strikes in the most unexpected ways and I'm sure she didn't care about that because right now she has more than one problem. She lost her only son which was a horrible thing and to make matters worse she just lost her only means of support. She has lost her son, she has lost all her finances, she is devastated and destitute.
13. Jesus could tell her not to weep because he's about to raise her son from the dead.
Unless we can reverse a tragedy we should never tell its victim not to cry. The Bible says there's a time to weep.
14. Jesus did not wait to be asked to do this miracle.
Most of the nice things God does for us he does without being asked. He just does them because he cares about us.
15. Assuming this man was in paradise and not in the place of torment I'd say the main reason Christ brought him back was for his mother. It certainly was not done as a favor to him. But it says that Jesus gave him back to his mother; this was for her.
16. I do not know if they understood that Jesus is God. But one thing they did understand is that only God can give life to the dead. As a result, they give God the credit for this miracle. At the very least they know that the power of God is working in Christ.
17. From the far north to the far south everyone seemed to be talking about the dead man who was raised to life on the way to his tomb.
18. John the Baptist is in prison so his disciples visit and tell him about the Lord's popularity and his miracles especially, it seems, the raising of this dead son.
18, 19. I do not believe for a second that John the Baptist had his disciples asked this question for his benefit. John knew that Jesus was the Messiah. He saw the Spirit of God landed on Christ in the form of a dove like the father said he would. John heard the voice of God the father prays his son audibly at the baptism. This question was not for John sake; it was probably for the benefit of these two disciples of John who should not have still been disciples of John. They should have moved on to Christ by this time.
20. John is about to die in prison and he knows it. These two men still consider themselves to be his disciples when they need to be the disciples of Jesus. It's time for them to move on. Maybe if they hear the answer to this question right from the mouth of Christ then they will quit dragging their heels and become his disciples like they should.
21. In other words, he was doing the miracles that the Old Testament predicted the Messiah would do.
22. Jesus could have answered their simple question with a straightforward yes, yes I am the Messiah. But instead of doing that he listed his works which match the Old Testament predictions of the Messiah's works. In other words, his answer was: look at what the Scriptures say and you will see that they point to me.
The big lesson for us is: find your answers in Scripture and make sure you can back your beliefs and your actions with God's word.
23. John had announced that Jesus was the Messiah however he is in prison about to be executed for preaching the word of God, and I am sure that this is not the way these two Disciples of Christ thought it would be. If Jesus is the Christ then why is evil still prospering? Well our Lord's word on that matter is: do not reject me simply because I'm not doing things the way you would like to see them done. Hang in there with me and you will be blessed.
24. A reed shaken by the wind refers to someone who doesn't stand for what is right. It's talking about someone who lives for the approval of others. John the Baptist was not that type of a man. John the Baptist was as solid as a rock. They could put him in prison and they could kill him but he still would not back down from God's word. John the Baptist was not a read shaken in the wind or swayed in any way by public opinion.
25. Well if you didn't go out to see a week coward maybe you went out to see a fancy dresser? If you did you were out of luck because John wore camel's hair and leather, he wore anything that he could find. John didn't care about food and raiment, he didn't care about what was fashionable, he didn't care what the neighbors thought. He cared about God! He cared about preaching the word of God and living for eternity knowing that he would give an account for his faithfulness to preach the truth of God's word whether people liked it or not. John the Baptist wore what he could kill and he ate what he could catch. If Were going to be used by God we can afford to care with the neighbors think.
26. Since John the Baptist didn't offer anything worldly or anything that would tickle the flesh it must've been the word of God that drew you to John, says Jesus. The only thing that John the Baptist did was give out the holy word of God.. He truly was a faithful servant of Almighty God.
I would say most modern evangelicals are not interested in me, to put it mildly. I don't try to put on a Christianized variety show, never have, even when I pastored a church. I never entertained, I never tickled anyone's ears, I never tried to allure the unsaved or the lukewarm with worldly music, I preached holiness, I preach the promises of God, the warnings of God, I preached about heaven and I preached about hell, I encouraged, rebuked, corrected what was wrong and proclaimed what was right. In other words I stuck to the pure word of God which as a rule isn't enough for most modern evangelicals. I disciplined willfully sinful Christians by warning them they were not welcome in church unless they repented (as Jesus instructed in Matthew 18). And even today nothing has changed if you've come to Scripture verse by verse for anything other than the word of God you're going to be disappointed, but if you're hungry for God's word then you've come to the right place because that's all you're going to get just like with John the Baptist. No frills, no psychobabble, no excuses, no entertainment, no cuteness, no storytelling, just the pure word of God. That's the only reason people went out to John and I know that she only reason that people listen to me; has to be the only reason.
27. John was God's messenger. Sermons inspired by people are about entertainment and telling people how wonderful they are, just too good for God to resist you know. But sermons inspired by the Holy Spirit are about God's love and his grace for those who repent and receive Christ. And they are about eternal damnation for the wicked who are not interested in pleasing God. That's the way John the Baptist preached. He was a prophet, but more than a prophet, he was the one who formally introduced Christ to the world.
28. Even if your the very least valuable of all Christians you are still greater than John the Baptist. Probably not greater then John and dedication, he was hard to beat; probably not greater in boldness or in holiness but certainly greater in privilege. Anyone who is a Christian is blessed beyond what John was because we know the whole story of Christ. John knew the beginning and a bit of his ministry but we know how it ended and how he rose again and how he ascended into heaven and how he promised to come back a second time and set up his kingdom.
29. The people who accepted John's preaching and as a result repented and were baptized said by their actions that John's message was correct and it was from God. Even the worst sinners new that God was right to demand their repentance.
A person may not like to hear that they must repent and they may try to resist that command, but unless they are pathological liars with a dead conscience they know that God is just to demand their repentance.
30. The religious leaders rejected God's purpose for them. In other words, they were out of God's will because they refuse to repent or even acknowledge that they needed repentance.
God's will begins with repentance and a surrender to the only objective divine will we have and that is his moral will. Until a person does that nothing else they do, even being super religious like the Pharisees can put them in the will of God.
31. Jesus is speaking especially of the religious rulers and people like them.
People who suppress the truth about their sinfulness are so illogical and outrageous that Christ has to think a while to come up with a comparison for them. He found one!
32. There is probably one in every neighborhood: a child who isn't satisfied no matter what their friends want to play; no one can please them. That is what the religious leaders of our Lord's they were like, and here's why:
33. The rulers didn't like John the Baptist; they said he's crazy he fasts too much, and when he does eat it's not very good food. Not only that he dresses like a madman. They didn't care what his message was; they didn't care that he was proclaiming the pure word of God they came to the conclusion that he was demon possessed because he was always fasting and they don't like how he dressed her what he ate. Maybe if he had been a little more sociable we would've liked him but he separates himself too much. And did you notice that the so-called spiritual leaders criteria was all worldly it had nothing to do with the word of God.
34. The rulers did not like Jesus either. They said he doesn't fast enough and he's too sociable; he doesn't separate himself enough. He hangs out with common sinners we don't like him he's demon possessed.
35. In other words whether it's John the Baptist and his preaching or Jesus and his preaching and miracles look at the results and you have your answer if they were from God or not. John's preaching brought many people to repentance and Jesus came to seek and save the lost and hundreds of souls were saved even while he was still here not to mention the countless people who were healed and the several that were raised from the dead. Wisdom is vindicated by her children. True conversions to salvation and a biblical lifestyle tell the story of whether something has the spirit of God at work in it or not.
36. One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him so Jesus went to his house and reclined by the table. Just so you know this wasn't an attempt by the Pharisee to be sociable; it was an attempt to trap Jesus. Jesus knew that but he went anyway because he cared about that hottie religious hypocrite just as much as he cared about anyone else.
As far as Jesus is concerned every human being is in the same desperate situation and he cares about getting each one of us out and onto the right road. He wants to get us off the road to hell and on the road to eternal life.
37. This woman was not an invited guest but she desperately wanted to see Christ so she crashed the party. She brings some fancy perfume with her which he may have used in the past to entice men since she may have been a prostitute.
38. God has forgiven this woman and she is doing her best to show her gratitude. She doesn't care how it may look and she doesn't care who doesn't like it. She is sorry for her past and grateful for her forgiveness and right now that's all that matters to her; all she sees is Jesus and the forgiveness that she has been granted.
People who remember how much God has forgiven them will not be complainers nor will they be self-centered. People who remember how God through Christ save them off the road to hell will be Christ centered and they will live to please him and feel horrible whenever they fail and confess whenever they fail.
39. I guess this Pharisee is still disgusted with this woman even though she has clearly repented and is broken over her past sin. He doesn't care about that; he doesn't want to be seen in the same place with the woman who has a past like hers. And I guess he figures that if Jesus really was a man of God he would feel the same way. What Simon doesn't seem to understand is that he is actually worse off than her because she has at least repented of her sin and been forgiven and he has not. She's one step ahead of him; a big step ahead of him.
40. Jesus is God which is how he knew that this woman was sorry for her sin and really wanted to change. It is also how he knew the secret thoughts of Simon the Pharisee which he is about to respond to as if they had been spoken out loud.
41. A pence was equal to a day's wage back then. One person in the story owed 50 days wages and the other person owed 500 days wages.
42. One was in debt more than the other but it did not really matter because both were unable to pay their debt. Sorta like drowning; it doesn't matter if you drown in a bathtub or in an ocean you're still dead.
43. Simon has no idea where Jesus is going with this story but the answer to his question is obvious: the person who was forgiven more is going to be more grateful.
The more we know that we do not deserve something the more we will appreciate anyone who gives it to us.
44. In that hot, dry, climate and culture people wore sandals so giving a guest water to wash their feet was just a common courtesy. It was routine but Simon had not done that for Jesus. With regards to Jesus he was rude and derelict in his duty; he didn't show Jesus a common kindness that was shown to all. Meanwhile this woman who he thought was so terrible was washing Christ's feet with her tears.
45. Back in those days a friendly kiss was a sign of goodwill. It was clear to all that Simon had nothing but bad feelings toward Christ; he treated him rudely in every way. Meanwhile, this woman was doing her very best to show how much Jesus meant to her and how much she appreciated him.
46. All these things Jesus mentioned were just common courtesy back in those days. You can bet Simon did them for all of his other dinner guests but he didn't do any of them for Jesus. He singled Jesus out for rudeness and he was rude to him in front of everyone. Then to top it off he thinks that he's superior to that poor woman who was showing such kindness to Christ even though it wasn't her house and he was not her guest. While Jesus tolerated the rudeness toward him but he puts the Pharisee in his place for his terrible treatment toward this woman. That so like Jesus who accepted willingly such abuse on the cross but stands in our place defending us in heaven whenever the devil accuses us before the throne of God. God tells us to treat others as if they are more important than ourselves and that's the story of Jesus's life with regards to us.
47. Notice how Jesus did not gloss over her past sins as if they were no big deal; they were a big deal with an emphasis on the "were." They were a big deal but she's forgiven and Jesus mentions that as well.
It isn't smart or even biblical to dwell on our past sins but it is smart to remember that we were once lost sinners who have received forgiveness in Christ by the grace of God. If we remember that then we will never cease to be grateful for all that God has done for us and we will never stop trying to show our appreciation either.
48. God had already forgiven her and she knew it. That's why she was so grateful, but the people around her still thought of her as that "sinful woman." That's why Jesus publicly declares that she is forgiven. He wants everyone to understand that she is right with God. The Bible says that the best that any of us can hope for is that God will not hold our sins against us. We can hope to be good enough to be right with God but we can rejoice that through Jesus Christ God does not hold our sins against us.
49. Simon's fellow hypocrites and dinner guests are really outraged by the words of Christ pronouncing forgiveness on the sinful woman. Not only did Jesus allow that sinful woman to touch him but he now talks as if he is Almighty God for giving her sins.
50. It was her faith that saved her. Her tears did not save her, neither did her expensive perfume that she gave to Christ. Her tears and her perfume were byproducts of her faith. And it works the same with us today. Faith in Christ is the thing that saves us but if our faith is real the byproduct will be devotion to Jesus.
1. In the good news about the kingdom of God was great news for the people of Israel who had a hunger for God. That's because the good news was all about grace and mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. It also meant no more bondage to the cumbersome laws of the religious rulers.
2,3. It was unusual for a woman to be a disciple of a rabbi back in those days, but it wasn't unusual for Christ because he elevated the women of that culture to a level of equality with men and they followed him from place to place. Jesus ministered the word to them and they supported him financially in return.
4. The large crowds look very promising but they were there to be entertained more than anything else. That will become evident when Jesus starts talking about making a commitment to God; they'll scatter like roaches under a spotlight.
You can get huge crowds to services by doing things that entertain them or tickle their flesh but if you stop then they will leave and look for a better show someplace else. Better to just give out the word of God like Jesus did that way God is honored those who are hungry for truth have a place to get it.
5a. Today farmers plant with machines which is why you see those large perfectly straight rows of corn. Back in those days a farmer sold by hand; he just grabbed the handful of seed and scattered it back and forth.
5x. Some of the seeds were bound to land on the paths that went through the fields since the fields were also used as walkways for travelers. The dirt on those paths was so packed down that the seed would hit it and bounce and just lay there; the seeds were easy pickings for the birds.
6. This is talking about soil that was very shallow and had a bedrock just beneath the surface. The seed would germinate and spring up immediately because that bedrock Plenty of water close to the surface. However the rock did not allow roots to grow so the tender plant would be fried by the hot sun. This plant look very promising but fizzled very quickly; it died as quickly as it shot up.
7. Thorns and weeds are both botanical thieves. They are the bad guys of the plant world. They are quick to take the nutrients and moisture from good soil for themselves and that doesn't give a good plant anything to feed on. Consequently the good plants choke off and die. That is why gardens need to be weeded.
8. A sevenfold increase would be great back in those days. A 100 fold increase would be unheard of. The point is: good soil and the blessing of God would result in a bountiful harvest.
9. The disciples had a hunger for truth which is why they wanted to learn the meaning of the parable and consequently they kept asking questions. The apostles will learn because they're interested in learning. Those who are open to truth and put an effort into learning have ears to hear.
10. Some of the others there did not really care with the word God said so they didn't pursue it and that's why they will never understand it.
People who have no desire for truth will not believe the truth however since everyone has to believe something they will believe an untruth. God says: if someone does not love the truth they will believe a lie.
11. The seed is the word of God. And remember all the seed in this story was good seed. If the crops didn't grow it wasn't the seeds fault; it was the soils fault.
God's word is perfect and sufficient so if it doesn't work in someone's life then it is the fault of the person who either doesn't care about it and therefore doesn't understand it or doesn't apply it.
12. Some people hear the word but they hear it carelessly, they hear it thoughtlessly. The word of God doesn't sink in because they don't care and then to make matters worse whatever little memory of it they do have is snatched away by the devil who diverts their attention to other worldly things. The devil has a field day with sinful human beings; it's very easy to keep them on the road to hell. All he has to do is tempt them with something that appeals to their sin nature and most human beings go after it and are consumed with it like a rabid animal and they ignore the word of God to the damnation of their soul; it works very well for the devil.
13. Some people get all excited about Christ and the Bible. There's an immediate positive response to the word of God but it fizzles and dies just as quickly. As soon as there's a price to pay for living for Jesus and proclaiming the word of God they ditch it and along with the word ditch Christ and their immortal soul. As far as these people are concerned it's all about feelings so when the good feelings are outweighed by the bad feelings they turned their back on Christ.
14. These people actually believe God's word and they know that they should receive Christ and live for him but then they start thinking "Jesus won't let me do certain things and I really don't want to stop doing them so forget Jesus!
They die lost if they persist in that attitude; what you have here is good seed on bad soil.
15. The key here is the good and honest heart. These people are humble and ready to listen and follow God no matter what. Whatever it costs they want Christ, and whatever it cost they don't want to go to hell; they don't want to go to hell! They don't want to burn in hell! They don't want to be tormented forever and ever nonstop and if the only way to avoid that is to repent of all sin and patiently until their last breath serve Jesus submitting to the Lordship of Christ then they will do it because it's worth it.
16. It just doesn't make sense to turn on a lamp and then quickly cover it with the quilt. You are defeating the purpose for a lamp by covering it. It also does not make sense for a Christian who knows the living God to live as if they don't.
17. Jesus will judge the living and the dead completely and thoroughly. Nothing that has been done even that which has been hidden from human eyes will remain hidden on judgment day. God's judgment will be thorough.
18. It is important to acknowledge the truth that we've learned and live it with repentance and confession when we fail.
Everyone is born with a measure of truth; if a person doesn't love and cling to that truth but rather denies it for love of what is false then that truth which they at one time believed will disappear from their souls. If we live up to the truth that we have we will be given more if we deny the truth that we have understood then we will lose it and believe a lie to the damning of our soul.
19-21. Jesus is not disowning his mother but things have definitely changed. Jesus is not Mary's little boy anymore. When our Lord was 12 years old he wanted to stay in the temple but instead he obeyed his parents and went home with them. Now he is 31 and although he loved and honored his mother the time for obeying mom is over. Jesus is a man! Jesus is obeying his heavenly father! He is putting the father's will above even the feelings of his mother.
We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings as Christians but we must obey God's word no matter who doesn't like it. If someone is hurt or upset because we as Christians obey the word of God than the problem is in between us and them it is between them and God and they must learn to put God above what they want.
21. Family was important to Jesus, of course, as God the son he invented the family. But doing his father's will was even more important to Jesus than family, then blood relatives. His brothers were not saved at this point, in fact they were hostile toward Jesus. So if anyone thinks that Christ is going to put his ministry on hold to spend time talking about nothing and doing useless things with his brothers and relatives so that they think is normal they don't know Jesus very well at all.
Every Christian should be on fire for Jesus and no Christian should let anyone or anything distract them from living for God and making the most of whatever time they have left on earth.
22. Jesus told his men that they were going across the lake to the other side so remember that. God's word to them was: we are going to the other side. The moment Jesus said that it was a sure thing. They will go to the other side! Now, they're going to hit a big storm on the way so it won't be easy but no matter how bad it may look and no matter how bad it gets they will still make it to the other side because that is what Jesus said they would do and not one word of God falls to the ground according to Jesus himself.
The Bible says that God's word does not come back to him empty. When he makes a statement or promise it is backed by his almighty power and nothing can stop it from coming to pass. And that is why we can believe it and that is why we should heed it.
23. This was a terrible storm and yet Jesus was sleeping like a baby. Trusted in God gives us a sense of calmness that all will be okay even if it doesn't look like it.
24. Someone says: how did Jesus do that? No problem, not for Christ because he is God.
Jesus made the entire universe out of nothing. Which means that he created the atmosphere and the elements that give us whether. Since he created all the elements out of nothing, which was the hard part, it was easy to simply rearrange those elements in order to improve the weather.
25a. They had faith but evidently they misplaced it which is why Jesus asked them where was. He didn't say you guys don't have any faith; he said where is your faith?
Sometimes Christians misplace their faith. They have it when things are going well but when they experience unexpected trouble they forget where they put it. Instead of trusting in God they panic or become discouraged they misplaced their faith. That should never happen because God is reliable and his word is reliable; his word is unshakable so our faith in it should be unshakable as well.
25. The apostles know that Jesus is the Messiah. However it still has not sunk in that he is also God. That's why they ask: what manner of man is this! The answer should be clear. This man is God in human flesh because no one but God can control the weather.
26-28. Devils take control of this man's voice and they begged the Lord not to torture them before the set time. Those devils were torturing this man, but they do not want Christ to torture them.
It's not unusual for those who have no regard for others to have high regard for themselves. Those who think nothing of hurting others often are the most upset when others hurt them.
29-31. The deep or the abyss is a demonic prison; it is a bottomless pit similar to hell. According to the Bible it is a place where some of the worst demons are confined at this time. These demons wanted to be anywhere except there.
32. Only a demon would beg to go into a pig. Who else would beg to be allowed to live in a pig? Swine is right up their alley; they are filthy through and through.
Sin is a miserable existence and yet the impenitent love to live in it and find holiness to be repulsive. What you find repulsive reveals the state of your soul. If you find holiness repulsive you're a damn soul on the way to hell; if you find sin repulsive you're a saved soul on the way to heaven. Were saved by faith but the faith that changes our destination changes our priorities and our desires.
33. This gives you an idea of how filthy demons are. A pig would rather be dead than be possessed by demons.. You're talking about a swine! You're talking about a filthy vile disgusting animal! A pig would rather be dead than be possessed by demons. Even a pigs standards are higher than the standards of demons. You know demons are bad and filthy creatures when a pig says I'd rather be dead than live like you.
34. The people in charge of caring for the pigs evidently had been spectators to what happened. They also knew that they were in big trouble because the pigs they were paid to watch are now dead. Consequently, they ran into town telling people that it wasn't their fault that the pigs are dead; it was Jesus's fault.
35. They were afraid, not of the former demon possessed man because he was calm and quiet; they were afraid of Christ.
The presence of the Lord made them very uncomfortable. That's the way it is with lost sinners. They are very uncomfortable around God and the word of God because it makes God's presence real and they don't like that because there filled with guilt and just like the demons knew that eventually they be sent to hell and Jesus was the one who is going to do it that's how sinners feel.
36, 37. The people felt very uncomfortable in the presence of holiness so they told Jesus to leave and Jesus left. Jesus does not force anyone to repent. Jesus does not force anyone to be with him.
Those who say that a loving God would not send anyone to hell, those who say that since God loves all people everyone will go to heaven evidently have forgotten that the impenitent do not want to be with God and they would certainly be miserable in heaven.
The question is asked: "how could a loving God keep anyone out of heaven?" Better question: how could a loving God force someone to be with him if they do not want that? People who really want to be with God, I'm talking about the one true God, I'm talking about the holy God, I'm talking about the God who demands holiness and punishes sin; people who really want to be with that one and only true God and therefore repent and receive Christ as Lord and Savior go to heaven because they choose God of their own free will and those are the only kind of people who God receives.
38. The man who was saved and delivered from demon possession had a totally different attitude toward Christ than the other people who lived in that area.
Saved people want to be around Jesus. Unsaved people see Jesus as an inconvenience, someone who makes them feel uncomfortable. The unsaved are not interested in fellowship and with Christ. The saved cannot get enough of him.
39. It wasn't this man's first choice but it was the will of God so he stayed in that area and served the Lord there.
Serving the Lord is not necessarily doing what we want; it is doing what God wants. People who automatically think that something is God's will simply because it is there will, it's something that they want to do, need to remember this man who wanted to go with Jesus but wasn't allowed to do it. Consequently, instead of doing what he wanted to do he did what he could do. If we can't do all that we want to do then we should do what we can do.
40. Notice the contrast: Jesus had been run out of town in the land of the Gadarenes, but he was welcomed with great joy by the people in Galilee. It was the same Jesus with the same message; he didn't treat the people of Galilee differently than anyone else but as of now they liked him and the people on the other side of the sea didn't like him.
If you put Jesus first in your life don't be surprised if some love you and others despise you. That's why it is important for us to be content just being what God wants us to be. Be yourself in the Lord and let others react the way they choose; that's between them and God.
41. Every word of Scripture is inspired by God which is why translations that play fast and loose with the Bible are more than just a problem they are an abomination a desecration and whether the translators understand it or not instruments of Satan to bring confusion and raise doubt concerning the preserved word of God. For example the NIV omits the "behold" from verse 41 but in so doing they rob people of an important point from God. The word behold expresses surprise. God included it in his word here because it is surprising that one of the top men in the Jewish religion would publicly fall before Jesus and ask for help. His fellow rulers will not be happy about this.
When people get serious about Jesus they start doing "behold things", things that surprise those who knew them previously.
42. As Jesus walks through the streets of Capernaum on the way to the rulers home the crowd is so massive that he can hardly move.
43, for 12 years this woman went from doctor to doctor. She did what they said; she took their prescriptions but nothing helped and now she is broke. She spent all her money on doctors and actually her situation got worse. Something else: her situation is similar to that of the ruler who came to Christ, both are desperate. It is Jesus or nothing as far as both of them are concerned.
44. According to Old Testament law this woman with a bleeding problem wasn't supposed to be in that crowd of people. People with a bleeding problem were supposed to separate themselves. I suppose that's why she sort of snuck up on Christ quietly from behind. But again she was desperate and Jesus was her only hope.
45a. At first glance this appears to be one of the strangest questions that could be asked: who touched me? That would be like a football player who was gang tackled saying okay who touched me? Who touched you? 11 people just mold you and through you to the ground and you ask who touched me? Jesus was being mauled by the entire crowd and he asked who touched me?
45b. They all denied it! What a bunch of liars! He was nearly crushed by the multitude but they all said we didn't touch you. And of course Peter being the honest fellow that he was said Jesus everyone is touching you why are you asking who touched me? Why not just ask who is not touching me?
46. When Jesus said someone touched me he wasn't talking about a normal touch. He was asking: "who touched me with purpose and faith?" In other words who touched me with a view toward being healed? Who touched me the way God is touched by prayer? Jesus knew someone did it because he knew that healing power went out of him.
47. The woman was hoping to sneak in and get her healing and then get away unnoticed. But she was noticed and now she's afraid. Perhaps she was afraid that Christ would reverse her healing after all she wasn't supposed to be there in the first place.
48. Jesus was not angry and he didn't yell at her and he didn't reverse her healing either. Whatever she was afraid of was a waste of time because Jesus was glad that she was healed. He just wanted her to come forward as a testimony to the fact that God is the one who did it for her.
A common superstition in those days held that if one touched the garment of a holy person they would be healed. This woman's faith was evidently a mixed bag of faith and that particular superstition. Consequently Jesus wanted her to come forward and when she did he made sure that he told her in front of everyone: your faith has made you well!.
It is important to give God credit for the good that we have rather than suggesting, even by our silence, that good luck, or fate is the reason for it. God's goodness leads people to repentance and faith in him which is why he needs to be proclaimed as the good God who is responsible for all that is truly good.
49. The messenger said all hope is gone your daughter is dead so tell Jesus not to bother coming.
The grieving father may have been tempted to say "what if?" "What if" I had gone to Jesus sooner? "What if" that bleeding woman would not have slowed us down? And that crowd kept Jesus from getting to my daughter and their situations were not as desperate as my daughters; none of them would've died without the Lord's help but they slowed him down and now she is dead. "What if" and "what if?"
One Sure Way to become depressed and overwhelmed with despair is to play the what if game. But doing that is useless; it doesn't change the past; and worst of all it is unbiblical because it denies the sovereignty of God.
50. Remembering that nothing is too difficult for God when it suits his purpose will comfort you when you are worried.
51. Jesus brought three apostles with him perhaps because the Bible says that there should be two or three eyewitnesses to establish the truthfulness of a matter.
52. She was dead; there was no doubt about it. But since her condition was temporary and Jesus knew it to him she was just asleep.
53. The mourners, no doubt paid mourners, mocked Jesus. That was exactly what the grieving parents did not need to hear.
If you don't have faith in Jesus then keep it to yourself. Don't make life harder for those who are trusting him, or trying to trust him. If you can't believe Jesus for an answer to prayer then that's your business but don't be negative and thereby threatened to undermine the faith of those who are believing him.
54, 55. Her soul which had gone to God was now called back into her body.
We learn from this that our soul is immortal. It does not die when our body dies. Our soul exist in our body while we live and then it exists separate from our body after we die. But it only exists outside of our physical body temporarily. It will return to our body on resurrection day. This miracle was just a small prototype of what will happen in that day on a massive scale.
56. Notice our Lord's humility. This is a big miracle and yet he said don't tell anyone about it.
Perhaps he is teaching his apostles who will do similar miracles and Christians in general that good things done to honor God and to bless others are worth doing even if one doesn't receive any immediate recognition for doing them.
1. A good teacher or coach can train and motivate others to do something that they know how to do. However, it is always a growing, learning process; it takes time and effort to develop a skill. A coach cannot simply say I give you this skill. Einstein couldn't say I give you my understanding my knowledge to some person the street corner. But that is exactly what Jesus did when he gave his apostles the power to do miracles just like he did.
2. Jesus is man and Jesus is God, he is body and he is soul, he knows how important a functioning body is because he lives in one and functions in one.
Those who are forced to endure something are better able to understand and help others who are in during the same sort of thing. Consequently Jesus tells his men to minister to the souls of people and to their bodies.
3. The apostles needed to leave right away because the assignment was to urgent to delay. They had no time to prepare, they had to leave right away and trust God to meet whatever needs they might have as they do his will and his work.
4. In other words do not shop around for a host who will give you the best food or the softest bed. God wants Christians, especially preachers, to be very careful not to hurt other people's feelings and not to appear to be materialistic.
5. When the apostles leave an area that has rejected Christ they are told to shake the dust off of their feet. And the Christ projectors in that culture would know exactly what the apostles were saying by doing that. They were saying: we are not responsible for your decision to reject Christ and for the consequences that you will endure because of your wrong decision. In addition to that when judgment day comes and you are thrown into hell just remember we did our part; we warned you.
6. The 12 apostles covered the entire country with their ministry. They were up north in Galilee and down south in Judea.
7,8. The spiritual world is a mystery to people so whenever the supernatural occurs people attribute it to all sorts of strange and un-biblical things; actually the sky is the limit when it comes to their interpretations. A person's imagination can really run wild if the holy Scripture isn't there to guide them and all their speculation is useless just like all the useless speculation here concerning Jesus. Once a person severs their umbilical cord to holy Scripture their religion becomes a system without boundaries.
9. Herod became familiar with John before the king had him beheaded. That's why he wants to see Jesus in person. If Jesus is indeed John the Baptist back from the dead, as some people thought, Herod figures he will recognize him.
10a. And I bet the apostles are flying high. I say that because it is fun to help others and they just finished the mission of miracles and preaching designed to help many physically and spiritually in Jesus name.
Life is wasted when there is a constant self focus. Life is enjoyed when it is spent serving others and working to make others happy and holy and especially holy.
10b. There's a time for work and a time for rest. There's a time to kick back and do nothing or maybe do something that you enjoy. Leisure and hard work are both taught in Scripture.
11. The crowds followed Jesus to the deserted place.
People who are hungry for God will go where the word of God is taught even if the surroundings are not pleasant. Hungry souls will go to where the word of God is taught even if that place is a deserted place.
12. It's getting pretty late and no one in the crowd seems to be thinking about leaving. The crowd was too focused on the word of God and the power of God to be concerned about things like food and sleep. But the apostles seem to be concerned.
13a. The apostles approached Jesus and said: do something. Jesus said: no, you guys do something; you feed them. In other words, Jesus told his men to do the impossible.
Whenever the Lord tells you to do something you can't possibly do then you know that you are on the verge of seeing a sample of God's power in and through you.
13. Everything the apostles said about the situation was true; they did only have five loaves and two fish. But the solution that they came up with; the solution they suggested: buy food for about 15,000 people was wrong and foolish. They should have said, Lord we will feed the people because you commanded but you're going to have to provide.
14, 15. The people will be fed but it will not be a free for all. Jesus will bless and provide but will will not be a dog fight for foosd..Christ will not allow that sort of thing. God is in charge of this operation so it will not be done in a haphazard way. It will be done in an orderly way. Jesus and the apostles will feed these people in a manner that is worthy of human beings created in God's image. They're not slopping the hogs, they are feeding the people.
16. Fresh food appeared in Jesus's hands as fast as the apostles could give it away.. Actually faster.
If you have a need God will meet it. If he has to do it by himself through a miracle as he did here and that is what he will do. But one way or another your needs will be met until it is time for you to die.
17. Jesus had a never ending supply of food but he still made the apostles pick up the leftovers.
God has promised to meet our needs but that doesn't give anyone the right to be careless and waste what God has already provided. Part of God's provision includes giving us the wisdom to know how to take care of what we already have.
18. Jesus knew the answer to his question but he wanted his disciples to talk about it. He wanted to discuss the different opinions that people had about him. Discussing what the people were saying would help the disciples clarify their own ideas about Christ.
Talking about a subject can help a person understand it. Talking about personal issues and beliefs is one way to find tune them and helps crystallize them in our minds.
19. No one is saying that Jesus is the only Savior and the son of God. In essence people were saying that he was a godly man similar to other godly men. That of course is very popular today as well. And you won't get into trouble with anyone by saying that Jesus is just one of the ways to heaven, just like many other ways. You will not get into trouble by saying that Jesus was a good man who did nice things for people. However, all of the fury that hell can muster will come against you if you speak the truth and say Jesus is the only way to heaven and all other religions are roads to hell but that's what the Bible teaches and that's what Jesus taught.
20. Peter understood that Jesus was the Christ; he was firm in his belief about that. Of course his firm belief didn't always translate into correct words and actions. However his knowledge of and passion for Christ was an anchor to his soul. It kept him from drifting away from the Savior.
Accurate thinking, correct doctrine, a correct understanding of Scripture keeps us tethered to Jesus. It's not a guarantee that we will be sinless but it will be a constant reminder that he's the only Savior and that we cannot afford to drift away from him, but must quickly return after we sin.
21. This order from Jesus probably didn't make much sense to the apostles at this point. Why keep it a secret? Jesus is God's eternal King; Jesus is the one that God's people have been waiting for for centuries so why keep it a secret? Because Jesus had to deal with issues that they haven't even thought about before he can sit on the throne of Israel and rule the world. Has to deal with issues like dying on the cross to pay for our sins and rising again from the dead three days later and then ascending into heaven and sending the Holy Spirit to indwell Christians who will do his work of evangelism for at least 2000+ years.
Sometimes it's hard to understand why God doesn't do certain things, especially things that seem so biblical. All I can say is: if we were as smart as God then we would do things the same way he is doing them. And you know it wouldn't do any good to tell people that Jesus is Messiah because they had false ideas about the Messiah being in immediate military conqueror and that's just not the way it's supposed to be, at least not yet.
21, 22. It was surprising when Jesus told them not to say anything about who he was. It was shocking when he told them why. He said: I'm not here to sit on a throne; I am here to die.
23. Notice the word daily. Jesus says that if were going to follow him then we have to deny ourselves daily and take up our cross daily. In other words, if need be sacrifice and suffer in order to remain true to Christ. Sacrifice, trials, persecutions, afflictions of one kind or another for the sake of Jesus should be expected and should be accepted without complaint and without sin. Trouble in one form or another is part of the deal that goes with salvation; that goes with doing what is right in the eyes of Christ in a sinful world. Opposition to one degree or another is also part of the deal. True Christians endure it, false Christians quit on Jesus or compromise to the point where for all practical purposes they have quit on him.
24. If you want salvation, if you want Jesus to save you, if you want your soul to escape hell, then you must surrender your life to Jesus. That means repent of all sin, asking to save you, and make him the Lord of your life. That is what it means to lose your life for the sake of Christ. It means turning away from self-will and seeking to do God's will. It means turning from evil to Christ. When one does that then they gained their soul. There is no other way.
25. Someone says: I'm going to live life my way and do what I want to do and no one is going to tell me not to do it. My life is mine! No your life is not yours! We are God's creation; God owns us. Someone says: I do not believe that so I'm going to do things my way; I'm going to get what I can out of this life and do whatever I want to do.
Well, you do have a free will so have at it but according to Jesus you're a fool. No one is getting away from the Lordship of Christ and no one is getting away from the binding nature of holy Scripture and the authority of the Bible. You can't run from it you can't hide from it you can't get away from it by simply refusing to recognize it. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is reality whether you play by his rules or not and if you don't you will suffer because that Lordship is a reality. You either play by God's rules by what is written in the word of God or you will pay the price and it will be bad.
What good is it to live your way even if you get everything you want in this life but then die and go to hell forever because you did not repent and let Jesus Christ take away your sin. That doesn't even make sense; no wonder Jesus said you are a fool if you do that.
Jesus knows that hell is horrible, even beyond your worst nightmare, a never ending horror, a never ending pain, so severe and so painful and so torturous that even if you obtained everything that you wanted in this life including sinful things you could put all the happiness that all those things gave you on a scale and hell on the other side of that scale and what you gain temporarily by living apart from Christ won't even register not even slightly. That's how bad hell is; Jesus says nothing is worth going to hell for!
26. Many will talk about their church or their denomination without embarrassment, but they are embarrassed and ashamed to talk about Jesus himself. Many will proudly say: I'm a Catholic/Baptist/Lutheran/Methodist/whatever, but they will not say I love Jesus or Jesus is my Lord and Savior. There is reproach from the world connected to the name of Jesus Christ because Jesus and his teachings rub this sinful world the wrong way. It is possible to be a proud Baptist or proud Lutheran or Methodist and at the same time be ashamed of Christ. But if someone is embarrassed to be connected to Jesus and embarrassed to live the way he wants them to live then he says he will be embarrassed of them when he returns. In other words it will be their loss on Judgment Day. The Bible says let the redeemed of the Lord say so. It is important to God that we be proud of our relationship with Jesus Christ.
27. Talking about the kingdom of God in its present form, in its spiritual form, namely the church. The apostles, minus Judas, which is why Jesus said some standing here will see the kingdom of God come on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes with power and fills those who belong to Christ.
Of course Jesus may also be referring to his transfiguration which is coming up in eight days and will be a preview of what he will look like when he returns at the end of the church age to set up his earthly kingdom.
28. Peter, James, and John with the fortunate ones who are about to see an amazing miracle that will preview the return of Christ when he comes with all his glory.
29. Jesus's face evidently lit up along with his close and it lit up from the inside out; it was not shining on him from the outside it was shining through him. Jesus became so bright that it was almost blinding to look at him. He was glowing as if he had neon flowing through his veins. The glory of God was covered by his physical body as a rule but here it is allowed to seep through.
30, 31. Moses and Elijah appeared alongside of Christ. Moses and Elijah never knew each other in life because they live centuries apart. But they know each other now and they have known each other for centuries. And here they are talking with Christ hundreds of years after they died physically.
And we learn from this that people do not lose their personal identification when they die. Like Moses and Elijah you will be you forever in addition to that you will meet and get to know people who lived centuries before and perhaps centuries after you and eternity will give us plenty of time to exchange stories. Imagine eavesdropping on a conversation between Pres. Reagan and Pres. Washington which hopefully they will both be there.
32. The three apostles were sort of in that in between state, half awake and half-asleep and they probably didn't know if they were dreaming or really seeing what they seem to be seeing.
33. Moses and Elijah were leaving and Peter suggests that they all stay together on top of that mountain for who knows how long. Peter's suggestion was a nice idea; there wasn't anything wrong with it, but it's not going to happen.
There were several reasons why God said no to Peter suggestion. Moses and Elijah must return to heaven, and Jesus can't stay because he has to eventually die on the cross and pay for our sins. Peter, James, and John also have work to do so they can't stay either.
Sometimes we ask God for nice things and yet he says no and we can't figure out why. When God says no it's because he wants to do something else and he has other plans for us. Sometimes we pray for things, good things, but we don't get them because they're not the correct things.
34. As Peter is speaking making his suggestions suddenly everyone there is covered by a supernatural cloud which contains the presence of God, and the apostles are afraid.
35. God says listen to Jesus. Moses and Elijah were great men of God but God makes a distinction between them and his son Jesus.
As the father told the apostles so likewise we must follow Jesus unconditionally no matter what anybody else may say. The Bible says that we are to be looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. We must follow him and him only unconditionally because he is God. It is not wrong to follow a Moses, Elijah, or any other religious leader as long as they are following Christ. But we should only follow people as they followed Jesus. We should only follow people as they are following the written word of God. No one has the right to expect someone to follow them especially if they are not adhering to Christ themselves.
36. The apostles enjoyed the preview that they just saw and they knew that it would happen someday but at this point they didn't know the road that would get Jesus to that point. The apostles did not understand the cross and the resurrection and the church age and the second coming of Christ. Consequently in Matthew 17 Jesus told them to remain silent about what they just saw and what it pointed to until after the resurrection.
Until we really understand something it is best that we try not to teach it to others especially if it involves God.
37. We see right here one big reason why they couldn't stay on that mountain. Look at all the people who needed our Lord's help; they are waiting for him at the foot of the mountain.
38. This man's son is in trouble and notice how he tells Jesus that he is his only son; perhaps he mentions that hoping the Lord will pity him more. If the father was trying to do that he was wasting his time because Jesus is already full of pity for his people and we can't possibly do anything to invoke more out of him.
One of the un-biblical ideas to come out of the Catholic religion is that God the father in Jesus are all about justice; pretty harsh, meanwhile Mary is all about mercy so we need to approach God through her because although he can evidently resist us he cannot resist his mother. Like one priest told our class when I was little: God is like our father and you know how dads are; sometimes they won't give us what we ask for so we ask our mothers and more often than not they can get dad to give in. He said it's the same with our heavenly father; sometimes we asking for something and he says no so in that case we should ask our mother Mary and she will ask God for us and he's more likely to give in to her request. That statement, and that type of thinking shows an ungodly blasphemous ignorance of the person of God. He doesn't need to be prodded for mercy; he loves us and the Bible says his mercies are new every morning; of course you don't know that if you too busy studying your church teachings or doing other things rather than reading the word of God.
39. Somehow a demon got inside of this boy and it was tormenting him it was throwing him around and beating him from the inside out. The demon was destroying this boy.
The Bible says Satan has come to kill steel and destroy and so whenever you see a person or a group or an organization like the rioters in the streets of America today whose stated purpose and goal is to steal and destroy and in the process kill you know where that's coming from. It's all demonic! It's all demonic just like what this demon is doing to this boy; that's what he specializes in; that's what he loves to do; that's what he lives to do; that's what he inspires others to do. There's no explanation for it it's just evil.
40. Less than a year earlier Jesus gave these men the power to heal and cast out demons in his name and they did it but here they are not doing it. Mark's account tells us why; Jesus said that this demon would only come out if the apostles would fast and pray.
Somehow someway, and for some reason God has decided that he would work in conjunction with our prayers and fasting. Activity in the spiritual realm is put in high gear when God's people pray and fast and the results are seen in the physical realm. Prayer and fasting is the nerve that moves the muscle of God.
41. I don't think it was always easy and pleasant for Jesus to be around people because when it comes to living by faith and living in the Holy Spirit people are hit and miss at best. One second Christians are doing the correct thing and the next second they're doing something wrong or have a sinful attitude. Of course Jesus was Mr. consistent and he lived in the midst of people even his disciples who were spiritual pogo sticks.
42. The demon saw Jesus the son of God coming so he knew that his time inside of that boy was short. And since demons do not repent this one tried to cram as much evil as he could into the time that he had left. So he gave that boy his best shot but Jesus fixed him up and then given back to his father and I bet they had a good time together.
When people in families allow Jesus to fix them they have a good time together. It's all lost cause to try to find happiness when life is lived apart from the Lordship of Christ. Relationships are strained when Christ is and at the center. Instead of laughter there is bitterness and strife. Instead of good moods there are bad moods. I lived with that garbage growing up and that's one reason I was so happy to find Christ and along with him normal.
43, 44. Everyone was having a good time and then Jesus dropped this bombshell on them. He said I'm going to be betrayed. I guess my question might've been: how is someone going to pull off a betrayal if you know about it ahead of time? Answer: Jesus will allow it to happen so that he can die on the cross and pay for our sins. It's like Jesus said, no one takes my life from me I lay it down of my own free will. Even in his betrayal and death Jesus was Lord. Christ warns his disciples before it happens so that they know he knew about it ahead of time.
45. When the apostles thought about the Messiah their thoughts were: popularity, success, and power. Words like betrayed and murdered did not even enter into their minds and they didn't want to ask Christ about it perhaps they didn't want to appear to be stupid or maybe they were just afraid because it was such devastating news. Either way just let it ride.
46. This was the worst possible time for the apostles to be arguing about which of them would be the greatest. Jesus just announced that he was going to be betrayed and murdered. And at the same time his men are arguing about which of them will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Sinless Jesus, who really is the greatest speaks of his willingness to serve to the point of a horrible death meanwhile the sinful apostles are consumed with thoughts of their own personal greatness.
47. When Jesus realized that their goal was to be the greatest he brought a little child to use as an object lesson.
48. Jesus is saying you men want to be great so I'm telling you how to achieve it right here. Sacrifice and self-denial for the sake of others even those who the world deems unworthy of honor is the path to greatness with God.
Jesus sacrificed and denied self entirely for the sake of unworthy sinners when he died to pay for our sins. Jesus tells us what greatness is but he also modeled it for us.
49. I guess John the apostle was looking for a pat on the back from Jesus. What he will get is a rebuke.
The apostles are called to be spiritual leaders so they need to learn that leadership doesn't mean dictator. John was trying to micromanage someone's spiritual life by telling him he didn't have the right to minister in Jesus name. John was trying to micromanage someone's spiritual life as if he was the Holy Spirit.
50. Jesus says if someone is serving me that him serve me. He doesn't need permission from you or any other human being.
There is no supreme pontiff or Vicar of Christ on earth who has the right to declare the will of God for other Christians. The will of God is discerned through prayer, reading and studying the written scriptures, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Every Christian is unique if someone wants to serve God in a different manner than you and I they don't owe us an explanation. The Lord will judge us all after we die. He's the one who will hear an explanation for what we have done. People are accountable to Jesus.
50. There is no middle ground with Jesus. There is no demilitarized zone in God's war against the devil. It is impossible to remain neutral. If we are not working for Jesus then by default we are helping the enemy. If we are not doing right and promoting right and supporting right then we are doing wrong.
There's no such thing as taking a hands-off approach when it comes to the matters of right and wrong. If something is biblical you take a stand for it and you support and promote it, and When you do you're on the side of Jesus.
If something is unbiblical, if something compromises the word of God, if something is clearly acquiescing to the popular sins of this day while trying to sound Christian it is opposed to God and if you support it or say nothing or do nothing to oppose it then you are helping it, you are hurting the cause of Christ.
The apostle should be happy for Jesus sake that there was another person doing good and helping someone who needed help in the name of Jesus.
51. Jesus had an appointment with the Cross down in Jerusalem and he is determined to get there on time.
The best way to handle things that we must do is to begin as soon as possible and remain steadfast until the job is done and that is especially true with unpleasant things but Jesus was about to experience.
52. The shortest route between northern Israel where Jesus was in Jerusalem and the South were Jesus was going was to go through the middle section of Israel called Samaria. Jesus sent a couple of his men ahead of him into Samaria to prepare the people there for a short visit.
53. There was a spiritual and social rift between the Jews and Samaritans. The Samaritans were not pure blooded Israelites; they were a mixed race. Consequently, the Israelites hated the Samaritans and the Samaritans hated the Israelites right back.
And since it appeared as if the Jews were open to Christ and since Jesus was obviously a full-blooded Israelite the Samaritans figure that they would be closed to Christ. "Jesus, since you are going down to Jerusalem by the Jews we will not welcome you here in Samaria." Of course they can be that way if they want, but they are only hurting themselves. Their bitterness toward the Jews and their rejection of Christ will only hurt themselves. Their attitude was, will show you Jesus we won't receive you! How do you like that? And I'm sure Jesus did not like it, not because he needed their approval or friendship but because they needed him to stay outta hell and he knew that.
Neither Jesus nor those who belong to him will lose any sleep in eternity over those who reject him to the damning of their own soul. You do that than it's on you and you alone will suffer and you alone will regret it because no one else is going to be thinking about you. The memory of the wicked shall rot.
54. I'm not sure, but I think maybe, just maybe, the disciples let the power Jesus gave them go to their heads. They suggest that dropping a few lightning bolts on the Samaritans would be the correct thing to do. They don't want you Jesus so let's incinerate them!
It's a good thing people are not God and it's good thing that God doesn't always do what people want him to do because people can be very cruel. Others come in a time when they will experience the fire of God's wrath; the literal fire of God's wrath right now is the day of grace so God is giving them time to repent.
55. To put it bluntly Jesus said that's a stupid idea! You don't know what you're talking about; of course were not going to blast them with lightning and incinerate them!
By the way, implicit in our Lord's rebuke is the instruction for Christians to accept rejection. Except it, expect it, absorb it, and don't get revenge because of it. Just continue doing what you know God wants you to do. If someone rejects the word of God or us because we live it then that's their business; that's between them and God. There's no point in getting angry at them. Just leave them be; God will deal with them at the proper time.
56. The Samaritans rejected Christ consequently Jesus moved on to a different place.
Today is the day of salvation not the day of God's wrath. Christians are instruments of God's grace not God's wrath. If someone rejects you because they reject the word of God and Jesus just leave them be and move on to someone else.
57. Sounds great! Many would hear a strong positive statement like that and they would automatically believe him. Not only would they believe him; many would count on him to do what he said. Jesus was not that naïve.
58. Jesus wants to make sure that this man doesn't have an idealistic view of what it means to follow Christ. He says following me will get you into trouble, it's not going to be pleasant. Following me means you're going to be uncomfortable sometimes. Jesus is asking the man if he is willing to put up with difficulties because of his connection to Christ because he may have to do that.
According to Jesus Christians must live with the attitude that following him and living for him is worth more than anything, any comfort, any entertainment, any security, and any sin that the world may offer.
59. Believe me his father's corpse wasn't at home riding and waiting to be buried. His father wasn't even dead yet. What the man is saying is: sure Jesus I will follow you, a little later. He is saying I will follow you someday after my father dies. Someday I will do what you want me to do. Someday I will submit to the truth.
60. The command to this man was follow Christ now. "Yes, but first" was the wrong response from this man. Either we want to follow Christ or we don't. But to be a true follower of Jesus we must want to do it unconditionally. The son of God demands complete loyalty starting now. Nowhere in the Bible does God say give out the truth a little later; teach the word of God a little later; hold back the truth now tell it the way it is a little later; except the truth when you get a chance, when you feel like it, a little later. With God the time to do the correct thing is now.
61.. Christ cannot hang around and wait for this man to go home and straighten things out before he follows him which is what he wanted Jesus to do. This man wanted to do God's will but he wanted to do it on his own schedule not God's.
Satan usually doesn't tell people to never do the correct thing. It works much better when he tells them to do it later.
62. In other words Jesus is saying don't put off getting saved; don't put off following him. If the Christ reject or dies today and God says why didn't you receive my son it would not do any good for him to say well I was planning on it but there were a few other things that I wanted to do first.
There is a reason that God says today is the day of salvation and it includes the fact that no one is guaranteed a tomorrow. Repenting and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should be top priority for everyone right now this second the moment you hear the gospel. Until that is taking care of nothing else matters much because if one dies without Christ looking to go to hell and they'll never get out.
1. Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to die but he wasn't slowing down his ministry. If anything he was increasing his efforts to get out the word of God by commissioning 70 disciples to preach along with him. Jesus isn't worried about the cross he is concerned about getting the word of God out as much as he can to his many as he can while he can.
Jesus said let tomorrow worry about itself each day has enough trouble of its own, so that is what he is doing. He is focusing on the now and when his crucifixion arrives he will focus on that when it happens.
We don't have what it takes to focus on tomorrow's problems today so we shouldn't even try. Trying to deal with tomorrow's problems today lessons our ability to deal with today's problems today.
2. Notice the command to pray. They were told to go and they were told to go prayerfully. Our going and are doing will be better if we pray over are going and doing.
2. The unemployment rate in the kingdom of God is 0%. The only people who are not working in his kingdom are those who choose not to work. Got his plenty of work for all his children; of course it is faith work. In this: payday does not fully come until we receive our rewards in heaven. Nevertheless there is much work that needs to be done. Jesus says there is a big spiritual harvest out there and God needs workers to bring it in.
Someone says I'm not concerned; if they are meant to be saved they will be saved. Will Jesus was concerned or he would not have said pray for spiritual workers.
3. In other words it's going to be dangerous.
Going all out for Christ and preaching the pure word of God will get the attention of the world and also of the devil and neither one of them will like it. Jesus experience that himself and he warns preachers and all faithful Christians ahead of time that they will experience some of that as well.
3. Someone says, I do something for Jesus but there are other things I would rather do with my time; you know fun things. Of course you would, most would. But what does that have to do with anything? Jesus never said that we should only serve him when it is easy and he never said that it would be easy. In fact Jesus said that serving him would make us like lambs among wolves.
4. Jesus wants his disciples to travel light and fast. There's no time to prepare and no time to delay and no time to horse around. The Bible teaches rest and recreation, but it doesn't teach that a lifetime of useless conversation and useless activity is acceptable because it is not; it's a waste of life and a waste of time. There's a place for fun and games when God allows it, but it isn't right for a Christian to fill their life with fun and games or have fun and games and recreations and vacations etc. govern your schedules and your priorities. God has only given us a certain amount of time here on earth and a limited amount of resources and God's people will be judged as to how they use them.
5. In other words give everyone an opportunity to receive Christ. Don't count anyone out. Some people may look like they are unlikely prospects but God looks at the inside not the outside and you can see the inside so don't count them out until they reject the word of God. Jesus is give them my word and see if they will receive it.
6. Very important: Jesus tells his disciples that if there greeting of peace in his name is received than they should stay. If it is not received than they should leave. In other words, Christ is saying, don't try to force yourself and don't try to force me on anyone. Just give them the word and let the people make up their own mind and whatever they decide leave them be.
7. In other words, the disciples and all who preach the word of God should be compensated for their work, for their teaching. The Bible teaches that the worker is worthy of his pay by the one who benefits from their work. It should be that way in every area of life. On the other hand Jesus makes it clear that his preachers must be content with whatever they are given. They shouldn't jump from house to house looking for the best meal or the softest bed.
8. Jesus is saying: if someone is interested in me and in the word of God and they invite you to supper and they serve something like liver or head cheese then gag it down if you have to and make sure you do with a smile on your face. In other words Jesus doesn't want Christians to offend people who are on the way to hell and may be open
to the message of salvation. If the word of God offends people that's their problem. If we as Christians are in sensitive and offensive ourselves then that's our problem. Never hold back the clear teaching of God's word out of fear of offending someone; if they're offended by the word of God that's the offense of the cross there offended at God and there's nothing you can do about it. But never be rude or offensive yourself that's inexcusable for Christian.
9. In this world one must travel to get to a kingdom or a country but that's not the case with the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is always near anyone who wants to get in. Actually it's only a prayer away. If you pray Lord Jesus save me and be the Lord of my life and are sincere then you will immediately enter into the kingdom of God.
10. One thing is certain: some people will reject Christ and since Jesus says: narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it, I would say most will reject Christ. Jesus did not say in verse 10 "if the message about me which you preach should by some chance ever be rejected." Jesus did not say "if"; he said "when".
10, 11. The disciples are to get the final word before they walk away from those who reject Jesus. In essence they are to say: you are rejecting the Savior and that's your business but the truth is still the truth which means that in spite of your rejection Jesus is still Lord and you will suffer the wrath of God for ever for rejecting him; we just thought you should know what you are doing.
11. In other words you can reject salvation through Jesus but the plan of salvation does not change. God does not adjust his plan of salvation to suit the likes of sinners who reject his son. Reject Jesus Christ if you choose but the kingdom of God remains near and the entrance remains the same.
12. Sodom was destroyed by God because of their sin. They were so bad that the Lord wipe them off the face of the earth. It doesn't take a spiritual genius to figure out that those people will be in trouble on judgment day. But Jesus says that it will be much worse for the people who reject the son of God that it will be for even the people who lived in Sodom.
Opportunity increases accountability and makes one more culpable for their sin in the process.
13. Korazin and Bethsaida had witnessed many miracles. Jesus spent much time teaching and doing miracles in those cities which gave them plenty of opportunity to repent and follow Christ. However since they didn't repent all that special attention they received made their sin more vile and hideous to God. Jesus said that if others would have been given even a measure of the truth they received those others would've repented.
The patience of God that gives sinners chance after chance to repent leads to worse punishment for those who continue in their sin.
14. Again, the more truth one rejects in this life the worse their punishment will be in hell.
There are different degrees of punishment in hell just as there are different degrees of rewards for God's people in heaven.
15. Capernaum was privileged to be the adopted hometown of Jesus. Which is why some of the worst places in hell are reserved for Christ retractors like those who lived in that city. The people of Capernaum squandered a lot of truth; they sinned against a lot of spiritual light.
16. If someone rejects you because you live for Jesus or of someone rejects made for preaching the word of God we must not take it personally. I don't want anyone to reject Christ or the word of God but since some will and that's their business I'm not going to fret over it. I don't like it when someone rejects me because I teach something that is clearly biblical but I have learned to live with it.
Christ rejecting sinners aren't really rejecting those of us who proclaim and live the word of God they are rejecting the spirit of Jesus who lives in us. We just experienced the overflow a small fragment of what the Holy Spirit feels each time people reject the word of God and continue in their sin.
17. A police officer's badge is bigger than any criminal. A criminal may be bigger, smarter, and more wealthy than the officer but that badge represents the authority of the state and therefore that criminal better submit or the justice system which is much bigger than him will make him pay.
Likewise demons are stronger and smarter than Christians but the name of Jesus is our badge and the power of Jesus protects us. The Bible says no weapon formed against us will prosper. The Bible says when the enemy comes in like a flood God will lift up a standard against it. The Bible says we are more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength. The devil would kill us if he could but he can't and the devil can only outwit us when we live by our feelings instead of the word of God.
18. While the 70 were preaching the word of God and casting out demons Jesus saw a vision. In his vision he saw the devil fall from his place of victory. In other words, he saw Satan getting a beating.
The word of God pushes back evil like a lamp pushes back darkness. When the word of God is taught occult activity lessons and commitment to Christ increases. Where the word of God is taught people stop doing bad things and start doing good things. Where the word of God is taught people who once served sin and Satan stop and begin to serve Jesus. The devil is unable to stop the power of God's word when it is proclaimed clearly and boldly without apology. Every time the Bible is proclaimed Satan, to some degree, falls from his place of victory.
19. The 70 angered the devil by teaching the word of God and casting out all his associate devils. They were ruining his efforts to kill and destroy. That's what the Bible does when it is declared with boldness and clarity; it ruins the devil's efforts to kill and destroy; it pushes back darkness and brings light and holiness at least to a remnant of people.
The devil would have killed all 70 of those disciples just like he would kill anyone who teaches the Bible today if he could but he can't. The Bible teaches that God protects his people until their work on earth is done.
20. The most important thing in the greatest blessing for Christians is that we will not suffer in hell. It is good to live for God and to be an effective servant of God but nothing is better than remembering that because of Jesus we are saved from hell.
Jesus says: remember your names are written down in heaven. Good things happen when we remember that we are saved through Christ.
Some churches are very legalistic thinking that rules are the way to holiness but actually the way to holiness is to remember that Christ has saved us from hell and we don't deserve any of it. If we remember that then doing right for God will come naturally.
21. Some people are too smart for their own good. Some people think they know better than God's word. If something in the Bible doesn't make sense to them they either rationalize it away or twisted to fit their own thinking rather than simply accepting it as true.
Intelligence is a gift from God and like any other gift it is a blessing if it is under the Lordship of Christ and submitted to the authority of God's word. Intelligent Christians can serve the Lord in wonderful ways. But intelligence is a problem when people trust in it more than they do in Scripture. Accepting the plain truth of God's word is the important thing. Accepting the parts that we cannot understand is also important. Jesus is blessed that God reveals truth to those who simply accept his word. We don't have to figure something out before we can believe it's true or be blessed by it.
I don't understand all the physics behind gravity but I believe it and I'm glad that I don't go floating off into outer space. We may not be able to comprehend everything God says but we can accepted as truth because our father has said it. That is the way God wants us to believe him. Except it, believe it, because God has said it; that's good enough reason right there.
22. Jesus reveals the truth about God to Christians. Jesus teaches Christians things about God that no one else knows and consequently we are able to learn things about our Creator that no one else knows. The closer we are to Christ the better we understand God because the smoother the communication is between him and us.
23. The disciples were the 12 most privileged people to ever live on planet Earth because they knew the son of God personally and lived with him for over three years. They were eyewitnesses to all the tremendous miracles he did such as combing the raging storms, walking on the water in the midst of one of those storms, healing the sick, giving sight to blind, healing paralytic's, curing the incurable disease of leprosy, raising people from the dead, and multiplying bread and fish to feed thousands from a little boy's launch. Jesus did so many miracles that they lost count but they were there and they experienced it all. And here Jesus wants them to step back and think about just how blessed they have been.
It is good to step back and look around at all the good things God has done for us. One of the best spiritual exercises we can do is count our blessings.
24. God's people in Old Testament days understood from the Bible that he would send a Savior. Consequently generation after generation waited and hoped but eventually died without ever seeing those promises come to pass. The disciples were blessed because they were alive to see it. Jesus is reminding them of how blessed they have been.
It is good to focus on the good we have rather than the things we wish we had. If we spend too much time thinking about the things we would like to have we squandered the good times we could be having with the things that God has given us.
25. The premise of this man's question is completely wrong. His question revealed a problem in his thinking and in his theology and that's the first thing that needs to be corrected. He believes that a person can get right with God by being good enough. He's wondering how good he has to be and how many good things he has to do in order to be right with God.
26. The man's question was: what good things must I do to inherit eternal life? Our Lord's initial answer is what does the law of God say? In other words, what does the Bible say?
If there is a question about right and wrong behavior or how to get to heaven the answer is found in holy Scripture.
27. The man answered correctly as we will see in the next verse. If he is going to work his way to heaven; if he is going to be good enough to work his way into a right standing with God that he must give God his absolute, total, undivided obedience at all times, without failing, not even wants. Not only that, he must be devoted to the welfare of others as much as he is devoted to his own welfare.
And that my friends is how you get right with God by your own works. You serve God perfectly all the time without ever committing one sin without ever making one single mistake not even a little one, and you always love your fellow man as much as you love yourself without failing even one time. If you do those two things to absolute perfection from the day that you were born until the day that you die you will certainly earn a place in heaven.
28. The man specifically asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered that specific question. If you want to go that route; if you want to be good enough then you must keep God's law perfectly.
29. He's trying to water down the answer that Jesus gave. I don't think he liked our Lord's answer because it was pretty strict; it was pretty narrow. Being absolutely perfect at all times is a very narrow road to walk. He didn't like our Lord's answer because he knew he could not perform that answer. Consequently he wants Jesus to give him a little bit of wiggle room; he wants Jesus to give him a more narrow definition of the word neighbor so that he can say oh yes I love my neighbor as myself.
30. The question was: who is my neighbor? Well, Jesus answers by telling a story about a man who was attacked, beaten, robbed, and left to die.
31. You would expect more from a priest. It seems as if this priest wanted to pretend that he didn't even see the poor man so he walked by on the other side of the street. But it's too late because he did see him and he sinned because he did not help. This man, this priest did not love his neighbor as himself.
So, if this man who asked Jesus the question hasn't always helped someone who had a need of any kind that he has not loved his neighbor as himself. If he has ever failed to give aid and support to anyone who needed it in any way he has not loved his neighbor as himself and he has failed to earn his salvation.
32. The Levites were assistance to the priests in Old Testament days. I suppose this Levite was very religious, but his religion did not do them any good because he didn't love his neighbor as himself either. Like the priest, he wasn't good enough to earn his way into heaven. If this was the only time that he ever failed to love his neighbor as himself he has been permanently disqualified from earning his way into heaven.
33. The Jews despised the Samaritans because of their religious beliefs which were a mixture of Judaism and paganism. But this goodhearted Samaritan did what the two men who had the holy Scripture didn't do but should've done.
Many issues of right and wrong, common courtesy, and common decency are built in knowledge even to those who do not know Christ. If a Christian doesn't do those things there are plenty of unsaved people in this world who know that's wrong and who will think why should I be a Christian? I don't need what they have if their beliefs don't make them good people.
It is sad but true that some unsaved people have better manners and often behave better than others who call themselves Christians.
34. This Samaritan was obviously headed somewhere on his journey. But instead of going where he was going he took this man to the nearest in and took care of him.
Loving our neighbor as ourselves sometimes means that our good plans must be canceled or delayed in order to help someone who needs that help right now.
35. This kind soul told the innkeeper to take care of the poor fella and he said put it on my bill. It is clear that this Samaritan regarded his time, energy, and wealth to be instruments used to help others. He loved his neighbor as himself, at least in this situation.
36. They were all strangers but which one was neighborly? Which man loved his neighbor as himself?
37. The man asked: who is my neighbor? In essence Jesus's answer was: everyone.
Which neighbor am I supposed to love, be good too, and help all the time just as much as I love, am good to, and help myself? Answer: anyone who needs it at any time in any place wherever you might be. That's loving your neighbor as yourself.
By the way, loving our neighbor does not have anything to do with having warm feelings toward them. Feelings may, or may not be there, but it is clear that loving our neighbor means being good to them. If we haven't done that every single time there was opportunity that we have fallen short of God's glory and it is impossible for us to earn our way into heaven because we've already disqualified ourselves by not being perfect. Now, that truth will drive an honest, humble sinner to Jesus for mercy, forgiveness and salvation.
38. The village was Bethany. Bethany was 2 miles from Jerusalem. Jesus is getting close to the place where he will die.
39. Mary loved the word of God and consequently she loved Jesus. The more you are in God's word the more you will love Jesus and the more you love Jesus the more you will love to be in his word so that you can listen to him teach. That was Mary she loved listening to Jesus teach; she hung on every word he spoke.
40a. It was Martha's home so it would be her responsibility to see that Jesus was comfortable and fed, but we will see that she was overdoing it. She was doing so much that she didn't have time for the most important thing which was to spend time with Jesus. Spending time with Jesus is why he was there in the first place.
Just because something is productive, or good doesn't mean that it is what God wants you to do. And it's definitely not what God wants you to do if it keeps you from spending quality time with him in prayer and in the word of God.
40. Martha has really stepped over the line now. She is being disrespectful to Christ. She has allowed herself to become so busy, so overloaded with things to do that she has become frustrated and even angry at Jesus.
A person steps over the line when they think that they have the right to be angry, or frustrated at God.
41. Martha was all worked up over things that really didn't matter.
A responsible person will have concerns, but worry is concern times infinity and worry is sin and to worry about things that are not even essential is not only sinful but it is foolish. That's what Jesus is getting at here.
Some things are important. Some things should be a concern. But all Christians should choose their battles, all things are not equally critical; all things are not worth being overly concerned about.
42. Jesus says that only one thing is really needed. From that it is clear that many things we would like our wrongly referred to by us as needs; many times wants are confused with needs. People convince themselves that their desires, what they would like, are actually needs, and then they worry themselves sick because they don't have them. However, the one really essential thing, the one thing that we really need is to know Christ by receiving him as Lord and Savior followed by spending time with him in the word of God in prayer. If we know Christ, and spend time with him, and put him first, then he will take care of all of our needs.
1. The apostles want to pray like Jesus; they want to be like their Lord.
If Jesus is our Lord than we want to be like him in any way possible. People want to be like those they admire most. If we admire Jesus the most then we will strive to be like him and feel terrible whenever we fail.
The apostles were used to seeing Jesus pray and so they wanted to pray like him as well.
2a. God is our father if we are Christians. Jesus was talking to his followers when he use the word our father. God is everyone's creator but not everyone's father. He is the father of the Angels and of Adam because they are his direct creation. He is the eternal father of the eternal son Jesus, and God is also the father of Christians who have been born again by the Spirit of God and adopted into his family through their faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus said that God is our father and of course God the father is a good one; he acts the way a father should act. He gives us what we need but he will never cave into our feelings and give us what isn't good for us. God is our wise heavenly father so he will put our spiritual needs before anything else. God is our father; he is our good father. A good father is always there to listen, guide, and help and that's the kind of father we have in heaven.
2b. "When ye pray, say, our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Top priority: never forget that God is holy. Never forget that God is God and always respect him as God. He most definitely is our loving heavenly father but he is also God our Creator and Lord and judge and he is holy. He is our heavenly father but the Bible also says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God. He is our father but God is God and you better believe it! God is not one of the boys and he's not the man upstairs. The angels in heaven fall on their faces before God and cry out holy holy holy and Christians need to remember that.
2c. Jesus tells us to pray: thy kingdom come.
We are to pray for God's kingdom to come. In other words, pray for lost souls to be saved from hell. Pray that people will repent and turn to Christ. Pray that God's kingdom will come into the hearts of people and pray for the return of Christ in the setting up of his literal kingdom on earth as well.
2d. Jesus says pray: thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
When it comes to praying for God's will to be done on earth it should begin with us in mind. In other words we should pray: God help me to be in your moral will every moment of this day. God if I am sinning show me and by your grace help me to repent. It is God's will for his children to behave like his children should so when we pray that I will be done that's where it must begin.
"Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." God's sovereign will, his permissive will is being done on earth but his perfect will is not being done. God does not like many of the things that are happening in the world today. It is our responsibility as Christians to pray for things that we know are good so that the world will operate the way God wants it to operate. As you pray keep in mind that our prayers are not primarily to ask for what we want but rather to seek out through God's word and discover what God wants and then pray that those things come to pass. There is a place to pray for what we want but it's not the primary thing in prayer, at least it shouldn't be.
3. There's nothing wrong with having a freezer full of food and money in the bank. However, God still wants us to pray that we would have enough of whatever we need for today and be content if that is all we have. By the way, even if we do have extra food and money God still wants us to pray for our needs to be met day by day. Disaster could strike and in an instant everything that we have could be gone. Whether we realize it or not no matter how much we have we are still dependent on God day by day for our needs to be met.
4a. Jesus says pray "forgive us our sins." Confession is what he's talking about; don't forget to confess your sins when you pray in fact that's the first thing that you should do because if you have unconfessed sins in your life as a Christian God will not hear your prayers. And speaking of confession never run from God after you have sinned no matter how terrible you may feel about what you have done. God wants you to run to him not away from him. He wants you to run to him and confess your sin. He will not hold your sins against you, he will forgive you through Jesus Christ every time you sincerely confess and that's what he wants to do and that's what he wants you to do. More than anything else Almighty God wants us sinning Christian to get a fresh start with a clean slate and that only happens through confession.
4b. Jesus says "pray forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us." We will all be offended at some point. Being offended is inevitable, but being bitter over that is inexcusable. Forgive those who hurt you; that is what Jesus taught.
We have committed many more sins against God than anyone could possibly commit against us and yet God still forgives us when we confess so it is the height of sinful arrogance for Christians to hold a grudge after being forgiven so much by God. In fact by refusing to forgive, by holding a grudge, Christians are suggesting that they are more important than God who so freely forgives them every time they confess.
4c. Jesus says "pray lead us not into temptation." Now Christ is not saying that God will tempt us to do evil unless we ask him not to. The Bible teaches that God does not tempt anyone to do evil, ever. Jesus is saying: pray that God will direct your life away from those things and those people that will tempt us to sin. In other words, Lord don't allow me to be exposed to anything that I cannot handle and actually in first Corinthians he promises that he won't. God promises that with every temptation he provides his people away to escape so that they can avoid the sin.
4d. Jesus said pray "deliver us from evil." In other words, pray that God will protect you from the devil.
We learn from the Bible that the best way to defeat Satan and his demons is not to talk to them or scream at them or rebuke them or cast them into some pit or any other such nonsense that God never tells us to do. The best way to defeat Satan and his demons is to talk to God about them, is to pray to God about them and ask God to defeat them. That's illustrated by what the Archangel Michael did. He wouldn't confront Satan himself but instead called on the Lord to rebuke him. Remember the story about the man's son who was possessed by devils? Do you remember that Jesus said that that devil wouldn't come out except by prayer and fasting. We need to talk to God and ask for his help when battling Satan and his demons.
5,6. Notice that the man was not asking for food for himself. It was for someone who came to his house. This was not a selfish request. According to the book of James unselfishness carries some weight when we pray; unselfishness is always good when praying. This man desire to help someone who had a need.
7. This man pounds on his neighbors door and says can you help me I need some food? The neighbor answered and said I can't rise and give it to you. And of course that's not exactly true; he was not paralyzed he was not pinned to the bed with the weight on his chest. He could do it; he just didn't want to do it. He didn't want to do it because it wasn't convenient.
Many times people say I can't when what they should be saying is I don't feel like it. People today put too much of an emphasis on their feelings. Their feelings control them more than the word of God. They would rather go with their feelings then go with what is right. And then to top it off instead of being honest and just saying I don't feel like it, I'm a lazy bum, I'm a selfish ungodly human being so I'm not going to do what is right; instead of being honest they say I can't. You can but you won't because you love yourself more than you love God. You can but you won't because you don't want to hurt your precious little feelings. And I don't care if it's a man or woman if it's a Christian it's inexcusable. People sin because they go with their feelings instead of truth.
8. The only thing worse than getting out of bed when you're comfortable and tired is laying there trying to ignore the alarm. In this man's case the only thing worse than getting out of bed is laying there listening to his friend continue to pound on the door and beg for food. So the man will reluctantly get up and help his neighbor not because he cares but because he is selfish.
If someone who lacks compassion can be talked into helping when it's not convenient than how much more will God who loves you answer your prayers?
9. In other words, Jesus is saying be persistent in prayer. It's not that God is hard of hearing or that he loves to hear his children plead; he's not that kind of God. God doesn't need our persistent prayer; we need to pray persistently. We need that time spent with God in prayer and while the words that we use are important I believe the most important thing about prayer is that we are spending time with God and that's always good for our soul.
God hears and answers prayer so that's a good reason to pray. But beyond that, the very act of praying has all sorts of spiritual benefits for us. God draws us closer to him when we pray and that makes us stronger. The more we pray thee closer to God we will be.
10. Don't beat around the bush with God. Ask for what you need, if it's right then he will give it to you; if it isn't right don't worry about it just trust God and learn to live without it.
11, 12. No decent father whatever knowingly give his child something that would hurt him. No decent father would ever say no to a child who asked for something that they really need.
God is a good father to us. When we pray we should keep in mind that God our father loves us and wants to give us the good things that we ask for but he will not give us things that will hurt us no matter how much we may want them.
13. Our Lord's honesty reminds me of the honesty of a child. Jesus says: if you, being evil!
God loves people even though their sin makes them evil. Jesus loves us and died for us even though we are evil. Keep in mind that Christ wasn't talking to 12 Hitler's or 12 killers or 12 drunks; he was talking to his 12 apostles whom he calls evil. God's assessment of the entire human race is that it is evil. Only the infinite love of God can save those who are evil.
Jesus says: if you who are evil are capable of being a decent father then how much more is God a good father? In other words as bad as you are you take care of your children, you do what is best for them. So don't you think that God the father who is perfect will give you all that you need?
13x. The Holy Spirit is mentioned because if you have the Holy Spirit in you then you have the source of everything that you will ever need.
If you're saved your indwelt by the Holy Spirit who is Almighty God and so God is in you, at your side 24 hours a day, forever! God the Holy Spirit is in you; he's your roommate; he shares your house; he shares your body; he gives you power to do what is right in the eyes of God; he gives you the strength to say no to sin; he knows what you need any praise to God for those needs to be met and he often inspires us to pray for those things that he knows we need and that God will say yes to.
14. Not every physical problem is caused by a demon but some are. This guy could not talk until Jesus got rid of the demon who was the cause of his problem.
15. Well that's a brilliant conclusion! Some people were determined to believe the absolute worst about Jesus Christ whether there was any evidence to back it up or not. They had their minds made up; they hated him and normal to evidence of the Lord's goodness would change their mind.
Some people's biases are evident to everyone except themselves.
16. In other words, do a miracle Jesus and we will believe in you. There's no way that Jesus could possibly do a miracle that would convince these people if the massive number of miracles that he has already done didn't do the job. Do a miracle? What's wrong with the countless miracles that have already done? What was lacking in those amazing miracles that didn't remove your doubt?
17. These words of Christ are his response to the accusation in verse 15 that he cast out demons by the power of the devil. You don't have to be a spiritual giant to figure out that that doesn't make any sense at all. A man and a woman who cannot agree on important matters are asking for trouble if they get married. If two people don't get along then by all means do not form a partnership of any type. When there's infighting on the team there won't be enough unity to beat the opponent.
17, 18. Let's see, Satan puts demons into people because he wants the demons to make their life miserable. Jesus gets the demons out of the people so that they will not be miserable anymore. What type of stupid logic concludes that Satan and Jesus are partners? There's no logic to that. There's no logic to any un-biblical thinking; it makes no sense; God's word makes sense; thinking that is in line with holy Scripture makes sense; thinking that is contrary to Scripture is foolish and if you act on it you will destroy whatever it is you're dealing with.
19. In other words, if casting out demons is the work of the devil then your exorcist friends are partners with the devil also. Jesus is saying: if it's true for me than is true for them and if you keep talking like that then your exorcist friends are going to judge you as being out of your mind.
Lies never make as much sense as the truth for anyone with half a brain that is.
20. These accusers of Christ have a choice. They can say that anyone, including their friends, who cast out demons are of the devil. Or they can admit that casting out demons is the work of God which means that Jesus is doing the work of God. They don't like those two choices but they're not getting a third one.
21. If you sit on your front porch with a loaded shotgun no one will try picking the lock on your front door. They wouldn't dare do something so foolish. If you are strong enough chances are you won't have to use your strength because strength deters evil.
21, 22. It is not always a good thing but in this world strength usually rules. If you have a gun you can take what belongs to me if I'm unarmed.
Strength rules. The good news is: Jesus is stronger than the devil and that's why he rules over Satan and that's how he was able to rescue those who Satan had been possessing and abusing. That's how he snatches souls out of the kingdom of darkness today and translates them into the kingdom of heaven. God can do that because he stronger than the devil; preachers do that also when they proclaim the word of God because that also is stronger than the devil.
The word of God is more powerful than all the forces of darkness combined; it will not come back to God empty. If you want to be set free from hell the word of God will do it if you respond to it correctly. If you don't want to be set free from hell than the word of God will give you an opportunity, an opportunity you don't take advantage of but that's on you not on the word of God the word of God is still more powerful than Satan and your sin.
If you want to be set free from a sin the word of God is powerful enough to do it if you respond to it correctly; if you don't want to be set free from your sin than the word of God will at least give you an opportunity to do it with you respond correctly or not again that's on you.
23. Again we see that there is no neutral ground in the area of morality; there is no neutral ground when it comes to the war between Satan and God. If we are not helping God and we are hurting him. If we are not helping to get out God's word or praying for things, or doing what he wants us to do, then automatically we are working against him. If we are not living for Jesus then we are living against Jesus.
24. Any devil who is been kicked out of the human body is a miserable devil. For one thing he has lost his punching bag and also his physical connection to this material world. Consequently Jesus teaches that he goes around looking for someone else to enter. He wanders around thinking about the good old days when he was inside that human being he was tormenting. Finally the devil says I'm going back to the man I used to be in; maybe Jesus is gone and maybe I can get back in.
25. The demon returns to the man and he cannot believe his eyes: the man's soul is empty! He allowed Christ to drive the demon out but he didn't repent and replace that devil with Jesus. Consequently he is an empty shell; he is spiritually hollow; there is a vacuum in his soul and just like the natural world abhors a vacuum so does the spiritual realm. Something has to fill that vacuum and if it is in Jesus it'll be a devil.
26. It is clear that although Christ had delivered the man in the story from the devilish source of evil in his life the man's own evil soul has not changed. He was delivered but he never repented and received Christ so now he's an easy target for more devils.
Turning over a new leaf is not good enough. Reformation is not good enough. Getting rid of the bad in your life is not good enough. Nothing short of full repentance which is a turning away from sin and turning to Christ and the resulting regeneration work of the Holy Spirit and infilling of the Holy Spirit can change a sinner into a saint. And those things cannot happen until one first repents and asked Jesus to come into their life to save their soul.
27. In other words, after observing Christ someone said: Jesus, your mother sure is fortunate to have a son like you. And of course that was very true; Joseph and Mary had a perfect son. They lived with God and so they were very fortunate.
The godly are the child the more blessed the Christian parents will be.
28. Jesus is saying that we Christians can have a closer connection with him then the physical connection he had with his mother.
When we pray we make a spiritual connection to our Savior. When we read the Scriptures we make a spiritual connection to our Savior. When we live Scripture we make that connection even tighter. Nothing binds to persons whether they be God in a Christian or to Christians, nothing binds to tighter than a connection in the spirit.
29, 30. God delivered Jonah from the whale's belly which normally would be a person's grave. That miracle gave Jonas preaching God's stamp of approval. Clearly God was with Jonah to deliver him from certain death, from the grave as it were, and that pointed to the fact that God was with Jonah as he preached his message of repentance. That miracle gave the message of God through Jonah the spiritual punch that it needed to make the people sit up and pay attention and they did.
Jesus appeared to hundreds of people after he was raised from the dead. His resurrection was God's stamp of approval on him and on his message. Consequently people would be smart to pay attention to what Jesus says just as the Ninevites paid attention to what Jonah said. In other words, pay attention to what is written in the Bible.
31. The Queen of the South traveled a long wait to hear the word of God through Solomon in here you have these religious rulers who not only had the word of God at their disposal but they had the very son of God as well. As privileged as they were they still didn't care; they couldn't care less that the son of God was right there in their midst. They squandered a greater privilege therefore their judgment will be more severe.
32. The people of Nineveh were rotten to the core but they repented when they heard Jonah preach the word of God. These rulers refused to repent when they heard the word of God from God himself! They were storing up wrath for themselves in the day of God's wrath because of their great privilege and their squandering of it.
33. Every time Jesus did a miracle or spoke the truth of God shined out of him. It is clear that Jesus was not trying to hide his identity. That's not why he refused to do another miracle for these people.
No one covers a light in Jesus wasn't trying to cover his identity. He already displayed plenty of light, they just willfully close their eyes to that light because they love their spiritual darkness. There's not much you can do for people like that; all the Christian can do is what they should do anyway and that's live a righteous life and speak the truth.
34. If your eye isn't working you are in the dark. If your eye isn't working you cannot see where you're going or what you are doing.
Our attitude is like a spiritual eye. The right attitude toward God makes it possible for him to teach us. It's like the word of God says if anyone is willing to do God's will he will know the truth. A willing heart, a humble spirit that will accept the truth gives a person 2020 spiritual vision when it comes to understanding the Bible. The religious leaders were not willing to learn and that's why they were blind. They had a bad attitude so it was impossible for them to learn spiritually they did not have ears to hear and they did not have eyes to see and all because they didn't want them. They'd rather live in darkness and enjoy their sin for a season then be bothered by the truth.
35 in other words, make sure your attitude is right. Make sure you want to know the truth. Make sure you're willing to do what is right when you know that it is right.
36. If you are surrendered to Christ then you will stand out from the rest to the world like lightning shining in a black sky.
Holiness makes us lights of moral sanity in this sin crazy world.
If I'm not a spiritual light than it is because I have been drawn into the world's attitude and I need to get out of it fast because God does not leave Christians here to blend in but to stand out in holiness.
37. Jesus walked in and headed directly to the dinner table.
38. m the washing here didn't have anything to do with getting rid of germs, it referred to a ritualistic washing. By the way, the ritual washings that the Pharisees went through and expected others to follow had nothing to do with the word of God. They were man-made traditions that the Pharisees tried to elevate to the level of God's word.
It shocked the religious leaders when Jesus ignored those washings but he still ignored them. Christ tried to get people to ignore man-made religious teachings and get back to the pure word of God.
It is very important to separate personal convictions from the word of God. Have your personal convictions as long as they don't contradict the Bible but don't try to force those convictions on other Christians and don't try to elevate them to the level of God's written word.
39. As long as the Pharisees appeared to be holy to others they didn't care how filthy they actually were in the sight of God. They cared more about how they looked then how they really were they cared more about how people viewed them then how God viewed them.
Reputation is what people think you are. Character is what God knows you are. The haughty, arrogant religious rulers cared a lot about their reputation and absolutely nothing about their character.
40. God made our bodies and he made our souls. He would like us to take care of our outside because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit but more important than anything he wants us to be good on the inside.
41. Giving is actually a spiritual gauge. What ministries you support reveals what's important to you. Many people support lukewarm water down preaching ministers and churches because that's what appeals to them; they would rather be comfortable than holy; they would rather be cool in the eyes of the world than righteous in their walk with God.
Those who give to ministries that proclaim the clear truth of God's word without compromise show that they love God and love his word and love holiness and want to be right; they're more interested in eternity and God than they are in being accepted by this ungodly sin filled world.
Our giving, our contributions, reveal what is important to us; they truly are a spiritual gauge of our soul. If our attitude is: God, I will let go of whatever you want; I will give you what you want me to give; I will spend my money and whatever you want me to spend it on than that is an indication of a healthy godly Christ loving soul.
If Jesus is the Lord of our money than he is likely the Lord of our entire life.
42. Jesus did not condemn the practice of tithing; he condemned the Pharisees. The Pharisees were frauds and Jesus hated that about them. They were careful to tithe every dime that they had; give the Lord one penny out of every dime not a cent less and not a cent more. If they had 10 grains of pepper it would keep nine and give God one. And they figured that as long as they gave their 10% it didn't matter if they were prideful and unfair in their treatment of others. As long as they gave their 10% they didn't care if they follow their man-made traditions which overshadowed the written word of God. Jesus said you were right to give 10% of your income but that 10% doesn't buy you a license to sin.
People who tithe and think that that gives them a license to be spiritually lukewarm in other areas are giving out of obligation and not from their heart and God doesn't want it and he doesn't like it and it means absolutely nothing to him. There are others who give religiously because they think that God will pay them back in this life; that's what they've been told and that's what they do their top priority is to give without consideration of who their giving to; it's a superstitious form of giving.
Tithing giving and being a good person of character should all be the natural outgrowth of our love for the Savior who died to save us from hell.
43. They loved sitting at the head table at big formal gatherings. In other words, they loved to be flattered especially in public. The religious rulers loved to be the center of attention which is God's rightful place and no one else's. Sinful pride is what motivated them; sinful pride noted everything that they did; they did everything to be seen of men; they love to draw attention to themselves.
Ministers are supposed to draw attention to Jesus not to themselves.
44. According to Old Testament law touching a grave even unknowingly would make a person ritually unclean for seven days. That meant you couldn't attend religious services and offer sacrifices for those seven days. In a sense that person was cut off from God because he stepped on a grave; he had been religiously defiled. Jesus called the Pharisees unmarked graves. That's a good designation for them because people were being separated from God because of them without even realizing it and the reason they were being separated from God is because the rulers were not proclaiming the word of God like they should.
45. I don't know what this religious ruler is waiting for Jesus to do after being told that he offended them. Maybe he expects Jesus to apologize. Maybe he expects Jesus to say while I never would've spoken the truth if I thought it might upset you or anyone else. If that's what he's waiting for that he doesn't know Jesus very well and he's going to be waiting a long time.
No Christian should ever apologize for the word of God. Apologizing for the Bible is like saying you will have to forgive God for being so honest and straightforward; that would be unthinkable and yet that's what many modern preachers do. "Now I don't want to be a Bible banger and I don't want you to think that I'm some kind of a holy Joe but this is what the Bible is saying here and I know it it's not very comfortable but... I've heard way too many modern evangelical preachers talk like that and I get sick to my stomach when I hear them.
46a. Instead of apologizing for offending them with the truth Christ reloads! Jesus loads his spiritual revolver and lets them have it again! Jesus did not say all my fellows perhaps I was too blunt; let me see if I can change the terminology so that it can be more acceptable to you and so the guilt over your sin won't be so hard to live with. No sir! They were feeling exactly what they needed to feel! They were offended by the word of God because they were not living the word of God. They were offended by the word of God because they had been offending God! Consequently Jesus responded by pronouncing a woe on them for not submitting to the Bible. Jesus didn't coddle them; he made them very uncomfortable, but he was the best friend that they had.
No one ever repents until they are made to feel uncomfortable because of their sin by the word of God.
46. In other words, you nearly break the people's backs with your religious rules and regulations and you never do anything to help them out spiritually. These jokers who thought they were so high and mighty were in fact in charge of a legalistic, religious slavery and they were the slave drivers.
Jesus doesn't tell his preachers to whip his sheep. He doesn't tell his preachers to beat his sheep or to load them down with a bunch of rules and regulations. Jesus tells his preachers to feed his sheep. That means teach them the word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts.
47 and our Lord's day the septal occurs of the Old Testament prophets were decorated. I suppose you could compare it to how we in America honor the tomb of the unknown soldier. Some people even built marble monuments for the tombs of the old prophets. The religious leaders also honored the tombs not because they cared about the prophets, not because they agreed with the faithful prophets of old, but because it was such a great photo of op for them.
48. Jesus says to the religious leaders: the tombs you build are monuments to your murderous ancestors more than the prophets who they killed. That's right, the spiritual ancestors or should I say the unspiritual ancestors of the religious leaders who were just as corrupt as they were in the days of the Old Testament prophets killed those faithful prophets of God because they didn't like the word of God any more than the religious leaders of our Lord day liked it. And now Jesus says you haughty religious rulers, because you want a photo op, you make a big deal out of decorating the sepulchers of God's Old Testament prophets, as if you agreed with them, as if you would support them if they were preaching today but you wouldn't; you hypocrite! Jesus says the tombs you build are monuments to your murderous ancestors more than the holy prophets who they killed. Jesus said that because he knew the religious rulers would've killed God's Old Testament prophets just like their ancestors had done; just like they were planning on killing God son and just like they will persecute the apostles after Jesus ascends into heaven.
49. God knew what he was talking about when he predicted in his word: I will send them prophets and apostles but they will chase them away or kill them. God knew that they would reject his word just like he knows many reject his word today but he still wants it to be proclaimed because it is the correct thing to do.
We proclaim the word of God because God commands it. We proclaim the word of God not because it's popular, not because we think we will become popular, not because we think the majority of people will fall in line behind it; no the word of God must be preached because it is the word of God and because God commands it. I want people to be saved from hell and I want people to be sanctified by the word but this is a theocentric universe meaning the primary purpose for all things is to honor God and that would include proclaiming his word.
49-51. Past generations of Israelites paid for their rebellion. Jesus is generation knew that but they didn't learn from it. And after they rejected John the Baptist and killed God's son and his apostles and other Christians they got hit with the wrath of God so hard in 70 A.D. that they still have not recovered from it.
You can back the nation Israel if you want to but you better think long and hard and compare what you're doing to the Bible because they are in rebellion against God; they are guilty of idolatry because they have rejected the son of God and if you back them and you support them simply because God gave a promise to the man Abraham then you are doing what Egypt did in the Old Testament when they supported backslidden Israel and it didn't go well with them and God was not pleased with them. God is not through with Israel but that doesn't mean I'm going to support them in their idolatry. By the way did you know that it is illegal for Christians to proselyte to the Christian religion in Israel? It is.
52. Lawyers in case you haven't figured it out yet does not refer to attorneys at law; it refers to those who were these so-called experts in the Old Testament laws.
The key of knowledge in this verse refers to God's word. The religious leaders removed the key of knowledge. In other words they didn't ban the Bible they actually did something more subtle which probably made it even more dangerous. They turn the Bible into a twisted puzzle that only they could figure out and they really couldn't figure it out but that's what they had everybody believing. They rejected the clear, common sense meaning of God's word, and invented their own perverted meeting. In the process they damn themselves and those who look to them for spiritual guidance.
Preachers who do not proclaim the plain meaning of Scripture hurt those who listen to them.
53. The truth is very simple. The rulers understood the truth that Jesus just spoke. The problem is they hated the truth that Jesus just spoke. They hated truth and that's why they go on the attack against them.
People who do not accept the truth and refused to live the truth often attack those who proclaim the truth. If the religious they say give us a watered-down version of the truth so that we can still claim to be Christians but not take it so seriously as to actually live with the word of God says especially when it's not cool in the eyes of the world; we sure don't want that.
54. Jesus challenged their evil ways and they hated him because of it. Jesus had enough backbone to say you guys are bad you are teaching lies when you should be proclaiming the word of God and only the word of God. Their response? They wanted to kill Jesus.
Take their fancy religious robes and take their pious platitudes and throw them in the dumpster because none of those things make up for their filthy godless heart which was very apparent in the rejection of God's word.
1. Jesus was warning his apostles not to be contaminated with the leaven of the religious rulers. That's talking about their spiritual corruption, their ungodly ways, their phoniness, and their false teaching that contradicted Scripture.
The religious leaders put on a good show; outwardly they looked pious but inwardly they were filled with moral and spiritual corruption and therefore dangerous to anyone who would follow them.
Don't allow your soul to be damaged by exposing it to spiritual and moral rot and by false teaching. Do not allow bad people to rub off on you because they will. When Christians tolerate false teaching and spiritual and scriptural and moral compromise they are opening themselves up for deception and spiritual corruption and don't think it won't happen to you and don't think that you are somehow above it or a immune to it and don't think that you will not be affected by it because you know so many people who go along with it. That won't matter; that won't make any difference; it doesn't matter how many people are for that which is wrong in the end it is still wrong in God will not be mocked.
2. In other words, people can't hide who they are forever. People cannot run from the judgment that awaits those who compromise with false teaching forever. Everyone's true character is eventually exposed. The evil, the unscriptural nonsense, the moral compromise that you turned a blind eye to will eventually catch up to you. Everyone's true character and the bad that they accepted will eventually be exposed. That goes for people like the Pharisees also who hid their corrupt hearts behind the religious mask.
3. Christ is saying: you can't be one way in private and another way in public and hope to get away with it forever. Hypocrisy is exposed! In other words you might as well be genuine because the truth is coming out anyway.
We might as well do things God's way because in the end that's the only way that will be blessed; that's the only way that will not be punished.
4. Christ is saying: do not be afraid of people, do not be afraid of any human being no matter what they are capable of doing to you because what ever they are capable of doing to you is only in this life. People can kill your body but there is something much worse than being physically dead as we will see. Jesus tells his children: do not fear people.
The Bible says the fear of man is a snare. Don't fear people! If you fear people you won't fear God! If you fear people then you are wide open to compromise with evil just to keep bad people happy. Some professing Christians are so enamored with the world and so bound and determined to be acceptable in the eyes of not just the unsaved but just as dangerous lukewarm modern evangelicals and so they compromise with false doctrine and they compromise a little bit here and a little bit there just to get along and in the process alienate themselves from Christ.
4, 5. Fear God because he will send all who refuse to repent and make Christ their Lord and Savior to hell.
When we understand what God can and will do to impenitent sinners then we will understand that fearing man is laughable. Fear man enough to do what he wants rather than what God wants? Are you out of your mind? God is the final judge! He's the one who allows us into heaven or sends us to hell.
Some says: I don't believe in hell! Okay, but just so you know, Jesus believes in hell and he talked about it more than he talked about heaven, and he talked about hell more than everyone else in Scripture combined, and he said that it was eternal torment not instant annihilation, and he said that God is the one who will send people there so that's why Jesus also said fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.
And by the way just so you know destroy does not mean annihilate the Bible clearly teaches that hell is eternal torment. The destruction is not annihilation, it is eternal destruction, it is the eternal ruin of life, it is eternal torment, it is eternal pain, it is eternal suffering. The Bible says the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever.
6. A little sparrows sold for 1/5 of a penny back in those days. Sparrows are pretty much worthless to people but they are very important to God.
God cares about everything he has created even those tiny little birds that most people don't even notice when they fly by.
7. God is big, and he has many big things to think about. However God's bigness, and all the major things he deals with every second of every minute do not keep him from being concerned about every little detail of your life.
God is big enough, and smart enough, and powerful enough to keep the planets from crashing into each other and to keep the Earth's rotation from spinning so fast that centrifugal force throws us all into outer space, and still take care of whatever we need.
8. The real test of a person's saving faith isn't so much what they do in church is what they do in the world. It's easy to live for Jesus when were in church or among other Christians. It takes faith to live for him when we are around those who are in different or hostile toward Jesus, the word of God, and holiness. It's easy to say I'm a Christian when you're in a prayer meeting; it is much more difficult when you are surrounded by unbelievers. But that is what Jesus expects his people to do.
A real Christian will at some point let people know they are a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus says if you tell people you belong to me that I will tell the Angels that you belong to me.
9. This is not talking about the occasional blown opportunity to speak up for Jesus. This is talking about someone who doesn't care about Christ, doesn't live for Christ, and never claims to be a Christian. If that's the way a person is then they don't know Christ and if they don't know Christ they will not go to heaven. On judgment day Jesus will save the part for me I never knew you.
10. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was saying that the Holy Spirit's miracles done through Christ were actually the work of the devil. It was unforgivable because it rejected God's testimony concerning his son which results in rejection of Christ which results in eternal damnation for the person who rejects him. It's unforgivable if it becomes a settled conviction, a persistent sin.
11, 12. Some things you just can't prepare for. Jesus says when you are in a tight spot because you have taken a stand for me do not worry God the father will give you the right words to say in a situation like that.
The words that God gives you may not get you out of that bad situation but God will give you the words that he wants you to speak. He will give you the words that the people around you need to hear.
13 evidently a dispute over a family will was getting ugly so one of the parties who thought they were being cheated asked Jesus to settle the matter.
14. In other words, I'm not here to judge wills and settlements.
Christ had more important things than settle disputes about material possessions; boy was this man asking the wrong person.
Money matters are important in this life but they are not even close to being the most important thing. The most important thing is to get ready for the next life. The Bible tells Christians not to become too entangled in the things of this world because that chokes our spirit and makes us unfruitful toward God and believe me when we are on our deathbed what we did for God will be the only thing that matters to us.
15. Material things cannot satisfy because people are more than material beings. If we were just a body than material things would satisfy but we are spirit beings who happen to live in a body.
No amount of material possessions can satisfy an immortal soul. Material things can fill your belly and occupy your time but they do not satisfy your soul which is where your deepest needs are felt.
16. Notice that this man was already rich. In other words, he already had more than what he needed and now he gets even more.
17. Wealth is fine. Being consumed by wealth is sin, it is idolatry. Wealth was the most important thing to this man. He was consumed with thoughts about his wealth and what he would do with it.
18. It is not a sin to build bigger barns. It is not a sin to be happy because you have a nice income. This man worked hard and no doubt knew what he was doing and it paid off for him. You say well then what's the problem?
19. Having wealth wasn't this man's problem; his problem was that he was totally focused on himself and that wealth of his. He has it made for many years to come, he thinks. He didn't think about death, God, eternity, heaven, or hell because after all everything is fine I've got plenty of money and everything is going to be good for many many years to come, he thinks that type of reasoning is worldly, foolish and deadly.
20. Death is a certainty for all of us. Only a fool lives as if death is not a reality that will be reckoned with sooner or later. Many people are living foolishly; many people live as if there death will play itself out without any problems; they do not have to prepare for death, they think. The figure on writing it out and are quite sure everything will be okay in the end. These people don't look at other things that way. They don't say I'm not going to eat supper because my hunger will play itself out and I will end up satisfied and full of food. I don't have to put gas in my car even though it's on empty; I'll just ride it out and keep going everything will be okay in the end; I won't run out of gas.
Normal people don't think that way; they prepare for the inevitable therefore normal people prepare for death by repenting and receiving Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is abnormal, it is strange, it is bizarre, it is foolish to ignore our coming death and think that somehow it will all work out just fine without any evidence whatsoever to back those thoughts.
21. The problem wasn't that this man had money. The problem was he was so consumed with the things of this world that he neglected God and his immortal soul. He made the mistake of thinking that since times were good right now they would always be good. He mistakingly believed that since he was comfortable in this life he would be comfortable forever.
Prosperity often lulls people to sleep spiritually which is why Jesus said it is hard for a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven.
22. In other words don't make a big deal out of what you are having for supper. Don't worry if you don't have ketchup for your French fries. Don't worry about the kind of clothes you have to wear either; it's not a big deal if they aren't the latest fashion. That's what Jesus is talking about here. If that sounds radical to you it only proves that you have bought into the world's way of thinking. We need to be buying into the Jesus way of thinking.
23. The food we eat and the clothes we wear in the car we drive and the house or apartment we live in should not be more important to us than the kind of people we are on the inside. Our character is more important than how we look outwardly or our status in society.
24. A couple of things to know about ravens: number one God gives them food, number two they are not picky about what they eat.
Most people do not worry about having no food at all but unlike the ravens they are picky about what they eat. They worry about not having the kind of food they want or maybe they fret over the fact that they can't eat at a restaurant. God doesn't promise us our favorite food but he does promise to give us enough food to keep us going for as long as he wants us here.
25. In other words it is foolish to worry. People who think they are too short won't grow by worrying about it. People who worry about money will not add a single penny to their savings account by their worry. All worry does is make a person angry, depressed, and sick, and by the way worry is sin as well.
Instead of worrying about what you cannot control pray about what you cannot control.
26. In other words, if worry cannot help you accomplish even a little thing then why waste your time worrying about anything. It doesn't pay, it does no good, it is a complete waste of energy and only produces bad. In addition to being sin it's bad for your body..
27. God will provide clothing for his people, maybe not the latest style but he will provide clothing and if that's not good enough for you than your priorities are sinful and you need to repent. You have not yet set your mind on heavenly things as Colossians chapter 3 commands us to do as Christians.
It is ridiculous for a Christian to worry about not having the latest fashions and the finest food when approximately 100,000 people die every single day and most of those people go to hell. And your worry about clothing; you're worried about the latest fashions; you're worried about not being able to take an expensive vacation but have to settle for staying close to home? What is that say about you in your walk with the Lord, better: lack of walk with the Lord.
28 wildflowers do not have a soul; most are never even seen by people, but only by a few squirrels or birds. If God make sure that obscure wildflowers are clothed properly don't you think he will make sure that you have something to wear? After all your his child.
29. In other words, don't be preoccupied with getting things. Don't be preoccupied with decorating your body. Don't be preoccupied with the kind of food that you're reading just be glad that you have food to eat.
30. People who don't know Christ are spiritually dead. That's why it is natural for them to chase after anything and everything that will feed their earthly appetites. But that is not the way a Christian should be. A Christian has an eternity to live for and work for. We have a God that we ought to be concerned about pleasing while we are here. According to Colossians chapter 3 a Christians mind should be set on eternal things, on heavenly things not on things of the earth and that's exactly what Jesus is trying to drive home here.
31. Seek to please Christ number one and he will make sure that you have everything else that you really need. If people spent more time doing those things that cultivated their relationship with Jesus, things like reading the Bible, studying the Bible, praising the Lord, and praying then the other things that we need, that we really need, would fall into place a whole lot smoother and furthermore we would be concerned about them. It's hard to worry about anything material when you're spending time with the eternal God.
32. People buy tickets to a lot of things in advance. People buy savings bonds and wait for them to mature. People invest in things that they will not use until later. Will God says invest in eternity. He understands that you can't see the kingdom of God right now; that shouldn't be a surprise Jesus said it would be that way in this age. But God says don't worry, it's going to be here someday; I will give you the kingdom your investment will pay off.
33. God says: be a generous person.
God does not command us to get rid of everything that we own. But by all means, as children of God, stop the overflow from accumulating and give some of it to God and to others who have need. Every time we give to the work of God we have added to our savings account in heaven.
34. Where we put our money indicates what is most important to us and where we put our money becomes increasingly more important to us.
When a person invests in a stock they will watch how that stock performs; all of a sudden they become interested in the stock market. Why? Because they own stocks; they put their money in the stock market so that's where their interest is. So if we want to eternity and God to be more important to us then we have to sacrifice some of the things of this world; go without certain things if need be and give that money to God instead. You invested in eternity and you will become more interested in eternity. Where your treasure is that's where your heart is also.
People who say, I will give to God after I get more of an eternal perspective are missing the point that Jesus is making here. He says if you give to God than the eternal perspective will come.
35,36. When a master went out for the evening the servant's job was to stay up and wait for his return. A good servant would stay dressed and keep the lamp burning. He listened for his masters return and then he would greet him when he arrived.
In other words, a good servant left the light on for his master and watched. Jesus says: be ready for my return like a good servant; in other words be prepared live each moment as if this is the moment am returning.
37. In other words, Jesus himself will reward us for our service to him.
I am amazed whenever I think about that because I could live holy every second and even die a martyr's death and Jesus still would not owe me anything. I owe him! The fact that he rewards us for our service to him reveals just how gracious he is to us.
38. The second and third watch went from 9 PM till 3 AM. Most people are in bed during those hours.
So Jesus is saying if you are dedicated beyond normal, if you are bound to please your Lord beyond what most people could imagine, if you are dedicated to doing what is right in the eyes of God no matter what it takes then I will make it worth your while in eternity.
39. If a burglar would call me and and say: I will be over tonight to break in and steal everything you have, I would not go away for the evening and leave the door unlocked. If a burglar would be kind enough to tell me ahead of time that he was coming I'd be there waiting. Jesus is saying: I'm coming for you so be ready; I have told you in advance.
40. Someone says: I don't expect to see Christ anytime soon, I don't expect to go to him and I don't expect him to return here anytime soon. Will than you better be ready. That's because Jesus says that he is coming at a time that you do not expect him.
Most people do not expect to see Jesus today but on average 100,000 will meet him face-to-face before the state is over. Most of the 100,000 people who will die today do not expect this to be their final day on earth.
41. Jesus has been talking as if some will be ready for his return and others will not. That worries Peter. That's why he asked Jesus if the some who won't be ready might include the apostles.
42, 43. Jesus didn't answer Peter's question instead he said: Peter let me tell you who is going to be happy in eternity. It is the one who is had enough common sense to serve me during their lifetime. In other words, Peter do not waste your energy wondering if my warning applies to you. Use your energy, use that energy to live for me and it won't matter because if you do you'll be okay.
44. It would be an honor for servant to receive that kind of up promotion. And that's the point that Jesus is making: he will honor those who honor him in this life.
Your labor for Jesus will not be in vain Jesus does not expect you to work for nothing.
45. This clearly describes an unsaved person. He says hopefully I won't die for a long time but just in case I'm going to cram as much sin into my life that I possibly can; I'm really going to live it up.
46. People better pay attention to what Jesus says concerning the unsaved. He describes their punishment as being cut in two. Anyone who doesn't think that hell is real and painful better listen again to the Lord's description right here. According to Jesus the pain of hell is similar to what one would experience being cut in two. That is the only reason I need to asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. If the only thing I ever got out of the deal was avoid the kind of pain that one would experience by being sawed in half it would be worth it.
47. In other words, willful rebellion will get you severe punishment in eternity. It boils down to this you and I are accountable for the truth that we know. And the more truth you know the greater your accountability is in the more truth you turn your back on the more severe your punishment will be.
48. Sin is like poison ivy to God. Deliberate sin is like poison ivy that has been scratched and has spread. Deliberate sin is more offensive to God and therefore it deserves a greater punishment. The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who spurned God's gracious gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ and instead took pleasure in their unrighteousness.
49. The fire here is the fire of God's punishment for sin. Jesus is not saying: I can't wait to blast sinners with the wrath of God. He is saying: I wish I was on the cross being punished for sinners right now. I'm not saying Jesus look forward to the pain but I think he was looking forward to the process being over.
50. Jesus would like the cross to be over because it obviously was a stressful thing for him to think about. He's not complaining and he's not worried, he's just talking about it.
Talking about something you do not like only becomes complaining when you add resentment to it. Jesus is not saying why does it have to be me? He just knows that is going to be bad and he would like it to be over.
51. People who think Jesus came to promote some sort of sentimental peace between right and wrong and good and bad and true and false; some kind of sentimental peace at any price do not know Jesus very well. Christ is saying: I shake things up, I disrupt things.
52, 53. Christ demands our loyalty which means strife within a family were some give him that loyalty and others who do not is inevitable.
The Jesus issue splits even the closest family members. You say what am I to do when I live for Christ and those who once were close to me no longer are as a result? What are you to do? You keep living for Christ; you keep living for Christ; you keep reading the Bible; you keep studying the Bible; you keep living holy even if that gap becomes as wide as the Grand Canyon.
54. When Israel got rain it came from the West. When the sky turned gray over the Mediterranean Sea which was west they knew that rain was coming.
55. The desert was south of Israel so when the South wind blew they knew it would be a warm day.
They knew how to interpret the signs of nature and they prepared for what was coming.
56. They could discern a change in the weather but they couldn't discern all the spiritual and biblical evidence that Jesus is the Messiah? Oh they could, they just didn't want to. That's why Jesus called them hypocrites. It doesn't take a spiritual genius to recognize who Jesus is it just takes an honest heart.
57. In other words, you don't have to be a theologian or a Rhodes scholar to understand that Jesus is the Christ the son of God. The evidence is clear enough for any honest seeker of truth to recognize.
58. Jesus says: if you have done wrong to someone you would be smart to try to settle out of court. It is especially wise if you know the judge will rule against you and give you jail time if he gets the case. In other words, do what you must do, humble yourself if need be to avoid the judge's punishment.
59. Our sin has put us in debt to God. If we do not settle this thing before our death we will be sentenced to eternity in hell. We will pay for every single sin that we have ever committed which is going to take us forever. Christ is saying: make peace with God before it's too late. We have been warned!
1. And so we see that neither the holiness of the temple or the sacredness of what the Galileans were doing made bit of difference to Pontius Pilate and his butchers. You talk about the need to be ready for it eternity because of the possibility of unexpected death; this had to be unexpected death. No one expects to be murdered in church as it were.
2. It is bad enough when people who love God go through difficult times; they don't need people saying: well, they have it coming, or God never would've allowed it.
It is wrong to judge people as evil because something bad has happened to them. These Galileans were not any worse than anyone else.
3. To the Israelites Jesus says: if you don't repent your gonna die like they did.
Israel did not repent; they murdered their Messiah, they murdered their king. 37 years later 300,000 men were slaughtered by the Roman Empire as they observed the Passover. What Jesus said came to pass.
4,5. The point is this: do not speculate on the spiritual condition of others when you are not even right with God yourself. And if you think others deserve to be punished by God then you better recognize that we are all in the same situation and we all deserve punishment and we will get it if we don't ask Christ to save us. What Jesus said why worry about the sliver that is in your neighbors I when you have a plank in your own.
6a. This fig tree was in Vineyard, or a garden, and it had a gardener to take care of it.
You would expect better apples off the tree in your backyard, a tree that you sprayed and pruned, then one growing wild next to a highway. The owner of this fig tree had a right to expect good fruit because he took care of it.
6b. Fruit was a reasonable thing to expect but there was none.
This fig tree represents Israel. God took care of them, he sent them profits with the word of God and they had the written scriptures as well. It was a reasonable thing for God to expect holiness from the Israelites but there was none, no spiritual fruit whatsoever.
7. The owner planted that tree for a good purpose. The tree was not serving that purpose or pleasing its owner so it is reasonable for the owner to say I'm getting rid of it, I'm cutting it down; it's useless to me, it's an irritation to me, so I'm going to get it out of my sight and destroy it.
God created Israel for a good purpose as well. Israel was not fulfilling that purpose. The Lord of the universe does not have to put up with something that frustrates him like that if he doesn't want to and one of these days he will not want to with regards to any impenitent sinner.
8,9. The gardener didn't want to give up on that tree. God does not like to give up on people either. As a general rule people grow tired of people and give up on them before God does.
God's loving kindness is so strong that it pushes his patients to the absolute limit before he is forced by his justice to punish.
10. By the way, this is the last time that it says he taught in a synagogue. We are in the home stretch of Jesus's earthly ministry.
11. For 18 years the bones of this poor woman's spine have been fused together into an inflexible lump. It's been 18 years since she has been able to stand upright; it's been 18 years since she has been able to look up and see the sky.
12. Her misery had obviously not made her better or kept her from God or she want to been in the synagogue. It's good thing she didn't get better or angry at God because of her situation or she would not have been in the synagogue and she would not have seen Jesus and she would not have been healed on this day.
13. She could drink out of a cup for the first time in 18 years. She can look up and see the blue sky or the night time stars for the first time in 18 years.
14. Notice this coward! This gutless legalistic unloving hard-nosed cowardly synagogue ruler didn't have the courage to look Jesus in the eye and tell him that he was wrong for healing this poor woman on the Sabbath so instead he turns to the people in the synagogue and tells them.
This rule are made to big mistakes. Number one, he opposed his creator, the son of God. Number two he didn't have the nerve to look Jesus in the eye or even address Christ when he criticized him.
If you have a problem with someone talk to them about it don't talk about them to someone else like this ruler did. Hey you're the big shot, you're the guy in charge here so if you really think that Jesus did something wrong when would you tell him face-to-face. Another gutless ruler who, whether he's correct or incorrect, doesn't have the courage to take a stand against what he thinks is wrong.
15. The ruler wouldn't speak to Jesus but Jesus spoke to him. When we do something that's wrong God tells us that it's wrong. God doesn't talk behind a person's back; God doesn't gossip about what we've done wrong to others. If we deserve a rebuke his Holy Spirit will rebuke us and frankly it's no one else's business. So Jesus speaks to this ruler and calls him a hypocrite. Everyone of those people work on the Sabbath when they care for the needs of their animals.
16. If it's all right for you to untie your animals on the Sabbath than it certainly is all right for me to untie this poor woman who Satan has bound with a crippling disease for 18 years.
Ethics/priorities/get all twisted out of shape when the Scriptures are not our guide. So all of a sudden your animals become more important than people.
17. Jesus shamed his adversaries but at the same time he caused God's people to rejoice.
We all have to decide whether we want to be a blessing to God and as a result godly people or to the devil and his false teachers or his lukewarm "believers". We have to decide whether we want to be a blessing to the Lord Jesus Christ and those who love him or if we want to placate those who don't care about God. And if I'm talking to somebody who even has to think about which one they will choose I can tell you you're not right with God like you should be. Doing what is right in the eyes of God, speaking the truth of God's word clearly so that it blesses God and God's faithful people should be as natural to you as breathing, and it will be if you're in the word like it should be, and you're close to God like you should be; you won't even have to think of it. Who are you going to please? God or the devil? The godly or the ungodly? Well since Christians don't hold the devil anything in the ungodly and the lukewarm which is the same as ungodly are a pain in the neck to God I suggest that we live to please the Lord and those who love the word of God and those who love what is right!
18. In other words what kind of story can I tell you to show what the kingdom of God is like. Jesus came here from heaven to get down on our level so that he could teach us about God.
19. The kingdom, (church), started small in the world but has grown into the millions over the centuries. Most people in the kingdom of God are in heaven but the Christians who are still on earth make up his kingdom here.
So the kingdom of God in the world started out small but it also starts out small in the people who receive Christ. The Bible teaches that we are translated into the kingdom of God the moment we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior and from that point the Holy Spirit begins to work in the life of the Christian making them more and more like Jesus. It is a process that starts out small, the kingdom of God starts out small and the life of a Christian but as a Christian reads the word and praise the influence of the Holy Spirit will continue to grow until the day that they die. Holiness is a process, it starts out small but continues to increase like the growth of a mustard plant from a tiny seed. It starts out small and often is a slow process and that's why it's important to be patient with ourselves and other Christians.
20, 21. Leaven or yeast in dough doesn't bang pop and explode as your bread bakes. The effect of yeast spreads but it happens quietly and it takes time.
The word of God often takes time to work in a person's soul as well; the word of God quietly and steadily changes the Christian into the image of Christ from one level to the next.
22. Jesus taught in villages and in cities. He did what he could while he had the opportunity to do it and it didn't matter where he was. Jesus was on his way to the cross in Jerusalem but he made the most of every minute along the way.
Our time is a gift from God; the Bible says we are to redeem the time; that means make the most of every second that God gives you. One, often not thought about, problem with sin is that it is a waste of the precious gift of time which could have been used to do something to the glory of God and it is something that you can never retrieve; you can never get it back; once it is spent it's gone.
23. It was thought by many Israelites that because they were Abraham's offspring they would most certainly have a share in the good times in the kingdom of heaven. This man wants to know if Christ agrees with that thinking.
If Jesus does not agree with our thinking then our thinking is wrong and it is a waste of time and it is dangerous and it doesn't matter how many people may agree with us. The only thoughts that matter are the thoughts of God. Get in line with his thoughts or face the consequences.
24. It is a battle to get into the kingdom of heaven. The battle takes place in the soul and the battle is one that most people lose.
Most people would like eternal life, but most do not want it enough to be thought of as different from the unsaved world. Or they do not want it as much as they want some pet sin that they refuse to turn away from.
Others lose the battle because they refused to believe that they need a Savior. For these and other reasons Jesus says many will not enter. Jesus says many will not enter. Most people go to hell! Most people you see on the street will eventually die and go to hell! Most people you see in the grocery store will eventually die and burn in hell! Most people at a theater or at a sporting event will eventually die and go to hell! Many will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven, says Jesus. Narrow is the way that leads to life in few there be that find it, says Jesus.
24, 25. Many will want heaven real bad especially when they are told by Jesus to go to hell. They will not want to go! They will bang on the door, as it were, but the Lord will say: no, you had your chance, you made your choice, and now you're going to live with it.
There are consequences to every choice that we make. You have the freedom of choice but you don't have the freedom to choose the consequences for making the wrong choice. And the worst choice of all is a refusal to repent and a submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
26. In other words, on judgment day after being told by Jesus to go to hell many of those people will say: wait a minute we heard your teaching! Yeah so what? So you heard the teaching of Jesus in person or through someone who is proclaiming the word of God clearly? So you heard the Lord's teaching; it didn't do you any good because you didn't submit to his teachings. Sure you heard the word of God and you probably even understood it but you never wanted it, you didn't like it, you despised it so you never accepted it and applied it to your life.
Those who think that just because they sat in church almost every Sunday morning and heard some sort of a sermon using some Scripture and believed what it said and took the Lord's supper and maybe even were baptized and knew the liturgy but didn't allow Jesus to penetrate their soul and submit to his Lordship are in for a rude awakening; they're going to hell! That stuff doesn't do you any good if you don't know Christ! Religion is worthless if it doesn't cause you to fall on your knees, repent of your sins, and asked Jesus Christ to come into your life to save you from hell and submit to his Lordship! You muzzle stay home on Sunday morning and watch reruns of Bullwinkle.
27. Every one of us have done bad things; we are all guilty sinners. But the people who go to hell are those who don't know Christ. In other words, they have never repented and they have never said: Lord I want you to save me from hell and I want you to be the Lord of my life right now. Those people burn in hell because they are not forgiven and because they continue to be workers of iniquity without any thought of repentance.
28. Intense pain, and sorrow forever; that's hell! And then just add salt to the wound Jesus suggest that before being banished into the flames people will see some, who they know, enter into heaven. And of course they will know that they could be entering in with them but they chose not to and now it's too late.
29. Jesus is talking mostly to Israelites here. He is saying: Gentiles will come from all over the world and enter eternal life while you people, who thought you had it made because you were physical descendents of Abraham are going to be left out.
Many who thought they were saved will not be saved. Many who die convinced that their next stop is heaven will discover that their next stop is hell.
30. The Israelites thought that they were a sure bet for heaven and that the Gentiles really didn't stand a chance. Jesus says you have it all wrong. Those proud Jews are the ones who don't stand a chance because they were too proud to humble themselves and admit that they needed a Savior, the Savior Jesus Christ to deliver them.
31. Jesus has been attacking these religious leaders because of their hypocrisy. So they don't like him and they're not interested in repenting so when they warn him about Herod who's trying to kill him there not saying we care so much about you Jesus you better run from Herod because you're in trouble. Herod was just a handy excuse to try to get Jesus out of their area. They'll say anything to get rid of Jesus.
32. What Jesus does or when he does it will not be determined by Herod or any other man. Jesus does what God the father tells him to do. Jesus says: you tell Herod I don't have time to think about him; I'm busy doing important things.
33. Jesus is leaving when he wants to leave and it's not because he's afraid of Herod. He is leaving because he is scheduled to die in Jerusalem. Now some people may have thought that Christ was running but you can't govern your actions as a Christian, as a follower of Christ by being afraid of what others might think. Some people may have thought that Christ was running; he couldn't help but people think, and it doesn't matter he has to do the right thing.
34. God tried for centuries to get Israel to turn to him. He wanted to protect them and give them a good life. But they refused all of God's efforts and they continually turned away from him.
God will take care of anyone at any time if they will only submit to his Lordship.
35. There is coming a time when Israel as a nation will acknowledge that they murdered their Messiah. They will turn to Christ and that's when he will return.
1. To be a good boxer I think you have to be willing to take a punch and then counterpunch. To be used by God you have to be willing to be misused by people. Jesus knew this dinner party was a set up but he went and he stayed anyway. He will take a punch but he will throw an effective counterpunch.
2. Dropsy is a swollen ass that comes from the water build up somewhere in the body. This man is sick and for that reason he is also bait; bait for the disgusting religious rulers.
The religious leaders hope Jesus will heal this poor fella so that they can jump all over Christ for working on the Sabbath.
3a. Someone says: I didn't hear the question. It says Jesus answered but I didn't hear the question. You'd inherit or see it because they didn't ask one. But Jesus knew their thoughts and he answered their thoughts.
3. These religious leaders, arrogant as they were, figured that they had Christ trapped. If he heals the man then they will accuse him of being a lawbreaker for not respecting their Sabbath tradition. If he doesn't heal then they will accuse him of not being compassionate.
They remind me of the news media in America today. If they don't like a president then it doesn't matter what that president says or does they will twist his words or actions to put a bad spin on whatever he does and if he had done the opposite they would've put a bad spin on that as well.
4. Jesus healed because it was right. He did it even though the people around him thought it was wrong.
Lesson: do the right thing; do not wait for other people to believe it's the right thing before you do it. Someone has to take the lead and if you're Christian it might as well be you and if you're a pastor or a Bible teacher then it must be you or you should get out of the business.
5. If one of their animals needed help they would not check the calendar to see if it was the Sabbath day; they would help the poor animal.
6. What Jesus said made sense and they knew it; they were backed up against the wall and they had no way out; they were put in their place; they look like fools in front of the crowd. The problem is they were too stubborn to admit that what Jesus said made sense and that they were wrong.
You just can't argue/debate/someone into receiving Christ. It is a spiritual issue and it is a spiritual battle and people must be willing to do what they know is the correct thing.
If you're talking to someone about God's word and they're not open to truth that you are wasting your breath because even if there backed up against the wall they will not admit that the word of God is true and that they need to act on it. You're wasting your time.
7. The people at this dinner party were elbowing, maybe doing a little shoving, and for sure were trying to get the best seats in the house. They wanted the head table. Consequently Jesus says:
8. In other words, do not assume that you belong in the seat of honor simply because you are one of the guests. Someone more important may have been invited and that seat may be reserved for them.
9. The host will say in front of everyone: you don't belong in that important seat; this man does. He will say: get up and look for another chair and then you're going to be embarrassed in front of everyone. And probably the only chair left will be one of the worst seats in the house.
Jesus is saying: do not seek to honor yourself because you end up looking foolish.
10. In other words be humble, don't seek honor for yourself, don't be a show off, don't seek great things for yourself and play the big shot, don't strut around acting important. Instead try to make others feel important, put others before you, treat others as if they are more valuable than you are. Now, if someone honors you then you can accept that with grace, but be humble and let it be okay for others to have it better than you. Our reason for being here on earth is not to be the center of attention; that's where Jesus should be.
11. Just be content to be yourself. Be a considerate/kind/godly representative of Jesus Christ. People will appreciate you if you just be yourself. And if some do not then that's their problem because God does.
12. Giving in order to receive/be repaid/be owed a favor/is not God's definition of real giving. It's really not giving at all; it is investing. Investing for the future is biblical, but it isn't giving and God wants his children to be givers.
13. God says be good to someone who others do not care about. Invite people who are never invited. Be friends with people who have no friends.
14. Maybe they won't be able to return the favor but God will return the favor. The Lord Almighty appreciates every act of kindness that you do for others especially for those who cannot give you anything in return.
15. In other words the man said the kingdom of God is great! And I have no idea where that came from; he seemed to just blurt it out, but it is true nevertheless.
The new earth and our new bodies will be filled with all sorts of wonderful things and through it all we will say: the kingdom of God is great! It's another great day and I sure do feel good!
16. Speaking of the kingdom Jesus tells a story about that kingdom and he begins by saying a certain man made a great supper and bade many. The man in this story who gave the supper represents God the father. The many who were invited represent the Israelites.
17. The servant in the story represents Jesus. The father sent Jesus to earth to invite people, beginning with an especially the Israelites to enter into the kingdom of God. His message was it's all set; turned to me, repent and enter into God's wonderful kingdom.
18a. Some excuses are legitimate but the people Christ invited "made excuses." If you have to make an excuse that you are being dishonest.
18b. I'm not the smartest business man in the world; in fact I may be the dumbest, but even I would look at property before I bought it. If nothing else I would do it because I try to be frugal and monies too hard to come by to risk throwing it away. So clearly this man's excuse was made up; made up excuses are usually pretty easy to detect. When you think about it there's some logic missing.
19. This man can't follow Christ because he bought some animals and now he has to go and check them out to see if he got his money's worth. I guess he wants to find out if there alive, dead, lame, or maybe stuffed; either way it's a pitiful excuse I would say. Liars think they're so smart but most of the time there only fooling themselves into thinking that others are fooled because lies often do not make sense if you have a halfway logical mind that is.
20. What's the matter doesn't your wife like food? He could have said: is it all right if I bring my wife, but he didn't ask because he didn't want to come. This is another excuse; another made up excuse.
21. The master of the house who again represents God the father recognize these pitiful excuses for what they were: lies. And so he was not very happy and decided to go to Plan B. A lot of work went into that banquet and the host is not going to let it go to waste. Consequently, he said: go out and invite anyone who wants to come.
Here's the lesson: Jesus suffered on the cross! He went through a nightmare of pain-and-suffering for our redemption. If you do not want eternal life then God will find someone else who does. If you don't want to be blessed by God then God will find someone else who he can bless. God loves to bless and he will not be deprived of the joy that he receives from doing it. The Bible says that his eyes go to and fro throughout the earth looking for someone that he can show himself strong toward.
22, 23. Highways and hedges refers to the streets and alleys. These people are the unwanted; they are the world's rejects. They been down and out so long that they believe good things are only for other people. That's why they need to be compelled to come. In other words, they need to know that even though others do not want them God does.
24. No pity for those who had their chance and blew it! No pity for a damn soul in hell who squandered their opportunities to receive Christ either. Jesus was not a priority in life and so he will not be an option after death.
25,26. The crowds were huge so it's time to remove the chaff with some straight talk about what it really means to be a follower of Christ. Jesus never preached an easy believism. He did not want crowds of people who had a false sense of security. He gave out the plain truth to weed out those who are not serious. And so he says some tough things here; notice verse 26 again.
26. As important as all of these relationships are they are not nearly as important as your relationship with Christ must be. We must please God even if we offend others in the process; even if it hurts us to do it. Jesus Christ must be that important to us or we cannot be his disciple; we cannot be saved. Some people say Jesus wasn't calling people to be saved here he was simply telling them how to reach a second level of commitment. There's absolutely no truth to that whatsoever. Jesus himself said that the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which is lost and that's what he's doing here and is talking about entering into the kingdom of heaven as the previous story he just told proves.
27. The cross meant death to people back in those days.
Jesus is saying: you cannot be my follower; you cannot be saved; you cannot be a Christian unless you are willing to set aside which you want, if need be, and suffer, if need be and even die if need be to remain true to me.
I told you Jesus was going to weed out those who were not serious about following him and that is what he is doing by giving out the truth. No one when dealing with a lost soul has any right to say anything different than what Jesus has just said right here.
We do know one any good at all when we tell them just believe in Jesus and you will be saved; you don't have to repent; you don't have to make commitment to Christ. All you are doing is giving people a false sense of security; you are letting them think that they are Christians, saved, heaven bound, when in fact they are as lost as ever and will most certainly die and go to hell.
28. Here is again talking about counting the cost. No one in their right mind starts to build a tower, a home, or anything else in this they believe they have what it takes to finish it. Again Jesus wants this big crowd to consider the cost of belonging to him. Jesus is not just another thing to add to your life; he must be the supreme thing if you want to be saved.
29. It doesn't make sense to start something if you know that you can't finish it. Before you start something you ought to investigate to see whether there is a reasonable chance of you finishing what you have started and if you even want to finish it.
Before you ask Christ to save you make sure that you are dead serious about following him.
30. People poke fun of those who do not finish what they begin.
31, 32. In other words, think through what you are considering getting into.
If you are not willing to study, do not dish out the money for college. If you're not willing to pay the price the don't start the project. If you're not willing to repent and make a commitment to follow Christ then don't waste your time believing that you are safe because you are not.
33. If you're not serious about repentance and pleasing Christ don't bother praying: Lord save me because one thing he demands is sincerity.
Luke warm, pretend Christians eventually are spit out of the mouth of Christ and that's according to Jesus's very own words. He doesn't accept anyone if they don't want him and they're not committed to his Lordship.
34, 35. A person who calls themselves a Christian but tries to blend in with the world is like salt with salt to God.
Oh they will avoid persecution by blending with the world and the world will no doubt think they are cool not like those other narrowminded Bible believing Christians so they may be popular with those who are going to hell but they will also be useless to Christ. Jesus says friendship with the world is enmity toward God. There's nothing for God to use if there is no holiness and if there is no holiness then there is no salvation either. The Bible says without holiness no one will see the Lord. That is not talking about salvation by faith that's talking about having a serious attitude of repentance and a willingness to commit to follow Christ when you get down on your knees and you ask him to save you by his grace because then and only then will he take you up on your prayer request and give you the Holy Spirit which then leads to holiness and faithfulness until the end.
1. Conventional wisdom of the day believed that the publicans and the sinners were the worst of the worst; they were the dregs of society as it were and in some ways they were; they were terrible sinners there's no doubt about it.
So here you have these terrible sinners coming to Jesus to hear what he has to say, to listen to him speak and teach. And believe me they didn't come to Christ because he was a modern preacher who sought crowds or popularity from bad people or lukewarm "believers"; they did not come to Christ because they knew he would overlook their sin because he did not. They were there because they knew they were bad and yet they could sense that Christ who spoke the truth, the truth that made them uncomfortable had their best interest in mind by speaking the truth.
Preachers and Bible teachers who speak the truth even when it hurts have your best interest in mind. Those who tell you what makes you feel good whether it's true or not have their best interest in mind. They're after your money; they're after your applause; they're after your attendance; they're after something from you and that's why they're willing to sell God out to please you and your sinful flesh.
2. Jesus welcomed sinners and ate with them but he never sinned with them nor did he condone their sin. When Jesus spent time with sinners he did so to call them to repentance. The religious rulers thought it was terrible that Jesus would spend time with these types of people; they would rather see those people burn in hell that allow Christ to call them to repentance.
3,4a a good shepherd cares about each one of his sheep. If just one is lost he will take the time to look for it until he finds it. He doesn't say: well I have 99 left so that one that is lost is no big deal; he shouldn't of wandered away in the first place so let him suffer I don't care. A good shepherd doesn't think like that.
4b. He keeps looking for it until he finds it. Sometimes the shepherd finds that lost sheep alive and sometimes he finds it dead but he doesn't give up until he at least finds it.
5. He puts that sheep where no harm can come to it, right on his shoulders. Anything that wants to hurt that sheep is going to have to overpower the shepherd first. He will die to keep that sheep safe.
Once Jesus has you he will not let you go and he will not allow anyone to take the eternal life he has given us away.
6. He already had the 99 that that one meant so much to him that there was a gap in his life and it would remain there until he found it. And he would've felt the same way about any of the 100.
7. God wants us to receive Christ no matter how sinful we have been. The devil will tell people that God doesn't want them because they been too bad. Of course all he's trying to do is rob God of a soul and that sinner of eternal life. The Bible says that the angels in heaven rejoice every time the soul repents and turns to Christ and the devil doesn't want rejoicing in heaven and he doesn't want sinners to be happy and he doesn't want God to be happy.
8. That one coin may be wouldn't mean much to others but it meant enough to this woman that she turned her house upside down looking until she found it. In other words she would not give up.
9. Good times are much better when you have someone to share those good things with so she calls her friends together and rejoices over that coin that she found and because they were friends they were happy for her.
10. Jesus made the religious rulers angry when he spent time with sinners. The rulers didn't care if those sinners repented or went to hell. But Almighty God cared and it made him happy when even one repented and amid the Angels happy when they repented to because when you care about someone like the Angels care about God you're happy when they're happy.
11,12. Nothing sinful about getting an inheritance in advance; I guess. The big problem is what this young man wanted to do with his inheritance.
13. This young son had five senses and he will do whatever it takes to satisfy them. He will live as fast as he can for as long as he can. That may sound exciting but there's a real downside to that kind of lifestyle.
14. He couldn't do anything about the famine; that famine affected everyone. However the broke part was all his fault. His suffering was much worse because he added sin to a common problem.
Some people suffer more than the average person and sometimes it is because they are constantly in the flesh making sinful choices that just add to the common trouble that we all experience.
15. Nothing more embarrassing or degrading to an Israelite then to care for pigs.
This man didn't want his father to see him sin and you can bet he didn't want his father to see him feeding pigs either.
Some people have hid their sin pretty well but now they're trying to hide the consequences of their sin and also and that's not going so well and that's not much of a life either.
16. This younger son used to have a lot of friends; he had plenty of good time friends before he went broke. When he was able to buy the drinks and pay for the music everyone liked him. But now his money is gone and so are his "friends."
The people who sin with you are often long gone when the consequences of those sins hit. You are nothing to them when you can no longer sin with them.
17. He came to himself.
Sin is moronic/foolish/spiritual insanity but repentance is waking up and saying: what in the world am I doing this for? Repentance is coming to your senses. There are certain people that will not come to their senses, wake up, and begin to do things God's way until sin runs its course in their lives and they are left feeling horrible.
18. He took the first step in the right direction by confessing his sin. He didn't say: I know it wasn't right but here are 10 reasons that it was so hard for me to do the right thing.
God's grace will cover the worst sin but it will not cover one single excuse.
19. People, like this man, who know they've done wrong and have really repented are humble. People who are really broken over their sin are satisfied with forgiveness. They don't expect anything from God they are just grateful for forgiveness and a fresh start.
20. The father was glad to see him; he welcomed his son before he could even admit that he had been a foolish sinner.
God is glad to see a person turned to him no matter what that person has done or how much they have hurt him.
21. He had his entire speech memorized and he was doing real good with it until his father broke in. He was just getting to the part where he says: I will be your slave, but notice:
22- 24. The dad had lost one third of his assets and probably a lot of sleep because of his sons sin, but he absorbed all that bad when he forgave his son.
If you're going to forgive someone like God commands us to and like he forgives us, then you will have to absorb some hurt feelings and who knows what else.
Telling someone that they are forgiven but then acting hurt, or holding a grudge is not forgiveness and thankfully that is not how God deals with us when we confess our sins.
25. This older son never ran away and he never lived a wild life. He was a steady man. He was responsible. Outwardly he seemed like a very decent man.
26-28a. Instead of being happy for his father he was angry that they were celebrating his younger brothers repentance.
Formerly the younger son did not care about his father and that was very apparent but now we see that in spite of outward appearances the older son really didn't care about his father either.
There are two types of sinners: those who are wild and those who look good but are full of sinful pride. Some are like the publicans and the sinners that Jesus spent time with, and others, just as bad, I like the Pharisees who think that they're better than everyone else. Both are sinners, both are hell bound unless they repent of their sin and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. One may look better than the other but both are vile in the sight of Almighty God.
28x. The father is being gracious with his older son just like he had been with his younger son. He wants this prideful older son of his to be right with him as well.
In the same way Jesus wanted the prideful religious rulers to repent just as much as he wanted the notorious tax collectors and sinners to repent.
29. He may have worked like a servant but he did not have a servant's heart. A person with a servant's heart doesn't mind working like a servant and he doesn't count the cost of serving others either.
30. You can tell he is better because he doesn't even call his brother by name actually he doesn't even call him his brother. He's upset because his father for gave his younger brother who had humbled himself and repented. Only those who are full of pride and hate will get angry over someone else's forgiveness.
31. The father would have enjoyed good times with his older son anytime he wanted to have them. But evidently he never wanted to have them and that's because he didn't have a heart for his father. They never had good times together but clearly it wasn't because the father didn't want them. It is not God who rejects sinners it is sinners who reject God. It is not God who doesn't want to enjoy fellowship with people. It is people who don't want to have fellowship with God. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. People go to hell because they don't want to be with God. Don't give me this baloney that a loving God would never send anyone to hell. You've got it all wrong; a loving God would never force an impenitent sinner to be with him if he doesn't want to be.
32. In other words, this son of mine is your brother and you are to be happy because he has repented of his sin and come back home.
If we are not happy over the things that make God happy that I doubt very much that we are saved; there's something wrong on the inside of us, something that should raise a red flag concerning the condition of our immortal soul.
1. This manager was not doing his job and he got caught.
2. The boss said: you are through being a manager in your last duty in that position is to get the books in order. The owner wanted to know exactly how his wealth had been used or misused.
3. This manager was not used to hard work and he didn't plan on getting use to it either. And notice that he was ashamed to back. He was ashamed to beg but he wasn't ashamed to be dishonest. Dishonesty was fine because it got him things begging was bad because it embarrassed him or made him feel bad.
As far as he was concerned if something made him feel good then it was moral; if something made him feel bad that it was wrong. Everything revolved around his feelings. Right and wrong were determined by his feelings.
4. He devises a sinful plan to get him out of this trouble that his first sinful plan got him into. I suppose most people in the world would look at him and call him resourceful. God however would say roll up your sleeves and get to work.
He's too proud to beg and too lazy to work but not to ashamed to be dishonest.
5,6. In other words he says just pay half your bill and will call it even. He's being very generous with his master's money without telling the master and in fact he is being dishonest.
He's saying I'll be dishonest for you but remember I'll probably need a favor someday.
7. He's trying to buy friends. The thought of begging was abhorrent to him; he was embarrassed to beg but actually he's doing a form of begging right here. He's also telling us something about himself; his actions are saying that he doesn't have any real friends who will help them through tough times so he has to buy them; he is begging!
8a. This doesn't mean that Jesus commended the dishonest man in this story; the master did the commanding. Jesus would've told him to get a job and earn an honest living. Cheating, stealing, lying, and all forms of dishonesty are sinful and not to be commended but rather condemned.
8x. In other words Christians should plan for/the future/eternity/in a holy way with the same intensity that the world often plans for the future in a slick unrighteous way. In other words use what God gives you during this window of opportunity to prepare for eternity and store treasures for yourself in heaven.
9. Make friends by using your/worldly wealth/time/physical energy. Make friends with God that is! Use those things for God's glory so that when everything comes to an end in this life you will receive a warm welcome into God's kingdom.
10. If you can't trust someone to do what is morally correct in one area than you better not trust them to do what is morally correct in any area.
11. If a person is/unrighteous/unfaithful/to God in little everyday things then God will not trust that person with important eternal things. The stakes are too high when you're dealing with souls and eternity.
12. In other words, if you are not a good helper no one in their right mind will make you a supervisor.
13a. God is our Creator. If we are a Christian than he is also our Savior. As our Creator God has every right to be our master. If he is our Savior then we want him to be our master.
13x. Having a master is an all or nothing thing. Spiritually, at any given moment, we either are in the flesh serving self or in the spirit obeying God and therefore serving God. It is one or the other; it is all or nothing.
14. The Pharisees, the religious rulers were obsessed with wealth and they thought that Christ was foolish to say that you can't serve God and wealth. There sneering at Jesus showed just how far they had drifted from the holy word of God. They were supposed to be guardians of truth but in reality they despised truth.
15. The Pharisees strutted around acting like religious big shots and most people because they were ignorant of God's word were impressed by them. A person can look real good to people but God knows what they are like on the inside and that inside is the thing that determines a person's status with God and eternal destiny.
16a. The law and the prophets refers to the entire Old Testament and also to the Old Testament religion of Judaism.
16x. John the Baptist and Jesus both preached the same message; they preached repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Those who wanted to get into the kingdom of heaven found that it was tough; they had to press to get in. That's because the religious rulers threatened to excommunicate anyone who would follow Christ.
It takes determination to enter God's kingdom; it has always been that way and it will be that way until Jesus returns. The kingdom of heaven is not for the week minded and the insincere and the cowards. Jesus said that the cowardly will have their place in hell. Those who are afraid to lose friends; those who are afraid to be unpopular; those who are afraid to have people not like them; those who are afraid to be laughed at and persecuted or beat up or killed for the sake of Jesus and so reject him as Lord and Savior will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
It takes determination to enter God's kingdom. You must tell your sin nature as well as anyone who would oppose you that they're not can it take you to hell because you're going to follow Christ no matter what anybody thinks no matter who doesn't like it.
17. The law of God will outlast the earth. Not one speck not one word not one letter not one mandate from God's moral law will ever change. Societal norms do not change the moral law of God. Legislation legalizing sin does not change the moral law of God, nor do these things eliminate the punishment for breaking it.
18. There are biblical grounds for divorce but to divorce someone simply to marry someone else is adultery. It is adultery because in God's mind the first marriage was never dissolved. You say I'm in trouble with God because I've committed that sin! Yes you are in trouble with God just as you are in trouble with God for committing any sin but never let anyone tell you that that sin is unforgivable. If you've had an un-biblical divorce and an un-biblical remarriage you did commit the sin of adultery but adultery can be forgiven. Confess it as sin and get on with your life and live for God. There may be temporal consequences to your sin because we reap what we sow and God will not be mocked but he will also forgive you and give you a fresh start just as he did with David and Bathsheba.
19. Only extreme rich along with royalty could afford to wear purple garments. This guy wasn't even close to living in the real world; he had it made. And we know he had it made because he fared sumptuously every day. He lived in luxury every single day. That was normal for him. Most of us splurge on special occasions, maybe Thanksgiving or Christmas or some other special day but for this guy it was Thanksgiving and Christmas every day. Of course being wealthy is not a sin. However putting one's wealth before God is a sin and that is what this man was guilty of doing.
20. If there was ever a contrast between two people it was the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man had much more than he needed and poor Lazarus had absolutely nothing. But he was laid at the rich man's gate, evidently by some well-meaning people every single day hoping to get some sort of a handout so that he could make it through another day. And no doubt many times when the rich man left his home he walked right by poor Lazarus. Consequently he was reminded many times that there was someone who was in desperate need of the help that he could provide.
21a. Lazarus wasn't expecting much; he did not demand a handout of any kind and he wasn't expecting to eat like the rich man. He would have been satisfied with table scraps but he didn't get anything.. Not a single thing; not even a crumb.
21x. I don't know if the dogs soothed the pain of his sores or just made matters worse. But I do know this: Lazarus was a pathetic sight. The rich man however did not care enough about God or Lazarus to help him in any way. He could have given Lazarus food to satisfy his immediate need and he could've paid for Lazarus to see a physician and may be have his sores healed but he did nothing. He was consumed with self. He was consumed with his luxurious living and that's all he cared about; more and more and more for self.
22a. The beggar died which for him was a great relief. It was a relief because his painful life was over and it was a relief because he was saved and therefore the angels of God carried him to paradise. What a pleasant surprise for Lazarus; he wasn't used to being treated with such kindness and now even the angels are treating him as if he has something special and he was special to God because he was God's child.
The angels met him and were ready to carry him to heaven. God knows when you are going to die. He knows how long it will take for an angel to fly from heaven to wherever it is where you will die and so he dispatches angels in plenty of time to be there when you breathe your last. He make sure that they get there in plenty of time to meet you and take you to heaven.. If you are a Christian that is. And I don't know about you but I think it's a good idea for angels to meet us and take us to heaven personally because I have a feeling that with my sense of direction I could get lost and end up who knows where. Not a problem for any of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ will get there safe and sound.
Notice how God cares for his children. Notice how our fellowship with him does not skip a beat from the last second of our life here on earth to the first second of our life and eternity; all things continue just as they were between us and our Savior.
22x. Again what a contrast between the rich man and Lazarus but the contrast here involves great blessing for Lazarus and nothing for the former rich man and I say former because no one takes anything with them after they die. And when I say that he had nothing that's exactly what I mean. He had nothing! He had no angelic escort! He didn't travel in luxury to his destination! He traveled alone because he was not saved. Oh I bet he had the best funeral money could buy but that body which he pampered all his life was not a part of him anymore and so that didn't matter. He is left with one thing: his immortal soul; a soul that is as worthless as chaff to a farmer; a depraved hell bound soul that had lost its worth even in the sight of God who created it.
23a. He's in hell. He went from luxury to horror; he went from comfort to torment. The second that he died everything changed, changed for the worse.
23b. Jesus said that he was in torments. Of all the words Jesus could have used it to describe the rich man's place he chose the word torment. "Torment" was used to describe tortures like the rack, and burning, and scourging. Torments is suffering beyond your mind's ability to imagine; it is pain far worse than anything you have even come close to experiencing in this life. To be dropped in a barrel of boiling hot water would be an improvement over the burning and the torment that this rich man was experiencing in hell.
Jesus knows what he's talking about because he created hell and he saying for all who will hear: Hell is real and it is horrible! It is burning! It is pain! It is suffering! It is hopelessness because it is permanent as we are about to see.
24. Those who say that hell is not literal flames do not believe the Bible! Those who say that hell is not literal fire horrible burning are contradicting what God says and what Jesus explicitly says right here and again I want to remind you that Jesus knows what he's talking about because he made hell.
There is no pain that comes close to the pain of burning. Nothing quite as bad as a body engulfed in flames. The only thing worse than a body that is engulfed in flames is a body engulfed in flames that refuses to die that will not cease to exist. And almost as a footnote there is a horrible thirst that goes along with the terrible burning for people who are in hell; it is a thirst that cannot be quenched. People in hell live with terrible burning and a terrible thirst and neither one of them ever stop and neither one of them are ever eased not even slightly.
I had a man send me a note last night in which he said you talk a lot about hell but I never see it anywhere in Scripture. What is it say that people who reject God go to hell? Will this is a real good place to start.
25. Abraham spoke to this man from Paradise; he spoke to this man in hell suffering in torment and he said "remember."
Hell is filled with people who are suffering, burning, thirsting, in torment, they are longing for relief and they are also remembering. They are remembering all the wasted opportunities they had to repent and receive Christ and avoid this terrible place that they will never get out of. But now it's too late; death has made permanent their choice to reject Jesus Christ.
26. No second chances for anyone in hell. No second chances for anyone after they die. If you believe in reincarnation you are believing a lie from the devil himself; there are no second chances. The Bible says it's appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. Once to die! Once to die! Once to die!
As I suggested a few minutes ago death makes permanent the choices we make in this life. If you choose to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior in this life he will be your Lord and Savior after you die. If you choose to reject him, if you refuse to repent, then you will not have a second chance to do that after you die. Death makes permanent the choices you make in this life which is why if you haven't repented and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you better do it right now. God says today is the day of salvation; you better do it now because you're not guaranteed tomorrow. And once you're in hell it's too late; the doors of hell only swing one way and that's in.
27, 28. Hell must be horrible if this man who didn't care about anything or anyone when he was alive is now concerned about his brothers ending up in this terrible place of torment.
Do you realize, can you let this sink in, that this man has been in the same tormenting burning horrifying flames for over 2000 years nonstop and that it will never stop? He's just barely getting started and he's been there for 2000 years. Don't let the devil trick you into thinking that that sin that you enjoy is worth going to hell for. Don't let the devil trick you or false teachers tell you that you don't have to repent to be saved; all you have to do is add Jesus to your life don't bother turning away from your sin just accept Christ as they say which is not found in the Bible and you'll be okay. Don't let them lie to you! Don't believe there lies! Jesus said unless you repent you will all likewise perish! On the day of Pentecost after preaching a powerful sermon the people asked Peter what must we do? Peter said repent estimation point repent! You must repent to avoid hell you must receive Christ and submit to his Lordship to avoid hell! I am doing for you what this rich man wanted to do for his brothers but could not and that's worn down of how horrible hell is while you still have a chance to avoid it. Laugh at me if you want; scoff at me if you want; roll your eyes and walk away if you want but none of that will make the flames of hell any less horrible for you. Jesus is graciously telling this story so that you can avoid hell.
29. In other words, they can read what the Bible says. Your brothers have the written word of God they don't need the miracle of somebody coming back from the dead and warning them. The word of God is sufficient my friends; notice verse 30.
30. He saying the word of God isn't enough to convert my brothers. He saying they need something supernatural or they will not repent.
31. The holy Scriptures are supernatural enough; they are sufficient. The holy Bible is the supernatural living word of Almighty God. The words of Scripture are unlike any other words in any other book or any other words spoken. The Bible is the supernatural word of God. If a person will not believe this book and what it says about repentance about heaven about hell about Jesus then they will explain away even a man coming back from the dead and telling them about the horrors of hell.
People who have a hunger for truth do not need any more convincing than what the word of God contains. If a person does not believe in Jesus and receive Jesus because of the testimony of the holy Bible then nothing will make them believe.
1. In other words Jesus is saying it's impossible to avoid all temptations; they're gonna come, but you better not be the one who does the tempting. Everyone has a free will so everyone is accountable for their decisions right or wrong holiness or sin. However those who tempt people or in some way lead others astray from what God wants them to do will also answer to God for their part in that persons sin.
2. Jesus says: a horrible death would be better than what awaits you in eternity if you are a person who entices others to sin.
And if you hurt children or in some way contribute to their rejection of Christ you better know that God is angry with you and you better hang on to your life just as long as you possibly can because when you die you're going to have hell to pay.
Eternity is going to be a nightmare for those who tempt others to sin unless they repent and ask Christ to save them from hell and submit to his Lordship.
3a. Confronting a Christian who sins against you must always be done with kindness; it must always be done with love and concern and with the view to restoring that Christians walk with the Lord. Confronting someone who has sinned against you should never be done with the superior attitude. It must always be done with grace but it does need to be done; it most definitely needs to be done. If it isn't done then that sinner may do it again; they may do it to you again or they may do it to someone else but most importantly and worst of all if they do it again they sin against God and they hurt God because he's the one who takes the brunt of all sin.
3. If someone sins against you and you confront them about it but they refuse to repent, if they refuse to confess and they refuse to apologize than what you need to do is pray for them. If they do repent then forgive them and remember that your forgiveness doesn't have anything to do with feelings. Good feelings for them may or may not, but forgiveness doesn't have anything to do with feelings.
Forgiveness means that you don't dwell on what they did to you, it means you don't bring it up in a conversation, and that you don't get revenge.
4. You say: we can't take this literally can we? God isn't really saying that I have to forgive someone seven times in one day is he? He can't be saying that! No it doesn't mean that at all. Got us in saying that he expects you to forgive someone seven times in one day because in Scripture the number seven is the number of completeness. Jesus is saying don't any limit on how many times you forgive someone who sins against you. If they confess and they repent then you forgive them. If they sin against you 50 times today and sincerely apologize and ask for forgiveness 50 times then God says you must forgive them 50 times. It seems unlikely that someone would be sincere if they sinned against you 50 times in one day or 100 times in one day and apologized for it but the point is that our forgiveness should have no limit when there is a sincere apology, confession and repentance. And before you get upset you better think about this: God will not be upstaged by any righteousness that we display so if he expects us to unconditionally forgive people who sin against us multiple times when they confess you can be assured that no matter how many times you sin against God he will forgive you if you sincerely confess and repent. So I'm glad that Jesus commands us to do this!
God does not limit his forgiveness toward us and we must not put any limits on our forgiveness toward others either.
5. I think the apostles are in shock afterward Jesus just said about forgiveness. The response to teaching was: Lord increase our faith. In other words, Lord help us; if were supposed to forgive someone that much then please help us. They ask for more faith. They think they need more faith, but notice what Jesus says in verse six.
6. In other words the amount of faith is not an issue. It's not a issue because the concept is false. You don't need to have your faith increased because it cannot be increased. Faith is not something that is measured by pounds or ounces; faith is not measured by inches or meters or yards or miles. The amount of faith is a nonissue; it's a misnomer; it's a false idea. Faith is an all or nothing thing. You either have it or you don't; you either believe something is true or you don't; if you believe then you have faith if you don't believe then you don't have faith. It's that simple; it is all or nothing! The more you believe God's word and therefore act on God's word in spite of feelings in spite of conventional wisdom in spite of what other people may say the more consistent your faith is and so the consistency of your faith can be measured by how often you believe and act according to the word of God. But the actual amount of faith is a misnomer.
You either believe something is true or you don't. You either believe that standing in front of a train is going to kill you or you don't. You either believe that eating poison will kill you or you don't. You either believe that something is true or you don't and if you really believe it you act accordingly.
And it works the same way with us and God. You either have faith in what God says in the written scriptures or you do not; it's all or nothing; it's black-and-white; you either believe or don't believe; you either believe that God is telling the truth, or God is telling a lie; you either believe that the Scriptures are his holy word and completely reliable or they are not. What do you believe? You either have faith or you don't.
Now, if God Almighty, God himself, with his own two lips (as it were) said George, or Sarah, speak to that Apple tree and tell it to be uprooted and be removed to a river; if God Almighty says that to you; if he commands you to do that, then if you believe God and prove it by speaking to that tree then it will happen. That's faith; that it is believing the word of God; faith is believing the word of God; it is not acting on a hunch, it is not taking a shot in the dark, it is not going by your feelings, it is not going by what someone else says, faith is believing God's word and acting on it. God says: "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." In other words you have to have a word from God to live by faith. That's faith; it's very simple.
7. The answer is no master and that they would say that because a master does not owe his servant anything and that's because a servant is his master's property. A master didn't even owe his servant a thank you. That would be like an astronomer thanking his eyes for letting him see the rings of Saturn. No, his eyes are his possession; they belong to him; they are supposed to do what he wants them to do. He owns them; they are his servants. He doesn't say thank you to his eyes; that would be ridiculous. And that is Jesus's point right here. A servant is expected to do his master's will and not expect anything in return.
8. Back then the master would decide what type of reward a slave would receive if any. And the slave, well, he takes what he gets, and he doesn't complain and that's just the way it was.
9. The slave didn't deserve any special recognition for obeying his master and he didn't expect it either.
10. In other words, as Christians our life, strength, and time all belong to God our master, to God our Creator.
Going all out for him is the least that we can do; going all out for Jesus Christ and wholeheartedly obeying the word of God and submitting to his complete Lordship is normal; that's all it is it's just normal or it's what normal should be. Going all out for the Lord Jesus Christ is what he deserves. We do not deserve any special rewards for simply doing what were supposed to do. God deserves our undivided devotion all the time every day nonstop 100% until the day that we die.
11. Luke has mentioned several times that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus is headed for the cross.
12. Leprosy was an incurable and contagious disease which is why these lepers stood far away from Christ. Lepers were isolated; they live far away from everyone, including their own families. Their lives were terrible. In addition to their disease they couldn't work they can be with their loved ones and they were completely dependent on generous carrying souls who might bring them food in their isolation.
13 these lepers didn't ask to be cured they asked for mercy. They wanted to be cured but they trusted Christ to let him decide what mercy would mean in their case. And that my friends is faith. Faith is not demanding your own way or naming it and claiming it in an endless confession of things that you want until you build your mind up in your intellectual assent to something up to a fever pitch and you call that faith! That's not faith; that silliness, that un-biblical silliness has more in common with black magic and New Age is some in Christian science than it does with the Bible.
Faith is trusting that God is God and therefore respecting his decisions to do with us as he believes best and be in satisfied with it whether we like it or not.
14. Jesus did and healed them and send them to the priest to be declared healed. He commanded them to go before they were even healed. When he commanded them they still had leprosy. He told these lepers while they were lepers to go to the priest to be declared healed. He commanded them to go before they were healed; they would be healed when they believed and obeyed the word of God by going to the priest. By faith they obeyed and Jesus rewarded their faith by healing them along the way.
Living by faith is a choice; great faith is not a feeling, great faith is not an intellectual assent, great faith indeed is believing the word of God and doing what God says, even when it goes against the conventional wisdom of the day even when it doesn't make sense to others even when it doesn't make sense to you; it is trusting that God knows what is right.
15. This one man was so happy and grateful that he couldn't wait to return to Jesus to say thank you. He returned and said thanks as soon as he saw that he was healed.
16. Being cured of leprosy and being able to return to his family and friends was wonderful beyond this man's wildest dreams; he never would've imagined that his life could be normal again. In light of that he probably felt that his thank youse to Christ really fell short of what Jesus deserved but it was the best that he could do.
Our thank youse to God may seem small but God still deserves to receive them. It is the attitude of thankfulness that God appreciates.
17. Nine out of ten who were healed took their blessings and left without even saying thank you and that bothered Christ.
Being unthankful toward God is rude and it shows that a person is taking him for granted. Not only that it is dangerous. It is dangerous because if God isn't on the person's mind enough to thank him for blessings then he isn't on their mind enough to feel accountable to him either. Thankfulness keeps us aware of our dependence on God and on the fact that everything good that we have is a gift from him.
17, 18. This man who people would have least expected to be spiritual in this or any situation turned out to be more spiritual than everyone else. I despised Samaritan outdid the Israelites who were healed.
Often those who people think will never amount to anything spiritually and morally fine Christ and turn out to be great servants of Almighty God.
19. God is gracious. If you received I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know but his grace is illustrated so beautifully in our Lord's attitude toward the nine who never said thank you. They didn't say thank you but Jesus did not reverse their healing because of their ingratitude. Were reminded from this that Almighty God puts up with more rudeness than any human being ever would.
20. For the most part the Israelites believed that the kingdom of God would be announced with all sorts of cosmic signs. Jesus says: there will be no signs like you people think.
21. The Pharisees asked when the kingdom of God would come. Jesus said it's here right now. It's yours for the taking; it's yours for the entering. In other words, it's available to you right now if you wanted. It's not coming with cosmic signs or pomp and ceremony.
We enter God's kingdom when we repent of our sin and as Christ, God's King, to save our soul and be the Lord of our life.
22. The days of the Son of Man refers to the good times that the apostles and disciples are having with Jesus. Those 3+ years were happy days; I'm sure the apostles and others look back on those three years and said those were the good old days, especially when they were enduring such persecution in the early church. These were great days; the crowds were huge, the word of God was spreading, miracles were being done, the dead were being raised. Excitement was everywhere. But Jesus warns that it will not always be that way and when it is not they will miss it.
Enjoy the good things God gives you while you have them. Enjoy whatever happiness God grants you while you are able to do it.
22, 23. No one will have to search for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, when he returns. So with some nut comes along San that he is Christ don't go chasing after him.
24. In other words, the Lord's return will be very obvious. When Jesus returns you won't need to have anyone tell you. When Jesus returns you won't need anyone to knock on your door and tell you that the Christ is here.
Do not believe any stories about anyone being the Lord Jesus Christ unless you personally along with everybody else in the world see him descend from outer space without the use of an airplane hang glider parachute or anything else.
25. "But first." Most of the time those are not the words that people like to hear. You can have money, but first work. You can graduate from school but first you have to study. You can be in good shape, but first exercise. Jesus will return from heaven and set up a great earthly kingdom, but first he must suffer and die to pay for our sins, but first his people must be faithful to him on earth, faithful until death and be willing to put up with persecution of all kinds to remain true to their Savior... "But first."
Sin has made earth a "but first" world. Suffering, sacrifice, work and then reward; that's the pattern. Jesus has set the pattern for us. Nothing comes easy in this world. Someone has to work for or suffer for it or endure for it or be patient for it.
26, 27. The warning from God is this: Jesus Christ will return and judgment day will come as a surprise to sinners who are caught up in the things of this world; it will be a shocker; they will be stunned.
The people of Noah's day were so caught up in, and preoccupied with the things of this world that Noah's warnings of God's judgment didn't register; they didn't care what that crazy old man had to say.
28, 29. One minute the people of Sodom were doing normal things; it was a day like any other day but then suddenly judgment hit and they were burned alive.
That's the way it is for most people who go to hell: they're busy doing all sorts of things that exclude God; there busy with their sin, there busy with the things of this world, they're too busy to give God and the Lord Jesus Christ and their eternal destiny any thought and then suddenly they die and a split second later they're in the lake of fire; everything has changed, changed forever.
The people in Sodom and Gomorrah continued to sin, scoffed at repentance and then suddenly died by being burned alive immediately following that they were sent to hell to burn forever and they never saw any of it coming because their sinfulness blinded them to reality. Sodom stands as an illustration of why people need to be ready to meet their maker right now.
30. As it was in the days of Noah and as it was in the days of Lot when people were given over to their sin thinking that there was no price to pay for it; as it was in those days so it will be when Jesus returns.
The destruction of the world and the judgment of man will happen unexpectedly, for the unsaved it will be unexpected, just like a thief in the night.
31. In other words, be careful, make sure you're not attached to the things of this world. Make sure that Jesus Christ is number one in your life. In other words, do not delay, turn to Jesus right now, repent of your sin right now make him your Lord and Master right now.
Do not cling to sin, don't cling to the things of this world. God's wrath is going to strike swiftly so everyone ought to receive Christ immediately and live for him until the day they die or he returns.
32. Lots wife didn't want to perish with the wicked in Sodom but she didn't want to give up her sin either. She wanted both but it must be either one or the other. She turned back to Sodom; she chose sin and was destroyed as a result.
33. If there's no willingness to turn from sin, if there's no willingness to turn from the old ways, and if there's no willingness to receive Christ as Lord and Savior and to suffer rejection from the world if need be because of faithfulness to Christ, then a person cannot receive Christ and be saved. And if they do not they will be damned along with the rest of the world forever. If someone wants to hang on to their old sinful life then they cannot receive eternal life through Jesus Christ. It has to be one or the other; you can't go left and right at the same time and you can't be a Christian, truly saved without submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ because that attitude is the result of sincerity and sincerity is something that God demands when we ask Jesus to save us.
34, 35. In other words, the return of Christ will be sudden and when it happens it'll be too late for those who didn't want him to change their mind. Today's the day of salvation!
Jesus is saying: there will be a swift and permanent separation between people who know Christ and those who do not.
36. God knows the people who belong to him and he will remove his people before he punishes the wicked. On Judgment Day when Jesus returns he will separate the sheep from the goats, the saved from the unsaved; his people will be protected and enter into the new earth that he will create while those who rejected him will be immediately sent to hell.
God will not punish you if you are a Christian; he will protect you.
37a. In other words where will the judgment take place? Where will the wicked be taken to for final judgment and condemnation?
37. In Eagles I can zoom in like a telescope and see an animal the size of a rabbit 2 miles away. In the same way God will find every sinner who has not repented. He will find them and punish them and it will happen wherever they happen to be on the day that Jesus Christ returns.
1. Believe it or not this was a radical statement by Christ. It was radical because the Israelites were taught that they should pray three times a day. Any more than that and you were probably being a nuisance to God. Jesus said, pray at all times and do not give up. And this is another place where Jesus differed with religious tradition. He didn't care one bit about tradition and he vehemently opposed it whenever it contradicted the written word of God and he is opposing it right here.
Jesus's statement probably confused most of the people and no doubt angered the purveyors of religious tradition but he spoke it anyway because the word of God needs to be taught clearly even if some people don't understand and even if others get angry.. The word of God is that important!
2. Jesus tells the story about a judge who as we will see, was the opposite of God. Righteousness and justice are two of the foundations of God's character but righteousness and justice meant nothing to the judge in this story.
3. This woman had every right to petition this judge to do the correct thing to take a stand for justice and she had the right to continue to petition him until he did his job. That is what the judge got paid to do, but he obviously didn't care and he didn't do his job.
In contrast to that Jesus always does his job; God's judge, the Lord Jesus Christ always has the highest standards of righteousness and justice for himself and he always lives up to them and he expects people to as well that's part of being a righteous judge. A righteous judge doesn't overlook injustice and unfairness and lawlessness. A righteous judge defends the victims of crime and makes sure that the criminals are punished. The judge in the story was clearly on righteous.
4.5. The judge didn't care about justice, God, or this woman who was a victim of crime, but he did care about himself. He will help this woman because he's sick of listening to her. It reminds me of the Democratic Party in America today; I heard a few of them begin to call for the riots in our cities to stop, not because they were wrong, not because innocent men and women are suffering and being shot, not because businesses of innocent people are being destroyed, not because people are being shot in the innocent beat up, but because their poll numbers are going down. That is a sure sign of unrighteousness and that is no different than the judge in this story.
6. In other words, Jesus says did you hear what the unjust judge said? He's going to help this woman not because she has been wrong, not because he cares about right and wrong, not because he cares about her because he doesn't; he's going to help her because the price of placating evil has begun to affect him personally.
7. If the judge helped even though he didn't care then God who loves you and wants what's best for you will certainly do what is right for you. God will do what is best for you because he is concerned about justice and he is concerned about the things that concern you.
I don't care what circumstances seem to suggest, God is not indifferent, and he is not a distant deity who doesn't understand our situation. Yes bad things happen even to God's people in this sinful world; bad things happen because God has given man free will but God promises that somehow he will work all things together for our good if we love Christ. That is something that Christians can hang on to in the midst of bad. It is something that the unsaved have not been promised. Bad is an end in itself for those who don't know Christ. Bad is a means to a greater good for those who have repented and received Christ as Lord and Savior.
8. Jesus is looking for Christians who have faith. In other words Jesus is looking for Christians who will trust him even when their prayers are not answered the way they would like. So whether you're talking about the final days before Jesus returns or today Christ is looking for people of faith; people who will keep trusting him even if it seems that he isn't listening to their prayers even when things don't change for the better. That's when our faith is tested. Anybody can believe God and have faith in him when everything is going their way but when God isn't answering prayers that way we would like and things seem to be going from bad to worse true faith continues to cling to the word of God and believes that the future will be better because God said it.
9. This little parable is especially important for people who think that they are better than others and that they are good enough on their own merits to be right with God.
10. What a contrast in these two people. Anyone listening to this story would think the Pharisee is so pious and so holy so no doubt his prayers will be heard. But that tax collector like all tax collectors are such filthy vile sinners, his prayers will not be heard. That would be the conventional wisdom of the day. That would be what most people listening to Jesus's story would be thinking.
11. The Pharisee says God I'm so thankful that I'm such a great guy, that I'm so holy, that I'm so wonderful. By the way when this Pharisee mentions God in his so-called prayer it was just a formality. I say it was a formality because his prayer was not directed toward God; his prayer was directed at the people around him who were listening. He was advertising himself. His so-called prayer was just a pretext for self-glorification and it was a summary of how wonderful he thought he was. He was in talking to God he was giving a speech about himself to the people and pretending that it was prayer.
12. For everyone to hear he talks about how wonderful he is; what a great guy I am. That's exactly the message that he is sending to everyone who is listening to his so-called prayer. He wants everyone to know just how great he is especially in contrast to that tax collector who was next to him.
13. When the Pharisee talked about what a terrible sinner that tax collector was he no doubt said it loud enough for that tax collector to hear but he wasn't saying anything that the publican didn't already know about himself. The publican knew he was a bad person; he knew he was a terrible sinner and if he ever forgot there were plenty of people who would remind him and they would be right because he was. He knew it, in fact he knew it so well that he didn't even lift his eyes toward heaven when he prayed. He knew it so well that all he could do was plead to God for mercy.
14. People who try to tell God how were they they are, how wonderful they are, are wasting their time because he's not buying it. We have nothing to barter with God. You can't tell God anything about yourself that he doesn't already know and you can't tell God anything about yourself that will impress him about you. God however does honor the prayer of a humble person.
When we ask God for a favor even though we don't deserve it and we know we don't deserve it and we acknowledge that we don't deserve it then we are on the right track. That is the type of prayer that the Lord will hear and respond to.
15. The parents of these children wanted Jesus to touch them, to bless them. They love their children and they knew Jesus would be good for them. If you love your child you will teach them about Jesus, you will teach them about the real Jesus not some modern-day Jesus was open-minded about sin and watered-down teaching. If you love your children you want Jesus to touch them, to touch their minds with truth.
The parents wanted Jesus to touch their children but the disciples figured that children were a waste of our Lord's time so they tried to stop them.
16. There is not a child anywhere in this world no matter what their parents may be like who does not immediately go to heaven if they die. That is what Jesus meant when speaking of children he said: "for of such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
17. Receiving the kingdom like a child means people need to set aside all the complexities of religion, human ideas, and philosophies and instead simply believe God.
18. I'm thinking that this young man probably became wealthy by hard work. He probably conquered the goal of wealth through hard work so now he sets his sights on heaven and plans to conquer that goal in the same way; he has a work ethic which is a good thing except when you're talking about obtaining heaven. He believed that he had to do good works to be saved he just didn't know what kind of good works or how many good works he had to do.
19. Jesus is not saying that he isn't good and is not saying that he isn't God. He simply asked the man why do you call me good? He then says that God is the only one who is good in the true sense of the word. Good means good; we become so sloppy in our language we say things that we don't mean and we mean things that we don't say but God is not that way. Words mean something to God so when he says something they mean what they say in good means good; good means good without any bad; it doesn't mean better than most; doesn't mean more good than bad; it means good 100% pure good with no trace of bad and the only one who's that way is God. Jesus is trying to teach this man that he shouldn't be calling Christ good unless he also believes that he is God. He's also teaching this man to think about the words that he uses.
20. As usual when people suggest that they would like to work their way to heaven Christ directs them to the holy Bible and the commandments of God. If you want to work your way to heaven then you have to look at keeping the law. You keep the commandments perfectly without ever failing and you be good enough to enter into heaven; that's Jesus's message to this one who wanted to work his way to heaven.
21. Okay here he goes again using words in a sloppy manner. This man needs a new dictionary because his definition of good was not correct and neither is his definition of all and neither is his definition of kept. He says I have kept all of these commandments all my life. What he means to say is a lot of times I've kept these commandments; he's exaggerating and it doesn't work when you're dealing with God and you're trying to work your way to heaven. You can give God an exaggerated evaluation of your goodness but that's not going to cut it with him he's not buying it.
This man had created a watered-down standard of righteousness in his own mind and then declared: I've kept it. He is in his own little world of make-believe where he is safe and secure and none of it means anything.
22 Jesus didn't argue with this man; he knew him well enough to point out examples of him breaking the law in the past but instead Jesus is about to point out that he's not keeping the law of God in the present. So he tells this rich man to sell everything that he has and give it to the poor and follow him.
The young man had suggested that God was the absolute Lord of his life so Jesus is giving him a chance to prove it. Jesus says: okay, let's see who really is the Lord of your life.
Jesus who is God, the very God this man has claimed to obey from the very beginning of his life, Jesus who is God said I want you to sell everything you have and give it all to the poor. Now you say that you always obey God so prove it right here by obeying that command from me and I'm God. So everything you have, follow me; that's God's command to this young man.
23. This man knew there was more to life than wealth. His spirit was empty. He hungered for truth, he hungered for eternal life, there was an empty spot in his soul which only God could fill. He couldn't find peace in spite of all of his wealth but he was so attached to this world and his money that he was not willing to obey Christ to obtain that peace that he longed for. He had sold his soul to the God of wealth and he was miserable and would remain miserable.
People who sell out Christ for the sake of anything doom themselves to eternal unhappiness.
24. The man walked away sad. Jesus was sad as well because he cared about him and he knew how horrible hell would be for him if he didn't repent. But Jesus still let him walk away because God honors our free will even if our choices are the worst thing in the world for us.
25. God loves the rich just as much as he loves the poor but wealth sometimes keeps people from repenting and receiving Christ. Wealth can buy people comfort, good times, and a sense of security. People can love those things so much that they don't want to take the time to think about eternity and their need of a Savior. They actually become spiritual prisoners to their wealth.
26. The people were shocked at what Jesus just said about it being difficult for the wealthy to get into the kingdom of heaven. People were surprised because most felt that God was pleased with the rich and that's why they were rich.
27. God can save a wealthy person. God can do the impossible.
Maybe you can't convince someone who is well off financially that they need a Savior and that they should spend less time thinking about the good life here on earth and more time thinking about eternity but God can convince them through the convicting power of his Holy Spirit.
We need to give out the truth to lost souls so that they know their hell bound and they need Jesus to be their Lord and Savior but after that were probably better off talking to God about them than we are talking to them about God. Prayer can move God to do things that we can't do like convince a lost sinner wealthy or poor that they need to repent.
28. It looks like Peter is a little nervous after hearing Jesus say that it is impossible for a rich man to be saved. After all the rich were supposed to be leading the way to heaven and if they're not getting in how can a poor fisherman hope to get in? As a result, Peter reminds Jesus that he is pretty much broke because he left everything to follow him.
29. These things mentioned by Jesus should be a priority with Christians; house, parents, brothers, sisters wife, children are all good things and should all be priorities in the life of a Christian but they should not be the top priority. Jesus should be more important than any of these things and sometimes it is the will of God to be away from those things for the sake of Christ.
29, 30. Jesus isn't promising more wives, children, or homes, but more of that type of joy that these things normally would provide.
If nothing else total dedication to God, to Jesus, will give you a sense of joy and contentment which nothing not even the things mentioned here can provide.
31. Jesus said all things written concerning the Son of Man or the Messiah will be fulfilled when we get to Jerusalem. And right about now the apostles are thinking: great! All things that are written concerning the Messiah are about to come to pass which means that Jesus will ride into Jerusalem knock Rome off the throne and rule the entire world from Israel and they're all thinking: that's what I call good news! There thinking: in just a couple of days a new world will begin and it's going to be wonderful especially for us Israelites but for the entire world.
31-33. What? Do we all need hearing aids because we thought we heard you say that when we get to Jerusalem you're going to be arrested, mocked and put to death, and that can't be correct. But it is and they heard right and they weren't expecting any of that. Jesus is walking into a lot of pain-and-suffering and he knows it. He knows it but he will do nothing to avoid it. He will go through it because it is for us. He will do it to pay for our sins.
So it's going to be rough but then it's going to be great because after the crucifixion Jesus will be raised from the dead in three days. Of course the apostles were so shellshocked from the bad news that the good news of resurrection seemed to go right over their heads.
34. The disciples along with the rest of the Israelites had not been taught all these negative things about the Messiah in fact they believed the exact opposite. Their plans for what Christ would do were not in line with the word of God. They all had a lot of unlearning to do before the truth concerning the suffering of Christ would really sink in.
It is important to be patient with people who are hungry for the truth of God's word. It's important to be patient because often even those who truly hunger for the truth have a lot of unlearning to do before biblical truth really sinks in. Some people believe things that are incorrect; it's not that they are opposed to truth it's just that they've never been taught truth; in fact they been taught things contrary to holy Scripture and it takes time for the human mind to be renewed by the word of God and it takes some people longer than others.
35. Blind men like other people with disabilities couldn't find work in those days so they were forced to beg. This man was doing the best he could with the hand that he was dealt.
36. All the excitement of course is over the fact that Jesus is in town and he's coming down the street.
37. And maybe for the first time in a long time this man had some hope. If he can just get to Jesus, if he can just get the attention of Christ then maybe Jesus will heal him. He certainly has nothing to lose so he's going to try his very best.
38. Son of David means Messiah. This beggar was poor, blind, and miserable, and he needed mercy. And there's no better person than Jesus to cry out to when you need mercy.
39a. The crowd was thinking that there is no way that someone as important as Jesus should be bothered by a blind beggar and they seem to be embarrassed for him so they tell him to be quiet.
It's always easy to tell people what to do when you are not in their shoes. It's very easy for the crowd to tell this poor blind man who was forced to beg in order to survive to be quiet. I wonder if they would've been quiet if they would've been in his position; I doubt it.
39. Public opinion didn't matter to this blind man who knew that he needed Christ. When a person is desperate enough to seek Jesus and not be embarrassed about it they will get God's attention. God says you will search for me and you will find me when you seek for me with all your heart. God demands sincerity and often people must be feeling a sense of desperation before they truly cry out to God with all sincerity.
40a. And remember Jesus is headed for the cross. Most people would be so preoccupied with their own trouble at this point that they would not be concerned about the troubles of others but that was not the case with Christ.
Our compassion and kindness should not waiver according to how things are going for us.
40, 41. It is obvious what this man needed and wanted but Jesus still wanted him to ask for it. He wanted the man to pray as it were.
Prayer is important for many reasons. Prayer is important because people need to communicate with God their Creator. Prayer is important because it keeps us from taking God's goodness for granted and prayer is important because it keeps us from having a feeling of entitlement or self-sufficiency. Maybe that's why God sometimes wants us to ask him for things before he will give them to us.
42. The man had faith that Jesus could heal him and so he asked and Jesus healed. He had faith enough to believe that Christ could do it and faith enough to act on that belief by asking him and so he had faith enough to receive his sight. He didn't have to pump up his intellectual assent in Christ ability to heal; he didn't have to pump it up to a fever pitch before he got his healing because that kind of thinking is nonsense. You either have faith or you don't, it's black-and-white, yes or no and if you have it you believe and you will act accordingly; that is faith pure and simple.
43. Everyone knew that Jesus once again did the impossible. The formerly blind man was a living witness to the power of God working through Christ. Everyone was excited about Jesus. The man who was healed followed Jesus.
Those of us who have received from Christ have a desire to follow him. Those of us who have been blessed by Christ have a desire to serve him.
1. Jesus did not stop in Jericho he just passed through. He did no miracles in that city and he didn't save any souls there but he did have work to do just on the other side of Jericho.
2. In the last chapter Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to be saved. He also said concerning that, that what is impossible with man is possible with God. In this chapter Jesus will do the impossible by saving a very rich and very corrupt sinner.
.3 being short created a problem for this tax collector because the crowd was huge and he couldn't see Christ as a result. He was sort of like a child standing behind a crowd of adults trying to watch a parade.
4. Secularist was short which meant he had to try harder, he had to overcome a challenge that others didn't have to deal with. The old saying is where there's a will there's a way and since he really wanted to see Jesus he found a way: he climbed a tree.
We all have problems and weaknesses that are peculiar to us. The people who want to do the right thing don't use those weaknesses as an excuse to not do it, but instead they fight through those weaknesses, accomplish their goal and in the struggle become stronger.
5. People talk about how they must do this or must do that and people talk about a must win for their favorite team and yet there really is only one "must" anything and that is to do the will of God. Jesus must go to Zacchaeus home. He has to go to his home because that tax collector is a heartbeat out of hell and needs to be saved.
You talk about a must, that a must! Being saved from hell is a must. Not putting off your salvation is a must. Seeking the Lord while he may be found as the Bible commands us to do is a must.
6. No one in that crowd of Hebrews would have believed that a no good, thief, and publican like Zacchaeus could ever have a heart for God. But Jesus knew that deep down he wanted to repent.
If we supply a willing heart then God will give us the opportunity and grace to change for the better.
7. The Lord angered the Pharisees again; so what else is new?
A preacher better anger people like the religious rulers or I can tell you without hesitation that they're not doing their job. If the godless who have no regard for the word of God do not get agitated and angry at a preacher from time to time than that preacher is watering down the message so much that it's not doing anyone who is hungry for the word any good just like it's not upsetting the ungodly. What good is a preacher like that? He's good for nothing! He's fit for the dunghill!
8. Zacchaeus is saved and forgiven and he knows that it took a lot of grace and mercy for God to do that for him and he appreciates it. He appreciates it so he shows it in his changed life.
If someone is saved then they are changed and they continue to change and they continue to get better and they continue to want to please Christ more and more. If someone is saved then they want to try, if possible, to make up for the bad that they did in the past by doing good out of appreciation for God's mercy through Christ.
9. Zacchaeus had always been the physical son of Abraham but now he is also the spiritual son of Abraham because like Abraham he has been saved by faith and his actions show it just like Abraham's did.
10. God has always been in the business of seeking out and saving lost souls and that goes way back to Adam the first lost sinner.
If God did not seek us out and do everything he could to get us to repent then we would grope around in spiritual darkness until our damned souls went to hell. That's because lost sinners, by nature, stay away from God; they run from God. They don't seek God, they hide from him. It is God who comes to seek and save the lost, it is God who calls us to himself, it is God who gives us the grace to believe and repent. It's still our choice but apart from God's enabling grace we wouldn't be able to do it because we are dead in our trespasses and sins.
11. Right now people were thinking: when Jesus gets to Jerusalem it's going to be wonderful; it's going to be smooth sailing all the way. I say that because people were thinking: we know what Jesus is going to do: he will defeat Rome and he will set up his kingdom and everything will be wonderful. So because that's what people were thinking Jesus will tell this parable to lower their expectations and bring them back to biblical reality.
12. In this story the noble man is Jesus. Jesus said that the noble man went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and that's what Jesus did. After paying for our sins on the cross he went into a far country, as it were, he went to heaven. He went to receive the position that he had before he humbled himself and became a man; he went to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the father and rule over his spiritual kingdom on earth. And like the man in this story Jesus is also returning.
13. Before the man leaves for the far country he gives out some assignments to his servants. He gives each of his servants a job and he gives each of them the means to do that job and he gives them time to do it before he returns to judge their work. And so this was a time of testing for the servants.
Now is the time of testing for Christians. This world, this earth, this life that we are living in the flesh is our time of testing as Christians and as people in general. The king is a way so it's time for lost sinners to get saved and it's time for Christians to live a holy life and to be busy using the gifts that he has given us to do the work that pleases him.
14. The citizens sent word to the man that they were going to do things their way and that he had no right to return and rule over them. In fact he shouldn't return from the far country because his citizens don't want him anymore.
The Jewish rulers along with most people rejected Christ. In essence they told Almighty God: we don't want Christ your son to be our king. Were going to do things our way; we don't want you or your son to rule over us.
15a. The Bible says that the man returned and received his kingdom. They did not want the man to return they didn't want that man to rule over them. Too bad he returned! They didn't want the man to be king. Too bad he's the king!
Most people do not want Jesus to be king. Most people do not want him to rule over them. Well he is the king and he is our Lord and he is our ruler and he is also our judge; like it or not that's the way it is. Jesus ascended into heaven and he sits at the right hand of God the father. The right hand of Almighty God is the place of authority and so Jesus is ruling; he is reigning from heaven and one day he will return and rule and reign on earth and everyone will give an account of their lives to the king whether they believe it or like it or not it doesn't matter and he will return whether people want him to or not just like the noble man in this story.
16. It's time for the servants to give an account.
Just a reminder to us that everyone is accountable to Jesus Christ. The lost are accountable for their sins and they will pay for them forever if they don't repent and receive Christ. Christians are accountable for their faithfulness to Christ after the become Christians and that faithfulness or lack of faithfulness will in some way determine how much they enjoy eternity.
16, 17. This man used what he had. He used it faithfully and he was rewarded according to his faithfulness. He worked hard, he was faithful and so he earned much from the king.
18, 19. This man had been given the same opportunity as the first but only did half as much with what he had. Consequently, his reward was half that of the first man.
A Christians dedication to God makes a difference. If we are faithful to a lesser degree then we will be rewarded, but to a lesser degree than someone who was fully dedicated to Christ.
20, 21. This man's view of his Lord was twisted and perverted and dead wrong. And obviously this points to someone who really doesn't know God. If he would've known him that he would've known that God was not unfair and he was not harsh. He didn't understand God so he didn't love him and since he didn't love him he didn't serve him.
The more we know God, the more we will want to do for him. That's why the word of God is so important. The word of God is the only way that we can truly get to know God better in this life and the more we know him more will love him and the more will want to serve him.
22. In other words, you were right about one thing, I'm a severe man, I mean business when I judge and you're going to find that out right now.
No one can question God's grace. No one can question God's mercy. But no one should doubt God's determination to avenge his honor and punish those who refuse to repent and receive his mercy through Jesus Christ either.
23. In other words, you should have at least invested my money in the safest possible way so that it would have earned a little interest
. This servant did absolutely nothing. He was lazy and indifferent toward his master. He may have been a servant in position but you could never tell that he was a servant by observing him because he didn't act like one
. Some people are Christians in name only but like this man the evidence of their relationship with God would be far too little to ever convince a jury.
24, 25. The one who earned the most was given more to work with; he was rewarded with even more than he had at first. Like any wise business person the master will put his money where it has the best chance of growing and put it in charge of someone who knows what they're doing and actually cares.
It's the same with God; when he sees that a Christian can be trusted to do little things right then he will and trust that Christian with more opportunities.
26. In other words, faithfulness to God leads to reward. Faithfulness to God also leads to more opportunities to serve God which leads to more rewards and more joy. But a Christian who has a bad attitude will find that his life is being wasted and if he doesn't know it now he will note for certain once he stands before God after he dies.
27. The three servants represented three Christians with three different levels of commitment to Christ. The enemies mentioned here are not Christians at all. They don't just lose rewards; they suffer pain; they are punished by the king on Judgment Day which speaks of hell.
27. Notice that it is not the number of sins that a person commits which will determine if they go to hell or not. It is the one sin of not wanting Christ to rule over you that does that. Rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the one sin that seals a person's doom until they repent.
28. Jesus continues his journey toward Jerusalem. Our Lord is looking humiliation, suffering, and in the eye and he's not backing down. Jesus is considering his life to be nothing compared to doing the father's will.
When you talk about heroes Jesus should be at the top of any list. The Lord Jesus Christ fell on the grenade for all of us.
29. Bethany and Bethpage were both only a few miles from Jerusalem.
The greatest, and holiest battle ever fought on this planet took place on the cross and it is now less than one week away.
30. Jesus had not been to that village this day but he knew that there would be a cold there and he knew it would be tied and he knew exactly where to send his apostles to find it. Jesus knew all these things because he was God.
31. Jesus will not ask for permission to borrow that colt and he doesn't have to because he is God. The Bible says that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. The Bible says that the earth is the Lords and all the fullness thereof. You and I don't own anything; the "owner" of that colt really didn't own it.
Again God does not need man's permission to do anything or to take anything. "Will the clay say to the potter why have you made me thus? Answer: no. No one has a right to question anything that God does because he is incapable of doing anything wrong and that would include taking what belongs to him which is everything.
32. And remember they were not told to ask for the colt; they were instructed to take it. They took it, and everything fell into place as we will see.
There may have been some concern on the part of these apostles but everything turned out just fine because they were following the word of God. God never lets us down when we do things his way.
33. And I don't know exactly what the apostles were thinking at this point; maybe they were thinking: Jesus, perhaps you should've put the owners to sleep while we took this cold.
Sometimes it is tempting to think: God I have a better way than the plan you seem to be following, but that's never true. Faith trusts that God is smarter than we are.
33. Notice there was more than one owner which humanly speaking could have made taking this colt even more difficult. One owner may allow it and the other one may not. And it could've been a problem except for the fact that Jesus is God and God has the minds of all people in his hands and is able to make them agreeable to anything he wants.
34. Notice how they use the exact words that Jesus told them to use. They stuck with the word of God; they didn't try to ad lib.; they didn't feel the need to strengthen their argument with their own words.
The more we let God speak for himself the better things will be. God accomplishes his will when his words are not altered or overshadowed by our words.
35. The apostles put their garments on the colt for Jesus to sit on.
Christ will accept our gifts if they are given out of devotion to him. Those old garments given freely by the apostles meant more to Jesus than a fancy saddle.
36. The crowd threw down their garments and made a carpet for Christ.
37. The people understood that Jesus was making a statement by riding into Jerusalem on that particular day and on that donkey. He was claiming to be their Messiah coming to town and offering peace. The crowd was going wild because they thought Jesus would crush Rome and immediately usher in a utopian society of peace and prosperity.
38. Their praise was loud but it was also shallow because it was based on what they thought Jesus would do for them rather than who Jesus is. When it becomes clear that he will not crush Rome their praises will quickly turn to jeers.
The primary reason to praise God is because God is God. If we only praise God for good things and good times than are praise will not be as consistent as it should be. God is consistently good, consistently perfect, consistently holy, consistently righteous, consistently kind, consistently wise, and therefore should be consistently praised by his people regardless of their personal circumstances.
39. The religious leaders, the "ministers" sense that their popularity is slipping away. They wanted to be the center of attention and therefore they are bothered by the attention that Jesus is receiving.
It doesn't matter what "ministry" it is, if it is there to keep itself going or draw attention to some individual rather than to serve the interest of Christ and draw attention to him then that so-called ministry should go out of business.
40. If the people quit praising Jesus than the rocks will start praising him. And yes I take that literally!
The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would be praised on this day and in this manner as he rode into Jerusalem. Consequently if the people do not cooperate God will cause the rocks to praise. Why? Because the Bible is true and the scripture cannot be broken and the Scripture must be fulfilled. One way or another God fulfills his word.
41. While the people are rejoicing Christ is crying. You don't see Christ crying much in the Bible, only twice. Once when Lazarus was dead and his sisters Mary and Martha were crying and then here. Jesus cried over the sadness of others and over the ministry others would experience because of their sin of rejecting him; it was always about others with Jesus.
While the people were happy Jesus was sad. He was sad because he knows that they want him to be their political and military deliver but not their Lord and Savior. He knows that they want to Christ but not the real one, not him, and what that would mean for them in the future and it wasn't good.
They are dedicated to a Jesus that doesn't even exist. They are dedicated to a Jesus, to a Messiah that they have created in their own image and likeness and they are in trouble because of that and that's why he's crying.
41, 42. As Jesus said this was their day. This was their day; this was their day of opportunity. This was the day that they had actually waited for for centuries. The Messiah has arrived but they will reject him because he's not what they want; they will reject him because they're not interested in submitting to his Lordship and being saved from hell. All they want is a Messiah that will make them prosperous here on earth and as a result they miss the real Jesus, they miss the real Messiah, they blow their opportunity, they wasted their day.
Jesus said you could have had peace; you could have been right with God, but you cannot see the truth and that was their fault. The truth had been hidden from them because they were given over to the hardness of their own hearts. Peace was within their grasp but since they would not receive Jesus spiritually they will not have what they long for physically.
43, 44. No wonder Jesus was crying; look at what was going through his head. There was a scene of destruction, bloodshed, and slaughter like the nation Israel had never seen going through his mind. These things will all happen to Israel because they refuse to repent and welcome Christ as their Lord. And these terrible things did happen 37 years later.
45, 46. First order of business in Jerusalem: go to the temple and throw those who were using it like a midway at the fair out on their ears.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the King and this cleansing of the temple was an act of his authority. By his actions Jesus was saying: I am God and this temple is my home and this place is supposed to be a sacred place.
Church is supposed to be a sacred place not a place to make a buck and not a place for fast talking salesman to find customers and not a place with smooth talking preachers fill their pockets with the rewards of their moral compromise.
47, 48. It's Monday of holy week. Jesus will teach on Monday and Tuesday and that's it. As we see here he was still popular with the common people but the leaders want him dead.
The leaders were evil and he expose their evil over and over again and they hated him because if it. They had the people fooled with their lies but the word of God spoken through Jesus exposed all their hypocrisy, their sin, and their false teachings, and since they did not want to repent they hated Christ.
1. Jesus taught the word of God even though he knew most people would not receive it. He taught the Bible even though he knew it would anger the religious leaders. He spoke it, he taught it, he lived it because it was the correct thing to do. He did all those things because if you can only please one person in this world it should be God.
2. They want to know who gave Jesus the right to teach the Bible. They also want to know who gave him the authority to enter the temple with the whip and drive out all the money changers and those who were doing business there.
To the rulers Jesus was just a carpenter from up north. He didn't have much formal education; he didn't have any degrees and he wasn't accredited by any religious group. In other words, he wasn't a part of their religious machine; they didn't pay him or appoint him so they couldn't control him and that made them very uncomfortable.
3. Jesus doesn't have to answer their question because he is God. God doesn't owe anyone any explanation for anything. But Jesus graciously says that he will give them an explanation if they answer his question.
4. Christ wants the leaders to tell him and everyone standing there what they really thought of John the Baptist. Was John a fraud or was he from God? That is his question to them.
5. John the Baptist told all the people including the religious leaders to repent and follow Christ. The leaders did not repent nor did they follow Christ; the leaders did not listen to John the Baptist. Consequently, if they say that John was from God than they are admitting that they are not godly because they aren't following John's instructions. They won't admit that because they're too proud to admit that they are wrong.
6. If they answer saying John the Baptist was from God then they incriminate themselves for not obeying him. On the other hand if they say John is not from God the people will riot because the people knew that he was from God.
Life sure is complicated when self is on the throne and therefore you feel the need to tiptoe around the truth and constantly try to figure out which way the wind of public opinion is blowing so that you can get on board with the majority. It sure is complicated to bow to the God of self and serve self rather than serving God. It is so much easier to simply live to please God, speak the truth, and let what happens happen.
7. They are the religious leaders and they don't know if John's ministry was from God or not? You have to be a pathetic religious leader if you can't discern right and wrong and figure out what's from God and what is not.
So, consequently they would rather have the people think that they were ignorant than bad, but either way they are unfit to lead spiritually.
8. If they are not smart enough to discern whether John was from God or not then how can they possibly be smart enough to suggest that Jesus is in from God? If they don't have the discernment to determine if John's message was from God or Satan then how, all of a sudden, do they get enough discernment to determine that Jesus is not of God? The answer is they don't have discernment. The answer is they are spiritually blind because of the hardness of their own hearts and their love for their own sin and that's why they're not fit to lead.
The fact is they aren't interested in truth and that is why Jesus didn't answer their question; if someone isn't interested in truth then you are casting pearls before swine, you are wasting your time trying to talk to them.
9. It was common for a landowner to hire farmers to take care of his fields and grow his crops. The farmers worked hard, they worked the land and they paid the owner a certain portion of the crops as their rent.
10. Instead of paying their rent they beat the servant who was sent to collect.
The owner wasn't asking for anything unreasonable; he was only asking for what he deserved.
11. The owner didn't give up easy, he tried again. He gave the farmers another opportunity to do the right thing but they did not.
12. The owner tried 1/3 time but again no rent was paid. The farmers once again beat the servant.
The servants in this story represent God's prophets who over the years God sent Israel to call the people to repentance. But time after time the Israelites persecuted them; instead of repenting according to the word of God they rejected his prophets often by beating them and killing them.
13. Of course God knew that Israel would reject his son and they did.
14. In those days the law stated that if a land owner died without any errors his inheritance would go to any tenant farmers who worked his land. So the farmers will kill the son so that they can inherit the land.
The religious leaders liked being in charge of the religious system in Israel. They did not want God to be in charge of his religion. They did not want God to be in charge of his people. They wanted to be in charge. They did not want the son of God to rule; they wanted to rule. The haughty self-righteous religious leaders were trying to usurp the authority and position of God. In essence they said let's kill the air so that the inheritance will be ours; let's kill the son and take over the religion of God.
15, 16. They said God forbid! God for bid? They said certainly not! And I want to know how they can say that? Where's the outcry for justice over the murder of the owners son? Saying certainly not or God forbid is like saying those evil tenant farmers should not be punished for the sin of murder and these are religious leaders? These moral reprobates are supposed to be the moral leaders?
Part of the responsibility of being a good person is doing what you can do to stop bad people. Obviously these religious leaders were not good people. They weren't interested in stopping bad. They were only interested in preserving their standing in the religious community. If that meant selling out God and selling out the word of God then they would do it.
17. The Israelites rejected and murdered the son of God but that didn't change anything because God raised him from the dead and in spite of their rebellion and rejection made him king anyway.
People who reject Christ are rejecting the one who is in charge and there rejecting doesn't change a thing, it doesn't stop him from being in charge and it will not stop Jesus from testing them into hell on judgment day either.
18. Jesus came here the first time with humility offering God's mercy. The first time he came born in a stable to poor parents grew up to be a blue-collar worker who died on the cross is the offering for our sin. Those who stumbled over the idea of God's son living in such humility and dying for the sins of man were broken because they rejected him and when he returns like a giant rock falling from heaven he will crush the powder all those who refuse to repent and receive him.
19. The rulers hated Christ before and they hate him even more now that he embarrass them in front of the people by speaking the truth.
Truth blesses those who are hungry for it but it irritates and makes angry those who have no regard for it.
20. Oh yes, they're going to try to trick Christ, these sinful, pathetic, warped, human beings; these piles of dust are going to try to trick the God of the universe, the God who made them! They want to trick him so they can hand him over to Pilate for execution by Rome. Well I've got news for you Mr.: Jesus is way ahead of you on that one, he knows your next move and all your moves and yes he's gonna let it happen but you're not off the hook because of your sin.
21. Like Jesus would buy their flattery. Godly people aren't influenced by flattery they are only influenced by what is right in the eyes of God.
22. Should we pay our taxes to Rome Jesus? That's trick question number one.
23. Like Jesus wasn't smart enough to figure these guys out. If he says yes they will tell the crowd he can't be the Messiah because he would lead an insurrection against Rome not tell us to pay her taxes. If Jesus says no they immediately run to the Roman government and report that Jesus is stirring up an insurrection.
24. The religious leaders had Roman coins on them; they possessed Roman coins made by Rome, minted by Rome, used in Rome to buy things.
25. In other words, you are using Roman roads, living in the peace Rome provides and you are obviously using Roman money to buy and sell so pay Rome for their services; pay your taxes.
26. They never thought of that. Sort of like playing chess-you're giddy about your next move because you are incompetent opponent doesn't see that you're going to take his pawn, so you take it and then he immediately put you into checkmate. You're the fool even though you thought you were so smart.
27. The Sadducees were the theological liberals of the day. They didn't believe the word of God, they didn't believe in a resurrection, in fact they didn't believe in anything supernatural, they didn't believe in angels, they didn't believe in life after death, I don't know what they believed; I guess they believed in nothing. But for the purposes of this section of Scripture I emphasize the fact that they didn't believe in the resurrection.
27, 28. And that's true, that was part of the Old Testament law; it was called the law of the kinsman redeemer.
29-32. They are lying of course! But it doesn't matter; they have to lie to come up with an absurd story they hope will trap Jesus. Verse 33 contains the punchline.
33. A woman can't have seven husbands so Jesus how can there be life after death?
34. Marriage is for this life; marriage ends at death.
35. There is no marriage in heaven.
36. Once were raised we will never die again and in that sense we will be like the angels who don't die either.
37, 38. Now back to the real issue-Jesus cuts through all their trickery and absurdity and prudence from Scripture that there is life after death.
Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob died physically God appeared to Moses and told him that he was still the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob and since God is not the God of the dead that means they're still alive even though they were physically dead which means there is life after death. Now of course if someone doesn't believe in the plain sense of Scripture than arguing from Scripture won't convince them but still they should be told what the Bible says so Jesus does it.
39. Describe said nice job Jesus because unlike the Sadducees they believed in the resurrection. This is a real rarity: religious leaders telling Jesus well done.
40. Good idea! They were embarrassed in front of the public by the one they were trying to embarrass publicly so they came to the brilliant conclusion that they should quit trying. They met their match and then some with Christ.
41. The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah (Christ) would be a physical descendent of David and therefore he would inherit the right to reign from his ancestor King David.
41-43. In other words since no parent in that culture would ever call one of his descendents Lord how could David call his descendent Lord?
44. The obvious answer is that David while writing holy Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit refers to his descendent as Lord because his descendent is much more than a mere man. His descendent, his Lord has to be the eternal God in addition to being man. Jesus just told them that he is God as well as man.
45. The religious rulers promoted their false doctrine publicly and by their lifestyle they openly promoted sin and so Jesus is going to renounce their sin publicly as well.
46. In other words Jesus says look at these religious rulers; they are all about self!
47. In other words, they use their religious position to get riches and to draw attention to themselves. They will burn in hell they will suffer greater damnation which means some of the hottest places will be theirs. The religious rulers and all religious rulers who teach that which is false to be popular or who take their position in order to draw attention to themselves will suffer more torment than the average sinner that goes to hell.
1. And they really made a big deal out of their giving to; they made a big deal out of how much they gave and they made sure everybody was watching because they blew their trumpets to get everyone's attention.
2. A mite was the smallest copper coin in use; it was worth about 1/5 of a penny.
3. How is that possible? Because God measures how much we give by how much we have left not by the amount that we give.
4. This was probably the biggest offering given that day in the temple (as measured by God.) God sees things so differently than people do.
5. The temple wasn't just one building it was a combination of colonnades porches buildings and large courts surrounding the actual temple itself. Its structure was so solid that some of the original footings are still there today. The Israelites thought that it would stand forever.
6. 37 years after Jesus said this the Roman Emperor Titus demolish the temple stone by stone just exactly as Jesus said it would happen.
7. The disciples asked a two-part question: number one: when will the temple be destroyed? Number two: what will be the sign that it's about to be destroyed? Instead of asking when they should have asked what and how? How should we live and what does God want us to do with the time that we have left?
8. Jesus warns of many false Christ's who will arise and say that the time is at hand. Meaning: the time for Israel's deliverance from Roman rule is at hand. Jesus is warning, do not believe people who say that. The Israelites needed this warning because many still had it in their mind that the Messiah would overthrow the Roman empire on behalf of Israel. Jesus is saying don't you believe it and do not believe anyone who says follow me because I'm your deliverer and I'm going to make it happen.
Many people will follow those who tell them what they want to hear even if it doesn't quite measure up with Scripture or if the false teacher twists the Scripture to back his lies or gives a novel interpretation that has never been seen before in the history of Christianity. Don't buy it just stick to the word of God; the plain and simple and clear word of God.
9. In other words when you hear talk of war between the Roman Empire and the Jews and when you hear about all kinds of internal problems between Rome and Israel do not panic. Those are not signs that the destruction of the temple is about to take place.
10. Meaning this: there will be wars and other nations in addition to talk of war between Israel and the Roman Empire. These things will take place during the period right before the temple was destroyed.
11. Several earthquakes preceded the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.; according to history three major cities were destroyed; these things happened just as Jesus predicted they would.
12. Before all these things which Jesus mentioned come to pass the apostles will suffer for their faith. They will be persecuted for saying that Jesus is the only way to be saved. They will be persecuted for saying that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
No one is persecuted for saying Jesus is one of the ways to heaven but the Bible teaches that he is the only way. If that's not our message then were compromising with the devil and being used by him to contribute to the damnation of souls.
13. When arrested the disciples should not be concerned about putting together a defense. It's a lost cause anyway. If the crime is being a Christian than they are guilty. Jesus says instead use your arrest as an open door to tell government officials how to be saved.
When we find ourselves in any kind of trouble because of our faith in Jesus Christ those are opportunities to take a stand for Jesus and to proclaim that he is our Lord and Savior and the only way to heaven.
14. In other words, don't waste time trying to anticipate what kind of questions they will be asking you and don't waste time trying to think of answers to those possible questions. Their time would be better spent drawing closer to Christ in prayer and the word so that they will be prepared no matter what difficulties may come their way.
15. Jesus promises to give them the right words to say at the right time. They will find themselves proclaiming Jesus Christ with words that they didn't even know they knew and when they're finished talking they're going to say: where did I get that from? Where did that come from? I didn't know I knew that. No, it was the Holy Spirit who gave you what you needed because you were close to Christ.
16. There is a spiritual gap that exists between those who are saved and those who are not saved, between those who truly believe in Christ and care about him and those who do not. That spiritual gap is bigger and stronger than any natural love that a parent would have for their child which is exactly what Christ is talking about here in verse 16.
16x. There is a very powerful and evil force at work in any parent who would turn against their child simply because their child lives for Christ and yet it happens. In some Muslim homes a parent will kill a child who turns from Islam to Christ. I have personally seen young people from former youth groups in my church turn from drugs and alcohol to Jesus and consequently have their parents become furious at them and say I wish you were still doing drugs and drinking instead of that Bible stuff, instead of that Jesus stuff. Many husbands and wives have left their spouse because they couldn't stand being married to a Christian who really practice their faith.
17. Satan will leave people alone if they live the way he wants them to live. Satan will leave lukewarm Christians alone as well. But if a person begins to speak truth and live holy in this ungodly world the devil will stir up all sorts of trouble for them. It irritates Satan to know and when someone loves Jesus and actually lives like they love him.
The devil will attack strong Christians and try to derail their faith in some way. You say: then what? Then we speak the truth even louder and live even holier. When Satan punches a Christian the Christian needs to counterpunch with more prayer, more Bible, and more holiness until the devil finally gives up and flees. The Bible says if we resist him he will flee.
18. No one who is faithful to Jesus ever loses. Even if they are murdered for their faith, even if they lose all their possessions because of their faithfulness they still win. The losers are the persecutors and the devil who inspires them. The losers are those who shun the faithful Christian and oppose the faithful Christian. The losers are those who reject Christ altogether or are comfortable in their lukewarm Christianity.
19. Save people hang in there with Christ. Say people do not say I renounce Christ so let me out of prison or I renounce Christ so don't beat me up or I renounce Christ so don't kill me or persecute me in some other way. The Bible teaches eternal security but it does not teach unconditional eternal security. We are saved by faith and persevering faith keeps us saved. Save people do not renounce Christ for anyone or anything. Save people choose persecution and even death over rejection of Christ. Jesus said in your patient's possess your souls.
20. They asked for a sign when the temple would be destroyed well here it is: when Jerusalem is under siege from the Roman army the end is near. Jesus says there will be desolation and that means do not expect deliverance or rescue because that's judgment from God; you killed his son and now he's going to kill you and don't expect any mercy in that day.
21. Jerusalem will be punished for murdering the son of God; they will be punished for rejecting God and his king and choosing Caesar instead. And yet here Jesus gives advice on how some might escape God's punishment in this world. There is no mercy for those who reject Christ on judgment day; Judgment Day will mean the end of the line for all sinners, but for now at least at times in this world the Bible does say that in wrath God remembers mercy.
God always looks for ways to show mercy. He is always willing to do what he can to look for ways to be kind to someone if not in one way then in another. If you can't bless someone's immortal soul because they reject the Savior then he will at least bless them to the degree that they follow the principles of his word in this life.
22. Vengeance for rejecting God's son. The Bible says vengeance is mine I will repay says the Lord. And the punishment from God in 70 A.D. will fulfill all that is written concerning his judgment on Israel. He put up with them for centuries; he punished them here and there to wake them up but they refused to change as is evidenced by their continual rejection of the prophets and now even God's son. Consequently, Jesus warns that God's promise of final wrath given in Deuteronomy 28:20 will shortly come to pass. The Bible says "the Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and rebuke on everything you put your hand to until you are destroyed, and come to a son and ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him." That happened to Israel in 70 A.D. and it will happen to all who reject Christ.
23. Jesus expresses sorrow for those who will find it hard to escape God's wrath because of their circumstances. Which leads me to say this:
do not rejoice when bad things happen to those who hurt you because God does not rejoice when bad things happen to those who heard him. Do not rejoice when bad people are punished because God doesn't do that either. God finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
24a. Many young Jewish men who survived Rome's attack on Israel were shipped off to work in the mines until they died. Others were scattered throughout the Empire and murdered by animals in the arenas for the entertainment of the Romans. Others were sold as slaves and taken to the ends of the earth. All these things happen just as Jesus predicted they would.
Everything the Bible says will happen no matter how far-fetched it may seem today.
24. The times of the Gentiles began in 586 BC when Babylon conquered Israel and occupied their country. Since that time Jerusalem has either been dominated by Gentiles or threatened by them. In the times of the Gentiles will continue until the Jews recognize that they murdered their Messiah, repent, and he returns. And speaking of those final days before Jesus returns notice verse 25.
25. The ungodly would like to exclude God from this world even though they enjoy the stability that he alone provides. Well by shaking the heavens right before Christ returns God gives the world a little taste of what it's like when he's not keeping things stable and holding everything together. That God they hate; that God that they want out of their life is the same God that gives them peace of mind by graciously keeping order in nature and in physics and across the entire universe. You want life without me and control? You got it! How do you like it?
26. They don't like it much; in fact they are in such a panic over the chaos that heart attacks are rampant. They have heart attacks because the world is out-of-control, all of a sudden nature and the laws of physics have turned against them and they can't do anything about it. You can hunt down terrorists. You can chase bad guys and arrest them but how do you respond to planets dropping in the oceans wiping out cities? You do what many people will do: you have a heart attack! These other things that will happen right before Jesus returns.
28. The shaking of this world will cause the ungodly who hope in this world and in this world alone to panic and die from fright. However that same shaking will be a reassuring sign to Christians who know God said it would happen that the new heavens and the new earth in the resurrected bodies are just around the corner.
29, 30. When you notice that a tree that has been dry and brittle has become soft and filled with sap and especially when it starts the bud then you know that summer is just around the corner.
31. People do not have to ask if the return of Christ is near. When the sun turns black and the moon turns to blood in the stars and the planets bounce around like ping-pong balls the answer is: yes, the time is near.
32. In other words the generation that is alive when these signs begin will be around when Jesus returns. In other words, once these things start the end is near.
33. The planets, the stars, our son, in this present version of the earth will all wear out and pass away. In fact if you can see it then it will become outdated, grow old and one day disappear. But God's word will never wear out. It is truth today just as it was truth 2000 years ago and it will be truth 10 billion years from today.
34. People who are materialistic and self-indulgent and given over to sin are also spiritually dull. Careless living pleasure seeking and worldly concerns cause a person to go to sleep spiritually and when judgment hits because they were asleep consumed with their evil they never see it coming.
35. It doesn't matter if we die and go to Christ or he returns to earth the result is exactly the same. We as individuals will stand before him; that's the result and that's why we must be careful and prepared every second of every minute because it could happen right now.
36. Watch and pray for strength to make it through the rough times.
I don't know how God's sovereignty works in conjunction with what God tells us to do. All I know is that it is our part to aim for holiness and it is also our part to pray.
37, 38. Thousands of people came to the temple to listen to Jesus teach during the first part of holy week. No one would have thought that the same crowd would do a total reversal and screen for his crucifixion on Friday morning.
People can be very fickle if they're in the flesh instead of in the spirit. People can be very fickle toward God when they're not walking in the spirit. One day they appear to be strong in faith but then something happens that they don't like and they walk away from God with anger.
1,2. The Passover was a yearly religious observance and a memorial to that night down in Egypt when God spared Israel's firstborn. The religious leaders will not be remembering God's kindness on this particular Passover in fact they will be killing God's firstborn son instead.
2. The religious leaders had a problem but it wasn't the problem that they thought they had. The religious leaders thought their problem was the popularity of Jesus and how could they possibly kill him without getting in trouble with the people but as I said that wasn't really their problem. Their problem was that they desired to kill the son of God and get away with it.
Twisted souls have twisted problems. They think the world is unfair when it doesn't give them a smooth path to do their evil.
3. Satan has had a chip on his shoulder ever since God squashed his rebellion, ever since his attempt to usurp the position of God. He has hated God for a long time and I guess he figures it's time for payback. I'm sure that's one reason he will inspire Judas to kill our Lord but it's not the only reason. Jesus has been frustrating his evil for a long time. Jesus has been healing people who the devil had made sick; he's been casting demons out of people who they were tormenting and Satan is tired of all this opposition. Consequently he's going to put the son of God out of business; he thinks.
4,5. When it became clear that Christ would not conquer Rome Judas decided to sell Jesus out. If he couldn't be a big shot in an earthly kingdom that he would sell Christ out and get a few bucks out of the deal anyway.
Judas was a selfish person and when Satan finds a self-centered person he has found someone that he can use. Selfishness doubles the conscience and a selfish person gladly takes whatever the devil dangles in front of their nose.
6. Judas will patiently wait for the perfect opportunity to betray Christ.
The devil and his people are patient to do evil; how much more should Christians persevere and be patient in doing what is good. How much more should Christians be patiently doing good until they see the desired results no matter how long that may take.
7,8. Everything about this meal had to be prepared according to the instructions that God gave in his word back in the book of Exodus. Peter and John are chosen by Jesus to carry out that assignment.
Jesus assigns and we are to do whatever he tells us to do.
9. In answer to their question Jesus could have given them specific directions; he could've given them the address, as it were. He could have said take Thomas Street to third Avenue turn left it's the fourth house on the right, but instead look at what Jesus said.
10. In other words, Peter and John will have to stay alert. They will have to watch and probably also pray so that they don't miss the man who Jesus described because if they miss him they will miss God's will.
God could give us a detailed list of instructions for the rest of our life so that we could know everything I had a time but he doesn't. Uncertainty is a good thing because it keeps us praying. Uncertainty helps us to keep alert and close to God.
11. Don't forget Judas is among the apostles here and I bet he is listening carefully and thinking to himself: where in the world is that house? I've got a no! He wants to know where that house is because Jesus and his apostles will be alone as they celebrate the Passover and that would be the perfect time to have Christ arrested. But Jesus kept the location a secret. I believe that's why he spoke in vain language to Peter and John when they asked where they were to prepare the meal. Jesus wants to have a long talk with his men during the Passover meal and he will not allow it to be interrupted by the betrayal.
12, 13. The Lord's directions took them to the right place in the right place had everything they needed for the Passover.
God's directions in Scripture always lead us in his will and when God leads he also supplies us with whatever we need to do whatever he wants for as long as he wants us to do it.
14. It was "the hour." As usual Jesus was right on time.
God's time is always perfect. Myriads upon myriads of things happen every second everywhere across God's creation and all of those things happen right on God schedule. That is the definition of God's providence. His providence is his ability to coordinate all things that happen; all things: good, bad, and in between so that all things work to accomplish his eternal plan and purpose in the end.
15. Death will be on our Lord's mind as they celebrate the Passover. He wants to be with friends now that his death is so near.
16. Jesus looks beyond his sufferings to the new earth where we Christians with our new bodies will enjoy good times with him.
It is much easier to persevere through hard times when you know that good times are on the way.
17. He thanked the father for the drink.
We may pull our food out of our refrigerators but ultimately God is the one who put it in their. That's why we should be thankful for everything that we eat and drink.
18. We will eat and drink and I resurrected bodies. I'm glad Jesus told us that because it's something that we can connect with. Eating and drinking is something concrete that we know will be a part of our new life after we are raised.
19. For centuries the Passover lambs pointed forward to the death of Christ as well as commemorating God sparing the firstborn down in Egypt. But since the cross holy communion has pointed back to the death of Christ. What Jesus did for us must never be forgotten.
Taking communion without him being our Lord and Savior is the equivalent of spiritual mockery. Taking communion after confessing our sins and taking communion with appreciation for what he did for us on the cross is an act of worship.
20. The New Testament, or new covenant is actually a contract between God and people. God's part: die for our sins. Man's part: repent and receive Christ as Lord and Savior. The blood of Christ, that is his shed blood on the cross, his life that he sacrificed is the thing that makes the covenant legal. If Jesus doesn't die on the cross the new covenant would just be a nice idea. The new covenant would simply be on all of our wish lists as we burn in hell forever.
21. Judas must have choked on his food when Christ announced that the betrayer was eating dinner with him. Judas had everyone fooled; everyone except Christ. This was an opportunity for Judas to come to his senses and call off the betrayal. In exposing his sinful plan Jesus is reaching out to Judas.
God reaches out to lost sinners when the word of God is given out clearly without compromise. It makes them feel uncomfortable just like Judas was uncomfortable because of what Jesus said but that's their opportunity to repent and get rid of that discomfort if they choose to.
22. God is all-powerful so he can use the bad of sinful people to bring about good. But that does not excuse the bad people from the sin that they have committed. Jesus paid for our sins with his death on the cross but that doesn't get Judas off the hook for being greedy, selfish, and betraying the son of God.
23. None of the 11 loyal apostles were absolutely convinced 100% that they were not the betrayer.
Godly people are honest with themselves and God and therefore recognize that in a moment of weakness they are capable of committing terrible sins. Godly people are cautious people; they are not overconfident. The Bible says: take heed if you think you stand take heed lest ye fall."
24. This isn't the first time the apostles fought over which of them would be the greatest. In the past Jesus tried to tell them that greatness meant being a servant. Evidently they still didn't catch on to that.
25. Kings were considered great ones back in those days and I suppose they still are and for the same reason. They ruled over everyone and were given credit for any good that anyone might possibly experience in their kingdom. Kings could push people around and often did especially back then. In the eyes of the world a king was someone who had arrived; they were the great ones; they reached the top; the pinnacle of human experience; they gave orders and people obeyed!
26. Greatness to God is working hard for the benefit of others. Greatness to God is striving to make others happy without saying: what about me? No one can be great unless they have a servant's heart and no one can be great in the eyes of God unless they put God and others before themselves.
27. God doesn't measure greatness the way the world does. Jesus is the greatest by far and he also served the most and gave the most. The disciples need to quit thinking like the world when it comes to greatness; they need to look for ways to help others and serve Almighty God without expecting anything in return if they want to be great.
28. The apostles, though far from being perfect, believed in Christ and his words. That is why they hung in there with Jesus even when things got very difficult even when it meant suffering and death.
29, 30. When Christ returns he will make Jerusalem the capital city of the world. The apostles will each govern one section of Israel. I've often said I don't care if I'm a street sweeper and some little village on the new earth; in fact I kinda hope I am. As long as I have my resurrected body and I'm on the new earth I'm happy.
35. In the past when Jesus sent his men out to minister it was only for a short period of time and not very far away but soon they will be on their own and they will take the word of God to all parts of the known world. They will have to trust in God to provide.
One way or another, whether through Providence, people, or miracles, God provides whatever his people need to do what he wants them to do for as long as he wants them to do it.
36. Jesus is saying: in the past people were good to you for my sake but that's about to change. After Jesus return to heaven they were often persecuted hungry Thursday and without a decent place to sleep. When Jesus said take what you need he was saying that they would not be popular like they had been in the past when Jesus was around doing all sorts of miracles. When he said by his sword he was telling them that it will be dangerous to be a true follower of him.
37, 38. Jesus was not saying: great, two swords are enough to fight off any sinners who give us a hard time; let's get at it! He wasn't saying that, in fact he later rebuked Peter for cutting off the man's ear with one of those swords. Two swords among 12 apostles isn't much protection which was the point that Jesus was making. He is saying it is okay to have swords but don't trust in them.
Our weapons are not the weapons of the world. Our security is not the security that the world provides. Our wisdom is not the wisdom that the world gives. We should use what we have wisely but we should always trust in God not in anything that he provides
39. The Mount of olives was a favorite spot for Jesus whenever he was in the Jerusalem area. It was a park like setting in a good place to pray, camp, and be alone with his apostles.
40. The more we pray the less temptations will affect us. Strength is transferred to our souls when we spend time with God in prayer.
41. A stones cast was about 50 feet.
42. We see from this that Jesus is human will wasn't always exactly the same as the father's will, but his human will was always submitted to the father's will and that's the important thing. He said: if there's any other way besides the cross that people can be saved from hell would you please do it that way father. Then he said if not then I submit to your will.
If good works could save us the father would've called off the cross. If being religious could save us, if being a Muslim could save us, if going to the Jewish rituals could save us, if having more good works than bad works could save us than the father would've said: son were: this thing off because there is another way to be saved from hell, but he didn't. The fact that Jesus died on the cross is all the proof that we need to know that there is no salvation for anyone who attempts to get it by any means other than trusting what Jesus did for us on the cross.
43. Jesus was not excused from his sufferings but he was strengthened to endure them. The angel that God sent could have wiped out every guard who was on their way to arrest Jesus; the angel cut to wipe them all off with one swoop of his flaming sword but instead the father use the angel to strengthen his son to endure all the pain and the suffering that he's about to go through.
God doesn't always allow us to take the easy way but he always gives us the grace to handle anything he wants us to endure which is why there is never a legitimate reason to sin or to complain.
44a. The worst Jesus felt the more he prayed. He would not let agony when and he would not let it keep him from praying either.
We don't have to feel like praying in order to pray effectively. We don't have to feel good in order to pray effectively. We don't have to feel as if our prayers are being heard in order to pray effectively. We just need to pray; pray by faith; God says he will listen so he is listening and the worse we feel the harder we should pray.
44. Jesus is outside on the ground in the middle of the night during the cool time of the year and yet he sweats as if it is 12 o'clock noon 95° and humid. He is under so much pressure that his capillaries burst causing blood to mingle with his sweat.
45. The apostles were spiritually exhausted from our Lord's warnings of betrayal, suffering, and death that night and so they are also physically exhausted.
There is a connection between our body, soul, and spirit. When one area is tired it is difficult for the others to function.
46. This is their final warning. They better wake up and they better start praying and they better do it quick. If they pray that they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to respond correctly to our Lord's arrest. If they don't pray they will fail God when the trouble starts.
47. Judas used his position as one of the apostles to sin and to lead others into sin and he did it all for money. Judas worship the God of self and that God destroyed him.
Serving anyone or anything more than God will lead to ruin.
48. In other words, are you here to sell me out Judas? Jesus is looking for a yes from Judas. He's looking for a yes because a yes puts Judas on the road to forgiveness. Christ is trying to get Judas to admit his sin so that he can repent before it's too late. It's too late to stop the betrayal but it's not too late for Judas to be forgiven and that's what Jesus wants.
It is not important for us to get even with those who hurt us. It is important for them to confess and receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
49, 50. Before Jesus could say no to the question Peter cut the man's ear off.
It doesn't pay to ask God for guidance if we don't submit to the word of God; to his guiding. It doesn't make sense to ask God to show us his will if we've already made up our minds about what we're going to do and what were going to do is contrary to Scripture.
51. With all the sufferings that Jesus knows he's about to endure he still took the time to minister to others; even to this one who came to arrest him.
Our problems do not give us the right to be self-centered, unkind, or to ignore the needs of others if we are capable of helping them.
52, 53. They were treating Jesus as if he was a desperate criminal, a violent lawbreaker who could only be subdued through violence. Their behavior was misrepresenting his character and he rebuked them for that.
If a Christian doesn't have their character or good reputation than they have nothing. Good character is worth fighting for and a good reputation is worth defending.
54. Peter followed Jesus but he was afraid so he follows at a distance.
55. Peter is often criticized for his actions here; people criticize him for running away when Christ was arrested and people criticize him for following Christ from afar. They criticize him for staying in the courtyard of the high priest while Jesus was being interrogated. I've heard people criticize Peter for warming himself with the unbelievers as if that was somehow sinful. You know, there is no virtue in being cold as opposed to warming yourself by a fire even among unbelievers.
It is easy to sit back in an ivory tower and criticize other Christians who are out there in the real world at least trying to do something for Christ.
If were going to criticize someone it should be because they have committed sin or teaching false doctrine or watering down the word or something like that and not because of insignificant things which are neither here nor there because they are neither moral nor immoral. Peter is doing his best in his weakness and that's all any of us can do.
56. Peter followed Jesus not perfectly but he followed him and now he is being confronted because of it.
If we follow Jesus then we will receive some form of opposition from those who do not. If we follow Jesus our faith will be tested in some way.
57. Now we can criticize Peter! He just told a lie and he just denied that he knew Jesus. He wanted to be accepted by the world more than he wanted to be faithful to Jesus at this point. He tried to have both; he tried to be faithful to Christ by following him but he wanted to be accepted by the world so he denied him.
We must choose who we will live for and who we will please. The Bible says that we cannot serve God and the world; it must be one or the other. The Bible says friendship with the world is enmity against God. Those who try to be cool in the eyes of the world are uncool to God and those who are cool in the eyes of God are uncool in the eyes of the world.
58. How many times have we told God: I will do better, just give me another chance Lord, and I will not make the same mistake or I will not commit the same sin again. So God gives us another chance and we fail him again. That's what happened with Peter; he got a second chance and he sinned that chance away. Thank God for his forgiveness; thank God for his long-suffering and thank God that his mercies are new every morning because we need his mercies every morning.
59. Peter didn't say he was a Galilean but Galilean spoke with a definite accent and that gave him away. Once again Peter is being attacked for his connection to Christ; once again Peter has an opportunity to be faithful to Jesus in the midst of that attack.
Challenges to our faith and persecutions because of our faith are opportunities to showcase our faithfulness to Jesus and the reality of Christ to a world that desperately needs him. That's why were here; that's why Jesus leaves us here after we are saved; to be witnesses and our witness is never stronger than in the midst of trouble.
60. Peter failed again; he sinned away his final opportunity in this particular situation.
There is always forgiveness through Christ for any Christian who confesses but often we cannot go back and make right the squandered opportunities that God gave us. As long as we are alive we will have more opportunities to serve Jesus but we cannot retrieve the old ones that were squandered. That's one of the tragic consequences of sin.
61. Jesus evidently glanced out the window of the palace when he heard the rooster crow and caught the eyes of Peter as he swore he didn't know him. Either that, or it may have happened as Jesus was being taken through the courtyard. Either way Peter was caught; Peter was caught with a smoking gun.
When a Christian sends they are caught red-handed and they know it. We may not see the eyes of Jesus after we have committed a sin like Peter did but the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is just as powerful as the eye contact that Jesus made with Peter. If you don't feel that kind of guilt when you send in your either not saved or you are becoming desensitized to your sin and you are on the road to apostasy.
62. Peter had committed three terrible sins he had been wrong and he knew it. However consider the contrast between Judas and Peter. Jesus looked at Judas while he was committing the sin of betrayal and Judas continued to sin. Jesus looked at Peter while he was committing the sin of denial and Peter ran off and cried. There you see the difference between a saved and unsaved person. A saved person feels terrible after they sin and they repent. And unsaved person sins but doesn't care enough to confess it to God.
Confession doesn't save us; it is an indicator that we are saved.
63, 64. Jesus was blindfolded. Most football players do not get injured when they are tackled if the sea that they are about to be hit. The human body is an amazing thing; without thinking, we adjust to threats which then lessens the likelihood of injury. If someone throws something at us we instinctively dock to avoid a direct hit. When a football player sees that he's about to be hit his body relaxes and bends in the direction that will lessen the impact again without him even thinking about it. Most injuries occur when a player is tackled from their blindside. And here we see that the soldiers blindfolded Jesus so that he could not see their punches and adjust in any way to what was coming. By being blindfolded Jesus was unable to lessen even a little the suffering from this beating.
65. They dared Christ to prove that he was a prophet. On Judgment Day they will have all the proof that they need. They didn't show Jesus any mercy and so if they didn't repent and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior before they died than they will not be shown any mercy by Jesus on Judgment Day.
66-68. Many times Jesus asked them questions that brought them face-to-face with truth and they knew it. But rather than admitting that they were wrong they continued to rebel. These people did not want to learn; they hated truth so Christ will not waste time giving any more truth to them.
It is important for Christians to pick their battles. It doesn't pay to get bogged down trying to convince someone that the Bible is true when they have hardened their heart to the truth.
69. Whether the rulers believe it or not; whether they like it or not; Jesus is still God's son, and they will know it on Judgment Day. They will see Jesus on his throne and they will not be able to run from the truth anymore.
70, 71. Jesus told them the truth; he didn't hold back to save himself. They have truth because Jesus did his job and now it's up to them to respond to the truth correctly. What they do with that truth is totally up to them.
When we speak the truth we have done our part and we can do no more. People have to make up their own minds about what they're going to do with the truth that we give them.
1. The religious rulers wanted Jesus dead but they have a problem because she still very popular with the people. Consequently they take him to Pontius Pilate the Roman governor. If they can get Pilate to crucify Jesus then he will be dead and the people will blame Rome.
2. They lie; Jesus never said: do not pay your taxes. In fact he said the exact opposite; he said render unto Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and he was referring to taxes.
3. Pilate doesn't care about the honor of Caesar but he does care about his own job. His job and probably his life will be in jeopardy if he allows someone to claim to be a rival king to Caesar. Consequently he asked Jesus if he is a king.
4. Pontius Pilate has seen enough rebels in his time to know that Jesus isn't one of them. Besides the Jews hate the Roman Emperor and Caesar so the idea that they would turn Christ and for being disloyal to Caesar wouldn't make sense. Pontius Pilate knows that these religious rulers have other motives for wanting Jesus executed and it isn't the glory of Rome.
5. Pilate doesn't agree with their charges and so they respond by becoming more intense in their accusations. They know that if Jesus walks out a free man and the people find out what they tried to do and how they tried to have him executed they will be in big trouble.
6. Pilate says: is Jesus a Galilean? He senses a possible opportunity to kick the Jesus can down the road and let someone else deal with that and that someone would be Herod who had jurisdiction over Galilee.
7. Pilate did not want to handle this case because he knew Christ was innocent and yet he didn't want to release him because that would upset the Jewish rulers. If Pontius Pilate didn't want to be involved in situations like this then he should have done something else for a living; he never should've taken the job as governor.
A good leader must be willing to face opposition for doing what he believes is right; a good leader will at times anger some people that's just the way it is; it goes with the territory and those who are willing to upset anyone failed to lead.
8. Herod had heard a lot about Jesus so he was excited to see him; he was hoping that Jesus would do one of his famous miracles.
Some people are only interested in God when they need him to do a miracle; they want to see a trick; they want to see something that will get them out of a very difficult situation. But God is not a sideshow at a carnival and he's not there to entertain us. Consequently Herod is going to be disappointed.
9. Herod kept asking Jesus questions but our Lord would not reply.
Jesus did not come to earth to play silly games or tickle the fancy of the ungodly who have no interest in repentance or truth.
Jesus never tells his church to entertain the ungodly in order to hold their interest. Until when? Until they die and go to hell because they never been given the word of God but instead have been entertain so that they keep coming back? Instead of Christianizing paganism the church is often drawn into paganism.
10. The religious rulers begin to panic because it looks like Christ might be released.
Who's in control, and who's out of control here? Jesus is shackled but he is calm and in control because he is in the will of God; the religious leaders with their own wicked agenda are out of control and in a panic. Much easier to go through life in the will of God than outside the will of God.
11. Herod was determined to be entertained by Christ but Jesus didn't cooperate and so Herod decided to have him ridiculed and mock to satisfy his perverted desire for morbid entertainment.
The ungodly have no spiritual life so they try to fill that void with entertainment and often it is crude and sinful.
12. These two moral reprobates find common ground in their sin and consequently become friends.
People often find it easier to be bad when they have someone to be bad with. They can pat each other on the back and tell each other how wonderful they are. They will still go to hell if they don't repent but they feel good temporarily because they help each other live in the land of make-believe.
13, 14. Pilate announces his verdict: you say he is leading a revolt against Rome but I have examined him and I say he's innocent. Pontius Pilate knows the truth and he declares it. At this point he is doing his job.
15. Pilate says: Herod came to the same conclusion and we both believe that Jesus doesn't deserve the death penalty. Even these ungodly rulers have enough moral sense to see that Jesus is innocent.
16. Pilate says he's innocent, both Herod and I know that for sure Sean going to have him beaten with sharp objects tied to leather straps; that's what scourging consisted of. Pilate is wrong if he thinks beating Christ will satisfy these bloodthirsty sinners who want him dead.
sinning in order to satisfy an ungodly person does not work and that's because they will always demand more compromise and more sin.
17. There was an unwritten rule that the governor, and a goodwill gesture, would release an Israelite prisoner on the feast of Passover. Pilate wanted that prisoner to be Jesus.
18, 19. When the crowd heard Pilate say that he would punish Christ and then release him they began to shout: kill him and release Barabbas instead! Pilate never should have compromise justice by saying that he was going to punish an innocent man. The Jews clearly saw this as a sign of weakness, as a sign of cowardly nests because clearly Pilate was willing to do what he knew was wrong just to satisfy an ungodly mob. They quickly picked up on that and decided to push it even further and demand that he compromise his convictions all the way and have Christ executed.
Christians must never dishonor God by caving in to pressure from the ungodly. Besides we can never compromise enough to get on the good side of evil people. We must take a stand for what is true, for what is written in the word of God, and not back down the least little bit.
The ungodly who have some backbone, depraved as it may be, do not respect a Christian who doesn't stand for what he knows is true. The ungodly will not be a friend to a Christian who attempts to get on their good side by compromising what they know is morally right. They will despise that Christian all the more.
20. Pilate has made his decision and he doesn't want to take no for an answer so he argues with the crowd and tries to convince the crowd that Jesus should be released.
Majority rule may be a popular idea but it certainly doesn't guarantee that the right things will be done. In fact when the Bible speaks about the righteous it usually describes them as being a remnant of the people. Here the majority are screaming for injustice.
21. The more the rulers sense that Pontius Pilate wants to release Jesus the more intense and angry their accusations become.
22. He says: Jesus doesn't deserve death so I'm going to have him beaten and then let him go.
Pilate never should have asked them why; why do you want me to kill him? There why doesn't matter. There why isn't an issue. There is never a legitimate explanation for doing what is morally wrong so Pilate should have just done what was correct. He should have said I'm in charge and this is right and so were going to do it.
23. The crowd kept shouting louder and louder for Jesus to be crucified and their shouts were louder than Pilate's protests.
In this world truth is often drowned out by lies. What is true is often overshadowed by what is untrue and that's because there are more voices speaking what is untrue and more ears willing to hear what is untrue then there are those who proclaim the word of God.
24, 25. Pilate was no leader because a leader does what is correct even if no one else follows. Pilate was a follower and actually a follower of the worst kind. He followed the crowd, he followed the popular way even when it was wrong.
To be a leader one must be a person of principle not one who wants to be popular.
26. I'm guessing that when Simon saw this cross he thought about slivers and how heavy it would be and the fact that he was being forced to carry it. He didn't realize that he would be involved in the most important thing that God has ever done for man.
It could be that some of the most important things we've done for God were done without us even realizing it and we may not realize it until eternity.
27. The women cry because they care about Christ and it was hard to watch him suffer. It would've been easier for them to stay away and not witness this but they would not allow their feelings to dictate their actions.
28. Israel has rejected God's king and they are about to kill God's son. They have made their choice: they would not have God rule over them. Consequently they will not have God's protection either.
You can go through life on your own without God being your Lord without submitting to his Lordship. If you choose to be stupid that's your prerogative but don't expect God's protection.
29. In 70 A.D. when Rome destroys Jerusalem those who do not have children will be grateful that they don't. Jesus knows that many children will starve to death and many will be killed by the Roman army right before their parents eyes which is why he said don't weep for me weep for yourselves and for your children.
30. When God's wrath hits, Israel will long for death.
To those who reject Christ as Lord and Savior I say, there is coming a time when you will not want to exist but what you want will not matter. There are those who live in sin and ruin their lives and the pain is so great that they killed themselves thinking that they will escape their agony but they do not they enter into a much worse torment in the lake of fire. You can end it all in this life and cease to exist in this world but you are an immortal soul so like it or not you will exist forever in a state of eternal torment.
31. In other words, Jesus says if Rome is doing these hideous things to me, the one who has never sent, the one who has never disobeyed the father, then just think of what they will do to you who have sinned against Almighty God and rejected his only plan of salvation.
32. To add to our Lord shame and to make it appear as if he is one of the worst of the worst he is executed between two hard-core criminals.
33. And this fulfills the Old Testament prophecy found in Isaiah 53:12 which says "he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he himself bore the sins of many."
Jesus died like a criminal because he was paying for our crimes against God.
34. This prayer was for the Roman soldiers. To them Christ was just a criminal who have been found guilty; they were just doing their job executing a criminal. But did you notice that Jesus never prayed: father forgive Judas; father forgive Pontius Pilate; father forgive the religious rulers? He didn't pray that because those people didn't know that Christ was innocent they just didn't care and they did not repent and there is no forgiveness for one who refuses to repent.
35. In other words the religious leaders are arrogantly saying: Jesus if you want to qualify as our Messiah then you must agree to our terms. If you act the way we want you to act; if you are our puppet and you let us pull your strings then we will believe in you.
There's just one thing: this world is God's world and no one dictates anything to him.
36, 37. To a Roman soldier power meant that you could have things your way. The soldiers do not believe that Jesus is God because they figured no one in their right mind would suffer crucifixion if they really had the ability within themselves to stop it.
38. The sign on Jesus's cross said this is the king of the Jews. That was Pontius Pilate's way of mocking the Jews. That was Pilate's way of saying: look world, look at what mighty Rome has done to the king of the Jews. We have him hanging on a cross so bloodied and beaten that he doesn't even look like a human being. That is what Jesus endured so that our souls could be saved from hell. What is described here is the only way our sins could be paid for which is why there is no other way to heaven except through Christ.
39. This criminal did not repent and he showed no remorse over his sinful life. His only concern was avoiding the punishment that he deserved.
Those who have no sorrow over past sins and no desire to repent but only desire to avoid the punishment for their sins are the ones who will be punished and will not be forgiven.
40, 41. This other criminal may deny the Scripture and reject religion but he cannot escape the goodness and holiness of Christ. The soldiers, the religious rulers, and the people in general are being cruel to Jesus but it is so obvious that he is full of love and kindness. And that is the thing which is making this criminal aware of his own sin.
The love and kindness of Christ during trying circumstances is melting that sinners heart and causing him to repent. The holiness of Jesus is exposing his own sinful heart and that's why he's repenting.
As we observe the perfect righteousness of Jesus in Scripture we become more aware of our own sin. But there is an upside to that because God is always ready to forgive those who truly repent and confess after becoming aware of their sinfulness.
42. This man just got saved. He did not pray the sinners prayer, he was not baptized, he was not confirmed, he simply turned to Christ with a repenting heart and asked to be with Jesus.
If you want to be with Jesus then you will be with him. God says those who come to me I will in no way cast out.
43. In essence this man had a deathbed conversion.
A deathbed repentance and conversion to Christ will get a person to heaven and it is definitely better late than never. God is certainly happy when someone gets saved on their deathbed because he's not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. However God deserves to be our Lord much sooner than on our deathbed. God deserves better from us then in 11th hour repentance.
In addition to that to those who plan on living in sin and then repenting when they are close to death you really need to think about the fact that you could die without warning, you may die in your sleep, you may die in a head-on collision and never see it coming, you may have a cardiac arrest even if you're in good health and instantaneously die and then you're out of luck aren't you? You might not have an opportunity for a deathbed conversion and besides if you know the truth and you continue to willfully sin your soul might very well become dull and by the time you get to your deathbed you might not have any interest in repenting you might not feel the need to repent and therefore you won't and you will enter into eternity lost and damaged. Eternity is too long and hell is too hot to roll the dice on that one.
44. Jesus was nailed to the cross at nine in the morning. At 12 noon, the brightest time of the day, it became dark and it remained dark until Jesus died at 3 PM.
45a. This darkness was not caused by the clouds and it was not caused by a solar eclipse either because there was a full moon and a solar eclipse cannot happen during a full moon. The Bible says that the sun was darkened. Meaning this: God turned the light of the sun off for three hours; he dimmed the sun he didn't cover the sun.
45. The temple curtain was there to separate God from sinful man. That curtain was a constant reminder that man's sin made it impossible for him to come into the presence of God in this life or after death. It was a reminder that the gates of heaven were shut. But the death of Jesus ripped that veil wide open and by doing that the father was saying: Jesus is the way to heaven; receive my son Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you will be allowed into my presence after you die.
46, 47. The soldier in charge of the crucifixion was saying: we never should have nailed Jesus to the cross; he did not deserve to die; he was a righteous man. How did he know that? By observing our Lord.
Holy behavior under intense pressure cannot be faked. That is what Jesus displayed and that's what convinced the Roman soldier that he was righteous.
48. These people who had formally liked Christ but then recently demanded his crucifixion evidently realized that they made a horrible mistake. After seeing how much he suffered and how he suffered was such grace they were once again reminded of why they had liked him so much in the first place. He never did a thing to hurt anyone. He was always kind, always helpful, always gracious. This is the worst sin they ever committed and they know it and it's too late to do anything about it so they beat their breasts filled with grief.
49. Those who cared about Christ couldn't do anything to help him. All they could do was watch him suffer and that's how it had to be.
Bad is never good, but sometimes bad is how it must be.
Jesus paid for our sins and no one could ease the pain. It was something that he had to do all by himself so that we could go to heaven instead of hell.
50. Joseph was a decent man. He was one religious ruler who was kind and cared about justice.
51. This Joseph was a Jewish leader but he was against putting Christ to death. He did not vote with the majority who wanted to kill Jesus.
52. Nicodemus knew that Jesus should not have been executed and he will not allow the Lord's body to remain in the open where it might be abused by those who killed him.
53. It was important for Jesus to have his own tomb for this reason: on one occasion in the Old Testament God raised a man from the dead when his body was placed into the tomb of the holy Prophet Elisha. When the dead man's body made contact with the prophets body God raised the dead man. So with the selection of this private tomb God is eliminating a possible false explanation for the resurrection of his son. He didn't want any of our Lord's enemies to be able to attribute his resurrection to anyone or anything other than God.
54. Every Friday was preparation day. It was the day when people prepared for the weekly Sabbath all work that needed to be done needed to be done before sundown on Friday.
55. These ladies had plans to return to the tomb after the Sabbath in order to anoint our Lord's body with spices which is why they carefully observed where his tomb was.
56. The Sabbath law prohibited these ladies from returning to the tomb until Sunday morning. Notice how God had everything figured out. Jesus will be raised on the third day and the ladies are forced to wait until the third day to return to the tomb. The result: they will be witnesses to the empty tomb and to the resurrection of Christ.