Luke 19

Luke 19: Jesus came to Save souls

                Jesus entered and passed through Jericho, and while there a man named Zachhaeus, who was chief among the publicans desired to see Him. Zaachaeus was a very wealthy man, but short and had to climb up a sycamore tree to get the attention of Jesus, otherwise he would have been hidden in the great crowd gathered for Jesus. While passing by the tree, Jesus tells Zaachaeus to come down, for He needed to use his house. Zaachaeus, being fearful of the Lord told Him that he had given half of his wealth to the needy and always gave 4x back to anyone who he wronged. Jesus tells him that he doesn’t need to worry about his sins, for He came to “…save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

                Jesus then gives the Parable of the Pounds;

“…A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return… he called his ten servants, and delivered to them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us… when he was returned, having received the kingdom…commanded these servants to be called unto him… that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said… Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord. Behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept…” (Luke 19:12-20)

                All ten servants were given one pound each, the first made nine pounds and the second four pounds. The last servant made nothing, for he feared the man and did not want to lose the pound, so he did nothing with it. This Parable is similar to the Parable of the Talents, we should make the best out of our situation and never bury or hide something, we have endless opportunities and possibilities as mankind… make the best of it!

After telling the Parable, Jesus tells His Apostles to fetch Him a Colt that would be tied to door in a nearby village. So the Apostles go and grab the Colt, so that Jesus can ride it into Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem Jesus cleanses the Temple of evil, where the men have turned the house of prayer into “…a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46)

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Luke 18

Luke 18: The Little Children

                Jesus gives the Parable of the Unjust Judge;

“…There was in a city a judge, which feared no God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while…Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by here continual coming she weary me.” (Luke 18:2-6) Jesus points out that a man who doesn’t fear God or other men, yet still granted the widows petition because she had been persistent. God, of course, will avenge His people even more.

Jesus then tells about two men who go to the Temple to pray; O

One man being a Pharisee and the other a Publican: The Pharisee stood and prayed; “…God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” (Luke 17:11) While the Publican put his head down in shame and offered a prayer; “…God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 17:13) Jesus explained that because the Publican offered a simple, humble and HONEST prayer he would be exalted. We should never glorify or exalt ourselves.

Some of those gathered tried to bring their children to be blessed by Jesus, but the Apostles tried to stop them from approaching Jesus; Jesus responded: “…Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 17:16) – Little Children are the Kingdom of God… we should humble ourselves like little children.

A man comes to Jesus and asks Him how to obtain Eternal Life, He calls Jesus “Good Master”, which Jesus first responds; “…Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 17:19) – It is interesting to note that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God the Father is the Father of Jesus. They are TWO SEPARATE and INDIVIDUAL Beings, Yes they are ONE in PURPOSE, but still SEPARATE. Jesus tells the man that he needs to sell all that he has and follow Him. The man was saddened for he had lots of material things. Jesus then explains that we need to be rich in spirit, but not rich in material things. Note, it is OK to have money in this life! But it is when we value money more than God that it is bad.

Jesus then tells His Apostles of his suffering, death and resurrection. Jesus also heals a blind man, whom he tells; “…thy faith hath saved thee.” (Luke 19:42)

Luke 17

Luke 17: Faith

                Jesus explains to His Apostles that anyone who offends the children, by doing anything against them; “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:2) Essentially, children are precious and should never be abused or have anything bad done to them. Those who go against this will face harsh punishment.

Jesus explains that we should always be forgiving, for if our brother does something to us seven times in one day and he repents seven times, we need to forgive. What if someone does this eight times in one day? The same applies, Jesus used the number seven to get the point across… forgive always.

Jesus enters into a village where He is met by ten lepers, they speak out to Jesus; “…have mercy on us.” (Luke 17:13) Jesus heals all ten of the lepers, but only one returns to give Him thanks, and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asks the man; “…Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger…. Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Luke 17:17-19)

The Pharisees that were gathered asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come, and Jesus responds; “…The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation.” (Luke 17:20) Essentially Jesus says that you can’t try and figure out when it will come, it will come when God decides it is the right time. Jesus however, warns of the end times. The signs of the times will come in the form of Moral corruption, similar to the days of Noah or in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. We should learn to not be attached to things of the world, like the wife of Lot (see Genesis 19)

                Jesus explains that those who “…shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his lift shall preserve it.” (Luke 17:33) In the last days, when the time comes; “Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” (Luke 17:36) This is what many Christians refer to as the “Rapture”. Whatever is believed about this day, it is important to understand the message Jesus has left, and that is… Don’t wait until the last day to repent! Line your life on the path of Jesus now, and then when the last day comes you will be raised up into good Judgment.

Luke 15

Luke 15: The Lost Sheep

                Jesus gathers the Publicans and the sinners to hear Him, while the Pharisees and Scribes murmur that He is eating with sinners.

Jesus tells the Parable of the Lost Sheep;

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth no leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friend and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)

                Why is it important to rejoice over the Lost Sheep? Because you don’t want anyone to perish! We should have compassion on everyone! The other 99 sheep, why not worry about them? Well, they have not run away or slipped off the path from the rest. The 99 are just as important, but they are not in as much need as the ones who are Lost. Either way you should celebrate when someone or something has been found.

                Jesus tells the Parable of the Lost Coin (piece of silver);

“…what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I lost. Likewise… there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:8-10)

                This is the same thing as the Parable of the Lost Sheep, we should value everyone. If everyone is on the path and is not lost, great! However, those who have fallen off the path and are Lost, have need to be found!

Jesus tells the Parable of the Prodigal Son;

“…A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me of the portion of goods that falleth to me [inheritance]. And he divided unto them his living…the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living [being rebellious and irresponsible]….when he spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land: and he began to be in want… he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine…. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.” (Luke 15:11-15;17-19)

So, this son goes to his father and asks for his inheritance now. The father agrees and the son wastes the money, and is forced to find employment with a man who apparently does not pay him enough to eat properly and he hungers. So he decides to return home to his father, where he plans on becoming one of the hired servants.

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” (Luke 15:20-21)

The son was embarrassed and told his father that he had sinned by wasting his money and that he was no longer worthy to be his son. But the father reacts in a rather unexpected manner…

“But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” (Luke 15:22-23)

                Instead of scolding his son, the father was so happy to see him that he wanted to put on a huge feast in celebration of his return. The older son, when he hears about this is angered. So the father comes out to find the older brother to talk about why he was angry. The older son claims that he had worked hard, without transgression and yet the younger son sinned and wasted away the fathers money on all manner of sin. The father responds to the elder son; “… Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:31-32)

Essentially the father reminds the older son, that everything the father has is still his. He is not going to lose his inheritance, but that they should still celebrate the homecoming of the younger son. We need to remember this, that just because a sinner is being celebrated for getting back on the right path, does not mean that a good person who never sins doesn’t get a big feast. For that time will come!

Luke 14

Luke 14: Humility 

                Jesus goes into the home of the Chief Pharisee, to eat bread on the Sabbath day. There was a man who had dropsy; which was an old term for the swelling of soft tissue due to the accumulation of water. Today however, this might mean edema, due to congestive heart failure. Jesus heals the man and let him go. The Pharisees held their peace and did not say anything to Jesus for having cured the man on the Sabbath.  Even though the Pharisees held their peace, Jesus knew that they were questioning Him for having done this great miracle.

Even though none of them questioned Jesus, Jesus knew the desires of their hearts and asks them; “…Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?” (Luke 14:5) Jesus then tells them that they should not sit down at a wedding in the highest room, without starting at the lowest. He explains that you want to start at the lowest place and have the host or someone more honorable than you to invite you to come to a higher room; “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased [degraded or have your dignity or self-esteem lowered]; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 14:11) In other words Jesus is telling them that they should humble themselves and they will be lifted up and honored. But those who try and make themselves great will only be degraded and lowered. Moral of the story, be humble!

“…When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours… But when thou makest a feat, call the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14)

Jesus then puts forth a Parable of the Great Supper…

“…A certain man made a great supper, and bade many [he invited many]: And he sent his servant at supper time to say… all things are no ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse [one by one they made excuses and left (18-20)]… that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets… of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt [lame], and the blind… And the lord said unto the servant… none of those men which were bidden [invited] shall taste of my supper…” (Luke 14:16-24)

Jesus uses this Parable to explain, that those who are invited, that choose not to come unto the Lord will not taste of his supper. He says; “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) In order to follow Jesus Christ, we cannot have excuses, we must be able to follow Him at all times and sacrifice everything, if necessary for Him. Jesus says we must hate ourselves and everyone around us. What did He mean? He meant that we need to put Him first, then our families second. This does not mean that we don’t love our families, but we need to remember that God is Almighty, and He needs to be first in our lives.

For if we don’t put Him first we are like salt that has lost its flavor, if this be, what good are we?

Luke 13

Luke 13: Repent or Perish

Jesus tells us that the Galileans who were killed by Pilate at a sacrifice, or the eighteen people who were killed by a falling tower at Siloam, were not worse sinners than anyone else. He says; “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)

He speaks of the Parable of the Fig Tree;

“…A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sough fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find non: cut it down…. he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it. And if it bear fruit, well: and if it not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” (Luke 13:7-9) Essentially the certain man was God, and He was coming to remove any fruit that did not produce good fruit, while the dresser of the vineyard, Prophets, Apostles and other men on earth plead with the Lord to give that tree or person another year to produce good fruit. If it were not for the dressers of the vineyard, the bad plants would have been cut and burned.

While teaching in the Synagogue a woman who had a problem with her spine came in and was healed and straightened out by the Lord. The ruler of the synagogue was displeased by this action on the Sabbath, and Jesus responds; “…Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?” (Luke 13:15) The man was a complete hypocrite and did not allow for a woman to be healed, but could lead his animals to drink.

Jesus then explains that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, and leaven. The Mustard seed is the smallest of all the seeds, yet is one of the biggest when fully grown. We must strive to enter through the narrow gate to salvation, which will eventually be shut, causing wailing and gnashing of teeth, for Jesus will say; “… I know you not…” (Luke 13:27) Jesus laments for Jerusalem and its unwillingness, saying; “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather he brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34) 

Luke 12

Luke 12: Much is Given, Much is expected

                Jesus teaches to a multitude that is without number, so much so that they were on top of each other to gather closer to Jesus. He teaches that “…there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid that shall not be known.” (Luke 12:2) The Kingdom of God is not secret, but sacred. Those things that we do not understand now, we will understand later, for all things will one day be revealed.

Jesus explains that we should no fear physical death, nor fear those who can bring inflict that death upon us; “…Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do… ye shall fear… him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell…” (Luke 12:4) We should never fear the power of humans, for if someone wants to kill, that is all they can do. No one, besides God can “kill” us beyond physical death. We have no need to fear man, but only God.

Jesus then reminds His followers that they are precious in the eyes of God; “…even the very hairs on your head all are numbered. Fear not therefore…” (Luke 12:7) Those who follow God, and do not deny Him, the same shall not be denied before the angels of heaven. Jesus warns, that those “…that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost… shall not be forgiven.” (Luke 12:10) But those who do follow the Holy Ghost do not need to fear before men; for unto him “…the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (Luke 12:12)

                Jesus reminds the people that the animals (more specifically ravens/birds) of the world do not have storehouses, or farms. Yet “…God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” (Luke 12:24) Essentially, God love us, and we needed to be reminded of His love. Jesus also explains that we should not have a “…doubtful mind… your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things…. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Luke 12:29-31)

Jesus teaches those gathered that where “…much is given, of him shall be much required…” (Luke 12:48) If the Lord blesses us, we have an obligation to repay that debt. We will be called upon.  Jesus ends His speaking in the chapter in a very interesting way, He asks; “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” (Luke 12:51) So if Jesus is not come to give peace, He is come to cause division? He explains that, YES, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will cause division; “…there shall be five in one house divided… The father shall be divided against the son…” (Luke 12:52-52) etc.

This division I find to be very interesting, especially in the current time. Look at the United States of America, and the division that has been caused over the past decade or so. The country is almost 50% divided on issues. A house, divided cannot stand. Jesus knew this, and was telling His Apostles and followers that this would be a sign of the end times.