Luke 24

Luke 24: He Lives!

                Early in the morning days after the death of Jesus Christ, some of His followers (including Mary Magdelene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James) came to His sepulchre [tomb] to anoint Him with spices. Upon approaching the tomb, they found the stone, which sealed the tomb was rolled back and when they went in, they did not find the body of Jesus Christ. The followers were confused, but they found two men who were wearing shining garments, who told them; “…Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen…” (Luke 24:5-6) The two men [or angels] reminded the followers that Jesus had told them exactly what would happen; “…The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” (Luke 24:7)

When the followers heard these words, they remembered. The followers left to tell the Eleven Apostles, but the Apostles thought they were listening to idle tales, and did not believe. Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself; but departed wondering what would happen.

Later, on the way down to a village named Emmaus two of the Apostles walked while discussing the things that had happened. While walking a man approached them and began to speak to them, this man was Jesus Christ, but the two Apostles did not know Him. Jesus asks them why they are sad, and what the reason is for their communication. The two Apostles are flabbergasted as to why this ‘man’ would ask them these questions, they begin to tell Him about the ministry of Jesus and how He was crucified. Jesus responds; “…O fools, and slow of heart to believe… Ought not Christ to have suffered these things…” (Luke 24:25-26) Jesus explains that He has further to walk, but with the evening approaching, the two Apostles invite this ‘man’ to stay with them for the night. While with them, He breaks bread and communes with them, after He is done breaking bread, he disappeared. Upon realizing that the ‘man’ who was with them was Jesus and He had now left after breaking bread with them, they were perplexed; “…Did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened t us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32) Essentially the two Apostles were upset that they were so blind to not even see Jesus!

The two Apostles return to Jerusalem and proclaim to the other Apostles that Jesus had indeed Risen! While they were speaking, Jesus enters and says to them; “…Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:39) While the Apostles were in shock and were wondering what they had just seen, Jesus asks them; “…Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.” (Luke 24:41-43)

Here is an important Doctrinal Truth: Jesus Christ has a glorified body of flesh and bones, just like we have as humans. Jesus told His Apostles to touch Him for He had flesh and bones, and He even asked them for food, so that He could eat. Jesus then “…opened… their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures… Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day… that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:45-48) Jesus opens their understanding, so that the Apostles and all those who follow Him can understand the scriptures and know the truth. Jesus had told the people He would be persecuted to death and rise again on the third day, but even then when it happens the Apostles did not believe Him. Jesus explains that His death had to happen, in order to open the door to a remission of sins and the start of missionary work throughout the world, starting in Jerusalem.

Jesus died for ALL of us, that we might be saved. In order to be truly saved, we must follow Jesus, and all His teachings. We cannot follow Him, if we do not follow His commandments and teachings. Jesus is lifted up into heaven and the Apostles rejoiced and worshipped Him in the temple.

Luke 22

Luke 22: The Atonement

                The Passover was approaching, and Judas Iscariot was possessed by Satan, who led him to the chief priests who desired to kill Jesus, Judas agrees to betray Him for money.

In preparation for the Passover, Jesus commands that Peter and John go to a nearby city where they would meet a man with a pitcher of water who would lead them to an upper room that was furnished for them. Peter and John go, and find the man with the pitcher and the furnished upper room, as Jesus had described. Later, Jesus meets up with them and instructs the Apostles on the Sacrament;

“…he took the bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup… This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:19-20) Jesus instructed them saying that the Bread was His body and the wine (or water) was a representation of His blood, which was shed for them (or would be soon shed for them).

In the Book of Mormon we are given specific prayers that should be used today for blessing the bread and water;

Bread:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may have a remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have the Spirit to be with them. Amen.” (Moroni 4:3; The Book of Mormon)

Water:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine [water]  to the souls of all those who drink of it; that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.” (Moroni 5:2; The Book of Mormon)

Jesus predicts that evil shall befall his betrayer [Judas Iscariot]. Jesus intervenes in an argument about who is the most important disciple; Jesus explains to them that he who does the most service is the greatest among them. Jesus goes on to explain that the disciples will sit on thrones in God’s kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus tells Peter that before the night is over he will betray Him three times, by denying Him.

Jesus goes to pray on the Mount of Olives, and asks His Father; “…if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42) An Angel was sent from heaven to strengthen Jesus and support Him. Jesus finishes praying and finds His Apostles sleeping, when they were supposed to keep lookout. Jesus tells them that they will need to pray, during this discussion some men come with Judas and Judas kisses Jesus to help the men he was with identify Him. Peter cuts of the right ear of the high priest, trying to protect Jesus. Jesus then heals the ear immediately, but is still arrested, taken and beaten. Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin and is mocked and is asked; “Art thou the Christ?” and He responded “…If I tell you, ye will not believe.” (Luke 22:67)

Jesus is smitten and mocked, all because the people’s hearts had been hardened and could not see the amazing miracles performed by Him.

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)

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 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.

Luke 11

Luke 11: Jesus is Angry

                As Jesus prayed, one of the Apostles came to Him and asked Him to teach them to pray. So Jesus tells them; “…When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:2-4)

                A few things to remember… Jesus showed them HOW to pray, and NOT how to REPEAT and MEMORIZE.  Let’s recall Matthew 6, where Jesus also spoke about prayer. He said; “…when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men… But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:5, 7) I think it is clear that Jesus has taught us that we are NOT to use VAIN REPETITIONS, which literally means:

VAIN: ‘excessively proud, empty of substance, devoid of meaning.’

REPETITION: ‘repeating of something, something the same as before.’

So, when WE PRAY, we need to follow the OUTLINE Jesus has given us, but we are not to repeat what He said, word for word. So what is the outline Jesus gave us? Let’s break up what Jesus said…

  1. Address our Heavenly Father; “…When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven…” (Luke 11:2)
  2. Show respect by using the formal in whatever language you are speaking. For example, in English, we should us “thou, thee, thine… etc.” instead of “you and your” Jesus shows this respect; “…Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come….” (Luke 11:2)
  3. We need to remember that when addressing our Heavenly Father that were are to THANK HIM for what we have, and accept HIS WILL in all things.  “…Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth…” (Luke 11:2)
  4. After having addressed our Heavenly Father with respect, thanking Him for what we have been blessed with, we can then ask for the desires of our heart; “…Give us day by day our daily bread…” (Luke 11:3)
  5. Finally we can ask for forgiveness and ask that we might not be lead into temptation; “…And forgive our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:2-4) Finally to end the prayer, we close “In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Jesus did not include this part, because he would have no need to close in His own name.

Jesus explains that our prayers should not be limited to simple, or any sort of memorized repetition, but rather a heart-felt conversation with God, our Father in Heaven. He explains; “…Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every  one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

A man comes to Jesus that is possessed of a devil, and Jesus casts the devil out. However, some that witnessed this event say; “…He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.” (Luke 11:15) Jesus of course heard these comments and explains that a “…house dived against a house falleth.” (Luke 11:17) He asks; “If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?” (Luke 11:18) Essentially Jesus is saying that it makes no sense for Satan to be casting out devils, which he had placed there in the first place. If Satan were to allow this, he would be going against himself, and a house divided against itself cannot stand. Some still argued against him, but one woman suggests that the mother of Jesus was a blessed woman (Luke 11:27), while I think Jesus believes that, and agrees with the woman, Jesus tells her and the crowd; “…Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” (Luke 11:28) Jesus explains to them that He is greater than both Jonas and Solomon, and that He is the only sign the evil generation would receive.

Jesus explains that “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.” (Luke 11:34) This can easily be applied to not only the time Jesus was on the earth, but also in our own day. We see that the internet has brought the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah to our own home. This tidal wave of evil comes in many forms, but Pornography is one of the most rampant. If our eye beholds this evil, we WILL lose LIGHT, and our body will be filled with filth and darkness.

Jesus goes on to scold the Scribes, Pharisees and Lawyers, saying “Woe unto you…” (Luke 11:44,46, 47, and 52) Because of this evil generation, the blood of the righteous will be required.  Jesus reminds them that God sent Prophets and Apostles to the earth to lead and guide His children, however He sent them with the knowledge, that “…some of them they shall slay and persecute.” (Luke 11:49)

Luke 10

Luke 10: The Seventy

“…the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place…” (Luke 10:1)

Jesus then explains to the newly organized group of the ‘Seventy’ that the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. He tells them that he sends them as sheep, among the wolves. He gives them instruction to carry no money, and upon entering a house to say; “…Peace be to this house.” (Luke 10:5) and in whatever house a Seventy or Missionary should enter to “…eat such things as are set before you:” (Luke 10:8)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has a Quorum of the Seventy, as shown in the below Organization of Christ’s Restored Church:

ldschurchstructure

Jesus tells them exactly what to say if a city rejects them…

“Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.” (Luke 10:11-15)

Jesus tells the Seventy that those “…that heareth you heareth me: and he that despiseth you despiseth me…” (Luke 10:16) The Seventy shout for Joy at their new callings! They explain; “…even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” (Luke 10:17) Jesus tells them to not rejoice because they have the power over devils, but rejoice because their names will be written in heaven. Jesus explains that He is happy that God the Father has “…hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes…” (Luke 10:21) Essentially Jesus is telling them, and the reader today that the things of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are not perceived by wisdom, but by the simple of understanding and knowledge; ‘babes’. Jesus tells the Seventy that they should be grateful for knowing the things they know, because many rulers have desired to know and see the things which they had witnessed.

A man among them, who was an attorney, asks Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him how he interprets the writings and he explains to Jesus that all he needs to do is “…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and all thy strength and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” (Luke 10:27) Jesus tells the man that he is correct, but the man then asks Jesus; “…who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29)

In response to the man’s question, Jesus tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan…

                “…A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment [clothes], and wounded him, and departed leaving him half dead…. There came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.” (Luke 10:30-32)

                So, there was a ‘certain man’, who we assume was Jewish, but may or may not have been Jewish, is robbed, beaten and left for dead. The road he was on was probably heavily traveled, so it is not surprising that two people had walked by him in a fairly short period of time. Although time is not mentioned, I personally believe that the events all took place within the same daylight. Both a priest and a Levite pass the man, forgetting the simple ‘love thy neighbor’.

Jesus continues the Parable; “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” (Luke 10:33-35)

Good-Samaritan-Mormon

So, we learn that no matter what faith, gender or race we should show compassion on one another. Jesus asks the man who proposed the ‘who is my neighbor’ question, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among thieves? And he said He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37)

The answer to the man’s question was easy, and the Parable of the Good Samaritan really hammers the message home. No matter who we are dealing with, even our enemies… when someone needs help we help!

Luke 9

Luke 9: Jesus Heals and Teaches

                Jesus calls His Apostles together and gives them Power and Authority, (see Luke 9:1)

Jesus then sends His 12 to “…preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey… neither bread, nor money… whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” (Luke 9:2-3, 5) Notice how Jesus gave those who preached His Gospel, Power and Authority? You cannot claim Power and Authority because of the knowledge of man, nor can you claim Power and Authority because of the Bible. No, you must receive Authority from someone who has the Authority, in this case Jesus. Because Jesus is not on the earth today, it must be received from an Apostle, Prophet or someone who has the Priesthood Authority. I personally can trace my Priesthood Authority by names, back to Jesus Christ.

Because of all the great things that were occurring, Herod finds out and desires to see Jesus. The Apostles warn Jesus that Herod may try to capture or kill him and Jesus leads them; “…privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.” (Luke 9:10) There Jesus has a large gathering and after instructing them commands that they return to the cities to find a place to sleep. Before they leave, Jesus desires to feed them. The Apostles come to Jesus, and say; “…We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.” (Luke 9:13) There were about five thousand gathered. Jesus commands that they sit in companies of fifty and he took the five loaves and two fishes and blesses them. He then commands the Apostles to distribute the food among them all, afterward collecting twelve baskets of “fragments” as leftovers.

After the followers had retired to their respective cities, Jesus was praying alone when He asked the Apostles; “…Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.” (Luke 9:18-19) Jesus then asks them again; “…But whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered and said; “…The Christ of God.” (Luke 9:20) Jesus tells them to keep this and tell no man. He explains that He will be rejected, slain (crucified) and rise on the third day. He gives them a charge that if any man wants to follow Him, they must deny themselves and take up his own cross; “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luke 9:24)

                Eight days later… Jesus takes Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain to pray, and while there His countenance was changed, His clothing was white and glistering. Jesus spoke with two men; Moses and Elias. Peter makes a silly suggestion that they build a tabernacle for Jesus, Moses and Elias. This is when God overshadows them in a cloud and says; “…This is my beloved Son, here him.” (Luke 9:35) Immediately they were found alone with Jesus, and commanded to tell know one of what had happened.

The next day, as they came off of the mountain, they were met by a multitude of the followers of Jesus Christ. A man comes to Jesus and asks Him to heal his child, who was possessed by a devil. The man tells Jesus that he had already asked one of His Apostles, and they were unable to heal the child. Jesus was a little upset that they couldn’t do it without Him, but heals the child anyways. He then explains to His Apostles that He would be “…delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying… and they feared to ask him of that saying.” (Luke 9:45)

For whatever reason, the Apostles simultaneously start thinking about which of the Apostles is the greatest, Jesus, perceiving their thoughts sits a child down near Himself and says; “…Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me… for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.” (Luke 9:48) The Apostle John responds to this and explains that they had forbidden a man from casting out a devil, because the man was not part of them. Jesus explains; “…Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:50)

So do you need Authority? YES! But Jesus explains that anyone who wants to attempt those things, without authority can do so. Whoever is not against the Church or Gospel of Christ, is for it. For this purpose The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the “…privilege of worshipping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” (Articles of Faith 1:11)

                Jesus and the Apostles go to the village of the Samaritans, but are not received. Aftering seeing Jesus being rejected; James and John said to Jesus; “…Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” Jesus turned to them and scolded them; “…Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…” (Luke 9:55-56)

Jesus and His Apostles travel to another village, where they are met by a man who desired to follow Jesus. Jesus accepts the man’s proposal and He tells them man to follow Him. But the man asks Jesus; “…suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but thou go and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-60) Another man approaches Jesus and asks to follow Him, and when Jesus agrees, the man asks Jesus for time to go home and say farewell to his family. But Jesus tells him; “…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Jesus taught clearly that His Gospel is so important, that we do not have time for the little things in Life. When we follow Him, we must put our full strength in, and our feet forward. Looking back to our old ways of life will do us no good. Following Christ is forward thinking, and moving. Always following His path!

Luke 8

Luke 8: Miracles of Jesus

                Jesus went throughout all the cities “…preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God…” (Luke 8:1)

Jesus relates the Parable of the Sower:

“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold…” (Luke 8:5-8) Jesus then explains to His Apostles that “…the seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are those who hear… The rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” (Luke 8:11-14)

Essentially those who hear the words of God and plant the seed of that goodness in good ground, they will rise up and produce good fruit. Those however that are around thorns (temptations or evils) will be choked out. Those who simply don’t have a standing will wither. We must plant our seeds of the gospel in good ground and surround ourselves with good things or else we will wither or choke.

After giving this Parable the Apostles along with Jesus travel by boat to their next destination, however a storm rises… The Apostles, scared, turn to Jesus and say; “…Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was calm.” (Luke 8:24)

The Apostles were scared and had forgotten the power of the Lord, after all they had seen many miracles by Jesus, yet forgot that He would not let them perish. Jesus turns to them; “…Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” (Luke 8:25)

They arrive in the country of Gaderenes, which is against Galilee. When they were there they ran into a man possessed of many devils. The man’s name was Legion, and he had been possessed by devils for years. Jesus commands the devils to leave the man, and they do. But they plead to have a body, so Jesus permits them to enter into a herd of swine (pigs), which upon entering them ran off a cliff and choked in a lake. The man Legion proclaims the miracle of Jesus throughout all the land!

Jesus continues His journeys and while walking a woman, who had suffered a disease of the blood reached out and touched the garment of Jesus, in hopes of being healed. Jesus upon feeling the touch, stopped, and said; “…I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” (Luke 8:46) The woman admitted to touching Jesus and comes and kneels down before Him, Jesus heals her and says; “…Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)

Before Jesus could finish what He was doing, there came a ruler of a synagogue’s house that said his daughter was dead. He turns to the man and says; “…Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.” (Luke 8:50) Jesus explains that she is not actually dead, but sleeps. He comes into the girl and tells her to arise, and she does! Jesus tells the parents to tell no man of what they saw.