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 4

Luke 4: Jesus Tempted

                Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost returns from Jordan and is led into the wilderness;

“Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward was hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” (Luke 4:2-3)

After 40 days of pure exhaustion, Satan came to tempt Jesus by asking Him to perform a miracle. Could Jesus have turned the rock to bread? I would say yes, however, it was not up to Jesus to prove Himself to the Devil. Jesus responds; “…It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Luke 4:4)

The Devil then takes Jesus up to a high mountain and tells Him, that all of the kingdoms of the world would be His, if He just fell to the ground and worshiped him. However, the kingdoms of the world were never the Devil’s to give away. Jesus answered him; “…Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8)

                Satan then takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and tells Him to jump off, for it is written that “…He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee.” (Luke 4:10) Jesus then tells Satan that he should not tempt God and Satan departs. Jesus was now free from the temptations and returned to Galilee where he taught many people. Jesus enters a synagogue on the Sabbath and is given the book of the prophet Esaias to read in front of the congregation. Jesus opens the book and reads; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised….” (Luke 4:18) (see also Isaiah 61:1-2) Jesus then closed the book and sat down, where the people were astonished at His words.

Jesus then tells them that; “…No prophet is accepted in his own country.” (Luke 4:24) Jesus then cites Elijah, explaining how the widow of Zarephath and Elisha and the healing of the Syrian Naaman, who were both gentiles. This angers the people, and they try to throw Him off of a hill. However, Jesus walks straight through them and goes down to Capernaum in the city of Galilee and taught the people there on the Sabbath, who “…were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.” (Luke 4:32) This means that Jesus did not just teach the Gospel, but taught it with Power and Authority, that was granted to him. Not just anyone can preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus entered into one synagogue; a man who was stricken with an unclean spirit immediately called out to Him. The evil spirit said to Jesus; “…Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.” (Luke 4:34) It is important to note that the evil spirit knew who Jesus was, and somewhat feared His power. Jesus rebukes the evil spirit and casts him out of the man. Immediately the people were astonished and said; “…for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits…” (Luke 4:36) Jesus did not just cast the evil spirits out, but He did it with POWER and AUTHORITY!

Jesus then enters the house of Simon, where his wife’s mother was sick with a fever. Jesus immediately heals her and many others who are brought before Him. Jesus then departs into other cities, He leaves the people with an address; “…I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore am I sent.” (Luke 4:43)

Mark 3

Mark 3: Healing on the Sabbath

                A man comes near Jesus with a deformed hand, and the scribes stand by waiting to see if Jesus will heal the man on the Sabbath. Jesus perceives their hearts and simply asks them: “…Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days. Or to do evil? To save a life, or to kill?” (Mark 3:4) Jesus heals the man and makes his hand whole. Immediately the scribes come together to charge Jesus!

Jesus travels throughout Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Jordan, Tyre and Sidon all while being followed by a group of people. When Jesus spoke he usually spoke from a boat or had a small boat nearby, for fear that people would essentially “tackle Him”. Everyone who wanted to be healed of Him would come near and want to touch Him. Unclean spirits would cause those possessed to fall to the ground and weep for seeing the Son of God.

Jesus travels up a mountain with the twelve Apostles so that He could ordain them as Apostles (Those called by Jesus and given His priesthood Authority and Power) and not just as Disciples (those who follow Jesus). He ordains all of them with the ability to preach, and the power to heal sicknesses and cast out devils. After He finishes ordaining them, they all go to have a feast. While there, some scribes come and accuse Jesus of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub (the devil). So Jesus says; “…How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3:23) Jesus goes on to explain that if a house or nation is divided it cannot stand, therefore if Satan is against himself, he also cannot stand. Jesus goes on even further to explain that those who deny the Holy Ghost are in danger of eternal damnation. Therefore, don’t deny the Holy Ghost!

One thing we learn here is that Jesus says “…whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” (Mark 3:35) Some will use this verse to explain that Jesus never had any direct brothers or sisters, that he was essentially an only child. Is this true? He is the Only Begotten of the Father, but Jesus was born of Mary, so did Mary have any more children? Because if she did, then they would at least be blood related half-brothers to Jesus. In Mark 6:3, we read: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are no his sisters here with us? …” (Mark 6:3) Therefore we learn that Jesus had siblings!

Mark 1

Mark 1: Jesus is Baptized

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, Jesus tells us; “…I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before me…” (Mark 1:2) Jesus is speaking of John the Baptist, who was truly sent before Jesus to prepare the way for Him. All of the land of Judea and Jerusalem came to hear the words of John the Baptist, who spoke of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.

John was so important that even Jesus Christ came to be baptized of him; “…Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.” (Mark 1:9) We learn that after Jesus was baptized that He came “…straightway…up out of the water…” (Mark 1:10), which clearly points to Jesus being baptized by FULL IMMERSION and no other means. This is important for baptism, a repentant heart, a baptism by full immersion by someone who is AUTHORIZED to do the baptism, in other words has the power given to them. After His baptism, the heavens opened and the Holy Ghost, like a dove came down to give Him the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus is then pushed into the wilderness for 40 days, where He is tempted by Satan, but Jesus overcame Satan and angels administered unto Him. John continues to preach repentance to all those who will hear. Jesus goes to Galilee and finds Simon and Andrew by the shore; they were fishers who Jesus converted into fishers of men, meaning; that they would do the Lord’s work and fish for the men who would come unto Jesus. Jesus also finds James and John, who stop what they are doing and follow Jesus.

Jesus teaches His new disciples, and they “…were astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:22) This is important to know, that Jesus HAS the AUTHORITY, the disciples recognized this AUTHORITY, because the Holy Ghost testified of that to them. In order to administer in the gospel, you MUST have proper PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY!

Jesus ends the chapter by casting out devils, healing the sick and cleansing a leper.

Matthew 12

Matthew 12:

The Lord of the Sabbath 

Jesus goes through a cornfield on the Sabbath, He and His Apostles pluck ears of corn to eat. However when the Pharisees see this, they try to find Jesus in contempt of the Sabbath. Jesus tells them otherwise; “…Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat of the showbread…” (Matthew 12:3-4) Jesus tells them “…the Son of man is Lord even on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:8) Essentially Jesus is telling them that when work has to be done or when someone is hungry, the rules of the Sabbath and keeping it Holy does not apply.

Jesus leaves the field and enters into the synagogue, there a man asks him; “…Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? … And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold of it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days?” (Matthew 12:10-12) The man in the synagogue wanted to catch Jesus in a trap and try to accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath. However, Jesus makes it very clear that we are not to follow the old law (Law of Moses), where one would have to count steps on the Sabbath day. Jesus makes it very clear that we need to do good on the Sabbath. What good should we do? This is where we need to look at each situation on a case-by-case account. For example, someone is sick and you are out of medicine; In general is it acceptable to go to the store on a Sunday? No. However if someone is sick and no medicine is to be found, going to the store and “breaking” the Sabbath would be appropriate in order to follow the general law of “doing good” on the Sabbath.

The Pharisees continue to persecute Jesus and even hold a counsel on how they plan to destroy Him. Jesus hears this and departs; from here, someone who is possessed by an evil spirit comes across His path. Jesus heals him and makes the blind to see and the dumb to speak. People stand in awe and ask how this is possible. The Pharisees jump into to criticize Jesus; “…This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” (Matthew 12:24), essentially the Pharisees are saying that Jesus is not the Son of God, but a devil himself and by the power of the devil He is casting out devils. Doesn’t sound logical, right? Well Jesus knew their thoughts and their intentions of catching him in another trap to accuse him of doing wrong. Jesus tells them; “…Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? …But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Matthew 12:25-28)

                Jesus continues to tell the Pharisees that He could not be casting out devils by the Spirit of the Devil, but only by the Spirit of God. He tells those gathered; “He that is not with me is against me… Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matthew 12:30-31)

                Jesus tells them that by speaking ill of the Son of Man and denying the Holy Ghost by not recognizing His power and authority they are in jeopardy of their salvation. He reminds them that good men seek good treasures and evil men, seek evil treasures. He tells them “…every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36) Jesus is essentially telling them that they will be judged according to their works and their words. Our actions and words are recorded in heaven and will be put into account in the Day of Judgment.

The Pharisees continue to persecute Jesus and ask Him for a sign, Jesus reminds us that we should not ask for signs, but instead ask for the Spirit of God to be with us. Jesus tells us that “…An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it…” (Matthew 12:39), therefore we should not seek after signs to prove what we already know to be true through the Holy Ghost. Those who seek signs have denied the Holy Ghost and are in serious jeopardy of not being forgiven. Remember that all we do, good and evil are recorded in heaven for the Day of Judgment. So we need to focus on doing good and following God always.