Lessons 7-13 for the Gospel of Luke
Luke Chapter 13:
Scriptures from this lesson are taken from: Luke 13, Matthew 7.
In Luke chapter 12, Jesus was in Galilee, but as we move into chapter 13, His is making His way south toward Jerusalem.
[Luke 13:1-5] (1) Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. (2) Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? (3) I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (4) Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? (5) I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
About this time Pontius Pilate had some Galileans killed while they were worshiping God, offering sacrifices according to the Law of Moses. This would account for the report that their blood had been mixed with the sacrifices. The men telling this wanted Jesus to explain why this terrible thing happened to the good people who were worshiping God. Why would God allow good people to suffer and die like that? A question often asked by people today. Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Jesus did not directly answer their question, but turned it around on those who were asking. He made it clear that the most important question for them to focus on was the conditions of their own souls.
Unless they repented of their sins, they too would die. Jesus then called their attention to a tragedy that had happened in Jerusalem where the Tower of Siloam fell and killed 18 people. Were those 18 more sinful than others who were there and did not die? It was a common thought among the people in that time to believe that tragedy was the result of sin. That is why Jesus asked them if those who died were guiltier than the ones who lived. Jesus answered that question with an emphatic, no! He stated again that unless they repented of their sins, they too would perish.”
[Luke 13:6-9] 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
The Nation of Israel is God’s chosen people that he created from the descendants of Abraham. God established this people to be His witness on earth to all peoples, to teach them about God and His laws that they should live by. Israel, however, chose to follow after those who worshiped other gods and failed in their mission. God gave them time and sent His prophets to witness to them and call them to repentance. But, after so long, when they did not repent, God allowed them to be cut down through His divine judgment. I believe that this is the meaning of this parable.
[Luke 13:10-17] 10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” 15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” 17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
Jesus was teaching on a Sabbath day in one of the synagogues and there was a crippled woman in the crowd who was bent over and could not straighten up. When Jesus saw her, He had compassion and called her to Him. He put His hands on her and she was immediately healed. The Jewish Law forbade work on the Sabbath day so the leader of the synagogue told the crowd that any who wished to be healed should leave and come back on a day, not the Sabbath. Jesus rebuked the leader by saying that they were willing to take care of the needs of their livestock, to feed and water them on the Sabbath and this woman who was a descendant of Abraham had the right to have her needs met. Jesus stated here that this woman was afflicted with a demon of Satan and this had caused her crippled condition. It does not say that Jesus drove the demon out like in other situations. The leader of the synagogue was upset and humiliated by how Jesus contradicted him, but those who were there to listen to Jesus and be healed were delighted.
[Luke 13:18-21] 18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” 20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
We again have two parables with a similar meaning. The question was, “What is the Kingdom of God like?” Jesus asked what was there on earth that He could compare it to so that they would understand. When Jesus came to earth, He was God with man. The Kingdom of God had come to earth. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the New Covenant between God and man was established. The New Covenant being the way that sinful man would be justified so that he could live eternally with his Holy God. By these two parables, Jesus is saying that the Kingdom of God started small but it would grow and grow through time until it encompassed all the earth and all men.
[Luke 13:22-28] 22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
[Matthew 7:13-14] 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Jesus was still working His way south to Jerusalem with crowds following Him. Someone in the crowd asked Jesus if only a few people would be saved. In His answer, Jesus warned them to do all they could do in order to enter through the narrow door because many would not make it. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus said that the road and the gate were wide leading to damnation, but the road and the gate were narrow leading to eternal life with God. At some point the door would be closed and they could not enter. People today believe that they have plenty of time to prepare for eternal life, but the truth is, we have no guarantee of even tomorrow and accepting Jesus as Savior is something each person has to do for themselves.
I think in verse 26 where it says that the people will say that they ate and drank with Jesus and listened to Him teach but they would be rejected because they did not believe. For me that should be a big lesson for us today. Our churches are full of people who attend regularly, going through the motions but never truly giving their heart to the Lord. For those people, the door to heaven will be closed.
[Luke 13:31-35] 31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” 32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! 34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’
Jesus was traveling through Perea on the east side of the Jordan River as He made His way to Jerusalem. This was the territory ruled over by Herod Antipas and it is shown on the map in gray color. It is likely that Jesus was close to the town of Machaerus which is where Herod killed John the Baptist. The scribes and Pharisees were never friends of Jesus and followed after Him always looking for something He said or did that could be used as a reason to have Him killed. Since Jesus called Herod a “fox” it is most likely that Herod sent the Pharisees with the message that Herod wanted to kill him so Jesus would move on out of Herod’s territory. Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God, calling people to repent and become a part of this kingdom. Herod would not understand that the Kingdom of God was a spiritual kingdom, but consider this a threat to his rule. Since Jesus was healing people all the time, He was too popular to ignore. Jesus sent a message back to Herod, calling him a fox, saying that He would continue to heal the sick and would leave in three days, or that may have been another way to say that He would leave when He was ready. Jesus knew that Herod Antipas could
not kill Him. In verse 33, Jesus states that no prophet would die outside Jerusalem. Jerusalem the city was a killer of prophets of God. Very shortly Jesus would be killed in Jerusalem. Then Jesus showed His love for the city by referring to a mother hen protecting her chicks. He wanted to shelter and protect them because He knew that the city would be destroyed in 35 years by the Roman General, Titus in 70 AD. The long awaited Messiah had come to the Holy city and they had rejected Him. Jesus then said that they would not see Him again until as a nation they accepted Him as the Messiah and there would be great suffering ahead until that time came.
Lessons for us from Luke 13
1. The most important thing we should focus on is the condition of our own soul.
2. The growth of the Kingdom of God on earth is now the responsibility of Christians.
3. We should continue to teach and preach the gospel in our churches because we can never know who has
given their heart to the Lord.
4. Jesus loves us and wants to protect and guide us if we trust in Him.
Luke Chapter 12-2
Scripture for this lesson are taken from Luke 12:35-59
These scriptures are a continuation of our lesson at the beginning of Luke 12. Jesus is believed to be on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee near the town of Magdala. He is speaking to a very large crowd and to His Apostles and disciples.
[Luke 12:35-40] “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
We actually have two parables in these verses. The first story is talking about a man who has gone to a wedding feast. His servants have no way of knowing when he will return home. But if they are wise they will keep their lamps burning and stay awake through the night, ready to do the master’s bidding when he returns. The reward for the faithful servants will be that the master will then serve them. He will seat them at his own table and serve them their food. He will be a servant to them. These are strange words for people in Jesus’ day. Slavery was common and the slave always served the master or suffered severe consequences. But here Jesus is saying that the faithful servant will be served by their master.
The message for us is that we need to be ready, be prepared to meet the Lord because we have no idea when He is coming back to gather up the saved. If He comes and we are not prepared, then it is too late. In verses 39-40 we have a story about man who owned a house and a thief came and robbed him. If the man had known that the thief was coming and when, he could have stopped him. This story too, represents Christ coming back. The owner of the house represents those of us who have not accepted Christ as our Savior. We think that there is always tomorrow. But if Jesus comes unexpectedly, which He will, and we are not ready, then it is too late to receive eternal life with God. It is very dangerous to take a chance on eternal life.
[Luke 12:41-46] 41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
Peter is unsure who Jesus is talking about in these parables. Who is the master and who are the servants? Does this apply to them, to those who believe in Jesus or to the unbelievers? Jesus answers by telling Peter that the faithful manager will be rewarded for doing the work the master has assigned to him. If he tires of the work and fails to do his job right, he will be punished. So who is the faithful manager? Jesus’ apostles and disciples have been given the message of salvation and how to live under the New Covenant. They are responsible for teaching and preaching the Word. If they fail to carry out the mission given to them by Christ, then they will be punished. Those that they reach through their ministries will also be responsible for reaching the lost. So the message is for everyone. It is for us today. Every Christian is responsible for spreading the gospel through message and example. Preachers, music leaders and teachers will be held accountable for what we teach. It is an awesome responsibility.
[Luke 12:47-48] 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
This is still part of the parable about spiritual leaders. There are degrees in talent and position and corresponding degrees in responsibility. As a pastor has more responsibility than a Sunday school teacher. Both will be held responsible to God for work they do or don’t do.
[Luke 12:49-59] 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? 57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? The fire that Jesus brought refers to judgment or a refining or purifying 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
Jesus is telling the people that they can read the clouds to tell when it is going to rain or storm. They know these things through experience. They should also know about the coming of the Messiah through their teachings in Synagogue and scripture studies. Instead of deciding for themselves, they are listening to the religious leaders who are not telling them the truth.
The fire that Jesus brought refers to judgment or a refining or purifying process. In verse 56 it tells us that Messiah has come. The Kingdom of God is here and man must choose whether He will serve God or Satan. Families will be divided. Some will choose Christ, some will reject Him. We have to decide today where our loyalties lie, whether we will follow Christ or Satan and the things of this world. Jesus urged the crowd and urges us today to grasp the urgency of the times. Accept Christ before it is too late! It is now 2000 years later than when Jesus spoke these words and the end time gets closer every day.
Lessons for us from Luke 12:35-59
1. We should be prepared to meet the Lord.
2. We need to live each day as if Jesus was coming tomorrow.
3. We will be held responsible for the work that the Lord has given us to do.
4. Every Christian should study God’s Word themselves and follow where the Word
Luke Lesson 12
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Luke 12, Matthew 3.
It is believed that the events on Luke chapter 12 occurred on the northwestern shores of the Sea of Galilee near the place called Magdala which was the home of Mary Magdalan. There are thousands of people in the crowd. Among the people there were scribes and Pharisees seeking something to use against Jesus.
In verses 1-12 Jesus warned His disciples against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. He also told them not to fear those who could only kill the human body, but rather fear God who had the power to send the spirit to hell.
[Luke 12:1-3] Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
With the huge crowd of people all around them, Jesus spoke directly to His disciples. He warned them to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees. Yeast in scripture is a symbol of sin. During the Passover meal they always ate bread made without yeast. Today, when Jews eat the Passover meal with their families, it is a custom to choose one of their youth and ask them to look all around the house to see if there is any yeast to be found. It represents sin in the family. So Jesus was warning them about the sin of the Pharisees was hypocrisy. “Hypocrite” is a Latin word that means a play actor, someone pretending to be someone that they are not. The Pharisees prayed long loud prayers in public places, made a show of tithing beans and other items from their gardens to show how righteous that they were. But when it came to helping the poor and the widows who had no one to provide for them, they showed no mercy. They made a big show in public of how strictly they kept the Mosiac Law yet their secret life and their hearts were filled with sin. Jesus went on to stress that there is nothing in our lives that God the Father does not know. All the sinful things done in the dark and in the most private places in our homes will be made known at the time of judgment. There are not secrets from God.
[Luke 12:4-7] 4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Jesus emphasizes the value of each person to God. Five sparrows could be purchases for what would be two pennies today yet each sparrow was precious to God. Sparrows were acceptable for the sin offering at the temple if the worshiper could not afford a lamb.
The Pharisees and scribes in the crowd could hear what Jesus was saying and there might have been yelling threats and warnings against Jesus and His disciples. Jesus explained that they need not fear those who could kill the human body but rather fear God who can send the soul to eternal hell. The work translated “hell” is the Greek word “Gehenna” which literally means valley of Hinnom. The Valley of Hinnom is a deep narrow ravine on the south end of Jerusalem where the Israelites worshiped Moloch and Baal where they sacrificed their babies to those gods. After the Jews came back from the captivity in Babylon they never worshiped other gods. The valley then became like a garbage dump where dead animals were thrown. They would burn the area all the time to keep down the smell and germs. Jesus used this valley as an analogy to the fires in hell.
[Luke 12:8-12]8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
Remember, Jesus was talking to a very large crowd mixed with His followers, people seeking to be healed, those who believed that He would be king of the Jews, scribes and Pharisees trying to find something to use against Him. Jesus tells this huge crowd people that they must accept Him as the Son of God in order to be accepted by God and those who refuse to accept Him will not be accepted in Heaven by God. Those who reject Jesus and speak against Him can be forgiven but those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Verse 10 is often referred to as the “unpardonable sin” or “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”. Jesus made a distinction between sinning against Him and against the Holy Spirit. This is one of those Biblical questions that have many answers but none are certain.
There is another passage the gives more light on this unpardonable sin.
[Mark 3:22-30]22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”
Jesus and His disciples were in a house where many people had gathered to hear Him and to be healed of diseases. Jesus stayed with the people and refused to take time to eat. Scribes and Pharisees were there and they accused Jesus of using the power of Beelzebub or Satan to drive out demons. In Jesus’ time they believed that many ailments that we know today to be diseases were believed to be caused by an evil demon. So Jesus’ accusers were saying that He used the power of Satan to drive out Satan’s demons. Jesus asks them if Satan would drive out Satan. That did not make sense. Then Jesus said, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln referred to this scripture at the time of the Civil War, saying that “a nation divided itself cannot stand.” With that said, the unforgivable sin seems to be giving Satan credit for the works of the Holy Spirit.
[Luke 12:13-15] 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Traditionally at a man’s death his property was given to his oldest son. It was called the “birth-right.” Others in the family received designated shares. In this case apparently the older brother had refused to give the younger his allotment. Rabbis often served to settle such disputes. Jesus made it clear the man that settling family disputes was not part of His ministry. Jesus went on to give the “Parable of the Rich Fool” which warns against greed and the desire to amass worldly goods.
[Luke 12:16-21] 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
In verses 17-19 Jesus has the man saying “I” or “my” eight times. The man takes total credit for all the wealth that God has given him. Jesus is telling the crowd that this man is a fool. God has given him all his earthly wealth and given him his life, but the man did nothing for God. The man would die that night and all his earthly wealth will be gone. A parable is a story with a spiritual meaning. The spiritual meaning for this parable is that all things belong to God; we have not control over life and death so we should concentrate on building our treasures in heaven that last for eternity.
[Luke 12:22-34]22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus said that we are not to worry; God would provide all that we need. Does that mean we should quit our jobs, sit at home and trust God to put food in our refrigerator, gas in our cars, pay our bills and we do nothing but sit back and enjoy the blessings? No, the Lord expects up to do the following:
1. Work and do our best at the jobs He provides for us.
2. Take care of our families that He gives us.
3. Give the Lord His share to further His work.
4. To give of ourselves and our time to reach the lost, help the needy, to teach others God’s Word and His way.
5. We are to trust and believe that God will provide what we need.
[Luke 12:35-40] 35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” 41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” 42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
There two parables in these verses. The first story referred to a man who had gone to a wedding feast. His servants had no way of knowing when he would return home. But it they were wise they would keep their lamps burning, in other words they would not go to bed but stay up through the night and be ready to take care of their master when he returned. The master would then serve the faithful servants.
The second parable Jesus told about a manager that was responsible for the owner’s servants, the work they did, their food and other needs. In the beginning the manager did a good job, but then the master did not come for a very long time and the manager began to beat the servants both men and women. He got drunk and did not pay attention to what work the servants did and was no longer faithful to the master. The master returned unexpectedly and punished the unfaithful manager.
In both of these parables, Jesus was talking about His Second Coming. He is warning them about what would happen to a sleeping unprepared world. Those who were faithful and prepared would welcome the return of their Lord. In verse 48 Jesus gives a serious warning to church leaders, pastors and teachers. They will be held responsible for their activities and teaching.
[Luke 12:49-59]49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” 54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? 57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
The Jews believed that the Messiah would come, overthrow the Romans and restore Israel to the nation is was under David and Solomon. They would have peace and security. Jesus told them that was not the case. He and His message were under fire. The Jewish religious leaders opposed Him from the time He began His ministry until after He was crucified. The Jewish religious leaders also opposed any of the Jews who professed Christ as the Messiah. Families were divided. Believers where no longer accepted by their families and their businesses were ruined. Families are still divided today, some believers and some not which brings division and strife.
Jesus goes on to tell them that they are smart about reading the clouds and predicting the weather, but when it came to Jesus and accepting Him as the Messiah, the people listened to the religious leaders and followed their rejection of Jesus rather than listening and deciding for themselves.
Lessons for us from Luke chapter 12:
1. God knows everything we do, everything we say, everything we think. All that we do in secret will be made known at the judgment.
- We should not fear physical death, but rather eternity in hell.
- We need to build our heavenly treasures, not earthly possessions.
- We should not worry and fret but have faith that the Lord will provide for our needs.
- We need to be prepared to meet Jesus whether in death or for Jesus to come back.
Luke Chapter 11
Scripture for this lesson was taken from Luke 11, Genesis 1
At the end of chapter 10, Jesus was at Bethany a town down past the Garden of Gethsemane and over the hill about two miles from Jerusalem. He had been spending time with His friend Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha.
[Luke 11:1-4) One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. They wanted to pray a prayer that God would hear and would answer. John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray and they wanted Jesus to teach them. In Matthew 6:9-15 Jesus gave the longer version of this model prayer. In this shorter version, He focused on seven elements of a proper prayer to God.
1. We are to address God as our father. Like an earthly father, God gives us life, provision for physical needs, guidance and protection
2. Hallowed means “Holy”. We are to tell God that He is Holy to us. His name is Holy, He is Holy.
3. Ask God for His kingdom to come. We are telling God that His kingdom is more important to us than what this world can offer.
4. As God to provide for our daily needs and that we trust Him to do it.
5. Ask for our sins to be forgiven. We want God to take away our sins so that we will not be held accountable for them and we will be clean.
6. Ask God to forgive all who do sinful things against us, meaning that we forgive them and ask God the Father to forgive them.
7. Ask God to help us recognize and resist when Satan is tempting.
[Like 11:5-10] 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacityhe will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
This parable is a continuation of the model prayer. The key is in verse 8. “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”
Jesus uses 3 words here to describe how we receive from God:
1. Ask 2. Seek 3. Knock
“Ask” means to question, to seek information, to request for something, to invite. We are to ask God for: our daily needs; forgiveness; help not to sin. To ask Boldly.
“Seek” means to search for, to endeavor to reach, to move forward, to request. To seek Boldly.
“Knock” means to strike with a blow, to cause to collide, to pound. To knock Boldly.
What does it mean to be bold? It means to have confidence, to have faith. We are to seek God, to praise Him and to ask for our needs believing with faith that He will answer. Be bold!!
[Luke 11:14-20]14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15 But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.”16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven. 17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. 19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
This seems to be a different time. It sounds like there was a big crowd of people and all of the scripture to the end of chapter 11 were spoken at this time and place. Jesus had healed a mute man. The amazed crowd speculated about what power Jesus had used to heal the man. Some said He had used the power of Beelzebub or Satan. Others said that He should do another miracle to prove that His power had come from God. In answer to them, Jesus used the analogy of a kingdom doing battle against itself. It would destroy itself from within. Satan would not fight against himself. Therefore, if Jesus was using the power of God, then the Kingdom of God had come.
[Luke 11:21-23] 21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. 23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
The Kingdom of God had come and it was not just the message of salvation for those who believe, but it came with power, the power to resist and overcome the power of Satan. The parable in verses 21-24 is about Satan who controls those under his power, but the Kingdom of God was and is more powerful that Satan and had come to destroy Satan’s power and control over mankind.
[Genesis 1:27} So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
God created man in His own image. God is a spiritual being; therefore He created man as a spiritual being. Mankind has a physical human body and a spirit within him. Satan is also a spiritual being. Man can allow the spirit of Satan to dwell with him or the Spirit of God, but not both. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me.” In Verses 24-26 Jesus is saying that an empty soul or spirit is an open door for Satan. If Christ does not dwell within your spirit to guide and protect you, then Satan can come in and have control.
[Luke 11:27-28] 27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
The Jews were always looking for the Messiah to come as they are still today. It was the desire of Jewish women to be so blessed by God that He would allow them to be the mother of the Messiah. This woman in the crowd called to Jesus that His mother was blessed by God to have given birth to Him. By saying this, she was acknowledging that He was the Messiah. Jesus replied to her that is was a much greater blessing to hear His message, to hear God’s word and obey it.
[Luke 11:29-36] 29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.
While Jesus was teaching, more people joined the crowd that was listening. Jesus goes back to verse 16, where the people asked for a sign to prove that Jesus used the power of God and not Satan to drive out a demon from the man that was mute. Here He tells the crowd that they are a wicked people, and no other sign or miracle will be given to them to prove who He was other than the sign of Jonah.
Before we discuss the meaning of the sign of Jonah, I would to say personally that there are many Biblical expositors who deny that the events described in the book of Jonah really happened. I say to them, “Do you deny the words of Jesus Christ?”
So what is the sign of Jonah? Jonah was swallowed by a big ocean creature of some kind, probably a whale and he was inside this creature for three days and then spit up onto dry land. God had a work for him to do and He got Jonah’s attention that he had to fulfill his mission. Jesus died on the cross and arose again on the third day to fulfill His mission. But I think that the real sign was Jonah’s message to the people of Nineveh that they must repent of their evil ways or be destroyed. The people of Nineveh listened and repented.
The Queen of the South was the Queen of Sheba who came over 1400 miles across the desert sands of Arabia, along the coast of the Red Sea, up into Moab and over the Jordan River to Jerusalem to see Solomon and learn from his wisdom. The trip would take at least six months each way.
Jesus is saying that the preaching of Jonah and the fact that the people of Nineveh listened and repented and the great journey of the Queen of Sheba showing how important she thought it was to learn from Solomon are nothing compared to the message that the people of that generation where given from the Son of God that the Kingdom of God had come to man. But that wicked generation rejected the Word of God and His Son!
[Luke 11:33-36] 33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
Jesus uses the example of a lamp that is put on a stand so that a room will have light. The eyes give light to the body so that it can see how to do things and move about. Jesus uses these examples to tell the people seeking another sign that they did not need more light or another sign but to accept the light they already had. What God was doing through Jesus was plain enough.
[Luke 11:37-53] 37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table.38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal. 39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. 42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. 43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces. 44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.” 45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” 46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. 47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. 52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” 53 When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, 54 waiting to catch him in something he might say.
This passage is called “the woes of the scribes as Pharisees.” After Jesus had finished teaching on this occasion, one of the Pharisees invited Him to his home to eat. There were other Pharisees and teachers of the Jewish Laws, their interpretations of the Law of Moses there also. They wanted to hear more of Jesus’ teaching in a private setting. The word “woe” means to be aware, something bad is coming. He said that they were a foolish and hypercritical people. They so carefully demanded that the people follow every word of their interpretations of the law, but they had neither mercy nor love for the people’s needs. They had replaced the love and giving part of God’s Law with rules and regulations. They made a show of their righteousness and desired the praise of men, but they were unclean on the inside. After this the Pharisees followed Jesus all the time besieging Him with questions trying to find something they could use against Him.
Lessons for us from Luke chapter 11:
1. We should seek God boldly praising Him and asking for what we need.
2. When we pray we should pray believing without a doubt the God will answer.
3. Those that hear the Word of God and reject it will not see eternal life with the Lord.
4. We should fill our heart and spirit with things of God, leaving not room for Satan to creep in.
5. Our worship to God should include love for and ministry to our fellow man.
Luke Lesson 10
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Luke 10, Matthew 22.
In chapter 9, Jesus sent the 12 apostles out to the towns in Galilee. He gave them the power to heal the sick, drive out demons and even raise the dead. They were not to take any money, extra clothing or food with them. They would depend on God to supply all their needs through the hospitality of people in the towns. If the people in a town refused them and refused to hear the message from God, they were to leave that town, shake the dust from their feet and move on.
At the close of Chapter 9, Jesus and His followers were moving south from Galilee through Samaria. Jesus chose 72 men other than the 12 apostles and sent them out two by two down the Jordan Valley to the towns in Samaria. They are moving ahead of Jesus as He makes His way to Jerusalem for Passover where He will be crucified. The time is December or early January.
[Luke 10:1-12] After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”
Here Jesus uses a parable about a man who owns a field of grain. The grain is ripe and ready to be harvested. The Lord of the harvest is God. There is much work to be done in the grain fields and very few workers. The grain field is the people in the towns and the disciples are the workers. Their work is to spread the message about the coming of the Kingdom of God. Jesus said He was sending them out like lambs among wolves. They were not to take any money, extra clothing or sandals, not even a staff for protection. They were not to great anyone on the road as they traveled but to go into the towns. If they were offered hospitality in a home, they were to offer God’s peace on the home. If they were peaceful kindly people, God’s blessing would stay with them, if not it would return to the disciples. These disciples were traveling in Samaria where the Samarians didn’t like Jews and Jews didn’t like Samaritans so these men would be going forth depending on the Lord for sustenance, even survival and they would learn a great lesson in faith. If the people in the towns rejected the disciples and their message, in the kingdom of God their punishment would be worse that it was for the city of Sodom which was destroyed.
[Luke 10:13-16] 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades 16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Jesus spent a lot of time in this area of Galilee and the people who lived in these towns had the opportunity to hear Him speak, to witness the healing of the sick and lame and even see the dead come back to life. At the time of judgment, the people who lived in Tyre and Sidon will be better off than those who heard the Word of God over and over but refused to listen.
[Luke 10:17-24] 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. 22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
The 72 disciples seemed to be excited as they shared with Jesus all the miracles that they were able to do through the power that Jesus gave them including driving out demons. They were excited that their mission had been very successful. Jesus’ reply was that He had seen Satan fall from heaven. Satan is the power behind the demons they were able to cast out. Satan is defeated by the power of God. Remember how Jesus was led into the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry and tempted by Satan. If he could have caused Jesus to sin, then Jesus’ ministry would have been over before it began. Satan’s work on earth continues to be defeated by the work of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus goes on to tell them that they have power over snakes and scorpions which seem to be symbols of evil and that Satan cannot harm them. They were protected, nothing could harm them. But then Jesus reminded them that they should not get too carried away with all this power they had but rather focus on the most important thing, and that was the fact that they had salvation, eternal life in heaven with God.
In verses 21-24, Jesus praised God the Father for not revealing “these things” from the wise and educated people, but for reveling to the children. What things? I think He is talking about the message that the Kingdom of God was near, it was coming, the Messiah was coming, and man’s redemption from sin was coming. The wise and learned referred to the Jewish religious leaders, the scribes and Pharisees, teachers of the law. They would not accept Jesus as the Messiah because He did not come as a warrior to overcome the Romans which is what they expected from their understanding of the Old Testament scriptures. They were not looking for the suffering servant Messiah. The unlearned accepted Jesus like a child, accepting Him in faith. Jesus then reminded His followers that many of the prophets and kings from Israel’s past longed to see the Messiah and that they were blessed to be able to hear and see the Messiah and the power of God working on earth.
[Luke 10:25-29] 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Scribes and Pharisees, teachers of the Old Testament law were always following Jesus trying to find something to use against Him. On this day one of them, a Pharisee asked Jesus how to receive eternal life. It had to be a Pharisee because the Sadducees did not believe in life after death. Jesus asked him what the law said about it.He replied that you must love God first with then love you neighbor. So the Pharisee asked Jesus just who was his neighbor. Exactly who did he have to love. Jesus answered this question with the story about the good Samaritan. A Samaritan is someone from Samaria.
[Luke 10:30-37] 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denari and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
In order to understand the full meaning of this story, you need to know as I mentioned above, that the Jews and Samaritans did not associate with each other. Jews very seldom traveled through Samaria because they considered them to be unclean. The Samaritans were part Jewish mixed with other races. When Assyria took the northern kingdom, they took all the Jewish leaders and moved them into areas and moved people from these other areas into the Northern Israel where they intermarried. The kings in the northern kingdom encouraged their people to worship idols to keep them separated from the people in the south. So this division caused the people to not associate with each other.
In His story, Jesus told the Pharisee that a Jewish priest saw the hurt man but would not help him. Then a Levite which is the tribe of the priests came along and he would not help the hurt man either. The priest and the Levite represented the spiritual leaders of the Jews, supposedly the righteous ones. The Samaritan was to them an unclean, unacceptable person, yet he had compassion on the hurt man and did something to help him. Jesus asked the Pharisee to decide who was a neighbor. The lesson for the Pharisee was that we are to love and have compassion for all men, not just the one we consider worthy.
[Luke 10:38-42] 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Mary and Martha lived in Bethany which is about two miles from Jerusalem. They had a brother named Lazarus; the one Jesus would call forth from his tomb later in John chapter 11. Martha was most likely the older sister and took responsibility for the household duties. Jesus and his disciples were there and Martha was trying to prepare food for them all. While she was working, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to His every word. When Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to come and help her, Jesus explained that Martha should not worry so much about preparations and follow Mary’s example because Mary had chosen to spend her time listening and worshiping Jesus while He was there with them.
Lessons for us from Luke chapter 10:
1. Those who have the opportunity to hear the gospel over and over but continually harden their hearts and refuse to accept Jesus as their Savior will have great regret at the time of judgment.
2. Satan is still working in our world but he continues to be defeated by the work of Christians who are today’s disciples of Jesus.
3. We should not let the things in our daily lives distract us from what is most important—Jesus and the fact that He gives eternal life to those who believe.
[Matthew 22:36-40] 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
4. Who is your neighbor?
Luke Lesson 9
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Luke 9, Matthew 10, Matthew 1, Matthew 17
From the passages in Luke chapter 5 where Jesus called the 12 disciples to be apostles, he has been constantly teaching and preparing them for their ministry which will be to tell the world the good news that the Kingdom of Heaven has come near. This meant to the Jews, that the long awaited Messiah was coming. In our scripture passages taken from Luke chapter 9 and others, we are going to be looking at what the apostles and disciples would have learned from their experiences.
[Luke 9:1-11] 9 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. 7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, 8 others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. 9 But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him. 10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
In Matthew chapter 10 this same story is told, but Matthew gave some information that Luke did not.
[Mathew 10:1-15] 10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. 9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
Jesus sent the 12 apostles to towns in Galilee to give their witness about what they had seen and heard and that the Kingdom of Heaven was near. Jews who heard this message would relate it to the Old Testament teachings and prophecies concerning the kingdom that was to come when the Messiah appeared. But they believed that it would be an earthly kingdom that would restore Israel to its power and glory as in the days of David and Solomon.
In these passages in Luke and Matthew we are told about the specific powers that Jesus gave to the Apostles and instructions about what they were to take with them, who they should go to, and what they would be able to do with their special power.
1. They had the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, drive out demons.
Jesus gave them the power of the Holy Spirit for the time they were gone. The Holy Spirit would not indwell them and stay with them until He came upon the Christians in Acts chapter 2.
2. They were to go only to the Jews, not to gentiles.
The gospel was first to be given to the Jews, God’s Holy people. They were given the opportunity to accept or reject their Messiah. After the Jews then it would be given to the gentiles. [Matthew 1:8] 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
3. They were to take no food, no money, no extra clothing, not even a staff.
This seems to be a bit strange that Jesus would send His apostles out with no protection, nor food or a way to buy any food. Jesus wanted them to learn to depend on Him through the Holy Spirit to take care of them, to provide all their needs. This was new for them but it would be a much needed learning experience when Jesus had gone back to heaven and their mission began.
4. They were to stay with someone in the village willing to give them hospitality and to stay in that home until they left the village.
If a kind family offered them hospitality, they were to accept and stay with that family until they were ready to leave the town or village. The family would receive a special blessing of peace.
5. If no one offered hospitality or would hear their message, they were to leave the village and shake their dust from their feet.
If the people in the town or village refused to hear the message about the Kingdom of God coming and no one offered them hospitality they were to leave that place, to shake the dirt of the place off their feet. Jesus said that the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah would be better off on the Day of Judgment than the people in that place.
Luke told us that Herod, the ruler over Galilee who had beheaded John the Baptist, thought that John had come back from the dead
[Luke 9:12-17] 12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” 13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for this entire crowd.”14 (About five thousand men were there.)But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
After the twelve apostles returned from preaching, Jesus took them to a desert place so they could have some time away from the crowds. But the crowd of people followed them. Jesus ministered to the people and the time of day was late. The apostles asked Jesus to tell the people to leave to find food and shelter. Jesus told them to feed the people. It sounds like Jesus expected the twelve to use the power He had given them when they were sent out to the towns and villages, but they don’t seem to know that they can do this. Yet they have just returned from ministering, healing the sick and raising the dead.
The twelve told Jesus that the only food there was 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus told the disciples to divide the crowd of people into groups of 50. It tells us there were 5,000 men and there must have been women and children which would increase the number of people to as much as 10,000.
Jesus blessed the bread and fish and divided it among the 12, each one having a basket. When they passed their baskets around to all the people, they had 12 basketsful left over. Jesus had compassion on the people who followed Him, but He also wanted His apostles to understand what God could and would do through them if they only had the faith.
[Luke 9:18-27] 18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” 19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” 20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” 21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
Between verses 17 and 18 about eight months had elapsed. The time was Passover just one year before Jesus would be crucified. The crowds were making their way to Jerusalem. On Jesus’ last visit to Jerusalem, the Jewish religious leaders plotted to kill Him.
Jesus asked the apostles who the people were saying that He was. It was not that Jesus did not know what the people believed about Him, but He wanted His apostles to think and understand themselves who He was and why He had come to earth.
The apostles said that the people believed that Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah or another of the Old Testament prophets. Jesus asked who they thought He was. Peter, always the leader, plainly said that He was the Messiah from God. Then Jesus warned them not to tell people that He was the Messiah. His ministry time was growing short and the Jewish religious leaders were after Him. He plainly told His apostles that He would be killed and on the third day would rise again. We will see a little further in our study that they did not believe or maybe understand that Jesus, the Messiah, must die.
Following His revelation of what lay ahead for Him; Jesus told the apostles what lay ahead for them if they continued to be His followers.
1. They would have to confess that Jesus was the Christ which is Greek for the Hebrew Messiah. Following Jesus’ death, this would be very dangerous.
2. They would have to deny self, deny what they wanted in life and go where the Holy Spirit would lead. Jesus said they would have to take up their cross and follow Him. The cross meant humiliation and death. So Jesus’ followers would forsake the life they had at that time, move into Jesus’s ministry spreading the good news at serious risk to their own lives.
3. Those who were willing to give up their lives to follow Him, would gain a much better life in the end. Those who were ashamed or afraid to speak and teach the words of Jesus openly in this world, Jesus would be ashamed of them in heaven.
Verse 27:27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” This is one of those statements that has many interpretations. Some say that Jesus was referring to the transfiguration where He was seen in heaven with Moses and Elijah; some say it refers to Jesus ‘death and resurrection establishing the Kingdom of God; some say He is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of Judaism in 70 AD. Personally I think it could refer to all three. The apostle John would see all three and he would be given a vision of heaven in Revelation chapter 4.
In these verses 22-27, Jesus was trying to prepare His disciples for what lay ahead. He was not going to set up an earthly kingdom as they are expecting. The Jewish people would reject Him as their Messiah and He would die and be raised again. In order to be His followers they must give up their lives, travel over the known world and some of them would be killed for preaching the gospel.
[Luke 9:28-36] 28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) 34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
This event is called the “Transfiguration” which means metamorphosis or change. About 8 days after the feeding of the 5,000 men, Jesus left the area near Capernaum and went south to Mt. Tabor. He sought solitude for prayer and Peter, John and James were with Him. As Jesus spoke to God His father, His appearance changed. He took on a heavenly-glorified appearance as Moses and the prophet Elijah who had been dead for 1300-1500 years appeared from heaven and talked with Jesus. Why Moses and Elijah to appear and talk to Jesus? Moses was the one God chose to bring Israel out of bondage in Egypt and to receive the law and bring Israel to the Promised Land. Elijah was the prophet foretold to be the forerunner of the Messiah, the one who would announce that the Messiah was coming. Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah. So it seems that God sent these two Old Covenant saints to encourage Jesus, to help Him be able to endure what lies ahead for Him. As they communicated a cloud came down from Heaven and the voice of God acknowledged that Jesus was His son, the Messiah.
[Luke 9:37-43] 37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.” 41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
In Matthew 17:14-21 we are told that during these seizures the boy is sometime thrown into the water or into fire. This boy most likely was suffering from epilepsy but we cannot say that for sure. Whether a demon or epileptic seizures, the disciples were unable to heal him. The father, not willing to give up, brought the boy to Jesus who then healed him. When the disciples were alone with Jesus away from the crowds, they asked Him, [Matthew 17:19-21] “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
The 12 apostles had been healing the sick since Jesus sent them out to the towns, but in this situation, they were unable to heal the boy so they came to Jesus and asked Him why. His answer was that they had so little faith. He said that they could move a mountain if they had enough faith. Whether that was meant figuratively or literally I don’t know, but certainly Jesus was saying that they could do powerful things if they had the faith.
[Luke 9:44-50] While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it. 46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” 49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” 50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
After Jesus healed the boy who was having seizures, the people in the crowd were marveling at the miracle. Jesus took this time to tell His disciples that He would be captured, imprisoned. But the understanding was hidden from them and they did not understand that Jesus was telling them that He would be arrested and tried in Jerusalem. The disciples were arguing over which of them would hold the highest position in Jesus’ kingdom. Who would be the treasurer, the chief advisor, leader of the army? They did not understand that Jesus’ kingdom would not be an earthly kingdom, at least not at that time. Jesus, knowing what they are talking about, took a young child to stand by Him, likely on His right, the place of honor. The child is young, innocent, humble and trusting and believing. They just did not understand that life in Jesus’ kingdom was a life of giving, serving, lived in an attitude of humility and love. They could only understand earthly kingdoms with a ruler and chosen trusted men who held high position next to the king.
In verses 49 and 50, the disciples came to Jesus reporting that someone outside their group was healing the sick in Jesus’ name and they had tried to stop him. But Jesus told them to leave the man alone as long as he was not working against them and he was helping people then that was a good thing.
[Luke 9:51-62] 51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them[b]?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village. 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus’ earthly ministry is about over and He is heading south out of Galilee through Samaria into Judea. He sent disciples ahead to get lodging for them for the night. The Samaritans in that village did not want Him. They knew that Jesus and His followers were Jews and Jews and Samaritans did not associate. The Samaritans were Jews until the Assyrians took the northern kingdom and moved so many people from other nations into what was Israel. The Israelites married with these gentile peoples, took their gods to worship and became unclean in the eyes of the Jews. Because of their rejection, the disciples wanted to rain fire from the heavens on them, but Jesus would not allow that and they moved on to another village.
In the last six verses, as Jesus and His followers were meeting people and preaching and teaching, three men express a desire to follow Jesus and be a disciple but He rejects all three.
The first man promised to follow Jesus anywhere He went, but Jesus explained that His home is not here. He had no home in this world. It would seem that Jesus would accept this man as a follower, but Jesus looks into the heart of a person and He knew that the man would not be a true and lasting disciple. Jesus asked the second man to follow Him but he wanted to take care of family needs first and then follow Jesus. The third man promised to follow Jesus, but he too wanted take care of family first. Jesus made it clear that following Him must come first.
Lessons from Luke chapter 9:
1. The Great Commission directs all Christians to go and spread the gospel. The Holy Spirit guide and direct and provide the power.
2. Our service to the Lord is limited by our willingness and our lack of faith.
3. Churches today go by many names, but those who teach and preach the true gospel are all followers of Jesus.
4. Unfortunately in our busy world it is so easy to let family, work and other things dominate our lives and we give the Lord the leftovers. Jesus said the He must come first!
Luke Lesson 8
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from: Luke 8
Jesus is still in Galilee preaching and teaching in the area around the Sea of Galilee. The time frame is often called the Great Galilean Ministry. Jesus has called the twelve to be His apostles and they are with Him, learning as He teaches, heals and meets the needs of the people.
[Luke 8:1-3] After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
We are told here that the twelve apostles were traveling with Jesus and some women. Each of these women had been healed of some ailment by Jesus. At least one of them, Joanna, had a husband, Chuza, who was the manager of Herod Antipas’ household and she was one of the women to whom Christ appeared after the resurrection. Antipas was the king of Galilee and Perea at the time and he is the ruler that imprisoned and had John the Baptist killed. In the Eastern Orthodox Church she is considered to be a saint. Mary from Magdala, called Mary Magdalene is considered by some to be the woman Jesus saved from being stoned. This is not substantiated by scripture. In addition there was Susanna and other women that traveled along with Jesus and His apostles. These women ministered the men and helped to provide financial support for Jesus’ ministry.
[Luke 8:4-18] 4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, he plants withered because they had no moisture.7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” 9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand. 11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
In the parable, the good seed represents the word of God. Jesus would teach in parables so that those hearing that wanted to hear, had receptive hearts would understand and those who were cold, calculating and critical would not grasp the meaning.
The Word of God Fell:
1. By the wayside or path – the person hears the word but is easily swayed by satan who steals it away.
2. Upon the rocks – the person hears but his/her heart is hard and the word can’t take root and falls away.
3. Among thorns or weeds – The person hears but is so involved with worldly pleasures and desires that the word is chocked out of their life.
4. On good ground – the person hears with an open and willing heart so that the word can sink in and grow and produce spiritual fruit.
Which group of persons in the parable actually obtained eternal life? The answer is group 4, those who bore fruit.
[Luke 8:16-18] 16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
Jesus is using a common household item for His day to add meaning and purpose to the parable above. Their lamps were like an Aladdin lamp with oil in it. They would light the oil and it made light for their homes. Jesus said that no one would cover the lamp so that the light would not shine for the purpose of it was to give light. Using this example, His meaning was for those who had heard the Word of God and believed. Their faith should be a light and a witness to the unbelievers and those new believers who were just finding their way in the Christian life. In Jesus’ day and years after His death in the Jewish communities it was very unpopular and sometimes dangerous to openly admit that you were a follower of Jesus. Believers were kicked out of their Jewish families, their businesses were shunned so that they lost their incomes and sometimes they were imprisoned or killed for their beliefs. Even in our world today, it is not easy be open about our Christian beliefs but our witness is as important now as it was then. Following Jesus takes faith and courage.
[Luke 8:19-21] 19 Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
It was not that Jesus did not love His mother or His brothers, but His time on the earth after He began His ministry was very short and He is showing be these remarks that our spiritual relationships have priority over our physical relationships. Our earthly family is temporary but our heavenly family is everlasting.
[Luke 8:22-25] 22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
Jesus and His disciples entered a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee to the other side. A big storm had come up while they are out on the Lake which is about 8 miles across and 13 miles long. This lake gets very rough during a storm. Several of these men are fishermen who are used to being on this lake so it must have been ad very bad storm for them to be so afraid. Jesus was sleeping in the boat during this bad storm. He must have been very tired to sleep through such violent tossing of the boat. The disciples woke Jesus afraid the boat was going to turn over and they were going to drown.
[Luke 8:26-40] 26 They sailed to the regionof the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed
man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. 34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
Jesus and His disciples had crossed the Sea of Galilee from near Capernaum and had gone to the southeastern shores of the lake to a town called Geresa. He was met on the shore by a demon possessed man known as Legion. The word “legion” was a term for 6,000 soldiers, so this man had many demons dwelling in him. Legion was a crazy man who wore no clothes, the demons caused him to cut and hurt his body. He lived away from people in the cemetery. When the demons tortured him he had super human strength.
What are demons? They appear to be spiritual beings that do the will of Satan.
Are they real or were the people who were healed of demons actually sick with a mental or physical disease? If we deny the existence of demons then we deny the truth of the written Word. I believe in many instances in the Bible that people were healed of some illness but not all. Like in this scripture passage it was most likely some demonic beings indwelled this man.
Do demons exist on the earth today as they did in the first century AD? I have had no personal experience with demons that I am aware of, thank the Lord, but the Catholic Church has trained clergy who exorcise or drive out demons today.
In the first century, the whole world believed in demons, they could be good or bad, but usually bad. To the Greeks, every spring, grove, mountain, tree, stream, pool, rock had its demon. For the Jew there was the shedim, evil spirits who haunted empty houses. The Egyptians had amulets, incantations, magic, etc. Every evil spirit had a will, intelligence, distinctive character of its own. The people believed that diseases were caused by demons and were used by the gods for punishment of sins.
When Jesus saw this tortured man He knew that he was demon possessed and Jesus commanded the demon to come out of him. The demon, being a spiritual being, knew that Jesus was the Son of God, called Him by name and it knew that Jesus had the power to destroy and begged not to be tortured and not to be thrown into the abyss. In verse 30 it tells us that there were many demons in this man. The abyss means a bottomless pit, depths of the ocean or in this case probably the depths of hell.
Even Satan’s demons don’t want to go there. Jesus had commanded the demons to come out of the man, Legion, so knowing they had to go somewhere, they begged Jesus to let them go into a herd of pigs that were nearby. When Jesus allowed this, the poor pigs went crazy and ran over a cliff into the depths of the lake and drowned. Now the men who had been watching the herd of pigs were in trouble because they were responsible to the owners of the pigs and this large herd would have had a lot of value. When they ran to report what had happened the people came down to the lake to see for themselves. There they found Legion, the crazy man dressed and quiet sitting at Jesus’ feet and the pigs were probably floating on the lake dead. Instead of praising God for the miraculous healing of this man and bringing others who were ill to Him to be healed, they asked Jesus to leave. They may have been afraid of losing more of their animals. They lost the opportunity to accept and believe in Jesus and to bring healing to their sick. They chose worldly possessions over eternal salvation. Sounds like people today! But Legion begged to go with Jesus, to be one of His followers. Jesus, however, wanted Legion to stay there and be His witness in his own area.
[Luke 8:40-56] 40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” 49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” 50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” 51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
Jesus and His disciples had now gone back across the Sea of Galilee up north near Capernaum. The crowds of people were still around watching for Him. Jairus who was the leader of the Jewish synagogue, probably in Capernaum, came pleading with Jesus to heal his only child, a twelve year old girl who was dying. As Jesus made His way through the pushing crowd of people with Jairus to see the young girl, someone touched Him.
People were touching Him all the time but when this woman touched Jesus He could feel power coming from inside and He stopped and asked who had touched Him. As Jesus looked around at the large crowd of people, the woman came forward and fell to her knees at His feet. She told Jesus that she had been bleeding for 12 years and was healed as soon as she touched Him. Many people had touched Jesus but this woman was healed because of her faith. While Jesus was talking to the woman, someone came from Jairus’ house and told them that his little girl had died. Jesus told Jairus that if he had faith the girl could be healed. So they went on their way to the home of Jairus where the mourners had already started the wailing and funeral mourning for the girl. Jesus told them to stop the wailing, the child was not dead, just asleep. The people laughed because they knew that she was dead.
Jesus went into the house but would only allow Peter, James, John and the parents of the girl to be in there. As Jesus took the girl’s hand, her spirit, which had already left her body, returned and she got up. Jesus instructed them to give her some food. If she had been sick for a while, her body would need food and water in order for her to regain her strength. Then Jesus told her parents not to tell anyone that she had really died and had come back to life.
Why would Jesus tell them not to say that the girl had come alive again from being dead? Jesus could have had several reasons. His ministry was not over and the Jewish religious leaders were following and testing Him all the time trying to find some reason to have Him arrested. The crowds that were following Him all the time were beginning to believe that He was the Messiah. They believed when the Messiah came that He would raise up an army to overthrow the Romans. So Jesus did not want to advertise that this girl had been raised from the dead. Why did the people at the house who had seen the girl was dead believe that? It was easier to believe that she was asleep than to believe that she came back from the dead.
Lesson for us from Luke Chapter 8
1. True salvation requires repentance and faith and will bring forth fruit. I believe that our churches today all full of professing Christians who have never been saved.
2. As a Christian it is our ministry to let our light shine through our words and our actions.
3. When the storms of life come our way, we just need to keep our eyes on and our faith in Jesus.
4. Faith is required for both physical and spiritual healing.
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Luke Lesson 7
Scripture for this lesson will be taken from Luke 7, Matthew 11
In Luke chapter 6, Jesus was in Galilee going from town to town teaching the people and healing the sick and afflicted. He is still in Galilee and at the beginning of chapter 7, He is in the town of Capernaum on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee.
[Luke 7:1-8] When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
This passage is very interesting and shows us a lot about the social society in Galilee at that time. A Roman centurion was a man who had 100 Roman soldiers under his authority. He was not likely a Roman citizen himself because the Roman army was made up of hired mercenaries until after 44 AD and these events occurred in the 30’s AD. The centurion had heard about Jesus healing people and he sent some Jewish elders to ask Jesus to come and heal his servant. These men are likely members of the synagogue that the centurion had built for them and were probably what they called, “God fearers.” God fearers were men who were gentiles but knew about the God of Israel and believed but were not Jewish Proselytes. The centurion understood that Jews did not socialize with Gentiles, so he sent Jewish elders to speak to Jesus and he believed that as a Jew, Jesus would not want to enter a Gentile’s home. Out of respect for these beliefs, he simply asked Jesus to speak the words that his servant would be healed and he would be healed. Being an officer who commanded 100 men, he understood authority and he believed that Jesus had the power and authority to command a person to be healed and it would be done even from a distance, that Jesus could just say it and the servant would be healed.
[Luke 7:9-10] 9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
Jesus is amazed at the faith of the gentile centurian. He is the Messiah that the Jews have been waiting for and praying that He would come for hundreds of years. They had all the Old Testament scriptures telling about Him, yet they had no where near the faith nor the understanding of Jesus’ power that this gentile Roman soldier had. Jesus honored the centurian’s faith and healed his servant. This instance of healing is a little different from what Jesus usually did. A person was healed because of their faith but this time the servant was healed because of his master’s faith.
[Luke 7:11-17] 11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with Him. As He approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
Jesus left Capernaum and went to Nain which lies southwest of Capernaum. (See Nain on the map above). As Jesus and the people following Him interred the town gate there was a funeral procession going out. They were carrying the body on a bier with the family, friends and mourners following. The woman’s husband had previously died and this was her only son. In that time there were very few ways for a woman to survive without a man in her family so the death of her son was devastating for this woman. Jesus felt her despair and had compassion for her. His tender and caring words, “don’t cry,” are so precious. Jesus then touched the bier and told the man to get up. As the people watched with wonder, they called Jesus a great prophet, recalling the Old Covenant prophets Elijah and Elisha who had both raised the dead. Jesus’ fame grew all over Judea and Galilee.
[Luke 7:18-27] 18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else? 20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” 21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” 24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
John the Baptist was in prison in a place called Machaerus on the east side of the Jordan River. John had been preaching against Herod Antipas the ruler over that region, because he had married his niece and his brother, Phillip’s wife. This was against Jewish law. Herod had John arrested to shut him up. John had baptized Jesus and seen the Holy Spirit descend upon Him, but John, like all the Jews were expecting the Messiah to establish His kingdom on earth when He came. They were looking for the Messiah to build an army, overthrow the Romans and establish the kingdom of Israel like it was in the time of King David. Jesus was not doing that and John was having doubts and he possibly thought Jesus would come and rescue him from prison. Jesus told the men who had come from John to go back and tell him what they had seen, what Jesus’ ministry was about. To tell John that Jesus was healing the sick, the blind, the lame, those with leprosy, the deaf and raising the dead to life again. Then Jesus made an odd statement, 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Jesus had not at this time publicly admitted that He was the Messiah, but many of the people believed that He was. I think that Jesus was telling them not to lose faith because His ministry was not what they had expected. After John’s messengers left Jesus affirmed John’s ministry. He plainly stated that John the Baptist was the prophet who was foretold to announce to the Jews that the Messiah had come. But the Jews were looking for Elijah to come because of the scripture from Malachi 4:5, “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”
Matthew tells us a little bit more about this than Luke does. [Matthew 11:11-15] 11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.
God had not sent a prophet to Israel in over 400 years, the time between Malachi and Matthew. John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament prophets. Jesus plainly states here John was Elijah. Most people accept that John was sent in the spirit and power of Elijah to fulfill this mission. But Jesus was saying that the prophecy from Isaiah had been fulfilled by John the Baptist. [Isaiah 40:3] A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
[Luke 7:28] 28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
The kingdom that Jesus came to establish is a spiritual kingdom, not earthly kingdom. John the Baptist was of the Old Covenant. Jesus stated that John was the greatest of men to be born of a woman. Those who are born in spirit through the blood of Jesus Christ into the Kingdom of God are greater than John the Baptist.
[Luke 7:29-35] 29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.) 31 Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: “‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’ 33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”
Many of Jesus’ followers had previously been followers of John the Baptist and were baptized by him. These followers accepted and believed Jesus’ words but the Jewish religious leaders that were following Jesus around continued to find something to use against Him. Jesus said of John, he did not drink wine nor eat bread and they called him a demon. John was a nazarite from birth which meant that he never drank wine. He was different and they did not accept him as a prophet of God. Jesus the Messiah came and he drank wine and ate with sinners and they called Him a drunkard and a sinner. Those doing the judging were not wise which time would prove.
[Luke 7:36-39] 36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
The identity of the Pharisee whose home Jesus was invited to dinner is unknown except from verse 40 where Jesus addresses him as Simon. The sinful woman is sometimes identified as Mary Magdalene but this is uncertain. The woman is well known as a sinner, perhaps a prostitute. When she washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair and put perfume on his feet, her actions reflected extreme care and humility. The story is very similar to the story of Mary, the sister of Lazarus’s at Bethany, when she wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. This incident with the sinful woman appears to have taken place in Galilee and Mary and Martha and Lazarus lived in Bethany near Jerusalem in Judea. The point is that the Pharisee invited Jesus probably to try to learn more about Him and possibly to find something to use against Him. The sinful woman’s actions were done out of love and respect for Jesus, a marked contrast between the Pharisee and the sinful woman.
[Luke 7:40-50] 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Jesus turned to Simon and told him a parable about two people who owed a man some money. One owed ten times as much as the other. When neither of the parties could pay their debt, the man forgave them both their debt. The Jesus asked Simon which of the debtors would love the man the most. The obvious answer was the one who had owed the most money.
If one of the Jewish religious leaders, a priest or an important Rabbi of that day such as Gamaliel had come to Simon’s house he would have had a servant to wash their feet, greeted them with a kiss and had their head anointed with oil. Men greeting other men with a cheek kiss is still a custom in some eastern European countries. These acts were done by a gracious host for an important and respected guest. But Simon did none of these things for Jesus. That tells us that Simon did not really accept Jesus as a true prophet of God. Simon, the Pharisee judged himself to be righteous and the woman sinful. Jesus judged the woman to be sinful, but because she knew she was a sinner but believed in Jesus, her sins were forgiven. Simon did not recognize himself to be a sinner; therefore his sins were not forgiven. Other guests at the dinner began to question who Jesus was and why He could forgive sins. Only God can forgive sins. Then Jesus told the woman she had been saved by her faith, to go in peace.
What we can learn from Luke 7.
The focal lesson from this passage is forgiveness. The question is what keeps people from seeking forgiveness from Jesus today?
1. They don’t believe in God or Jesus
2. Pride, lack of humility
3. They think they have to get their lives straight before they can ask for forgiveness
4. They can’t forgiveness themselves, therefore they don’t deserve forgiveness
Jesus loves us the way we are. All we have to do is recognize our sin, repent and ask for forgiveness.