Feb 2011

7726 - Judas, the Traitor

Our study in the book of Luke has brought us to chapter 22, verses 1-6. Listen:

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

The political climate in Jerusalem as the Passover time was eminent was a boiling cauldron. The Jewish leaders were plotting to kill Jesus. On the other hand the people believed that Jesus was present in order to establish his Kingdom, thus overthrowing the Romans.

The passage today reveals to us how the plan of God would be fulfilled in this hotbed of feelings.

The parallel gospels tell us that this incident given by Luke in this passage occurs as the disciples and Jesus were in the home of Simon in Bethany where Mary anointed Jesus. Judas was indignant in his perception of Mary’s waste of this costly ointment, so he reproved her for not donating this gift to the poor (Jn. 12). John’s gospel tells us this was not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and being the keeper of the group’s purse he helped himself to what was available for his own personal use.

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7725 - Life With Purpose

As we come to the end of Luke, chapter twenty-one, we grow a step closer to the end of the life of Jesus.

Luke 21:37-38 tells us:

Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.

Jesus entered Jerusalem on the previous Friday, six days before the Passover (Jn. 12:1). We have no record of any activity on the Sabbath, but Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were occupied as Jesus shared with people.

As Luke tells us in this passage, each day Jesus was in the temple area teaching, healing and interacting with people. All the people came early in the morning to listen to his teaching. The temple courtyard was the place where many of the visitors to Jerusalem would have assembled during these pre-Passover days.

At night Jesus and his disciples hiked across the Kidron Valley to overnight on the Mount of Olives.

Matthew tells us that the blind and the lame came to the temple to find Jesus. He reached out to these needy people and healed them.

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7724 - Be Watchful

Today we are investigating words, which Jesus spoke to his disciples late Tuesday before his arrest on Thursday night. Luke 21:34-36 gives these words:

"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

Why would Jesus tell his disciples to be careful not to be caught up in the world’s ways of dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life? This is a present danger in the nature of humanity. But Jesus likely spoke these words for your benefit, and for mine, and for every Christian since the church was born at Pentecost.

Put this in perspective. Jesus would soon be leaving. He had just told them that one day he would return to establish the kingdom of God on earth.

So he warns them that those who are to be future participants in the Kingdom will not be those who fall into habitual sinful living. They should purpose, by the power of the indwelling Christ, to not fall into a worldly lifestyle.

1 John (5:18) tells us: “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God [that’s Jesus] keeps him safe, and the evil one does not touch him.” Eugene Peterson put it this way: “The God-begotten are also God-protected.”

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7723 - Notice the Signs

As we have been studying in Luke 21 we have been impressed that Jesus has shared with his disciples the signs in history and in time, which announce that the return of the Lord Jesus to earth is drawing near.

Let’s investigate Luke 21:29-33 today. They say:

He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourself and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

At this time in the life of Jesus he is in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. He has come here, along with his disciples, with full knowledge that this is the appointed time to die for the sins of mankind. He is just days away from his death.

After outlining many signs, which would precede his return, he calls attention to the life of a fig tree. Perhaps he mentions a fig tree because it often is viewed as a symbol for the nation Israel. He reminds them that any tree gives a vivid and true announcement that summer is soon to arrive. It does not take many days until the entire tree has a green hue.

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7722 - Christ is Coming

We are presently studying in Luke 21. In this chapter we find Jesus giving the disciples an overview of some future history of Israel and the world.

The passage for study today tells us about the Lord’s return to earth in majesty to set up his glorious kingdom. Listen to Luke 21:25-28:

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

In previous verses Jesus has given a list of events, which will occur prior to the end of the present order of things.

Now he gets specific. The heavenly bodies — the sun, moon and stars, will be used by God to send a message of coming events.

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7721 - Times of the Gentiles

In our study of the book of Luke we are now in chapter 21, within the last week of the life of Jesus.
The primary subject of chapter 21 is Jesus sharing prophetically about the future of Israel and Jerusalem.
Jesus has been sharing with his disciples for three years that he had come into the world to give his life to save the world. He has told them in plain, direct terms that during this final week the things written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He would be killed, but would rise again on the third day.
In the passage today, Jesus unfolds much information about the Jews and Jerusalem.
Listen to Luke 21:20-24 then we can talk more:
"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Jesus talks about the city of Jerusalem being surrounded by armies. This was not an entirely new concept to the Jews. Centuries earlier armies had occasionally surrounded Jerusalem. God often spared the city but in 586 BC the Babylonians took the people into captivity and completely destroyed the city, even the walls.

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7720 - Signs of the End

A day or so before Jesus was arrested by the police of the Sanhedrin Jesus entered into discussion about future events with his disciples. Among other things Jesus told them these words from Lk. 21:9-11:

When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.



Prior to these words Jesus had shared that the beautiful temple would one day be destroyed. The disciples asked Jesus what would the signs that these things would take place? Jesus here shares more with his disciples than information about the temple’s destruction. He gave them what is commonly referred to as the signs of the “End of the Age.”

Jesus tells the disciples that these things would not come about in the near future. Little did the disciples comprehend, as well as the leaders of the church in early centuries, that Jesus would not soon be returning as the conquering king. Even New Testament writers of later decades gave expressions that indicate they expected the Lord’s soon return.

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7719 - Persecution

Let’s look together at Luke 21:12-19. Listen to the words:

"But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them.

But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.

Those words “before all this” refer back to the words of Jesus regarding the coming of the end. In those end times in which we are presently living, many of God’s children are called upon to face persecution for our faith. Some will be brought before governing bodies. Such governing bodies in some countries serve as both the spiritual authority and the civil authority. That’s the way the Jewish synagogues were during the ministry of Jesus.

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7718 - Jerusalem's Future

In our study through the book of Luke we have come to events just a few days prior to his death on the cross. In this last week of the life of Jesus he has invested many hours in teaching the people and sparing with his foes within the courts of the temple.

Perhaps these hours in the temple prompted the discussion in Luke 21:5-9 between Jesus and his disciples. Listen to this passage:

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."

"Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"

He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and, `The time is near.' Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."


The temple in place during the life of Jesus was not the beautiful temple built by Solomon. Solomon’s temple was the first. It was built to replace the tabernacle which was put together in the wilderness after Israel left Egypt. Solomon’s temple had great splendor. It was destroyed in the seventh century B.C. by the Babylonians.

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7717 - Widow's Offering

In our study of the gospel by Luke we are entering chapter 21.

Luke is the only Gentile writer in the New Testament. He was not a participant in any of these events about which he writes. We have no indication when Dr. Luke became a believer in Jesus Christ, but he first entered the leadership circle of Christendom in the city of Troas during Paul’s second missionary journey. Over an extended period of time Luke gathered facts by observation, reading and interviews with many of those who walked and interacted with Jesus while he lived on earth. After careful investigation, his avowed intention as he wrote, was to give an orderly and accurate account of the life of Jesus. Luke is the only gospel writer who gives many of the insights in his gospel.

Today let’s look at Luke 21:1-4 regarding the widow’s offering:

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

This scene takes place in the temple court. Jesus had just warned his disciples and those who were listening, regarding the motivation for doing religious service. The passage tells us Jesus saw the area where the people dropped in their donation to the temple treasury. Scholars tell us there were seven boxes in this area to receive the temple tax from people as it became due. In addition, there were six boxes designated to receive the freewill offerings which people graciously gave.
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7716 - Lord Over David

In our study through the book of Luke we are now in the last week of the life of Jesus. He has come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. Soon he will die on the cross.

In Luke 20:41-47 Jesus spoke to the crowd, which surrounded him. Listen as I read these verses:

Then Jesus said to them, "How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David? David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: "`The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." ' David calls him `Lord.' How then can he be his son?"

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."

This passage has two different subjects. In the first Jesus is seeking to bring understanding into the minds of the people regarding the Christ, or Messiah.

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7715 - The Sadducees

Let’s focus upon Luke 20:27-40 today. Listen:

Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. "Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"

Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in this age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord `the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."



Some of the teachers of the law responded, "Well said, teacher!" And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Friend, who are these Sadducees who have come to question Jesus?Let’s focus upon Luke 20:27-40 today. Listen:

Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. "Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"

Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in this age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord `the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."



Some of the teachers of the law responded, "Well said, teacher!" And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Friend, who are these Sadducees who have come to question Jesus?
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