Nov 2010

7687 - Count the Cost

We rejoice when you join us to study a portion of God’s Word.

We are now in Luke 14. These events occur as Jesus is teaching in Perea, east of the Jordan. It is now about three months until the crucifixion.
Crowds came to hear Jesus and to be with Him. Jesus is saying to the people “count the cost of discipleship.”

Listen to Luke 14:25-35:
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters --yes, even his own life --he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, `This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'

"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. "Salt is good, but if it’s lost its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?

Friend, Jesus Christ is the only source of fulfillment, joy, peace, love, and all those qualities, which the heart is designed to long for. Hungry hearts account for the great crowds of people who came to Jesus.

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7686 - Richard Quintela - Emptiness

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7685 - Great Banquet

Join us as we hide God’s Word in our heart that we might not sin against the Lord.

Today we continue our study in Luke 14. Jesus was in the home of a prominent Pharisee having a meal.

Listen to Luke 14:15-24:
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."

Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, `Come, for everything is now ready.' "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, `I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' "Another said, `I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' "Still another said, `I just got married, so I can't come.'

"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, `Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'

"`Sir,' the servant said, `what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'

"Then the master told his servant, `Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'"

The man who addressed Jesus regarding the feast in the Kingdom of God speaks from the prevailing attitude of the Pharisees who assumed they were on their way to heaven because of their outward righteousness based on good works.

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7684 - Humility Honored

Today let’s dig into a portion of God’s word together, and we’ll notice that Humility is to be honored.

Listen to Luke 14:7-14:
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, `Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, `Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

This scene flows out of the previous verses which tell us Jesus was the guest of one of the leaders among the Pharisees and that several other Pharisees and experts in the law were also guests at this meal.

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7683 - Silent Resistance

In our study through the book of Luke we have progressed to those passages, which are given only by Dr. Luke. The region in which these events took place was Perea, a large geographic area east of the Jordan. The time period for these events was about three months. Jesus went from here to Jerusalem for the final week of his life on earth.

Today we look at Luke 14:1-6. Listen:

1One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. 3Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" 4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.

5Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?" 6And they had nothing to say.

This is not the first time that healing on the Sabbath had brought conflict between the Pharisees and Jesus. The unfolding of the record of this meal declares the hard-heartedness of the Jews, especially the religious leaders, toward Jesus. After a great many miracles, which fulfilled passages of prophecy and pointed to the Messiah, most Jewish leaders scoffed and denied the work and teaching of Jesus.

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7682 - Matter of Will

Our study for today gives us an intimate picture of Jesus in his longing for those Jews in Jerusalem to come to him, to believe in him.

31At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, "Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you."

32He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.' 33In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

34"O 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, but you were not willing! 35Look, 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.'"

This passage opens with a bit of intrigue. A group of Pharisees came to Jesus with a message. On the surface this appears to be a group of Pharisees who are concerned for the welfare of Jesus, but the actions and words of Jesus show this to be an attempt to get him out of their area, further from their affairs which often were unjust and evil.

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7681 - Narrow Door

Today we consider the most important topic in life, the topic of salvation. The topic is introduced by a question from one of those in the crowd following Jesus in Luke 13.

Listen to Luke 13:22-30; then we’ll have more discussion.

22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone 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. 25Once 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. 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."

Jesus and his disciples are on their way to Jerusalem. As they journey along he continues to teach the truths of God. Someone asks the question, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

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7680 - Kingdom of God

In today’s study Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God.

Listen to Luke 13, verses 18-21:

18Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."

20Again he asked, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough."

The Kingdom of God is generally understood to be a comprehensive term used for the wide scope of all created, intelligent beings in heaven and on earth, who have willingly embraced allegiance and faith to God; thus, have become subjects of His Kingdom.

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7679 - Stand Straight

We pray God will give us discernment that we may understand how His statutes apply to our lives.

In today’s study we see Jesus releasing a woman from physical infirmity, which was caused by an evil spirit. Jesus caused her to stand straight.
Listen to Luke 13:10-17:

10On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and 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. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

14Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."

15The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then 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?"

17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Notice, this event occurred in a synagogue. The synagogue was the hub of life for Jewish people in every city where at least ten Jewish males resided.

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7678 - Repent or Perish

The passage for study today in Luke 13 finds Jesus emphasizing to the people that every person needs to repent and bear fruit of righteousness.

Listen to Luke 13:1-9

1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or 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? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

6Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So 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. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' "

Some people questioned Jesus over a concern for a group of Galileans who had been murdered by Pilate’s soldiers. There is no historical record of this event; however, Pilate was a harsh ruler over the Jews. His authority did not include Galilee. Many people in Galilee were opposed to Roman rule and some were openly militant. It is possible that when Pilate was informed about Galileans being in the Temple he had them killed thinking they were plotting a revolt.

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7677 - Read the Signs

At the end of Luke 12 Jesus censures those in the crowd who were listening to his words, but who had not made a decision about how they should respond to him. Time was growing short for people to respond. Soon he would give his life as an atoning sacrifice on a cross in Jerusalem.

Listen to the words of Luke 12:54-59:
54He said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does. 55And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. 56Hypocrites! 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? 58As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny."

Some of the people in the crowds which came to hear Jesus had been showing up during the past two years or so to hear him. There was a magnetism in what this man Jesus said. He wasn’t selling anything. He didn’t ask for money. But what he said was food for thought. Some came back time & time again, but had never made a decision about what to do regarding this man or his message.

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7676 - Division

Today we come to a passage in Luke 12 which brings surprise to many.

Ordinarily people think of Jesus as one who is the source of overwhelming love and unity — and he is.

But there is another facet to people’s response to the truth regarding Jesus. Of course, Jesus knew this and told his followers how some would react to His offer.

Listen to Luke 12:49-53:

49"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53They 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."

In these words Jesus relates to his disciples a truth they needed to know. These were to be leaders in the infant Church, soon to be founded in Jerusalem during the Feast of Pentecost.

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7675 - To Peter

In Luke 12 Jesus has been talking to his disciples about being ready for future opportunities. But Peter asks Jesus whether he is talking to all the people or to the disciples only.

Listen to Jesus’ reply in Luke 12:41-48:

41Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?"

42The 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? 43It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46The 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"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48But 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.

Notice that these words from Jesus are in the singular, to a servant; whereas the previous paragraphs are spoken to servants, in the plural. It seems like Jesus could have been speaking directly to Peter, although the other disciples were privileged to hear these words from Jesus.

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