7752 - Ascension

The apostles of Jesus witnessed a great deal during their walk with Jesus, but the real measure of their obedience came after He departed.

This message brings us to the end of our study of the gospel of Luke. We pray you have been blessed as you have traveled through this record of the life of Christ with us.

Today let’s initially look at Luke 24:50-53, although we will look at other verses also.

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.

Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

When Jesus had completed the prompting and preparation of the disciples he led them out of Jerusalem, across the Kidron valley, to the vicinity of the village of Bethany. Bethany is only a couple of miles up on the slope of the Mount of Olives.

Within the disciples there was certainly some joy over the new era in which they were involved. Likely there was a degree of uncertainty about what would happen next.

Jesus stopped, faced the group, lifted his hands and blessed them. Lo and behold, he began to rise into the air as he continued to bless them. He was taken up into heaven; and Acts tells us, as they were watching him a cloud hid him from their sight. They surely were startled and impressed by such a display.

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7751 - Opened Their Minds

Before the resurrection of Jesus, the apostles may have had trouble putting all of the parts together, but everything because clear after a resurrected Jesus explained it all.

Our last study brought us to the end of the day of resurrection. Jesus had already appeared on five separate occasions to people who knew him before his death.

Dr. Luke in the book of Acts (1:3) tells us: “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive over a period of forty days.” A search of Scripture reveals that after the end of resurrection Sunday there were five additional appearances during the next forty days.

Certainly the sum of these appearances should be ample proof that Jesus was alive and well, and that he was sending this small group to bear witness to what they had seen and heard.

Let’s summarize the five additional appearances during this time.

A week after Jesus appeared to the ten apostles and assorted others on resurrection Sunday, he again appeared to these apostles, with Thomas being present. On this occasion Thomas became convinced that Jesus was indeed alive. He readily acknowledged Jesus as he said: “My Lord and my God.”

Jesus had sent word to the disciples that he would meet them in Galilee. Seven of the disciples had journeyed to Galilee and all had joined Peter in a fishing trip.

At morning time, after fishing all night and catching nothing, a figure on the beach spoke to them. After hearing they had caught no fish he told them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. They obeyed and their nets were filled so full they were unable to pull it in.

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7750 - Is This a Ghost

After his resurrection, Jesus was not just brought back to life in spirit, but in body as well.

I have great appreciation for the sacrificial love which the Lord Jesus Christ evidenced as he persevered through unjust treatment and death. I identify with those friends around Jesus as they went through great confusion and uncertainty, even fear during those days.

Then when Jesus was resurrected and the tomb was empty, their uncertainty must have been increased rather than being relieved. Where was Jesus? What’s going on?

Then as the day passed, with each hour or so bringing new information into their lives, the adrenaline must have flowed.

Early in the morning Mary Magdalene was near the tomb when Jesus appeared to her. Of course, she reported all this to the disciples.

Then Jesus appeared to the other women who had ministered with him in Galilee.

Also, two of the disciples on the way to the village of Emmaus were joined by Jesus without being recognized. Later he was revealed to them and they hastened back to Jerusalem to give their report.

In addition we do know that Jesus appeared to Simon Peter during the day.

At the end of day, as the disciples were gathered behind closed doors Jesus appeared in their midst.

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7749 - Excited Men

What an exciting and amazing thing it must have been to have Jesus personally teaching you the scriptures.

In our last few studies we have reviewed some of those appearances, which Jesus made with people who had loved him and who were committed to him. Its true that reality was not what they had anticipated, but in the following weeks and months it was exhilarating and fulfilling to be in on those early days of the church age.

Today we want to take another glimpse at Cleopas and the other disciple who were privileged to be with Jesus for an extended time on the afternoon of the resurrection. These were the two fellows who were walking along the road on the way to Emmaus when a third party joined them. This third figure was Jesus although they were kept from recognizing him most of the trip. They talked a lot about what was happening in the area. Eventually they arrived at Emmaus and persuaded Jesus to stay with them for the night, so he entered where they were staying.

Listen to what happened there in the house, from Luke 24:30-35:

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon."

Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

As they prepared to eat together, Jesus took the bread, offered thanks, then broke the bread and passed it to them.

At that moment their eyes were opened to understand who he was. Just as this happened Jesus disappeared. Now that would be hard to figure out.

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7748 - Appearances

Everyone who met Jesus personally after his resurrection had no doubts about his identity.

After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, some were perplexed by the happenings of the past week. Was Jesus really alive? If so, where is he? Was he really who he said he was? The religious leaders say that the apostles carried off his body, is that true?

Some wondered why Jesus had to die. Many had hoped he was the one to redeem Israel and get rid of the Romans.

God used a very effective means to turn doubt into living faith by the appearances of Jesus.

Romans 1:4 declares: “[Jesus Christ our Lord,] through the Spirit of Holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead...”

You see, if Jesus was really resurrected, and alive, then all his actions and teachings would be authenticated.

Jesus had said he would be raised on the third day. That would be supernatural. That would require the awesome power of God. If indeed he was resurrected then all the other claims he made were verified and authenticated. He really was the Son of God.

The mystery of an invisible, unseen God who loved his creatures would be forever linked to his Son, Jesus Christ, who had become flesh for the purpose of serving as the redeeming sacrifice. Jesus was a figure who had walked among us, lived with us, and demonstrated to us the eternal, perfect nature of his invisible Father in viewable terms. Mere man could begin to comprehend on a new level the infinite, all knowing, all powerful, God of heaven and earth; because Jesus had made him known (John 1:18).

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7747 - Road to Emmaus

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to many people, each bearing witness that Jesus was no longer dead.

In our study through the book of Luke we are now in the last chapter. Jesus has been crucified, but he has risen. No one has yet seen him, but angels have told the women that he has risen.

Peter and John have visited the empty tomb, and came to believe that Jesus was resurrected. His body was not stolen although this rumor was launched by the religious leaders.

The gospels tell us that on this Sunday of the resurrection Jesus appeared on five separate occasions to people who knew him before his death.

Today let’s look in on one of these scenes, which occurred as two disciples were on the road to Emmaus, a village about seven miles north-west of Jerusalem. Luke gives good insight into the troubled souls of those who surrounded Jesus in life, in the midst of all the reports and rumors.

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7746 - In Disbelief

Each of us must decide for ourselves if we are going to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead.

Our past studies in the book of Luke have been a blessing. Now we are in the last chapter. We have walked through the rejection of Jesus by the religious leaders. Then came his agony in Gethsemane, his arrest, then his seven examinations before being sentenced to death. His death was a time of darkness, but this was the very purpose of Jesus coming to earth, taking on human flesh, living a sinless life –– all for the purpose of paying the penalty for the sin of mankind by dying in our place, giving his blood to wash away our sin.

But that was not the end of the story. Death could not hold Jesus. The tomb became empty when Jesus was resurrected.

Today we look at the joyful bewilderment of the friends of Jesus, after the angel appeared to the women and explained that Jesus was risen. He is alive!

Listen to Luke 24:9-12. We’ll also consider some of John’s record.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus & the disciples, had walked through this perplexing experience with one another after his burial. They had prepared spices & perfume with which to anoint the body of Jesus when the Sabbath was past; but when they arrive at the tomb it was open and the body of Jesus was not there.

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7745 - His Resurrection

What an amazing experience it must have been to visit the tomb of Jesus to honor him after his death, only to find it empty.

In our last study together we examined the events occurring in the burial of Jesus.

The events of our study today took place three days later, surrounding the resurrection of Jesus.

Let me read Luke 24:1-8:

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'"

Then they remembered his words.

Matthew tells us that there was a great earthquake in the morning as an angel came and rolled away the stone.

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7743 - His Death

We have now come to study about the death of Jesus on the cross.

Listen to Luke 23:44-49:

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man."

When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.

But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

According to Mark’s gospel (Mk. 15:25), Jesus was placed on the cross about 9:00 a.m.

For three hours many taunted Jesus and belittled him, until about twelve noon. At that time the elements of creation gave their witness to what was taking place for an additional three-hour period. The sun stopped shining and darkness enveloped the earth. Matthew tells us there was a heavy earthquake in which rocks were broken apart.

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7742 - Today With Me

Our study in the book of Luke has brought us to Luke 23:33-43. These words tell of events just prior to the death of Jesus.


When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals; one on his right, the other on his left.

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

Jesus was often criticized by the Jews for associating with people they considered unclean — the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind. Even in death those were the type of people around him. Two convicted criminals were led out with Jesus to be executed by crucifixion. The cross of Jesus was placed between those of the two criminals.

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7741 - On the Road

After Pilate’s act of yieldedness to the demand of the mob who called for the crucifixion of Jesus, he surrendered Jesus to the soldiers. The trip to Golgotha began with Jesus bearing his own cross; but Jesus had been beaten and abused so badly throughout his sleepless night, that he staggered and could not carry his own cross any farther. But let me read Luke 23:26-32 which, describes what happened on the road to Golgotha.

As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.

Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, `Blessed are the barren women and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' Then "`they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" “For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.

Simon of Cyrene, a foreigner, was conscripted by the soldiers to take up the cross, which Jesus didn’t have the strength to carry, and to follow behind Jesus in the procession.

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7740 - The Mob Rules

Today we study the last of the seven examinations of Jesus. This final trial was before Pilate, the Roman governor over Judea.

I’ll read Luke 23:13-25, but we will also look at other passages.

Pilate called together the chief priests, rulers and the people, and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him. "

With one voice they cried out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!" (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"

For the third time he spoke to them: "Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him."

But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.

So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

When the crowd returned to Pilate from Herod’s place, Pilate called the Jewish leaders and the other people together and addressed them: “You brought this man to me as a disturber of the peace. I examined him and found there was no basis for your charge. Herod also found no offense in him, for he sent him back here with no outstanding charge. It’s clear he has done nothing wrong, and certainly nothing deserving death. Now, I’m going to warn him and set him free.

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7739 - Before Herod

In our studies we have been following the series of examinations, which Jesus faced after his arrest. We have looked at his examination before Annas, then before Caiaphas. Next came his appearance before the illegal meeting of the Sanhedrin in the late nighttime. Finally at dawn the council assembled and condemned Jesus to death. However, the Jews did not have authority to carry out the death sentence so they took Jesus before Pilate, the governor of Judea, seeking for him to render a crucifixion decree.

Pilate, on finding that Jesus was from Galilee, sent Jesus to Herod, the Roman authority over Galilee. This would be his sixth examination in a few short hours.

Today let’s look closely at Herod’s questioning of Jesus. Only Luke’s gospel shares these happenings. I’ll read Luke 23:8-12:

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see Jesus perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.

The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.

Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him, dressed him in an elegant robe, and sent him back to Pilate.

That day Herod and Pilate became friends --before this they had been enemies.

This Herod was Herod Antipas who was the Roman authority over Galilee. He was one of the three sons of Herod the great. He is also the Herod who had John the Baptist beheaded.

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7738 - Before Pilate

In our study through the book of Luke, today we look at the trial of Jesus before Pilate the Roman governor of Judea.

I will read Luke 23:1-7, then we can have more discussion.

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king."

So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."

But they insisted, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here."

On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

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7737 - You Are Right

The first legal and formal examination of Jesus by the Sanhedrin occurred at daybreak, the morning of his crucifixion.

Listen to Luke 22:66-71:

At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. "If you are the Christ, " they said, "tell us."

Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."

They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied, "You are right in saying I am."

Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips."

There were a couple of considerations, which hastened the actions of the Jewish leaders.

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7736 - Peter's Denial

Today we continue to follow the dealings with Jesus after he had been arrested on the Mount of Olives.

As Jesus was being questioned by Caiaphas in his palace, which had high outer walls enclosing a courtyard, Peter secured admittance to the courtyard and joined the guards and others around a fire, which they had kindled.

Listen to Luke 22:54-62 which tells us what happened.

Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.

A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, "This man was with him." But he denied it. "Woman, I don't know him," he said.

A little later someone else saw him and said, "You are one of them." "Man, I am not!" Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, "Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean." Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Notice only Peter is mentioned. We know from the record in John’s gospel, that John likewise was present. None of the other disciples are mentioned. Peter sat by the fire among this crowd, which was hostile to Jesus.

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7735 - Arrest

Today we look at the record of the arrest of Jesus, as it is recorded in Luke 22:47-53. Listen:

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour --when darkness reigns."

Judas appeared on the scene there on the side of the Mount of Olives where Jesus and his disciples often overnighted.

Judas approached Jesus to give him a kiss. This had been a prearranged sign by which Jesus was to be identified by Judas for the crowd.

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7734 - Agony

Our study in the book of Luke has carried us to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus and his apostles often went. This night is the last in the earthly life of Jesus.

Listen to Luke 22:39-46:

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."

He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

This is one of the most agonizing scenes we find in the life of Jesus. The heart of Jesus must have been breaking. We may conclude that this was not because of his thinking about the physical agony of the cross, but rather his contemplation that for the first time in eternity his untarnished being was to be weighed down with sin — the combined sin of humanity.

Perhaps he thought upon the truth of God that: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong (Hab. 1:13).” His breaking heart may have come from the knowledge that for the first time in eternity the blessed, loving relationship between Father God and the Son of God would be broken.

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7733 - Fulfilled Prophecy

Today let’s dig into a portion of God’s Word together.

Listen to Luke 22:35-38.

Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered. He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: `And he was numbered with the transgressors' ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."

The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.

This passage may at first appear to be only words of instruction from Jesus to the apostles, but let’s look closely.

Jesus asks these men about the reliability of his instructions to them in past months. The idea was, “Has it been true that the Father has cared for you even when I sent you on missions without taking along items which people normally take with them on a trip?”

The apostles gave positive responses. We have lacked nothing they reply. We have been provided for very well.

What follows emphasized the truth that every word uttered or written by divine inspiration by prophets of God will be satisfied. Many had been fulfilled before Jesus spoke these words, but many remained to unfold in time.

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7732 - Simon

In our last few studies together we have discussed several different scenes, which occurred in the upper room as the apostles enjoyed their last evening with Jesus before his arrest.

Today let’s listen to an exchange between Simon Peter and Jesus. Listen to Luke 22:31-34.

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."

Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."

Simon Peter was introduced to Jesus by his brother Andrew. This was shortly after John the Baptist had proclaimed to the crowd of people who had come to hear his teaching, that Jesus was the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world; the very Son of God.

A small group of fishermen had come to the Jordan valley to hear John the Baptist. Andrew and John first got acquainted with Jesus, and they got excited. Listen to John 1:41-42: “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘we have found the Messiah’. Then he brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas (which, when translated, is Peter)’”

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7731 - The Torch

What a rich blessing we’ve had as we studied about Jesus and his apostles enjoying a last intimate evening together in the upper room. During this meal the Lord has continued to teach them truths, which were pertinent to their life after he departs, and which gave insights into his relationship with Christians during the age of the Church.

In Luke 22:28-30 we detect that Jesus is passing the torch to these faithful men who had lived with him, traveled with him, ministered with him, suffered deprivations with him and had even endured scorn with him.


You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Jesus acknowledges the faithfulness of these eleven apostles who remained in the room, since Judas had already departed.

Jesus said, “I confer on you a kingdom...” Those words ring with the sound of something new in the making.

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7730 - Arguing

This scene we study today observes the apostles around the table as they celebrate the Passover meal with Jesus the night before his crucifixion. Listen to Luke 22:24-30:

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.

But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

During this final, intimate dinner with Jesus, after he had instituted the taking of bread and drinking of wine in remembrance of his own life and death; there around the table they began to argue with one another over which of them was considered to be the greatest.

It seems they were ignoring all the teaching Jesus had poured into them during the past three years. However this was not the first time the apostles argued among themselves. Once on the way to Capernaum they had been arguing as they were walking along the road. Jesus confronted them after they reached their destination about their argument, but they kept quiet because they had been quibbling about who was the greatest (Mk. 9:33-34).

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7729 - A Betrayer

In our study through the book of Luke we have come to the final night in the life of Jesus on earth. He has joined with the twelve apostles for the Passover meal. At one point in the meal the one who was to betray Jesus was revealed.

Listen to Luke 22, verses 21-23:

But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.

The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him."

They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

As Luke writes here, he does not give the name of the betrayer, only that Jesus says, “the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.”

Don’t you know that all eyes traveled the perimeter of that table to see whose hand was on the table with the hand of Jesus.

The other gospels tell of the sorrow that filled the apostles. They even began to question Jesus, “Is it I, Lord?” one by one.

In a previous study we learned that Judas had already gone to the chief priests and bargained with them about what they might give to Judas for delivering Jesus to them in the absence of the multitude, which usually surrounded him in the temple.

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7728 - The Last Supper

In our last study together we reviewed how Peter and John had been sent into Jerusalem to prepare the Passover meal for Jesus and the disciples.

Today we find Jesus and his apostles, at the end of the day, reclining at the table for the meal. Day has faded into evening. At 6:00 p.m. the Jewish Friday began, so Jesus is less than twenty-four hours from the grave.

Listen to Luke 22:14-20:

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Notice that this is an intimate setting of only the twelve with Jesus. Many times as they gathered other disciples were also present with them, but this night is devoted to a final night with those whom he had spent so many hours preparing them for the ministry which, Jesus knew was ahead for them.

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7727 - Preparation

We are now in chapter 22 in our study through the book of Luke. We have discussed the busy days Jesus experienced in Jerusalem, which culminated in his completion of busy Tuesday. On this day Jesus silenced the various Jewish groups who questioned his authority and teaching.

Apparently Jesus spent the Wednesday of this week prior to Passover with his disciples in retirement; perhaps in Bethany.

The scene from Luke 22:7-13 occurs Thursday. Bear in mind Jesus will be arrested in Gethsemane late tonight after this day with the disciples.

Listen to these verses:

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go, make preparations for us to eat the Passover."

"Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked. He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, `The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there."

They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

On this special day the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed by the Jewish people. This was a continuation of the covenant instituted by God with the people of Israel in Egypt. They had spent 430 years (Ex. 12:41) in Egypt ending up as slaves under bitter servitude.

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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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7714 - To Ceasar and God

The religious leaders in Jerusalem brought up the subject of paying taxes. Listen as I read Luke 20:20-26:

Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

He saw through their duplicity and said to them, "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?" "Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.

Friend, these leaders were continuing to seek a way to trap Jesus. They chose the subject of taxation to test Jesus. They thought they had the perfect question. If Jesus said that people should pay taxes then this would drive a wedge between him and the people. They already felt they paid more to Rome than necessary.

However, if Jesus said they should not pay taxes then the Romans would have arrested Jesus for sedition and would have prosecuted him.
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7713 - Parable of the Tenants

Let’s discuss one of the parables of Jesus today. Listen as I real Luke 20:9-19:

He went on to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. "Then the owner of the vineyard said, `What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.' "But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. `This is the heir,' they said. `Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "May this never be!" Jesus looked directly at them and asked, "Then what is the meaning of that which is written: "`The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone' Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.

This parable is given shortly after the Jewish leaders have confronted Jesus about the authority for his ministry.

These leaders were jealously protecting their power position in Israel. With callused hearts they refused to listen to the message Jesus was sharing regarding the Kingdom of God and its nearness to them. They even rejected the miracles which authenticated the truth of what Jesus claimed about his divinity.
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7712 - Authority Questioned

In our study through the gospel of Luke we have come to the events in the last week of the life of Jesus.

The last week in the life of Jesus is very significant. The space allotted by each gospel to this week indicates this. Luke gives about 23% of its space to this last week. Matthew gives 28%, Mark gives 37% while John gives 45%,

This really should not surprise us since the events of this week — his unjust suffering, his accusation and crucifixion, and then his resurrection, were the very reasons Jesus came to earth.

I pray the Lord will bless each of us as we study the events of this week in detail.

One thing we will notice in these chapters is the increased hostility toward Jesus from the Jewish leaders. They resisted the truth of his life and message from the beginning. They scorned and rejected John the Baptist as he proclaimed Jesus to be the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. They ridiculed and disdained his miracles and his teaching. Many times the Bible relates to us that they schemed how they could put Jesus to death.

Listen to Luke 20:1-8 about this kind of deal.

Luke 20:1-8 One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. "Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?" He replied, "I will also ask you a question. Tell me, John's baptism --was it from heaven, or from men?"

They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, `From heaven,' he will ask, `Why didn't you believe him?' But if we say, `From men,' all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet."

So they answered, "We don't know where it was from." Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."

The Temple courtyard was the place Jesus did a great deal of teaching in the last days of his life. The spiritual hunger within the people was satisfied by the teaching of Jesus.
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7711 - Cleansing the Temple

Join us for a study in God’s Word today as we talk about Jesus asserting his authority over the Temple there in Jerusalem.

Let me read Luke 19:45-48.

Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. "It is written," he said to them, "‘My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it `a den of robbers.' Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.”

This was not the first recorded incident in which Jesus demonstrated his wrath against those who dared to turn the Temple into a place of business instead of the holy place of prayer and worship.

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7710 - Triumphal Entry

Join us today as we share the record of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. I will read Luke 19:28-44. Listen:

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, `Why are you untying it?' tell him, `The Lord needs it.'" Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.

As they were untying the colt, its owner asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" They replied, "The Lord needs it."

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace --but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave even one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

As Jesus approached Bethany just across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem, he sent a couple of his disciples to fetch a colt which no one had ever ridden. They brought the colt back and placed their cloaks on him so Jesus could ride him. 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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7709 - Give Account

At this time Jesus was in Jericho making his way to Jerusalem. We focus on Luke 19:11-27. Listen as I read these verses:

While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.

He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. `Put this money to work,' he said, `until I come back.'

"But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, `We don't want this man to be our king.' "He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

"The first one came and said, `Sir, your mina has earned ten more.' "`Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. `Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

"The second came and said, `Sir, your mina has earned five more.' "His master answered, `You take charge of five cities.'

"Then another servant came and said, `Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.' "His master replied, `I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'

"Then he said to those standing by, `Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.' "`Sir,' they said, `he already has ten!'

"He replied, `I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them --bring them here and kill them in front of me.'"

Notice the fact that the people who were following along with Jesus have in their anticipation that Jesus would soon bring in the Kingdom of God there in Jerusalem. Their eyes were focused on the one whom they considered as the conquering King Jesus, and they desired to be a part of this, to see it take place. They would be glad to see the Romans put to flight. They simply did not understand that Jesus was destined to soon die as the atoning sacrifice in Jerusalem.

Jesus likely wanted to dispel any disappointment that could spring up among his followers when he was crucified on the cross.
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7708 - Zachaeus

Luke 19:1-10 :

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a `sinner.'"

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

Friend, the focus in this incident is on a man who was successful in the eyes of the business world. He had become a rich man. He had also ruffled some feathers of some Jewish people, because he was a chief tax collector. That meant to them the he was working for the opposition, the Romans; and that wasn’t a popular thing among some Jewish people.

But Zacchaeus had a heart which was not satisfied or fulfilled.

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7707 - The Blind Healed

Jesus and his disciples would soon be in Jerusalem for the Passover. In our passage for today, Luke 18:35-43, they are approaching Jericho, about eighteen miles northeast of Jerusalem.

Let me read the passage:

35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.

36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening.

37 They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."

38 He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,

41 "What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied.

42 Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you."

43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.

Dr. Luke is giving us insights into teaching episodes, or opportunities for healing.

In this passage we observe a blind man who is sitting beside the road begging from the crowds of people who are passing on the road on their way to Passover.

We can tell he knows about Jesus because when it is explained to him that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, he quickly grasps the situation and calls out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” This blind man had already come to the point that he believed that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of David. This was a term for the Messiah, so this blind man had already had faith to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. This means he likely knew the power of the Messiah to heal the lame, and even to raise the dead.

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7706 - Death Foretold

At this point in our study of Luke’s gospel, Jesus and his disciples are on their way to Jerusalem for his final Passover. Of course the disciples did not know this. In Luke 18:31-34 Jesus shares with the twelve about what is going to unfold in Jerusalem.

31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.

32 He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.

33 On the third day he will rise again."

34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

Here Jesus was preparing his apostles for those days in Jerusalem when the very faith of these men would be tested. Jesus had previously talked to some of these men about some of these events on three different occasions. This passage is the most open revelation of these coming events of any previous conversation.

Jesus refers to the prophetic writings, which told of this sacrifice in Jerusalem, and he told them that all those prophesies would be fulfilled.

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7705 - Even the Rich

As Jesus and his disciples proceed toward Jerusalem, people continued to seek his counsel. In Luke 18: verses 18-30 we read:

18 A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

19 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good --except God alone.

20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.' "

21 "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.

24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!

25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

26 Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"

27 Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

28 Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

29 "I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God

30 Will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."

Here a young ruler comes to Jesus. He asks: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”.

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7704 - Little Children

In our study through the book of Luke we are now in Luke 18. Listen to verses 15-17.

Luke 18:15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

The people were bringing their babies to Jesus to have him touch them. The word translated babies may also be translated infants. The parallel passage in both Matthew and Mark uses the term “little children.”

This was a social custom for parents to bring their infants or little children to a holy man for a blessing.

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7703 - Humble Yourself

Our passage is Like 18: verses 9-14. As I read them you will understand that Jesus is speaking about humility.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men --robbers, evildoers, adulterers --or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

We are told that Jesus directed this parable to some who were self-confident regarding their own righteousness. This means that there was a pride factor in some of the people to whom he is talking. In fact their exalted attitude about themselves caused them to look down on everybody else. That description paints a clear picture of a person who is egotistical and who considers himself to be better that everyone else.

They required the people, to whom they ministered, to keep every little detail of the law, and they performed in public to give the image of one who kept the law, but Jesus knew their heart. He knew what happened behind closed doors, and he called them hypocrites because their walk did not match their talk. Most Pharisees would never admit to being a sinner.

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7702 - Persitence

In our study through the book of Luke we are now in Luke 18. Listen to verses 15-17.

Luke 18:15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

The people were bringing their babies to Jesus to have him touch them. The word translated babies may also be translated infants. The parallel passage in both Matthew and Mark uses the term “little children.”

This was a social custom for parents to bring their infants or little children to a holy man for a blessing.

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7701 - The Coming Kingdom

Luke 17:20-37 contains statements made by Jesus about the Kingdom of God.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, `Here it is,' or `There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, `There he is!' or `Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.

But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

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7700 - Thank You

In our lesson for today we find Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. This is his last trip to Jerusalem. He’s on his way to Passover. In Jerusalem he will soon be crucified.

Today we will look at Luke 17: verses 11-19:

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him; and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"

Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

In these last few months Jesus has chosen to minister outside of Jerusalem. He has ministered to many crowds in the area of Perea, east of the Jordan.
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7699 - Obedience is Normal

Human pride is an attribute warned against in Scripture, but the flesh is prideful indeed. Listen to Luke 17:7-10, then we will talk more.

"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, `Come along now and sit down to eat'? Would he not rather say, `Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'"

In the culture surrounding Jesus many had servants who lived on the master’s place. They not only worked the fields and tended the herds, but they had duties in the house as well. These duties all blended into the job description.
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7698 - Faith

As Jesus was teaching his apostles one day, they expressed their desire for Jesus to increase their faith.

Listen to Luke 17:5-6 and then we will discuss this.

“The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.”

The apostles had progressed in their relationship with Jesus to the point where they understood that faith was an attribute needed by every follower of Jesus.

They had just heard from Jesus that they were to forgive any offending brother who came and repented.

They knew that forgiveness is a matter from the heart and not just the lips. The heart must be set straight. There must be no left over bitterness or resentment.
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7697 - Don't Cause SIn

In our study through the book of Luke we are now in the later months of the life of Jesus. Because of the intense plotting by the Jewish leaders to put Jesus to death he has withdrawn from Jerusalem to the region of Perea, which is east of the Jordan. In that region crowds have come to hear him teach and to experience his healing touch.

In Luke 17: verses 1-4, Jesus is teaching about sin. Listen:

“Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourself. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, `I repent,' forgive him."

Jesus is straightforward with his disciples as he tells them that temptations to sin are bound to come. That has been the pattern since the sin of Adam in the garden of Eden. There, the devil tempted Adam and Eve, and they yielded to sin. Since that time the devil has continued his destructive mission to steal and kill and destroy. He wants to steal from believers those grace gifts which are bestowed upon every Christian. The most common theft from God’s children is to rob us of the peace which Jesus has given us. The devil does that by lying to us about God’s promises and our own weakness. He brings fear and he distracts us from the truth that we are totally dependent upon Christ for strength, guidance and resources as we live day by day. If we continue to listen to the devil then he destroys our witness, killing the fruit which the Holy Spirit desires to bear through us.

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7696 - Rich Man and Lazarus

Only in Luke 16 do we find the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. We learn much about life after death in this passage. It reads:

Luke 16:19-31 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

"But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

"He answered, `Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

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7744 - Burial

Through the gift and obedience of one man, the body of Jesus had an honorable resting place, but only for a few days.

Jesus was dead. Who was going to care for the body?

Listen to Luke 23:50-56 which answers this question.

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.

Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.

It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Two men who had not been in the crowd who followed Jesus stepped forth. One of them was a man called Joseph from Arimathea. Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin. He was a good and upright man who had not agreed to the actions and decision of the council majority. This assures us that the death sentence for Jesus had not been a unanimous decision.

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7695 - Pharisees

May God shine the light of His Word upon our path today.

In Luke 16 Jesus is talking to his disciples; however, some Pharisees were listening to the conversation.

Jesus had been teaching that no one can serve both God and money.

Listen to Luke 16: verses 14-18:
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourself in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight. "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

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7694 - Stewardship

Join us for a study in God’s Word today.

In Luke 16, let’s look at some words by Jesus about stewardship.

First, I will read Luke 16:1-13 then we can discuss it:

Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, `What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.'

"The manager said to himself, `What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg-- I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.'

"So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?' "`Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.' "Then he asked the second, `And how much do you owe?' "`A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, `Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'

"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
In this story, which Jesus relates to the disciples the chief financial officer of a rich man was fired. He was told to close out the books and prepare to depart.

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7693 - Self Righteous

We’re told God’s Word is sweeter than honey and drippings from the honeycomb. Together let’s taste a portion of His Word today.

In Luke 15, as the Lord Jesus was teaching, he came to the climax of the parable about the lost son. This son which was dead in relationship to his father had returned. In humility he had repented of his sin and failure. But even as he spoke the father was pouring out acts of love upon him. There was reconciliation. A celebration followed this joyful reunion.

Then Jesus continues with the parable by telling about the eldest son who had remained on the homeplace which now belonged to him.

Let me read Luke 15:25-32 and then we’ll talk more:
"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. `Your brother has come,' he replied, `and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

"`My son,' the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"

This passage about the older brother symbolizes the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. They had the same attitude toward the sinners who surrounded Jesus as the attitude of the older son toward his young brother.

The older son who had been working in the fields heard the sounds of festivity when approaching the house. There were sounds of music and dancing.

After getting a report about what was taking place this older son became angry. There was no joy, no compassion over the return of the younger son.
In the same way the Jewish leaders were angry with the message which Jesus was proclaiming throughout the land. They were offended that Jesus had extended the message of repentance and new life to people who were not Jewish. Pagans and Gentiles were being prepared for entry to the Kingdom. To the Jews this was unthinkable. Just to touch a Gentile rendered them unclean. How could they accept their entry into the family of God?

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7691 - Lost Son

Its such a joy to have you join us today as we consider the parable of the lost son, found in Luke 15.

Listen as I read Luke 15 verses 11-24.

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, `Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

"When he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'

So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

"The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ' "But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

Although an inheritance is not usually received until the death of the parent, in this parable the younger son impulsively asks the father for his portion while the Father is healthy and productive.

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7690 - Lost Coin

In Luke 15 Jesus tells the crowds of people who swarm around him three parables about items which are lost to their owners.

The first is about a lost sheep. Only one out of 100, but it was worthy to be sought out, rescued and brought home. We previously looked at that parable.

Today we look at the second parable. One of ten silver coins was lost.

We’ll discuss the third parable in our next Bible study together.

Listen as I read Luke 15 verses 8-10.
"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, `Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

In the parable about the lost sheep Jesus spoke about a subject familiar to most men in the crowd. Keeping sheep was a common practice and the men would have been familiar with the smells, sounds and challenges of a flock of sheep.

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7688 - Lost Sheep

The crowds around Jesus usually had two sub-groups.

The first sub-group was made up of the poor, the sick, the crippled, people along with the blind and lame, the leper and many known to be living impure lives. These were the people eager to hear of the hope Jesus offered, and perhaps experience his healing touch.

The second sub-group was made up of Pharisees and teachers of the law. These were the “in crowd.” They were in charge of Jewish affairs, both religious and governmental. They made great effort to outwardly show a good life; but inside they were scheming and greedy. They had hardened their hearts against Jesus and his message.

The second group scorned the first group and avoided touching or associating with them because that would make them unclean. They thought of the people in the first group as sinners.

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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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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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7674 - Be Ready

In Luke 12:35-40 we are studying words which Jesus speaks to his followers. Listen to these verses:

"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men 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. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.

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. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

In these verses Jesus is talking to those who are disciples committed to Him. They are to be ready and diligent for the unfolding of future events.
It adds to the urgency of the words Jesus speaks to his disciples and other receptive people when we remember that in about four months or so He will be crucified in Jerusalem.

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7673 - You Are Valuable

We are now in chapter 12 of the book of Luke. In this chapter Jesus clearly sets before us the priority for life.

Listen to Luke 12:22-31:

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. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

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!
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 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, O you of little faith!

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

These verses are addressed to the disciples of Jesus — those who trust and follow Him. They focus upon those supplies we often call necessities of life — food, clothes and such things. And the emphasis has to do with our attitude toward them. The command is not to worry about these things. That means we are not to be uneasy or troubled regarding securing these in our life.

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7672 - Rich Fool

Today we focus upon Luke 12:13-21 in which the Lord reveals the life of a rich fool.


Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."

Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, `What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' "Then he said, `This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' "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?'

"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Oh friend, let us burn into our minds the principle Jesus conveys: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

That word ‘consist’ expresses the thought of gluing together. The desire is to gain strength and usefulness.

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7671 - Fear Eternal Judgment

May God open our eyes and our hearts to the wonders of His Word.

In Luke 12 we hear Jesus giving grave warnings to those who refuse to accept the truth that He is sharing about judgment and the Kingdom. Such rejection results in indescribable, eternal agony.

Listen to Luke 12:1-10.

1Meanwhile, 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. 2There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3What 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.

4"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies[a]? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

8"I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. 9But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. 10And 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.

Hungry people flocked to hear Jesus teach & preach. This passage opens with a description of thousands who came to hear, and so many that they trampled upon one another. These were not the religious leaders, these were common people who had heard about Jesus and came to see and hear. They had spiritual needs in their hearts and Jesus gave them hope.

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7670 - Six Woes

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

One day Jesus was invited the home of a Pharisee. Pharisees are declared to be hypocrites in the Bible. This is a word used in the Greek theatre. It literally meant one of the actors who wore a mask and played a part. The part they portrayed on the stage was not related to their lifestyle. These religious leaders taught one thing and lived a different way.

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7669 - Lamp of the Body

As Jesus taught the crowd one day he talked about the eye being the lamp of our body. Let’s explore this truth today.

First, let me read Luke 11: 33-36:

Luke 11:33 "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.

Luke 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.

Luke 11:35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.

Luke 11:36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."
Jesus emphasizes more than once that no thinking person would light a lamp and then hide it away under a bucket, or in a closet, because the purpose of light is to enhance sight. Light helps people to see more clearly, and often prevents people from falling and breaking bones or causing pain.

One truth involved in this passage is that Jesus is the light of the world.

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7667 - Sign of Jonah

Today let’s consider a portion of God’s word together. In Luke 11:29-32 Jesus warns again about the evil of unbelief.

These verses say:

Luke 11:29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.

Luke 11:30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.

Luke 11:31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.

Luke 11:32 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 one greater than Jonah is here.

In this chapter Jesus is teaching about God’s truth, but among the Jewish people he was experiencing hostile attitudes. Jewish tradition was all-consuming in the minds of many Jewish people. It wasn’t that they obeyed the traditions, but they subscribed to them. Therefore, when they heard truth that contradicted their established traditional religious customs, then they rejected what they heard.

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7666 - Blessed Are The Obedient

In Luke 11 Jesus is confronted by several of the antagonistic religious rulers. In belligerence, they were seeking to turn the people away from Jesus. Other passages share how the Jewish Counsel were seeking to devise some way in which they could destroy Jesus, get Him out of the way. John, chapter 11 (v48) tells us that they were afraid that everyone would believe in Jesus, and then the Romans would come and take away the leadership positions of these men, and then put an end to the Jewish nation.

In less than six-months they would succeed in killing Jesus, but they did not wipe out the work of God in giving spiritual hope and life to the people of the world through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Listen to Luke 11:21-28.

"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.

"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters. "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, `I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 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 man is worse than the first."

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."

He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

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7664 - A Divided Kingdom

I’m so glad you’re with us today. In our Bible passage for this study we again see Jesus refer to contemporary events to bring spiritual enlightenment.
Let me read Luke 11:14-20; then we can discuss it.

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.

But some of them said, "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons."

Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.

If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.

But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

There was a group of people, especially the political leaders among the Hebrews, who sought to discredit Jesus by any and every means they could devise.

Beelzebub was a heathen deity, believed to be the prince of evil spirits. Some thought this evil one was the prince of all moral impurity, so he was despised and abhorred by good people.

Perhaps these accusers agreed with the school of thought that if a statement was made in a factual manner and repeated often enough that people will believe it to be true.

In their minds they felt if they could convince the people that the mighty work of Jesus in exercising authority over demons and casting them from people in whom they were bringing pain and brokenness, was indeed a work of Beelzebub, then they would turn the people against Jesus.

Thus they were accusing Jesus of using evil powers to overcome the demon spirits.

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7663 - Persistence

God’s Word is spiritual food for the soul. Let’s feast together on a portion today.

After Jesus gave instructions to His disciples regarding prayer, He expanded their grasp of the nature of Father God a bit by talking about persistence.

Let me read Luke 11:5-13, then we can discuss it.

Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.' "Then the one inside answers, `Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

"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. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!"

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7658 - My Neighbor

Jesus told us quite clearly that we should love our neighbor as ourselves, even those that we might least expect.

Today we want to look at the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.' " "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.

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7657 - A Reason to Rejoice

It can often be encouraging and challenging to listen to a report from a missionary.

In our last Bible study we looked at the record of Jesus sending seventy-two of his disciples on a ministry mission. The pattern of authority established earlier by Jesus as he sent out the twelve Apostles in Galilee was applied with the seventy-two, as they were sent out in Judea.

Today we read about the return of these seventy-two. In Luke 10:17-24.

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

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7655 - The Seventy-Two

Let’s consider the first large sending out of what were essentially missionaries.

Luke chapter 10 opens with Jesus sending out seventy-two disciples to prepare the villages ahead of them for the ministry of Jesus.

This is a similar directive to Luke 9 when Jesus sent the twelve apostles out on a similar mission in Galilee.

Luke 10:1-16:

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. 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. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

"When you enter a house, first say, `Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near you.' But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, `Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

"Woe to you, Korazin! 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. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.

"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. These seventy-two were being sent into the homes of Judea, whereas, the twelve went into homes in Galilee.

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7654 - Follow Me

We all must let go of our own desires to follow Jesus.

As we have read and studied the Gospel of Luke, we should remember that Luke was not Jewish. God graciously used this doctor to research and record the facts and incidents of the Gospel of Luke as well as the book of Acts. Being trained in science and medicine, Luke was well suited to gather, organize, and save his many notes so that what he recorded is orderly and accurate. Furthermore, we often see the perspective of a Gentile mind instead of a Hebrew one. As we read his writings it really seems that Luke was in the crowd observing the events firsthand, even though the first few verses of Luke prove otherwise.

We really must thank God for this man who was used to give us these two crucial books of the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.

As we look at Luke 9:57-62, remember that this gentile doctor, Luke, appears to have left much behind in his dedication to the work of Jesus.

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

He said to another man, "Follow me."
But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

These conversations follow closely the response of an inhospitable rejection by a Samaritan village, of the traveling party of Jesus while on their way to Jerusalem.

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7652 - Least Is Greatest

Often our pride will get in our way and blind us towards what we should be focusing on.

Even the apostles of Jesus struggled with their pride, and had to be reminded of their loss of focus. From Luke 9:48:

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 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 he who is least among you all - he is the greatest."

At this time in their lives — approximately six months before Calvary, the apostles still did not understand the true mission of Jesus. They continued on occasions to demonstrate they were flesh with human attitudes. Although they were living along side of Jesus, listening to His words, seeing His miracles, they did not yet comprehend the radical and eternal change, which Jesus was going to accomplish through His atoning, sacrificial death; and His miraculous resurrection from the dead which would declare with power that He was truly the Son of God. Along with many others they were looking for Jesus to restore an earthly kingdom for Israel (Acts 1:6).

Perhaps this frame of mind contributed to their prideful argument among themselves regarding who would be the greatest in the heavenly kingdom. They likely guarded against Jesus hearing this argument, but Jesus knew.

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7651 - Demonized Son

The peak of every mountain top experience is followed by a descent back down towards the valley.

Consider what happened to Peter, John and James along with Jesus after the transfiguration.

In Luke 9:37-43 we read:

The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. A man in the crowd called out, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 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. I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not."

"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."

Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil[a] spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.

As they descended, a distressed man cried out to Jesus. His only child, a son, was inhabited by a demon spirit. From the parallel accounts we learn that this demon spirit cast this boy into seizures. Sometimes the boy fell into the fire or into the water. It made him foam at the mouth and grind his teeth.

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7650 - Transfiguration

What an amazing sight it must have been to see the transfiguration of Jesus and Him speaking to Moses and Elijah.

In Luke 9:27-36 we observe Jesus, along with three disciples, in a spectacular supernatural event.

I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."

About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 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.)

While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him." When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.

Many see this experience as a preview into the glory of the kingdom of God.

Notice this all comes out of a time of prayer by Jesus. His face changed and his clothes became brilliantly radiant. A demonstration of future happenings to occur in the end times.

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7649 - Your Cross

If we are going to follow Jesus, we must take up our cross.

As we consider taking up our crosses, remember that at the time these who were carrying crosses in reality were on the way to their own death. And each of us in following Jesus must be ready to have our desires die so they may be replaced by the Lord’s desires.

In Luke 9:23-26 we see the serious instruction Jesus has for us.

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

These words follow closely the first united declaration from the disciples that Jesus was indeed the Christ of God.

After this statement of faith from these disciples, Jesus then lays out the cost of following Him. “If anyone would come after me...” Notice that Jesus does not close the door to anyone. How gracious is the invitation — to ‘anyone.’ Male or female, rich or poor, without regard to nationality or tribal heritage. Jesus invites anyone to come to Him.

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7648 - Time Together

It should be interesting for us to note that even Jesus spent time praying in solitude.

In Luke 9 we see Jesus investing time with disciples who will soon be the leaders of the new church.

Today let’s look at Luke 9:18-22. This is a glimpse into an intimate moment with these disciples.

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"

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."

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "The Christ of God."

Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

We find in Scripture that Jesus often spent time in prayer. On some occasions there were long periods of conversation between Jesus and Father God. At other times Jesus offered up short prayers for the particular occasion. I find it interesting to see Jesus, fully divine himself, entering into prayer with the Father who indwelt Him.

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7647 - Multiplication

In his earthly ministry Jesus performed many miracles today we look at one that impacted the lives of thousands of people.

In our study through the book of Luke we come to the passage about Jesus feeding the five thousand from Luke 9, verses 10-17:

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, 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.

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."

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 all this crowd." (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. 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 set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

When the twelve apostles returned from their teaching and training mission, they accompanied Jesus to an area near the town of Bethsaida.

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7646 - Herod's Fear

In His earthly ministry, Jesus impacted the lives of countless people, including a king or two.

Today we will study a passage that pertains to the inner turmoil within Herod Antipas as he heard about the work and ministry of Jesus and his apostles.

Let me read Luke 9, verses 7-9;

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, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, "I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?" And he tried to see him.

Some months prior to this Herod had caused John to be arrested and imprisoned in the fortress of Machaerus on the east side of the Dead Sea. John had great sway over the people who flocked to the area of the Jordan River to hear John’s powerful messages about repentance and forgiveness of sins in preparation for the coming Messiah. It has been written that Herod was afraid John would stir up a rebellion.

Herod had yielded to the jealous bitterness of his wife Herodias and had reluctantly ordered John the Baptist beheaded.

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7645 - Sent Out

Every Christian is called by the Lord to a task, including the twelve apostles.

Let’s look at Luke’s record of Jesus sending out the twelve apostles to serve and minister to people.

Let’s read Luke 9:1-6.

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: "Take nothing for the journey --no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that town, as a testimony against them."

So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.

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7644 - Daughter of Jairus

The power of God in Jesus was revealed to us in so many ways, but one of the most exciting things to see is someone being raised from the dead.

Today let’s review the story about the daughter of Jairus as found in Luke 8.

(Luke 8:41-42, 49-56) Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowd almost crushed him.

While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," he said. "Don't bother the teacher any more."

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."

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. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep."

They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

A synagogue leader, a lay person elected by the people, was a highly visible and respected person. These leaders were administrators over the affairs of the Jewish community. The synagogue was the hub of life in their society.

Giving no attention to his position, Jairus humbly fell at the feet of Jesus and entreated him to come and minister to his dying daughter who was about twelve years of age. Jesus went with him.

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7643 - Power Over Spirits

As Creator of everything, God has power over everything, including spirits.

At this time in our study through the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is involved with his disciples in what some call the Great Galilean Ministry. The big purpose of this time together was to train these disciples in the things of God. These men around Jesus would be the early leaders in establishing and nourishing the Church in its infancy.

It’s hard to grasp the immensity of this task. There were no seminaries, no Bible schools — in fact, no Bibles. But God’s plan was to reveal Himself in and through His Son, Jesus Christ; so that faith might spring forth and grow as they learned the nature and character of God through him.

Then at Pentecost the Holy Spirit would come and inhabit and empower these men and every Christian in a way, which had never occurred before!
These men were caught up in totally new expectations, in a new empowerment, for a new age — the age of the Church — the body of Christ.

Already they had observed that Jesus had power and authority to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and to raise the dead. Jesus had also revealed his authority over nature, and even over sin.

But they had to have more time, more experiences, and even some practice in trusting God.

In the passage for today, Luke 8:27-39 they would observe Jesus breaking the heavy shackles of sin and demonic slavery of a man in the area of Gadara.

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7642 - The Wind and the Waves

As God over all creation, Jesus commands power over everything.

The power of Jesus over natural events is clearly demonstrated in Luke 8:22-25:

One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. 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.

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. "Where is your faith?" 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."

This miracle occurred on the Sea of Galilee, which is located about 700 ft below sea level and in a depression surrounded by hills. Because of the geographic situation of this lake, storms were known to appear quite suddenly and with great violence.


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7640 - Mothers and Brothers

Frequently, the family of Jesus is overlooked.

Today, we will look into Luke 8:19-21. These verses talk about the family of Jesus.

Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."

He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."

In this short passage we may have the key to understanding why so little mention is made to the family of Jesus in the Bible.

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7639 - Light in a Lamp

As we continue our study in the book of Luke, we want to examine Luke 8, verses 16-18. These verses speak of light and a lamp. Listen as I read these verses.

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.

In these verses Jesus speaks of a lamp, which at the time would have typically been a small clay dish containing olive oil and a wick. Most had handles so the lamp could be carried from one place to another.

His words did not convey a new principle to these people or His disciples. They knew about lamps, and knew best how to make the most out of the small light they produced. Remember that at this point in history lamps like this would have been the most common available source of light on a dark night. On a moonless night, a lamp would be the source of light to walk by, or the source of light indoors for anything that occurred after night fell.

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7637 - The Parable of the Sower

In our study of Luke today we will be looking at the parable of the sower from Luke 8:5-15:

"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 of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 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, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 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.' "

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 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. Those on the rock 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. 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. 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.

The setting of this parable is in a field in the countryside with a well worn path running through it, and the thing that’s being explored in this parable is not the sower or the seed, but the soil which represents people.

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7636 - Women Involved

Lets consider today the many women that played important roles in the Bible.

Today we enter the eighth chapter of Luke in our Bible studies. In this chapter Jesus begins His second trip through Galilee. This time the twelve apostles accompany Jesus as He continues to mentor them in preparation for their work in establishing the future Church. This all culminates in perhaps less than a year at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit is sent to take up permanent residence in each believer, and the infant Church is born.

Let’s look at Luke 8, verses 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, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

In a culture where women played behind the scene roles, it is significant that Dr. Luke mentions three women as being participants in this trip through Galilee and in general.

The Bible shares with us some impressive records of strong women of faith, and in general, Luke mentions women more than any other gospel.

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7635 - Much Love

In the life of Jesus, there were many important and wonderful moments, but this is one of the most beautiful.

There is a beautiful picture of Love in Luke 7:36-50.

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and 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.

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."

Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

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. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven --for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

This scene of life contrasts a Pharisee and a known sinner.

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7634 - Playing Games

Today we’ll get to study what Jesus had to say about His cousin, John the Baptist.

We will explore Luke 7:24-35 today.

After John's messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 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.

But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
"`I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' 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."

(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. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

"To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
"`We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.' For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, `He has a demon.'

Friend, in this passage Jesus seeks to set straight the perspective regarding John the Baptist.

Jesus asked if the crowds had journeyed into the desert to see a common reed swayed in the air by the political pressures of the day? (The heads in the crowd denied this implication.) John was a fiery man of God declaring truth about sin and righteousness.

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7633 - Assurance for John

So often we see people in the Gospels not quite fully understanding who Jesus is; even John the Baptist.

Today let’s study Luke 7:18-23:
John's disciples told him all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, `Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?'"

At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 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 cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

This event unfolds while John the Baptist is imprisoned at Machaerus. There is no sure way of knowing how long John had been in prison.

John’s ministry was to prepare the people for the coming Messiah. Very possibly John, like most of the Jewish people, was expecting Jesus to be the conquering Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and reestablish the kingdom of Israel.

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7632 - The Widow's Son

Jesus demonstrated great compassion towards a widow who had lost nearly everything.

Let’s look at an event that demonstrates the compassionate nature of God from Luke 7, verses 11-17.

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. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."

Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!" The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

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." This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

Many people do not understand the compassionate nature of God. They perceive God as a harsh disciplinarian, ready to thump them on their head when they cross the line.

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7631 - Centurion's Servant

A general has authority over his troops, but Jesus has authority over everything.

Let’s study Luke 7, verses 1-10.
When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 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. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 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."

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." Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Dr. Luke, as a gentile, was sensitive to the ethnic conflict between Jew and Gentile. At the same time he was keenly aware that all people need to have a faith relationship with Jesus Christ.

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7630 - Wise and Foolish Builders

Sometimes that which is familiar to us eludes our notice.

In our study of Luke we come to a passage today that is known by many boys and girls from Sunday school lessons. It is a passage that most Christians are familiar with, but one that deserves a bit more consideration. From Luke 6:46-49:

Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.

This is the same lesson that many of us have heard before, and is a nearly identical telling of the same illustration that Jesus gave in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:24-27. Many might be more familiar with the text of that passage, but in Luke we gain some additional insight.

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7629 - Bad Fruit

The only thing that rotten fruit is good for is to be thrown out and used for compost.

In our study of Luke we have come to chapter 6 and an illustration from Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain about fruit, both good and bad.

From Luke 6:43-45:
No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

The principle here is communicated through the illustration that good trees produce good fruit, and bad trees produce bad fruit. This would have been an example that was clear to his audience of people that were closely connected to agriculture and raising and eating fruit.

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7628 - Judge Not

Each of us is to be very careful to apply the same standards and expectations of behavior to ourselves as we do to others.

Jesus taught us very clearly the danger of judging others. Lets look at Luke 6:37-42.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”

This passage continues the words of Jesus as He delivered the “Sermon On The Plain.” He extends his teaching about attitudes that would permeate his followers.

Judge not! The principle given says that a believer does not take over God’s role and judge either an outsider or a fellow Christian. This is not the role for a believer. We are never called upon to pass sentence upon another person. Such an action would be sin.

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7627 - Ethics of Love

Jesus spoke of many things in His ministry on earth, but what He taught us about Love is particularly important.

Is the definition of love, as viewed by the world system, the same as God’s definition of love? Listen to Luke 6:27-36 and we’ll talk more.

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' lend to `sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

This discourse by Jesus came from his lips during what some people call ‘The Sermon On The Plain.’ Many people were listening, including the twelve men Jesus had appointed to be His apostles a short time before these words were spoken.

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7626 - Blessings and Woes

In His Sermon on the Plain, Jesus taught us that things are not always how they appear to be.

Today we will be studying Luke 6:17-26. Pay attention to the contrasts in this passage:

He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

Looking at his disciples, he said:
"Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when men hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.

"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

We notice that at this time the crowds continued to seek Jesus. All kinds of people thronged to Jesus, from near and far.

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7625 - Twelve Selected

God has a plan for all of us, and today we look aat His choosing of 12 men and His plans for them.

In our study of Luke’s Gospel, today we study about Jesus appointing twelve disciples to be apostles.

Listen as I read Luke 6:12-16.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Matthew, Mark and Luke all give a list of the names of the twelve men Jesus appointed to be apostles. The first chapter of Acts also has a list.

This is an awesome act in history. First we find the Son of God, in perfect fellowship with His Father, setting aside twelve men to be trained for the task of being used to establish and nurture the Church — the body of Christ — and to be leaders in this first century work of God.

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7624 - A Withered Hand Restored

Jesus and the Pharisees never really got along, because the Pharisees were too focused on obeying their outward tradition, but Jesus was focused on love and people’s inward condition.

Today we study the fifth confrontation of Jesus with the Pharisees in this section. In the first confrontation (Lk. 5:17-26) the Pharisees objected to Jesus forgiving sin. The second time (Lk. 5:29-32) found them accusing Jesus of associating with sinners. In the third conflict (Lk. 5:33-39) the Pharisees objected to the fact that Jesus and his disciples did not fast. Number four (Lk. 6:1-5) was the accusation by the Pharisees that the disciples were unlawfully working on the Sabbath by picking heads of grain, cleaning them and eating.

Let’s look at Luke 6:6-11 and we will talk more.

On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Get up and stand in front of everyone." So he got up and stood there.

Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?"

He looked around at them, and then said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did so, and his hand was completely restored. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Since Jesus could read their hearts He knew their thoughts and motivations. He knew they were prideful and oppressive. In John’s Gospel (7:19) He boldly announces that even though they taught obedience to the Law and required others to keep it strictly, that not one of them kept the law. This is why He would call them hypocrites.

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7623 - The Lord of the Sabbath

We can often get attached to our traditions of the conventional rules of society, but God’s rules are the ones we need to pay attention to.

In our study of the Gospel of Luke we are now entering the sixth chapter. The passage for today presents yet another effort by the Pharisees to discredit Jesus. He did not fit into their expectations of a conquering Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and establish the kingdom of God on earth.

But let’s read Luke 6:1-5; then we can discuss it:
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

The underlying problem was the restrictive rules, which had been imposed upon the Jewish people for observance of the Sabbath. In this way the Pharisees had become Lord of the Sabbath. These traditional rules went far beyond the requirements of the Mosaic Law.

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7622 - Something New

Jesus often used parables to bring large ideas within the grasp of His audience.

In our study of the book of Luke we are in Luke 5:33-39 today. I’ll read this passage and then we can discuss them.

They said to him, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking."

Jesus answered, "Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast."

He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, `The old is better.'"

This passage is yet another confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees.

The word Pharisee comes from the term ‘separated.’ They practiced keeping a distance between themselves and the people, for they did not want to become defiled. The Pharisees were ‘proud’ people. They lived to make a good appearance. They kept conspicuous habits that were meant to ‘call attention’ to their holiness. Jesus kept pointing out that even good things done with wrong motives were empty.

In this passage the Pharisees have raised the issue of fasting. A fast was meant to be a time of refraining from food in order the pray.

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7621 - The Call of Matthew

Jesus calls people from all walks of life to follow Him. Even those professions that are scorned by society.

In our study today Jesus calls a Jewish man by the name of Levi to join his followers.

I will read Luke 5:27-32. Listen:
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and `sinners'?"

Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

In those days some people had Roman names in addition to their Jewish name. Levi was also known as Matthew as he’s called in the book of Matthew, which he authored under the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Levi was a Jew who worked for the Romans as the area’s tax collector. Capernaum was an important custom post on the caravan route between Damascus, in the northeast, and the coast of the Mediterranean. Most Jews had no respect for these collaborators with the Romans, since some overcharged the people and kept the profits.

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7618 - Leper Healed

Jesus was never one to avoid interacting with the outcasts of society.

In the fifth chapter of Luke we see the authority Jesus had over illness and disease clearly demonstrated. Two different miracles of this nature are given there.

Today we will investigate how a leper was healed by the power of God as expressed through Jesus Christ.

Let me read Luke 5:12-16:
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him. Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them." Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

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7617 - Call of Four Fishermen

As we consider the call of four fishermen, remember that all of us have been called to something.

We are now in Chapter 5 in the Gospel of Luke.

Today we’ll talk about Jesus calling his first four disciples. Listen as I read Luke 5:1-11:

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."

Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men."

This interaction between these fishermen and Jesus was not their first meeting. Jesus had met these four men during the first year of his ministry, when he visited John the Baptist in the region of the Jordan.

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7616 - Jesus Prayed

Jesus’ example of quiet prayer and conversation with God the Father should serve as a strong reminder of its importance in our lives.

In our study through the Gospel of Luke we have come to Luke 4, verses 42-44. They tell us:

At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

The events in this portion of Scripture occurred about a year and one-half after Jesus began His ministry. These scenes are from the beginning of the first tour of Galilee, which Jesus made with the four fishermen whom He called to follow Him. Two sets of brothers, James and John, and Peter and Andrew, were chosen by Jesus to be mentored by Him.

The thing we notice in this passage is that at daybreak Jesus sought a lonely place. The parallel passage in Mark 1 (35) tells us he rose in order to have time for prayer. If you recall, at this time multitudes of people sought Jesus to help solve their particular problem or heal their diseases. So Jesus needed some quiet time to prepare for meeting and ministering to people.

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7615 - Authority Over Spirits

Jesus demonstrated that he had authority over spirits and sickness.

Today we are searching Luke 4:31-40 (edit: not verse 41). Let me read those verses:
Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.

In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, "Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are --the Holy One of God!"

"Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!" And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Jesus left the synagogue and went to the house of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.

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7613 - Rejection at Nazareth

Let’s consider the message that Jesus brought to the people of his hometown.

We are now studying in Luke 4. Listen to verses 14-21:
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

In the first sentence we find that Jesus was “in the power of the Spirit.” This truth characterizes the years of ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived in the dynamics of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and also of Father God living in and through Him. In the Gospel of John, Chapter 14 (v.10) Jesus told His disciples that “it is the Father living in me, who is doing His work.” This accounted for the continual flow of divine power through Jesus.

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7612 - Third Temptation

Temptation was something that even Jesus experienced.

In our study through the Gospel of Luke we have progressed to Luke 4 where we are told the devil tempted Jesus for forty days. Scripture then gives us three examples of the devil’s temptation.

We have already studied the first two. To review: The first came when Jesus was hungry. In a deceitful way the devil challenged Jesus to prove He was the Son of God by creating bread from a stone.

Satan’s question regarding the deity and position as God’s Son sought to drive Jesus to show pride and prove this fact. They both knew Jesus was the Son of God, but Satan was prodding Jesus to pridefully prove this fact. If Jesus had become prideful that would have been sin, and the sin would have destroyed Jesus as well as God’s plan of redemption for mankind. Jesus calmly rebuked the devil and continued to look to His Father to provide His every need.

Temptation two was a brazen invitation for Jesus to join Satan’s rebellious campaign against Father God.

True to form, the devil deceitfully offered Jesus a short cut to power over kingdoms on earth. This would be given to Jesus by the devil if Jesus would worship him. That’s an invitation for Jesus to become a part of his evil, rebellious forces, to turn against Father God. Again Jesus stood firm in the power of God and rebuked the devil.

Today we examine the third temptation of this series.

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7610 - Second Temptation

Resisting temptation is so important in each of our lives, and it was even more important in the life of Jesus.

In our study of Luke we are carefully looking at the temptations which the devil laid before Jesus, seeking to compromise his sinless, perfect character. Today we will focus on the second of this series of three battles. Listen to Luke 4:5-8:

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, "It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.' "

This passage is an awesome display of the devil and his evil character in stark contrast to Jesus and His yielded, trusting character.

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7609 - First Temptation

Our struggles with temptation are not easy, but Jesus has demonstrated how we ought to stand firm.

We are studying the book of Luke and are now in Chapter Four which tells us about the devil’s temptations of Jesus early in His ministry.

Today, let’s to focus upon the first in this series of three testings.

At this early point in the public ministry of Jesus, God arranged for Jesus to demonstrate to a sinful, hurting world, as well as to Satan that although Jesus was fully human and was subject to human temptations just like all of us.

Equally important was that Jesus – the Son of Man – was able to demonstrate to all men that God had a plan and had provided resources so that men and women could victoriously stand against the devil while living here on earth. You see, God knew that there would be spiritual battles, and He did not leave us helpless.

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7607 - Temptation

It can often be a comfort to remember that even Jesus fought against temptation.

Today we want to get an overview of the temptations of Jesus as recorded in Luke 4, verses 1-13:

Jesus had been baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, then was led by the Spirit into the desert, where, for forty days, he was tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. It is important for us to comprehend that Jesus was fully human, and that he faced these temptations there in the wilderness using the same spiritual weapons we are encouraged to use when we are tempted.

What we are saying is that Jesus used none of his heavenly divine powers in confronting the devil during these temptations.

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7606 - Genealogy

Genealogies in the Bible can sometimes be tedious, but they are there for a reason.

Today we complete the third chapter of Luke as we talk about the genealogy of Jesus as recorded by Dr. Luke. We won’t read all the names but we do want to examine certain points of interest.

Luke’s record of the blood-line of Jesus goes all the way back to Adam. Perhaps in a way to emphasize that Jesus is related to all human beings born on earth.

Matthew, also gives a genealogy of Jesus, but his goes from Abraham up to Jesus. Luke’s list begins by saying that Jesus was the son, or so was the perception, of Joseph, and then proceeds back through time to Adam. In the eyes of the world Joseph was Jesus’ legal father, but in truth Joseph never had intimacy with Mary until after Jesus was born. The true father of Jesus was of course God.

Let us note some difference in the parallel of names in Matthew’s and Luke’s lists. The careful student will see that Matthew omits names which Luke includes. This is explained by Matthew’s omitting some names in order to achieve a symmetry of three sets of names with fourteen generations in each set. Some scholars note that not every name must be given in a genealogy. To the Hebrew the words “son of” paralleled “descendant of” so one name might be the grandson, or great-great-grandson of the previous name.

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7604 - John the Baptist Imprisoned

It was with great tragedy that the courageous life and ministry of John the Baptist came to an end.

In Chapter 3 of the Gospel of Luke we are given much insight into John the Baptist. It is interesting that Luke, being the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, is the one who gives a great deal of insight into the conception, birth and early life of both John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus.

Today we want to focus on the ending of John the Baptist’s public ministry which, came about by his imprisonment.

Luke records this event in two brief verses in Chapter 3:19 and 20.

But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

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7603 - Baptism of Jesus

What an amazing sight it must have been, to be present at the baptism of Jesus.

In Luke 3:21-23 we find a short mention about the Baptist of Jesus by John the Baptist. Let me read these verses:
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,

As we discuss this topic of the Baptist of Jesus we will also make use of John 1 and Matthew 3 to get a larger picture.

Matthew tells us (3:13-17) that Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan where John the Baptist was carrying on his ministry for the explicit purpose of being baptized by John. Notice, this intent was already in the mind of Jesus. Being baptized was not something Jesus did in the emotion of the moment.

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7601 - Foretelling Jesus

John the Baptist helped prepare the people of Israel for something greater that they could understand.

We have been studying through Luke, Chapter 3. We have been looking at the ministry of John the Baptist. Even before birth, God had destined John to be the prophet who would come before Jesus.

Even before he was conceived an angel told Zechariah, his father, that this son of his would be the one to go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah. His task was to prepare the hearts of the people to recognize and respond positively to the coming Messiah.

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7600 - John Baptist's Message

John the Baptist’s message that he delivered was s simple one that rings true today as well.

When John the Baptist gave up his seclusion in the wilderness and began his ministry, he preached a message of repentance

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7599 - John Enters Ministry

The last prophet of the old Testament time and covenant never appeared in the Old Testament.

In our previous studies in chapters 1 and 2 of Luke’s record of the gospel, we have followed the birth and life of Jesus until age 12. As chapter 3 opens we fast forward for about 18 years; as we find the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist.

Keep in mind that John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus, and was approximately six-months older than Jesus. He is understood to have started his public ministry before Jesus started his, as such is the last prophet before the New Testament and new covenant.

Luke, the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, gives some historical details, which shows the time frame of some events. This is true with the beginning of John’s ministry early in chapter 3.

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7597 - Glimpse Into Childhood

Let’s consider an account of a 12 year old boy and his devotion to his Father.

Luke’s information about the early history surrounding the life of Jesus is well appreciated. Luke is sometimes called an historical writer because of the careful and detailed research he carried on for an extended time before God tapped him to write the third gospel and the book of Acts. His stated intent was to make the gospel clear so that people could know the truth.

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7594 - In the Temple

Today we consider the joyous fulfillment of a promise made to an aging man.

God is opening our eyes to some wonderful things in the early chapters from Luke’s Gospel. Many of the events of the first two chapters of this book are not found in the other Gospels, and they give us insight into Mary and Joseph and a glimpse into the scene of the birth of Jesus and his early days.

Today we have arrived at the scene when Jesus is eight days old.

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7593 - Let's Go See

There was nothing particularly special about the group of shepherds in Luke chapter 2, but they saw something no one else ever had or would.

First, let’s consider the words of 1 Peter 1:18-20; they relate to what we’ve been studying in Luke. Listen:
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

What wonderful news. These verses tell us that before Jesus was born people were living empty lives. But God, in His omniscience, knew all this even before Adam was created, so in heaven the plan of redemption was formulated. The beginning of the fulfillment of the earthly dimension of this heavenly plan is the very things we are studying about in these early pages of the Gospel of Luke.

Today we will look at the shepherds who heard this good news one night as they were keeping their flocks safe out in the fields near Bethlehem.

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7587 - Instructions for Joseph

Today, let’s look at Joseph, the man who had the difficult task of playing the role of Jesus’ earthly father.

In recent programs we have looked at the details preceding the birth of Jesus from the book of Luke. We have studied the visit the angel Gabriel made to virgin Mary , and not let’s look at Joseph, the man whom Mary was pledged to be married.

Today let’s turn over to Matthew 1, verses 18-25 and read of the struggle which took place in his life.

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7586 - The Parents of Jesus

Today we will take a look at the background of the family of Jesus, primarily Mary and Joseph.

We have been studying through the book of Luke for the past few weeks, and to give us some better understanding of Jesus and his earthly family, we will look at what we know about Mary and Joseph.

From Luke 1:27-28 we can see that Mary was a young girl, a virgin, and was probably in her early to late teen years. Not much is known with certainty about Mary before the time the angel Gabriel appeared to her, but we do know one thing for sure, Mary had found favor with God. We may not be able to determine how Mary had favor with God, but we know she was a very special young woman.

One thing to bear in mind though, some have sought to exemplify Mary as sinless in some way, they have put forth an idea of this “immaculate conception” of Mary, and have tried to say she was born without sin, and died without sin. This idea is not supported biblically, and should not be given any further consideration. The Bible tells us very clearly that everyone except Jesus has sinned.

Mary was a woman. She sinned as we have, but in some way the Lord saw her as being special, and blessed her with the privilege of being the earthly mother of Jesus.

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7585 - Zechariah's Song

Today we will study the first words of a mute man.

At the end of the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we find Zechariah’s song of praise. We’ve been studying together through Luke.

Let’s read chapter 1, verses 67-80:
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us - to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.

We should keep in mind that Zechariah was a descendant of Aaron and a priest, serving in the Temple.

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7584 - Birth of John the Baptist

Today we look at the birth of the prophet, John the Baptist.

In our study of Luke’s gospel we have come to verse 57.

Listen as I read Luke 1:57-66:
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John."

They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John." Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.

To those who have followed this unfolding drama in this chapter, it is no surprise that Elizabeth gave birth to a baby boy.

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7583 - Mary Visits Elizabeth

Today we will look at Mary’s visit with Elizabeth.

Let me read Luke, chapter 1, verses 39-45:
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

God was surely working in this continuing saga. Mary, the one the Scripture calls a virgin, who has just received from the angel Gabriel the message that the Holy Spirit would fertilize an egg within her body so that she would bring forth a child; this Mary had been informed that her elderly relative Elizabeth was now six months pregnant.

We know nothing of their prior closeness, but the work of the Holy Spirit is drawing these two women, who are so different in age, into a very close and personal experience in both of their lives.

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7582 - The Chosen Maiden

Let’s look today at the life of a special young woman.

We have been studying the amazing events of Luke 1.

First God gives to Zechariah and Elizabeth the marvelous story of a child, which was born to this couple after much prayer and perseverance. But God also gave the world the news that this son John was sent by God to prepare the way for the Lord.

Six months later the same angel by the name of Gabriel made another appearance in behalf of God to prepare a young virgin, both emotionally and spiritually for an event unique in history. This virgin, who had never had sexual relations and who had lived to please God was told by Gabriel that she would indeed become pregnant.

But let me read a portion from Luke 1:26-35:
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

We can imagine the turmoil caused within a young virgin by such an experience. Having a visit from an angel would be trauma enough, but such a message.
In the Hebrew culture of Mary & Joseph, ‘pledged to be married’ meant that both families had agreed to the union; and, that the groom had settled the price of the bride with her family. At this point the relationship could only be broken by divorce or death. They were considered linked, but sexual relationship was not permitted. After a waiting period, often up to a year, the couple would be married and begin to live together.

Mary faced the stigma of pregnancy before marriage. She would be a tainted woman. What would her family say? How about Joseph and his family? It would take God’s intervention to prevent a divorce from occurring.

But the angel gave Mary some positive reinforcement. She was highly favored by God. That means that God cared a great deal for Mary.

Her composure in this passage is impressive. Here she is, perhaps about 16 years of age, and she is not broken up by all this turmoil. God extended peace to her heart along with this startling message.

Notice this was not a request. Mary was not asked whether she would be willing to serve God in this way. God was in charge.

The profound news that this baby Jesus would be great and would be called the Son of the Most High would be understood by this Hebrew woman that He was to be the Messiah. He would reign on David’s throne over the house of Jacob forever, this son which she was to bear.

Mary did have a technical question. How can a virgin bear a child and never have sex? The angel assured her this was no problem with God. The Holy Spirit would complete this miracle of fertilization so that God would be His father.

With faith and confidence Mary responded: “May it be to me as you have said.” In her heart she accepted that nothing is impossible with God. The Sovereign God could take care of all the needed miracles, even to protecting her purity and reputation. Mary passed the test, and was blessed forever.

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7580 - Announcement to Zechariah

Join us today as we learn about the father of John the Baptist.

It’s often very interesting to notice the events included in scripture, which God considered significant by including their record in Scripture.

Early in Luke 1, God introduces us to the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. Both were descendants of Aaron, so they were of the priestly line. Verse 6 tells us: “Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.” But they had no child, and prospects were bleak because they both were advanced in years; however, they had been praying for a child.

Many Christians find themselves in similar situations at some point in life. They are devout in their faith and they have lived in obedience to the Lord’s desires; yet, they have an area of heaviness in their life in which it seems God has not heard or else has not paid attention to their longing. Take heart in this excerpt from the lives of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Rest assured God hears your prayers. More importantly He knows the longing of your heart and He cares. However, God answers according to His omniscience — His all- knowing nature. He knows and plans events to bring them to converge and bless in ways, which bring glory and honor to His name.

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7578 - The Gospel of Luke

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Today, lets look at the history and context of the book of Luke.

This is our second study in the Gospel of Luke. Through the Word of God many in the world have come to a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ. They have seen that Jesus is the only hope for today and for eternity. The four gospels in the Bible are the primary source of the story of Jesus Christ.

There are many testimonies of people who have had no other introduction to God than to have been privileged to read through certain portions of His Word and to come face to face with Jesus. Many invited Him to perform in their own life the miracle of “new life” about which they had read.

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7577 - Dr. Luke

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Today we begin a series on a book written by a gentile doctor.

I’m so glad you’re with us today as we begin a study through the Gospel of Luke.

Let me read chapter 1, verses 1-4 before further comment.
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Notice that Luke’s name is not mentioned in this preamble paragraph, but he is widely affirmed as the author of both this gospel and the book of Acts. But who is this man referred to as Dr. Luke?

We are first introduced to the person called Luke in Scripture in Acts 16:10, and his name is not used in that paragraph. Rather, we find the writer of Acts had been writing about Paul and his mission trip. He had been using the term ‘they’, but in verse 10 he writes: “After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready...” Did you notice the change of pronoun from ‘they’ to ‘we’? Thus Luke must have joined the traveling party of Paul on this, his second missionary journey. After this Dr. Luke is often involved with Paul in ministry, and his use of ‘we’ and ‘they’ give us clues of the many times when they worked together.

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