Luke part 5: Jesus’ words will never pass away.

This is the last and final post on the Gospel of Luke. Whew!! Who would have thought that a summary of just 4-5 chapters would consist of 1500-1800 words per post and there have been 4 already. That’s nearly 6000-7000 words and I still have the last few chapters left! The featured image above is the poster made by The Bible Project team , the ones who have made the visual videos that I add to these posts. Some other places that provide summaries of the chapters/books of the Bible are @BibleSummary  on Twitter , Insights into the Bible by Chuck Swindoll and Books of the Bible in a few sentences by Jeffery Kranz. There are definitely others but these are the ones I’ve used. If you’ve missed previous posts on the Gospel of Luke , you an read them here by clicking on the links, Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing., Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.,Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher. and Luke part 4 : With Jesus nothing is impossible.

In chapter 21: Jesus commends a poor widow’s offering. When the disciples look in awe at the Temple, Jesus tells them that the Temple will be torn down. He also warns them to be on their guard against the end times’ false messiahs. Jesus also warns His disciples ( and us), that we will be betrayed and punished and persecuted, but not to worry, because He will give us words and the wisdom that our adversaries cannot contradict. Jesus tells us that when the end times’ signs take place we are to stand and lift up our hands for our redemption is near. He tells to be alert for the day and to always pray. His words will never pass away unfulfilled. Each day Jesus taught in the Temple and every night He went to pray to the Father.

In chapter 22 : This is a sad but very human chapter ( all the people in this chapter with the exception of Jesus are fearful, angry, frightened, guilty, argumentative, bewildered, impulsive, weary, mocking and scornful.) Judas decides to betray Jesus. Jesus institutes what is now known as Communion at the Passover Festival. The disciples argue about who is the greatest among themselves. Jesus tells His disciples to equip themselves with everything they have when they set out to tell others about Jesus. Jesus prays at the garden of Gethsamane and is so anguished His sweat turns to blood. He is strengthened by an angel. Jesus submits Himself to the Father’s will.  His disciples are weary and fall asleep instead of watching and praying. Jesus is betrayed by Judas. One of the disciples cuts off someone’s ear. Jesus heals the man. Jesus is brought to the High priest for trial and in the courtyard Peter denies Jesus thrice. Jesus is mocked and insulted by the guards and then taken before the Council of the Synagogue ( the chief priests and the teachers of the law). Jesus declares that He ( the Son of Man and the Son of God) will sit at the right hand of the Mighty God.

In chapter 23: Jesus is taken before Pilate and the Jewish leaders instigated the people to ask for Jesus’ death. When Pilate hears that Jesus is a Galilean, he sends Him to Herod (who had jurisdiction over Galilee and was in Jerusalem at that time probably for the Feast). Herod is intrigued by Jesus but finds no fault worthy of death and sends Him back to Pilate. Pilate releases a murderer named Barabbas and allows the Jews to crucify Jesus. While the soldiers lead Jesus and 2 other condemned criminals to the place called Skull ( Golgotha) ,they seize a man named Simon (of Cyrene) and force him to carry Jesus’ cross.  A large number of people follow Jesus’ path even women who mourned for Him. He tells them to weep for themselves not Him. Jesus forgives His tormentors. Jesus offers paradise to one criminal who asks for it. From noon till 3 in the afternoon darkness covers the land. Jesus breathes His last and gives His Spirit to the Father. The curtain in the Temple is torn in half. A ( Roman) centurion praises God and calls Him a righteous man. Joseph ( of Arimathea), a good man of the Council of the Synagogue who had not consented to having Jesus killed, asks Pilate fro Jesus’ body and wrapping it in linen cloth places it in a new tomb ( his own). The women{1} who followed Jesus see where He’s laid and go home to prepare spices and perfumes, and rest on the Sabbath, in obedience to the scriptures.

In chapter 24: On the first day of the week after the Sabbath, the women with the prepared spices , went to the tomb. They found the stone ( blocking the tomb) rolled away, and when they went in, they found an empty tomb. They were wondering about the missing body of Jesus , when they saw 2 men in clothes that gleamed like lightning that frightened them. The women bowed to the strangers when they asked the women why they were searching for the Living among the dead. They reminded the women of the Lord’s words when He said He must be handed over to sinners and then will be raised again on the third day.  The women went back and told the eleven disciples. The disciples thought these events were nonsense, but Peter ran to the tomb ,and bending in saw the linen strips lying there and went away. On the same day 2 disciples {3} were on the road to Emmaus {2} and were sorrowful about Jesus’ death. They met a Stranger who walked with them to Emmaus talking about the Scriptures ( beginning with Moses and the Prophets) and showed them that Jesus needed to die first, to redeem the people. When they reached Emmaus, they persuaded the Stranger to dine with them. He went in and took the bread and gave thanks to God. Their eyes were opened and they realized the Stranger was the Risen Jesus. He disappeared from their midst. They left immediately to Jerusalem and told the disciples. While they were discussing this, Jesus appears among them and blessed them with Peace. They were frightened. Jesus calms their fears by showing them His wounded hands and feet and then eating a piece of fish to show that He is real. Jesus opened their minds to the scriptures of Moses and the prophets and the psalms, so that they can understand what was written about Him. Jesus tells all of them ( and us) that they were witnesses for Him and he will go to the Father, but they must stay in the city to be clothed with power from on high ( The Holy Spirit). When Jesus led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, He blessed them, and ascended up to Heaven. The disciples returned to Jerusalem with rejoicing and stayed in the Temple praising God.

{1} The women mentioned here are Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James ( possibly Mary the mother of Jesus) and there were other women with them.

{2} Emmaus a town, was about 7 miles from Jerusalem and was a Sabbath’s day walk (The distance allowed to the Israelites to be traversed if needed on the Sabbath day).

{3} One of the disciples on the road to Emmaus was named Cleophas.

Well that’s it. The Gospel of Luke in five parts. After this I’ll go back to the Old Testament to Numbers. See you next week,

Vanessa

 

 

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Luke part 4 : With Jesus nothing is impossible.

All right, we are nearly there 🙂 The gospel of Luke will be over with this post and one more. If you’ve missed Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing., Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.  and  Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher. , click on the links. A little re cap, there’s no internal evidence for the authorship of the gospel, but it is mostly and almost universally accepted to be Luke, a physician and later travelling companion of Paul. He undertook a systematic account telling of Jesus and the early church and wrote them down in 2 letters ( Luke and Acts) to a gentile named Theophilus.

In chapter 16: Jesus tells a parable of a dishonest but shrewd manger {1}. Jesus warns us that if we are not trustworthy with little things, no one will trust us with true riches. Jesus tells us that we cannot serve both God and money. Jesus tells a parable of a rich man and of Lazarus, a poor beggar{2}. This parable shows that once people are judged and go to heaven or hell that it cannot be reversed. The time is now, to accept Jesus or to reject Him and then live with the consequences.

In chapter 17: Jesus pronounces doom on those through whom sorrows and troubles come ( as they will). He tells us that forgiveness ( of our brothers and sisters who sin against us) is absolutely essential. The disciples ask for their faith to be increased. Jesus replies that faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to do mighty miracles. He further tells us that our attitude when we serve Him should be as a servant’s. We have only done our duty. Jesus heals 10 men of leprosy, only one man returns to give thanks , and he is a Samaritan, a foreigner. The (second) coming of the Son of Man will be accompanied by lightening and the whole world will know of it ( it will not be a secret), but first He must suffer many things and be rejected by that generation. It ( the culture) will be just like it was in the days of Noah and of Lot. People will be corrupt and making merry and will not be waiting for the Lord. Jesus warns us that at that time, we are not to turn back, not for our possessions , not for our family, not for anything. When the Day of the Lord comes, we are to flee. Jesus also warns that it will be happen at the same time across the Earth, ( 2 people sleeping, 2 people grinding corn, 2 people working in the fields etc ).

In chapter 18: Jesus tells His disciples a parable that shows we should always pray and not give up {3}. Jesus also mentions that when people cry out to Him day and night, He will not put them off, but make sure they receive justice quickly. Jesus tells a parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector {4}. People who brought babies to Jesus to bless, were rebuked by His disciples. Jesus intervened and asked them to be brought forward. He said that unless we receive the kingdom of God like a little child ( fully trusting, never wavering), we will never enter it. Jesus when asked by a rich , young, ruler, how to enter the Kingdom of God, tells him to keep the law. The man replies he has done so. Jesus further tells him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor, that makes the man sad and he goes away. Jesus tells those around Him, that the rich find it difficult to put Him first and so struggle to enter into Heaven. When those around ask , then who can be saved, Jesus replies With God nothing is impossiblePeter tells the Lord, they have left everything for Him. Truly I tell you,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters 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.’ Jesus predicts His death in Jerusalem a third time but the disciples did not understand. On the way to Jericho, a blind man shouted , “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”. When Jesus asked him what he wanted, he said that he wanted to see. Jesus granted his request.  Immediately he received his sight and praised God. 

In chapter 19 : A short and corrupt tax collector, Zacchaeus, wants to see what the fuss about Jesus is all about, so he climbs up a sycamore fig tree to see.

sycamoretree
Sycamore- fig tree. Look how low it is to the ground.

Jesus stops at the tree and then invites Himself to Zacchaeus’ home. Zacchaeus is moved to repent and promises to give half his wealth to the poor and repay anyone he’s cheated with 4 times as much. Jesus says he’s a son of Abraham as well.  Jesus tells a parable of 10 minas ( pieces of silver){5}. Jesus enters Jerusalem and then weeps over the city. ( Click on the link and read a post detailing the triumphal procession ). Jesus cleanses the Temple ( probably for the 2nd time ) of the money changers and commercial activities taking place there.

In chapter 20: Jesus is questioned about where He gets His authority. He turns the question back on the Pharisees and asks them what they thought about John the Baptist. Jesus tells them the parable of the tenants {6}. The Pharisees try to trick Jesus with the talk of (the deeply unpopular) taxes. Jesus tells them to give to Caesar what belongs to him, and to God what belongs to Him. The Saducees try to trick Jesus with talk of marriage after resurrection. Jesus stumps them and says that God is the God of the living. Jesus warns His disciples against following the way / actions/ teachings of the Pharisees as they are false.

{1} The manager was corrupt and about to be let go by his master. When he hears of it, he calls his master’s debtors to him and cuts what they owe his master by half, go that when he’s out of a job, they’ll be indebted to him and offer him help. The master commends the dishonest manger.

{2} Lazarus begs at the rich man’s gate and his only companions are the dogs that lick his sores. They die at the same time, the rich man goes to hell, while Lazarus, a poor man during his lifetime, goes to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man ( who is never named) begs Abraham to send Lazarus with some water to quench his thirst. Abraham refuses, saying there’s a chasm between heaven and hell that cannot be bridged. The rich man then asks that Lazarus be sent to his brothers who are still living and warn them. Abraham replies that they have the law and the prophets. The rich man says that they won’t believe them, to which Abraham replies that they will not believe someone who comes back from he dead either.

{3} A widow who needed justice done , persistently asked the judge of the town for it. Finally he was worn down enough to grant her justice. The parable explicitly mentions that he neither feared God nor worried about what people said. He gave in because of her tenacity.

{4} The Pharisee ( representative of the religious leaders, those who were confident of their own righteousness ) and the tax collector ( representative of the outcasts of society, who were looked down by everyone and deemed  filthy sinners) went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee tried to exalt himself in his very public prayer but the tax collector was truly repentant and wouldn’t even look up to Heaven. Jesus said that the tax collector went home justified before God, because those who exalt themselves will be humbled but those who humble themselves will be exalted before God.

{5} The parable of the 10 minas ( pieces of silver) A man of noble birth goes to a distant land to be appointed king and return. Before leaving he distributes 10 minas between his servants. They hate him and send a delegation after him, asking that he’s not to be made a king. The man is crowned and returns and rewards the servants who put his mina to use and gained more. The one that did not ( he returned the mina as it was ) was stripped of his mina and it was given to the one who had 10 minas. This parable is a perfect parallel to Jesus. He left Heaven to come to Earth ( distant country). People hated Him and did not want Him to become a ruler, but Jesus became a King in spite of their opposition. He rewarded/s those who use His gifts / talents / abilities to bring others into the Kingdom. Those who don’t use His gifts will be stripped of all that they have been given.

{6} The parable of the tenants. A man planted a vineyard and gave it over to tenants. He sent servant after servant to them to collect some fruit at harvest, but they beat or shamed the servants and sent them away. Then the master sends his son and his heir whom the tenants kill. Then he master drove the tenants away and gave the vineyard to other tenants. This parable was said to rouse the conscience of the Israelites. Their ancestors had shamed, killed and beaten the prophets ( the servants) and they would kill the Son and Heir ( Jesus), in return the Master ( God ) will drive them away and put others ( gentiles) in their places.

One more post and Luke will be done! It’s hard to imagine that 4-5 chapters’ summaries can result in 1500-1800 words per post 🙂 But the Word of God is powerful and every chapter and verse has a nugget of wisdom for us. It would only help us to search for it .

See you next week,

Vanessa

Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher.

The gospel of Luke is heavy in content to know and lessons to learn and details to remember and Jesus 🙂 Luke has 24 chapters and I may take more than 4 parts to finish it all. If you missed Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing. or Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer., click on the links ( underlined). That only constitutes the first 10 chapters of Luke!

Continuing on with Luke…….

In chapter 11 : Jesus’ disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray. He teaches them The Lord’s prayer. Jesus tells them a parable about persevering and not giving up. Jesus tells them to ask, seek and knock and they will receive, find, and the door will be opened to them. Jesus tells them God ( the Father ) will give them the Holy Spirit when they ask. Jesus drives out a demon ( that made the man mute) and he talks. Jesus tells the people He is driving demons out by God, not by beelezebub ( prince of demons). Jesus says 23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Jesus’ mother is blessed by a woman in the crowd. Jesus replies ” Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it “. Jesus says no sign , except the sign of Jonah will be given to (their and our) wicked generation. {1} Jesus tells us that we need to be filled with Light (His) so that there is no darkness in us. Jesus is invited to a Pharisee’s house for a meal where He surprises him by NOT ritually washing. Jesus pronounces 3 woes (doom) on the Pharisees and then 3 woes on the experts of the Law. This angers all of them and they oppose Him fiercely.

In chapter 12 : Jesus teaches first His disciples and warns them to be on their guard against the “yeast” of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Jesus tells them to be afraid of the one who can kill both the body and the soul. He tells them ( and us) not one of them (us) will be forgotten by God. Jesus says He will acknowledge ( before His Father) those who acknowledge Him. Whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not. The Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak ( to defend ourselves) when we are brought before authorities and rulers. Jesus warns the people to be on their guard against greed as Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. Jesus tells them a parable about a rich man thinking of building more barns to store his wealth but dying that very night.{2} Jesus tells the people not to worry but to consider the ravens and the lilies ( God provides for them). God knows what we need, we are to seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to (us) as well.  We are to provide treasures for ourselves where it will not rot nor be stolen (in Heaven, by doing good works), for where our treasures are, there will be our hearts also. We must be ready and wait for the Son of Man for He will come back at an hour when we don’t expect Him. The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Jesus says He has come to bring division not peace, family members will be against each other because of Him. Jesus tells the people to correctly interpret the signs of the times because He is coming soon.

In chapter 13 : Jesus tells the people no one is a worse sinner than the other ( even if he suffers more!) but that everyone should repent or they will perish. Jesus heals a woman who had been crippled for 18 years on the Sabbath and she straightens up. This infuriates the Pharisees. {3}. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed or yeast {4}. The entry into Heaven is like entering through a narrow door.{5} Jesus is sorrowful over Jerusalem because they have not accepted / received Him.

In chapter 14 : On a Sabbath when Jesus went to eat at a home of a prominent Pharisee, He healed a man with abnormal swelling on his body. Jesus told the guests that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted, when He saw how they chose places of honour at the table. Jesus tells His host ( and us) to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame , the blind, when he (we) throw a banquet ( party/ celebration) so that we will get our reward at the resurrection of the righteous. {6} Jesus tells us to first count the cost before following Him. If don’t put Jesus first, above all else, above our marriages, our children, our spouses, our parents, our careers, our hobbies, our wealth, our reputations, we can never follow Him. He is God. He is Jealous for us with a holy desire. He will NOT share His glory with another, even if the other is us.

In chapter 15 : When the Pharisees and teachers of the Law see tax collectors and other “sinners” gather around Jesus, they mutter at Him. Jesus tells them 3 parables about lost things. A man has 100 sheep and loses one and goes in search of it leaving the 99 behind. A woman has 10 silver coins and loses one and searches her home inside and out to find it. A man “loses” one of his sons and when the son comes back, the father rejoices exceedingly. In each parable Jesus shows the increasing value of the things lost. In the last, He is the Father, waiting compassionately for the “lost son” ( us) to return, and when  we do, as un-deserving as we are, He runs to us with open arms, dresses us in fine clothes ( His robes of righteousness), prepares a banquet for us with choicest foods and celebrates over the return of one lost sinner.

 

{1} The sign of Jonah- Jonah was sent to tell a corrupt and wicked city to repent. He spent 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a fish, then was vomited out. Like Jonah , Jesus is sent to a wicked and corrupt people , pleading with them to repent. Like Jonah, Jesus will spend 3 days and nights inside Hades but He will rise victorious again. Unlike Jonah though, Jesus will go willingly to the people but the people will not be willing to listen to Him and turn from their rebellious ways. }

{2} The man had so much wealth, he decided to build more barns to store it, and then be merry the rest of his life. That very night, his life was demanded from him, and his wealth went to nobody. Jesus says This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. }

{3} The Pharisees want the people to be healed only on the first 6 days , not on the Sabbath. Jesus is furious and points out the work they do for their animals on the Sabbath and declares that this daughter of Abraham is more important and deserves to be set free. At this, His opponents were humiliated but the people were delighted at the wonderful things He did. }

{4} Yeast or mustard seed-  small to look at or insignificant but it grows into a tree that provides support to many birds or like yeast spreads throughout the dough and makes it rise. So it is with the Kingdom of God}

{5} Many people will call themselves Christians or think they are, but they will not be allowed into Heaven. At the same time, people from all over, all races, tribes, nations, cultures, languages will be there in Heaven. }

{6} Jesus then tells a parable about a rich man who invited guests to a banquet and none of them came making excuses. So he ordered his servants to go into the alleys and by ways of the town to find the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind and bring them instead. These people are the outcasts of society. Through this, Jesus illustrates that that is what He has come to do. Bring the outcasts of society ( us- the sinners, the corrupt, the rebellious,the needy, the sick, the dying) to His table where there is joy and the richest of foods. }

 

That concludes part 3! There are 9 chapters left, and I hope to finish those in 2 parts. We are the lost sons over whose return, all of Heaven rejoices. I hope you know this Loving Father and if you don’t, that you will. He is worth everything that you have to give up.

Until next time,

Vanessa

 

Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.

I wrote about the first 6 chapters of Luke awhile ago. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of events and catching up. I attended my brother’s reception out of town ( my husband stayed home with our children and did fantastic!), I came back and had volunteered to teach in a VBS so my kids could attend ( we went in the mornings and Adam had his therapy sessions in the afternoons so we were rushing from one place to another), the “check engine oil ” came on in my car (  turns out it was a computer glitch), I fell sick after VBS and Christina caught it from me. I’ve yet to unpack my suitcase, instead I’ve been catching up on laundry ( washing them, but not putting them away so today there were about 10 loads that needed to get sorted , folded and stored!!), feeding the kids in between Adam’s sessions ( we are up to 30 hours per week), helping Christina with worksheets to keep her busy, colouring with her and basically keeping her off electronics while Adam is engaged. I’ve not been on social media in weeks ( it’s not a bad thing :-)) and even less so on my blog ( that’s not what I wanted to do though 😦 ).

What I have done though is worshipping My Saviour, My LORD and My God first thing in the morning. I’ve introduced Christian songs to my kids ( Christina’s favourite is “fruit of the Spirit”, Adam loves “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”). I’ve spent sweet time with my husband and enjoyed it. I’ve rested. I’ve not let myself feel (too much ) guilt. I’m in the process of re-writing the words that I speak to myself , words of grace and Truth instead of lies. I’ve cooked. I’ve taken the kids to the pool (they can’t get enough of the water ). I’ve played and coloured and crafted and cleaned and have been present (tried to) more than previous summers.

I still love writing, and especially these summaries on each chapter of the Bible, makes me read and re- read , and I’m intrigued when I find connections and details that I’ve missed before. I will devote as much time as I can to my blog, but when I can’t, I will allow Scripture to fill me up. Happy Summer and I hope you get to enjoy time with your family.

Continuing with the gospel of Luke,

In chapter 7 : Jesus enters Capernaum, a centurion (Roman senior officer)’s servant was ill. Some Jews came to Jesus and pleaded with Him to heal the servant for the man’s sake because he was a good man. Close to the house, some friends of the centurion come to Jesus and tell Him that the centurion doesn’t feel worthy about Jesus entering his house , but to say the Word and the servant will be healed. Jesus is amazed at his faith and does what he asks. Jesus goes to Nain and raises the dead (only) son of a widow and gives him back to her. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’ 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. John (the Baptist ) sends 2 disciples to Jesus to find out if He is the Messiah. Jesus replies with His miracles and says “Blessed is the one who doesn’t stumble because of Him”. After they leave, Jesus addresses the crowd and calls John a prophet and His messenger. He says on earth, there is no greater than John, but John will be the least of those who are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus compares that generation ( and ours) to willful children who are never satisfied ( they complained about John’s methods and about Jesus’ too). Simon the Pharisee invites Jesus to a meal where He is anointed by a sinful woman. She wet Jesus’ feet with tears, wiped them with her hair and poured perfume on them. Jesus talks about forgiveness and forgives the woman ( for the love she had shown).

In chapter 8: Jesus travels from town to town with His disciples and is supported by women out of their own means{1}. Jesus tells them the parable of the sower and the seed. {2}. Jesus talks about (us) listening carefully. Whoever has, will be given more, whoever doesn’t have, even what he has will be taken from him. Jesus says His (mother and brothers) family are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice. Jesus crosses the lake with His disciples. A storm comes up while Jesus is sleeping. He wakes up and rebukes the storm and His disciples are fearful and amazed. Jesus goes to Gerasenes, heals a demon (many demons calling themselves Legion) possessed man. He sends the demons into a herd of a pigs who rush down the bank of the lake and are drowned. The people of the town come and see the (formerly) demon possessed man sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind and beg Jesus to leave. He does. The man wishes to come with Jesus. Jesus tells him to go back home instead, the man goes back to town and tells all that happened. Jesus heals a women of bleeding ( she had it for 12 years and she touched His cloak and power went out from Him) and raises Jairus’ daughter from death. Her parents’ are astonished but Jesus tells them not to tell anyone.

In chapter 9: Jesus sends out the 12 with authority to drive out demons and to cure diseases and to proclaim the Kingdom of God. {3} Herod is disturbed by Jesus’ doings and wants to see Him. Jesus feeds 5000 men (women and children were not included in the count) with 5 loaves and 2 fish and the disciples pick up 12 basketfuls of broken bread. Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah when asked. Jesus warns them not to tell others. Jesus predicts His death. He says The Son of Man must be rejected and killed according to prophesy and He will rise again on the 3rd day. 8 days after this, Jesus takes Peter, James and John and goes up on a mountain a pray. He is transfigured before them. {4} They hear a voice from Heaven say, “This is my Son whom I’ve chosen, listen to Him”. Jesus heals a demon possessed child whom the disciples couldn’t heal. And the people were all amazed at the greatness of God. Jesus predicts His death a second time. Jesus tells them the least among them is the greatest. Jesus tells the disciples whoever is not against them is with them and not to hinder them from performing miracles. Jesus heads to Jerusalem and is not offered hospitality in a Samarian town. James and John want to call down fire on the town but are rebuked by Jesus. Jesus tells people that once they decide to follow Him, they must do so completely without turning back.

In chapter 10: Jesus sends out 72 disciples in pairs to the towns He was going to, to preach the good news. Jesus denounces Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum for not accepting Him. Jesus says whoever listens to (us) listens to Him, and whoever rejects (us) rejects Him and whoever rejects Him rejects the one who sent Him.  The 72 return rejoicing because the demons submitted to them. Jesus tells them to rejoice because their names are written in Heaven. Jesus then full of joy through the Holy Spirit praises the Father.  Jesus tells His disciples they are blessed because of what they’ve been privileged to see ( and experience). Jesus tells the people a parable about being a good neighbour ( the good Samaritan {5}). Jesus talks to people in the home of 2 sisters ( Mary and Martha. They had a brother Lazarus). Martha is busy with the preparations while Mary listens to Jesus. Martha resentfully asks The LORD to make Mary help. Jesus replies that Mary has chosen the best thing and it will not be taken away from her.

 

 

{1} I love the fact that women who followed/ served Jesus are given names and hence identities. Here Mary Magdalene out of whom Jesus drove out 7 demons, Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household and Susanna are mentioned}.

{2} There are 4 different kings of “soil” which is the heart of man, the “seed” is the Word of God and there are 4 “results” which is what men do with the Word of God. (a)Either the devil snatches it away and they don’t miss it ( bird taking away the seed). (b) or they receive it with joy and live for the Lord for awhile but since they don’t have any roots, in times of testing they fall away ( seed on rocky soil which withered in the sun). (c) or they grow in the Lord but life’s worries, riches and treasure chokes them and they don’t mature ( seed falling among thorns). (d) and the last, they accept God’s Word with joy , it takes root in them and they  persevere and produce a fruitful harvest ( soil producing 30, 60 and 100 fold what was sown ).}

{3} This time when the disciples are sent out, Jesus tells them not to take anything extra with them. No bag, no money, no bread, no extra shirt. This time the disciples are well received by the people and they return joyous that even the demons tremble. The next time Jesus sends them out, He tells them to take extras with them and be wary since the people will try to kill or hurt them.}

{4} Jesus’ appearance changed before them, His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning and 2 men, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. They represent the whole of the prophets and the law, and both of them “met God” on a mountain themselves. They came to speak about His departure ( His Exodus) which Jesus would bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem. The disciples were sleepy and Peter, confused, wanted to build shelters for all three of them .}

{5} The parable of the good Samaritan- A man is beaten, stripped, robbed and left for dead by bandits. A priest comes that way and crosses over without helping. Next a Levite comes along and leaves the man. Last a Samaritan comes that way, bandages and disinfects the man’s wounds, puts him on his own donkey, takes him to an inn and pays the inn-keeper to care for the man. The priest is representation of the class of people who serve God and were supposed to serve the people. The Levites were the broader class of people who were set apart for the upkeep of the Temple and to serve before Him. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews for their corrupted religious beliefs. }

 

This is already 1800 words long! I was going to summarize 6 chapters in each post, but I’m going to end this one :-). See you next time, and I pray your eyes will be opened to the joy found in the scriptures.

Vanessa.

 

Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing.

The name of the author of the gospel of Luke is not mentioned in this book or the sequel (Acts) but the authorship is almost universally accepted to be Luke. Luke was a physician and later a traveling companion of Paul. Luke was most likely a gentile. He wrote this book (and Acts) to an unknown person named Theophilus ( who was probably a gentile as well ) so that (he) may know the certainty of the things (he) has been taught. In the same way we can know the truth of the gospel by the immense amount of detail available to us in scripture.

Luke is very thorough in his writing. The traditions that are explained and most importantly the people that he chronicles are extremely detailed. Luke portrays Jesus as a very personal God. He reaches out to the people on the “fringes” of society and these interactions are recorded in this book.

Just as Matthew portrays Jesus as the King, and as Mark reveals Him as the Servant, so Luke offers a unique perspective of Jesus as the Son of Man. This phrase, “Son of Man,” was Jesus’s favorite way to refer to Himself. (From Chuck Swindoll’s overview of LukeThe theme of Luke’s gospel seems to be: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Luke portrayed Jesus as God’s ideal Man, who offers salvation to all humanity—Jew and Gentile alike.

The book of Luke is one of the largest books in the Bible ( content wise ) and it would not be prudent for me to try and short change you with not including all that is important ( and there is a lot that is important! ), so the gospel of Luke may be divided into 3 or 4 parts.

In chapter 1 : Zechariah ( a priest) while offering incense in the Holy of Holies, is visited by Gabriel ( an angel of the Lord) with a promise that he and his wife ( Elizabeth ) will have a child ” that brings joy and delight to them”. Zechariah doesn’t believe him and so he’s struck mute until the child is born. Several months later Gabriel tells Mary ( a young virgin) that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and will give birth to the Messiah and he tells her that Elizabeth is in her 6th month of pregnancy. Mary submits herself willingly. Mary visits Elizabeth ( who has been secluded) and the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaps up in joy. Elizabeth blesses Mary. Mary sings a song of worship to God. Elizabeth’s child is born and they name him John “God is gracious” and Zechariah’s mouth is opened and he prophesies over his son with a song. The child grows up strong in the Spirit and lives in the wilderness until he appears to Israel.

In chapter 2 : According to prophesy , the child of Mary is born in Bethlehem (  because Joseph and Mary went there for a census ordered by Caesar). Angels appear to shepherds watching in the fields and tell them of the birth of a Saviour. The shepherds go and worship Him. On the 8th day the child is taken to the temple to be circumcised and is named Jesus. A righteous and a devout man, Simeon, who had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah is led by the Spirit to the baby Jesus and he’s overjoyed and prophesies over Jesus and Jerusalem. Anna, an old widowed prophetess from the tribe of Asher gives thanks as well. Mary and Joseph go up every year for the feast to Jerusalem. When Jesus is 12 years old He stays back at the temple, listening to and questioning the teachers of the law. When Mary and Joseph realize He’s not with them and hurry back and find Him in the temple. He says  He needed to be in His Father’s house but goes back and is obedient to them. He grows in favour with God and man.

In chapter 3: John (who would later be called the Baptist) starts speaking to the people about the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He advices tax collectors and soldiers and the common people of what’s expected of them. He denies being the Messiah. John speaks against Herod ( because he took his brother’s wife) and is imprisoned. Jesus is baptized ( by John the Baptist), and the heavens are opened , the Spirit descends on Jesus and a voice from the heaven ( The Father) says ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ * {1}. Jesus’ genealogy through His adopted father Joseph is mentioned.

In chapter 4: Jesus is led by the Spirit to the desert where He is tempted by the devil. He eats nothing for 40 days and at the end of it He is hungry. (1) the devil tells Him to turn the stones into bread, Jesus replies It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”[b] (2) the devil leads Him to a high place and shows Him the kingdoms of the world and wants to be worshipped in exchange he’ll give those kingdoms to Jesus, Jesus replies ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”[c] (3) the devil leads Jesus to the highest point of the temple and tells Him to throw Himself down and then (mis)quotes scripture at Jesus, Jesus replies ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”[e] *{2}. The devil leaves Him for a more opportune time. Jesus full of the Spirit goes to Galilee, to Nazareth and teaches in the synagogue astounding the people. He reads the prophesy from Isaiah 61: 1-2 and tells them that portion of scripture is fulfilled in their hearing. They are furious with Him and try to throw Him off a cliff but Jesus walks through them and leaves the town. Jesus goes to Capernaum and drives an impure sprit out of a man. Jesus goes to Simon (Peter’s) house and heals his mother in law. Jesus heals many other people and the people try to keep Jesus from moving on. Jesus tells them He must bring the good news ( gospel) to all the towns. Jesus goes to a solitary place and prays.

In chapter 5 :  Jesus talks to the people from Simon’s boat. He tells them to put down their nets (they hadn’t caught any fish the night before), Simon does do and they catch so much fish that they have to signal their partners (James and John , the sons of Zebedee) because the boat was starting to sink and both boat start to sink. Simon wants the Lord to go away from him because he’s sinful. Jesus tells him, he’ll fish for men from now on. They left everything and followed Jesus. A man with leprosy asks Jesus to heal him, if He’s willing, Jesus replies He’s willing and heals him. Jesus often withdraws to lonely places and prays. Friends of a paralyzed man lower him through a roof of a house where Jesus was teaching. He sees their faith and tells the man his sins are forgiven. The Pharisees grumble at this “blasphemy” so Jesus tells him to get up, take up his mat and go home. The man walks and everyone praises God. Jesus calls Levi / Matthew ( a tax collector ) to be His disciple. At a  feast with tax collectors and “sinners”, Jesus tells the people He’s come to call the sinners to repentance not the righteous. Jesus is questioned about the lack of His disciples’ fasting. He replies they will celebrate while The Bridegroom is with them, but will fast when He’s taken away.

In chapter 6 : Jesus’ disciples eat corn on the Sabbath and are rebuked by the Pharisees but Jesus declares that The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus on another Sabbath heals a man with a shriveled hand thus further angering the Pharisees.  Jesus spends a night praying to God and then choses 12 out of all His disciples calling them apostles. People come from all over Judea and Jerusalem to touch Jesus because they want to be healed since power was flowing out of Him. Jesus pronounces  blessings on His disciples and woes on the false prophets. Jesus tells His disciples to do unto others as they would have done unto them, to be merciful as His Father ( and ours) is merciful, to love their enemies, to forgive and they will be forgiven among other things. Jesus tells them the student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their Teacher. Jesus tells them a parable about a hypocrite (taking out a speck in the eye). He tells people to distinguish between good and bad people by their fruit (results). Jesus tells a parable about firm foundation (wise and foolish builders ).

 

 

*{1}This is one of the few places in the Bible where you can see all three persons of the Trinity at the same time. The Father, The Son and The Sprit}

*{2}Note Jesus uses scripture to refute the devil all three times, showing us that scripture is an offensive weapon too like a double edged sword}

I’ve tried keeping my post to 1000 words or under but this ended up being much too long! I’m going to make the gospel of Luke a 4 part series.

Until next week,

Vanessa.