Being His Disciple – Luke 14-15

Jesus again talks about what it takes to be one of His disciples in Luke 14. In verses 26-33, He tells them that a disciple must hate his own family — and even his own life. And he finishes up by saying that the disciple must renounce all that he has. Of course we know that Jesus does not want us to hate anyone. It is an expression often used in the bible when talking about loving someone or something more than another, and that is the point.

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating...

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Luke 14:16-24 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the same token, we do not have to give away everything we own. But those people and those things mean little — must mean little — to us in the grand scheme of things. Our devotion to the Lord is what will carry us to the prize at the end.

Much is made by the Pharisees, in chapter 15 and elsewhere, about Jesus associating with sinners and those that the pious do not approve of. Those are naturally the very people Jesus came to associate with, as He said time and again. How often do we try to alienate ourselves from those sorts of people? Certainly, we do not want to put ourselves in a position to be tempted to imitate ungodly behavior. But we have to be “in the world.” We cannot do that if we separate ourselves entirely.

 

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Luke 12, Luke 13, Luke 14, Luke 15, Luke 16

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Rich Toward God – Luke 12-13

One of the parables Jesus tells in chapter 12 is that of the rich man who saw how much he had and all he could think of was making room for even more. For some, no matter how much they have, it is never enough. Was Jesus speaking of this to show how wrong it is to be wealthy? Of course not, but his heart belonged to his wealth. there was no mention of taking the excess and helping those in need. No mention of how devoted he was to serving the Lord. He finished the story in verse 21, saying “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself AND is not rich toward God.” God was not in the man’s heart. Neither was anyone else.

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating...

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Luke 12:12-21 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In chapter 13, Jesus is getting close to his last days in Jerusalem, and verses 31-35 contain his tearful lament for the price she would pay for her rejection of the savior. Just before his lament, verse 31 states that some Pharisees came to warn Him to leave because Herod wants to kill Him. It is one of many illustrations that there were Pharisees (and Sadducees) that were not against Him. Many, in fact. would be converted.

 

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Luke 12, Luke 13, Luke 14, Luke 15, Luke 16

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The One Who Hears You – Luke 10-11

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is sometimes the case that we find ourselves to talk to someone about the Lord, only to find that their hearts and minds are closed? Should we have said something different? And many times, we will no doubt think of something we should have said later. Or maybe we will analyze the conversation and decide that we just took the wrong approach. There is nothing wrong with this sort of analysis.

We should always work to improve ourselves and to be able to better speak to others about the kingdom of God. But ultimately, we must remember that it is not us — not our words or our delivery of the message that saves people. It is the Lord. All we can do is to try to plant some seeds. As Jesus told the seventy-two disciples that he sent out in Luke chapter 10:  “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” It is not us they reject, but the Lord Himself.

 

Verses 9-10 of chapter 11 are often quoted, and widely misinterpreted:

 

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

It is true that God wants to give us good gifts. But that does not mean that He will give us anything we want. We must keep in mind the whole of the scriptures when reading these verses — including James 4:3. We ask according to His will, not according to our passions. That does not make it wrong to ask for material things. Nor does it mean that God will not grant those things to us at times. But He is not obligated to do so at our every whim, nor would it likely be in our best interest for Him to do so. Keep in mind also that Jesus does qualify this in verse 13: “…how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

 

/Bob’s boy

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

 

Luke 7, Luke 8, Luke 9, Luke 10, Luke 11

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

 

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Up Your Cross – Luke 8-9

The eighth chapter of Luke lists several of the women who had become disciples — some of which, we know will be there for the crucifixion and to see the empty tomb. He calms a storm, heals Jairus’ daughter and another woman, casts out a demon, and tells the disciples the parable of the sower, as well as the purpose of the parables.

Lenten-canvas of Millstatt - The feeding of fi...

Lenten-canvas of Millstatt – The feeding of five thousand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In verses 16-18, he follows up on the previous verses about hearing the word, and holding it up in a good and honest heart:

No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.

In chapter 9, Jesus sends out his 12 apostles to preach the gospel, and verses 10-17 contain Luke’s account of the feeding of the 5,000. The chapter is 62 verses long, and also contains the account of the transfiguration – as well as Jesus foretelling his own death twice. But for this post, we will look briefly at verse 23, where Jesus is speaking to the disciples and says “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” This is a commitment that disciples, then and now, don’t always take seriously.  Being a follower of Jesus is a daily exercise. It is more important than our jobs and (as he emphasizes in verse 62) anything else in our lives on earth.

 /Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Luke 7, Luke 8, Luke 9, Luke 10, Luke 11

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

John the Baptist’s Doubt – Luke 7

Jesus does many important things in the seventh chapter of Luke. First, there is the healing of the Roman Centurion’s servant in verses 1-10. Then there is the miraculous raising if the widow’s son in verses 11-17. In verses 36-50, Jesus is ding with one of the Pharisees when a woman “of the city, who was a sinner” comes to wash his feet, crying as she did so. Jesus forgave her sins, which causes a stir among those that were “at table” with them.

Saint John the Baptist and the Pharisees

Saint John the Baptist and the Pharisees (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But just as remarkable as any of those event, Jesus is visited by the disciples of John the Baptist. They said “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'” Jesus pointed them to things that He was doing that John would certainly recognize from prophecy. But many wonder at this expression of doubt, and some even attempt to explain it away.

The fact of the matter is that most of the Jews, including John, had been expecting something more worldly in the kingdom of the Messiah. In John’s time, they would certainly want liberation from Roman oppression. But that is the reason that so many of them missed the coming of the Messiah altogether.

We should not be too hard on John for this. It merely goes to show that even the “best” of us experience doubt from time to time. When we do, it is the Scriptures to which we must turn, just as Jesus pointed John to them. The answer is always there. We just have to search for it.

 /Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Luke 7, Luke 8, Luke 9, Luke 10, Luke 11

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Expecting Nothing – Luke 6

There is a lot going on much in the 6th chapter of Luke, and much to learn from it. But here I want to focus on verses 32-36. It is a “love even your enemies passage. But is so much more than that. It is about doing good. Let’s look closely, beginning in verse 34:

 

if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, …for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

English: The evangelist portrait from the Gosp...

English: The evangelist portrait from the Gospel of Luke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clearly, “lending” to those who are in need without expecting anything in return is valued greatly by the Lord. Being charitable is one of the hallmarks of Christianity. But it goes further that giving food, clothing, or even money. It also encompasses mere kindness.

 

Perhaps that seems obvious. But how easy is it really? And how easy is it to violate that principle? How often do we “snub” someone else without even realizing we are doing it. Sometimes we all do so, I have no doubt. In business, it is often said that it shows great character when someone is kind and helpful to those who can do nothing to improve that person’s career.

 

It is the same principle in everyday life. God will judge how we treat those who may not possess the character or ability to treat us as we would like.

 

/Bob’s boy

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

 

Luke 2, Luke 3, Luke 4, Luke 5, Luke 6

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

 

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling the Righteous? – Luke 4-5

The most important part of Luke chapter 4 is the temptations of Jesus. In each case, it is the word of God which He uses to combat the temptations. And that is the point for us. WE can turn to God’s word for the answers to our own temptations; and as Paul tells the Corinthians:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

In chapter 5, there is so much going on; and we have covered most of it in previous posts that you can find by the search function. But one point sticks out for this writer at the time of this particular reading. In verses 29-32, there is an encounter with the Pharisees over the fact that Jesus eats (thereby associating with) sinners. Jesus tells them “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Those people are the very types of people who Jesus always went to, and for the reason He gave. That brings up an important point. Where do we draw the line ourselves? On the one hand, we should not be going to bars with people who are getting drunk. And there are certainly parties that Christians should not attend, in order to avoid temptation — not to mention the “appearance of evil.” But how much do we as Christians “shut out” those who are “of the world?” Perhaps too much sometimes.

We must remember that we are “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). We must not be “of the world,” but we must be “in the world” in order to fulfill that duty. We are not called to help save fellow Christians who have not gone astray. Therefore, we should not limit our associations with others too narrowly. We are not part of an exclusive club with “cliques.” We are part of a kingdom into which God wants us to help bring others.

 /Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Luke 2, Luke 3, Luke 4, Luke 5, Luke 6

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Birth and Baptism of Jesus – Luke 2-3

Luke chapter 2 is about the birth of Jesus. The shepherds, who are out in their field at night, were visited by the angel of the Lord, and “the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were filled with fear.” Any time that term is used, it is accompanied by great light, which would have doubtless brightened the field substantially. This would certainly have generated fear among them.

The baptism of Jesus by John the baptist, as i...

The baptism of Jesus by John the baptist, as illustrated in the Hortus deliciarum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Telling them not to be afraid, the angel told them of the good news of the birth in the city of David of “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” The angel also told them how they would know him when they went to see him. We do not know what constituted the “multitude of the heavenly host” that also appeared in verses 13-14, but it would seem to at least be a multitude of angels. What else (cherubim, perhaps?) we do not know.

By the end of chapter two, Jesus is twelve years old and teaching and learning in the temple as his parents search for Him after the Passover Feast. The chapter concludes saying “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

Verses 1-21 of chapter 3 are all about John the baptist “preparing the way,” as had been foretold in Isaiah 40:3-5 and elsewhere. He was baptizing people for repentance and the forgiveness of sins. It was a completely new concept for the people that he was preaching to, especially for Jews. He reluctantly baptizes Jesus then.  In verses 19-20, Luke writes about Herod’s arrest and imprisonment of John the baptist.

Verses 23-38 of chapter three list the genealogy of Jesus Christ. But this genealogy is different from the one listed in Matthew. This writer believes, as some scholars do, that this genealogy is of the line of Jesus’ mother, Mary. For my analysis of this argument, please see this previous post.

 

 

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Luke 2, Luke 3, Luke 4, Luke 5, Luke 6

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Conceptions of Jesus and John the Baptist – Luke 1

The Book of Luke s addressed to “Theophilus,” who most scholars believe was a Gentile; and he certainly has a Greek name. Not much is known about him, but from Luke’s way of addressing him here and in the Book of Acts, he seems to be someone of nobility or in some higher office.

English: Nativity of John Baptist, 15 c, Hermi...

English: Nativity of John Baptist, 15 c, Hermitage/ Рождество Иоанна Предтечи (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verses 5-24 deal with the foretelling and conception of John the baptist. It is the only one of the gospels that gives us that information. Verses 26-38 document the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary, telling her of the coming birth of her son, Jesus.

Mary is also told by Gabriel of the conception of her cousin Elizabeth’s son (John the baptist). In verses 39-45, Mary visits Elizabeth, and when she comes close with her baby in the womb, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb is said to “leap with joy.” Such a detail is not told to us frivolously, and the implication is undeniable for Christians. The baby in the womb is a person — not just tissue.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Col. 1, Col. 2, Col. 3, Col. 4, Luke 1

 

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Lost Book of the Bible? Colossians 3-4

In the third chapter of the Book of Colossians, Paul clearly spells out that idolatry is still just as much of a problem today as it ever has been. In verse five, he tells them some of the things that Christians must do in their walk with God:

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

But he doesn’t stop there. He says that we must “put them all away,” meaning those things that make us less like Christ — such as anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk. Swearing “like a sailor” seems to getting more and more acceptable among some who consider themselves to be Christians. Clearly, this goes against the teachings of the Bible.

Along a main inland road from Ephesus to the Euphrates River, Colossae shared the beauty of the Lycus Valley with its sister cities Hierapolis. The original roads from Ephesus and Sardis joined there, and this defensible and well-watered hill became a strategic point in antiquity. Declining in importance by the time of Paul's Epistle to them, they had already been surpassed in size by the other Lycus Valley cities.

Along a main inland road from Ephesus to the Euphrates River, Colossae shared the beauty of the Lycus Valley with its sister cities Hierapolis. The original roads from Ephesus and Sardis joined there, and this defensible and well-watered hill became a strategic point in antiquity. Declining in importance by the time of Paul’s Epistle to them, they had already been surpassed in size by the other Lycus Valley cities.

In chapter four, there is a passage that has become the subject of much discussion, and even has fueled theories of “lost books” of the Bible. Verse 16 says:

And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.

So the talk goes among some scholars that the Book that was the letter to Laodicea is los to us — possibly in one of the earthquakes of the period. The first thing this writer has to say about that is “can anyone seriously believe that God would allow such a thing to happen?” I think not.

Despite claims to the contrary by skeptics, the integrity of the Bible’s translations and how it compares from manuscripts of different periods is so amazing that it is unrivaled by any secular work. Secondly, this same verse demonstrates that Paul’s letters were circulated among the churches for their edification.

Exactly which letter the Laodiceans had is something else that is much debated. But in verse 17, Paul speaks of Archippus. The only other book in which Archippus is mentioned is Philemon, which gives credence to the belief some have that Paul’s letter to Philemon is actually the letter that the Laodiceans had.

 

 

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Col. 1, Col. 2, Col. 3, Col. 4, Luke 1

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.