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.

 

 

 

 

Empty Deceit – Colossians 1-2

Colossians is one of Paul’s “prison epistles.” It is supposed that he wrote this letter while in prison after his voyage to Rome, which was documented in the Book of Acts. In chapter one, Paul spends some time talking to them about the fact that (as John 1:1-3 states) Jesus was with God from the beginning of time. But don’t miss the fact that he also states that in Jesus “all things hold together.” You can also refer to Hebrews 1:3 for this, as it says “he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” We have an expectation that scientific experiments performed today will yield the same results tomorrow. We expect that the law of thermodynamics and other scientific truths will not be dis-proven tomorrow morning. The Lord promised us it would be so, as long as we live in this world (Jeremiah 33:25).

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colo...

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colossians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In chapter 2, Paul makes a statement that is very noteworthy for Christians of all time. Beginning in verse 8, he says “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Some versions say “see to it that no one robs you…” It is the empty philosophy and deceit of man, who tends to be “wise in his own eyes,” that he is speaking of here.

Molecules-to-man evolution and other distortions of reality are great examples of empty deceit that have taken many people captive today.  We must be ever vigilant to teach our children a proper defense of the word of God in the face of such things. We cannot depend on their Sunday school teachers to do it for us, and we certainly cannot depend on the school system for it. We alone must take that responsibility.

/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.

 

 

 

 

So That You May Not Grow Weary – Hebrews 12-13

In Hebrews chapter 12, the writer offers encouragement to the Christians he addresses. Some were no doubt experiencing persecution. All throughout the gospel, we are told of trials and suffering that we will endure. It should, then, come as no surprise to us when they occur.

English: Pagans kill Christians in Pliska.

English: Pagans kill Christians in Pliska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The writer speaks of trials that we experience because of the sinful world that we live in. Those who dwell in that darkness are hostile to us, as they were then. On that subject, he reminds them of Jesus:

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

That is true of most of us. But many have died in those days, and even today we see that Christians are being killed for their faith.  So then in chapter 13, he quotes from Psalm 27:1, saying “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

We might say, “well they can kill me!” Jesus said in Luke 12:4: “do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.” Our lives here in a world that is not our home are simply the beginning. Beyond this life, no man has power of any kind over us.

The other kind of suffering the writer talks about has to do with the normal day-to-day trials, pain, grief, and yes, even suffering of a physical and mental nature. God does not cause bad things to happen to us. But He will allow them to happen if it will strengthen us and build our endurance.

/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 Hebrews

Heb. 9, Heb. 10, Heb. 11, Heb. 12, Heb. 13

___________________

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.

 

 

 

 

Be Not Ashamed – Mark 6-8

Continuing with our reading of Mark this week, we read in chapter 6 of Jesus being rejected in His home town and how Herod had John the baptist killed. He was afraid of him, but he had made an oath around witnesses to give Herodias’s daughter whatever she wished. To his dismay, she followed her mother’s wishes and asked for John’s head on a platter. Jesus then went on to feed the 5,000.

Saint John the Baptist and the Pharisees

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

In chapter 7, the Pharisees confront Him because his disciples did not follow the washing rituals they prescribed as though they were God’s laws. Jesus exposed them for their many hypocrisies, such as how they manipulate words and deeds to shirk their duty to take care of their parents.

In chapter 8, He feeds the 4,000 with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish– ending up with more food than they started with in the first place. In Dalmanutha, the Pharisees confronted Him again and demanded a sign from heaven. Jesus, of course, gave them none; and he even said that no sign would be given to “this generation.” God’s people were given all the signs they needed.

It was after this that Jesus told His disciples to beware of the “leaven” of the Pharisees and of Herod. As they wondered about bread, jesus became impatient with them. They still did not understand, it seems. But in verse 29, Peter did make it clear that he knew that Jesus was the Christ.

He finishes the chapter with a sermon to the crowds; and verse 39 says:

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Those words are easy to read, and they are just as easy for us to nod our heads and say “that’s right.” But we must beware living in an increasingly pagan land, as we do. How easy is it to keep our mouths shut, when perhaps we should be speaking up for the Lord?

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark

/Bob’s boy
___________________

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 Love of Jesus

English: Jesus healing the sick by Gustave Dor...

English: Jesus healing the sick by Gustave Dore, 19th century Source: http://www.morethings.com/god_and_country/jesus/healing-jesus-240.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, we read Mark 6-10 as we go through the entire New Testament this year. I took at peek at Mark 6, just to refresh my memory of where we are currently. As you read that chapter, notice the last verse, verse 56. Jesus is healing the sick in Gennesaret, and the text reads:

And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

There was nothing special about Jesus’ clothing. It was the same clothing that anyone there in that place and time could have been wearing. But there were so many people bringing their sick in the hope of being healed. Jesus, though He was the Son of God was here also as a man. There simply was not time to personally interact with each one of these. But knowing what they were coming for, He also knew their hearts. These people believed that His healing power was so great that a mere touch of His garment could heal.

They were right of course. But it wasn’t the garment. Jesus made it so because He wanted them to have what they came for. It was their faith that enabled them to receive the gift that He wanted them to have. Jesus said in Matthew 7:11:

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

The Lord wants to give us what we need. Sometimes that is in conflict with what we think we want. But we “touch His garment” in manner of speaking when we pray because we know that if it is His will, He can make it so. What a blessing it is to have a “High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14-16) that loves us so much!

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark

/Bob’s boy
___________________

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.

 

 

 

 

Parables, Miracles and Blessed Assurance – Mark 3-5

In Mark 3, Jesus heals the man with the withered hand. The pharisees reacted by trying to figure out how to destroy Him. It is the same in this day and age. When people have their hearts and minds set against believing in the Lord, even miracles such as those witnessed by the Pharisees will not convince them. He performed other miracles and cast out demons; and the crowds continued to grow. Bu verse 13 of the third chapter, He is naming His apostles. Notice verses 20-21. It is clear from these verses that many of Jesus’ family were not yet convinced that He was truly the Lord.

Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

Christ and The Pharisees

Christ and The Pharisees (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verses 28-29 speak of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This is not a certain kind of sin that one commits that is just unforgivable. Many people have misinterpreted these verses to make themselves believe that they can have no forgiveness. Verse 28 sates that “ALL sins will be forgiven the children of man, AND whatever blasphemies they utter.” No sin is unforgivable if one repents. Verse 29 is not a contradiction of that. It simply means that one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit has denied God. It is those whose hearts have turned against the Lord AND who do not repent that will perish. It is, as always, a matter of the heart.

Chapter 4 has several of the parables contained in Matthew. When Jesus explained in verses 10-12 about why He was speaking in parables, He quoted Isaiah 6:9-10. What is all means, is that those who hear and want to learn and understand will be able to do so. But those who do not thirst for this knowledge will not comprehend.

Chapter 5 begins with the man possessed by many demons, who Jesus healed in Gerasenes. When the people heard of what He had done, they became afraid, rather than being in awe of the Lord. When they begged Him to leave their land, He complied. It is the same with us. If we do not want the Lord in our lives, He will give us what we want in that respect.

The chapter ends with Jesus raising the daughter of Jairus from the dead. The girl was clearly dead, but Jesus said in verse 39 that she was only sleeping. This should be an encouragement to us. Paul also speaks of the dead in this way in 1 Thessalonians 4:13. It is an assurance to all of us that death is not the finality of our being.

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark

/Bob’s boy
___________________

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.

 

 

 

 

Festus Before Agrippa – Acts 19

Herod Agrippa II was the seventh and last king...

Herod Agrippa II was the seventh and last king of the family of Herod the Great, thus last of the Herodians. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After some days, Festus met with King Agrippa II and his sister, Bernice, who was always by his side (one of his other siblings was Drusilla, who was the wife of Festus’ predecessor, Felix). This Agrippa was educated in the court of the emperor Claudius, and was the son of Herod Agrippa I, who in Acts 12:1-3 had the Apostle James killed and Peter arrested, and who the Lord stuck down dead in Acts 12:21-23. He was also the great-grandson of Herod the Great – who had ordered the killing of all the male children of the region around Bethlehem when Jesus was born. As Festus laid out the case against Paul, he concluded by surmising that the matter was a dispute about their religion, and the death of “a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive” (verse 19).

The next day, Festus introduced Paul, saying in a nutshell that (interestingly enough) he had found no charge deserving of death for Paul, and therefore he thought it wise to have him appear to Agrippa, so that maybe he (Festus) would have “something to write” before sending him to Caesar.


Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

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.

 

 

 

 

Paul Invokes Roman Citizenship – Acts 19

Coin of Porcius Festus

Coin of Porcius Festus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antonius Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus as the Roman procurator of Judea from about 59 to 62 AD. During his reign, hostility to Roman rule was heating to a fevered pitch, preceding the “Great Revolt” (the Jewish-Roman war of AD 66) that ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Wasting no time after Festus assumed his role, verse 2 says that “the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul,” trying to persuade him to send Paul to Jerusalem so they could ambush him.

These “chief priests and principal men” were most likely of the Sanhedrin, and had conspired with more than 40 others to kill Paul in Acts 23:12-15. In verse 9, Festus was ready to send Paul to Jerusalem as a favor to the Jews, when Paul invoked his right as a Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar.


Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

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.