The Lord Said To My Lord – Luke 20

Verse 41 begins with “but He said to them…” This shows that Jesus is still addressing the Sadducees after He convincingly answered their question about resurrection. he asks them “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son?” As He points out, David himself said in Psalm 110:1:

The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool

English: David's Love for God's House, as in 1...

English: David’s Love for God’s House, as in 1 Chronicles 22:6-16, illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus brought this question up to the Sadducees to give them the opportunity to see the truth about the Christ from the scriptures themselves. As he points out, “David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?” The answer, we of course know, is that the Christ is God, and thus is Lord over David. But in the flesh, he was a son (descendant) of David. But their eyes were not open to the truth.

Seeing that fact, Jesus said to the disciples (within the hearing of all) that they should beware of the scribes. He then warns of their hypocrisy and their unjust treatment of others – including “devouring” widows’ houses. Luke does not tell us what exactly it was they did to these widows, but we can be sure they had dealt miserably with some, else Jesus would not be making a fuss about it here.

One way or another, throughout this chapter, Jesus had made stronger enemies out of all three major groups of religious leaders. And all He had done was tell the truth and try to teach them what was right.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The Triumphal Entry – Luke 19

In verse 28, Jesus is making His way to Jerusalem, and is now very close. In verse 29, He is drawing near to Bethphage and Bethany. We know that Bethany was located on the eastern part of the Mount of Olives. The location of Bethphage would then be closer to Jerusalem. Here, Jesus sends two disciples to bring a colt back. This is one of many passages that skeptics try to use to discredit Jesus and God’s word, saying that this event amounted to no less than theft. A ridiculous assertion, to be sure, made more absurd by the fact that it is coming from those who do not believe the Bible in the first place!

English: Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey

English: Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But let’s deal with it anyway. We can draw conclusions from the text quite easily, though we are not told of any other events leading up to the encounter between the two disciples and the colt’s owner. If you read verses 29-35 carefully, you will note that the owners of the colt asked the question exactly as Jesus predicted. Note that their answer that the Lord has need of it (that answer also prescribed by Jesus) required no explanation and received no argument. Were they expecting the visit? Quite likely, yes. Was the question one that they had been told to ask, or just one they asked to make sure that the colt wasn’t actually being taken by the wrong person? Possibly both. We do not know. But they left with the colt, clearly demonstrating that they did so with the owner’s approval. Enough said.

As they returned with the colt for Jesus to ride on, they put their cloaks down and all the disciples began loudly praising God and hailing Jesus as “the King who comes in the name of the Lord.” The Pharisees tried to get Jesus to silence them, but Jesus said “if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” A hyperbole? Perhaps. But all of creation had been changed by man’s fall in Genesis 3, and Jesus’ arrival for the completion of His “mission” had been awaited ever since. The Son of God would have this kingly procession. It should also be noted that kings of Israel’s past had ridden a donkey all throughout history in such peaceful processions. They rode horses in missions of war.

This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The Ten Minas – Luke 19

Titus Destroying Jerusalem by Wilhelm von Kaulbach

Titus Destroying Jerusalem by Wilhelm von Kaulbach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At first glance, the parable of the ten minas in Luke 19:11-27 appears to be a repeat of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). There are some differences, however. As commentators have noted, Jesus would often modify His teachings to fit different people and the circumstances.

Luke tells us in verse 11 that He told this parable “because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.”The significance of being near to Jerusalem is likely a reference to the destruction of the people who rejected the nobleman as their king (verse 27), as compared to the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem. The leaving and returning of the nobleman was to show that there would be no imminent military coup putting Jesus on a throne.

The ten minas were about equal to three months wages for a common laborer. Here, the nobleman gave each of the servants one mina, whereas in the parable of the talents, he gave them according to their abilities. We are all given the same word of God to use to broaden God’s kingdom. We are expected to use it to the best of our abilities. It does not matter that we may not be able to so as well a some others do. It does matter that we would do nothing at all.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The Persistent Widow – Luke 18

The parable in verses 1-8 is also known as the parable of the unjust judge. The chapter begins with Luke telling us what it means. He said it was “a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” A woman kept coming to a judge that “neither feared God nor respected man” trying to get justice for a wrong someone had done to her. The judge had no sympathy for her, nor did he care about any sort of justice in the matter. But he finally gave in and gave her the justice she deserved because of her persistence.

English: Illustration of the Parable of the Un...

English: Illustration of the Parable of the Unjust Judge from the New Testament Gospel of Luke (Luke 18:1-9) by John Everett Millais for The Parables of Our Lord (1863) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ESV says that the judge had said to himself “I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.” The NASB and others say “lest she wear me out.” According to Everett Harrison (Harrison, Everett F., Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Moody Press, Chicago 1962), it means literally, “lest she give me a black eye.” This is not to say that he is afraid of the woman doing him physical harm. It is a euphemism for damaging one’s reputation.

Jesus is not here comparing this judge to God, but rather making a contrast. The Lord indeed does care about justice and protection for His children. Jesus says that he will provide it swiftly. But God’s time is not our time. These prayers are answered according to God’s plan and His infinite wisdom. As Luke says, we must remain persistent in prayer so that we do not lose heart. Prayer is not the magic vending machine button we press for instant gratification. But it gives us many other benefits for our souls while we await the fulfillment of God’s will.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Unworthy Servants – Luke 17

Photograph of an aristocrat from Bandoeng with...

Photograph of an aristocrat from Bandoeng with his servant. Español: Fotografía de un aristócrata de Bandoeng con su sirviente. Français: Photo d’un aristocrate de Bandoeng avec son serviteur Nederlands: Foto. Adellijke persoon uit Bandoeng met bediende. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In verse 7, Jesus begins asking his disciples whether (supposing one of them actually were in a position to have servants) they would tell them to drop what they were doing and come “recline at table.” And then asks whether one would normally thank their servant for doing what was commanded. We might see servants treated in such manner on television or in movies today, but such would not have been the custom in that place and time. Instead, Jesus says, they will tell the servant not only to come wait on them, but make sure they are dressed properly before doing so.

So, Jesus also says, when we have done all that we are commanded, we should realize that we are unworthy servants, who only have done our duty. This is certainly the attitude we should have as God’s children. It seems at first that Jesus is here in this chapter just throwing out random bits of spiritual wisdom. He begins the chapter talking about how we must forgive our brother when he repents, even if he has done wrong to us seven times. The number seven is not the limit, of course, but rather it represents countless instances (the number seven has always had great significance in scripture).

But does the brother that continues to do us wrong really deserve our forgiveness? Probably not. But by his repentance, he has done what he should do to be reconciled; and we are bound by God to forgive, just as he will forgive us. His worthiness is beside the point.  The second thing Jesus has spoken to in the previous verses is of boundless faith. We are capable of doing many great things that are according to God’s will if our faith is strong enough. It all begins by keeping His commandments, and realizing that by doing so, we have earned absolutely nothing. We only do our duty to Him by doing so.

We deserve nothing, but in our helpless unworthiness, we learn faith in the one true and living God because we know that we can trust Him. It is in this way, and with this attitude that we increase our faith day by day. Think of it as the surrender of doubt.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Bearing One’s Cross – (Luke 14)

Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah Dante Gabrie...

Dante’s Vision of Rachel and Leah Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1899 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In verse 25, Jesus is no longer at the house of the Pharisee, and “great crowds” were with Him. Then he turned to them and said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Now obviously, Jesus is not teaching hate for our loved ones, and we all know that He is saying that our love for Him must take priority over everything and everyone else. So why not just say it that way? It was simply the way that the sentiment was expressed among the Jews of those and earlier times. It was used, for example, with relation to Jacob’s feelings for Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29:30-31),

And then Jesus says “whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” We sometimes hear others speak of some difficulty they have in their lives and refer to it as “the cross I bear.” But consider the people who Jesus was talking to here. For them, crucifixion was not simply some bizarre and barbaric practice one reads about in a book of history. It was the normal method of execution used in that day, and the punishment did not come after years and years of appeals and waiting. It came swiftly, and often.

English: Engraving of Jesus Christ on Golgotha.

English: Engraving of Jesus Christ on Golgotha. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The language would have been plain to His disciples. He was telling them that truly being committed as a disciple of Christ could result in one’s death for that commitment. He gives them the example of someone who would begin building a tower. Such an undertaking would not be so easy as building house, for example. The time it took would be considerable, and the labor would be intensive. Most likely, one would have to enlist the help of many others in order to complete it. And the amount of materials required would be costly, possibly requiring a great deal of it to be transported from far away.

The second example he gave was of a king, preparing an army to do battle with another army. Careful consideration would have to be made about the probabilities of the outcome, the commitment required to prevail, etc. Both examples demonstrate the careful consideration that would have to be given before making such commitments – counting the costs beforehand. Many do not realize that this is the kind of commitment Jesus expects even today from those who would be His disciples.

It is not a decision to take so lightly that it becomes simply a Sunday morning ritual. Being a Christian must mean making a genuine and profound change in one’s entire life. The Lord expects no less than that. Why would we expect that years after first making that commitment it would be acceptable to Him for us to simply “go through the motions” once a week? It it takes much work and focus to “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1).

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The Chief Seats – (Luke 14)

Jesus told another parable beginning in verse while at the dinner at the Pharisee’s house. The scripture says that this parable of the wedding feast was prompted by the way He saw that the guests had chosen the “places of honor.” Some versions call these seats “the chief seats,” while others call them simply the “best seats.” We cannot be sure which these were, but a good assumption might be that the very best seats would be those closest to the host.

What Jesus makes the analogy to is being invited to a wedding feast and choosing one of those places of honor, only to get “bumped down” to a more lowly seat when someone “more distinguished” shows up. It would be better to choose the lowly seats, and then the host might move you to a better seat, bringing you honor instead of embarrassment. This is certainly sound advice, and would definitely make you seem less presumptuous and more polite anyway.

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating...

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 25:14-30 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But beyond the practical advice for everyday life that this parable involves, it resounds with the way that Jesus has taught all along. He tells them that “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” He taught this at the sermon on the mount. And he drives this point home to His apostles (Matthew 19:30, Matthew 20:16 , Luke 13:30). The teaching was very relevant for these Pharisees, many of whom had a high opinion of their own importance.

And of course, its relevance to us today is the same as in the passages just mentioned. It is the same mindset that is commanded to us in Matthew 6:3-4, when Jesus tells us to do good for others in secret, so that the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. Christians should not be about the business of making themselves feel important. Humbleness and humility are valued by God, and we will be rewarded by Him for the good that we do. That is enough.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The Vinedresser – (Luke 13)

Chapter 13 begins with the words “there were some present at that very time.” What that time refers to must have to do with chapter 12, obviously, since Luke did not write this gospel with chapter divisions. Luke does not write about events in strict chronological order. But in this case, it seems reasonable that the “very time” he refers to goes back to verse 1 of chapter 12. There, Jesus began to speak when “in the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another.” 

HERODIAN KINGS of JUDAEA. Herod Archelaus. 4 B...

HERODIAN KINGS of JUDAEA. Herod Archelaus. 4 BCE – 6 CE. Æ Prutah (17mm, 2.72 g, 9h). Jerusalem mint. HPWDOU, double cornucopiae / Galley left, EQNARCOU (retrograde) below. Meshorer 70; RPC I 4914; Hendin 503. Good VF, dark green patina with light earthen encrustation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of the group of these people He was speaking to now told Him about some “Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.” This incident is not mentioned anywhere else in scripture, and some commentators note that Josephus had not written about it either. We could hardly expect any historian from those times to have written about every time Roman soldiers killed any of the Jews.

Josephus does record an incident (Wars of the Jews, Book 2, Chapter 1) whereupon Herod Archelaus (brother of Herod Antipas) sent soldiers into the temple, and people were killed while they sacrificed. An estimated 3000 were killed. It is not much of a stretch to imagine that Pilate was capable of doing something similar at some point. Josephus also wrote that the Galileans were the most seditious of the Jews.

Model of the Pool of Siloam as it may have looked in the time of Jesus.

Model of the Pool of Siloam as it may have looked in the time of Jesus.

The second incident in verse 4 was brought up by Jesus himself. 18 people were killed when the “tower in Siloam” fell on them. This incident is, of course, not documented anywhere either. But some archaeologists believe they have found ruins where a second tower may have been built.

The point of both these citations, as Jesus explains, is that none of these people in either incident were killed because they were more sinful than anyone else. It was not an act of God, as people then especially tended to believe. But He tells them that they also will perish unless they repent. They knew the different type of perishing to which He was referring.

Jesus then tells them the parable of the barren fig tree in verses 6-9. The man in the parable who owned the vineyard is analogous to God. The fig tree represents the Jewish people. The vinedresser is Jesus.  The three years of looking for fruit from the tree relate to the first three years of Jesus’ ministry. The lack of fruit parallels their rejection of Jesus. The vinedresser asks the owner to let him cultivate it for a year, and if it still bears no fruit, he can cut it down. As with all of His parables, those who did not wish to learn and understand would not do so. But some certainly did.

Doubtless, many would recall the parable when 70 A.D came around.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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