Day Seventy John Two

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          “Whatever He says to you, do it.”  This was more than a mother’s order.  It was extreme wisdom.  She knew her Son was special.  She knew He was God’s Son.  Her knowledge was not complete, but she knew enough to know He could take care of the problem.

          Obedience is essential to spiritual success.  Samuel told King Saul, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams”

(I Samuel 15:22).  It was disobedience that got Adam and Eve in trouble in the garden.  God said, “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  If you do, you will die.”  The instructions were simple.  But they chose disobedience over obedience and all mankind suffered for it (Roman 5:19).

          The Pharisees and the priests tried to bully Peter and John.  They attempted to intimidate them with threats.  “You are never to speak again in the name of Jesus.”  Peter threw their threats back in their face and said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  He remembered that Jesus said not to fear the one who could only destroy your body.  Peter learned that lesson well.

          Pray and seek God’s will.  Take your problems to Him for the answer.  Listen to the Holy Spirit and “whatever He tells you to do, do it.”       

1. The Wedding Feast in Cana (v. 1-12)

          “On the third day” probably means three days after the meeting with Nathanael and Philip.  Jesus and his disciples (Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathanael) were invited to attend a wedding feast in Cana.  Cana was a small village about seven miles north of Nazareth.  By the time they arrived the celebration had been going on for a few days.

          Mary, the mother of Jesus was there.  It is probable that this was the wedding of a family relation.  This would explain Mary’s knowledge of and concern over the dilemma of bridal couple.

          Weddings were a time of celebration for the entire village.  We don’t know the population of Cana but it was a small town and like all small towns, everyone knew everybody.  To run out of wine at such a celebration would be a terrible embarrassment for the family.  It showed lack of planning or possibly, lack of financial means.  This was not a good way for the new couple to get started in the community.

          Mary goes to her Son and informs Him of the problem.  “They have no wine.”  Jesus’ response revealed that He had a very human relationship with His mother.  “What does their problem have to do with me?”  Mary does not debate the issue.  She turned to the servants and told them “Whatever He says to you, do it.”  She knew what her Son would do.  He listened to Mom and He had compassion on the bride and her family.

          Jesus told the servants to fill the six water pots, to the brim.  The pots were there, not as wine containers, but for water for the ritual handwashing the Pharisees were so concerned about.  The pots contained about thirty gallons each.  Jesus would make certain they would not run out of wine again.

          Jesus told the servants to draw some from the pot and take it to the governor of the feast.  The governor was the “master of ceremonies” for the occasion.  He made sure everything ran smoothly.  He might have been a family member and possibly was aware of the lack of wine.  His reaction to the wine was amazing.  It was the custom of the time to serve the best wine first.  Wine kills the palate.  So, they could bring in the cheaper wine later and the guests would not know the difference.

          As soon as he drank Jesus’ wine His taste buds tingled.  The governor said, “This is unusual.  You have saved the best wine for last!”  Jesus had made a special drink.  It was the best they ever had.  It is my opinion, and just my opinion, that Jesus gave them a taste of a celestial drink.  Did it have alcoholic content?  Probably, but not as intoxicating as today’s wines.  The custom was to “water down” the wine to make it go further.

          Jesus changed the elements.  He turned water into wine.  This was the beginning of His miracles.  It validated the opinion of the disciples who followed Him.  He was Messiah, the Son of God.   

2. The Cleansing of the Temple (v. 13-22)

          There were two times in the public life of Jesus that He ran the moneychangers out of the Temple.  This was the first time.  It was the first Passover He observed after His baptism and the initiation of His ministry.        The peddlers of religious goods had made a mockery of God’s house, that was believed by the Jews to be God’s dwelling on earth among His people.  The Temple was to be a house of prayer.  They made it a business for profit.  Jesus drove the profiteers from the Temple.

          The Jews asked Him by what authority He did this.  “Show us a sign.” They demanded.  He responded, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again I three days.”

          They scoffed, “It took forty-six years to build this temple and you’re going to tear it down and rebuild it in three days?”  But they were not on the same page.  Jesus spoke of His body.  This was the first time He spoke of His death and resurrection.          

3. Jesus Knows (v. 23-25)

          While Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover, He did many signs and miracles.  Though we are not specifically told what they were, it was enough to convince many to believe in Him.  But Jesus did not align Himself with these people.  Perhaps it was because they believed the miracles but not in Him.

          The final statement in the chapter is very telling.  “He knew what was in man.”  He knew what man was capable of.  Perhaps He thought of the words of Jeremiah who said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?  I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9,10).

          Jesus knows us for who we are.  He looks beyond our masks and sees our hearts.  Be real!  He knows!


Be safe!  Stay warm!  Rejoice in Jesus!

Love to all!











Day Sixty-Nine John One

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Although the author is not mentioned by name, it is almost universally accepted that John, the youngest of the disciples, is the author. The title, “the Gospel according to John” is found in the oldest New Testament manuscripts.

Most conservative scholars date the writing of this biography somewhere at 90 to 100 AD. The opinion is that he wrote his gospel during his time serving as pastor in Ephesus before he was exiled to the isle of Patmos.

John’s gospel contains a great quantity of unique material not found in the Synoptic gospels. While Matthew, Mark and Luke focused greatly on Jesus as the Son of man, emphasizing His humanity, John declares Jesus to be the Son of God, emphasizing His deity.

John is also the author of the book of Revelation which he wrote after he wrote his gospel while he was on the Greek isle of Patmos. John had been exiled there by emperor Diocletian as part of Rome’s program of persecution against the early church. Tertullian, an early church father, said that John had been dipped in boiling oil by the emperor and having survived the ordeal without any visible harm, was then banished from the empire to Patmos.

John was the brother of James, both fishermen of Capernaum, who were in business with Peter and Andrew. He was the last of the twelve to die. Accounts differ with some saying he died on Patmos and others saying he returned to Ephesus and was buried outside the city.

The theme of John’s gospel is found in chapter twenty, verses 30 and 31 where John declared, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”


  1. The Word (v. 1-5)

The Greek word for “the Word” is logos. In Greek philosophy, the logos, according to “is the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning.” It is quite amazing that a Galilean fisherman used Greek philosophy and applied it to Jesus. Jesus is the divine reason for everything that exists, giving life and reason to the universe. In Colossians 1:16,17 Paul wrote, “Everything was created through him and for him.  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together” (NLT).

In the prologue to His Gospel, the apostle wastes no time in declaring the power and majesty of Jesus as the living Word.”

1) The Word always existed with God and beside God. The Word is God.

2) All things were made by Him. He was active in the creation of all things and in complete equality with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

3) In Him was life. Literally, with the Father and the Spirit, He breathed His divine breath into man and Adam and all to follow became living and eternal souls.

In Genesis 1:26, the Triune Godhead conversed and declared that man would be invested with the image of God.

4) He brought light out of darkness and He gave spiritual light to our darkened souls.

5) His Light was so amazing that the darkness could not comprehend it.



  1. A Man Sent from God (v. 6-9)

There was a man sent from God named John (the Baptist). He was not the Light but he was sent to prepare the way for the Light. He witnessed of the Light and this Light was the only way for man to escape the darkness.



  1. Rejection of the Light (v. 10-13)

Jesus was in the world. He came to His own people but even more, to His own possession. He made man and He made the world but both rejected Him. Even though we rejected Him, He graciously made the offer to anyone who believed in Him to become God’s child.

The new birth they received was different than the natural birth. It did not come by human means. It is more than physical birth. It is a new and eternal birth by the will of God.



  1. The Incarnation (v. 14-18)

The Word was made flesh. This literally defines the Incarnation. It is the enfleshment of deity. It is the “thirty-three plus” year period when the Second Person of the Trinity wrapped Himself in human flesh. Colossians 2:9 declares, “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

Remember that “the Word” is the reason for being and the One who gives order to the universe. He came to dwell in our flesh. John, who was eyewitness of the Word said, “We beheld His glory.” Perhaps as the Holy Spirit led John to write down his thoughts that he remembered the words Jesus spoke and the miraculous works Jesus did.

1) John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus and proclaimed that Jesus preexisted. John was older than Jesus physically but said, “He is preferred before me because He was before me.” (v.15)

2) We have received “grace for grace.” What does that mean? The NLT renders the phrase, “From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” This described what John had personally experienced from His relationship with Jesus. Even though John lived in a time when being a Christian often meant persecution, the grace he received was more than enough compensation. Paul wrote that the present sufferings of this world are not worthy to be compared with the wonder things that await us (Romans 8:18).

3) Moses gave the Law. The Law could only condemn for violation of the Law. The Law was necessary so we could realize our sin and our need for grace. Jesus provided the grace.

4) No one has seen God. God is a Spirit and humanity has only seen glimpses of His glory. Isaiah received a vision of God’s glory in Isaiah 6, but the throne was smoky, concealing His full glory. Even at the transfiguration when Jesus was glorified, that was only a small revelation of His full glory.

But if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. He is God’s unique Son and Jesus reveals God’s heart.



  1. The Wilderness Ministry (v. 19-28)

John the Baptist had no great cathedral where the “city-folk” gathered to hear him. His pulpit was in the desert even before he became famous (Luke 1:80). But the preaching of John was so powerful that people left the comfort and the security of the cities to go out into the desert to hear John’s message that the Kingdom of God was at hand.

Jerusalem was the center of religious life for the Jews and soon the Sanhedrin sent their “review committee” to the desert to investigate this wild man who was telling everyone to repent.

“Are you the Christ?”

“No,” he replied.

“Are you Elijah?”   Again, He said no.

“Then who are you and by what authority do you teach these things?”

“I am a voice crying in the wilderness for people to put their lives in order because the One Who is coming next is the One.”

Our message is like the Baptist’s message. “We are not the answer. But the Answer is coming soon. Be ready!”


  1. The Lamb Revealed (v. 29-34)

The next day Jesus came to John at the Jordan. As He approached, John saw the Spirit descending on Him like a dove and he knew what it meant. Before that day John did not realize that His cousin Jesus was the Messiah. Now John saw Him differently and proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. He is the Son of God.


  1. The First Disciples (v.35-42)

John was teaching the next day when Jesus returned. Again he declared, “Behold God’s Lamb that will take away our sin.” Two of John’s disciples heard what He said and followed Jesus. They went to Jesus’ home and spent the day with Him. They left convinced that Jesus was the Messiah.

One of John’s disciples was Andrew who immediately went and found his brother, Peter. “We have found the Messiah.”   When he took Peter to Jesus, the Lord took one look at him and said, “You are Simon, Jonah’s son. But one day they will know you as Cephas, the stone.”


  1. Philip and Nathanael (v. 43-51)

Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same person. In the Synoptic Gospels, He is Bartholomew and in John he is Nathanael. Do not let this be a concern. There are other disciples called by more than one name. Simon and Peter are the same person. Jesus even called him Cephas. The disciple Jude is also known as Thaddeus and even Labbaeus. Thomas was also called Didymus.

The following day, Jesus went to Galilee and on the way He found Philip. Philip was a simple soul, trusting and quick to believe. At times he appeared to be a little naïve. But when he met Jesus, he immediately responded to Jesus invitation to follow Him.

The first thing he did was find his friend Nathanael and he told him he had found the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Nathanael responded, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ His response revealed what was probably a general low opinion of Nazarenes.

Philip did not debate with his friend. He simply said, “Come and see for yourself.”

As the two approached Jesus, He addressed Nathanael and said, “Behold, an Israelite in whom is no deceit.”

“How do you know me?” was Nathanael’s response.

Jesus said, “I saw you under the fig tree.” This was a phrase used by the rabbis to describe meditation on God and His Word. It could be that Nathanael had been mediating on a passage in the Law and Prophets and Jesus, being God, was referring to it. What ever it meant to Nathanael, it was enough to convince him that Philip was right. They had found the Messiah. Nathanael declared, “You are the Son of God and the King of Israel.”


God be with you today!


Love to all!






Day Sixty-Eight Luke Twenty-Four

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          This is the third account of the resurrection of Jesus.  Many of the details are identical but there are a few insignificant differences.  While the critics made a great deal out of few minor details, they miss the point, Jesus is alive. 

          The fact of the resurrection is fundamental and essential to the Christian faith.  Rather than debate it we should declare it, not just in the Easter season, but every day.  Consider the words of Jesus from Revelation 1:17,18 – “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”




1. Christ is Risen (v. 1-12)

          As soon as they could, faithful women who had ministered to Jesus, made their way to the tomb to finish the burial rites.  They had run out of time two days earlier as the Sabbath approached.  Joseph had wrapped Jesus in linen strips and laid Him in Joseph’s own tomb.

          As they made their way to His grave they wondered who would roll away the stone that sealed tomb.  But when they arrived, the stone had already been removed.  And even more surprising, Jesus was not there.  The events are similar to the reports of Matthew and Mark but it we would do well to review them.

1) The women were perplexed and wondered what had happened.

2) Two men in shinning clothes stood by them and asked why they were seeking their living Lord among the dead.  Their message reminded the women that Jesus had told them what would happen.  He would be delivered to sinful men who would crucify Him.  But on the third day, He would rise from the dead.  Everything had happened just as He said it would.

3) The women remembered the words of Jesus and ran to tell the disciples what had discovered and that Jesus had, indeed, risen from the dead.

4) The disciples were skeptical.  The words of the women seemed unbelievable.  The disciples acted like the women had made it all up.

5) Peter arose and ran to the tomb.  John’s account says that the apostle John was also with him.  This is not a discrepancy but a further detail.  They found the tomb empty and Peter marveled, wondering what had happened.

          Even though Jesus had predicted His resurrection on several occasions, the idea of a resurrection still seemed unbelievable.


2. The Disciples on the Emmaus Road (v.13-35)

          This incident is also recorded in Mark 15:12,13 but there are few details given there.  Mark’s treats it in passing as almost insignificant.  But Luke gives grand details of the encounter.  It is perhaps the most descriptive record of a meeting with the post-resurrection Jesus.

          It was the evening of the resurrection and there were many rumors flying about.  It was an atmosphere of uncertainty. Two of Jesus’ disciples had left Jerusalem and were on their way to Emmaus, seven miles away.  One of the disciples was named Cleopas.  He was not one of the twelve but remember that Jesus had other disciples.  The other disciple is not mentioned by name but it is probable that it was the wife of Cleopas mentioned in John 19:25 as being with Jesus’ mother and Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross.  Perhaps Emmaus was their home and after the events of the previous few days they were going back home to try to make a new start.  The dream, they thought, had ended.

          Jesus met them but they did not recognize Him.  Maybe He appeared differently than the last time they saw Him.  Sometimes we don’t immediately recognize acquaintances if we see them out of context in an unfamiliar setting.  They certainly were not expecting to see Jesus. 

          It could have been that their grief was so great and their sorrow so heavy that it restrained their eyes from truly seeing Him.  Jesus joined them in their journey.  Notice how Luke described their meeting.

1) As the two walked along they were talking about the events of the past few days.  They spoke of His ministry and the miracles He did.  They spoke of His wonderful words and of His cruel death.  Even the rumors of His resurrection could not lighten the burden and disappointment they felt.

2) Jesus asked them why they were so sad.  Cleopas replied, “Are you a stranger here?  Have you not heard what happened in Jerusalem?”

          Jesus asked him, “What things.”

          Cleopas was eager to tell Him about Jesus.  “He was a prophet mighty in word and deed.  We had hoped He would deliver Israel.  But wicked men took Him and tortured Him and crucified.  He’s dead now.  But word came to us from some of the women in our group that the tomb was empty and He was alive.  We don’t know what all this means.”

          Jesus responded, “Where is your faith?  Don’t you know the Scriptures?”  He began to show them from the Moses and the Prophets all things concerning Messiah and how He must suffer before entering His glory.

3) They reached their destination but Jesus told them He was going farther.  They asked Him to stay with them the evening.  “The day is spent.  You can lodge with us.”

4) As they sat, eating together, Jesus took break and blessed it and broke it and gave it to them.  And they remembered.  Their eyes were opened and they knew Him.  Then He was gone.

5)They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn when He talked with us and taught us the Scripture?”  They arose immediately and returned to Jerusalem to find the eleven disciples.  They told them, “The Lord is alive.  We have seen Him.  He broke bread with us.  He has risen from the dead!”


3. The Risen Christ appears to His Disciples (v. 36-49)

          Their report was immediately confirmed as Jesus appeared to them all.  “Peace to you.”  But they were afraid and did not know what to believe.  They thought they had seen a ghost.  But Jesus calmed their fears and said, “Behold my wounds.  Touch me and know that I am not a spirit.  A spirit does not have flesh and bones.” 

          Neither does a spirit eat.  He asked for something to eat and they gave Him a piece of boiled fish and a honeycomb.  He ate in their presence.  Jesus was making a statement.  “I have risen physically from the dead, just as I said I would.”

          But it was not just a time to verify His resurrection.  It was a time to teach and inform His disciples.  He had tutored them for over three years.  It was almost time for graduation and they would be on their own.

1) He told them what they had witnessed was explained in the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms.  He opened their understanding so that they could comprehend the Scriptures.  They had to teach others what they had learned. 

2) He declared, “Christ had to suffer.  You will be my witnesses and you will teach that repentance is necessary to attain remission from sin.”

3) Their mission would be a universal mission.  “You will take My message to all the world.  But you can’t do this on our own.  You must tarry at Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”  He spoke of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.



4.Jesus Ascends (v. 50-53)

          Jesus did not ascend on the night He resurrected.  There is a distance of forty days from the resurrection to the ascension.  Paul speaks of His post resurrection appearances.  On one occasion more than five hundred saw Him alive.  Paul said at the time of his writing, many of those witnesses were alive and they could confirm that Jesus rose from the dead (I Corinthians 15:1-8).

          He led them to Bethany and He raised hands and blessed them.  Suddenly, He was received up into heaven.  They would see Him no more in his flesh.  They returned to Jerusalem joyfully praising God. 

          As Jesus had instructed, they took their message to the Temple and to the Street.  Jesus was alive!


Our message had not changed!  We serve a living Savior!  Praise His name!


Love to all!




Day Sixty-Seven Luke Twenty-Three

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Jesus knew the end before the beginning. As the Son of God, He possessed all the attributes of God. God is omniscient. This means He knows everything from eternity past into eternity future. He knows our thoughts and intentions (Hebrews 4:12). He knows what we need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8). Jesus knows and understands the heart of man (John 2:24,25).

It’s crucifixion day. Jesus knew this day would come. Peter wrote, “God chose him as your ransom long before the world began,” (I Peter 1:20 NLT). Revelation 13:8 refers to Him as, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Before He left heaven and before the earth was made, even before the sin in the Garden, He always knew the price He had to pay for our redemption.

At age 12 in the temple He told His mother, “I must be about my Father’s business.” As a boy and as a young man He witnessed the treachery and cruelty of Rome. He had seen men hang on a cross. He knew the scripture that anyone that hung on a tree was cursed of God (Deuteronomy 21:23). He always understood His mission and He knew it would end with a cross.

Before the sun rose on the day, He had already felt every lash of the whip. He had heard the insults He would suffer. He could feel the spit on His face. He could see the crowds as they cursed Him. He felt the spikes pierce His hands and feet. And He knew that in order to be the “sin-bearer” for mankind He would be separated from God. Is it any wonder that He prayed in the garden, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me?” But He also knew His suffering and death was the only way to redeem us.

In spite of everything He knew, He chose to walk the road to Calvary. Today, in Luke 23, we walk the road with Him.



  1. Jesus taken to Pilate (v. 1-5)

Jesus was used to the multitudes. But on this day they were against Him and not for Him. Many who joined in the mob were the same ones that had greeted Him days before with shouts of “Hosanna.” Now they lead Him to the Roman authority to be judged.

Pilate did not care for the Jews. He knew of the rumors of Messiah and what that meant to the people. His relationship with the Sanhedrin was adversarial at best.

The council charged Jesus with perverting the people. They said He told the people it was wrong to pay taxes to Caesar. This was a complete lie. He had taught them to render to Caesar what belonged to Caesar.

Pilate had one question for Jesus. “Are you the King of the Jews?” He asked Him, “Are you the Messiah?” He was not concerned with the religious affairs of Israel or their petty jealousies but He was concerned if Jesus had plans to subvert the government and lead an uprising against Rome.

Even though Jesus answered, “It is as you say,” Pilate declared, “I find no fault in Him.” Pilate was not declaring that Jesus was morally perfect. Pilate was no judge of ethics or morality. He was morally corrupt and had no interest in religion or God. He was saying, “Jesus had not broken Roman Law. He is no threat to Caesar.”

The Sanhedrin became more aggressive in their accusations. “He stirs up the people.” Yes, He did, but not to rebel against Rome. Jesus stirred them up to honor God and prepare for His Kingdom.



  1. Jesus before Herod (v. 6-12)

Pilate heard that Jesus was a Galilean and decided to “pass the buck” to Herod who was in Jerusalem for the feast. Herod Antipas was a narcissist, amoral, megalomaniac with a guilty conscience over the beheading of John the Baptist.

He had heard of the reputation of Jesus and wished for Jesus to do a miracle for him. He treated the Son of God like a circus performer. When Jesus refused to answer Herod, he turned Him over to his soldiers to be abused and mocked. Then Herod sent Him back to Pilate.


  1. Jesus and Barabbas (v. 13-25)

It may have been the first time in his life that Pilate had a moral conviction. He told the priests and the council, “Herod found nothing worthy of death in Him and, concerning the charges you brought, I find no fault in Him at all.”

Pilate’s plan was to chastise Jesus (scourge Him), and let him go. But the Jews would not accept Pilate’s decision.

There were voices in the crowd to release Jesus. But the will of the priests and the rabble prevailed (v. 23). So Pilate gave in to crowd, gave the execution order for Jesus, and released Barabbas, a murderer and seditionist, and let him go free.


  1. The King of the Jews Crucified (v. 26-43)

The journey to Calvary began. Here is a summary of the events that transpired on the way to the cross.

1) Jesus was weakened from almost twenty-four hours of constant abuse, including being scourged by the Romans, as a prelude to the cross. Simon Cyrene was recruited to help Jesus carry the cross.

2) A multitude of people followed Jesus to the cross and lamented Jesus condemnation. Jesus told them to weep for themselves because judgment was coming.

3) Two criminals are led with Him to die. They heard as Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

4) The soldiers gambled for His belongings while the rulers of the Temple mocked Him and shouted, “He saved others. Let Him now save Himself. If you are the Messiah, prove it”.

5) The soldiers mocked Him and sarcastically taunted Him saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

6) Pilate had a sign placed about Jesus’ head with the inscription, “The King of the Jews.” It was written in three languages, Greek, the universal language throughout the empire, Latin, the language of business, and Hebrew, the language of the Jews.

Pilate did this to offend the High Priest and the Sanhedrin as if to say, “Look what I can do to your King.”

7) One of the thieves mocked Jesus but the other cried out for salvation. Jesus told him, “Today you will walk with me in Paradise.”


  1. Jesus Final Breath (v. 44-49)

At noon (the sixth hour) the sun went dark as if to grieve that evil men were killing the Creator. The veil of the Temple, that barred access to God, was torn from the top to the bottom. Jesus had opened the way to God for all. No more must man go to a priest to find God. God invited all to know Him intimately.

With His final breath, Jesus committed His spirit to God and died. The centurion who was in charge of the execution glorified God and said, “This was a righteous man.” Other accounts record him saying, “We have killed the Son of God.”

And there was grief at the cross. Not all had called out for His crucifixion. In the crowd were those who had heard His words and believed. Some were there that He had healed. They stood back and wept and said, “Look what they have done to Him. They have murdered our Lord.”



  1. The Burial of Jesus (v. 50-56)

Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the council who had not agreed with the plot against Jesus, stepped forward to claim the body. He took the lifeless corpse of Jesus and laid it in his own tomb. The women who had ministered to Him from Galilee waited to anoint the body with spices for proper burial. But the Sabbath was approaching and time ran out. It would have to wait till Sunday. They agreed they would meet to finish the burial process. Then it would all be over.


Have great day. See you tomorrow in church.


Love ay all,






Day Sixty-Six Luke Twenty-Two

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The most amazing life that was ever lived was not the life of Stephen Hawking.   With all of his scientific accomplishments, his contribution to mankind pales in comparison to the life of Jesus Christ.  Even if we take away the spiritual significance of Jesus, which Hawking had none at all, the influence of Jesus on society for the last two thousand years is immeasurable.

Although some have perverted His legacy, there is no way to evaluate the benevolence and love done sacrificially in His name.  The hungry have been fed.  The illiterate have been educated and the sick have been healed in and by institutions founded in His name.

In the rotunda of the administrative building of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, arguably the best hospital in the world, stands a ten and a half feet marble statue of Jesus known as Christus Consolator or Christ, my Comforter.  It is symbolic of Jesus as the Great Physician.  In this day in time, it stands as a monument to the conciliatory and comforting nature of Jesus.

We know Jesus was more than a man.  He was the God-man who came to sacrifice Himself for the sins of all mankind.  His life was coming to an end.  This is what He came to do.  No one has ever made more of an impact on the world and on eternity than He.  No one ever will.


  1. Judas Conspires to betray Jesus (v. 1-6)

There is no reason given why Judas, after following Jesus for over three years, turned against the Master and conspired with the Sanhedrin to betray Him.  It may have been when Jesus was anointed by a woman with a very costly perfume in the house of a Pharisee.  Jesus rebuked Judas when he protested and said they could have sold the ointment and given the money to the poor.  John later said it was not because he cared for the poor but he held the treasury and was a thief.

Then it may have been that Judas realized that Jesus was not going to establish a physical kingdom.  When Jesus started taking about His death and resurrection, Judas saw his opportunity for a government job slip away.

Whatever the reason there was only one thing that motivated Judas – his desire to turn a profit and make some money.  You cannot serve two masters.  Judas chose to serve mammon.


  1. Jesus final Passover (v. 7-13)

This was the final Passover Jesus would observe with His disciples. In verse fifteen Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover with you before my suffering begins” (NLT).   The Day of Unleavened Bread was the time when the Passover lamb was sacrificed.  The time had come for Him to lay down His life for sinners.  He was the “Lamb of God Who had come to take away the sin of the world.”


  1. Jesus and the Last Supper (v. 14-23)

This was the last Passover He would share with the twelve on this side of eternity.  He used the occasion to institute a new “feast.”  It was the first New Testament ordinance to be celebrated by His Church.  It was, and is, a memorial to His sacrifice.  The disciples could not have known the full significance of what Jesus was doing.  They still looked forward to the cross.  We look back on His finished sacrifice.

We are not told how often to observe the Supper.  But we are told the purpose is to remember of His sacrifice.  The broken body and the shed blood must never be forgotten.  We need to be reminded of the wonderment of God’s love that drove Jesus to the cross.

The late Dottie Rambo wrote:

Lest I forget Gethsemane,

Lest I forget Your agony,

Lest I forget Your love for me,

Lead me to Calvary!


  1. Greatness (v. 24-30)

The disciples were playing “little boy’s games.”  They argued over which one of them was the greatest.  In their midst was the greatest person of all history.  They had followed Him for three years.  They had seen the miracles and heard His words.  They had left everything behind to be His disciple.  Yet, hours from His sacrifice they had failed to learn that the Greatest among them was also the greatest servant Who ever lived.

In spite of their immature understanding, Jesus made them a wonderful promise.  “Since you have continued with Me through My trials, you will eat and drink at my table in the Kingdom.  You will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”  Revelation 21:14 says their names will be on the twelve foundations of the city of New Jerusalem.


5. Peter’s Denial Predicted (v. 31-34)

We have seen the prediction of Peter’s denial in Matthew and Mark.  “Before the rooster crows tomorrow, you will deny me three times.”  But Luke gives more insight on what was truly happening.  It is unique to his biography of Jesus.

Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Simon, Simon!  Satan desires to have you that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”   This is both an encouragement and a warning.

1) Satan had asked permission to test Peter’s faith.  This is similar to the Devil’s attack on Job.  A comforting thought here is that Satan cannot do anything to us without asking permission.  God is always in control.

2) Jesus revealed that Satan’s purpose was to break Peter’s faith.  The “sifting” was to show that Peter was be a fraud.  As the wheat is sifted to separate the grain from the chaff, Satan was determined to show there was no substance to Peter.  But there was one problem.

3) Jesus was interceding for Peter.  “I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail.”  This was a preview of the intercessory work of Jesus as our Great High Priest Who constantly prays for us.  He is our Advocate (I John 2:1).  He is our Mediator (I Timothy 2:5).  He is our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).  He is our Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25).

The prayers of Jesus give us great confidence for our Christian life and our daily walk.

4) Jesus gave Peter a glimpse of the other side of the “sifting.”  He said, “When you have returned to me…”  Peter will deny His master.  But Peter will return and his faith will be greater than ever.

5) When you do return, and Jesus declared that he would, use your experience to strengthen your brothers.  There is never a wasted lesson.  Use what you learn, even the negative things, to help others.


  1. Supplies (v. 35-38)

This is an unusual paragraph.  When Jesus sent the twelve out two by two to evangelize the surrounding cities in Galilee, He told them to make no provision for the flesh.  Jesus asked them, “Did you lack for anything?”  They said, “No! Nothing!”

He told them that this would be different.  “If you have money, take it with you.  If you have a knapsack, take it along.  And you may need a sword.”

The disciples responded, “We have two swords.”  There has been great misunderstanding concerning this statement.  While Jesus was warning them to be prepared for anything, He was not advocating violence.  If you doubt that, remember that when they came to arrest Jesus, He told Peter to put up his sword.  “All who use the sword will perish by the sword.”

When Jesus said, “It is enough,” He was saying, “Enough of this talk.”  He was ending the conversation.  What could two swords have done against the mob that came to arrest Jesus.  Do not use this verse to advocate violence as a Christian.  Remember that Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this earth.  If it were, my disciples would fight.”

We do not fight against “flesh and blood.”  We are in a spiritual battle and our weapons are more powerful than sword or gun.  Our sword is the Word of God.  Our spear is prayer.  Our shield is the Holy Spirit.  Our strategy is faith.  “If Christ be for us, then who can stand against us?”


  1. In the Garden (v. 39-46)

Luke adds some unique information to the garden of Gethsemane scene.  He told us that Jesus agonized to the point that great drops of sweat, like blood, appeared on His forehead and fell to the ground.  He literally sweat blood for us.  Luke also told us that an angel from heaven appeared to comfort and strengthen Him.  Jesus was never in danger.  In Isaiah 37, one angel killed 185,00 Syrian soldiers.  Jesus could have called ten legions of angels to liberate Him is He had so chosen.  No one took Jesus’ life.  He laid it down for us.


  1. Betrayed and Arrested (v. 47-53)

Part of the strategy in the conspiracy to murder Jesus was for Judas to get Him away from the multitude so they could arrest Him.  This helps us to understand why Jesus said, “You could have arrested me any day in broad daylight when I was teaching in the Temple.  But you have treated me like a thief and come at night with swords and clubs.”  But it was time and the power of darkness had come upon Him.


  1. Peter’s Denial (v. 54-62)

In the story of Peter’s denial we have a striking detail unmentioned by other Gospel writers.  When Peter denied Jesus the third time, the rooster crowed.  At that moment, Peter was close enough to Jesus that the Lord turned and looked at him face to face.  Their eyes made contact and Peter remembered the words of Jesus.  He was caught in his denial and went out and wept bitterly.


  1. Jesus Abused (v. 63-65)

The abuse Jesus suffered at the hands of the soldiers was unimaginable.  They beat Him and they blasphemed Him.  His only crime was that He loved even those who killed Him.


  1. Jesus before the Sanhedrin (v. 66-71)

Jesus admitted He was the Son of God.  That was all the ammunition the council needed to call for His execution.  Before Pilate they accused Him and said, “We have a law and according to our Law, this man must die because He made Himself to be God.”  But Jesus only told the truth.  And for that truth, they killed Him.


We have reached the end of another week.  Make plans for worshipping Him in your church this Sunday!


Love you all,






Day Sixty-Five Luke Twenty-One

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          Jesus was always focused on the task at hand.  He stayed on point every step of the way.  In John 4 He was traveling back to Galilee after spending time in Judea.  John said in verse four, “He must needs go through Samaria.”  John could have been saying, “Headed north from the south it was necessary that we traveled through Samaria.”  But the Jews always avoided going through Samaria because they wanted nothing to do with the Samaritans. 

          They would even go out of the way, crossing to the east side of the Jordan river to make their way to Galilee and crossing the river again once they were north of Samaria.  But Jesus had a mission in Samaria.  There was a meeting He had to keep with a woman by a well in Sychar.  It would wake up the entire city to Who He was and lay the groundwork for the evangelism of the Samaritans in Acts 8.

          For some time, Jesus had been preparing His disciples for His coming sacrifice.  At least three times, and probably more, He told them they were going to Jerusalem and there He would be crucified, but He would rise from the dead on the third day.

          The Triumphal entry is now past.  He had been in Jerusalem for a few days. The cross was only hours ahead.  He looked beyond the cross and the tomb to prepare the twelve for life without Him.  He looked to the future, the end of the age and His second coming.  He wanted them to stay focused and not get lost in what seemed a disappointment to them.  They wanted the Kingdom then.  They wanted the Romans expelled.  But His kingdom was a different kind of kingdom.  Jesus explained a broader plan for the world and for evangelism.  That physical, eternal Kingdom would come eventually, but not then.

          Don’t lose focus with what might seem as a delay in the Kingdom.  God has a plan and when the time determined by the Father comes, He also will come and fulfill all He promised.  Sometimes the journey may seem hard, but the destination will be worth it all.



1. The Widow’s Mites (v. 1-4)

          She only had two mites.  To those who gathered around the treasury to watch what others gave, her gift was small and insignificant.  Some even sneered that she would even bother.  But it was everything she had.  It was a complete sacrifice.  She might go hungry that day but her love for God was more than concern for her own physical needs.

          What seemed insignificant that day was noticed by the Son of God and He chose to draw attention to her gift.  “Many have given out of their abundance but this poor widow has given out of her poverty.” She did all she could do.

          We have a God Who notices when sparrows fall.  He sees the cup of cold water given in His name and promises to reward the giver.  And He memorialized the gift of an impoverished widow to encourage all generations to follow and understand that it is not the size of the gift but the sacrifice of the heart that matters most.



2. The Destruction of the Temple Predicted (v. 5, 6)

          Matthew and Mark recorded the same prophecy of the destruction of Temple.  Luke probably saw this prophecy fulfilled in 70 AD when Titus and his Roman legion besieged the city and destroyed the Temple, the most visible symbol of Israel’s national pride and religious heritage.


3. The Signs of the End (v. 7—19)

          The time of the end, here referring to the return of Christ after the Tribulation, will be a time of war, persecution, and terrible suffering.  Similar descriptions are given in the book of Revelation.


4. The Destruction of Jerusalem (v. 20-24)

          Verse 22 speaks of the “days of vengeance.”  This speaks of the judgment on the city of Jerusalem itself.  Earlier Jesus spoke of the Temple being destroyed but now judgment comes on the entire city.  They ignored His Word and rejected the Messiah.  The people will fall by the edge of the sword and the survivors would be taken as slaves and exiled from their home.

          The time of the Gentiles is from the fall of Jerusalem until the end of the Tribulation and the second coming of Christ.


5. The Coming of the Son of Man (v. 25-28)

          Jesus spoke to the disciples as if He might return in their lifetime.  He has delayed His coming almost two thousand years.  Jesus said that even the heavens would be shaken.  But then, the same Jesus Who made all these predictions will come.  “Then lift up of your heads, your redemption draws near.”



6. The Parable of the Fig Tree (v. 29-33)

          The restoration of the nation of Israel in 1948 is thought by most, conservative commentators, to be the fulfillment of the parable of the fig tree.  Too often we get hung up on dating the return when that is in God’s hands.  But know that the return of Jews to Israel is a sure sign that His coming is at hand.



7. Don’t be Distracted (v. 34-38)

          In the midst of sorrow, Jesus comforted and encouraged.  He told them that all of these things would come to pass.  But do not be distracted.  Watch and be vigilant or the Day of destruction and judgment would come them unexpectedly.

1) Don’t be discouraged.  Don’t let our heart be “weighed down.”  This is not a depressing thing.  It is a cause to rejoice.  Jesus will come and keep His promise.

2) Don’t be tempted to waste your time and testimony in worldly things like drunkenness and immorality.

3) Don’t be led astray by negative circumstances and situations.  They are only temporary.  Such things destroy our effectiveness and hinder our spiritual fruitfulness.

4) Watch and pray always.  Stand firm in and for Christ that you may be able to stand in His presence as a good and faithful servant.


          The day had ended.  He had taught them in the Temple in the day time.  Then he retired to spend the night on the Mount of Olives.  Early the next day it started again.  He was in the temple teaching.  Before the day would end, He would be arrested.  His time had come.


God bless you all!



Day Sixty-Four Luke Twenty

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          The common man is always the one who first understands a new thing.  The academics and the theologians never understood Who Jesus was. They were too busy protecting their territory.  What right did this backwater rabbi from Nazareth have to question the status quo of the scribes and Pharisees.  What great teacher mentored Him?  What university did He attend?  Where did He get His authority?

          It is always the man on the street who “gets it” first.  The elitists have their heads in the clouds and think they are superior to the common citizen.  They think they are smarter than everyone else and have a better understanding of society and what it needs.

          When Jesus peached His great sermon on the mount, the crowds were mesmerized.  He questioned the interpretations of the Law taught by the scribes and Pharisees.  He declared the true meaning of the Law.  He taught people to get alone with God and develop a personal relationship with their Creator.  He declared the need to forgive and incredibly, to love your enemy.

          When He was finished, the multitude was amazed at His teaching because He taught with authority and not like the Pharisees (Matthew 7:28,29).  The Pharisees heard them and knew they were losing their grip on the people.  It only got worse. 

          The Pharisees and the scribes never understood that their mission to discredit Jesus was hopeless.  Yes, they were successful in their conspiracy to have Him judicially murdered.  But they could not limit His influence.  Two millennia later it would be impossible to properly access how much good has been done in His name.  The principles He taught have influenced the world.  Where Christian ideals are the norm, there is civilization and advancement.  Where those beliefs have been lacking, there is cruelty and chaos.

          Before He ascended to the right hand of the Father, He appeared to His disciples and declared that He had all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18).  He is the authority. He is the eternal Son of God. Then He commissioned His disciples to take the Gospel message to all the world.

          You can either question His authority or you can accept it.  Take a lesson from the Pharisees.  They denied His authority and perished.  The leadership of those religious elitists brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and the loss of the nation for over nineteen hundred years.

          Jesus will return again and claim the world as His own.  Then, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (and the Authority) to the glory of the Father. 


1. Questioning Jesus Authority (v. 1-8)

          Remember it was Passion Week.  Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple.  The chief priests and scribes with the elders (the Sanhedrin) confronted Him and asked Him what authority He had to do what He was doing.  What are they talking about?  What doctrinal error is He teaching?  What illegal money-making scheme is He promoting?  What immoral act is He committing?  Or are they asking Him by what authority does He make blind eyes see, or lame limbs strong, or cast out demons? 

          Jesus answered their question with a question concerning John the Baptist.  They would not answer why they had ignored John’s authority.  Jesus ignored their question. They would not have understood His authority.  They never did.


2. The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers (v. 9-19)

          This parable follows Jesus’ confrontation with the Pharisees concerning His authority.  It was meant to demonstrate the evil of their attitude in rejecting Jesus as Messiah.  They knew He spoke against them.  They would have taken Him that very hour but they feared the people.  The common people accepted Him as a prophet.  But the religious “authority” and the intellectuals rejected Him.


3. Paying Taxes to Caesar (v. 20-26)

          The best way to silence ignorance is truth.  The Pharisees sent spies to watch Him and find a reason to deliver Him to the governor.  They asked Him, “What about paying taxes to our enemy, Caesar?  His answer was brilliant.  “Whose image is on the coin?”  They acknowledged it was Caesar’s image.  He answered, “Give to Caesar what is rightfully his.  Give to God what belongs to Him.” 

          They marveled at His answer.  They kept silent.  He told them the truth!


4. The Sadducees and the Resurrection (v. 27-40)

          We have said before that the Sadducees were the “liberal theologians” of the day.  They were more intellectuals and profiteers than anything.  They had made friends with Rome to advance their position and protect their wealth.  They saw Jesus as a threat, not theologically or spiritually but politically.  Jesus was making waves and they wanted to protect their relationship with Rome.

          They tried to use a ridiculous riddle to trap Him concerning His teaching on the resurrection.  But He stopped them in their tracks. 

          In Luke’s version of the story there is a slight addition that deserves attention.  In verse thirty-six Jesus said those who are part of the resurrection of the righteous dead can never die anymore.  The resurrection means the death of death.  In I Corinthians 15:56, Paul writes as if the resurrected are taunting the grave with the words, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”


5. How did David call Jesus Lord (v. 41-44)

          How can King David, who lived almost a thousand years before Jesus, call Jesus his Lord?  The answer is in the preexistence and the eternality of Jesus.  The man Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem.  He never existed as a human being until then.  But the divine Son of God existed before the manger and in eternity past.

          The Word (God the Son) was made flesh (Jesus of Nazareth) and we beheld His glory.  It was the glory of the only begotten Son of God come in the flesh and full of grace and truth (John 1:14 paraphrase).


6. The Hypocrisy of the Scribes (v. 45-47)

          The scribes, the Ph.D.’s in the Law of Moses, loved their pomp and circumstance in front of the crowds.  But in their private lives they were frauds and cheats, mistreating the most vulnerable of their society.  Jesus knew them for what they really were.  They seized the homes of widows while pretending to be righteous.  Jesus exposed them as the hypocrites they were.  They will receive the worst condemnation of all.


Be real!  Jesus sees behind the masks.  Let your light shine for Him.


Love to all!




Day Sixty-Three Luke Nineteen

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Imagine God weeping. We Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem later in chapter nineteen. In John 11:35, at the tomb His friend, Lazarus, John simply recorded, “Jesus wept.” In older versions references to Jesus weeping were removed because translators feared the tears of Jesus made Him appear weak and possibly uninformed. Others suggested if Jesus were perfect in His knowledge (omnipotent) He would not weep because He would understand the final outcome would be for man’s good and God’s glory.

Jesus is our High Priest and He understands our pain because He experienced all the frailties of our flesh, yet without sin. So, in order to understand our tears, He would have to experience them first hand. The tears of Jesus, once again, confirm His humanity.

In Psalm 65:8 (NLT) David wrote, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” David is saying, “God, you have kept track of my tears. You know my pain.”

In ancient times lachrymatories, or tear bottles, were used to catch tears and send them to a friend who had suffered loss. In was saying, “I am grieving along with you. Here are my tears.” It was an act of compassion and love.

Often, tear bottles were entombed with a friend or loved one, symbolizing support for the family in their time of loss. The practice carried over into Roman culture and even into the time of Queen Victoria.

God has given us tears as an expression of our feelings. They are a release of emotion and can express either sorrow or joy.

British Hymn writer and Poet James Montgomery wrote, “Beyond this vale of tears there is a life above.” He spoke of heaven and a place of no more tears. One day we will claim the promise of Revelation 21:4, “ And God will wipe away every tear from our eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”


  1. Zacchaeus (v. 1-10)

As a child in Sunday School we sang, “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he…” The chorus went on to describe the story we have before us. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem and near the end of the journey passed through Jericho. Jericho is where the story takes place. Here is what we know about Zaccheaus.

1) He was the chief tax collector of Jericho and he was rich. He had acquired his wealth by cheating his fellow citizens by collecting more taxes than the Roman government required.

2) As Jesus passed through Jericho, Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. Obviously, Zacchaeus had heard about the miracles and the marvelous things Jesus said.

3) A great crowd surrounded Jesus and Zacchaeus was very short. So, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a better view.

4) When Jesus came to the tree, He looked up and saw Zacchaeus. Jesus spoke to him and said, “Get down from that tree for I am going to dine with you today.”

5) Zacchaeus was known to cheat others and those who heard Jesus speak were displeased. “They complained, “He has gone to a house of a sinner.” We have heard this before.

6) We are not told the details of the conversation but we are told the result. Zacchaeus repented and swore he would make restitution for his ill-gotten gain. “I will give half of what I have to the poor and anyone I have extorted, I will reimburse them four times what I have stolen.”

7) Zacchaeus was a new man. Jesus explained, “Today, salvation has come to your house.” Turning over a new leaf did not save him. He was saved, believing in Jesus, and then turned over a new leaf. He is an illustration of II Corinthians 5:17, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.”

8) Jesus then turned to His critics and said, “The Son of man has come to seek and save the lost.” Here is a lesson for believers. You can’t bring the lost to Jesus unless you reach out to non-Christians.


  1. Parable of the Ten Minas (v. 11-27)

“A mina was a Greek monetary unit worth one hundred denarii or about four months’ wages for an average worker. We are dealing with a lot of money here. A nobleman was going into a far country to receive a kingdom. He called his ten servants in and gave them each ten minas, or the equivalent of over eight years wages. They were charged to faithfully do business for their master until He returned. We have seen this illustration of faithfulness in both Matthew and Mark. But here another element is added.            The citizens of the kingdom sent word to the nobleman that they would not have him to rule over them. This is a reference to Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah and rejection of the Kingdom He offered.            But the nobleman returned anyway, having received the Kingdom. He then made His servants accountable to Him for the stewardship of His goods.            Jesus will return and establish His Kingdom. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess He is Lord! When He returns we will be held accountable for the lives we have lived for Him. We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10). When He comes, will He find us faithful?


  1. The Triumphal Entry (v. 28-40)

The Triumphal entry occurred one week before the resurrection of Jesus. The rest of the events in Luke’s gospel happen in the last week of Jesus public ministry. The account by Luke is identical to the details of Matthew and Mark.


  1. Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem (v. 41-44)

As He drew near, He saw the city and began to weep. He knew the destruction of Jerusalem was inevitable. It would happen almost four decades later but their doom was certain. “Not one stone will be left on another. You and your children shall suffer because you have known the time of your visitation.”

They proclaimed Him as King when he entered the city. But within the week, they crucified Messiah and rejected the Kingdom that was meant for them. They were so close to receiving the promise. So close, but lost.


  1. The Second Cleansing of the Temple (v. 45-48)

This is the second cleansing of the Temple. The first is described in John 2:11,12, just after the first miracle when Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding of Cana. The second cleansing occurred just after the triumphal entry during Passion Week.

The first cleansing was at the beginning of His ministry and the other at the end of His ministry. Both times it was for the same reason. They had prostituted the their worship for profit. They turned the Temple into a business instead of using it as a house of prayer. There is no doubt the priests were got their share of the profits. Instead of interceding on behalf of the people to God, they were using them as a means of acquiring wealth.

Mark 8:36 – “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”


Be safe! Speak to someone about Jesus today!


Love to all,



Day Sixty-Two Luke Eighteen

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          “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”  It was hard to find faith among the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.  That’s where it should have been the most obvious.  But among the religious elite of Israel, the Sanhedrin, there were only two reported believers, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.  Both of them kept a low profile for fear of backlash from their fellow leaders who not only rejected Jesus, but also sought His execution.

          Why should we fear losing our faith, – the Faith?  In the first century of the church Jude wrote in his small epistle encouraging believers to “earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 1:3).  He warned that unscrupulous men had wormed their way into the church teaching them that God’s grace allowed them to live immoral lives. 

          Other things hinder the faith.  More than anything else, the lack of practicing godly disciplines and using spiritual resources weaken the faith.  Failure to read and study God’s Word leaves us open to error.  We cannot defend the faith if we are not knowledgeable in the Scriptures.  The Psalmist said, “I have hide God’s Word in my heart that I might not sin against Him” (Psalm 119:11 paraphrase).

          In order to maintain our faith, we must pray.  Prayer is more than “asking and receiving.”  It is intimacy with God.  We enter into His throne room with our petitions and praise and leave empowered with direction and purpose.

          Perhaps the most neglected resource we have to enforce our faith is the Holy Spirit.  He is our Teacher, our Comforter and our Helper.  He convicts us of sin when we stray and leads us back to the path of righteousness.  We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit to accomplish God’s will for our lives.

          As a lateral support to our faith, God has given us the church.  Encouragement from other believers strengthens our faith.  It assures us that we are not alone in our struggle to defend the faith and to keep the faith in our hearts and allow it to direct our lives.

          There has never been a time when we are in more danger of losing our faith.  The danger is not in persecution.  Persecution strengthens faith and galvanizes our resolve as Christians.  The real danger is apathy and indifference.  If we are not contending for our faith, we are spiritually stagnant, or worse, in spiritual decline.

          So, Jesus question remains.  “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”  Time will tell.


1.Persistence breaks down Resistance (v. 1-8)

          The key to this paragraph is persistence.  Jesus said, “Men ought to always pray and not lose heart.”  It is the same idea expressed in Matthew 7:7 to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking.  Never give up on prayer. 

          He gives the example of the widow who sought justice from her enemy.  It was through her persistent nagging of the judge that brought success.  Jesus said “God will avenge His chosen who cry out to him day and night.”  Never give up on prayer.  Never stop praying!


2. The Pharisee and the Publican (v.9-15)

          This is one of Jesus’ best-known parables.  Jesus tells of two men, a Pharisee and a Publican, who went up to the temple to pray.  Their approach to God was very different.

1) The Pharisee told God what he wasn’t. “I’m not like other men.  I’m not an extortioner, an adulterer, a sinner and especially, I’m like that the publican.”  Then he told God what he did.  “I fast and I tithe.”  He was saying, “God, you are fortunate to have me!”  God was not impressed.

2) The tax collector would not even raise his eyes to God but humbly prayed, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.”

          Jesus said it was the tax collector, and not the Pharisee, who left the temple right with God.  If we exalt ourselves we will be humbled.  If we humble ourselves to God, He will exalt us.


3. Let the Children come to Me (v. 15-17)

          The disciples thought Jesus was too busy to be troubled with children.  Jesus told them they were wrong.  “Let the children come to me for they are welcome in the Kingdom of God.”  If you do not come to God like a child, trusting and believing, you can’t be a part of God’s kingdom.

4 The Rich Young Ruler (v. 18-23)

          We have seen this young man in both Matthew and Mark.  There was something he got right.  He came to Jesus with his question. If you have a question, there is no better place to go than to Jesus.

          There is something he got incredibly wrong.  He thought there was a good thing he could do to inherit eternal life.  “Tell me what I can do and I will do it.”  But salvation does not come by good works.  He was like the Pharisee that thought he was good.  Jesus emphasized that only God is good.  The rest of us come short of His goodness.

          The young man chose his possessions and his goodness over eternal life.  What a terrible choice.


5. Who the can be Saved? (v. 24-34)

          The rich young man is an example of those who think they can buy their way to heaven, either through possessions or good works.  When Jesus saw the young man leave, He was very sorrowful.  Many who trust their wealth think that, in the end, it will work out for them because they are wealthy.  Peter wrote, “We are not redeemed with silver or gold.”  God doesn’t need anyone’s money.

          It is difficult for wealthy people to come to faith because they don’t see their need.  They think their money solves all their problems.  Regardless of anyone’s economic state in life, we are all sinners and have the same need for salvation.


6. Jesus predicts His death and Resurrection a third time (v. 31-34)

          The disciples were in denial.  They were not listening.  They had their own concept of the Kingdom.  Jesus, they thought, was going to free them from the Romans.

          Jesus, once again, told them in clear and certain terms, “We are headed for Jerusalem.  They will torture and murder me but on the third day I will rise again!”


7. A Blind Man healed (v. 35-43)

          What does a blind man know?  He knows only what others tell him.  As Jesus’ party passed by Jericho, a blind man asked the question, “What does this multitude mean?”  And someone told him, “Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth is passing by.”  Immediately he began to cry out, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”

          The term, “Son of David” is a messianic title.  The blind man was declaring his faith that Jesus was the Messiah.  The crowd tried to silence him but the blind man would not be quiet and continued to cry out.  Jesus called for the man and asked him, “What do you want me to do?’

          “Restore my sight,” the blind man pleaded.  “Your faith has made you whole,” replied Jesus.  And immediately he could see.  Those who witnessed it all praised God.

          There are many spiritually blind people who do not know Jesus.  They will never know Him unless we tell them Who He is.


Hope you have a great start to the week!


Love to all!




Day Sixty-One Luke Seventeen

By | 89 Day Gospel Challenge, Uncategorized | No Comments



          Speaking on the night of His arrest, Jesus told the disciples, “I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:2,3 NLT).  Jesus spoke of His death, His resurrection and His return to earth.  When He ascended to heaven, the disciples strained their necks upward for one final look. Suddenly, two white robed men stood among them and told them, “This same Jesus will come again in the same manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10,11 NLT).

          Titus 2:13 speaks of the “blessed hope” when Jesus shall appear and claim what is rightfully His.  When He comes in the Rapture (I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:113-18) He claims His church.  When He comes in the Revelation at the end of the Tribulation (Matthew 24 and 25; Revelation 19:11-16), He claims everything. 

          For years wooden crosses covered the south with the message, “Jesus is coming soon.”  The idea of “soon” is a relative term.  To us, it may seem like a long time and we might wonder when He shall return.  It is our hope and we speculate when it might happen.  To God, time is insignificant.  A Day with Him is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (Psalm 90:4; II Peter 3:8).  To God it has been a couple of days.

          Most of those old wooden crosses are gone now but the message is the same.  But the important part of the message is not when He will come but that He is coming back.  Be ready!


1. Forgiving (v. 1-4)

          It is inevitable that at times we will offend someone.  It is just as inevitable that we will offended.  We are not talking about the thin-skinned environment of a “politically correct” society when people are just waiting for a reason to be offended.  Jesus is speaking of real offenses where people are hurt, even worse, they are led astray from the Gospel.

          At times the Gospel itself may offend.  Romans 6:33 says, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will be put to shame.”  If truth offends, then so be it.  Truth, such as all men and women are sinners and in need of salvation.  That truth wakes people up to their lost condition and that offense is a good thing.  But if I am being offensive in my presentation of truth by being unkind or overbearing, then I must make amends for my offensiveness.  People, despite their need, cannot be forced into the kingdom.

          But there another offense.  It is the offense of leading people astray.  They do that by preaching a corrupted form of the Gospel such as salvation by good works or teaching that there is another way to be saved other than faith in Christ.   Offense such as these must be confronted and rebuked.

          Jesus brings scathing accusation against such a person.  He said that person should be cast into the sea with a millstone hung around his neck and drowned rather than offend a “little one” putting them in danger of damnation.  The “little one” is not a child.  It is a sinner who is precious to Christ.  Jesus demonstrated His love to us even before we were saved (Romans 6:8)

          He then instructed how to deal with the offender.  Do not ignore it!  Confront the offender.  If he repents, then forgive him.  Even if he offends seven times in a day, forgive him. The assumption is that we are to forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us.


2. Increase Our Faith (v. 5-10)

          The twelve said to Jesus, “Increase our faith.”  It was a sincere request.  It is a prayer all of us should pray.  Faith is central to our Christian life.  We are saved by faith and we also live by faith.

          Jesus response was, “The faith of a mustard seed can uproot a mulberry tree and cast it into the sea.  The power of faith is not in us but in the One we trust with everything, our life and our eternity.

          Jesus then spoke about service.  This is a natural progression since service should follow faith.  Or, we might say, faith empowers our service. 

          Then Jesus taught the disciples about duty.  We have a duty for Christ.  We are to be His witnesses and to tell everyone about Him. We have a duty to live a holy life, separate from the lusts of this world.  And we have a duty to love one another.  That’s what Christians do.

          In telling the story of the servant and his master, Jesus emphasized that God is in control.  We are His servants.  We do not get commended just for doing our job.  If we do what we ought to do doesn’t mean we should get an “Atta boy.”  Too many believers are looking for their reward in this life.  The “Well done good and faithful servant” will come when we stand before our Lord.  Until then, do your duty!


3. Ten Lepers Healed (v. 11-19)

          Ingratitude is a terrible sin.  Eighteenth century theologian, Immanuel Kant, noted, “Ingratitude is the essence of vileness.”  The late Dr. Billy Graham said, “A spirit of thankfulness is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord. Thank God in the midst of trials and every persecution.”

          As Jesus and the twelve were passing through Samaria, they encountered ten lepers.  The men stood far off, as the law required them to do, and cried out to Jesus, “Master, have mercy on us.”  Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priest.”  They knew what that meant because if a leper was healed the first thing he must do was go to the priest to verify healing.  As they headed off to do what Jesus told them to do, one of the lepers noticed he had been healed.

          The leper turned around and returned to Jesus and fell down at His feet and glorified God.  Ten were healed and only one returned to give thanks.  Jesus noticed that the man was a Samaritan.  This means the other nine were Jews.  The Lord then asked, “Were there not ten cleansed?  Where are the nine?  Only this foreigner, the Samaritan, returned to give thanks.”  Jesus turned to the man and said, “Your faith has made you whole.”

          We should never forget to thank God for His blessings.  In I Thessalonians 5:18 Paul wrote, “Give thanks in everything.  For this is God’s will for all who belong to Christ.”


4. The Coming Kingdom (v. 20-37)

          Jesus and the Pharisees were talking about two different Kingdoms.  The Pharisees had heard all the rumors about Jesus being the Messiah.  They were looking for someone like King David, a warrior, who would reestablish Israel’s glory and run the Romans out of Palestine.  They sarcastically asked Jesus when the Kingdom would come.  They were saying, “If you are the Messiah, then where is your kingdom?  Put up or shut up.”

          Jesus told them that you can’t identify the Kingdom by physical means.   “The Kingdom of God is within you.”  This could have meant, “The Kingdom of God is a spiritual one.”  Jesus told Pilate that His Kingdom was not of this world because if it were, His followers would fight.  Or it could have meant that the Kingdom is among you even now because the King is with you today.  Jesus it the King.

          Jesus told the Pharisees that one day they would look for the Son of man and would not find Him due to their rejection of His Kingdom.  But there was coming a day when they would see His Kingdom obviously.  Jesus spoke of the future when He said, “As the lightning flashes out of part of the heaven and streaks across the sky” that His Kingdom would one day be obvious to all.  He gave two examples to describe the environment and time when the King would claim His Kingdom.

1) In the days of Noah, they were going about business as usual, even up to the day that Noah entered the ark.  Then suddenly, the flood came and took them all away.  They had a hundred and twenty years to prepare.  But they refused the message of that ancient preacher and all but six souls perished.

2) In the time of Lot and his wife, as they chose to live in wicked Sodom and everyone was carrying on as usual.  It was just another day in that evil city. But judgment came upon them and they were all destroyed when fire and brimstone rained from heaven.

          That’s what it will be like when the Son of man comes.  People will be oblivious, going about their daily lives, living in sin and denying God.  Sounds like today.  At a time, you think not, the Son of man, Jesus, will return.

          There is disagreement whether this passage refers to the Rapture or the Revelation of Jesus when He returns to claim His throne.  Though there is a lot here that can apply to the Rapture, Jesus does not claim His Kingdom at the Rapture.  He appears in the clouds and calls His people, the church, up to be with Him.

          Also remember that Jesus is speaking to a Jewish audience that had no concept of the church.  So, I conclude this speaks of the time, mentioned in Revelation nineteen, when Jesus comes as King of kings and Lord of Lords to vanquish the Gentiles world powers and claim His throne. 

          The last phrase of the chapter Jesus said, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered.”  Commentator William Barclay said this was a quote of a well-known Jewish proverb. When applied it means “God will bring Jesus Christ again in his good time. We cannot know that time; we dare not speculate about it. We must live so that whenever he comes, at morning, at midday or at evening, he will find us ready.”


Sorry for the late post. Sometimes Sundays are hard.


Love to all!