What I Believe
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Conscience is something, in a sense, apart from man. It has been put in him by God; it is a reminder of the voice of God within him, an inward monitor, and a man cannot really manipulate his conscience. He can go against it, but that is not manipulating it. It is possible, as this Apostle says again in writing to Timothy, for the conscience to be seared “with a hot iron”. But nevertheless it is true to say that the conscience is an independent witness.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (God’s Sovereign Purpose)

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Saturday
May162009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 21

Luke 21

21:1Jesuslooked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Those copper coins had the lowest value of any coins at the time. The Greek word translated ‘poor’ means ‘very poor, or poorest.’ These coins truly were all she had to live on. In a way, any contribution we make is out of the abundance of what God has blessed us with, but God looks at the heart. This woman gave out of her poverty (sacrificially). She gave in faith, knowing that God was trustworthy and would care for her.

Also, notice that Jesus knew the details of her situation and that of every other person who was putting their gifts into the offering box. All through the Gospel of Luke we have seen that Jesus knows the hearts of all people.

Chapter 21 begins the prophetic section of Luke’s Gospel. Jesus is asked, “When shall these things be and what will be the sign.” They are asking about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, which happened in 70 AD. Jesus’ answer encompasses both the destruction in 70 AD as well as the final judgment over the whole world. There are many opposing opinions about how this will finally play out, but for our study, we will concentrate on Jesus’ positive statements about how we are to watch, and wait, and live, and testify and trust. Keep in mind that every generation has thought that they were living in the end times. The Bible tells us that we will not know the day, but we are to expect Christ’s return and we are to be ready.

5And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, 6“As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 7And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” 8And he said, See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. 9And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. 13This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16You will be delivered up even by parents and brothersand relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17You will be hated by all for my name's sake. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Re: verse 18: The previous verses show that this promise is spiritual. The destruction of a believer’s body could not take away his eternal life

Re: verse 19: The Christian's battle is won by endurance and not by violence; we are called to patiently endure. Christ will preserve us; we don’t need to do that for ourselves.

20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Changes in the celestial bodies will cause the tides to change. It will be a fearful time. Everyone alive at the time will see and know.

29And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Discuss dual nature of “this generation.” (the generation at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the later generation at the time of the final judgment and return of Christ. Those without Christ will be terrorized, but those who know Christ will have confidence that their salvation is at hand.

34“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Only Christ’s own people can ever hope to stand in his presence. We stand in his righteousness, not our own.

37And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

Jesus continued to teach daily in the temple and no one stopped him. He slept at the Mount of Olives, where this discourse was preached, but returned to the temple early in the morning and the people were there, ready to hear him.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 20

Luke 20

20:1One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” 3He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, 4was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” 5And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Vs. 1 Jesus was teaching in the temple and preaching the gospel. What is the gospel? The chief priests, scribes, and leaders of the people were there, listening, and they were not happy. They asked him “by whose authority do you do these things?” At least some of the things they were talking about were driving the merchants out of the temple, and calling the temple “My house.” We learned at the end of chapter 19 that from that point on, the priests, scribes and leaders sought to destroy him. The fact that all these different men were working together to confront him indicates that this may have been a delegation from the Sanhedrin. They wanted to know who gave him the authority to do it. Jesus did not answer their question directly, but he did answer it—with a question of his own: was John’s baptism from heaven or from men? These men were not concerned with the truth; they were trying to figure out how to answer the question in such a way that they got Jesus into trouble instead of themselves! They reasoned among themselves and knew that they could not answer his question without consequences, so they didn’t answer him at all. Jesus refuses to answer their question. (Matthew 7:6: “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.)

9And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10When the time came, he sent a servantto the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

In this parable, who do you think the man is who planted the vineyard and went into another country for a long while? Who did the servants represent? Who does the son represent? Who do the tenants represent? What does the punishment of the tenants represent?

16b When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?

18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

What was the reaction of the chief priests, scribes and leaders of the people? Do you think they understood what he was indicating by this parable? Jesus looked directly at them. Remember, Jesus knows all men’s hearts. He knows without having to stare at a person and try to figure out their motivations. Looking at them directly means that he held their eyes. The he quoted Psalm 118:22. He was letting them know that he KNEW that they were rejecting him and that it was HE who was the chief cornerstone. (Cornerstone, foundation or top corner, discuss)

Vs. 18. If a person ‘falls’ on Jesus (bows down to him in faith) that person comes to him as a sinner, broken in spirit, broken in heart. We must be ‘broken’ by the knowledge of our sinful condition and come to Christ by faith. In the beatitudes, Jesus said, ‘blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This is the foundation upon which we are saved: 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

If, on the other hand, a person rejects Christ, then the same foundational ‘stone’ that saves the one who has faith, will destroy the one who rejects it. If that stone falls on a person, it will crush or destroy him. In the original language the words translated ‘crush’ means ‘grind to powder.’ The destruction is complete. Jesus is referring to images from Daniel 2: And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It (the stone) shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

19The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.

The scribes and the chief priests understood exactly what Jesus meant! They understood that he meant that THEY were ‘sought to kill him that very hour.’ They didn’t, though, for two reasons. One, they were afraid of the people. They knew that the people supported Jesus and accepted his teachings in the temple. (The other reason is that it was not God’s will that he die at their hands in that manner. God had ordained that Jesus die on the cross. All the details of his suffering and death were in God’s hands and nothing could take it out of His control). They feared to destroy him themselves, so they came up with a plan:

20So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.

Catch what they are doing here. They are setting him up, trying to catch him in words so that they would have reason to deliver him to the Roman authorities. And they are trying to do it by sending pretenders into the midst, pretending to be sincere so that he would speak frankly. They come to him with flattery and a loaded question. (explain a loaded question)

21So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. 22Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”

This is a trick question—a ‘no win’ situation. If he says ‘yes,’ then they will say that he is putting Caesar ahead of Moses. If he says ‘no,’ then he would speaking against the Roman authorities and that would give them a reason to turn him in. Jesus was not fooled. He gave them an answer they did not expect:

23But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24“Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar's.” 25He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” 26And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.

The coins of the region were Roman coins and had the image of Caesar stamped on them. Rome did provide some services for the Jews. They were afforded protection and the roads and seas were kept open. Jesus is making a distinction between the worldly and the heavenly, between physical and spiritual. We have duties to earthly rulers and duties owed to God. In this way, he could not be said to be disloyal to either side of the question. They thought they would trip him up; he closed their mouths instead.

27There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,

The Sadducees were a sect that did not believe in a resurrection or anything supernatural, unlike the Pharisees, who did believe in the resurrection. Here is another group that is seeking to destroy Jesus. They, too, think that they have a tricky question that Jesus will not be able to answer:

28and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the manmust take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. 30And the second 31and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. 32Afterward the woman also died. 33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

When a Jewish man died without and heir, his brother would marry the first man’s wife, so that she might have a son and heir to take care of her. Since they did not believe in resurrection, they thought that this story would prove that resurrection didn’t make sense.

34And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sonsof the resurrection. 37But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”

Jesus explains that there is a difference between this life and the resurrection. After the resurrection, believers will have a body like Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:35-58) He also proves that they are wrong to not believe in the resurrection and he uses scriptures to prove it!

39Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40For they no longer dared to ask him any question.

Some of the scribes said that he had ‘spoken well.’ They no longer dared to ask him any questions. (It is interesting to learn that although many scribes and Pharisees came to faith after Christ’s resurrection, nowhere in the Bible is it recorded that any Sadducees ever came to Christ.)

41But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David's son? 42For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
43until I make your enemies your footstool.’

44David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”

Now it’s Jesus’ turn to ask a hard question. How could David call the Messiah ‘Lord?’ Other than Moses, David was the most important person in the Jewish history. Jesus is teaching that not only is the Messiah the Son of David (discuss promised heir to David’s throne) but the Messiah is the Son of God and David’s Lord. He is preeminent over all persons and all times. (Hebrews 1:13 and 3: Therefore, holy brothers,you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God'shouse. 3For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4(For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.)

45And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

All this time Jesus has been interacting with the chief priests, scribes, rulers, Pharisees, and Sadducees. Now he speaks to his disciples ‘in the hearing of all the people’ and warns them to beware of the scribes.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 19

Luke 19

19:1He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Jesus is continuing on his way to Jerusalem. (Lazarus raised in Bethany)

Zaccheus: a Jew. Zaccheus was a common name at that time. He was a chief tax collector. (he had other publicans serving under him) Christ came to save even the chief of publicans.

He was rich. After Jesus had spoken to the rich young ruler, he said that it is hard for rich people to enter heaven. Zaccheus was in the same situation as the publican who stood afar off and prayed, “Have mercy on me, a sinner.” He had given up his place in the community of believers when he became a tax collector. He had given up access to the temple. Zaccheus wanted a mercy seat. He wanted to come back to God. He wanted to see Jesus so he ran ahead and climbed the tree and hid among the branches.

When Jesus came to the tree, he sought out Zacccheus and commanded him to ‘hurry and come down, and invited himself to his house. Zaccheus did not expect this. He just wanted to get a glimpse of Jesus, but Jesus saw him in the tree and he saw his heart. Notice that he called Zaccheus by his name. Jesus knows His own. Zaccheus received him with joy. This represents Zaccheus believing on Jesus.

The gossips in the crowd grumbled. They complained that he was going in to eat with a sinner. They did not realize that they were sinners, too. That is why Jesus came; to seek and save the lost. They did not realize that Zaccheus had changed.

The evidence that he had changed is indicated in his response: he promises to give half his goods to the poor, and repay anyone he had defrauded four times what he had taken. (according to the Mosaic Law Ex 22) By this, he proves a change of heart because there is a change in his behavior (James 2:18) He showed his faith by his works. His resolutions are in line with the second table of the Ten Commandments that we looked at last week; the ones that address man’s relationships with other men.

What is Jesus’ response to Zaccheus’s declaration? He says that salvation has come to Zaccheus’s house. Zaccheus did not think he was earning his salvation through his works. He was responding to the change that had occurred by his belief in Christ.

He that is greedy of gain troubles his own house, and brings a curse upon it (Hab. 2:9), but he that is charitable to the poor does a kindness to his own house, and brings a blessing upon it and salvation to it, temporal at least, Ps. 112:3.

11As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.

Many of his followers, including the disciples, thought he was coming to Jerusalem to set up his kingdom on earth. They thought he was going to rule and reign as King. But he was going to Jerusalem to die; he was going to offer himself up as the final sacrifice for sin. They did not understand.

12He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas,and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

Jesus is the nobleman. He will receive his kingdom from his Father. The first time he came as our Savior; the second time he will come as King and Judge. Every person has been entrusted with blessings and possessions and opportunities. We must all be faithful to what he has entrusted to us. We are stewards and we must be faithful, whether we are given a little or a lot. When he comes, he will reward those who have been faithful and punish those who have not. Those that are faithful in a little shall be entrusted with more.

28And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Matthew and Mark also record Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Jesus Christ was willing to suffer and die for us. (Hebrews 12:2) He went ahead, as if was anxious to arrive and complete his work on our behalf.

Jesus had authority to command the use of the donkey. Some people think that this was a miracle. Other people think that this was prearranged. The important thing to remember is, whether it was a miracle or not, Jesus has authority over all of creation and that includes all our possessions. Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a colt, just as it had been foreseen in the OT. The multitude rejoiced and praised God. They threw their cloaks on the road before him in a demonstration of honor and joy. They praised God for the mighty works they had seen. Jesus had come to Jerusalem from Bethany, the scene of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. (John 12)

Matthew Henry: How they expressed their joy and praise (v. 38): Blessed be the king that cometh in the name of the Lord. Christ is the king; he comes in the name of the Lord, clothed with a divine authority, commissioned from heaven to give law and treat of peace. Blessed be he. Let us praise him, let God prosper him. He is blessed for ever, and we will speak well of him. Peace in heaven. Let the God of heaven send peace and success to his undertaking, and then there will be glory in the highest. It will redound to the glory of the most high God; and the angels, the glorious inhabitants of the upper world, will give him the glory of it. Compare this song of the saints on earth with that of the angels, ch. 2:14. They both agree to give glory to God in the highest. There the praises of both centre; the angels say, On earth peace, rejoicing in the benefit which men on earth have by Christ; the saints say, Peace in heaven, rejoicing in the benefit which the angels have by Christ. Such is the communion we have with the holy angels that, as they rejoice in the peace on earth, so we rejoice in the peace in heaven, the peace God makes in his high places (Job 25:2), and both in Christ, who hath reconciled all things to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Jesus received their praise and would not rebuke them. This angered the Pharisees. He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” This was literally fulfilled when Jesus was dying on the cross. When wicked men abused him and jeered at him and even his own disciples were silent, there was a great earthquake and men were resurrected, giving praise to God.

41And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

As Jesus was coming down from the Mount of Olives, he could see the entire city laid out before him. Why did Jesus weep over the city? Was it because he knew he was going to suffer and die there in just a few days? No, it was because he knew that most of the inhabitants of the city were lost. They did not recognize their messiah. They rejected the Gospel. He was hidden from their eyes. Then he foretold of the destruction of Jerusalem to come. In less than 40 years, his prophecy was fulfilled when Titus destroyed the city in 70 AD.

45And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”

47And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.

Why did Jesus drive out the money changers and merchants? The temple was meant to be a place of prayer, set apart for communion with God.

Jesus taught daily in the temple. There were two different responses to his teaching the chief priests and scribes and ruler sought to destroy him, but the people listened to him eagerly.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 18

Luke 18

Read Matt 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31

18:1And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Vs. 1 Matthew Henry tells us that this parable has its key ‘hanging by the door.’ Jesus tells his disciples exactly what this parable is teaching: That they (and we) should always pray and not lose heart, or become discouraged. At the end of chapter 17, Jesus talked to his disciples about the last days and the fact that he would be coming again. He knew that his disciples would grow weary in waiting for his return and that people would do one of two things: either pray or faint (lose heart). We should always persevere in prayer, but especially we should always persevere in our hope of Christ’s return and have faith that He is coming again.

Vs. 2-5 In this parable, we learn about a judge who feared neither God nor man. It is not a surprise that a man who did not believe in God would care how he treated people. It is bad when anyone mistreats another person, but it’s even worse when it is a judge who is acting in a dismissive manner because he has the added responsibility and obligation to see that justice is served. The woman who was coming to the judge for justice was a widow. It was hard for a widow to get justice if she didn’t have any sons to take care of her and to help her, so it was especially important for the judge to hear her case. In the law of Moses, judges were instructed to take care of widows and children and to defend them against their adversaries. But this judge did not fear God and did not follow his law. He ignored the woman and sent her away. The woman did not give up. She kept coming back. She did not ask for revenge, she just wanted justice. Finally the man tells himself that because she is still bothering him, he will give her justice so that she will go away and leave him along. The Greek words literally means so that she will not give me a black eye. Her constant presence in the court was making him look bad. He finally gave her justice but only to get rid of her. (also, note that Jesus knew what he was thinking in his heart vs.4)

Vs. 6-8 This is a parable of contrast, not comparison. We need to remember that Jesus is not comparing God to the unjust judge, he is contrasting them. He is demonstrating the ways they are different. Jesus is telling them that, unlike the unjust judge, God hears his people (the elect) and he will not delay in answering them. Sometimes it may seem like that to us because we don’t understand all the things that God is accomplishing on our behalf through the waiting, but he always answers us and gives us justice ‘speedily.’ The widow was a stranger to the unjust judge, but God knows us personally. She was trying to get in to see a judge who ignored her, but we are invited to boldly come to God at any time. She came to an unjust man who didn’t care about her or her problems, but we come to our God who is righteous and who understands our circumstances even better than we do! She had no one to come with her and speak for her, but we have Jesus, God’s own Son to speak to the Father in our defense. She could only come to the judge when the courtroom was open for business. We can come to God in prayer any time at all. Her constant presence was upsetting to the unjust judge, but God is pleased when we come to him in prayer.

He finishes by warning that when he returns, there will be few who are watching for him and still have faith that he is coming back. There will be faith on the earth but it will be a weak faith and there will be few who have faith.

9He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

To whom did Jesus direct this parable? He gives us a key to this one, too, in verse 9. Again, this is another parable of contrasts. This time he is comparing the Pharisee with a tax collector. These two men were about as different as two men could be! Both went to the temple to pray, but they went with very different motivations and received very different results.

The Pharisee began by thanking God that he was not like other men and then went on to describe other men as wicked sinners (he even looked around during his prayer and noticed the tax collector!) He made himself look good by telling God about all the bad things he DIDN’T do that other people did do. Then he followed up by giving God example of the Good things he had done. This man had come to the temple to exalt himself before God instead of exalting God.

The tax collector stood far off. He couldn’t come into the temple because when he became a tax collector, he had chosen money over his nation. To chose to work for Rome against his own people meant that he had rejected his nation and his religion. He was no longer a part of the community of faith. But he had repented and desired to come and ask for mercy from God and be forgiven. He humbled himself and would not even raise his eyes to heaven, but kept them downcast because he knew he was unworthy. But he knew that God was a merciful God and had faith that God was able to forgive even the worst of sinners. The Pharisee thought he was doing everything right. He felt like he had earned salvation. The tax collector knew that apart from God’s mercy, he had no hope. He knew that he did not deserve to be forgiven. Jesus said that he was the one who was justified, or forgiven.

15Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Remember what we learned about the status of children in that culture? Even the disciples did not want people to bring their children to Jesus. But Jesus invited the little children to come to him and said that those who come into the kingdom of God must come in like a child—with the faith of a child. Again, Jesus is teaching the importance of faith.

 

Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31

18And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Read 10 commandments (Exodus 20) The rich young ruler wanted to know what he must do to inherit eternal life. He was thinking that eternal life was something one earned through one’s works. He called Jesus, Good Teacher, and Jesus told him that only God is good. He was leading him to understand that he was God. Then he mentioned the last 5 of the 10 commandments. These are called the ‘prohibitas.’ They have to do with man’s relationships with man. (The first 5 have to do with man’s relationship with God). The man said he had kept all the law since he was a child. Is this even possible? Jesus knew this man’s heart and he knew that he was counting on his riches instead of faith, so he tells him to sell all his stuff, give it to the poor and he would have riches in heaven (which is what he claimed he wanted—to inherit eternal life.) Jesus told him to leave it all behind and follow him. He told him what was required to enter into eternal life—following Christ by faith. But the man went away sad because he was very wealthy. We don’t know if he ever did follow Christ. Perhaps he did. Perhaps he never did. Jesus tells us that it is easier for a camel to got through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. In other words, it is impossible!

26Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” 28And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Are you rich? Compared to most of the world, we are all extremely rich—as rich as that rich young ruler or richer. When the people heard it they were amazed and afraid. Then who can be saved? Jesus has said that it is impossible for a rich man to enter, but then he says something further—‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Left to ourselves we would never desire God. We would be satisfied by the things of this world. But God is able to change our hearts and our minds and give us the desire to follow him. Peter tells Jesus about all the things they have left behind to follow him and he promises that they will receive greater blessing in the world to come.

31And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” 34But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

This is the third time that Jesus has told them that he was going to die and be resurrected. (Luke 5:35; 9:22, 43-45) He continues to give them more details. First, he tells them that the prophets had written that all these things were to happen. He also adds the detail that he was going to be delivered over to the Gentiles and that he would be mocked and spat upon. He was very clear about what was going to happen. He was telling them the way it was going to be in detail. But they did not understand any of it. They were still thinking of him as the victorious defender and conqueror who would deliver them from Rome’s oppression. The saying was hidden from them. They did not understand and they could not understand.

35As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

The blind man heard the crowd and wondered what was going on. When they told him that Jesus was passing by he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Who else cried out for mercy? People told him to be silent but he called even louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” By calling him Son of David it was the same as calling him King! He believed that Jesus was the promised King and had faith that he could heal him. He knew he needed mercy. Jesus stopped and had the man brought to him. He asked him what he wanted and he answered, ‘let me recover my sight.’ Jesus healed him immediately and, unlike the rich young ruler, he immediately followed Jesus, glorifying God, along with all the people.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 17

Luke 17

17:1And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.

There are enough temptations in the world without tempting others. Here, Jesus is pronouncing a ‘woe’ against anyone who would cause another person to sin, especially the little ones. This does not only mean small children. It can mean new Christians, too.

3Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

We must always be ready to forgive. Notice that we are not asked to simply overlook the sin. It’s proper to hold the person accountable for his sin, but when he repents, you must forgive, over and over. What if someone sins against you 8 or nine times in a day? Do you still have to forgive? Why or why not?

Not only must we forgive, but we should demonstrate our forgiveness through kindness and never bring the offense up again. Even if a person sins and doesn’t repent, we are not to take vengeance.

Do you think that this is a difficult thing to do? Jesus told his disciples to pay attention to themselves—to be on guard against sinning and against causing others to sin. Unforgiveness is a sin.

5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

Notice the apostles (disciples) response to vs. 3 and 4. They realize what is being asked of them and they know that, apart from faith in Christ, they cannot do it! Read Luke 1:37, Mk 9:23)

7“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

Jesus is teaching about servanthood again. It is our duty to work all day and to keep serving. It is right that the Master is served first. We are to follow his commandments. If we do follow his commandments, we have not earned our salvation—that is a gift from God. Our good works do not save us.

11On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

Why were the lepers standing at a distance? Why did they lift up their voices? What did they ask of Jesus? What did Jesus do? Why was it important that they show themselves to the priests? Why didn’t he heal them right there? Why did the healing happen as they were on their way? Only one man ‘turned back, praising God’ and returned to thank Jesus and he was a Samaritan. What do you remember about the relationship between Samaritans and Jews? None of the other men came back. Their bodies were healed but only the Samaritan had faith.

20Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

The Pharisees are asking a question about the Kingdom of God. They want to know when it will come. The Kingdom of God was in their midst—their Messiah had come and he was standing right there with them, but they did not recognize him. They were looking for a military savior, a deliverer who would defeat Rome and make the Jewish nation strong and return to them their sovereignty. They did not recognize the Kingdom was a spiritual kingdom.

22And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

Jesus will return someday. No one knows the time of his return. Christians will always long to see Christ. That is one of the marks of a true Christian—that they look forward to Christ’s return. However, in the meantime, many false messiahs will come at different times and at different places. Jesus is telling his disciples not to be fooled. When Jesus does return for the second time, all the world will know that he has returned, as if the whole sky was lit up and everyone will see his return. But first, he reminds them that he must suffer and that he will be rejected. The Cross was still to come and he continues to tell his disciples what is going to happen.

26Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

Is there anything wrong with eating and drinking? What about getting married? No, but Noah had been warning the people about the coming judgment and they continued as if they had not heard—as if judgment was not coming. There are many, many people living their lives, going about their daily activities that do not know that judgment is coming. When Jesus comes back the second time, he will be coming back with salvation for his people and judgment.

31On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot's wife. 33Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.

Lots wife, turned and looked back at the destruction of Sodom, even though the angel had warned them not to look back.

34I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.” 37And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpseis, there the vultures will gather.”

At the final judgment, God divides the saved and the unsaved, the believers and the unbelievers. Jesus answers the question, “where, Lord?” with a proverb: Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. All will gather to that which attracts them; the evil will be known by their actions and so will the believers. Christ’s own will be gathered to him, but the wicked will not desire him.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 16

Luke 16

16:1He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness.

This parable is very easily misunderstood. Unless you read it with discernment, it can appear as though the Lord is commending a dishonest and conniving person! In this parable, Jesus uses the example of a worldly man to teach a difficult lesson. It can be helpful to remember that, as in all parables, the examples are used to teach a larger, spiritual lesson.

To whom is Jesus speaking? His disciples. Are they honest or dishonest? (discuss sin natures; so he is talking to sinners who have not always done right by their master)

Every man according to the laws of most countries is considered innocent until proved guilty. But the Bible teaches that we are all guilty—really guilty!—and the only way we can ever be considered innocent is through faith in Christ and His Gospel.

READ vs. 1 In this parable, we have the rich man and the dishonest steward. What is a steward? (a person who is in charge of another person’s possessions or is ruling in place of another person. The steward is responsible to the person he serves.) READ vs.2 The rich man has heard that his steward is wasting his possessions and so he calls him to make account of his dealings. He asks him to get his accounts together and turn them in to him.

READ vs. 3-4

The steward knows he’s in trouble. “What shall I do?” He knows he’s going to get caught and he knows he has lost his job, so he tries to think of the best thing he can do for himself. He should have thought about his actions sooner, but better late than never. He doesn’t want to do hard physical work and he’s too ashamed to beg. He wants to help himself, so he tries to fix things in his own way. READ vs. 5-8 He goes around to the people who owe his master money and starts making deals. In this way, he returns some of the money to his master and improves his accounting and he also helps out the people by reducing what they owe in hopes that when he is without a job, they will be grateful to him and help him out. The master, who is a shrewd business man himself, sees how shrewd his manager has been and he commends him. Does this surprise you? This is a very shocking statement!! Who does the rich man represent? (GOD) And who does the dishonest manager represent? (Everyone. You, me, the disciples. All of us. Everything we have has been given to us by God to manage—our lives, our possessions, our influence, our relationships. We are required to be faithful 1 Cor. 4:2.) He is not commending him for the dishonest things he had done in the past, he is commending him for acting wisely for his Master and for himself. Remember, at this time, Jesus is talking to his disciples. They are being trained and taught to be stewards of the Gospel after He finishes his work. Just like this man, they are going to have to make an account to their Master someday. (So will we.) Just like this man, they will have to behave wisely with material and worldly things. He uses the example of the worldly man to illustrate how much consideration this steward had for his earthly life. He didn’t always act honestly, but he always acted in a way that protected his life and his livelihood. He was only worried about this life. This is a negative example to teach the lesson concerning the Kingdom of God and service to Christ. In the same way and with the same shrewdness, we should manage our money and do all that we can to promote—not ourselves, but the Gospel! We are called to ‘lay up treasures in heaven’ not on earth.

8b For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

We are to use our money and our energy and our possessions and our talents wisely in the service of our Master. What we have is given to by God for his service—to help other people. Worldly wealth is not what brings us satisfaction, but it can be used to help others and further the Gospel. When we learn to use what God has given us wisely, even though we have not always done so in the past, we please God and lay up treasures for ourselves.

10“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

READ 10-12 Jesus is teaching the disciples about faithfulness. If we are not faithful in the ‘riches’ of this world, then we will not be trusted with spiritual riches, the only true and lasting riches. The things that we have in this life are Gods. He gives them to us to use to help ourselves, help others, and to serve God. They are not ours. When we die, we will leave what we have behind. We cannot keep them. But if we use them wisely, we will lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven, which will never be taken away. READ vs.13 We cannot serve two masters—God and money. There is nothing wrong with money itself, it is how we use it that shows us whether money is our master or God.

14The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

The Pharisees were there, too, listening. They heard what Jesus said and ridiculed him. The scriptures tell us that they were lovers of money. Money was their master. They used it to get what they wanted. They did not see themselves as dishonest stewards. They were always justifying who they were and what they did before men. What are some of the ways we’ve seen this in the Pharisees? Can you give an example from what we’ve studied so far that Jesus knew their hearts? We cannot hide from God. We will all give an account to God someday.

16“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. 17But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

The Pharisees believed in the Law and the Prophets, but they rejected John the Baptist and Jesus. They rejected the Good News of the Kingdom that Jesus was preaching. They rejected their Messiah and encouraged others to be like themselves. They heaped up so many hard rules and burdens on the people! Every one ‘forces’ his way into the Kingdom of God. Before, the Jews were called God’s people. The scribes and the Pharisees did everything they could to make it hard to please God and enter the kingdom. They kept the Gentiles (all non Jews) out. But now the good news was being preached (Luke 2-“it shall be for ALL men) and individuals—both Jews and Gentiles were pressing into the Kingdom. (through faith in Christ)

18“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

This verse seems a little out of place, doesn’t it? The meaning is very easy to understand if you just read the verse. (state the principle from the verse) So why do you think it is there?

The Rich Man and Lazarus is another parable that is only found in Luke. Most of the time, parables are made up stories that illustrate a spiritual principle, but in the case of this particular parable, many people think that Jesus was using real people who were familiar to the hearers. They think this may be the case because this is the only parable in which the characters are named.

19“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.

Here we have the description of the two men: The rich man, who is frequently referred to by the name of Dives, (although scripture does not name him) and Lazarus, the poor, sick beggar. This is not the Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. These two men could not be further apart—the richest and the poorest.

22The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.

We cannot look beyond death to see what is happening with those who have died, but Jesus could. He described the scene in great detail. The poor man died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. Abraham’s side, or Abraham’s bosom is the place where believers who had died awaited the resurrection of Jesus. It is also called paradise. Believers before Christ’s resurrection awaited him there. (Eph 4:8-10) Now the bodies of believers to to the grave but their spirits go to heaven to be with Christ. (2 Cor 5:8) The rich man was in Hades, the place for those who were lost and tormented. He could see Lazarus and Abraham from afar. This increased his torment to see Lazarus at peace while he was in torment. Those who do not have faith in Christ are aware of their surroundings and are in constant torment. Some people teach that the lost go to the grave and cease to exist. But that is not the picture that Christ relates. The lost remain in Hades until the final judgment, when they are cast into hell with Satan and his fallen angels. Notice, too, the rich man recognized Lazarus. There is never a time that any man will cease to exist or forever lose awareness.

24And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’

The rich man thought he could call Lazarus, his inferior, away from Abraham’s side to act as a servant to him—to bring him even one drop of water. The rich man has become the beggar and the beggar, the rich man. Both men were dead, but they were as separated from each other as they were from the living.

When one dies he either go to be with the Lord in everlasting peace and joy, or go to the place of everlasting loneliness and torment. When one has died, it is too late to change one’s final destination. (Hebrews 9:24-28)

(Born once; die twice Born twice, die once)

27And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— 28for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

Since Lazarus could not cross the divide to him, the rich man asked that he be sent to warn his brothers so that they could believe and be saved from the torment that he was experiencing.

29But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

Moses and the Prophets spoke of the Messiah that would come and save His people. The angels had proclaimed it on the night of Christ’s birth. They had seen miracles and healings and might acts of God, but still some did not believe. Abraham tells the rich man that those who do not believe will not be convinced even if someone was raised from the dead. It is still the case today. Christ was raised from the dead, but still, most do not believe.

This parable is told in contrast to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. In that case, the sinner ‘came to himself’ and was saved and was received into the blessings of the Father’s house. In the case of the rich man, he was left in torment. It is a picture of the wrath to come for those who do not believe.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 15

Luke 15

Luke 15 is a continuation of the teaching from Luke 14. READ Luke 14:35. Luke 14 ended in “he who has ears to hear, let him hear”—and verse 1 of Chapter 15 reveals that the tax collectors and sinners were ALL drawing near him.

15:1Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

Notice the reaction of the Pharisees and scribes. They are grumbling again. They can’t grumble against Jesus teaching them, for that was according to the law of Moses, but they grumbled against receiving sinners and eating with them—something they prohibited.

Jesus responds by telling three parables. These parables are all related. All these parables show God’s pleasure in the conversion of sinners. Each builds upon the other. The first is the parable of the lost sheep:

3So he told them this parable: 4“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Shepherd is Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd. (John 10:11) We are his sheep and we have gone astray. (Isaiah 53:6) The sheep is lost and the shepherd goes and seeks it. Sheep are dumb. Once they are lost, they cannot find their way back. But the shepherd seeks the lost sheep. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10) He lays the lamb across his shoulders rejoicing. When the priests of Israel went into the Holy place with sacrifices, he wore a garment that bore 12 stones on the shoulders that represented each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus bears his people “across his shoulders” as he intercedes for them before God. He bears the lost sheep home and invites everyone to rejoice with him. There is rejoicing in heaven every time a sinner repents and returns to God. The Pharisees taught that God would forgive a repentant sinner, but here Jesus is teaching that God, in Christ, seeks out the sinner.

8“Or what woman, having ten silver coins,if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Married women wore ten silver coins sewn together as a head dress, similar to the wearing of wedding rings today. To have lost that coin, which was representative of her marriage, was a great loss. That coin was something very valuable to her, therefore, she looked and looked until she found it! The lighting of the lamp represents the light of the Gospel. (John 8:12) The purpose of both of these parables is to explain that there is rejoicing in heaven when a sinner repents. In this manner, Jesus is continuing the theme about the Kingdom of God but bringing the teaching down to the individual.

Next comes the most well known of all Jesus’ parables. It is only found here in the book of Luke.

11And he said, “There was a man who had two sons.

The ‘man’ who had two sons was God, the Father. This parable teaches more about God, the Father, than it does about either of the sons! Some commentator think that instead of “the Parable of the Prodigal Son” this could easily be called “the Parable of the Waiting Father!” There are two sons; the younger, who represents sinners and Gentiles and the elder representing the Jews (Pharisees and scribes) who are also sinners.

12And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.

According to the law, the eldest son received two thirds of the inheritance. This younger son didn’t want to wait; he wanted what was coming to him NOW! He demands that the father give it to him. He wasn’t willing to wait for the proper time. If he had waited, his portion might have been larger, but he was only concerned about the present. His eyes were on this world, not the next.

13Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out toone of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

The far country represents the world and the distance between God and the sinner. He wasted all that he had been given ‘in reckless living.’ He ran through his money until he had nothing left. No only did he have nothing left from what he had been given, there was a famine in the land, which effected everyone. He was in need—he was so poor and needy that he was willing to work like a servant and took a job feeding pigs. Pigs were considered unclean and only the most desperate and starving Jew would ever take a job among the pigs. Have you ever smelled a pig farm? It is a dreadful smell—that smell gets into everything. He was so hungry that he even wished he could eat the pigs’ food. And no one would give him anything to eat. He had hit rock bottom. It could not get worse.

17“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!

A change begins in verse 17. “He came to himself.” That means he finally came to his sense. He was finally able to see things for the way they really were. Sometimes it is that way with us. We sometimes have to go through great trials and tribulations before we are brought to repentance. But that is the way it is when we seek our own way. The sheep wandered away because it was ignorant and that’s the way sheep are. But the younger son, did not want to live under his father’s authority. He wanted his own way. He wanted to go where he wanted to go and do what he wanted to do. That is what sin is—willfully walking away from God. But once he was able to see what was really going on, he was able to repent and return. We must recognize our need before we can repent and return. This is a picture of repentance—turning around and going toward God

18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20And he arose and came to his father.

It is not enough to feel bad about your circumstances. If he had just recognized how desperate his situation was and just stayed there, that is not repentance. That is regret. But he took action. He got up and started to return. He considered his sins and realized what he must confess. He even planned what he was going to say. He did not expect to be received as a son, he only hoped he could be treated like a hired servant.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

This is the most amazing verse of all! The father had been watching and waiting for him to return! He knew that his son would return eventually. When he saw him, he had compassion on him. He didn’t wait until the son dragged his dirty, starving self the last few yards. He ran to him! He embraced that tired, dirty, smelly son and kissed him. He did not shout or blame or make him clean up his act before he would speak to him.

21And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

At this point, the son already knows that he has been forgiven and restored. Even so, he confesses his sin and declares that he is no longer worthy to be his son. He would have asked to be treated as one of his hired servants, but his father interrupted him:

22But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

This a picture of redemption in Christ. The best robe represents being clothed in the robes of Christ’s righteousness. The ring represents the sealing of the Holy Spirit and the shoes on the feet show that he is now a freeman—servants did not where shoes. The fattened calf is kept for very special occasions and celebrations. Everyone was invited to eat and to celebrate. What have we learned that eating represents? This is a picture of salvation and forgiveness, redemption and restoration. But that is not the whole purpose of this parable. It is a picture that reveals the heart of the Father who not only forgives sinners but restores the son who sins.

Now we have another change of focus, from the younger brother to the elder brother:

25“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28But he was angry and refused to go in.

Remember who the elder brother represents? He is angry because the Father has allowed the younger brother to return to the family. He is like the Pharisees and scribes who wanted to keep sinners and tax collectors away. (Matthew 23:13)

His father came out and entreated him, 29but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.

The elder son refused to go in, but again, it is the Father goes out to him and invites him in. Notice the elder brother’s response: he resorts to his works, his obedience as reasons for the father’s favor—as if the father owed him! He didn’t want to celebrate with the family—he wanted to celebrate with his friends) He made bitter accusations against his brother and even against his father (insinuated that the father had wasted the fattened calf, which belonged to the father). But the father doesn’t answer the elder brother in anger. He confirms that he is always with him and that all that he has belongs to him. It is right to rejoice when someone repents and returns.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 14

Luke 14

Only Luke records this incident. Two of the parables are found only in Luke—the building of the tower and the king preparing to go to war. This chapter concerns the cost of discipleship and builds upon chapter 13. See if you can detect the themes from Chapter 13 that He continues in Chapter 14.

14:1One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. 3And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5And he said to them, “Which of you, having a sonor an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” 6And they could not reply to these things.

Again, these events happened on the Sabbath. Review 13:10-21 See if you can detect the themes from Chapter 13 that He continues in Chapter 14.

Again, Jesus is invited to dine at the house of a religious leader on the Sabbath—for the purpose of catching him violating the rules of the Sabbath. Read Luke 11:53-54. This man was a ruler of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a party of influence but they did not have an ‘office’ like a priest or the ruler of the Synagogue. As we have come to expect, there is a man in need of healing at this dinner. This was probably another set-up to put Jesus into a difficult position. Notice that Jesus responds to them—he knows what they are thinking and planning and he turns the table on them by asking THEM instead of them asking HIM if it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. The law of Moses did not prohibit healing on the Sabbath, but the religious leaders had added to the law and declared that healing was only allowed in the case of a life threatening injury or illness. This disease was not immediately life threatening. Notice that the Pharisees remained silent. Why do you think that was? Jesus healed the man and allowed him to go. Then he asks them what THEY would do. He gave them two examples of a merciful deed but they still would not answer him.

7Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

In this section, Jesus is talking to the invited guests. Remember, Jesus knows the hearts of the people. (Read Luke 11:43) He knew they all wanted the best seat. The summary of this section is in verse 11 (read). Jesus says this very thing many times—it must be important! What is he warning against?

12He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothersor your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Now he’s talking to the man who had invited him! What is he warning him against? Is there anything wrong with having friends in for supper? What is the point Jesus is making here?

15When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17And at the time for the banquet he sent his servantto say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

Jesus responds to the person’s comment about eating bread in the kingdom of God by telling another parable, sometimes called the Parable of the Great Feast. The man is God, who invites many people to a great banquet in advance. He sends out a reminder when it’s time for the banquet. All the people knew in advance about the banquet and we can assume that they had accepted the invitation. There are three types of people that Jesus describes in this parable. The first group is the nation of Israel. They are described in the three persons who make an excuse. Notice that all of the reasons have to do with something new and none of the excuses are particularly good. The three excuses are based on worldly things: possessions, business, and people (relationships). There is nothing wrong with any of these things unless they keep a person from coming to Christ. These represent the Jews who rejected their Messiah.

“bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.” This second group represents the Jews who understood their poverty and weakness and sinfulness and believe. Notice that they all responded to the invitation and there was still room at the feast.

“Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled” The last group to be invited represents the Gentiles. They are considered as outsiders, but God invites them in. Read Romans 1:16

25Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26“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. 27Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

There is a shift in place here, for he begins to address the crowds. He is talking to them about the cost of discipleship. Read vs.26-27. Is it wrong to love your family and friends? Must we hate and despise everyone but Christ? Is he teaching us to be hateful? No, he is teaching them, and us, that he must come first. That our love for him should exceed our love for anyone or anything else, including our own lives. We must seek first the kingdom of God and lay up our treasures in heaven. Eternal life must be most important to us. Read vs 28-30. This parable is talking about faith—truly following Christ. There are many who make a profession of faith--say that they believe—but they never count the cost of following Christ or follow through. Read vs. 31-32. Same thing. What are the costs of being a Christian?

34“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Salt can lose its flavor over time, especially if it is not carefully stored. Once it has lost its flavor it can’t be made salty again. The only way you can make something salty is to use salt to make it so. It would be foolish to waste perfectly good salt to try to make bad salt salty again. Jesus ends this chapter with another of his most frequent sayings: he who has ears to hear, let him hear.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 13

Luke Chapter 13

13:1There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

RE: Pontius Pilate: The Roman Procurator

Tiberius Caesar, who succeeded Augustus in AD 14, appointed Pontius Pilate as governor of Judea in 26 AD. Pilate arrived and made his official residence in Caesarea Maritima, the Roman capital of Judea. Pilate was the 5th procurator of Judea. The province of Judea, formerly the kingdom of Archelaus, was formed in 6 AD when Archelaus was exiled and his territory transformed into a Roman province. Although it included Samaria and Idumaea, the new province was known simply as Judea or Judaea. It generally covered the S. half of Palestine, including Samaria. Judea was an imperial province (i.e. under the direct control of the emperor), and wasgoverned by a procurator.

The procurator was devoted to the emperor and directly responsible to him. His primary responsibility was financial. The authority of the Roman procurators varied according to the appointment of the emperor. Pilate was a procurator cum porestate, (possessed civil, military, and criminal jurisdiction). The procurator of Judea was somehow under the authority of the legate of Syria. Usually a procurator had to be of equestrian rank and experienced in military affairs.

Under the rule of a procurator cum porestate like Pontius Pilate, the Jews were allowed as much self-government as possible under imperial authority. The Jewish judicial system was run by the Sanhedrin and court met in the "hall of hewn stone", but if they desired to inflict the death penalty, the sentence had to be given and executed by the Roman procurator.

Pilate had mingled the blood of the Galileans with their sacrifices. The Galileans had come to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices and were murdered there by Pilate, the Roman Governor. This was a particularly shocking event to the Jews because it had taken place at the altar—a place of safety and refuge. Apparently, the people who asked the question were thinking that God had judged those people as if they had brought a sacrifice in an unworthy manner. Sinners brought sacrifices to appease God, therefore, since God had apparently rejected these Galileans, the people thought it must’ve been because they were worse than the normal sinners. READ Jesus’ answer in vs. 3. Jesus reminds them that they are sinners, too—no different and no better than the Galileans. He tells them that unless they repent, they too will perish. Then he follows up with his own story about the18 men of Jerusalem who died when the tower of Siloam fell and repeats, ‘unless you repent, you will likewise perish.’ Whether person is from Galilee or Jerusalem, all must repent or perish. This teaches us that we all deserve to perish, that we must repent and stories such as this should call us to repentance, that if we repent, we will not perish, and if we don’t repent we will surely perish.

6And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 8And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

The man is God. The fig tree is Israel. Notice that the fig tree is planted in the garden. It was planted in a garden and cultivated and given everything it needed to thrive. But when the man came seeking fruit, there was none. The man had been patient for three years, but now he says, “Cut it down.” What are the reasons he gave for deciding to cut the tree down? Christ is the vinedresser. He intercedes for the tree, asking for another year and offering to give some extra care. If the tree doesn’t bear fruit, then it can be cut down. This parable teaches us about the longsuffering and patience of God, but it also tells us that the day is coming when His patience runs out. Even Christ, who intercedes and cares for those who have heard the gospel, does not intercede forever. Just like the tree, a person who has heard the Gospel and had every advantage must also bear fruit of faith. There is both encouragement and justice in this; even the person who has been unfruitful for a long time can still repent and be forgiven and all will be well and good, but there is judgment that awaits the tree and the person that never does bear fruit.

10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and the ruler and leaders of the synagogue were there, as usual, watching and waiting for him to do something of which they could accuse him. The woman had been crippled and unable to straighten up for 18 years, but she did not let that keep her from coming to the synagogue to worship and learn. She did not ask Jesus to heal her; he saw her and he ‘freed’ her from her disability. She responded by glorifying God, but the ruler of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. Notice what he said to the people: ‘There are 6 days to be healed—come on those days to be healed.’ He was treating the healing as something that was common and routine instead of the miracle that it was. Notice that Jesus answered ‘him’ but calls ‘them’ hypocrites. (plural) The ruler wasn’t the only one who was thinking such things. Why do you think Jesus doesn’t defend himself or explain what was proper about what he had done? Instead he points out that they take care of their animals on the Sabbath, even though that is a form of work. They do it because it is more merciful to feed and water the animals on the Sabbath than refrain from all work and allow the animals to go hungry and thirsty. Jesus points out that this woman was more important than the animals, she was a daughter of Abraham and had suffered more than just being hungry for one day. She had suffered for 18years. He was pointing out that it was merciful to heal her on the Sabbath. Notice the different reactions this brought about. The religious leaders were put to shame (which angered them even more) but the people rejoiced!

18He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

20And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”

The therefore in verse 18 shows us that he began teaching about the Kingdom of God in response to what had just happened. Jesus teaches that the Kingdom was not what they expected. It started small, but once it was planted, it would grow and provide shelter, just like the mustard seed. He also compared it to leaven, or yeast. Yeast, when mixed with flour causes the bread to rise and grow. He is teaching that, just like you can’t see the yeast working, eventually it will cause great growth. In this, Jesus continues to teach about patience, fruit, and growth.

22He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.

Remember back in chapter nine, we learned that from that point on, Jesus is journeying to Jerusalem, where he would be denied, betrayed, arrested, beaten and crucified for our sins. With the cross before him, he was still teaching and preaching and healing and working.

23And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

This chapter is full of warnings to repent and believe, to bear fruit or be cut down. In this passage, Jesus is talking directly and openly about salvation. He refers to salvation as a narrow gate and tells the people they must strive to enter. Can we work and earn our way into salvation? No, only the perfect work of Christ can make us fit for salvation--we cannot earn salvation by our own works. Jesus is warning against presuming that we are saved, but our lives are no different. There are people who know the gospel and go to church their whole lives who assume they are saved but never really believe. They think all is well with them but their lives are not changed. Notice, when they give their reasons for why they should be allowed in, they don’t mention faith, trust, belief, service to God, a changed life. They say that they ate and drank in his presence (were part of the crowd, church goers) and heard his teaching. It is not enough to go to church and listen to teaching. Our lives must be changed by the Gospel. Our works will never save us, but if we are truly saved, we will love and serve God. There will be evidence. They thought they knew Christ. It is not simply that we know Christ, but that he knows us!

Jesus calls them workers of evil and sends them away from him. This is a picture of damnation. There will be people from all over the world in the kingdom and they will have the privilege of reclining at the table with him. Some who think they are first will be last and some that think they are last will be first.

31At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 35Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great and was the Jewish ruler of Judea, where Jerusalem was located. He was the one who had had John the Baptist beheaded and he will have a part to play in the execution of Jesus.

There is no doubt that Herod wanted to get rid of Jesus and Jesus knew it. Notice his response. He calls Herod a fox and tells him what he intends to do—cast out demons and heal ‘today and tomorrow’ and the third day finish his course. He is letting them all know that he knows what his destiny is and it is not to die there, but in Jerusalem. He also lets them know that he will finish his course in the way ordained by God.

Then he grieves over Jerusalem, a place of so many murders of prophets that had been sent by God. God had been patient, but soon their time was up and their house would be forsaken, just like the fig tree that would be cut down.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 12:33- end of chapter

In this passage, Jesus continues to teach his disciple and prepare them for service through several parables about servants and masters. He is teaching them the seriousness of the service required of believers—both in actions and in faith.

35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

This first parable is about the need for readiness and watchfulness. To be dressed for action with the lamp burning is a picture of ready servants. In that culture, a man who was to be married first had a wedding supper with his friends and then left to go get his bride and bring her back to his house. Everything was to be kept in readiness for the arrival of the wedding party. What is the reward for the servants who are ready when the master arrives? He tells them that they must be ready ‘for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’ Jesus was with them at this time so this warning referred to his second coming. Remember we learned last week that Jesus would return from heaven someday and at that time, he would be coming as a Judge. No one knows when Christ will return so we must always be ready.

41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

In this parable, Jesus instructing his disciples about stewardship and service. Why is it important for his disciples to be ready and be busy? It is not enough just to believe that that master is returning and to be watching for him—the disciples (and we) are supposed to be actively spreading the Gospel and serving others. What caused the unprofitable servant to fail in his duty? The punishment for the servant who is not ready and not “acting according to his will is severe however, there is a difference in punishments. What makes the difference? When Christ was on the earth, to whom did he entrust the most? To whom does he entrust the most today?

49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

Jesus will ultimately bring judgment (fire) to the earth, but first he came as a Man to give his life to redeem His people and bring salvation to those who would believe. The baptism with which he had to be baptized was the cross and he confesses that he is distressed until it is accomplished. Remember what the Gospel is? The Person and the Work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is anxious to accomplish what he came to do. Why does the Gospel cause division?

54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Notice here that he is addressing himself to the crowds again. He says that they can interpret the weather but they cannot interpret who he is and what he is doing. They should have been able to recognize that he was the Messiah that was foretold, but the did not understand. They did not believe.

57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

The One who would judge them was present and they did not recognize who he was. He is calling them to “settle with him” before he came as judge over them.

Jesus will judge both believers and unbelievers. The unbelievers will be judged and condemned to eternal damnation. The judgment of believers is not re: eternal life vs. eternal death. We will be judged according to our faithfulness in obeying and serving Christ while we have the opportunity in this life. We will be judged according to our deeds and we will either receive or lose our rewards depending on whether we were faithful, ready, and busy doing the work Christ has commanded us.

What has Christ called us to do?

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Chapter 12:1-32

Luke 12

12:1 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

The Pharisees were doing everything they could to thwart Jesus, but the crowds of people continued to increase.

To whom was he talking?

What is the leaven of the Pharisees?

Why is he warning his disciples about this in the presence of the people?

Hypocrisy is always bad, but for people in leadership, like the disciples, it would be even worse, because it would bring shame upon the cause of Christ. He warns them not to try to hide sin because it is always revealed eventually.

4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.

Who has the authority to cast a person into hell? What is hell? What is left of a person after his body has been killed?

Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numberd. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Two pennies was equal to one hour’s pay. This seemed an almost insignificant amount, however, it helps to illustrate that God cares for even the smallest aspects of our lives as well as the big ones!

8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

What is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Is it a matter of words spoken or a matter of the heart? Why is it called the unpardonable sin? What makes the sin unpardonable? If you acknowledge Christ before men what can you expect from men? From God?

Vs. 11 “and WHEN they bring you before. . .” Jesus is letting them know that they WILL experience persecution; our study of Acts proves that he knew what he was talking about. But he is teaching his disciples that (vs 4 “my friends”) that God will never leave them or forsake them. He will give them what they need—even the right words to say!

This may seem like a scary passage, but there is good news in it, too. Jesus promises to acknowledge those who acknowledge him and he promises that the Holy Spirit will help them and even give them the words they need to say. Even though they will have trials and persecution, they will not be alone.

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”

In Israel, the elder brother always received a greater inheritance but this man was asking Jesus to go against the law by forcing the brother to divide the inheritance equally. He wasn’t really asking Jesus to decide the matter, he was asking Jesus to decide in his favor. Jesus will ultimately be our judge when he returns (John 5:22), but in his incarnation, he came to ‘give his life, a ransom for many.”

15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Here, Jesus is teaching about the sin of covetousness. What is covetousness? Why is covetousness a sin that we must be on guard against?

This parable is called the parable of the rich fool. He was a fool because he gathered worldly treasures but did not store up treasure in heaven. He doesn’t say that he is a bad man. He was probably a hard worker, a good provider, an honest business man. So why was he foolish? He was living for this world. He thought he could control his future. He wasn’t considering God at all.

This man thought to himself, but as always, Jesus is able to know everyone’s inner thoughts. This man spoke to his soul—not his life. What is the difference between your life and your soul? What was required of the man? His life or his soul?

It’s not wrong to take care of your family and save up. We are to be wise and to plan ahead. But we are not to be covetous, desiring more and more and more for ourselves.

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

To whom is Jesus speaking now? Why is he warning them against being anxious? What is he teaching them in this passage? What should they be putting their energies into?

32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Jesus gives four reasons not to be anxious

1. Life is more important that worldly riches

2. God will take care of them

3. Worry accomplishes nothing

4. God knows what you need

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lesson: Chapter 11

Chapter 11

The Lord's Prayer

This section on the Lord’s Prayer is only found in Luke. There is a similar passage in Matthew 6, but they are two different occasions. In Matthew, Jesus’ teaching on prayer was part of the Sermon on the Mount, but here it is an answer given in response to a request by a disciple to teach them to pray.

11:1Now Jesuswas praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

Clearly, Jesus had already taught them to pray during the Sermon on the Mount, but the disciples had watched and heard Jesus praying and felt the power of his prayers and desired to pray like him—from the heart.

We need to be taught how to pray. (Pajamas) John the Baptist is mentioned for the last time in Luke’s Gospel and he is remembered as a man who prayed and who taught his disciples to pray.

2And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.

This is a prayer that the people would worship and reverence God. Hallowed means holy, sacred, revered, consecrated or set apart for worship. Before we can truly pray, we must know who God is and reverence him as God and worship him, so that comes first.


Your kingdom come. (your will be done on earth as it is in heaven—NKJ)

Jesus had been teaching and preaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand! He was the King whose Kingdom was coming! This is a prayer for God’s will to be accomplished on the earth.


3Give us each day our daily bread,

We must recognize that EVERYTHING we have comes from God! In this way, we humble ourselves before God.

4and forgive us our sins,

In order for us to ask for forgiveness of sin, we must recognize that we are sinners. (read Luke 18 tax collector prayer)


for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

God wants us to forgive each other. Read Ephesians 4:32. This is God’s standard.


And lead us not into temptation.” (NKJ but deliver us from evil) James 1:13-15

The next parable is about prayer and only Luke records it. It teaches something different about prayer and is a parable of contrast. Verses 5-8 tell us the story:

5And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudencehe will rise and give him whatever he needs.

In those days, people often traveled at night to avoid the heat of the day. It was an important part of the hospitality of that culture that one should be prepared at all times to welcome guests. To have nothing to eat for guests would be a huge embarrassment. Why did the person finally give the friend the bread? What can we learn about prayer through this part of the parable?

9And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11What father among you, if his son asks fora fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Now Jesus does not compare the man in the first part of the parable with God, he contrasts the two, showing God’s loving kindness and faithfulness and mercy.

Compare: find what is the same

Contrast: Find what is different

Ask, seek, find. Read Matthew 7:7-11.

Does God ever sleep? Is there ever a time he won’t hear you and answer you? Read Isaiah 65:24. God will hear us and he will answer. His answer will be according to what he knows is best for us. God is compared to a father and then he is referred to as “the heavenly Father (capital F)

Did you notice that Jesus mentioned asking ‘your’ heavenly Father for the Holy Spirit? There is no evidence that any of the disciples asked for this. Jesus did give them the gift of the Holy Spirit before he went to the cross (John 20:22) and he sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2). Read 1 Corinthians 12:13 God has given the best possible gifts: He has given His Son as payment for our sins and He has given the Holy Spirit to indwell us!

Read: Matthew 12:22-37; Mark 3:19-30

14Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven.

Vs.14-16 People marveled. They could not deny the miracles that were happening before their very eyes. Some marveled. Some credited the miracles to Beezebul’s power. (Beelzebul meant ‘prince of demons’ or ‘lord of heaven’ and was the name of a heathen God) And yet others sought a sign from heaven to prove whether the miracle was done by God or Satan.

17But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Vs. 17-20 As always, Jesus knew their thoughts. Some were accusing Jesus of casting out demons using Satan’s power. That makes no sense and Jesus proves this.

Jesus was casting out demons ‘by the finger of God’ or in God’s power. (Ex 8:19—Pharoah, too, rejected God, having seen his power)

‘the kingdom of God has come among you’ This is the message that Christ and His disciples was bringing. Christ has been accused of doing his miracles by the power of Satan, but in truth, the King of Heaven was among them!

21When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Satan is the strong man, but Jesus is stronger than Satan! He is able to overthrow him.

Vs. 23 There is no middle ground; either you are for Christ or you are against him—there is no neutrality.

Matthew 12:38-45

24“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

To demonstrate this principle, Jesus tells another parable in vs. 24-26. The demon goes out of the person, but he still talks of the person as ‘my house’ and he returns. The person may have been clean of the demon for a time, but he had not trusted Christ (no neutrality) therefore, the demon could come right back and things were even worse.

27As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

This woman was saying, “What an honor it was for your mother to have given you birth!” She was expressing her love and admiration for Jesus, but again, he brings it back to the need to truly trust in Christ! It is not enough to love or admire Him, we must believe and obey Him!

29When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

The crowds were increasing. Remember, some were seeking a sign. People who believe, believe; they do not need a sign. Jesus tells them that the only sign they will be given is the sign of Jonah (3 days in the belly of the whale, three days in the tomb—Christ’s resurrection is the sign that will be given!) The Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s wisdom and wealth and came to find out the truth for herself. The men of Ninevah repented. All these examples are familiar to the hearers and are examples of lesser to greater. Jesus is greater than Jonah, greater than the Solomon. They were in the presence of the Greatest One and yet they did not seek Him as the Queen of Sheba or repent and believe like the men of Ninevah.

33“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

Jesus is the light of the world. The people did not need more light; they needed to embrace the light that had been given to them! Jesus preached publically to all. He did not hid His light!

To see an object, you must have two things, eyes and light (Mammoth Cave example) Light is of no use to a blind man, eyes are of no use without light. Even in the presence of Christ, some men still reject Him because of their blindness! That is true of all of us until the Spirit gives us ears to hear the Gospel and eyes to see the glory of the Gospel.

Now we switch scenes:

37While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. 38The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.

This cleansing was for the purpose of removing any unknown defilement that may have occurred without a person’s knowledge. Nothing could defile the Holy Son of God, nor could anything occur to him without His knowledge. Jesus did not sin in this.

39And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 41But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.

Jesus sees that though they are scrupulously clean on the outside but he knows the heart is full of sin. In verse 40, he is also revealing himself as the one who made them. True religion is not a matter of cleaning up the outside but it is a matter of a changed heart through faith in Jesus.

Jesus pronounces three woes. One woe is bad enough but three is a way of expressing the greatest woe (Holy, holy, holy, and Verily, verily—lends strength to the statement)

42“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 43Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”

He is not telling them that their tithing was wrong, but that they had neglected justice and loving God. (Micah 6:8) He reveals them as hypocrites. There is nothing necessarily wrong in having the best seat or in the greetings, but they loved being exalted and seen as more important than others. He says they are like unmarked graves. Remember what we learned about the graves during that time. They were whitewashed. Do you remember why? By calling them white washed graves he is pointing up the fact that they are bad examples to others and leading others into error. They were adding to the Law and making it more difficult to follow and yet they were not following the spirit of the Law themselves.

45One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.”

Remember, the lawyers were experts in interpreting the Law. When he accuses the Pharisees, he accuses them as well. Jesus pronounces three woes on them, too:

46And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

In the first woe, he is calling them hypocrites, like the Pharisees, for adding to the burden of the Law and not following it themselves.

47Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.

Again, he is reproving them as hypocrites. They were like those who killed the prophets and yet they pretend to admire them and even go so far as to build monuments to honor them. God had sent prophets and their fathers had killed them. The fathers had killed the prophets from Abel to Zechariah. They would be judged for this for they agreed with it.

52Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”

The Scriptures are the key to knowledge and they had perverted the scriptures and did not believe it and by their actions had made it harder for the people to worship and serve God in truth.

53As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.

He had rebuked them and they hated him for it. They increased in their opposition to Jesus.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 10

Chapter 10

10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.

16 “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

70 or 72

2x2

Travel light

Greet no one

What was their message?

What were they to do?

What if they don’t listen?

If they reject them, they are rejecting Christ!

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

The 70 were able to do what the apostles had not; they had cast out demons. This gave them great joy. Jesus tells them about Satan falling from heaven to indicate that Satan’s defeat was beginning: “I saw at your command devils immediately depart, as quick as a flash of lightening, I gave you this power; I saw it put forth.” Jesus gave them more power, or authority, to tread on serpents and scorpions, protection from harm, and power over the enemy. They had been faithful in a little and now they were given more! The greatest thing that they should be rejoicing in, though, was that their name had been written in heaven. That means that they were citizens of heaven; God had approved of them and they would be permitted to dwell with Him.

21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

23 Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

Notice that Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and prayed to the Father. This is another Trinitarian passage. Jesus is rejoicing in the wisdom of God and in his fellowship with the Father and the Spirit.

Like Simeon in the temple, the disciples were blessed to see the coming of the ‘consolation of Israel’ that the people had been waiting for.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is the most well-known parable and one of the most familiar passages in the Bible. It is only found in the Gospel of Luke.

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

This man was a lawyer, but not like the lawyers now. He was an interpreter of the Law of Moses. He asked Jesus a very difficult question, hoping to catch him up and “put him to the test.”

(He stood up)

26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”

Jesus answered the lawyer in the same way he answered Satan when he put him to the test: by directing him back to scripture. The lawyer was hoping to catch him setting aside the law, but instead, Jesus directed him back to the Law.

27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

The lawyer answered correctly, according to the law, but Jesus says “do this” and live. It is not enough to KNOW the right thing or answer correctly, you must DO it. Is anyone able to keep the law? No! (Gal 2:16)

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

The lawyer wanted to think he had kept the Law, but Jesus uses a parable to show him his error:

30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Robbers/highwaymen

Road between Jericho and Jerusalem (remote, cliffs, caves, hiding places)

Priest and Levite passed by on the other side. Why?

Samaritans and Jews

Samaritan man’s compassion

Oil and wine

Samaritan’s actions from compassion to commitment

Again, Jesus tells the lawyer to DO.

Who is our neighbor? Anyone who we can help!

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Martha vs Mary

Sat at feet

Distracted

accusation

One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen that one thing—the good portion. What is the good portion?

Will not be taken away.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 9

Luke Chapter 9

Matthew 9:35-38; Matthew 10:1, 5-42; Mark 6:6-13

9:1And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Complete list of apostles in Matthew 10:2

The gift of healing was a sign gift; it proves that they were apostles—that they were who they claimed to be. After the Epistles were written, healing faded as a sign gift. When Scripture arrived on the scene, miracles and healings began to fade. Authority moved to the Word of God. Correct doctrine became the mark of a true disciple of Christ. (2 John 10; Galatians 1:8)

Shake off the dust from you feet

Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29

7Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. 9Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.

Herod was the man who had put John the Baptist to death. He was afraid that John had come back.

The Feeding of the 5000

Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:33-44; John 6:2-14

10On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

The disciples began to give Jesus advice about how to take care of the crowds. He told THEM to feed the crowds! That was an impossible task for them. But Jesus was about to do a miracle; both for the benefit of the crowd and for the teaching of the disciples. The miracle was Christ’s but He involved the disciples directly by having them pass the food to the multitudes. There were 12 baskets of food leftover. What did He teach His disciples in this event? Read Luke 6:38

Peter Confesses Jesus as Son of God

Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30

18Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

21And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

23And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus ask them this? (to get them thinking about who He is; He is about to be revealed to them in glory) He is also preparing them for His coming death. Notice that He never mentions His death without also mentioning His resurrection. Verse 27 is the transition into the transfiguration. . .(2 Peter 1:16-18)

The Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13

28Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure,which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

His Departure: Gk word means exodus. Includes the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension.

Transfiguration; metamorphosis/butterfly. The light came from within Him, not shining on Him. Shikinah glory.

Moses represents the Law; Elijah represents the Prophets (Hebrews 1) Moses and Elijah were speaking to Him of His upcoming death (which He was about to accomplish—purposed beforehand)

When was the other time the voice of God came from heaven and declared that Jesus was God’s Son?

Matthew 17:14-20; Mark 9:14-29

37On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. 40And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

Compare the transfiguration with the disciples inability to heal—they had been able to heal before. . .

The boy’s father had faith, though weak. The faithless and twisted generation was the crowd of those who did not have faith or believe that Jesus could heal him even though the disciples could not.

Matthew 17:22,23; Mark 9:30-32

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesussaid to his disciples, 44“Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Jesus was speaking to the disciples and directing his words to them, but they did not understand. Why not? Why do you think they were afraid to ask him?

The failure of the apostles emphasizes the power of Jesus.

Matthew 18:1-14; Mark 9:33-50

46An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

49John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

The disciples were concerned with their own power, but Jesus had concern for others, even a small child—“the least among you.” Small children were considered unimportant, but they were important to Jesus. He was willing to be the “least” (Mark 10:25)

John tried to stop someone who was casting out demons (which they were unable to do, remember). Why did he try to stop him? What was Jesus’ answer?

John 7:10

51When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But he turned and rebuked them. 56And they went on to another village.

This passage begins a long passage (9:51-19:44) in which Luke describes Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. In this section, Jesus is teaching the disciples what they will need to know after his death, resurrection, and ascension. As we can tell from their reaction in vs. 54, the disciples had zeal but they did not have understanding. Jesus rebuked them.

“taken up” refers to Jesus’ ascension into heaven and includes His entire “passion.”

‘Set His face to go to Jerusalem’ six months still until His crucifixion but from this time forward, His headquarters is in Jerusalem.

‘ the people did not receive Him’ refusing to receive a religious leader is the same as rejecting His claims

57As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The man said he wanted to follow him after he had buried his father. Most commentators think that means stay until his father died, not that his father was already dead and he wanted to stay for the funeral. Another one wanted to go home and say goodbye to his family. But even that showed an unwillingness to ‘take up the cross and follow Jesus.’ As Christians, following Christ must be the first thing in our lives, the most important aspect of our lives. Nothing in this world or this life is more important than following Christ! Discuss ‘hand to plow and looking back’ and fitness for Kingdom.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 8

Luke Chapter 8

8:1Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for themout of their means.

John had preached repentance as a preparation for the kingdom; but Jesus now appears to have preached the kingdom itself, which was indeed to bring good tidings

We here get a glimpse of the tireless activities of the ministry of Christ. Journeying from place to place, he was constantly preaching the gospel publicly to the people, and as ceaselessly instructing his disciples privately. The twelve were now serving an apprenticeship in that work on which he would soon send them forth alone. From this time forth we can hardly look upon Capernaum as the home of Jesus. From now to the end of his ministry his life was a wandering journey, and he and his apostles sustained by the offerings of friends. The circuit of Galilee here mentioned is peculiar to Luke.

Mary that was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out. What a change of service, from demoniac bondage to the freedom of Christ!

Joanna is mentioned again at Luke 24:10. Of Chuzas we know nothing more than what is stated here. It was an office usually held by some trusted slave as a reward for his fidelity. Chuzas was no doubt a man of means and influence. Chuzas was very likely the nobleman of John 4:46. If so, the second miracle at Cana explains the devotion of Joanna to Jesus. Of Susanna there is no other record.

The ministration of these women shows the poverty of Christ and his apostles, and explains how they were able to give themselves so unremittingly to the work. Some of the apostles also may have had means enough to contribute somewhat to the support of the company. Note how Jesus began to remove the fetters of custom which bound women, and to bring about a condition of universal freedom, but in any event the support was meager enough, for Jesus was among the poorest of earth.

Matthew 13:3-23; Mark 4:3-25

4And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: 5“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

9And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

A passage similar to this is found in Matthew 5:15

16“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 17For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. 18Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

Light creates responsibility. We are held responsible for the degree of light we have been given. We were in darkness until the light of the Gospel came to us. Now we have changed and we must live in the light of the Gospel.

Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35;

19Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. 20And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” 21But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

He was not denying his family relationship but he was declaring a greater relationship.

Matthew 8:18-27; Mark 4:35-41

22One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

Jesus went to sleep because he was weary—so tired that he was able to sleep through the storm. The disciples were afraid that they were all going to die, but Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves. Verse 24 says that the lake was calm. Even if the storm had stopped immediately, it would have take a while for the raging waves to calm. Jesus asked them “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and began to wonder who Jesus really was. They had seen many miracles by this time, but this was the first time they themselves had been saved.

Matthew 8:28-34; Matthew 9:1; Mark 5:1-21

26Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27When Jesushad stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) 30Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

Demons are also called unclean spirits. This man was not only demon possessed, he was possessed by a “legion.” A Roman legion was made up of 3000-6000 men. This mad was possessed by a mob of demons! This man had no will of his own. He was totally controlled by the demons.

The abyss or bottomless pit was the proper abode of the demons. It is mentioned nine times in Scripture: Luke 8:31; Romans 10:7 Revelation 9:1,2,11; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:1,3.

The demons begged not to be sent back to the abyss; they wanted to be allowed to enter the pigs. They had to ask permission—Jesus had total control over the demons. The demons recognized this. He commanded them to come out of the man, but he did not command them to enter the pigs. They did that themselves.

34When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessedman had been healed. 37Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

This man was now free of the unclean spirits. He was clothed and in his right mind and sitting at the feet of Jesus. This made the people afraid—so afraid that they wanted Jesus to leave! And so he did. The man wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus sent him home to be a witness of what Jesus had done for him. He was an evangelist—spreading the news of Jesus into new areas on the other side of the Lake of Galilee.

Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:22-43;

40Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus' feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

The people were waiting for Jesus to return. Jarius was a ruler of the synagogue. The ruler of the synagogue’s duties were to select the readings and plan the worship. He was an important man in the Jewish community. He begged Jesus to come and heal his daughter, so Jesus went with him.

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians,she could not be healed by anyone. 44She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Petersaid, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.”

This woman had been ill for 12 years and had spent all her money but no doctor could heal her. Because this was an illness ‘of blood’ she would have been unclean all that time. No one could touch her or they would become unclean, too. She must have felt desperate and lonely. She believed that if she could only touch Jesus, she would be healed—and she was!

Jesus knew right away that she had touched him. Of course he knew who had done it—he knew what the Pharisees were thinking, he had control over the winds and the waves, illness and death. But still he asked “Who touched me?” Why? Because she was unclean, her healing needed to be known publically so that it was known that she was healed and no longer unclean. She could return to a normal life. Also that it was himself and not his garment which had blessed her.

47And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

Her faith had healed her. Jesus had been moving through a great crowd of people, but only she had faith to reach out and deliberately touch him with the faith that doing so would heal her. Jesus had great compassion on this woman; she was the only person he ever called ‘daughter.’

49While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler's house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.”

Jarius’ daughter had died. Jarius and the crowd had just seen this woman healed and Jesus had just told her, in the hearing of all the people, that her faith had made her well. Now he is asking Jarius to not be fearful, but believe (have faith).

51And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

Jesus only allowed Peter, James, and John to go into the house with him (along with the parents of the dead girl.) He called her and she ‘got up at once.’ Her parents were amazed. Jarius believed that Jesus could heal his daughter and save her, but apparently, he was not so sure he could or would raise her from the dead. But it was Jesus’ intention to bring her back to life, whether Jarius and his wife really expected it or not.

Why did do you think that Jesus told them not to tell what had happened? The people would surely learn that the girl was alive! That could not be hidden. Perhaps it was because the healing would speak for itself.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 7

Luke Chapter 7

READ Matthew 8:1, 5-18

7:1After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2Now a centurion had a servantwho was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3When the centurionheard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” 6And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. 7Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

Think back to our study in Acts. Do you remember what a centurion is? What do we learn about this centurion from what we’ve just read? Why do you think he sent the elders of the Jews to Jesus instead of coming to Him himself? Why didn’t he want Jesus to come to his house? What did Jesus marvel about?

READ John 4:46-54

A centurion is a soldier who commanded 100 soldiers. His servant was sick and at the point of death. It may be that he knew the official whose son Jesus healed in the account in John. We can know for sure that when he heard about Jesus, he believed that He could heal his slave. The centurion asked some of the elders of the Jews to go to Jesus and ask Him if He would heal his slave. Do you think it is unusual for group of Jewish elders to fulfill the request of a Gentile? Why or why not? Notice that these Jewish men said that the centurion was worthy for Jesus to do this for him. They told him that he loved Israel and even built the synagogue for them! This man apparently believed in God and worshiped him but was not a proselyte of righteousness, or convert to Judaism. He was what is known as a proselyte of the gates. (Review Cornelius/centurion and what it means to be devout and one who “feared God” as well as relationship between Jews and Gentiles)

This man had authority. He was used to giving orders and having his orders obeyed. But he was a humble man, too, and did not want to presume upon Jesus. He believed that Jesus could heal his servant with just a word—even from a distance! The passage says that Jesus marveled at him for his faith. There are only two times in the NT that Jesus is said to marvel at anything. He marveled at this man’s faith and he marveled at Israel’s unbelief. We will see faith and unbelief contrasted later in this chapter.

Only Luke tells of this event.

11Soon afterwardhe went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesusgave him to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

Nain is about 20 miles south of Capernaum, where Jesus healed the Centurion’s servant. Here He is coming to the city gates at the same time that a funeral procession was carrying a man out of the city to be buried. Only the Kings of Israel could be buried within the city gates. All others were buried outside the city gates so that the dead bodies could not defile those in the city. This dead man was the only son of a women who was a widow. To be a widow was a difficult thing for a woman in that time, but to lose one’s only son was an even greater tragedy. If a woman became a widow, her sons would take care of her, but a woman without sons or family to take care of her was disadvantaged and in need of mercy. Some had no means of support. Jesus saw this woman and knew all about her. He understood perfectly what it meant to be widowed and childless. He had compassion on her and told her not to weep. Weeping and lamenting was a big part of the grieving process. Sometimes professional mourners were even hired to weep and lament at funerals. As it was, this widow was being accompanied by a considerable crowd from the town, all of whom were probably weeping and lamenting. When Jesus told her not to weep, it was the same as telling her not to grieve. He knew what He was going to do! There were a great many people there, watching what was going on. There was the crowd that followed Jesus and the crowd that accompanied the widow. We have often said that when Jesus did miracles He was normally establishing and proving His authority as the Son of God or to show His power, but in this case, He raised this man out because He had compassion on a woman. He did it to demonstrate His love and compassion.

The body was being carried on a stretcher by men. When Jesus touched the stretcher, the bearers stopped. Notice what Jesus said: “Young man, I say to YOU, arise.” There are three accounts of Jesus raising people from the dead and each time he called them individually, speaking directly to the dead person. That man responded by sitting up and speaking. Not only was he brought from death to life, but his health and strength had returned.

Jesus then gave him to his mother.

What was the response of the crowd? They thought he was a prophet! It had been 500 years since God had sent a prophet to the people of Israel. They were remembering that the Prophet Elijah had raised a widow’s son from the dead. (READ 1 Kings 17:17-24 What was the widow’s response when Elijah raised her son from the dead? How does that compare with the response of the crowd?)

READ Matthew 11:2-30

18The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” 21In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepersare cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

John was in prison when he heard what happened. He sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the one they have been waiting for. Jesus didn’t answer them right away. Instead, he healed many people of illness and cast out demons and healed the blind. He didn’t simply answer their question, He showed them! After he had done all these thing in their presence, He said, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepersare cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

By working those miracles, He demonstrated that He was truly the one that they had been waiting for. His words were a quotation of Isaiah 35:5-6 and Isaiah 61:1) He showed by His actions that He was the one with the authority and power to do all those things and then He proved it by the scriptures.

24When John's messengers had gone, Jesusbegan to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings' courts. 26What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.’(Malachi 3:1)

28I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

He then turned and talked to the crowds about John the Baptist, confirming that he was, indeed a prophet sent by God and that He was sent by God to prepare the way for His ministry. John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. The Old Covenant was being replaced. Jesus was bringing in the New Covenant and, as He preached, the Kingdom of God was at Hand. Jesus said that no one who had ever been born was greater than John, but that one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than He. He meant that in the sense that the New Covenant would be bringing in greater blessings and nearness to God than the Old Covenant could ever have done.

29(When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just,having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

31“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,

“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’

33For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

As we saw so often in the Book of Acts, some will believe and others will not. The people who had come to John in repentance believed, but the Pharisees rejected “the purpose of God for themselves” and did not repent and believe.

Jesus said that “this generation” were like children—never satisfied, always ready to criticize. He points out that they criticized John for fasting and not drinking wine and they criticize HIM for drinking and eating.

Luke 7:36-50

This account is found only in Luke.

36One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table.

Pharisee definition here. Open homes. Rules about hospitality, washings before eating, etc.

37And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

Woman

Sinner

Standing behind/Reclining

Alabaster

Ointment

fragrance

39Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”

Pharisee’s motivation—curious or hostile?

Jewish response to women, sinners

He could reject Jesus now, he thought.

40And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

Jesus knew what he was thinking to himself. Simon called him Teacher.

41“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both.

Parable. Definition

Now which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

“I suppose”

Did he see himself as a sinner or a person with a debt of sin?

44Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?

The Pharisee had seen the woman as the issue; Jesus brings her forward and begins to teach Simon by contrasting her actions with the Pharisee’s. Simon thinks he knows all about this woman. He knows her sin but he does not know her heart.

I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

Sandals, dirty feet, hospitality

Why did Simon withhold the customary hospitalities?

Water vs. tears

Why was she crying?

45You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.

Kiss as a greeting

Why didn’t he kiss Jesus?

46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

Head vs feet oil vs ointment

47Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49Then those who were at table with him began to say amongthemselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Why was she forgiven?

Why was the Pharisee forgiven little?

What saved her? Her love? Her demonstration of repentance?

What was Jesus teaching the Pharisee?

Jesus is the judge of men’s hearts, but the Pharisee was judging both the woman and Jesus.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons: Luke 6:23-end of chapter

Luke Chapter 6 continued

READ Matthew 5:1-2

17And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

This is called the Sermon on the Plain and is very similar to the Sermon on the Mount. Some believe that it was the very same sermon, but there are enough differences that it is likely that there were two separate sermons given at about the same time. It would not be surprising that Jesus would say very similar things to the various crowds that were gathering to hear Him, because he was announcing the Kingdom of Heaven which was at hand.

After He named the men who would serve Him as apostles, He ‘came down with them and stood on a level place’ and a great crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all around came to hear him preach and to be healed. He preached and healed and cured those with unclean spirits. It is unlikely that all the crowd had a physical illness, but notice that all the crowd wanted to touch Him, and He healed them all. Not all illnesses are physical. Some are mental or emotional or relational, but Jesus heals them all.

20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Verses 20-22 are very similar to Jesus’ teaching at the Sermon on the Mount. They are called “beatitudes.” A Beatitude is a religious term that means more than just happy or blessed. It means to enjoy the favor of God. Happy is the man who knows he is poor, who knows he has nothing to offer God, but understands that he must rely upon God. The hunger that is mentioned in verse 21 is not a normal empty stomach. It means a hunger and thirst for righteousness and a desire to please God. Happy is the one who weeps and is hated and reviled and whose name is made evil?? How can that be blessed? If we are persecuted for His Name’s sake, then there will be great rewards in Heaven. Jesus is teaching the people that this life and this world is not the most important thing. He is teaching them about the Kingdom of God!

24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

25“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

(“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.)

The three underlined ‘woes’ are the opposite of the three beatitudes. (Read each beatitude followed by the corresponding woe and discuss)

READ Matthew 5:43-48

27“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.

Jesus begins in vs. 27 by saying, “But I say to you who hear.” He is teaching something different from the norm. He is calling his apostles and disciples to live a different way, to respond a different way. He is calling them to love in action.

READ Matthew 7:12 The Golden Rule

31And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Many philosophers and religious leaders, like Socrates, Buddha, and Confucious, have said similar things, but they said it this way: Don’t do to others what you would not want done to you.” They made it a rule about ‘not doing’ instead of ‘doing.’ Jesus took it a step further and taught that we should do FOR others what we would like to have done for us. Rather than simply restraining ourselves from doing wrong, Jesus is teaching that we are to love and serve others and treat them with the respect that we desire for ourselves. Do you see the difference between the two phrases? Which one do you think is harder to do?

32“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

This is really amazing. Christ is teaching his disciples to be loving and merciful because God is loving and merciful. He tells them, and us!, to do good and expect nothing in return, but then goes on to say some amazing things: there will be great reward for those who do these things out of love for God and man. He says that they, and we!, will be sons of the Most High. He tells them that God is kind even to the ungrateful and the evil! Therefore, we must be merciful like he is. READ Colossians 3:12-17

READ Matthew 7:1-6

37“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

These verses do not mean that we are forbidden to judge another person, but rather that we are not to judge their inward motives to condemn them. Only God has all the information. We can think we have things figured out. We can think we know why someone did whatever they did by we do not know or understand. Jesus wants us to be forgiving and patient with other people, even when we think they have done wrong. That does not mean that we overlook wrongdoing, but that we should be willing and ready to forgive.

39He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

Jesus wants us to worry more about our own actions than finding fault with others. We all have much to confess and repent and rather than focus all our attentions about what we think other people are doing wrong, we should examine ourselves and confess and repent so that we can grow in grace and truth. Only then will we be able to help others.

43“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Our actions show what is in our hearts.

READ Matthew 7:24-29

46“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

READ 1 Corinthians 3:9-16

The only foundation that we must build upon is Jesus Christ and his Gospel. He is that Rock that we must build our foundation upon.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
May022009

Sunday School Lessons, Luke 6:1-22

READ Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28

6:1On a Sabbath,while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. 2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” 3And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” 5And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Jesus and his disciples were hungry on the Sabbath and as they walked along, they were picking grain and eating it. The Pharisees were there, watching. They asked Him, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath? They were trying to catch Him doing something against the law. It was unlawful to cut the grain with a sickle or thresh the grain on the Sabbath, but they were not breaking the Mosaic Law by rubbing it in their hands and eating. Notice that Jesus did not become defensive or argue with them about the finer points of the Law. Instead, he reminded them of the time when David and his men were hungry and he went to the priests and asked for bread. The only bread they had was the special bread that was offered on the altar and only for the priests to eat. On that occasion, the priest gave David the special bread in a special circumstance. Jesus was proving to them that He, himself, was the Lord of the Sabbath. By this He was claiming authority to interpret the Law Himself and by that, He was making a claim that He was divine.

READ Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6

6On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. 8But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. 9And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” 10And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

The scribes and Pharisees watched Him to see if He would heal on the Sabbath. They wanted to find something of which they could accuse Him. The very fact that they were laying in wait to catch Him healing on the Sabbath proves that they believed He COULD heal and that He WOULD heal the man. They knew He had compassion on those who needed healing.

He knew their thoughts. He called the man and put him in plain sight and asked the Pharisees if it was lawful to do good and save life on the Sabbath. Notice what he did next. He ‘looked around at them all’ but they made no answer to Him. Why do you think he looked at them all? What was their response? He healed the man’s hand, and by healing Him, he was again demonstrating His authority. (Matthew says that after this they ‘conspired to destroy him.’)

READ Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19

12In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Again, Luke describes the prayer life of Jesus. Jesus went out to a mountain, alone, and prayed all night. This was an important, significant occasion. Jesus was about to select 12 special men—apostles—from his followers, or disciples. Which of these men have been mentioned in Luke’s gospel thus far? What is the difference between a disciple and an apostle? An apostle is a messenger (from God) and a disciple is a learner, or follower. These men were called out by Jesus to be the leaders of the church that He would one day establish after His resurrection and ascension. He prayed all night before he gathered his disciples together and named these men. Each of these men were chosen by Christ Himself. READ John 15:16 One of these men denied Him three times. One betrayed Him to those who sought to destroy Him. Do you remember Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 when he said, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Peter denied Jesus and Judas was the one who betrayed Jesus and gave Him over to be killed by the hands of lawless men. But Jesus did not make a mistake by chosing these men; it was all according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Sunday
Nov092008

Sunday School Lessons: Luke Chapter 5

Luke Chapter 5

Read Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20

5:1On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

Matthew and Mark both include a brief account of the calling of the disciples Peter and Andrew, James and John who were fishermen. Luke gives more details and includes this account of the miracle that took place that day on the Sea of Galilee.

In this passage, notice that the crowd wasn’t following Jesus for healing and miracles, they were ‘pressing in on him to hear the word of God.” The people recognized that Jesus was preaching God’s Word and that’s why they crowded in to listen. Have you ever been part of a crowd and tried to hear and see what was going on in front of you? It can be hard to know all that is going on in a crowd. Jesus saw the empty boats that were docked near the shore and so he asked Simon to take the boat out from shore a little bit so that the people could see and hear him. Have you ever been on the shore when a boat full of people sailed by? Even though they are far away from you, the voices carry across the water and you can hear more than you expect! Jesus sat down and taught the people and they could all see and hear.

4And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

After he finished speaking, he told Simon to “put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. What was Simon’s response?

Simon was a fisherman and he knew that the time to fish on the Sea of Galilee was at night and nearer to the shore. He was a professional fisherman, Jesus was not. He had just spent the entire night ‘toiling’ and then when the sun came up and they returned to the shore without a catch, they still had to clean the nets and get them ready for another night’s work. Even though Simon told Jesus that they had toiled all night and caught nothing, he obeyed Jesus. He believed his word. Why do you think he believed him? Even though Simon had just listened to Jesus teaching, he didn’t call him ‘Rabbi, teacher,’ he called him Master. As tired as he was, Simon was ready to obey his master.

6And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

They cast their nets and gathered in a miraculous catch. The nets were so full that they were beginning to break with the great weight of the catch of fish. They had to beckon to the fishermen in the other boat to come and help them bring in the catch. There were so many fish that both boats were filled and they began to sink!

The captains and crews of two fishing vessels saw this might catch. They had probably had big catches before but nothing at all like what they saw that day! They knew that they had witnesses a great miracle—no one knew better than they did! It is also likely that the people who had come to hear Jesus teach were able to see what happened from the shore. Why do you think Jesus did this particular miracle on this particular day?

8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Simon had listened to Jesus preach and he saw the miracle that Jesus had just performed. He understood that he was God. Being in the presence of Jesus and understanding that He is truly God, Simon also knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was sinful and could not stand in the presence of holiness. (Isaiah 6) The first thing we must do when we come to Christ in faith is to believe that He is God and that we are sinners. Simon understood.

9For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Remember what we’ve noticed about men’s reactions when they are in the presence of angels? What is the angels first response? Jesus not only told Simon not to be afraid, he also told him that ‘from now on you will be fishers of men!’ This miracle made such an impression on them that they all left everything and followed Christ. Think about this for a minute. They had just been more successful than they had ever been before, but rather than stay there and start fishing the way Jesus had instructed them for earthly gain, they left their careers when they were most successful so that they could follow Christ!

Do you remember what happened on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell and then (Simon) Peter preached to the men of Israel? READ ACTS 2:37-41 That was what Jesus was talking about—that day Peter, by the power of the Holy Spirit, cast the net and brought in a great multitude and the church was born.

Read Matthew 8:2-4, Mark 1:40-45

12While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy.And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 13And Jesusstretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.

It was a terrible thing to have leprosy. (Lev 13:1-8, 45-46) Leprosy is a skin disease and under the Mosaic law, once you had leprosy, you had to leave your home and family and live apart from everyone else. If you had to be around people, you had to cry, “Unclean, unclean!” so that people knew that they had to stay away from you.

This man was full of leprosy. He came to Jesus believing that he could heal him. Jesus reached out to this man and touched him and healed him! No one touched a person who was unclean. To do that would make you unclean. But Jesus touched him and healed him! Hebrews 4 says that he is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. Read John 6:37

14And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 15But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

Jesus told the man to go straight to the priest and show that he had been healed and to do as the law required and make an offering to God. But the word got out! The man who had been covered with leprosy was now clean and he was back with his family and in the community! Everyone was talking about it and they all came to hear Jesus teach and to be healed. Jesus worked day and night among the people, teaching and preaching and healing but he always took time to get alone so that he could pray.

Read Matthew 9:2-8, Mark 2:1-12

17On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.

This was another large gathering of people. The people had come from far and wide to hear Jesus teach. And Jesus was healing. The Pharisees and teachers of the Law were there, watching what was going on. This is the first indication of the hostility of the religious leaders.

18And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

This man was paralyzed. He could not physically get to Jesus without help, but he and his friends had faith and believed that Jesus could heal him, so they went to great extremes to get him to Jesus. Jesus said something unexpected here. Do you remember what he said to the man with leprosy when he asked to be healed? But this time he says, “Your sins are forgiven you!” Jesus has the authority to teach, to do miracles, to heal and to forgive sins.

21And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts?

Jesus was able to perceive the thoughts of the Pharisees and the scribes. He knew that they were accusing Jesus of blasphemy, for only God can forgive sins. Jesus was claiming to be God and he proved He is God, both by demonstrating that He knew these men’s hearts and by healing the man.

23Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”

By healing this man, Jesus proved that he has authority to forgive sins.

25And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”

Read Matthew 9:9, Mark 2:13-14

27After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.

Levi is the same person as Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector. What do you remember about tax collectors? They were hated because they were corrupt. It is clear from this passage that Levi was not following after Jesus at this point. He was sitting at the tax booth, doing his job. But Jesus called him to follow and, like the fishermen, he left everything to follow Jesus. This is not as flashy as two boats full of fish but this is still a mighty miracle! Jesus knew Matthew and called him and he came!

29And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Jesus not only called a sinner to be a disciple, he ate and drank with sinners! The Pharisees and the scribes were still watching and they were not happy. They were grumbling—this time out loud instead of in their hearts! This is another thing the Pharisees and scribes would hold against Jesus—that he ate and drank with sinners and tax collectors—unheard of! In the same way that doctors go to take care of sick people, Jesus goes to those who are sick. The sickness is that of sin and only those who know that they are sinful can repent. If a person thinks they are already righteous, they will never repent. Jesus is the great physician and He heals those who come to Him in faith and repentance.

33And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” 34And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

The scribes and Pharisees are still looking for ways to criticize Jesus. They compare his disciples to those of John and of themselves in the manner of fasting. Jesus tells them that the time for fasting will come once he is gone. There is a proper time and manner of fasting.

36He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

When a person comes to Christ, he is a new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17) We are not just patched up, we are made brand new. We cannot hold on to our old ways.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.

Saturday
Oct182008

Sunday School Lessons: Luke Chapter 4

Luke Chapter 4

The Temptation of Jesus

Read Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12,13; Luke 4:1-13

The Gospel of John does not record the temptation of Christ because his purpose is to portray Jesus as the Son of God and emphasizes His Divinity.  God cannot be tempted.  However, Matthew, Mark, and Luke all emphasize Jesus as the God Man.  Jesus was tempted as a man “in all points as we were, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wildernessfor forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.

Jesus was lead into the desert by the Spirit and He was full of the Holy Spirit.  This tells us that God had a purpose for the temptation of Jesus.  He was tempted for 40 days and during that time, he did not eat, so he was hungry. 

Who is the devil? When is the first time the devil shows up in scripture?  (Read Genesis 3:1-13)  What are some of his names? The devil has a name, Satan, because he is a fallen angel, a person (Jude 1:6, 2 Peter 2:4)  He is not simply a representation of evil.  He is real.  Before we talk about his temptation of Jesus, let’s make sure we understand who he is.

Satan is neither omnipresent, omniscient, nor omnipotent. (def.) He is only a tolerated rebel, as we are tolerated rebels. He was the first sinner (1 John 3:8), and was the originator of sin (John 8:44). He is the perpetual tempter of mankind (Revelation 20:2,8), but he shall be conquered by the Redeemer (John 12:31; Revelation 12:9), and may be conquered by us also through the grace of Christ (1 Peter 5:8,9; James 4:7); but is, nevertheless, dangerous (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:9). Jesus, therefore, teaches us to pray for deliverance from him (Matthew 6:13, R.V.). Jesus will destroy the works of Satan (1 John 3:8), and Satan himself shall suffer eternal punishment (Revelation 20:10). . . The devil is called slanderer because he speaks against men. (Revelation 12:10-12) and against God (Genesis 3:1-5).

The word "devil" is Greek. The word "Satan" is Hebrew, and means "adversary" (Job 2:1). Satan is referred to under many other terms, such as Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24); serpent (Revelation 12:9); prince of the powers of the air (Ephesians 2:2); Abaddon (Hebrew) and Apollyon (Greek), meaning "destroyer" (Revelation 9:11); Belial, meaning "good for nothing" (2 Corinthians 6:15); murderer and liar (John 8:44); prince of this world (John 12:31); god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4); and the dragon (Revelation 12:7). These terms are always used in the Bible to designate an actual person; they are never used merely to personify evil. (from the Four Fold Gospel)

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’

What was the first thing the devil said to Jesus?  What is the temptation that the devil lays before Jesus? In what way does this remind you of the serpent’s temptation of Eve? Read 1 John 2:15-17 How did Jesus respond to him.  And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”

In this second temptation, the devil offers Jesus a short cut.  What is the temptation? Did the devil have any authority to offer this? Read John 12:31, John 14:30, John 16:11, Ephesians 2:2)  How does Jesus answer Satan this time? 

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’

11 and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

This time Satan is tempting Jesus to test God.  This time it is Satan who is quoting scripture!  Read Psalm 91.  Does the section that Satan quoted as a way of proving that He is the Son of God make sense when you read the whole Psalm?  Why not  Satan is asking Jesus to prove He is the Son of God.  Again, how does Jesus respond? 

“When the devil had ended every temptation.”  Satan had tempted Jesus in every way, but Jesus did not yield.  He trusted God.  Notice that it says that he departed from him until an opportune time.  Satan will come back and tempt Jesus again in the Garden of Gesthemane.  He will again tempt Jesus to take the easy way out.  But Jesus continues to trust God and follow the path set before him—all the way to the cross.

Why was Jesus tempted? 

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

After the temptation, Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.  Everything Jesus did was in the power of the Spirit.  He went into the synagogues and taught.  Every town and village had a synagogue in those days.  The synagogue was locally the place where people were taught the Mosaic Law, where the Law was read before the people, and where prayers were said.  Synagogues came about during the time that the Israelites were in captivity.  The worship of God and the sacrifices for sin could only take place at the temple in Jerusalem.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Only Luke records this event.  Jesus returns to His hometown and stood to read the Word of God.  The people stood when the scriptures were read out of respect and reverence for the Word of God.  Jesus read a passage from Isaiah 61.  (Read Isaiah 61:1-2)What part did Jesus leave out?  Why did He leave that part out? 

22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph's son?”

These people were marveling at Jesus’ words.  They had seen Him grow up in Nazareth.  They knew Him to be Joseph’s son.  But Christ had just said at the ending of the reading of scripture that the Scripture had been fulfilled in their hearing.  Jesus had called Himself the anointed one.  They had no doubt that He was proclaiming that He was God’s promised Messiah.

23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

Jesus is telling the people from His own hometown that they would miss out on the blessing if they did not believe He was who He said He was.  He says that in the days of Elijah there were many widows in need, but Elijah was sent to only one, a Gentile, because she believed.  Naaman was not the only leper in Israel, but none of the other ones were healed, only Naaman, a Gentile, because he believed.  He is telling the people that the blessings and gracious words of scripture were only for those who would believe.  (I Kings 17:8-16; 2 Kings 5:1-14)  This made them angry.

28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.

When they heard these things they not only rejected His words, they drove Him out of town and tried to throw Him off a cliff!  Apparently, the mob was able to lay hands on Him and bring Him to that place, but when it came right down to it, they could not do what they set out to do—kill him.  Why not?

31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

Another Sabbath, another day of teaching in the synagogue; this time in Capernaum.   The people were amazed because He taught as one with authority.  He proved His authority by rebuking the demon and casting him out of the man.

38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law, further proving His authority.  Notice that He rebuked the fever (DEF rebuke:  to turn back or keep down) and she was healed immediately.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

The sun had set on the Sabbath day, but Jesus continued to minister to the people, healing them and casting out demons.  He healed every one that was brought to Him.  He worked through the night:

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea. 

The people wanted Him to stay, but He told them that He MUST preach the good news of the kingdom of God for He was sent for this purpose.  He continued to preach in the synagogues, teaching them about the Kingdom of God.  This is another one of the “I MUST” statements in Luke.

*These lessons are written for use with elementary aged students. You can find lessons for previous chapters here . All scriptures are taken from the ESV.