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Bible Study Notes on Luke 9:43-62 – 20180620

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Bible Study Notes

Luke 9:44-45  “Let these words sink down into your ears…they did not understand this saying…they were afraid to ask Him…”
I think after Jesus asked the disciples who they and others thought He was, He decided He needed to focus His disciples on the fact that He was the Messiah, but that He wasn’t going to become a ruler yet.  He was in fact going to be killed by those his disciples thought He would conquer.  Up until now, Jesus had been preaching repentance, healing the sick, casting out demons, and doing all that the Messiah had been prophesied to do with the exception of conquering the world.  I think He was trying to show the people He was indeed the Messiah so they should listen to what He said.  If they had been paying attention to what the prophets foretold, they shouldn’t have a problem understanding.  But their minds were on the final acts of the Messiah, and they were more interested in what they could gain rather than their relationship with God.  He began to speak in parables to weed out those who weren’t truly interested in His message.  And now it is coming close to His crucifixion, and He realizes not even His disciples have made the connection of the current mission of the Messiah.  He will begin to tell them over and over what is about to happen, but they’re blinded to it.  And as it says, they’re afraid to ask Him about it.  I wonder if part of that was embarrassment because they knew they probably should understand but didn’t.

46  “…dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest”
Shows where their minds were.  Not on the message, but on the kingdom and their places in it.

49-50  “…we saw someone casting out demons in Your name…he who is not against us is on our side”
Went over this in Mark.  Thought there was that God chooses who and where His message is proclaimed, and He can use anyone He wants.  They don’t necessarily have to be Christian.  I’m wondering about what John said.  We saw someone casting out demons.  Did this mean they were able to do it, that God was removing the demons at their request?  Makes me think it may also have to do with the heart and intention of the actor.  I’m wondering about the sons of Sceva in Acts 19.  They tried to duplicate what Paul was doing, but the demon beat them up over it.  They weren’t using the name of Jesus reverently as the source of power, but as some sort of magic incantation or tool that anyone could use.  So, between the two recordings of this incident, it would appear that God uses who He wishes to display His power, but He apparently also uses the person’s heart as a determining factor.  From what Jesus said to John, we don’t have the ability to see into the heart, so as long as the person isn’t doing something against Jesus or God, we should not bother them.  Like differences in worship.  As long as we’re both worshipping Jesus and aren’t practicing anything blasphemous or heretical, both methods of worship are acceptable.  And in most cases, even if there are some infractions in truth, we should let God handle the adjustment.  We can speak the truth if He gives us opportunity, but we should let Him correct the problem His way in His time.  After all, we’re talking about other Christians who belong to Him.  He can chasten His children better than anyone.

53  “…they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem”
Commentaries suggest it was human nature.  Samaritans saw that He was going to Jerusalem, and their prejudice prevented them from being hospitable.

54  “…do You want us to command fire to come down…”
Impulsiveness of James and John.  Jesus rebuked them in their thinking.  If you’re trying to reach people who don’t agree with you, you have to be ready to take some antagonism without resorting to destroying anyone.  Dead people can’t receive Christ.  Time may come when we have no choice, but we should love people enough to want them to know Christ and thus accept their persecution until Jesus changes them.  The location of that line between acceptance and action has long been debated.  I can only say look to Christ for His leading in any given situation.

58  “…the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head”
Following Christ may cost more than you know.  May require everything.

59  “…let me first go and bury my father”
Not at that moment.  He was saying he would follow after his father had died and he no longer had that responsibility.  Jesus said God took priority.  We should be willing to do whatever Jesus requires of us.  Other obligations we can trust to Him.

61-62  “…let me first go and bid them farewell…No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back…”
Sounds harsh on the face.  Commentaries suggest the request to go and bid farewell wasn’t just to say goodbye, but showed a connection the person didn’t really want to break.  If the person went back, they could be influenced to stay and not leave.  Jesus’s reply reflects this idea.  He mentions someone looking back, longing for what was.  That shows indecision on the part of the person, and that was what He saw in this one.  The decision to follow Christ should not be impulsive.  You should have already weighed the elements before saying you will follow Him.  When I got saved, I didn’t know all the costs associated with following Him, but I certainly knew the consequences of not doing so.  Costs in this world are nothing compared to the consequences in the hereafter.  Momentary light affliction.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Luke 9:21-42 – 20180618

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Bible Study Notes

Luke 9:21-22  “…warned and commanded them…tell…no one…Son of Man must suffer many things…and be killed…raised the third day”
I think this is the reason Jesus always told people to tell no one what had happened.  He knew the people did not understand what He was there to do, that the Messiah was not going to be an earthly king at this time.  If He had allowed them to make a big deal of everything and tell others as they wanted, He would have to deal with such a crowd of people who would have wanted to go ahead and make Him an earthly ruler.  Judas was probably part of that ilk.  Finding out that Jesus definitely wasn’t going to be that expected ruler may have played a part in getting him to betray Jesus.

25  “…he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost”
It should be obvious to anyone that no one lives forever.  Everyone dies at some point in some way.  And when someone dies, all their earthly possessions are left behind, even their bodies.  So, why would anyone base the purpose of their life on things, knowing they couldn’t take them with them?  At best, even the things we own are only borrowed for our use while we’re here.  What we leave simply becomes someone else’s or is destroyed once we’re gone.

27  “…shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God”
Went through this in Matthew and Mark.  Could be a reference to what Peter, James, and John will see in the Transfiguration incident or could be a reference to how the disciples will see God’s kingdom begin to grow after the Resurrection.

29  “…appearance of His face was altered…”
Not told exactly how it was altered.  Glorified body.  Could be the basis for why Jesus wasn’t immediately recognized after His resurrection.

31  “who appeared in glory…”
Both men appeared this way.  We know Moses died because God buried him, but Elijah was taken up.  Now both are in the same condition.  I don’t think it matters how we pass through the veil.  Raises some interesting questions.  Do Enoch and Elijah already have their glorified bodies?  As far as we know, their bodies aren’t down here as both were taken by God.  And we know that those who are alive and remain when Christ comes for the family will be changed in a moment, they don’t die and then disappear.  Here we see Elijah already appearing in glory.  Interesting questions.

32  “…Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep…”
Assuming they tried to pray as Jesus was, but succumbed to drowsiness from being still for so long.  We can’t lay too much indignation on them for being frail humans.  I don’t think they understood what was going on at the time.  I don’t think we would have either in their shoes.  We have the advantage of the Holy Spirit and of hindsight.

36  “…told no one in those days…”
Obviously anyone they told wouldn’t have understood any better than they did.  Plus there was the chance of envy among the disciples.  Raises the question, how did Luke find out?  Apparently either spoke directly to Peter, James, or John or to someone who was told about the incident.  As his version is slightly different than the others, I would guess he spoke to someone besides Matthew and Peter or Mark.

41  “…how long shall I be with you and bear with you…”
Seems a harsh rebuke from Jesus.  But not so when you think of all that was going on.  I can understand His frustration.  The people were swayed by whatever was happening.  They either seemed to have great faith or none at all depending on whether they got what they wanted.  And the disciples seemed to waver in their own faith of Jesus’s power.  In the other accounts, Jesus tells them some demons are only removed with fasting and prayer, or a consistent faith borne of that.  That was their problem.  They weren’t completely sold out on who and what Jesus was.  And we remember, they didn’t have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at that point.  After they did, they had no problem dealing with illness and demons.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Luke 9:1-20 – 20180614

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Bible Study Notes

Luke 9:2  “He sent them to preach the kingdom of God…”
He gave them power and authority over demons and the ability to heal the sick.  But He sent them out primarily to preach the kingdom.  We can change the circumstances of this world, but unless we have Christ, we have nothing.  We can heal all diseases, eliminate famine and want, and eradicate poverty, but people would still go to Hell without Christ.  Our priorities must be in line with Christ’s.

3  “…do not have two tunics apiece”
Nothing but the clothes on their backs.

6  “…they departed and went through the towns…”
Not sure why Jesus did this.  He’ll send out seventy to do this later, so maybe this was a test run.  He’s looking for another way of reaching the people, the ones who want to listen to the message, not just get something from Him.  He gave the disciples the same power and authority He had, so the only difference is the fact He isn’t there.  Maybe this will flush out the ones who want to hear Him.

10  “…when they had returned…”
We’re not told how long the disciples were gone, nor what Jesus did during that time.

12  “When the day began to wear away…”
With the number of people they had, it would seem more time would have to pass to accomplish what they did.  But it sounds here like it happened on a single day.  Perhaps beginning in the early morning.

17  “…twelve baskets of the leftover fragments…”
Had more leftovers than they did to start.  Fed the multitude and still had some for each disciple for later.

18  “…He was alone praying…He asked them…”
I think He was struggling with His next strategy to reach the people.  He had tried preaching in the synagogues, preaching in the towns, and healing the sick and demon possessed.  And the people seemed to come to get healed or otherwise get something from Him.  Sounds like He’s deciding where He stands among the people and His own disciples.

20  “…The Christ of God”
Peter’s direct affirmation that Jesus is the Messiah.  I don’t think he fully understood what that meant yet.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Obedience of the Dead

The Open BibleLuke 7:11-17  Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd.
12  And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.
13  When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
14  Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
15  So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
16  Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”
17  And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.

I want to look at a few aspects of this passage with my focus on what occurs in verses fourteen and fifteen.

From preceding verses, we see that Jesus had been in Capernaum which is a coastal town on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  Looking at a map of ancient Israel will show you that Nain is a small village around ten to twelve miles south southwest of the Sea, a couple of miles from Nazareth.  The text tells us that He approached Nain with many of His disciples and a large crowd.  They either followed Him from Capernaum or perhaps joined Him near Nazareth, if He went that way.  I’m not familiar with the exact topography of the area, so I’m not sure exactly what path He would have taken to get to Nain.

Jesus arrives at the gate of the city and encounters a funeral procession.  This procession has a particularly sad note associated with it.  We’re told the young man who had died was the only son of his mother, a widow.  Widow’s usually had a hard go of it during ancient times.  Men were the providers.  Once a woman’s husband died, if they weren’t fairly well off financially, she would have trouble with a livelihood if her husband hadn’t been able to save something for her or she would be dependent on her children.  In this case, the woman had lost her husband and now her son.  She would have no one to depend on.

I like the fact we’re told Jesus had compassion on her.  We wouldn’t expect anything less from Jesus, but I think the writer has made it a point to stress the extra sadness of the situation and Jesus understood that.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  Just because He wants us to live the truth doesn’t mean He doesn’t understand how weak and fragile and clueless we are.  He deals with us through His great love and compassion for us.  Even though we get some things a bit off center, He deals with us as with children, knowing we’ll understand more as we grow in Him.

Now we come to my focus.  Notice in the last part of verse fourteen, Jesus merely says to the body of the young man, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”  I can see the Hollywood version of this now.  Low, rumbling music, the ground shaking, Jesus with His arms outstretched, His eyes rolled back in His head, and at least five to ten seconds pass before the dead man very slowly sits up in his coffin.

But Jesus isn’t the Hollywood type.  He didn’t mumble some mumbo-jumbo, or wave His arms about, or start some chant or incantation.  And there was no show about the young man rising, no hesitation on his part.  Jesus spoke and the dead man immediately obeyed.  “So he who was dead sat up…”  Just like that.  What power a person would have to possess to be able to simply say to the dead, “Get up,” and the dead suddenly come to life and get up.  That is the Jesus we serve.  God Himself.  Creator of all things in the universe, including us, and the universe itself.

The people were astounded at what they witnessed, obviously.  They mention a great prophet must have risen or that God has visited His people.  Understandable.  Both are references to what had happened in Israel’s history and which hadn’t happened to them in a long time.  And they were close in their statements.  Jesus was something of a prophet, and God was indeed visiting His people.  But unfortunately, they didn’t see the full truth of the situation.  God Himself had visited His people.  He hadn’t sent just another prophet, He had come Himself.

I think this is one reason Jesus would often caution people who had experienced or witnessed His healing power to not spread word of Him to others.  He wanted the gospel of His coming, the good news of salvation and redemption to be the primary focus of His ministry and the word that people spread.  All the miracles in the world won’t save us.  Only belief in Him.  That young man who came back to life would someday die again.  But if he believed in Jesus for his salvation, he would someday rise to never die.

May we be as obedient as that young dead man.  When Jesus speaks to us, may we answer His call, first to salvation through Him, and then to whatever service He requires of us.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Luke 8:40-56 – 20180612

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Bible Study Notes

Luke 8:42  “…she was dying…”
Matthew’s account says Jairus came and said his daughter was already dead, but that he knew Jesus could raise her up.  Makes me think the disciples didn’t all hear exactly everything that was happening, but caught the issue was over a daughter.  Since she was dead when they got to the house, they assumed she had been dead all along.  Witnesses Luke spoke with got more specific details.

43  “…having a flow of blood…”
It is assumed this was probably part of her monthly feminine issues.  Perhaps it was occurring more often than once a month.

43  “…had spent all her livelihood…”
Doesn’t say she was a widow, but it doesn’t mention a husband either.  Depending on her age, perhaps the problem had prevented her from marrying.  It is pure speculation, but it sounds like she was a widow with decent means originally, but the physical issue had caused her to use up all her provisions.  Now she had no livelihood and was sick to boot.

47  “…that she was not hidden…”
One commentary suggested that she had thought to just touch His garment and disappear with her miracle.  That her faith wasn’t completely in Jesus, but that she thought of Him as one who had power, and she only had to touch His garment to capture some of that power for herself and get away.  Hard to say.  But what we do know is that Jesus said her faith, even if it was very small, was enough.  We don’t have to know everything about Jesus to accept Him.  I certainly did not at the age of ten when I received Him.  All I knew was that I recognized my sin and my need for Him.  I asked Him to forgive me of my sin and to come into my heart and save me.  That was a tiny bit of faith, but Jesus says it is enough.  All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

49-50  “…Your daughter is dead…only believe…”
That must have been a hard blow to hear.  Jairus thought the truth was that his daughter was dead.  But the Truth was standing there with him.  The conclusion would not be reached until Jesus had His say.

52  “…she is not dead, but sleeping”
Her outward or inward appearance didn’t matter.  What Jesus said was the truth.  And He was about to wake her up.

55  “…He commanded that she be given something to eat”
Would prove that she was indeed alive.  Would also be attending to her physical needs if she had not eaten while she was sick.

56  “…He charged them to tell no one…”
Probably the standard reason of not wanting the crowds to try and make Him an earthly leader.  Knowing He had raised a child from the dead would have greatly fueled that desire among the people.  They would be more interested in what He could bring as a ruler than His message of salvation and redemption.  That would create folks like we have today, many who claim to follow Him, who even admit Who He is, but don’t believe on Him since they don’t see their need.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Luke 8:22-39 – 20180611

Bible Study Notes

Luke 8:22  “…on a certain day…” Marks of how the scriptures were written.  Personal memory may not be precise.  I can never remember exact dates of past experiences myself unless I have something to tie them to.  But the importance lies in what happened.

23  “…He fell asleep…” Jesus was susceptible . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Luke 8:22-39 – 20180611

Bible Study Notes on Luke 8:1-21 – 20180608

Bible Study Notes

Luke 8:1  “…He went through every city and village, preaching…” One of His methods.  He began by going into the synagogues.  Not sure how far down the list this method is.  He used several over the course of the three and a half years.  But all with the same intent and . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Luke 8:1-21 – 20180608

Bible Study Notes on Luke 7:24-50 – 20180607

Bible Study Notes

Luke 7:24-26  “…What did you go out…to see…reed shaken by the wind…man clothed in soft garments…more than a prophet” Had an idea of what Jesus was saying, but the commentaries were helpful in clarifying it.  Why did they go out to see John?  Was it because he was wishy-washy in his . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Luke 7:24-50 – 20180607

Bible Study Notes on Luke 7:1-23 – 20180604

Bible Study Notes

Luke 7:1  “…when He concluded…He entered Capernaum” Wonder if this is an indication that He was not far outside Capernaum when He gave the sermon on the mount.  Commentaries didn’t mention it.  Could be, but doesn’t have to be.  Same problem.  Writing a chain of events from different memories.

3  “…he . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Luke 7:1-23 – 20180604

Bible Study Notes on Luke 6:27-49 – 20180601

Bible Study Notes

Luke 6:27  “…Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” Doesn’t mean you have to like everything they do or even agree with what they do.  You have to understand what love really is.  Wanting what is best for the person without regard to anything else.

29  “…strikes you . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Luke 6:27-49 – 20180601