Read: Luke 22; John 13
Marked: Luke 22:42, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Sometimes we struggle to know God’s will. Yet, isn’t Scripture filled with instruction to know His will?
It is God’s will that I love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind (Mark 12:30). It is God’s will that I love my neighbour as myself (Matthew 19:19). It is God’s will that I should love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, bless those who curse me, and pray for those who spitefully use me (Luke 5:27-28).
It is God’s will that I care for the poor (Matthew 19:21), esteem others better than myself (Philippians 2:3), and pray for all men, for kings, and all who are in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). It is God’s will that I should do these and many other things.
If I’m not doing this can I really pray as Jesus prayed; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done?
Read: Matthew 23; Luke 20-21
Marked: Luke 20:27-28, Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to [Him] and asked Him, saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us [that] if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.”
Why did they deny the resurrection? Why do we deny what we deny? Is it because we’ve made up our minds before we look into the matter? Many deny a literal hell but have no problem believing in a literal heaven. But what does God say about these things in His Word?
The Bible is light illuminating our understanding. In it we find wisdom and truth. And if we are open to discovery and learning, regardless of what we think, we will see that our understanding quite often contradicts what the Word of God says.
When we see that our thinking contradicts the Bible we should change our thinking and not what the Bible says.
Read: Luke 19 Marked: Luke 19:13, “So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’”
Ten servants received one Mina each and were told to do business till the Master returned. A Mina was about three months wages, a substantial amount.
Christians have been given a commission to go and make disciples and the Lord has given us the means to do so. Like the servants in the parable, some will increase ten fold what they’ve received. Another might realize a five fold increase. Both were commended by the Master.
But one servant had done nothing with what he’d been given. Doing nothing is not an option. Yet, too many servants of the Lord do little or nothing.
Considering the commendation the first two servants received it is likely had the first servant simply invested what he’d received he would have been commended too.
God has prepared before hand the work we are to do. And the instruction from the Lord is we are to walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
Read: Luke 18
Marked: Luke 18:38, And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
In his hymn, Amazing Grace, John Newton wrote, “Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”
There is physical blindness, but also spiritual blindness. This man was blind physically, yet by faith he could see that Jesus was the promised Messiah. He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” This was a title given to Christ in the Old Testament.
Even though I could see physically, my spirit was blind to Jesus. I didn’t “see” because I was wealthy, had need for nothing, and did not see that I was wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
It wasn’t until I cried out to Jesus that the veil blinding me was lifted, and I saw my need for a Saviour.
Read: Luke 16-17
Marked: Luke 16:10, “He who [is] faithful in [what is] least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in [what is] least is unjust also in much.”
How can you tell if someone is untrustworthy? Character, trust, and faithfulness are related. If someone is faithful with small tasks chances are they’ll be faithful with larger tasks. But if someone is unjust in small matters, are they likely to be just in larger matters?
A persons true character and trustworthiness can sometimes be seen in how they handle small things or how they treat the least among us.
Read: Luke 14-15
Marked: Luke 15:22-24, “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put [it] on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on [his] feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill [it,] and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”
People struggle to understand how anyone convicted of a heinous crime, say murder, could ever be forgiven by God. The story of the Prodigal Son explains why.
Committing a heinous crime confirms the sinfulness of a person. We see murder, rape, or genocide as unforgivable. But lying, stealing, and lust as lesser sins. But the penalty for all sin is death and these lesser sins confirm we are sinners as much as anyone else.
The Bible says we are dead in sins and trespasses, but when we receive Jesus Christ we are made alive in Jesus (Ephesians 2:1). The father of the prodigal said of his son, “For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found (V24). And it was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again , and was lost and is found” (V32).
Hear the words of Jesus, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Read: Luke 12-13
Marked: Luke 13:4, “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all [other] men who dwelt in Jerusalem?”
In the opening verses of chapter 13 Jesus relates two events that occurred and which people knew about.
There is a mistaken belief that bad things happen only to bad people. But we know that is not true. If it were then bad would happen to us all because we are all sinners.
On the earth good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. What happens has nothing to do with people being good or bad. Yet, in verse 5, Jesus warns us that unless we repent we will all likewise perish.
We can all die at any time. But there is something worse than dying and that is eternal separation from a loving God. We may die through no fault of our own by accident or disease, but the perishing of which Jesus is speaking is the result of a stubborn heart which refuses to acknowledge sin and receive forgiveness through salvation in Jesus Christ
Read: Luke 10
Marked: Luke 10:16, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
Some say they believe in God but reject Jesus. As a Christian I am not ashamed of the gospel (the Good News) of Christ because it is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16).
If someone rejects the message of salvation in Jesus, they are rejecting God. Even if they profess faith in God, when they reject Jesus, the reject God who sent Him.
Read: Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9
Marked: Luke 9:56, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save [them.]” And they went to another village.
Religion teaches condemnation. The Pharisees and Sadducees condemned Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. Religion establishes a hierarchy and it was obvious the disciples were well versed in the religion of the day as they argued among themselves as to who was greater.
But Jesus wanted them, and us, to know the heart of God, the heart of mercy, compassion, and grace. His disciples thought the Father was an angry, judgmental and condemning God. And, today, many think so too.
The disciples forbade others to teach in the name of Jesus because they weren’t part of their group. They even wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan village because they had not received Christ.
But that’s not the Spirit of God, nor the Spirit Jesus has given us. Jesus didn’t come to condemn or destroy but to build up, to save us and invite us into the Kingdom of God.
Read: Luke 11
Marked: Luke 11:2-4, So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as [it is] in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
Of all the things the disciples could have asked Jesus, they asked Him to teach them how to pray. From this prayer we see that faith in God is primarily one of relationship between Father and child. No matter the earthly example we may have had, or seen, our Father in heaven has a relationship with us based in love.
Our Father is above all things. He desires us to be citizens of His Kingdom. He gives us day by day our daily bread. He sustains us, both physically and spiritually. He forgives us our trespasses and asks us to do the same for others. And He delivers us from the evil one.
The rest of the chapter builds on the principles contained in the Lord’s prayer. Our heavenly Father knows how to give us good things.