Showing posts with label Luke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luke. Show all posts

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Luke 24

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, women followers of Jesus took the spices they had prepared for Jesus' body. They discovered the tomb to be empty, and the stone rolled away. When they entered the tomb, they found the body of Jesus missing. Two men in shining garments proclaimed that Jesus had risen. In their freight, the women bowed down with their faces to the ground.

They were told, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them shared this news to the apostles. However, they did not believe the women as it sounded like nonsense.
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Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb, only to find the strips of linen lying by themselves.

On the same day, Jesus joined two disciples on their way to Emmaus. They did not recognize him and were talking about those events that took place, related to "Jesus of Nazareth." They narrated the entire story of Jesus being crucified including the women folks going to the tomb and not finding his body there. In the evening, they urged Jesus to join them, without knowing it was Jesus. When he gave thanks and broke the bread, they realized it was Jesus. Immediately, they returned to Jerusalem to share this news.

Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples and said, "Peace be with you." Startled and frightened, they thought they saw a ghost. He asked them for something to eat and they gave him a piece of broiled fish.
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Jesus explained to them that his suffering was necessary.
Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 
We certainly need that blessing from above, and our minds need to be opened by the Lord, in order to understand the Scriptures. However, if we thirst for it, Lord will grant us that vision.

Jesus was later taken up into the heaven. The apostles return to Jerusalem and stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

This concludes the Gospel of Luke.

My Thoughts
It is impossible to read the Holy Scripture and make any sense to understand it. I guarantee that we need the help of the Lord to be able to read, study and understand it. Truly it is a blessing from above, and am so thankful to the Lord for bringing us this far along in our journey. There are many things I learned and understood during this journey - so many that I cannot just pen down. All I can say is that it is an awesome journey and I crave for more.

Luke 23

Luke documents further details about how Jesus appeared before Pilate, then how he was sent to Herod, and later returned to Pilate again. By trading Jesus between them, Herod and Pilate, who once used to be enemies, now became friends. Pilate tried his best to let Jesus go free after punishment, as he did not find anything that Jesus did to deserve death. The crowd, however, insisted that he be crucified.

Barabbas, who was thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, was released from prison and Jesus was surrendered to their will.

Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country was seized and was made to carry the cross of Jesus behind him. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.

Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

At a place called the Skull, Jesus was crucified between two criminals. Jesus looked towards heaven and said, "Father forgive them, for they know now what they do." Onlookers mock him, and they placed an inscription above him that read, "This is the King of the Jews."

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Jesus was crucified along with two criminals - one on each side. One of them found salvation. Darkness covered the entire earth from noon until three. The curtain of the temple was torn into two.
Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The centurion who witnessed all these praised God and said, "Surely, this was a righteous man." All who knew Jesus, including women, watched the events from a distance.

Joseph of Arimathea, an upright man who was waiting for the Kingdom of Heaven to come, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. He wrapped the body of Jesus in linen clothes and buried it in a tomb cut in the rock. The women who accompanied Jesus from Galilee saw the tomb and how it was laid in it. They went home and prepared spices and perfumes. While Sabbath was approaching, they rested in obedience.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Luke 22

While Passover was approaching, chief priests and teachers of law were looking for an opportunity to get rid of Jesus. They were afraid of the people, and wanted to cover their tracks. Satan entered Judas, who agreed to betray Jesus for money. The priests could not believe their good luck and hatched out a plan to arrest Jesus out of sight of crowd.

Jesus sent Peter and John to make preparations for Passover. During the dinner, Jesus predicted that one among them would betray him.

Then Jesus intervened in a squabble about who was the most important disciple. He taught them that greatness emerged paradoxically, through service. Jesus conferred a kingdom for the disciples saying that they will sit on thrones in God’s kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus also predicted that Peter will deny him three times before the rooster crowed that early morning.

After the dinner, Jesus went to Mount of Olives to pray. There he told the disciples to pray so that they would not fall into temptation. He asked God the Father, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel came and strengthened him. Jesus was sweating blood while he prayed more earnestly.

Jesus roused those sleeping disciples and instructed them to pray. Soon, Judas came with a crowd and betrayed Jesus with a kiss. An unnamed disciple cut off the right ear of the servant of the high priest. Jesus healed this servant, and submits to his arrest.

That night, Peter denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. When Jesus looked at Peter, he remembered what Jesus told him earlier. He went outside and wept bitterly.

Then Jesus was blindfolded, beaten, insulted and mocked. Before the Sanhedrin, Jesus confirmed that he is the Son of God.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Luke 21

Jesus, after observing people giving into the temple treasury, commented about a certain widow. The poor widow who donated a small amount was giving more than the donations of the rich. Jesus was talking about giving in terms of percentage.

When some disciples were speaking about the beauty of the temple, Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem temple.

Jesus also predicted the arrival of several false Messiahs. Nation will rise against nation, and there will be earthquakes, famines and persecution. In his own words, the end times will looks somewhat like this:
Luke 21:12-19 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life."

Jerusalem will be trampled by the gentiles until the time of the gentiles is over. Then the Son of Man will come with glory, bringing help.
Luke 21:29-31 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
He also said that the current generation will by no means pass away until all that he mentioned came to pass. He advised them to live well in preparation for the second coming.

Every morning he taught at the temple and later, he went to the Mount of Olives to spend the night there. People would arrive early morning to hear him.

Luke 20

When the authority of Jesus was questioned by the chief priest and teachers of the law, he outwit them by asking another question.
Luke 20:3 - 8 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism - was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn't you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” 
We then read the parable about a certain owner of a vineyard, whose servants were abused by his tenants. They later killed his son as well. The owner later took away the vineyard from them and gave it to someone else.

Jesus then cited Psalm 118, about the rejected stone becoming the cornerstone. The chief priests and teachers of law wanted to silence Jesus and looked for means to arrest him. They then sent innocent looking spies to trap Jesus.

One question they asked him is whether it was required to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus said pay what to Caesar what is his, and pay to God what belongs to Him.

A Sadducee, who did not believe in resurrection asked Jesus about a woman' husband who married seven times. Jesus replies that in heaven, there is no marrying or giving in marriage, and that those in heaven are equal to the angels.

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God is the God of the living, but not of the dead. According to God, all are alive. Jesus asked them about the Messiah being the son of King David and nobody could answer it.

Jesus warned the people against those teachers of the law, who crave honor.
Luke 20:46-47 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Luke 19

While going through Jericho, the wealthy chief tax collector named Zacchaeus was desperate to see Jesus. As he was a short man, he could not see Jesus through the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.

When Jesus arrived under the tree, he called out, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

Soon, Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Those who witnessed the incident were indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?”

While at the house, Zacchaeus said to Jesus, "Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Luke 19:9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
While the people were listening, they thought the Kingdom of God was going to appear at once. Jesus told them a parable - a certain master gave his servants ten minas each, and condemned one who does not invest it.

As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, to get him a colt. Jesus rode on the colt into Jerusalem, as a King, lauded by the people.
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Everyone was cheering:
Luke 19:38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some Pharisees who were in the crowd asked Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
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Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem.
Luke 19:41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.
Jesus cleansed the temple by driving out those who were conducting business. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

The high priests the religious scholars and leaders were finding a way to get rid of Jesus.

My Thoughts
If we met Jesus on the way, and if told us he was planning to stay at our house tonight, will we have the guts to invite Jesus to our house? Do we worry about what our friends may think of inviting such a guest into our house? Suppose we do, will we say, "Jesus, please wait here... let me clear out certain things from my house before you enter." And once He enters, will we have few rooms locked so that he won't see what's going on there?

The big question I have for myself is, "Do I have the courage and audacity to invite Jesus into my home the way it is right now - just like Zacchaeus?" 

Luke 18:15-43

A rich man once approached Jesus and inquired how to obtain eternal life. Jesus told him to follow the commandments - no illicit sex, no killing, no stealing, no lying, and honoring parents. The man said he was obeying all these. Jesus then pointed out something he lacked - he was told to sell all his possessions and give it to the poor.

This mad the rich man terribly sad and he was unwilling to let go of those things he held dearly.
Luke 18:24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
The disciples were puzzled, especially they had abandoned everything to follow Jesus. They were told that they will receive many times over, and in the age to come eternal life.

Jesus then predicted his suffering, death and resurrection, but the disciples do not understand as the meaning was hidden from them.

While they were in Jericho, a blind beggar approached Jesus, and called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus stopped on his way and ordered the blind man to be brought over to him. He said, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you. The blindness was healed instantly.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Luke 18:1-14

Jesus told his disciples a story to explain that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He told them the parable of a persistent widow.

A certain judge had no fear for God nor cared what people thought. A woman kept approaching him with a petition for justice. She kept going to him despite the turn downs. Finally, the judge granted the petition of the widow, simply because she had been persistent.

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God will avenge his elect much more this unjust judge.
Luke 18:6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.
7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
8 I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Then Jesus narrated the parable of the Pharisee and Tax collector. The Pharisee in his own righteousness, thanked heaven as he was not like those others - robbers, evildoers, adulterers, or even the tax collector. The tax collector, on the other hand, would not even look up to heaven, but prayed to God for mercy. Jesus made the point that the tax collector was justified before God.

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All those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Luke 17:11-37

Jesus on his way to Jerusalem, traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. En route, he healed ten lepers, and told them to go show themselves to the priests. One of them, a Samaritan,  when he found out he was healed, he returned to Jesus, fall at his feet and thanked him.

Jesus was bit disappointed that the rest of the nine did not return to give glory to God. He asked the Samaritan to get up and go on his way.

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Once, in response to a question from a Pharisees about when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ And why? Because God’s kingdom is already among you.”

Jesus warned about the arrival of false Messiahs. He said he must suffer and be rejected. Moral corruption, similar to those from the days of Noah, and in Sodom will form the backdrop to the coming of the Son of Man. In both cases, people were having loads of fun till Noah boarded the ark, and till Lot's family walked out, respectively. He advised them not to be attached to materialistic things.

On the day Jesus comes, some will be taken suddenly and others will be left behind.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Luke 17:1-10

We are instructed to forgive anyone who offends against us and then repents, even if they do it seven times a day.

Next, Jesus tells us to have the faith of a mustard seed. Even a mustard-seed of faith would be sufficient to make a mulberry tree uproot itself and be planted in the sea.

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Dutiful care is expected of us, as it is of servants.

Additional Info
Here is an article for those interested. Tap to read:
Faith So Simple, As a Mustard Seed... So Why Does Religion Complicate Faith?

Luke 16

Jesus told his disciples the parable of a dishonest manager. A manager steward who was about to be fired, curried favor with his master's debtors by writing off some of their debts. The master commended his shrewdness.

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Luke 16:10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 
We cannot server two masters - especially God and Mammon. The Pharisees who loved money were sneering at Jesus. He said God can see right through their hearts.

Additionally the told them, "Using the legalities of divorce as a cover for lust is adultery; Using the legalities of marriage as a cover for lust is adultery."

The Rich man and the Lazarus was the next parable. Lazarus, a beggar, sat at the gate of the rich man. Both died and Lazarus went to Abraham’s bosom, while the rich man arrived in hell. The rich man asked Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool his tongue. However his request was denied. The rich man in his sorry state wanted to warn his brothers of the hell. Again, he was told that they have Moses and other prophets for issuing such warnings.

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Luke 15

Several men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and teachers of law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:3 Then Jesus told them this parable:
4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders
6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 
There is more rejoicing about the recovery of one lost sheep than the ninety-nine which never went missing.

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A lost coin that is found is also a matter for rejoicing.
Luke 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Jesus then narrated the parable of the Prodigal Son. When the younger son returned, the father called the elder son and rejoiced.
Luke 15:31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” 
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Luke 14

One Sabbath, Jesus was dining at the house of a prominent pharisee. It was common for Jews to invite others to their homes after synagogue service. Jesus defended himself against those who criticized him for healing on the Sabbath. He healed a man suffering from abnormal swelling in his body.

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When he noticed how people elbowed into the place of honor, he had a piece of advice. At a wedding feast, we should not take the highest place of honor on your own initiative. Whoever humbles himself will be exalted, and vice versa.

He also taught us whom to invite - we are supposed to invite those poor to dinner, who cannot repay us.
Luke 14:12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
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Jesus then narrated the parable about a great feast. Those who were invited gave excuses and therefore, the poor and dispossessed were invited to the banquet instead.

Jesus explained the cost of his discipleship. To follow Jesus, we must love Jesus more than our family members, father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters, even our self.

If salt has lost it's flavor, it is good for nothing.

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Luke 13

Jesus said that human tragedies are not always a result of divine punishments. He quoted the example of those eighteen Galileans killed by Pilate at a sacrifice, by a falling tower at Siloam.
Luke 13:2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?
3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
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God is looking for us to be fruitful, just like how a farmer looks for fruits on a fig tree – if the tree is not producing fruit, it will be destroyed.

Jesus was criticized for healing a woman on the Sabbath, who was crippled for eighteen years. He rebuked those who opposed it.
Luke 13:15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?
16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
People delighted at his answer, and his opponents were humiliated.

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The kingdom of God, according to Jesus, is like a mustard seed that grew and became a tree, and yeast that worked through all the dough. Jesus encouraged us to enter through the narrow gate of God's salvation, which will eventually be shut, causing wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Jesus was told to run for his life as Herod was looking to kill him. Jesus lamented for Jerusalem. He desired to gather its children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.
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Luke 12

Jesus was primarily concerned about his disciples and issued a warning, "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Do no be afraid of persecution, but fear Him who has the power to cast you into hell after your death."

If God can remember birds, and keeps track of all those hairs on our head, he will not forget us. The Son of Man will acknowledge to God, those who publicly acknowledges Him before others. He will forgive words spoken against the Son of Man, but not the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. If we are ever dragged before rulers, police, judges etc, for speaking about the the Son of Man, we need not worry how to defend ourselves - the Holy Spirit will assist us by providing us with those right words when the time comes.

When someone in the crowd approached Jesus to help his brother share the family inheritance, he said not to be greedy and narrated the parable of the rich fool. It was about a man who lay up treasure for himself, but was not rich toward God.
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God will look after us and provide our needs. We cannot fuss in front of the mirror and become an inch taller. Jesus pointed them to look at the wild flowers - the lilies neither toil nor spin, yet they are richly dressed than King Solomon.

Jesus does not want us to store things in this world. He wants us to store treasure in heaven. He says:
Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
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We are told to be watchful and alert when the Master shows up. We are supposed to be ready with burning lamps, for we do not know at what hour the Son of Man is coming.

Jesus said he wished he could blaze fire on earth right now. He said, "You know how to tell a change in the weather, so don’t tell me you can’t tell a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right now."

Now is the time to get things right with God - not when we are up before Him in judgment.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Luke 10

Jesus appointed seventy disciples (some manuscripts say 72) as lambs and sent them among the wolf pack.
Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves."
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They were told to travel light, offering peace on a house, or having it returned to them. Those who rejected the disciples rejected Jesus. They were not supposed to hold 'small talk' with everyone they met on the way.

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The team of seventy came  back and reported their success. In their excitement, they said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

Jesus said that he had given them the authority all the power of the enemy and that he saw Satan falling from heaven. He told them not to be excited because the demons submitted to them, but to rejoice because their names were written in Heaven.

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Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."
He then told his disciples privately that they were blessed.
Luke 10:23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
When one teacher of the law asked Jesus how to acquire eternal life, Jesus gave out the formula: 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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Next, when questioned about the neighbor, Jesus narrated the parable of the good Samaritan.

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Jesus and his disciples stayed at the house of Martha and Mary. Martha was busy and distracted with all the preparation and serving. However, Mary, her sister, simply sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to him. Jesus commended as Mary being wise and choosing the best.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Luke 9:28-62

Jesus took Peter, John and James up to a mountain for prayers. All three of the disciples were half asleep. During that time, Jesus transfigured. He was seen to be with Moses and Elijah.

The topic they were discussing was about "his departure." Witnessing this glory of Jesus made them wide awake, and Peter suggested he build three shelters for each one of them. At that time, a cloud appeared and engulfed them, and they were frightened.

A voice expressing the special role of Jesus was heard from Heaven, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” Soon Jesus was found to be alone.

The following day they descended the mountain and found a large crowd at the bottom of the mountain. A father approached Jesus to heal his son's seizures, as the other disciples could not heal him. Jesus was bit frustrated at their unbelief and they having no regard for God. He then healed the boy.

While everyone was congratulating Jesus for what he did, he called upon his disciples and said, “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” The disciples did not understand a word of what Jesus said and they were afraid to ask for a clarification.

Then an argument broke among the disciples as to who had the most power and rank. Jesus brought a child to his side and told them that whoever treated this child like Jesus, and accepted Jesus was the greatest. He taught them that it was by accepting, not asserting they became great. Essentially, what Jesus conveyed was that, "Your spirit, not your size, makes the difference.”

John brought to Jesus' attention a man using the name of Jesus to expel demons and asked if they should stop him. Jesus said not to do so.

Turning Point
From here on, Jesus started on his journey towards Jerusalem to be crucified. He is not taking a straight path, but through Samaria and Galilee. The villagers of Samaria did not welcome him, when they learned that his destination was Jerusalem.

On the way, he called three men to follow him, and be his disciples. All three turned down that wonderful opportunity. Here is why:
- The first man, who was a scribe wanted to learn the cost of following Jesus. When he learned he had to deny everything, he turned down the offer as he was used to living in comfort.
 - The second man was thinking about the funeral of his old aged father, when he should have been thinking about his own. His love for family members weakened his love for Lord.
- The third man was looking back, instead of ahead. His heart was not fully with Jesus.

My Thoughts
We can see the disciples having lack of spiritual power to cure the child.
They argued among themselves due to lack of love for each other.

The slogan of our world is, "Size Matters." Make note and pay attention to what Jesus says. In his words, "It is the spirit and not our size that matters." Regardless of how we appear to the world, it simply does not matter. Moreover, people are talented in exaggerating their belongings. Lord knows the exact measure of what we have, as He was the one who provided us those. He is eyeing our spirit. Therefore, scoring brownie points with Him makes perfect sense.

By worldly standards, the cost of following Jesus is indeed a costly affair, and many things can come in our way.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Luke 9:18-27

Jesus was curious to know what people were saying about him. The crowd had varying opinions such as Elijah, John the Baptist, One of the old prophets, etc.. Jesus directed the same question to the disciples, "Who do you say, I am?" Peter answered, "God's Messiah." Upon hearing this, Jesus issued strict warning not to share this with anyone.

Next, Jesus predicted his death. He said he'll be rejected by everyone and killed, finally to be raised on the third day.

To everyone, Jesus said that whoever wanted to follow him must carry his own cross. This means, such individuals should allow Jesus to lead - by placing Jesus in the driver's seat. He advised them to embrace suffering, by not being afraid of it, and said he would show how to do that. The way to find life was self-sacrifice.

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For those who were embarrassed to be with Jesus and the way in which Jesus was leading, he told them that he too will be embarrassed to be with them on that day when he comes with all his splendor in the company of God, the Father and holy angels.

Few of them who were there with him on that day would witness the kingdom of God prior to their death.

My Thoughts
One of the toughest job is to be a Sunday School Teacher. On the surface, it may seem like a non-demanding job with hardly any supervision. To me, I (used to) take it extremely seriously, being responsible for the souls of young children.

Sunday school is not baby sitting, while parents go off to catch wind of the latest gossip. It is shepherding those youngsters in the way of Jesus by being a model person. We ought to treat ourselves as God's ambassadors and see those kids as Lord's children. Our teaching should impart such knowledge which will leave an everlasting positive impact in their lives.

I could afford to mess up a multi-billion dollar project, but not the soul of a young child. It seems on the surface that nobody is supervising me, but the truth is that Lord is - Lord alone is watching me what I am doing with those children, and how I am sowing those seeds of 'Heavenly Kingdom' in their hearts.

Currently, I am still learning a lot about the personality of Jesus Christ. I consider myself to have the knowledge of a first grader (if that's the lowest class), with a tremendous amount of scripture to learn. Maybe one day I will be able to share the persona of Jesus, his teachings, and of course, about that wonderful place - Heaven, with those youngsters.

If you are a Sunday school teacher, please treat your role extremely seriously. Be at your best - show up at church on time, when it begins. Be a righteous person, request the help of the Holy Spirit to shower wisdom upon you, and let the right words be at the tip of your tongue while teaching. Remember - in that role, you essentially belong to Lord's army and wear His uniform..

May your actions speak louder than your words. Let others see the image of Christ shining within you, whenever they interact with you!