Tuesday, April 17, 2018

LUKE 9:23-27 DENY SELF: DECLARE CHRIST


DENY SELF:
DECLARE CHRIST
Luke 9:23-27
(See also Matthew 16:24-28)

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Susan: “Deny” here is to utterly deny oneself, to give the right to oneself. It is to separate from one’s own desire and will and submit completely to the will of God. When I think of denying oneself, I think of two examples in the Bible. Of course, the primary example is of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39b). Then there is Mary who upon being told that she was to bear a baby by the Holy Spirit while still a virgin, said to the angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). To take this concept to a more personal level, when within the confines of my cerebral-palsied earth-suit, I have to choose to be obedient to thank the Lord in, for, and though the pain and to trust Him in the midst of it, it is a denial of my natural desire to complain.

Susie: To the disciples, the cross was a symbol of an excruciating, demeaning death. To take up the cross was to be willing to follow Jesus even to the death. In addition to denying one’s own desires in favor of God’s will, a person must be willing to live sacrificially in the service of the Lord.

Susan: In the past, the word “daily” has flown right by me. To take up one’s cross is not a one-time event. Each day, even moment by moment, I must choose God’s plan rather than my own no matter how dire the resulting consequences.

Susie: God may not call me to be literally a martyr, giving my life because of my love of Jesus. However, He calls me to DAILY be willing to lay down everything I am and everything I have for His glory and His purposes.

Susan: We must lay every personal dream, choice, or plan at the foot of His cross. God’s dream for me is greater, more fantastic, more splendid than any desire we have. When God called me to ministry, I tried to tell Him that He had the wrong person—a woman, in a wheelchair, with CP—but now I can’t think of doing anything else with more passion, zeal, joy, and fulfillment than preaching the Good News.

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us . . .

Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

MacArthur Study Bible note on Luke 9:24:

Aside from the command “follow Me,” this saying is repeated more times in the gospels than any other saying of Christ. Luke 17:33; Matt. 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35; John 12:25.

Susan: We must die to personal ambition in order to live for Kingdom purposes and the glory of the Eternal One.

Susie: To follow Jesus while He walked on earth would have been a difficult choice for a Jewish person. Since the religious leaders had completely rejected Jesus, to follow Him would result in a complete loss of status. Life as the person had known it would be over. However, to lose their life in the Jewish community would be to gain deliverance from sin and eternal life with God.

Susan: There are still people today who are tortured or killed because of their trust in Jesus, especially in countries of the 10-40 window:
Susie: Even in our “Christian” nation, people who convert to Christianity may be faced with loss of social standing, difficulties in the workplace, or even resistance in their own home. We must be willing to have our lives drastically altered here while remembering the hope we have for eternity.

Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

Susan: Many people spend all their energy and vitality on things that are temporary, fleeting, rather than giving themselves to the One who created the earth, its people, and everything. By rejecting Jesus and focusing only on everything temporal, a person is choosing a forever home in Hell.

Susie: We tend to forget that our time here on earth is temporary, that this life as we now know it is like steam that evaporates after a few moments:

James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Susie: How we respond to Jesus during our short lives here determines where we will reside forever—in eternal peace with the Lord Jesus or in eternal punishment with Satan. There is no advantage in having all the treasure, fame and power of this world if it leads to eternal toment.
Susan: There is no benefit to having all your treasure here:

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Susie:  However, this does not mean that a Christian should not have wealth. The importance is in the attitude that person has. We must remember that all we own here actually belongs to God, and we are just stewards (managers) of His wealth for His glory.

Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

Susie: We have explained the term “Son of Man” in an earlier lesson, but for those who may have just joined us: Whenever Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son of Man” He was quoting the Old Testament prophet Daniel (Daniel 7:13) and clearly claiming to be the Messiah as this was widely accepted as a Messianic prophecy. Let’s look at some similar statements in cross references:

Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 12:9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Susie: Being “ashamed” or denying Christ in this context is not a temporary denial like that of Peter when Jesus was arrested. It is a complete rejection of Him as the Son of God, never acknowledging His Lordship and deity until it is too late. If a person never trusts in and confesses Christ (publicly declaring Him as Lord), Jesus will say to that person:

Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. ( Matthew 25:41)


Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

Susan: At first glance, one could say, “What?!” and scratch their head because we know that all the apostles eventually died. However, it must be understood that Jesus was speaking of the three apostles who would have the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration which was a glimpse of Jesus in His glorified state not long after this statement was made.

MacArthur Study Bible note on Matthew 16:28: some standing. In all 3 of the synoptic gospels, this promise is made immediately prior to the Transfiguration (Mark 9:1–8; Luke 9:27–36). Furthermore, the word for “kingdom” can be translated “royal splendor.” Therefore, it seems most natural to interpret this promise as a reference to the Transfiguration, which “some” of the disciples—Peter, James, and John, would witness only 6 days later.

Ponder this and Apply it: If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, trusting Him for deliverance from sin and death, you are His disciple. Re-read verses 23 and 24. Perform a self-check and evaluate how well you are denying self and dying daily to your own desires in order to pursue the plans God has for you, His disciple, His child.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

LUKE 9:18-22 WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?

WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?
Luke 9:18-22
(see also Matthew 16:13-20)

Luke 9:18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?

Susan: It was imperative to Jesus that He have intimate time with the Father, seeking His face and receiving instruction in the execution of the Father’s plan.

Susie: It is difficult for our finite minds to justify the fact that Jesus and the Father are One God, yet Jesus as the incarnate Son placed Himself in a subservient position to the Father. He modeled complete obedience to the will of God, an example we are to follow.

Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Susan: Sometimes Jesus was completely alone with the Father, but others, as in this passage, He included His disciples in His prayer time to exemplify the importance of communing with the Father. The disciples comprised Jesus’s life group, as we would call it—a close group of friends praying together.

Susie: As Jesus taught the crowds of people and performed miracles, His disciples would be His ears among the crowds.

Susan: Therefore, Jesus asked the disciples, “What is the word on the street about me?”

Luke 9:19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.

Susie: The disciples answered that some people thought Jesus was John the Baptist, others the prophet Elijah (Elias) and still others one of the other ancient prophets. According to Matthew’s Gospel, they also specifically named Jeremiah.

Matthew 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Susan: The majority of those who followed Jesus’s ministry did not yet realize that He was the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God. They still thought of Him as only a great prophet.

Luke 9:20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

Susie: We must know that Jesus already was aware of the answers to these questions because even though He was fully man, He was still completely all-knowing God. However, for the benefit of the disciples, He asked them who He was in their opinion.

Susan: Peter, the most boisterous and vocal of the Twelve, spoke up and said, “You are the Christ (The Anointed One), the Son of the Living God.”

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Susie: Matthew had Peter specifically calling Jesus the Son of the LIVING God. People believed in various other gods, but all of them were immobile, impotent idols. He identified Jesus as the Son of the True God that the Jewish people worshipped.

Jeremiah 10:3-5 (NIV) For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.”

Jeremiah 10:11-13 (NIV) “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’” But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

1 Chronicles 16:26 (NIV) For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.


Luke 9:21-22 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

Susie: Although the Father had revealed to Peter and the other apostles that He was indeed the Messiah (Matthew 16:16), Jesus told them not to spread that specific news yet. The time had not yet come for His deity to be fully revealed to the masses.

Susan: Some people in the massive crowds would have wanted to divert Jesus from the cross, crown Him as King, and have Him lead a coup against the Romans. That time was not yet. During His incarnation, Jesus was to be the Suffering Servant prophesied in Isaiah 53. The time of His earthly rule is yet to come.

Susie: From this point on in His earthly ministry, Jesus began making His way to Jerusalem to face the cross and conquer death and the grave; and He began preparing the disciples by warning them in advance of all that must happen to Him. However, as we will see in the later chapters of Luke’s gospel they were still caught off guard when Jesus actually died.

Susan: Jesus pursued His purpose with relentless abandon. The victory He won over sin and death was not for Himself alone but for all who believe and entrust their lives to Him, the forever family He sacrificed Himself to redeem as had been promised Him by His Heavenly Father. 

Ponder this and Apply it: Who do you say that Jesus is? A great moral man? A prophet sent by God? Or the Son of God? C.S. Lewis pondered those questions in his book Mere Christianity:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.

Who do you say Jesus is? If you are convinced that He truly is the Son of God, risen from the dead and sitting at the right hand of the Father, God has revealed that truth to you. Surrender your right to yourself and place your life in the hands of Jesus. If you have already committed yourself to the Lord, rejoice and praise Him right now!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Luke 9:12-17 FIVE LOAVES AND TWO FISH FEED FIVE THOUSAND PLUS

FIVE LOAVES AND TWO FISH
FEED FIVE THOUSAND PLUS
Luke 9:12-17

The feeding of the 5,000 men plus women and children is the only miracle of Jesus, other than the resurrection, recorded in all four of the gospels. (Matt. 14:15–21; Mark 6:35–44; John 6:4–13)

Luke 9:12 And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.

Susan: The Twelve felt intimate and comfortable enough with Jesus to offer Him advice. They saw that evening was getting close and pointed out to Him that they were in a desolate, isolated area; and they urged Jesus to send the people away so they could find food and a place to stay for the night.

Luke 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

Susan: To their advice, Jesus answered, “No, I want you to provide food for them.” They replied that all they had to share with the enormous multitude is fives loaves of bread and two measly fish.

Susie: Where did they get the bread and fish? John explains further:

John 6:7-9 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

Susan: One little boy’s lunch was not going to cut it, and the idea of buying food for over 5,000 people was preposterous.

Luke 9:14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.

Susie: Jesus never really answered the question of whether to go out and try to make a deal for food or how to meet the need. Instead He commanded the disciples to organize the people into groups of about fifty each and have them sit down.

Luke 9:15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.

Susan: The disciples may have remembered Mary’s instructions to the servants at the wedding in Cana just before Jesus turned the water into wine, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5). They immediately obeyed instructions and organized the crowd.

Luke 9:16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.

Susan: Jesus looked toward Heaven, the Source of His power, and blessed the Father for His provision for the people.

Susie: Then Jesus broke the bread and fish into smaller pieces and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. The Bible does not tell us if they kept coming back to Jesus for refills or if the food just continuously multiplied in their baskets so that they never ran out. 

Luke 9:17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

Susan: Jesus did not just set out food for the crowd on a first come, first served basis. Every individual there ate until they were satisfied.

Susie: And after everyone had filled their bellies, the disciples gathered up the leftovers. John’s Gospel clarifies that Jesus commanded them to pick up the food that was left.

John 6:12 (CJB) After they had eaten their fill, he told his talmidim, “Gather the leftover pieces, so that nothing gets wasted.”

Susie: This may not have been just to show that He provided more than enough. It was not proper to throw out leftovers:

Complete Jewish Study Bible note on John 6:12

According to halakhah, traditional Jewish law, the destruction of food was prohibited. In feeding the multitudes, Messiah honors the edicts of Judaism by stating, “Gather the leftover pieces so that nothing gets wasted.”

Susie: We are not told what they did with the twelve baskets of food. Perhaps they used them for their own journey the next day or distributed them to the local needy people, but they had seen that Jesus was able to provide abundantly for their needs.

Susan: The disciples were learning that Jesus was guaranteed to have their backs in every situation as they walked in obedience to His will.

Ponder this and Apply it: The men closest to Jesus, the Twelve, looked around and tried to find a logical solution to feeding the crowd. There was no good answer. This was an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His ability to supply all their needs. When the situation looks impossible, when there seems to be no earthly solution to your problems, stop looking around you and look up to the Father. Many times, His provision comes in unusual ways. Live in obedience to His will and ways, and the answers will come in HIS time and HIS way. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Luke 9:7-11 WHO IS THIS MIRACLE MAKER?


WHO IS THIS MIRACLE MAKER?
Luke 9:7-11

Luke 9:7-8 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;  And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.

Susie: The news of Jesus’s teaching and miracles had reached the highest levels of government. Herod Antipas was called “Tetrarch” because after the death of Herod the Great who ruled when Jesus was born, the kingdom was divided among his sons. Herod Antipas ruled the region of Galilee which was a fourth of the original kingdom. Tetrarch derives from “tetras” (four) and “arche” (government).

Susan: Herod was fearful of being brought under God’s judgement for killing John the Baptist. He was superstitious and thought Jesus might be John returned from the dead to exact retribution for his life being cut short by Herod’s decree.

Susie: Even if Jesus was a resurrected Elijah, Herod would have reason to be concerned because Elijah fought against another evil king and his queen, Ahab and Jezebel who had killed God’s prophets. Elijah slew 400 prophets of Baal, and Jezebel ended up as dog food.

1 Kings 21:23 And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

2 Kings 9:35-36 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:

Susan: Herod was wrong in supposing Jesus to be Elijah, one of the other prophets, or John the Baptist come back to life. He was the Messiah prophesied of old.

Luke 9:9 And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.

Susie: More detailed accounts of the murder of John the Baptist are found in Matthew 14:1-12 and Mark 6:14-29. The condensed version of his demise is that John had spoken out against Herod’s marriage to his brother Philip’s wife. She manipulated Herod into having John beheaded by allowing her daughter to dance before Herod at a banquet. When drunken Herod offered her a reward for the dance, her mother told her to demand John’s head on a platter.

Susan: Herod wanted to personally lay eyes on Jesus to see exactly who He was and to know what manner of man he was dealing with. In Herod’s mind, Jesus was his opposition.

Susie: There is no record of Herod traveling to see Jesus or having Him brought before him. However, his desire to see Him was fulfilled later when Pilate sent Jesus to be judged by Herod since He was from Galilee.

Luke 23:6-7 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

Luke 9:10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

Susie: After that brief aside about John the Baptist’s death and Herod’s desire to see Jesus in person (possibly because the Apostles’ mission had made him even more aware of Jesus), Luke returns to the Apostles missionary adventures.

Susan: Jesus took the Apostles away from the city in order to give them respite time to refuel and allow them to tell Him about their mission. The people were always relentless in their pursuit of Jesus and the Apostles as well now that they had demonstrated the same authority Jesus had to heal and deliver.

Luke 9:11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

Susie: This day was no exception because the people managed to follow Jesus and the disciples even to the deserted place in which they planned to rest. However, Jesus did not send them away but graciously taught them and healed those who were sick among them.

Susan: Even though the press of the public was probably annoying, Jesus did not rebuke them. In His humanity, He may have been tired, and it is certain the Apostles were exhausted. However, Jesus received the people with complete compassion.

Ponder this and Apply it: Jesus did many signs and wonders that people could not explain. Therefore, rumors flourished that He was one of the prophets of old, Elijah, or even John the Baptist. Only those whose eyes were opened by the Lord could process the truth that Jesus was truly the Messiah, the Son of the One true God. Have you ever shared the Gospel with someone who just cannot get past the miracles and keeps trying to find a logical, scientific explanation for them? When that happens, pray for the Holy Spirit to enable them to see and believe truth. Continue to live your changed life before them and point them to the word even if they find it hard to believe. Our responsibility is to share. The results of our sharing must be left to God.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

LUKE 9:1-6 TWELVE SENT OUT WITH ONLY THE CLOTHES ON THEIR BACKS

TWELVE SENT OUT
WITH ONLY THE CLOTHES
ON THEIR BACKS
LUKE 9:1-6

Luke 9:1-2 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.  And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Susie: Whenever the Gospel writers refer to the twelve, they are referring to the disciples that Jesus had specifically designated as Apostles.

Susan: Even though the terms seem to be used interchangeably, they have different meanings:

American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

DISCIPLE, noun [Latin , to learn.]

1. A learner; a scholar; one who receives or professes to receive instruction from another; as the disciples of Plato.

2. A follower; an adherent to the doctrines of another. Hence the constant attendants of Christ were called his disciples; and hence all Christians are called his disciples, as they profess to learn and receive his doctrines and precepts.

APOS'TLE, noun [Latin apostalus; Gr. to send away, to sent.]

A person deputed to execute some important business; but appropriately, a disciple of Christ commissioned to preach the gospel. Twelve persons were selected by Christ for this purpose; and Judas, one of the number, proving an apostate, his place was supplied by Matthias. Acts 1:2.

The title of apostle is applied to Christ himself, Hebrews 3:1. In the primitive ages of the church, other ministers were called apostles, Romans 16:7; as were persons sent to carry alms from one church to another, Philippians 2:1. This title was also given to persons who first planted the Christian faith. Thus Dionysius of Corinth is called the apostle of France; and the Jesuit Missionaries are called apostles.

Among the Jews, the title was given to officers who were sent into distant provinces, as visitors or commissioners, to see the laws observed.

Susie: Webster’s thorough definitions help us to see that “disciples” applies to all who follow and seek to learn from a teacher, in this case Jesus. “Apostles” were those Jesus specifically sent out as His ambassadors or emissaries to spread the message He taught, in this case the Twelve.

Susan: Jesus imparted the power to deliver people from illnesses and to free others from the bonds of demonic spirits to the Twelve Apostles before sending them out on mission.  

Susie: Not only were they to minister by healing the sick and casting out demons, but they were commissioned to preach the good news that the Kingdom of God was near as well.

Susan: The Kingdom of God of which Jesus was teaching did not refer to physical throne and realm. Jesus did not, at that time, come to be crowned as King over Israel. His earthly, physical Kingdom will be manifested when He returns in the future.

Susie: When Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God was “at hand.” He was referring to the spiritual rule of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who trust in Jesus. God’s kingdom in our lives delivers us from enslavement to sin and Satan to live as free people who are now subjects of a loving Sovereign, our Father God.

Luke 9:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.

Matthew 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

Susan: Jesus instructed the Twelve not to take even what we would call a carry-on or overnight bag. They were not to take extra provisions of food, clothing, or money. The point was for them to trust in Jesus to provide what they needed by placing it on the hearts of people in each city to show them hospitality.

Susie: In Matthew’s account (Matthew 10:1-42), more of Jesus’s instructions are reported. He did point out that the needs of those who preach the Gospel should be provided by those who benefit from their ministry (Matthew 10:10).

Luke 9:4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.

Susan: When they found a worthy person (Matthew 10:11) to stay with, they were encouraged to set up their home base at their house for the duration of their stay in that city.

Luke 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Note on Matthew 10:14 in MacArthur Study Bible:

shake off the dust from your feet. It was common for Jews to shake the dust off their feet—as an expression of disdain—when returning from Gentile regions. Paul and Barnabas also did this when expelled from Antioch (Acts 13:51). This was a visible protest, signifying that they regarded the place as no better than a pagan land.

Susan: Shaking the dust off their feet was a demeaning gesture.

Susie: To me it seems as if this meant, “This place is so bad, I don’t even want to carry any of its dirt with me.”

Susan: It symbolized their agreement with the eventual but certain reality that God’s judgement was coming to that place.

Matthew 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Luke 8:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.

Susan: The Twelve set out on their journey to obey in both letter and spirit all that Jesus had commanded them.

Susie: They spread the Good News that Jesus had come to usher in the Kingdom of God. They healed and delivered people from village to village, perhaps preparing the way for Jesus to visit them later.

Ponder this and Apply it: We do not know how long this mission lasted; but we do know that for the duration of their journey, the Apostles were to depend on God’s provision through His people. Sometimes the ministry God has for us involves giving up all other means of support and trusting God to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19). He supplied the Israelites fleeing from Egypt with manna from Heaven. However, now the Lord supplies the needs of those in full time ministry through the generosity of fellow believers, the familyship of God. Even those who are not in ministry benefit when they realize that every good thing they have is given to them by the Lord (James 1:17). Trust the Lord to meet your needs and ask the Lord to bless you to the point that you can help to meet the needs of His servants.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

LUKE 8:40-56 A MIRACLE ON THE WAY TO PERFORM A MIRACLE


A MIRACLE ON THE WAY
TO PERFORM A MIRACLE
LUKE 8:40-56

Luke 8:40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.

Susie: Jesus and the disciples returned to Capernaum on the opposite shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had performed many miracles in that city, including delivering a man from a demon in their synagogue (Luke 4:33-37). Since He was famous in the area, a huge crowd of people were waiting for His return.

Luke 8:41-42 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

Susie: Since he was a ruler of the Synagogue who had the duties of preparing things for the Sabbath service and choosing those who would read the scriptures, Jairus had probably been there the day Jesus delivered the man from the demon.

Susan: Jairus’s one and only, precious treasure, his twelve-year-old daughter lay at home at death’s door. Jairus took a position of humility at the feet of Jesus, and entreated Him to come to his house to heal his daughter.

Susie: However, Jairus was not the only person in need of a miracle that day. The crowd jostled him and Jesus as they made their way back to his house.

Luke 8:43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

Susan: None of the doctors this woman had seen gave her any help or any hope, and both she and her money were completely spent.

Susie: Because of her issue of blood, this woman would have been considered “unclean” meaning she could not go to the synagogue or really participate in society at all.

Leviticus 15:25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.

Luke 8:44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

Luke 8:44 (CJB) came up behind him and touched the tzitzit on his robe; instantly her hemorrhaging stopped.

Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Susie: Malachi 4:2 always puzzled me when I was newer to reading the Bible. I knew it was a prophecy concerning the Messiah; but as far as I knew, Jesus did not have wings. Recently, in reading the account of the woman healed by touching the hem of Jesus’s garment in the Complete Jewish Study Bible, the lightbulb finally came on! You may have noticed the Hebrew word ‘tzitzit” in the Complete Jewish Bible translation of Luke 8:44 above. This word referred to the fringe on the edge of a garment to remind the Jewish people to obey God (Numbers 15:38-40, Deuteronomy 22:12). What the note in the CJB translation pointed out was that this fringe was also referred to as “the wings” of the garment. Since the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years probably knew the prophecy of Malachi 4:2, it would make sense for her to reach out to touch Jesus’s “wings”. By doing so, she was demonstrating faith that Jesus was, indeed, the Messiah of God who had “healing in His wings.”

Luke 8:45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

Susan: Jesus was not referring to just any touch but a touch with faith within it, a touch with a purpose. Someone had intentionally touched Him, rather than just bumping into Him in the crowd.

Luke 8:46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Susie: Jesus, being omniscient, certainly knew who had touched Him and why. Perhaps He was giving her an opportunity to publicly glorify God for her healing. Or it could be that her healing needed to be made public in order for her to be officially declared “clean” and be able to participate fully in society.

Luke 8:47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

Susan: The woman was bound to be weary after having this illness for so long. She was probably used to being ostracized due to her uncleanness and felt completely worthless and unworthy, devoid of value.

Susie: That would account for her trembling timidity to be made known publicly and to address the One she believed to be the Son of God directly! She fell at His feet and declared to all how she had bled for twelve years but had been completely healed when she touched the fringe of Jesus’s garment.

Luke 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

Susie: This was the only time recorded in Scripture of Jesus using the tender term of endearment “daughter” to address a woman. And she was His daughter. Through placing her faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, she was adopted into the family of God.

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Susan: The trust that the woman placed in Jesus to heal her had brought about her healing which gave her freedom once again. Jesus told her she could go in peace. Jesus had made her completely whole and wholeness always brings peace. The Hebrew word for peace, Shalom, has the connotation of “nothing missing, nothing broken.”

Luke 8:49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.

Susie: The rejoicing over the woman’s healing was cut short by the bearer of bad news. A man approached Jairus and told him not to bother Jesus anymore because his little girl had died.

Luke 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

Susan: Jesus, standing near Jairus, heard the report of the messenger. He matter-of-factly instructed Jairus not to be afraid but to have faith in Him, and he and his family would have the miracle he sought.

Luke 8:51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.

Susan: Jesus only allowed His inner circle and the girl’s parents to be present to see the miracle He was about to perform.

Susie: Peter, James, and John were privileged to witness this miracle, accompany Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, and to stay closest to Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. They were definitely His closest earthly friends.

Susan: Those three were much closer than even His biological half-brothers. They enjoyed a close kinship with Him through the Holy Spirit.

Susie: The mourners and the skeptics were left outside.

Luke 8:52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.

Susie: There may have been “professional mourners” as well as grieving family and friends as that was customary in that time and place. However, Jesus told them all to stop crying and carrying on, saying the girl was merely sleeping. Jesus was not denying the fact that the girl was dead, but He knew His plan to awaken her from death.

Susan: My question is, “Who on earth aspires to be a professional mourner?!”

Susie: I really don’t know, but I’ve read in multiple places that these people existed. I guess they were the type we would label “drama queens.”

Luke 8:53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

Susan: They doubted the veracity of His words and their mourning turned to derision as they mocked Him for thinking the child was only sleeping when they knew for a fact that she was dead.

Luke 8:54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.

Susie: Jesus sent all but the parents and the three disciples out of the room.

Susan: He sent the mourners away and kept only those who believed with Him. Then He took the little girl by the hand and told her to get up. His words returned the breath of life back into her body.

Luke 8:55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

Susan: Immediately, she had the strength to rise from her bed, come to the table, and receive nourishment.

Luke 8:56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

Susie: Even though Jairus had demonstrated enough faith to seek Jesus out to heal his daughter, he was still flabbergasted to see her rise from death!

Susan: Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about the miracle, but everyone would soon know anyway because the mourners had seen with their own eyes that she was dead and now she lived again. Jesus’s popularity was already at a fever pitch and needed no boost. He may have asked them not to make any immediate announcement so that the people would not try to crown Him king. He may have also been protecting the little girl and her family from the crowd as well.

Susie: Jesus, unlike the Pharisees, was not ostentatious. He did not purposely draw attention to Himself but rather glorified the Father. Making a big, public fanfare about this miracle would have drawn the attention of those Scribes and Pharisees who opposed Him, and it was not yet time for Him to be arrested and condemned to the cross.

Philippians 2:6-7 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

Ponder this and Apply it: Both Jairus and the unnamed woman with the issue of blood demonstrated faith in Jesus. They each placed their need before Him believing He could meet that need. Jesus can and does still grant healing. However, sometimes we do not see a miracle immediately or ever in this life. However, the greater reward of our faith is knowing that Jesus is real and present and that, ultimately, all who place their faith in Him will be completely restored to health when we live with Him forever. We say incorrectly that a person was not healed because their body dies here on earth. If that person was a believer, the minute the spirit left their earth-suit, they were made completely whole in the presence of their loving Lord.