Tuesday, March 27, 2018


LUKE 8:26-39

Luke 8:26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.

Susie: After Jesus calmed the storm, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way to the far side of the lake (Sea of Galilee). They landed in the region of the Gadarenes which appears to have been populated mostly with Gentiles rather than Jews. As noted in the previous lesson, Jesus had given no reason for the journey across the water; but God had a divine appointment for Him there.

Luke 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

Susie: Matthew’s account tells of two men. Perhaps Mark and Luke described only the more vocal of the two.

Matthew 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Mark 5:2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Susan: An interesting detail noted by Luke was that the man was wearing only his birthday suit.

Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

Susan: The demons within the man knew that Jesus was the Son of God and had the authority to do with them as He wished. They took the humble attitude of begging Jesus not to torture them, throwing themselves at the mercy of God.

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Luke 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

Susie: Luke points out that Jesus had already commanded the demons to leave the man or men. The townspeople had tried to control the madness of the demon-possessed man by chaining him up, but the demons strengthened him to be able to break the chains. He would flea to the surrounding countryside.

Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

Susie: A Roman legion had anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 men. (http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/rome/3-legions-bb.html)

Susan: When Jesus address the naked man, he said his name was “Legion” because he was overwhelmed with the multitude of demons that possessed him.

Luke 8:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

Susie: Once again the demons begged the Almighty One not to send them into the Abyss just yet. Instead they asked to be sent into a large herd of pigs. We are not sure why Jesus granted their request. Perhaps it was to have the crowd see a visual of what happened to the demons.

Luke 8:33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

Susie: Mark’s Gospel tells us that there were about 2,000 pigs in this herd! This could signify two things: 1) There were many Gentiles dwelling in the area since Jews did not eat pork and 2) there were a great number of demons possessing the two men.

Mark 5:13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

Susan: The pigs went absolutely crazy and committed hoggercide or would it be sowercide?

Susie: Either way they ran down a cliff and drowned themselves. The pigs were dead, and the demons were gone.

Luke 8:34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

Susan: The hog herders ran and spread the news about the demolished herd far and wide in the city and country to all who would listen.

Luke 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

Susie: Those who heard the bizarre tale of demons entering into pigs, went out to see for themselves. What they found was Jesus teaching and the formerly demon-possessed man freed from the demons, fully clothed, and seated as a disciple at the feet of Jesus.

Susan: The man was now completely in his right mind, listening to the Teacher and hanging on His every word.

Luke 8:36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
Susan: Those who had been eye witnesses to the demons causing the pigs to drown explained to the crowds who had gathered that it was Jesus who had cast them out of the man and into the herd. The people responded in fear rather than faith and asked Jesus to leave the region.

Susie: They were frightened to be in the presence of such a powerful person.

Luke 8:38-39 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Susan: Out of gratitude for his deliverance and faith that Jesus was the Son of God, the man wanted to follow Him as one of His disciples. Rather than have the man literally follow by walking along with Him, Jesus gave him a specific assignment.

Susie: Jesus told the man to tell the folks back home how he had been delivered from the demons and allow his changed life to be a witness to the power of the Messiah, the Son of God.

Ponder this and apply it: Sometimes it is tempting to spend all our time “sitting at the feet of Jesus” by studying the word, attending worship gatherings, and fellowshipping with other believers; and we need to do those things. However, Jesus has given us the specific assignment to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8) both near and far. We are to tell others about what Jesus has done for and in us and allow our changed lives to be a testimony of His power and grace. GO AND TELL!

Sunday, March 25, 2018


LUKE 8:19-25

See also Matthew 12:46-49

Luke 8:19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren and could not come at him for the press.

Susan: So many people surrounded the house where Jesus was teaching that Mary and Jesus’s half-brothers could not make it inside the door.

Susie: The fact that they were outside the house says that they were not following Jesus on a regular basis. In fact, His own half-brothers did not believe Him to be the Messiah until after the resurrection.

John 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.
Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Susan: Before the resurrection, His brothers were not committed; but after the resurrection, they became a part of the community of Faith.

Susie: Jesus’s half-brothers, James and Jude, even became leaders in the early church.

MacArthur Study Bible note on Matthew 12:46

These are actual siblings (half-brothers) of Jesus. Matthew explicitly connects them with Mary, indicating that they were not cousins or Joseph’s sons from a previous marriage, as some of the church fathers imagined. They are mentioned in all the gospels (Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19–21; John 7:3–5). Matthew and Mark give the names of 4 of Jesus’ brothers, and mention that He had sisters as well (13:55; Mark 6:3).

Luke 8:20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.

Susan: A message made its way to Jesus that His family were outside and wanting to speak with Him.

Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

Susie: Jesus is not “dissing” Mary or His brothers. He is pointing out the fact that those who trust Him and demonstrate that trust by obedience are members of God’s family. As said before, His brothers did not yet belong to the family of faith. It is said, “blood is thicker than water,” but in this case our faith relationship due to the blood of Jesus is thicker than earthly blood relationships. We are related by blood, the blood of Jesus.

Susan: Jesus was not diminishing the earthly relationship with His family. Instead He was elevating the faith relationship to the level of familyship.

The following episode is also found
at Matthew 8:24-27

Luke 8:22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.

Susie: Apparently, this was a boat large enough to accommodate thirteen men and probably propelled by sails. Jesus did not give a reason for sailing to the other side of the lake. However, we know that when they got there, He delivered two men from demons. He certainly knew of that divine appointment but did not share it at the time.

Susan: Jesus did not need to give the disciples a reason for traveling to the other shore. He was the Teacher, and they were the students. He had authority, and they trusted Him, following wherever He led them.

Luke 8:23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.

Susan: In His humanity, Jesus was so bone-weary tired from ministry that He fell asleep and was almost comatose.

Susie: Even though a fierce storm suddenly arose, Jesus continued to sleep. Of course, He could be at complete peace because He knew He was in control. The boat was filling up with water and in danger of capsizing!

Luke 8:24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

Susan: The disciples were in complete contrast to Jesus’s tranquility. They were experiencing extreme anxiety and abject terror.

Susie: In desperation, they shook Jesus awake exclaiming that they were all about to die.

Susan: Even though He was jerked up out of a dead sleep, Jesus stood up and authoritatively addressed the wind and the torrent of water to cease.

Susie: Immediately, the wind stopped tossing them about, the water was calm again, and it was smooth sailing the rest of their journey.

Luke 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

Susie: Jesus asked them where their faith was, why were they afraid if they knew they could trust Him? Their answer is not recorded. They probably just looked at the deck in humility.

Susan: Jesus was asking, “Where does your trust and your confidence lie?” The scripture does not give us their answer, but I imagine them turning twenty shades of red.

Susie: At this point, the disciples are only beginning to fully realize that Jesus is God’s Son. They have not seen the extent of His power and authority. They ask each other “What kind of man can command the wind and waves?”

Susan: In other words, “Who is this Person that the forces of nature obey?”

Susie: At this point, they have gone from fearing the storm to being in awe of Jesus and perhaps a bit afraid of His power.

Psalm 65:7 Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.

Psalm 89:9 Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.
Ponder this and apply it: The disciples found themselves in a literally life-threatening storm while Jesus seemed to be taking the day off, completely unaware of their predicament. They became fearful and shook Him awake. Jesus asked, “Where is your faith?” Many times in life, we are in the middle of a storm—a storm of emotions, a storm of terminal disease, a storm of financial fiasco. Does Jesus seem to be blissfully asleep while you face the storm alone? Believe me, He is not unaware; and He does care. Cry out to Him for help. Tell Him about the storm you face (even though He already knows) and wait on His answer. Have faith that God is in control of the storms, both literal and figurative, that assault you here on earth. As the song reminds us, we need to let “Jesus take the wheel” of our lives and guide us safely through our trials.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


LUKE 8:10-18

Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Susie: Jesus was speaking to the disciples, the ones who trusted in Him. God had granted them the ability to understand the parables because of their trust in Jesus. The minds of those who continue to refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God are darkened to the point that they cannot understand.

Susan: Jesus quoted an Old Testament prophecy to describe how God blinds unbelievers:

Isaiah 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Susie: Then Jesus explained the parable to the disciples. I believe that today, it is the Holy Spirit within those of us who believe who enables us to understand what we could not via our intellect alone:

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Susie: First, let us give you a chart for the explanation to follow:

·     Field – human hearts
·     Sower – Jesus Christ
·     Seed – word/message of God
·     Footpath – hardened hearts
·     Rocks/gravel – shallow hearts
·     Thorns – worldly cares
·     Good/fertile soil – receptive hearts

Susie: The “word of God” can refer to the entire Bible, the Gospel message of Jesus and His apostles, or even Jesus Himself especially when capitalized (John 1). Here, Jesus may be referring to His own preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom of God, that the Messiah was with them and had come to redeem His people. The seed the sower scattered represents the word of God scattered abroad both then and now.

Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

Susie: The “way side” would be the foot path around the field that would be trampled down until it was hard. A seed would not be able to penetrated below the surface and would be easily eaten by birds.

Susan: There are people who hear the Gospel, but it passes through their ears without penetrating into their minds or hearts. They are calloused toward the message because they have rejected it time and time again. It is easily stolen by the Enemy, Satan.

Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Susan: Some people approach the Lord like a “forever dater,” someone who wants to enjoy being with a person but is commitment phobic.

Susie: The benefits of Christianity sound great to this person, but they shy away from the surrendering their will to the will of God. In times of trial or temptation, they no longer want to be associated with Jesus. They may present themselves as Christians. However, that is in name only and not in reality. They wear the label as long as it looks good on them but rip it off as soon as that label requires something difficult of them.

Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Susie: Concerning the seed among the thorns, I’ve heard it preached that these of non-believers or that they are fruitless believers. Jesus taught that you may know whether someone is true or false by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-17). Although it is lengthy, I wanted you to be able to read the following commentary on the same parable in Matthew’s Gospel.

The IVP New Testament Commentary Series found at www.biblegateway.com

Commentary on Matthew 13:22

Some embrace the gospel, but gradually other interests-wealth, security, family and the like-choke it out of first place. Christ's apostles proclaimed that Jesus must hold first place in our lives (see 1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17). The Bible often warns against the dangers of wealth (as in Mt 6:24; Deut 6:10-12), and Matthew provides some examples of would-be disciples lured away by desire for wealth (Mt 19:21-23; 26:14-16). Even in parts of the world that include many professing Christians, many churches are full of barely committed people who never win a soul to Christ, rarely speak a word on his behalf and accept Christianity as a nice addition to their lives-which are devoted to the same basic goals as their neighbors'. Jesus' kingdom demands suggest that such people may not believe the reality of the gospel enough to stake their lives on it, hence may not prove true disciples of Jesus Christ (compare 3:8-10; Marshall 1974:62-63). One reason we may have so many shallow Christians in some churches today is that many of us have preached a shallow gospel rather than the demands of God's kingdom, and they are (to paraphrase a lament of D. L. Moody) our converts rather than our Lord's.

Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Susan: These believers not only heard the word but it rooted deeply in their hearts. Even death will not uproot the message in their hearts, for death for the true believer is only a change of address. They “keep it” by observing it. Not observing as in looking, but doing it, actualizing it, by having boots on the ground service.

Susie: Reminds me of the admonition from James:

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Susan: They patiently nurture the word preached to them in order to bring forth the fruit of God in their lives.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Luke 8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

Susan: If you put a candle under a bowl, not only will it not light up the room; but eventually it will be extinguished due to lack of oxygen. You place the candle or lamp up high to enable the light to be seen from a distance.

Susie: Our living room does not have a light on the ceiling, and I cannot seem to get enough light in the room with the lamps I have placed. An elevated light source fills the room more completely. Street lights are not placed on the curb but up on poles.

Susan: We place our lamp on a lampstand by making Jesus our primary topic in our everyday conversations. When He is in the forefront of our thoughts, He then becomes a vital part of our conversations; and this leads to making Him visible through our actions.

Susie: Jesus tells us we are the light. Therefore, we must “put ourselves out there” and make it known that we have trusted Jesus, then sharing His gospel with others. As Susan said, this involves actions as well as words.

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

Susan: If God’s purpose is to make Himself known, then as His witness, that should be my emphasis. Jesus is the major light, and I am the minor light.

Susie: As the moon reflects the sun, I am to reflect the Son. Truth will be manifest in due time. People think they can hide “secret” sins, and they may succeed in “faking it” as far as other people are concerned, but the Lord knows and sees all. He will eventually shine a spotlight on the very things people were trying to hide.

Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

1 Timothy 5:24-25 Some people’s sins are clearly on display before the world. They lead the way to the final judgment. But it’s not so easy with other people because their sins trail behind and don’t catch up to them until later.  The same is true regarding good works; some are there for all to see. Other people’s works can be inconspicuous; but at the final judgment, they cannot remain hidden.

Susie: Bottom line—you can’t keep a secret from God.

Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

Luke 8:18 (VOICE)  I hope you’re still listening. And I hope you’re listening carefully. If you get what I’m saying, you’ll get more. If you miss My meaning, even the understanding you think you have will be taken from you.

Susan: Those who hear the Gospel and respond by trusting in Jesus will be given abundant life now and eternally live in the Light of Christ. Those who refuse to hear and reject Jesus while here on earth will be cast into eternal darkness separated from God’s light.

Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Ponder this and apply it: How you respond to the Good News that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sin, was buried for three days, was raised from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of God is ESSENTIAL. If you receive that message gladly, commit to Jesus by surrendering control of your life to Him, and keep trusting Him by obeying His teaching, your reward will be great both now and forever. If you reject the word of God and reject the sacrifice made by His Son Jesus, you have no hope of having eternal life in His presence. No hope of Heaven. No hope of eternal joy. Rejection of Jesus leads to Hell. Yes, it is a real place, the real consequence of refusing to submit to God’s authority over you as His creation. What is your status right now? Have you surrendered your life to Jesus in response to hearing the word of God? If not, we pray the Holy Spirit will make His message clear to you, and you will respond by trusting Jesus. If you need to ask questions or if you respond to Jesus because of this post, please contact us by going to our website www.preciousjewelsministries.org and clicking on the Contact/Prayer/Donate tab to email or write a letter to us. We would love to hear from you, pray for you, and help you find answers in the word of God.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


LUKE 8:1-9

Susan: I deferred to the gardener in our family for most of this lesson.

And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

Susie: The twelve disciples appointed by Jesus to be His Apostles, His special messengers, had left their homes and their jobs to travel with Jesus wherever He led them.

Susan: Jesus was not a doom and gloom preacher. He was a proclaimer of joy and deliverance through surrender to the King of kings in order to live as a free subject in the Kingdom of God.

Luke 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

Susan: Although rabbis often had followers who left everything behind to shadow their teacher, it would have been highly unusual for a rabbi to have women as disciples. Jesus did have women disciples whether they were labeled as such or not. These women not only traveled with Jesus and the Apostles, but it is clear they were His chief financial supporters.

Susie: Mary was probably called Magdalene because she was from the town of Magdala. This was a thriving town whose primary industry was making dye and textiles. This may be how Mary Magdalene acquired the means to give financial support to Jesus. There is no reason to believe that she was the prostitute in the previous chapter. Otherwise, why would Luke wait to name her until after that account? The text does tell us that Jesus had cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene. This obviously led her to believe in Him as the Messiah, trust Him, and become a disciple. Her gratitude must have been immense!

Susan: It was to Mary Magdalene that Jesus first appeared near the garden tomb after His resurrection from the dead. Jesus consistently elevated the status of women from being considered objects owned by men to being valued members of the Messianic community, the church.

Susie: Joanna, also healed by Jesus, was the wife of Chuza who managed Herod’s money. Her husband’s high position may be how she was able to contribute to the needs of Jesus and the disciples. Joanna is later seen mourning Jesus’s death at the tomb and subsequently heralding His resurrection. This verse is the only mention of Susanna in the Bible although she is the heroine of the Apocryphal work, The History of Susanna.

Susan: It is not clear how Jesus had ministered in the lives of Joanna and Susanna, whether He had delivered them from demons or healed a physical illness. Jesus’s ministry was tailor made toward the specific need of each woman, and now they were His devoted disciples. 

Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

American Dictionary of the English Language – Noah Webster 1828

parable - A fable or allegorical relation or representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction; such as the parable of the trees choosing a king, Judges 9:1; the parable of the poor man and his lamb. 2 Samuel 12:1; the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25:1.

Susie: Why did Jesus use parables even though many in the crowd would not get the deeper message from them? Matthew’s gospel sheds some light on the reasons:

Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Matthew 13:34-35 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

Susan: Jesus referenced two Old Testament prophecies in the passage from Matthew:

Isaiah 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

Luke 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

Susie: The Parable of the Sower is more than a lesson in sowing seed, and we will get to its deeper meaning in the next lesson. For now, we will just explain the method used for sowing seed in the first century and the literal scenarios described by Jesus. There were no farming machines as we know them. Therefore, seed was tossed by hand into a plowed field. The first example Jesus gave was the seed that fell by the wayside. Along the edges of the plowed field would be a path that was trodden down until it was hard. The seed that fell there would not sink into the soil. Birds could easily swoop down and have lunch on these uncovered seeds.

Luke 8:6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

Susie: There would be rocky places at the edge of the fields or where the plow had missed an area. The seeds might sprout because of the thin coat of dirt on top of the rock, but there would be no dirt to hold moisture. Therefore, the sprouted plant would burn up under the hot sun, wither, and die.

Luke 8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

Susie: When I think of thorns, I think of the insidious sticker weeds that infested my lawn. Their roots spread far and even wrapped themselves around the roots of the grass, cutting off its supply of moisture and nutrients. The bare places spread rapidly as the thorn plant took hold. What had been healthy grass was choked out, leaving a brown patch on the lawn.

Luke 8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Susie: The final example is the ideal situation for growing a crop. The soil has been tilled and freed of weeds enabling the seeds to take root and flourish, bearing a crop up to one hundred times as big as the amount of seed sown.

Susan: Jesus was not talking about whether or not they had the mechanism to hear. I’m sure His listeners had ears. Jesus was saying (Susan RenĂ©e paraphrase), “Are you listening? Pay attention! This is a principle you need to observe and obey. Your adherence to it will determine your success.”

Luke 8:9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

Susan: Unfortunately, even Jesus’s disciples did not have a clue about this parable, only questions.

Susie: We will see Jesus answer them in the next lesson.

Ponder this and Apply it: What roll did women play in the ministry of Jesus on earth? Would you say their role was less important than the Apostles? Or would you say that Jesus and the Apostles were enabled to focus their time on preaching the Kingdom of God because these women provided financial support and probably the practical support of preparing food and finding lodging? Did Jesus relegate women to lesser roles or elevate them in ways unthought of in the first century A.D.? Ponder how Christian women have influenced our world. If you are a Christian woman, write out what you believe the Lord would have you do in service to Him and the body of Christ this week. If you are a Christian man, take a moment to thank a woman who has influenced your walk with the Lord. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


LUKE 7:36-50

Luke 7:36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.

Susie: The Pharisees accused Jesus of eating with tax collectors and sinners, but this particular Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to dine at his house.

Susan: Note that Jesus did not call him a snob and refuse the invitation. Instead, the Lord sat down to eat with the Pharisee and his guests.

Susie: Since Jesus is omniscient (knows all things), He knew that Simon was probably not desiring to follow Him but rather to find some charge to bring against Him. Yet, Jesus chose to dine with Him.

Susan: Jesus was being as “wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove” (Matthew 10:16) by keeping His friends close and His enemies even closer.

Susie: Jesus was not really veering from His norm as He was definitely eating with a sinner (i.e. the Pharisee).

Luke 7:37-38 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Susan: The woman had either been following Jesus or had her ear to the ground, listening and watching for an opportunity to meet Him in order to acknowledge her sin and trust that He could forgive and cleanse her.

Susie: This is clearly a different occasion than the other times Jesus was anointed by a woman (Matt. 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; John 12:2–8). This woman is not the sister of Lazarus who anointed Jesus in Bethany in the province of Judea and was a devoted follower of the Lord. This scene takes place in the province of Galilee, and the woman was most likely a prostitute. She worked up the courage to crash a Pharisee’s banquet to see Jesus.

Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

Susie: The Pharisee presumed that a true prophet could discern that this woman was a grave sinner who would render Him ceremonially unclean. Funny that he didn’t take the next step to realize that Jesus would also discern exactly what he was thinking!
Susan: The Pharisee deemed himself to be in the know, but he was, in reality, ignorant when it came to the topic of Jesus and sinners.

Luke 7:40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

Susie: Jesus had something to say to this Pharisee who we now know was named Simon. As I read this, I am thinking, “Go get him, Jesus!”

Susan: Since we cannot hear the tone the Pharisee used, we do not know if he was using proper etiquette by calling a rabbi, Master or whether he was using the title condescendingly.

Susie: Jesus proceeded to present a hypothetical situation for the Pharisee to consider.

Luke 7:41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

Susie: Most translations read “denarius” rather than “pence.” A single denarius was equal to a day’s wages for a laborer. Therefore, fifty denarii would have been a large debt, but five hundred denarii would have been an overwhelming debt.

Luke 7:42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

Susie: The one to whom these debts were owed, graciously forgave both debts. Jesus asked the Pharisee which debtor would love the man more.

Luke 7:43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

Susan: I’m not sure Simon understood at this point that Jesus was using this as an analogy for forgiveness of sin. He would not understand this because he did not understand why Jesus spent time with sinners in the first place.

Susie: The Pharisees did not understand that Jesus came to redeem sinners by dying on the cross. They, like many people in Israel, expected the Messiah to come as a conquering king to free them from the slavery of Roman rule.
Susan: However, Simon did comprehend that the one who had the greater debt forgiven would feel the greatest weight lifted from his life and be the most grateful.

Luke 7:44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

Susie: Jesus proceeds to compare the woman’s loving actions with the boorishness of the Pharisee. Washing a guest’s feet or having a servant do so was an expected courtesy, and to not perform this kindness would insult most guests.

Susan: Although Simon invited Jesus to dinner, he did not follow the expected protocol of a host to the dinner guest. He did not observe or even think of observing the common courtesy of having a guest’s sandals removed to wash his dusty, weary feet. The woman, however, was courteous and washed His feet, not with water, but with her own tears of repentance. Then she dried them with her hair.

Luke 7:45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

Susie: In the culture of first century Israel, friends greeted one another with a kiss on the cheek. This is still done in many Middle Eastern countries today. The Apostle Paul referred to this custom, elevating it to a loving greeting in the Messianic community, those who trusted in Jesus:

Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

1 Corinthians 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.

1 Thessalonians 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

Susan: Simon did not approach Jesus with the accoutrement of hospitality afforded a friend, let alone an important guest.

Susie: The “sinner,” not daring to elevate herself to His eye level, kissed His feet over and over. At this point, He has not addressed her directly, but she is confident in His love toward her.

Susan: The woman was probably overwhelmed to be in the presence of Jesus. She was burdened by her sin for so long that seeing the possibility, forgiveness, and freedom, she is completely in awe and unable to express it in words.

Susie: Her actions, her deeds of worship spoke volumes. She humbled herself before the Lord in a position of complete trust in Him.

Luke 7:46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Susie: An important guest would often be anointed with common olive oil to soothe his head after a journey in the hot climate of the area. This woman anointed Jesus with costly perfumed oil as befitting a King. The Pharisee had ignored this custom completely.

Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Susan: The woman knew from Jesus’s reputation that Jesus preached and proclaimed forgiveness of sin. Therefore, she presented herself in humility to Jesus anticipating that her sins would be forgiven.

Susie: Her actions were the result of that faith, demonstrating the love she had for Jesus. He forgave her without condition. Her devotion did not earn this forgiveness but, rather, was an expression of her gratitude in being forgiven.

Luke 7:48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

Susan: Jesus declared with His words what the woman had already experienced in her heart. He broke her chains, the bondage of her sin.

Susie: I believe He proclaimed her forgiveness aloud for the benefit of Simon and the others at the dinner. He was making the point of the parable that because she was forgiven much, she loved much.

Susan: The woman was a tangible object lesson of forgiveness.

Luke 7:49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

Susie: Totally missing the purpose of the parable and the forgiveness of the sinner, the others began to judge whether Jesus had the authority to forgive her. We are back to square one that this Pharisee was probably seeking a way to accuse Jesus of wrong doing.

Susan: It appears the hearts of the other guests were totally unmoved by this act of God’s phenomenal grace.

Susie: Nor did they pick up on the fact that the debtor who owed 50 denarii was equally in need of having his debt forgiven. They still did not view themselves as sinful at all.

Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Susan: Once again, Jesus reiterated that her faith, her trust in Him caused her to have a heart change and be released from the bonds of her sin. Her faith enabled her to change masters from Satan to Jesus.

Susie: He released her with the words, “Go in peace,” which had a sense of wholeness and wellness.

Ponder this and Apply it: Do you ever find yourself comparing your actions to those of others and thinking you are better than them? Remember Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” As with the two debtors, one may have had a greater amount of debt, but neither could have paid what they owed. Even a small amount of sin is repugnant to our Holy God. I like the illustration that if you are making an omelet and crack a rotten egg into the bowl, you do not proceed. Instead you toss out the entire bowl of eggs and start over. Or as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). Leaven was symbolic of sin. Right now, if you have never trusted Jesus, ponder the fact that no one can be completely perfect or right with God by doing good deeds, Romans 3:10: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Do not fret because there is hope. Jesus died on the cross to pay the debt of your sin. God raised Him from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion. Jesus is alive and offers you the free gift of forgiveness if by faith, you place your trust in Him and surrender to His will. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Pray, talk to God, acknowledging that you are a sinner and need forgiveness. Trust that He will give you a fresh, new life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” If you would like to talk with us about turning your life around by the power of Jesus, please click on the Contact/Prayer/Donate tab and send us an email.