Mary Visits Elizabeth & The Magnificat

Luke 1:39–56

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. Memorize the memory verse.

1.         Mary and Elizabeth, cousins, and both descendants of the tribe of Judah, through whom the Messiah must come, both give birth, and both miraculously.

2.         Elizabeth, in her old age, will give birth to a male child who will be called John, and later, John the Baptist.

3.         Mary will give birth to Jesus, Jeshuah, or Joshua, who is the promised seed of Genesis 3:15, and who will triumph over the seed of the serpent, indeed, who is the Messiah or Christ.

4.         Mary, just after conception, travels south to Judea to visit her relative Elizabeth, who authenticates what has happened to young Mary. Elizabeth’s unborn child leaped in her womb when she heard Mary’s greeting, surely a miraculous sign of encouragement to both women.

5.         Mary then, unquestionably filled with the Holy Spirit, declares what is known as the “Magnificat” based on the first words Mary utters, “magnifies” the Lord and is an expression of wonderment, praise, and thanksgiving.

6.         The phrases “my soul” and “my spirit,” are a typical parallelism, and here of profound amazement and praise.

7.         Mary is acutely aware of her low status as a poor, young, female and bows before Her maker’s majesty.

8.         Then, due to an incredible flash of inspiration, she grasps something of who this child she will give birth to        is. 9.         Despite the powerlessness, humbleness, of her circumstance will come the fulfillment of what had been revealed to the prophets of old especially to Abraham.

Healing of a Man on the Sabbath, The Parable of the Wedding Feast, The Parable of the Great Banquet

Luke 14:1–24

1.         Whether the event of healing a man on the Sabbath, which the Pharisees thought was work thus not allowed on a Sabbath, was arranged by the Pharisees or not, is unclear.

2.         Jesus made it clear that ‘work’ would be done if a son or an ox needed rescue on a Sabbath, of course this work would be done. And the healing of a person fits this category.

3.         The wedding feast parable highlights the tendency to put on a show by guests who are proud of themselves due to their exalted status. The consequences of this are significant and point to a time of judgment in the future. It points out the self-importance common to Pharisees.

4.         In the parable of the great banquet, Jesus brings up something common in that culture, that by means of inviting others to a ‘great’ banquet, this favor would customarily be returned. The rich and powerful treated each other this way.

5.         In response to one of those present who spoke of a banquet, “eat bread” signifies such a banquet, Jesus talked of three persons who declined an invitation to a banquet given by a servant of the host.

6.         The “master of the house” became angry at the rejections to his invitation and ordered his servant to go out to the surrounding area and invite those who were poor and otherwise physically disabled. This would be unthinkable.

7.         But even this was not enough, the master ordered the servant to go outside the city and invite in foreigners, meaning Gentiles. The servant was even ordered to “compel people” to come in.

8.         Tragically however, those who rejected the summons to the banquet will not ever taste it. Here Jesus speaks of a judgment to come and likely He said this with great sorrow in His heart.

Lament over Jerusalem

Gospel Meditation

Luke 13:31–35

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Jesus, with the Twelve are in Galilee heading for Jerusalem, is approached by a group of Pharisees who warn Him to leave the area. Herod, tetrarch of Galilee rules the area and, according to the Pharisee contingent, is out to murder Jesus.

2.         Whether this is true or not is unknown, but Jesus says to the religious leaders to go and let that “fox” meaning Herod who was crafty and treacherous, that He will not be intimidated but will go about His ministry.

3.         Jesus then reminds His hearers of the history of Israel’s leaders, the opposition and hostility aimed at the prophets God had sent to them.

4.         Jesus’ lament, His sorrowful statement, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” referring to the people’s rejection of the messengers God had sent to them, which shows the love He has for the nation of Israel.

5.         The result of the continued rejection of those who had been sent to the Jewish people means their faith is empty and fruitless.

6.         The final statement of Jesus is that the nation of Israel will not be blessed until they acknowledge Him as Savior and Messiah.  

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

Gospel Meditation

Luke 13:18–30

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven &

The Narrow Door

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Jesus, with two parables, that of the mustard seed and leaven, lets His followers know that the Kingdom of God will grow a little bit while appearing to be small and weak. This is like the very tiny seed of the mustard plant that can produce a large plant even resembling a tree. Then just a tiny bit of leaven can penetrate and produce a large amount of bread.

2. In “The Narrow Door” are two more parables, the first having to do with a “narrow” door, and we see in John 10 that Jesus Himself is that door. The kingdom of God, which the Jewish nation was waiting for, will be entered only through a narrow door.

3.         The second parable, our fourth being covered here, tells the story of a master of a house who will shut the door and when those outside ask to come he will respond “I never knew you.”

4.         The master of the house even says to the late comers “depart from me, all you workers of evil!” Thus, it is more than a case of not knowing, it is also that these are “workers of evil.”

5.         But, there will be those coming from all over the world who will be invited into the kingdom of God, and these likely are from the Gentile world.           

Gospel Meditation

Luke 13:1–17

Repent or Perish, The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

A Woman with a Disabling Spirit

Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.

clearly defined but was used by religionists and philosophers to refer to the highest of that which is supernatural.

1.         Jesus is told that some Galileans had been slaughtered by Pilate, the Roman ruler of Judea. The idea being that what happened to these Galileans was due to their being sinners. Galileans were generally looked down upon by Judeans.

2.         Jesus answers that this did not happen because of these Galileans being sinners, but more importantly, unless a person repents, only perishing awaits. “Perishing” is a term meaning being forever being sentenced to hell.

3.         Then Jesus reminds the crowd of 18 inhabitants of Jerusalem that had been killed while repairing a water tower, and then are these 18 worse sinners than others?

4.         The parable of the fig tree, and Israel, the nation, was likened to a fig tree, well, it did not produce fruit in its third year and should be uprooted. But the lead farmer, the vinedresser, argues for waiting a year before doing this extreme measure. The meaning may be that Jesus is hoping that the nation of Israel, instead of rejecting Him, would receive Him. (Jesus makes 3 trips to Jerusalem.)

5.         Over the centuries, with the rise of the Pharisaical teachers, rules for the Sabbath became increasingly severe and limiting. Here a woman who had suffered greatly for18 years is healed by Jesus.

6.         The ruler of the synagogue, would be a Pharisee, complained that the healing was work and no work could be done on the Sabbath.

7.         Jesus says such thinking, and rule keeping, is hypocritical and reminds the leader of the synagogue that he himself will lead animals to the water trough on a Sabbath, which is a form of work, but this is overlooked.

8.         Here a woman who had suffered greatly is healed and Jesus is condemned for doing this work. The condemners are put to shame, possibly a healthy sign, and the crowd who are present, rejoice in this.