A Lamp under a Jar, Jesus’ Mother and Brothers, & Jesus Calms a Storm

Luke 8:16–25

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

1.         Three stories now, one involving a lamp, then the story of Jesus’ mother and brothers (maybe sisters too), and Jesus calming a storm at sea

2.         A lamp, when lit, is not covered up, no, the purpose is to be able to see in the darkness. Jesus here teaches that everything will be clear, understood, indeed, the darkness will be separated from the light. We find that Jesus is “the light of the world” in John 8:12.

3.         At one point, fairly early on in Jesus’ ministry, members of His family come to Him, for an unknown reason, and in trying to speak with Him are unable to make contact due to a large crowd. When Jesus is told of this, He responds that his mother and brothers, His actual family, are those who both hear and do the “word (Logos) of God.”

4.         Then a storm at sea, the Sea of Galilee, reveals the incredible authority that Jesus has.

5.         Jesus falls asleep in the boat, quite a large one, able to accommodate at least 13 adult men, and out of fear the disciples wake Him up and announce, “we are perishing.”

6.         Jesus “rebuked” both the wind and the waves, and there was calm.

7.         Then Jesus wants to know what happened to their faith. Their response was a kind of fear as they were face to face with what Jesus had just done. They wondered, Who is this person?

Women Accompanying Jesus & The Parable of the Sower & The Purpose of the Parables

Luke 8:1–15

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

1.         Women in those days, both in Greek and Jewish cultures, were treated as inferior. For Jesus to accept women as followers, in plain sight, was revolutionary. It would open the door to all manner of accusations.

2.         The Parable of the Sower is perhaps the most significant of all of Jesus’ parables. The parable, used extensively by Jesus, made it easier to remember and memorize important teachings.

3.         The emphasis of this parable is thought by most commentators to be the ground on which the seeds landed. The subject matter, farming, would have been readily understood.

4.         The first two parts of the parable, the seed sown on the path and that which was sown on rocky ground, well, nothing comes of it. The seeds are wasted; there is no fruit.

5.         The seed sown among thorns, plants did appear, but the thorny plant choked out any real fruit.

6.         The seed sown on good soil yielded good fruit.

7.         In His explanation, Jesus says the seed sown is the Word, the Logos of God, or as we know it, the Gospel.

8.         Jesus then explains the parable. It is thought that in the first two instances, where there is no fruit, means there was no conversion. In the second two instances, there was conversion, actual salvation, but in only one case does the plant yield fruit, even hundredfold.

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

Luke 7:36–50

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say 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.              A Pharisee invites Jesus to his home for a meal. A woman, known to be sinful, enters the house of the Pharisee uninvited.

2.              Jesus, like all the others, is reclining at a table, and the practice was to lay on the left arm, head toward the low-lying table, about one foot off the floor, with legs extended out.

3.              The woman, standing behind Jesus, at His feet, begins to weep, the tears falling on His feet. She begins to wipe or clean Jesus’ feet with her hair. (Long hair was a symbol of a prostitute).

4.              She also has brought with her an alabaster flask, a soft stone jar used to hold perfume, which she uses to anoint Jesus’ feet. Not only did she do this, she also kissed His feet.

5.              The Pharisee, witnessing this extremely bizarre event, said to himself, “Well, this Jesus could not be a prophet because if He were, He would have known what an awful sinner this woman is.”

6.              How Luke could have known about what was in the mind of the Pharisee at that moment prompt some to speculate that it was an indication that the Pharisee, at some point, became a follower of Jesus.

7.              Jesus, figuring out what the Pharisee, whose name is Simon, was thinking, poses a question. (Simon was a common Jewish name.) Two debtors, one owing a huge amount of money to a moneylender, the other owing ten times less, find that  the debt of both are cancelled.

8.              Jesus then poses the question, which one would love the moneylender more? The answer is clear, the Pharisee gets it, perhaps grudgingly, and answers Jesus correctly.

9.              Jesus then turns to the woman and announces that her sin is forgiven. Those who heard this so very incredible pronouncement say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

10.           The incident concludes with Jesus saying to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” This is what Jesus says of us also at the moment of our salvation.              

Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son & Messengers From John the Baptist

Luke 7:11–35

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

1.   Here is one of three accounts of a resurrection. The other two are Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus. In 1 and 2 Kings are accounts of resurrections as well with both Elijah and Elisha.

2.   In our passage Jesus and His disciples come across a large funeral procession. A young man is dead, an only son, and his mother is also a widow.

3.   When Jesus saw the mother, he had “compassion” on her. He approached the “bier” (a wooden plank) touched it and the dead man sat up. This event stunned the onlookers and exclaimed, “a great prophet has arisen among us.”

4.   The disciples of John the Baptist, who is now in a Roman prison, reported this resurrection to John. John then sends two of his own disciples to Jesus to ask Him if He is the “one who is to come” meaning, are you the Messiah prophesied in the Scripture?

5.   Jesus, at that time is healing many people of diseases and plagues, casting out evil spirits, and giving sight to the blind. He tells John’s disciples to tell John what they have seen and heard. That should be enough for John to know who Jesus is. He concludes this by saying, “blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

6.   John, it is thought, may have wondered because here he was in prison and Jesus has just healed a centurion’s servant, thus treating Romans well.

7.   Jesus points out that John was misunderstood and mistreated, a austere man, living in the desert, and now Jesus just the opposite, accused of being a drunk and a glutton, even a friend of tax collectors and sinners.

8.   Jesus concludes this event by saying, “Wisdom is justified by all her children,” and few there be who understands what He meant.

Jessica Smiths, Shattering

Hello Everyone, Jessica Smith’s book Shattering is a must read. I have already ordered 20 plus copies and will get a bunch more, and these to hand out and to place in our Tiny Library in front of the church building.
We have already interviewed Jessica and are going to do anywhere from to 2 to 6 more, coming up.
Our world today, and especially America, is heavily involved with spiritistic practices like channeling, tarot cards, mediumship, Reiki, yoga, talking to dead ancestors, and much more. I invite you to learn how to share the danger of the occult practices with others.
I strongly suggest going to www.truthbehindyoga.com and learn what yoga really is because so many people around us are involved in it. And also go to Amazon.com – hit “books” on the drop-down menu, type in Jessica Smith and the book Shattering will appear. Order a few copies, one for yourself and one or two to give away.
This incredible fascination with pagan spiritual practices means we as followers of Jesus need to do what we can to rescue these people from both mental and spiritual confusion and, the worst of all, living forever in the presence of Satan and his demons. This is truly a spiritual battle, which Jesus has already won, and which now we declare it as widely as we can.
Kent

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Gospel Meditation

Luke 7:1–10

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say 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.          Following Luke’s version of the “Sermon on the Mount,” He tells of Jesus entering Capernaum, the home of Peter and Andrew and James and John, which small town had become Jesus’ primary residence. Recall He was almost killed by angry folks in His hometown of Nazareth.

2.          A Roman soldier with the rank of centurion, meaning he had command over 100 soldiers, who had a very highly valued servant, who in verse 7 is described as a boy, and he was near death.

3.          The centurion had heard of Jesus and sent Jewish elders to Him desiring that Jesus heal his servant. Here is a hated and feared Roman soldier who had built a synagogue for the Jewish people in Capernaum and so is much respected.

4.          The Jewish elders pleaded with Jesus to heal the servant. Jesus goes with them to the home of the centurion.

5.          It is thought that the centurion saw Jesus coming toward his house, and when he did he felt unworthy that Jesus should actually enter his house where the boy lay dying.

6.          In John 18:28–29 we find Jews who would not enter the house of a Gentile for it would “defile them,” but Jesus was ready to. Instead, the Jewish friends of the centurion tell Jesus that he did not intend for Jesus to actually enter his house, but rather He could heal the servant at a distance.

7.          When Jesus learned of this He declared, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

8.          The centurion’s Jewish friends returned to the home and found the servant well. Healed at a distance, and this story would have spread widely through that town.

A Tree and Its Fruit & Build Your House on the Rock

Gospel Meditation

Luke 6:43–49

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say 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.         Here is a short collection of parables by Jesus, addressed not only to His disciples but to others also –including Pharisees.

2.         A tree is known by its fruit, of course, the good tree bears edible fruit, the other, the tree with bad fruit, does not.

3.         From the tree analogy Jesus moves to those described as good, meaning those who are His disciples and who hear and obey what He teaches. The work of the Gospel in us changes our core, or heart here, and then good fruit is produced.

4.         Jesus next presents another parable everyone would be able to understand. It is about building a solid house made with a rock foundation. And this would be the materials His followers would use.

5.         Digging deep and working with heavy stone–much more difficult than otherwise, and more costly.

6.         The parable means listening to what Jesus teaches and living accordingly. And this much more difficult especially in an environment where the Words of Jesus would not be listened to.

7.         The house without a strong foundation would be vulnerable to flooding, and this analogy applies to those who reject Jesus and His Gospel.

8.         This shoddily build house will fail and fall, and its ruin will be great.

Judging Others

GOSPEL MEDITATION

Luke 6:37–42

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say 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.         Here we have two negative and two positive commands told by Jesus to His disciples. The scribes and Pharisees boasted about their righteousness and deemed all others as sinners, judging them and condemning them.

2.         Jesus does not want His followers to emulate these religious leaders. He Himself spent time with sinners, and was even accused of being a glutton and a drunkard.

3.         To judge meant to not only condemn but to disregard; Jesus wants His followers to learn to forgive others, not meaning to ignore sin, which is a destroyer, but to invite sinners to forgiveness and cleansing.

4.         Jesus wants His disciples to be like Himself, who did not excuse sin but invited sinners to repent. Then with humbleness, this disciple who recognizes his or her own sinfulness, can reach out to those who are suffering under a load of sin.

5.         A mature disciple is an encourager and a forgiver, again not overlooking actual sin, but dealing with it with tenderness and understanding. Indeed, it is important to be discriminating and critical when necessary, but not to be rejecting and condemning.

6.         We are not called to be self-righteous fault finders; we are called to be forgiving of not only ourselves but others.

Love Your Enemies

Luke 6:27–36

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say 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.         The historical setting for this passage is essential to grasp. The Jewish people were subjugated by the Romans who had made their lives miserable.  Plus, among the Jews were a number of factions, which held each other in contempt. Now Jesus knew that hatred for His followers would become extreme in near future, and which would continue down through history.

2.         Had anyone prior to this point in history said, “love your enemies?” Perhaps, but we have no knowledge of such. But now Jesus says to His followers, and to us as well, “love your enemies” and the word love here is agape, which means seeking the best for others including enemies. And the highest act of love is the crucifixion of Jesus, His taking our sin and death upon Himself.

3.         We are to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and bless those who curse us. And when insulted we are not to do the same. For those who ask of us of material goods we are to freely give.

4.         Then comes what has come to be called “The Golden Rule:” “As you wish others would do to you, do so to them.” This is also found in Matthew 7:12.

5.         Jesus then gives 3 examples of this rule: love those who do not love you, do good to those who will not do good to you, and give to others without hope of return. And to do so is favored by the Most High who is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. We are to be merciful like our Father is.

The Beatitudes & Jesus Pronounces Woes

The Gospel Meditation

Luke 6:20–26

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say 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.         The “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5 was preached by Jesus on a mountain. The “Beatitudes” in Luke 6 was preached by Jesus on a “level place.” (See Luke 6:17)

2.         There are 9 beatitudes in Matthew 5 and 4 in Luke 6. In Matthew, there are no “woes.”

3.         In Luke each beatitude has a contrasting woe:

poor vs rich, hungry vs full, weep vs laugh, reject vs accept.

4.         In Luke there is a large crowd gathered to hear Jesus preach. In Matthew there are only the twelve who hear Jesus.

5.         This is only the second sermon Jesus is presented as preaching in this Gospel, the first was at Nazareth.

6.         In our passage is both a promise of true blessing, or ultimate well-being, despite appearances.

7.         Jesus looks to a judgment that will be coming at some future time, and then the so-called tables will be radically turned. Here is the promise of eternal bliss in heaven and the awfulness of eternal separation in hell.

8.         It has long been suggested that Jesus presented complex realities in forms that could be easily memorized. And these presented in ways that people of that era could relate to.

9.         The Book of Revelation seems to incorporate much of what we find in our passage, especially in Revelation chapters 21 and 22.