Showing posts with label Advent Reading Programme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advent Reading Programme. Show all posts


The Gospel of Luke - Chapters 8 & 9

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What do we read about in the eighth & ninth chapters of Luke's Gospel?
What do we learn from Luke?

What is the main focus?
Is it important to know the words from this chapter?

I am doing this in response to an Advent Reading challenge where we read 1 chapter of the Gospel of Luke per day from 1st to 24th December which will allow the whole book to be read.

I don't plan to post every day but will try to do so every two days and end on the 24th.

If you missed The Overview or any of the chapters please click  HERE  for a list of them all.

Now let's look at the Eighth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 6 sections

Women Serving v. 1-3:

Many people will be saying here is some of the evidence  for women to be said to be leaders in the church.

Let's look at it carefully and see what it does say.

In verse 1  

Who was doing the preaching - Jesus.
Who was with Him - the 12 Apostles.

In verses 2 & 3    (the way the sentences are written these two verses cannot be taken separately)

Who was with Jesus - some women who had been healed and/or delivered and who were supporting the work. Some names are given but their support in the work is not described in detail.

However if you look at all three verses you will see that the women certainly would not have been used significantly as neither were the men.  The women and men were there because of Jesus and it was Jesus who was doing all the ministry to the people. 
Jesus was proclaiming the Kingdom of God with the disciples and the women learning about the Kingdom of God and serving Jesus.

Parable of the Sower  v. 4-15:

We read that there was a large crowd and Jesus spoke to them in a parable, although this is not the first time a parable has been mentioned in the Book of Luke.

Not all parables are explained to us in the Bible, not all were explained to the disciples either.

This one however has the explanation given in verses 11-15  and because we can read that here we must be careful to not sit under ministry of people who would decide that there is another way to interpret this parable.

Let's pray that we would be like the seed in the good soil.

We must grow in faith.

Parable of the Lamp  v. 16-21:

The important verses here are verses 16-17

Very serious thought.

Either we are truly following Jesus then this should be evident in our lives and we would want our lives to faithful to Him in every way.
If not we will eventually show it by our behaviour and attitudes or our turning away from Him.
God knows all, people may not know us fully but we know ourselves.

You know a light shows up what is around it and so draws the gaze to other things.
We need to draw the gaze of the world to Jesus and not be drawing attention to ourselves.

Verses 19-21 may seem odd to be placed here but here Jesus states that His mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and obey it and if we are saved then we are in the Family of God so we should hear and obey.

The Wind & Waves Obey Jesus  v. 22-25:

Jesus and His disciples got into a boat to go across the Lake.

Jesus fell asleep and the storm rose up.
Many theologians will tell you that the way Lake Galilee was it was well-known that the wind could stir up very dangerous waves very quickly.

The disciples are afraid even though they are in the presence of the one they have seen do great miracles, but that doesn't stop fear gripping them.  They wake Him up because they can do nothing but they should know by now that He can do something.

What type of miracles had they seen so far?

Healing   -   Peter's mother-in-law
Deliverance   -   Demoniac
Raising from the Dead   -   Widow's Son

Had they seen any miracles to do with the natural world?

Could they only believe He was capable of doing what they had already seen.

Could they not think of the miracles within the realm of the natural world that they knew had happened in the Old Testament?

Parting of the Red Sea
Walls of Jericho falling down
Sun standing still in the sky

Surely if miracles such as these had been done using God's leaders & prophets in the past then Jesus could perform them too.

Looks like the problem was not that they had no faith but that their faith was limited.

Jesus will acknowledge and encourage our faith

A Demon Possessed Man is Delivered  v. 26-39:

I wrote about this from the perspective of The Gospel of Mark ch 5 a few years ago on the blog.
So if you would like to see some of my thoughts from Mark's passage as well as some here from  Luke's you can read   "The Devil and Our Minds"

The demoniac met Jesus and knew who He was straight away.

How?   It was the many demons within the man who recognised who Jesus was and could do this better than the people who were with Jesus daily.   Who of His followers had acknowledged that He was the Son of the Most High God even though God had spoken it at His Baptism?  Who of them had understood He could do any type of miracle until shortly before this?

In verse 28  the group of demons said
“What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”
and in doing so showed fear of Jesus and the power He would have over them.
Jesus had ordered the demons to leave the man so the fear was of what would then be the place they would have to go to.

The demons had tormented the man now they were afraid of being torment themselves.

Jesus permitted them to go into the swine nearby who immediately ran down into the Lake and drowned.

When I read this again I had the thought of how Jesus definitely esteemed mankind over the animals.

A Woman Healed & A Girl Raised to Life  v. 40-56:

He went to one and the other came to Him.

In the instance of the woman with the issue of blood we see a person so determined to get to Jesus that she would go against the culture of the day and press in until she was able to touch the hem of His garment because she knew in her heart that even doing that would be enough to receive her healing.  She did not even expect Him to speak words of heals to her.

Jesus reaction was to acknowledge her faith.

In the instance of the young girl we see a father who was determined to get Jesus to come and heal his daughter because he knew she was dying.  Then they get the news that she has died.  Before the man says anything, Jesus tells the father not to be afraid but to believe and his daughter would be well.  Arriving at the house, those who were distractions and did not believe were excluded while Jesus in a very simple manner raised the girl back to life.

Jesus reaction here was to encourage faith in the Father and family.

Now let's look at the Ninth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 7 sections.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples  v. 1-9:

Looks like the initial training of the disciples is over and now they must go out and do the work  themselves but not before Jesus gave them the power and authority over demons and to heal diseases.

They were to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

He gave them the advice they needed about dealing with people who believed and those who did not believe.

Are we sent out with the same mission today?

Within this section Herod is brought to our attention again in verses 7-9

I was sure from chapter 3  when we read about Herod and Herodias that we would certainly be reading about the death of John the Baptist in detail in a later chapter but now no detail just the mention of some people thinking John had risen from the dead and that Herod beheaded him.

On checking through the other Gospels I see now that only Matthew ch. 14 and Mark ch. 6 give us the details of the beheading.

We learned from scholars that Luke's Gospel is the the chronological one with plenty of detail so this does not seem to fit with that perspective.

This short mention of Herod is here obviously to show us that everything that was happening was making Herod think about what Jesus was doing but he could not understand.  The result being that he was curious to see Jesus.

The Feeding of the 5000  v. 10-17:

The disciples were back with Jesus, and they all went to a quiet place near Bethsaida but not for long because the people followed them there and Jesus taught them again about the Kingdom of God.

Later that day the people needed to eat and when the disciples spoke to Jesus about this He told them to feed the people but they said there wasn't enough food for everyone.

Five loaves and 2 fish were all they had but did they forget they were with Jesus who had already proved He was a miracle worker?  Or did they only accept He could do miracles of healing, deliverance and against the natural elements of the world.

Whichever it was Jesus had to take over and do the job He had told them to do.

Jesus told them to get the people to sit in groups of 50.

Then in a simple clear way we see in verses 16-17  what Jesus did
16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude.  
17 So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.

Who did they say He was? Who do we say He is?

Peter Confesses Jesus as The Christ  v. 18-27:

I have always liked this part of scripture it seems to be in a quiet time that the revelation has come to Peter.

The verses here are so simple but effective

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”
20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”

The people who had benefited from His teaching and been blessed by His miracles had not reached this point yet.

Then Jesus commanded them to tell no-one this truth they had learned and told them He would suffer and die and be raised on the third day.

The question then is will they remember what He had told them?

In fact would they remember the rest He went on to say in verses 23 - 27

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  
24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  
25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?  
26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.  
27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

or would they not understand until after His death, resurrection and ascension?

The Transfiguration  v. 28-36:

This was obviously a significant moment of time in the earthly life of Jesus.

He was meeting with Moses and Elijah and they were in deep discussion.

I have often wondered how the disciples knew it was these two men.  Perhaps it was simply revealed to the three of them by God.

Peter as he was well known to do, spoke out without thinking and said about making shelters for the Jesus, Moses and Elijah - something that if they had needed God would surely have supplied.

This event can be likened to His Baptism in the River Jordan because there is the voice of The Father in verse 35 to instruct the three disciples to know again that this is the Son of God but also to know that it is important to listen to Him.

A Boy is Healed  v. 37-45:

When they came down from the mountain the following day there were crowds of people.

Among the crowd there is a father who has brought his son to be delivered but the disciples who had remained there when Jesus, Peter, James & John had gone up the mountain could not cast out the demon.

Jesus referred to the faithless generation and then cast the demon out of the boy.

Everyone around them marvelled at all that they had seen Jesus do but at the same time Jesus was was talking to His disciples about the future.

verse 44
“Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”

However the following verse tells us that the disciples did not understand what He meant.

The Wrong Attitude of the Disciples v. 46-56:

The disciples were arguing over who among them was the greatest.

Sometimes we do have to wonder just how much attention they paid to Jesus in all the time they were with Him.
But then we need to remember that plank in our own eye before we consider the speck in another's eye because if we had been there we don't know what we would have been saying or doing - we certainly would not have been perfect or taken in things any better than they did.

Jesus used a child to demonstrate something to them.

He was teaching them 3 things

However they reacted to a child would be like reacting to Jesus.
However they reacted to Him would be like reacting to God the Father.
Whoever was least would be the greatest.

Then the disciples thought they had been right to stop someone casting out demons because they thought that person was not among the followers of Jesus but instead when John told Jesus this it was the disciples who Jesus rebuked.

No-one can know the heart or faith of another person.

It is good for us to remember Jesus' words in verse 50b
he who is not against us is on our side

What sides are there?

Good and Evil.
God and Satan.

Now when will the disciples learn from all of this? 

They were now headed for Jerusalem because Jesus knew He had to go there for His death and the time for that was approaching.

In a Samaritan village along the way we see James and John reacting wrongly and thinking it would be okay to destroy the village with with fire - copying Elijah.
They received a strong rebuke from Jesus because they were not of the right Spirit in thinking this as they were for death when Jesus was for life clearly seen in the words of Jesus in verse 56

The Cost of Discipleship  v. 57-62:

"Lord I will follow you wherever you go."

Do people ever know just what this will mean?
Are people prepared to launch out without thinking?
It is not an easy road to follow at times.

Do we always say just what we mean?
Do we say yes Lord but then want to do it in our own time or way?

If we look back to our old life we are not really in our new life.

If you would like to read more of the posts in this series please click  HERE  for a list of them all.

For anyone looking for a book to give a thorough explanation of The Book of Luke  then I would recommend the following two commentaries by Warren Wiersbe which cover ch. 1-13 and ch. 14-24  available here below on Amazon and also at other leading bookshops.

For anyone looking for to do a Bible Study of The Book of Luke  I would recommend the following two studies by Warren Wiersbe which cover ch. 1-13 and ch. 14-24  available here below on Amazon and also at other leading bookshops.

Disclaimer: If buying here through Amazon I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.


The Gospel of Luke - Chapters 6 & 7

What do we read about in the sixth & seventh chapters of Luke's Gospel?
What do we learn from Luke?

What is the main focus?
Is it important to know the words from this chapter?

I am doing this in response to an Advent Reading challenge where we read 1 chapter of the Gospel of Luke per day from 1st to 24th December which will allow the whole book to be read.

If you missed The Overview or any of the chapters please click  HERE  for a list of them all.

Now let's look at the Sixth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 5 sections

Jesus & The Sabbath v. 1-11:

Those Scribes & Pharisees really like to accuse Jesus and his followers don't they.

Lots of people are like that today as well and show judgemental attitudes instead of loving attitudes.

So in the starting verses we see the Pharisees accusing the disciples of of breaking the laws of the Sabbath and then we see them just waiting on another Sabbath Day to be able to accuse Jesus of breaking the laws.

In the first instance they don't understand that Jesus is Lord of all so the Sabbath is subject to Him.

In the second instance Jesus knowing that they were watching and waiting turned the situation round and showed that the laws that had been made to be so important around the Sabbath were being misused and that evil was coming from that instead of the good that should.

Healing a man was from the goodness of God.

Being anxious to be able to make accusations and get their own way was from the evil of Satan.

Verse 11  shows clearly the evil that was growing in their hearts.
But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Such a strong statement showing the strength of the emotion they were feeling.

The Twelve Apostles v. 12-19:

Obviously there were now several followers of Jesus called disciples but this section now gives us the calling of the 12 who were to become known as the Apostles.

The 12 were:
Simon  (who Jesus named Peter)
Andrew  (Simon's brother)
James  &  John  ( mentioned previously as the sons of Zebedee)
James  (son of Alphaeus)
Simon  (the Zealot)
Judas  (son of James)
Judas  (Iscariot)

These were the ones who were to work and learn closely from Him and completed the requirements for Jesus then to be regarded as a Rabbi  -  a teacher with at least 10 male disciples/students.

We are not told what made these twelve different from the others but obviously they were particularly chosen by God.

How do we know that God was in control of this choice?

Look at verses 12-13
 12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.  
13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles

Just like we saw in the last chapter Jesus spent time in prayer before the choice was made.

After this choosing of the twelve, they all came down from the mountain and multitudes from different places were drawn to Jesus and were healed & delivered from unclean spirits.

verse 19 shows the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus
And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

The Beatitudes v. 20-26:

verse 20 continues by saying
Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples

It does not tell us if they went to another place or if this was another day or time but just Then.

So as Jesus stood there presumably shortly afterwards speaking these words that we refer to as the Beatitudes so He was in the same presence of the Spirit as he was during the miracles of healing and deliverance.

Surely that is something to remember as we listen to people who seek to preach to us or teach us and make sure that they are filled with the Holy Spirit and guided by God in all they say and not speaking just simply from their own thoughts.

It also says He was speaking to the disciples and does not mention all the other people so does this mean this was teaching for His own followers?

When we read the Beatitudes we normally go to Matthew's Gospel chapter 5 where we read 9 statements of the same type starting with the word  Blessed  and then 1 starting with Rejoice.
We do not find any Beatitudes in the other two gospels.

Here in Luke we have 4 starting with Blessed  and then 1 starting with Rejoice  followed by 4 statements starting with Woe

It's a bit like having the good news followed by the bad news.

In both gospels the last Blessed statement is the same and the Rejoice statement is there straight after it to show us how we are to react to it.

As for the Woes in Luke's Gospel 
they are almost like the opposite way round to the blessings.  
Is Jesus telling the disciples that the first set of attitudes is the correct way but the second is the wrong way.

Love and Do Not Judge  v. 27-42:

So often we hear things like "we are not supposed to judge others"  but mostly we use this in the wrong way - you know that thing about always reading in context!!!!

Well today we could have two questions from this section:
1.  Who should we love?
2.  Who should we not judge?

The verse below answers question 1.

I may not be an answer that is easy for us to accept because we want to love those who are loveable.
We want to love those who love us.

But God's way is better than our way.

Where is the answer to question 2?

Well Jesus used a parable to answer this one.

He talked about blind leading the blind - useless, one is as blind as the other.

He talked about the speck in someone else's eye while there is a plank in our eye.

But none of us are righteous enough to be able to judge others, there is no-one righteous except Jesus.

I think verse 36  sums up how we need to behave

Although God is a righteous God He wants us to be merciful because He is a God of mercy.

A Tree & A Rock  v. 43-49:

Here Jesus continues to teach and points to good and bad not being the result of each other.

He uses the illustration of a tree in verse 43
For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear  good fruit.

leading into the words of wisdom in verse 45

Then Jesus points out that although the disciples are learning from Him and recognise Him as Lord they do not do as He teaches.

Jesus wants us to come follow Him but that means to do His Will and that is to obey Him and if we doing this we will be like the next parable he tells.

The parable of the man who built his house on the rock - the firm foundation -  the floods could not destroy the house because it was on the right foundation unlike one that was built without a sure foundation.

Leaving us at the end of chapter 6 thinking about how we can be on the right foundation.

Answer - Jesus and the truth of God's Word must be our firm foundation and we can really only have that foundation when we wholly trust in Jesus.

Now let's look at the Seventh Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 4 sections.

In each one Jesus meets various people and the interactions between them are very significant.

Jesus Heals the Centurion's Servant  v. 1-10:

Jesus is in Capernaum.

A Centurion has a servant who is dying.
The Centurion sends elders of the Jews to ask Jesus to come to heal the servant.
The elders come and tell Jesus the centurion's request and explain that he is a worthy man because they have benefited from his generosity.

The the centurion sends friends to Jesus when he is close to his home asking Jesus not to bother to come but simply say the word and he knows his servant will be healed.
The Centurion recognises the authority Jesus has over sickness and also recognises that he is not worthy to even have Jesus in his home.

Jesus marvels at this and says He has not found such faith before and the servant is healed.

Contrasting the Jewish elders and the Centurion.
-  the former want the Centurion kept happy to continue being good to the city.
-  the latter wants to help his servant but does not think himself deserving of the attention of Jesus.

Jesus Raises the Son of the Widow of Nain  v. 11-17:

Now Jesus has gone to Nain.
The disciples and a large crowd are with Him.

There is a widow with one son who then has to endure the sorrow and worry when her son dies.
Jesus about to enter the city meets the funeral of this widow's son with a large crowd accompanying it.

What happened?
Jesus had compassion on her and brought her son back to life.

The result:
- the large crowd witnessed a miracle
- the widow was joyful
- a life was restored

but also let's not forget the fact that all that witnessed this
- experienced the fear (awe) of God
- glorified God
because they knew God was with them.

What qualities are shown in Luke chapter 7?

John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus  v. 18-35:

John sends followers to Jesus to ask if Jesus is the one John was expecting.

Jesus healed and delivered people while John's followers were with Him so they actually witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit for themselves - the best way to know for certain what is happening and not by hearsay.

In verses 22-23  Jesus then told them to
22 “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard:             that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,     the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel     preached to them.  
23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Jesus goes on to tell the multitudes that John was a great prophet.

All those who had been baptised by John were happy with this.

But not the Pharisees and lawyers the usual ones to complain or grumble about everything to do with Jesus.

Jesus knew that no matter what was done for them they were not changing and he called them out on that in verses 33-34

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 
34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a wine bibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 

Basically Jesus was saying nothing would please them, they would find something to use as an accusation.

Jesus Forgives a Sinful Woman  v. 36-50:

Jesus goes to the home of a Pharisee for a meal.

While he is there a woman who was a well-known "sinner" does 5 things in His presence

1.  weeps
2.  washes His feet with her tears
3.  dries His feet with her hair
4.  kisses his feet
5.  pours perfume over His feet

The Pharisee immediately starts thinking of another accusation against Jesus saying to himself in verse 39b
“This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
Jesus knows what the accusation is without hearing it and tells Simon the Pharisee the parable of the two debtors in verses 41-43  
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  
42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?"    
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”

Jesus then compares Simon with the woman:
  • Simon did not wash the feet of Jesus,  the woman did & dried them.
  • Simon did not greet Jesus with a kiss,  the woman kissed his feet repeatedly.
  • Simon did not anoint the head of Jesus with oil,  the woman anointed His feet with fragrant oil.

The woman loved greatly and receives forgiveness for her sins.

If only we were humble enough that  verses 48-50  would be the said to us
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

The woman also receives the peace of God, is this not something we all would ask for.

What qualities stand out for me in this chapter?



Power of the Holy Spirit



If you would like to read more of the posts in this series please click  HERE  for a list of them all.


The Gospel of Luke - Chapters 4 & 5

What do we read about in the fourth & fifth chapters of Luke's Gospel?
What do we learn from Luke?

What is the main focus?
Is it important to know the words from this chapter?

I am doing this in response to an Advent Reading challenge where we read 1 chapter of the Gospel of Luke per day from 1st to 24th December which will allow the whole book to be read.

If you missed The Overview and chapter 1 please click HERE

For chapters 2 & 3 please click HERE  to read about that and then come back to continue with us for chapters 4 & 5.

Now let's look at the 

Fourth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 5 sections

The Temptation of Jesus v. 1-13:

Remember from chapter 3 we know that the last thing Luke recorded of Jesus was His Baptism.

Now we have a very different situation.

To some this will probably seem like a very well-known passage but as we found from the previous few chapters we can never say this as sometimes we are only thinking of one version from one Gospel and each Gospel may have a unique take on the topic.

I am sure that every time we hear about this we hear people say or we think ourselves that Jesus was all alone in the wilderness.
Yes he was on his own if we think of human companionship but the first verse of this chapter tells us that He was not completely on His own.

verse 1-2a    (NKJV)
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,  
being tempted for forty days by the devil.

above is the NKJV which states that the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness but the NASB below states that the Spirit led Jesus around the wilderness

verse 1-2a    (NASB)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 
for forty days, being tempted by the devil.

Jesus was never alone - He always had the Holy Spirit with Him

The fellowship within the Godhead has always been of utmost importance.

The devil could have said anything to Jesus, he could have tempted Him in any way but Jesus being man was not one that the devil was trying to tempt.

The devil was trying to tempt Jesus the Son of God.

There was never going to be a doubt about the outcome because Jesus, part of the Triune God, was never going to be tempted by the devil.  Jesus may have allowed the devil to talk to Him and to try to make Him turn His back on the Father but he never had a chance of breaking up the Trinity.

There are three verses here which show us how to resist the devil

Notice the  "It is written..."

Notice the  "For it is written..."

Notice the  "It has been said..."

What God has already written or said is settled, is truth and is the foundation for us to rely on when we are tempted because we are not God we are human but thankfully we can depend on God's faithfulness in that His Word never changes just as He never changes.

The devil could say nothing more.

Public Ministry of Jesus in Galilee v. 14-15:

Immediately we have an important statement giving the reason for the future events.

verse 14a
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee

He began teaching  -  oh that all the preaching we hear today would be done in the power of the Spirit.
What was the result of this teaching?

verse 15    (NKJV)
And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

verse 15    (NASB)
And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

Public Ministry of Jesus in Nazareth v. 16-30:

He went from Galilee to Nazareth, where He had grown up, went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and read from the book of Isaiah a section which was actually about Himself.

Then in verse 23  he spoke of Capernaum.

He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” 

Luke has not already mentioned Jesus in Capernaum.

So what was he referring to?

Well Capernaum was in Galilee  (see verse 31)  so it must have been a reference to just before this while Jesus had taught in the synagogues in Galilee.

Obviously He had been well accepted in Capernaum, Galilee and people had talked about Him and the people of Nazareth had heard about this.

So then we have the famous verse which you can hear many people mention today.

verse 24
Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.

He went on to tell them examples in the Old Testament where things happened when Elijah and Elisha were present in places other than their own towns and countries.

God works where He wills to work and also where the Spirit of God is recognised and accepted.

Jesus Casts Out An Unclean Spirit v. 31-37:

Back to Capernaum in Galilee and we witness the first miracle recorded by Luke.

Jesus taught in the synagogue, people were amazed at His teaching and they recognised His authority.

But something else also recognised that authority He had.  A man with an unclean spirit shouted out in recognition of Jesus as the Holy one of God and was scared that Jesus had come to destroy them - which sounded like there were other spirits either in this man or in others.

What was Jesus' reaction?

verse 35
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.

There was no hesitation from Jesus to give a command on hearing the spirit but there was also no hesitation by the unclean spirit to obey on hearing Jesus.

The authority of Jesus was recognised and had to be obeyed because He was God.

It also made a good impression on the people

verse 36
Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

because again they were spreading the word about Jesus.

Simon Peter's Mother-in-law and Others are Healed  v. 38-44:

This is the first time Simon Peter is mentioned in Luke's Gospel - no mention of the disciples yet.

His mother-in-law had a high fever and they asked Jesus to help her.

verse 39
So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.

I noticed 3 things here

1.  It says nothing about Jesus touching her
2.  Jesus rebuked the fever
3.  The fever went
4.  She was better immediately, back to her normal self

And I love the mention of her serving them, not because she was doing what many would see as a "woman's job in the home"  but because that action was the proof of immediate healing.

People knew what power Jesus had and brought others to be healed and set free from evil spirits.

Did the people realise He was the Son of God?
We don't know because they did not say it but we do know the demons did.

In finishing this chapter we have the first mention of Jesus going off to a secluded place.

We also have His Words in

  verse 43
but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”

telling the people that His purpose was to preach the Kingdom of God.

Now let's look at the 

Fifth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 5 sections

The First Disciples v. 1-11:

Jesus is at the Lake of Gennesaret (also known as the Sea of Galilee) so He is still in Galilee.

Here he meets Simon again and uses his boat to get out from the shore because of the crowds of people.  It says here that he sat down and began to teach the people from the boat.

After that Jesus tells Simon to go out further to the deeper part of the Lake and let down his nets. They had fished all night and caught nothing so we would expect Simon not to want to go again however Simon says

verse 5b    (NKJV)
nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.

verse 5b    (NASB)
but I will do as You say and let down the nets.

Simon had already seen the effect that Jesus had on his mother-in-law and others so I presume he reckoned Jesus was one who they may not understand but had proven Himself to be worth obeying.

They caught so much fish the nets were going to break.

They got help from the other boat that was with them and in the end both of the boats were filled with more fish than they really could hold because it says in verse 7b
And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

This is when Simon realised the power Jesus had and he said

verse 8b
“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

Then we meet James and John who were in the other boat and we are told they were also amazed.

This is where the term fishers of men came from and the call of the first 4 disciples.

But only 3 fishermen were named in this passage.
Why do we say 4 were called here?

There is no other name noted but we do know that another person was in the boat with Peter because verses 6 & 7 both refer to they and not just Simon. 

Matthew 4 v 18  tells of 4 fishermen being called as disciples and here it says Simon Peter & Andrew his brother and verse 21 names James and John.

Mark  1 v 16 - 20  has almost the identical story to Matthew

The Gospel of John however does not mention this at all.

Jesus Heals a Leper  v. 12-16:

A leper recognises the Lordship of Jesus because he falls at His feet and says in

verse 12
“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Jesus responds by saying in

verse 13
“I am willing; be cleansed.”

News was spreading fast and many were gathering around Him but He also needed to be alone at times

verse 16
So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

Even Jesus often went to pray.

Even Jesus often went to pray

Jesus Forgives & Heals a Paralytic  v. 17-26:

Here we have the well-known story of the four friends who carried the paralysed man to the house to see Jesus and could not get in because of the crowd of people.  They carried their friend up to the roof, removed part of the roof and lowered the man on his mat down into the house.

What are the things that seem to be important here?

1.  Faith  -  verse 20  -  Jesus said
When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
2.  Accusations  -  verse 21  -  Scribes & Pharisees said
“Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
3.  Forgiveness  -  verse 22-24  -  Jesus said
“Why are you reasoning in your hearts?  
23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’?  
24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”

4.  Healing  -  verse 25  -  by Jesus
Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.

4.  Worship  -  verse 26  -  by the crowd
And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”

Notice all were good things except for the accusations by the pious leaders.

The crowd even though they thought these happenings were strange still gave the glory to God.

We should glorify God even when we don't fully understand but can see the goodness of what He is doing.

We should always glorify God

Matthew the Tax Collector  v. 27-32:

Previously fishermen had just left their nets and followed Jesus now we have a Tax Collector leaving his tax office to follow Jesus.

I wonder what other people thought as they watched him walk away with Jesus considering the way they would have felt about tax collectors.

Jesus and the disciples went for a meal at Matthew's home only to receive more accusations from the Scribes and Pharisees.

Jesus' response in verses 31-32 was probably not what they would have expected because they did not understand forgiveness & redemption.

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  
32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Of course they also did not understand that we are all sinners.

We are all sinners

Jesus is Questioned about Fasting  v. 33-39:

Yet again we have the Scribes and Pharisees with something to say.

Do they change the subject because they didn't really understand the answer they got to their other question?

They want to compare Jesus to John the Baptist or at least they say the disciples of each of them.

So Jesus tells them a parable about a new material and an old garment and new wine and old wine skins.

This appears to be the first parable that Luke relates to us.
Not a parable for the people, not a parable for the disciples but a parable for the accusers.

If you would like to read more of the posts in this series please click  HERE  for a list of them all.