Luke 11-14 Inconvenient Truths

Luke 11-14 Inconvenient Truths

Psalm 119:113-120 Fearing God is Way More Than Polite Respect
Ps 119:113 SAMECH “I hate double-minded men, but I love your law. 114 You are my hiding place and my shield. I hope in your word. 115 Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God. 116 Uphold me according to your word, that I may live. Let me not be ashamed of my hope. 117 Hold me up, and I will be safe, and will have regard for your statutes continually.
118 You reject/toss aside all those who stray from your statutes, for their deceit is in vain. 119 You put away/exterminate all the wicked of the earth like dross. Therefore I love your testimonies. 120 My flesh trembles for fear of you. I am afraid of your judgments."

Observations: 119:113-117 The psalmist hates the double-minded who say they follow God, but do their own thing, impeding the spiritual progress of those around them. He trusts and hopes in God and disassociates himself from the evildoers, so he can keep God's word continually. Those who fear and obey God have nothing to fear.
119:118-120 These verses should put an end to the nonsense about fearing God is just respecting Him (spouted and parroted by those who don't; I confess that I share the sentiments of verse 113). God rejects all those who stray from His statutes (What about “all” and “stray” don't they understand?). In order to stray, you had to be following, and you couldn't do that in OT times unless you were part of the covenant community. The strayers think that God doesn't see, and cover their disobedience with deceit, but in vain. The reason the psalmist loves and clings to God's law is because He knows God exterminates/cuts off (from living/blessing) the wicked (those who take the law on their lips and don't obey it -Ps 50). His flesh trembles for fear/terror of God, and of His judgments. God gets angry when we disobey, and an angry God is terrifyingly scary.
Application: Those who say they respect but don't fear God will one day wish they did.
Prayer: Lord, may I never take your mercy and love for granted, and think Your justice isn't eternal. May I fear you, depart from evil, and not stray all of my days. Amen.

Proverbs 28:18-22 Blameless Workers Blessed
Pr 28:18 “Whoever walks blamelessly is kept safe; but one with perverse ways will fall suddenly. 19 One who works his land will have an abundance of food; but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. 20 A faithful man is rich with blessings; but one who is eager to be rich will not go unpunished. 21 To show partiality is not good; yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread. 22 A stingy man hurries after riches, and doesn’t know that poverty waits for him.“

Observations: 28:18-22 Wisdom is not opposed to wealth, but specifies the path and pitfalls to acquiring it. Those who make gold their greatest good, and chase after it eagerly and determinedly (as every “success” program recommends) will fall into poverty (of at least the soul), and punishment (by the God who created them for another purpose). The foolish person sacrifices a dependent relationship with God, chases fantasy, perverts justice (shows partiality), and hoards what God has given them to share. God can't possibly bless that kind of person. The wise focuses first on being blessable (by doing what is right in God's sight), and working the field God has provided. The word for “work” is most commonly translated serve, and underscores the essence of work (profitably serving the needs of others). God not only provides daily bread to those who righteously depend upon Him, but meets all the needs of those who seek (reward) in His kingdom, and His righteousness first (Mt 6:33).
Application: See and ingrain the truths in the topical study on work, and do the work God has given you, heartily, as your worship of Him.
Bonus: Invest an hour to listen to "I hate my boss and my railroad train pajamas" and you will reap dividends over forty hours a week for the rest of you life.
Prayer: Lord, thanks that I can trust You to honor all Your promises and meet my daily needs as I seek You; help me know and wholeheartedly do the work through which You wish to provide for my needs. Amen.


Luke 11-14 These chapters contain some well known truths about prayer and protection, and some about judgment and punishment that are just glossed over because they are inconvenient. But wouldn't you rather base your life upon what's narrow and right rather than what's broad and wrong? Like Pascal's wager, the person who lives righteously and is too narrow, loses almost nothing, while the person who takes the broad and easy way and is wrong, loses almost everything. The issue in these chapters is not forgiveness (justification by faith) but but service and self-sacrifice (sanctification/glorification by faithfulness). Truth must be understood in context, or it is likely to be misconstrued as untruth.


Luke 11 Prayer and Pharisees
11:1 It happened, that when he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples." 2 He said to them, "When you pray, say, ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be holy/sanctified/hallowed. May your Kingdom come. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’"
5 He said to them, "Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,' 7 and he from within will answer and say
Don’t bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give it to you’? 8 I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his honor, he will get up and give him as many as he needs. 9 "I tell you, ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. 11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won’t give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, he won’t give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
14 He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. It happened, when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the multitudes marveled. 15 But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons." 16 Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 But if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore will they be your judges. 20 But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come to you. 21 "When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armour in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. 23 "He that is not with me is against me. He who doesn’t gather with me scatters. 24 The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, ‘I will turn back to my house from which I came out.’ 25 When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
27 It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!" 28 But he said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it."
29 When the multitudes were gathering together to him, he began to say, "This is an evil generation. It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet. 30 For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will also the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, one greater than Jonah is here. 33 "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light. 34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn’t darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light."
37 Now as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He went in, and sat at the table. 38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed himself before dinner. 39 The Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness. 40 You foolish ones, didn’t he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you (NIV). 42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don’t know it." 45 One of the scribes answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you insult us also." 46 He said, "Woe to you scribes also! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won’t even lift one finger to help carry those burdens. 
47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48 So you testify and consent to the works of your fathers. For they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute, 50 that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.’ Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you scribes! For you took away the key of knowledge. You didn’t possess/enter in yourselves, and those who were possessing/entering in, you hindered." 53 As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him; 54 lying in wait for him, and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.

Observations: 11:1-14 Excerpt from comments on Matthew 6: “You should be able to find an exposition of the Lord's prayer on Truthbase.net, and a skeleton understanding under the topic of Prayer in the 7PASSAGES. The center of the first triad is “may Your kingdom come” which is the topic thus far in Jesus' ministry. This request is bracketed by a request for God's name/reputation to be seen as holy, separate or distinct from all other gods (synonymous with glory 5:17), and a wish for God's will to be done on earth (yeah! justice finally) as it is in heaven. The request for the kingdom indicates a willingness to be a faithful subject in it, doing God will.
The second triad, centers on righteous relationships with others, bracketed by the dependent request for daily bread (as in today, not next week's -see Manna), and the request for living the victorious Christian life (as in victory over Satan's lies, temptations, and attacks).”
The word usually translated “importunity/persistence” is “anaideia” a compound of “not” and “dishonor,” yes that is a double negative. Dishonor is aidos “the feeling of innate moral repugnance to doing a dishonorable act” -Trench Synonyms OLB. But the prefix of “an” negates the dishonor, yielding a meaning of “not being dishonorable” or doing the honorable thing. Jesus is teaching that the guy in bed would not answer that way, not because of the friendship, but because the honor of the man in bed is at stake. If he refused a friend in need, his reputation would be damaged. He gives him the bread because that is the honorable thing to do, not because of the knocking. The honor or reputation of God (for the praise and glory of His name) is a big theme in Psalms, as the basis for God answering prayer. David appeals to the praise God would get (dead men don't praise), not so much as an incentive for God, but as a reminder and encouragement to himself that God does answer prayer so that God will be praised, and others will be drawn to Him. This teaching is chiastically related to the parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow (Lk 18:1) whose intent is to encourage persistent faith and prayer, not badgering. God is not like the unjust judge who will help the woman just to get her to go away. God is just, and His justice requires Him to act justly, in rewarding good and punishing evil. God doesn't answer because people cry to Him day and night, but because He is just. Do you think God answers your prayers because you badger Him, jump up and down day and night, and cut yourself (1Kg 18:28)? That's the pagan view of God. Our God loves to give good gifts to His children and show Himself strong on our behalf. He knows what we need before we ask. He will not give us what is not good, thus many of our requests are denied. However, if we don't ask, He is not seen as responding to our prayer, and thus gets no glory nor praise. Prayer is an expression of our trust. If we are daily trusting, we should be daily depending/praying. If you need reminders that God knows, tell Him again. If you need reminders that you're trusting, pray again (He does have an excellent memory and also knows if you're trusting Him or not). But remember, any relationship is damaged by nagging.
Ask, seek, and knock are progressive stages of prayer. All those verbs are in the present tense; if the emphasis was on ongoing action, the imperfect tense would have been used. Notice too that there is no persistence in “ask...receive.” Seeking might have that element, but it is more likely the an inference to our responsibility in the reception of our request. Knock implies an advanced form of seeking, since the solution is not out in the open, but behind an apparent obstacle. Persistence doesn't always open doors, turning the key usually does. Remember, you knock on closed doors, and Satan is always happy to open trap doors for you. See comments on Matthew 7:7 to avoid walking through one of them. If human fathers want what's best for their children, how much more does our Heavenly Father want to bless us? The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift/blessing God can give His children, because it is Him dwelling in us, giving us access to His power. This is a New Covenant blessing (Jeremiah 31), and remember that Pentecost (Acts 2) hadn't happened yet. All NT believers receive the Holy Spirit at conversion (Eph 1:13; 1Cor 12:13) not as a result of asking for It/Him, so this is not the definitive teaching about the Holy Spirit (we'll see more in John 16).
11:14-26 As in Matthew and Mark, the opposition of the establishment reaches the point of no return, when they attribute the authenticating work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. This constitutes a “national” rejection, even though Luke doesn't emphasize the role of the religious leaders in the rejection. By not gathering with Jesus, by their comments they were, in effect, scattering (not helpful). See comments on the parallel passage in Matthew 12.
11:27-36 The blessing of the woman (unique to Luke) emphasizes that the blessing God promised is not a matter of birth, but of obedience. Then Jesus shifts to the cursing/judgment (lack of blessing) which would come upon the unreceptive. See comments on the parallel passage in Matthew 12 for the judgments, and Matthew 6 (Lk 8:16-18) for the eye/light. Luke adds a little more elaboration: rejecting light puts people in darkness; accepting the light of the truth of Christ's teachings permeates the entire body (there could be an intimation of glory; cf the Mount of Transfiguration Lk 9:29).
11:37-54 Jesus would have been a difficult dinner guest. Who would you seat Him next to? At least the conversation wouldn't be boring. He deliberately doesn't wash to set the stage for rebuking the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. A right relationship with God is a matter of internals, not external religiosity and ritual. Justice and the loyal love of God are way more important than giving ten percent of the parsley in your herb garden. In the six woes or judgments pronounced against the Pharisees and scribes, Jesus denounces not just their inward failings, but the negative influence they have on others. The wisdom of God is put for the OT teachings of the prophets. They didn't enter into or embrace the key to knowledge (neither the OT prophetic teaching, nor that of Jesus, who reiterated it) and hindered others from possessing it, by their lies (casts out demons by the devil) and opposition. The blood of all the prophets will be required of this generation, because they will kill the culmination of prophets.
Application: Make your requests to God trusting that He is infinitely good, and would not give you anything bad for you, nor withhold anything good for you (Ps 84:11). Satan would delight in giving you what is bad, so make sure you're walking uprightly.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust in Your goodness, and that You will give me what's best, when it's best, and withhold from me what is not good. Guide me in Your truth, and keep me from the deceptions of the evil one. Thanks. Amen.


Luke 12 Protection and Punishment
12:1 Meanwhile, when a multitude of many thousands had gathered together, so much so that they trampled on each other, he began to tell his disciples first of all, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 But there is nothing covered up, that will not be revealed, nor hidden, that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. What you have spoken in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. 4 "I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 "Aren’t five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows. 8 "I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, him will the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies me in the presence of men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. 10 Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, don’t be anxious how or what you will answer, or what you will say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that same hour what you must say."
13 One of the multitude said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14 But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" 15 He said to them, "Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses." 16 He spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly. 17 He reasoned within himself, saying, ‘What will I do, because I don’t have room to store my crops?’ 18 He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 I will tell my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, be merry."’ 20 "But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’ 21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
22 He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, don’t be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they don’t sow, they don’t reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds! 25 Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height? 26 If then you aren’t able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 Don’t seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. 30 For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. 32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. 33 Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35 "Let your waist be dressed and your lamps burning. 36 Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord will find watching when he comes. Most certainly I tell you, that he will dress himself, and make them recline, and will come and serve them. 38 They will be blessed if he comes in the second or third watch, and finds them so. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched, and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore be ready also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don’t expect him."
41 Peter said to him, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everybody?" 42 The Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the right times? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes. 44 Truly I tell you, that he will set him over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delays his coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken, 46 then the lord of that servant will come in a day when he isn’t expecting him, and in an hour that he doesn’t know, and will cut him in two, and place his portion with the unfaithful. 47 That servant, who knew his lord’s will, and didn’t prepare, nor do what he wanted, will be beaten with many stripes, 48 but he who didn’t know, and did things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.
49 "I came to throw fire on the earth. I wish it were already kindled. 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division. 52 For from now on, there will be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
54 He said to the multitudes also, "When you see a cloud rising from the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it happens. 55 When a south wind blows, you say, ‘There will be a scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you don’t interpret this time? 57 Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 For when you are going with your adversary before the magistrate, try diligently on the way to be released from him, lest perhaps he drag you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will by no means get out of there, until you have paid the very last penny."

Observations: 12:1-12 See comments on Matthew 10. Jesus admonishes His hearers to fear only God, who has power to judge after death. Gehenna is the garbage dump outside the city where unprofitable servants suffer loss (1Cor 3:15). The unpardonable sin is attributing the authenticating work of the Holy Spirit to Satan, so that one doesn't come to the sphere where Jesus is, and thus find forgiveness.
12:13-21 A request for Jesus to make someone share the inheritance results in a rebuke of covetousness, and the famous passage that our life is more than the accumulation of stuff. The rich fool exemplifies the thinking and fate of those who think this world is all there is. They have exchanged their life for things which will burn, rather than God's riches (bad economics).
12:21-40 This section elaborates on what it takes to be rich toward God. Not being anxious about this life, trusting Him to provide for our needs, so we're free to serve the needs of others. We lay up riches in heaven through a variety of other-centered acts which Luke will record Jesus saying in future chapters. Here, verse 33 lists one. See comments on Matthew 6. The teaching about being prepared and ready are similar to those in Matthew 24 (please see there), but Luke adds that the master will bless and serve his servants who he finds faithful when he returns. Those who aren't watching will suffer loss. Here's an excerpt form the comments on Matthew 24: “He will be cut off from blessing, just like promised the unfaithful in the OT, and his portion/inheritance (or place) will be with the hypocrites, where it's all tears and teeth. This is not the lake of fire for those who aren't justified, or don't know God, but the outer darkness, excluded from the light of the city, where unprofitable servants serve their time." See comments on Mt 25:30.
The master will bless the obedient and faithful servants, and punish the unfaithful servants who had harmed those under their care (like the scribes and Pharisees). This is not a passage about forgiveness for believers and the lake of fire for unbelievers/pagans, but about servants entrusted with responsibility by their master. Those who have even a superficial acquaintance with the OT know that God punishes His chosen people when they are unfaithful, and it isn't pretty. He blesses and curses as promised. This passage is:
  • an elaboration of verses 35-40 about being ready for the return of the master;
  • so that one would be blessed, served and honored by him;
  • as the alternative to suffering loss;
  • and is addressed to the disciples in response to Peter's question;
It states clearly that the person was:
  • a servant of the master;
  • who had been entrusted with leadership in the master's household;
  • who was a steward from whom a faithful and wise accounting would be required;
  • who knew the master's will;
  • who was to feed and nourish other servants;
  • who indulged his/her desires rather than do the master's desire;
  • who doubted the master's return due to delay;
  • who abused fellow servants rather than sacrificially loving them;
  • who will be cut off from their privileged position;
  • who will lose their inheritance (just like Israelites did).
Now where's the part of trusting that Jesus died for one's sins and is justified by faith in this passage? Where is that in the gospel of Luke thus far? Hmmm, there might need to be some paradigm shifting going on.
Those who know God's will and don't plan to do it, nor do it will be punished (as in ouch, pain) more than those who didn't know, but still failed to do God's will. Ignorance isn't bliss, it's just a lesser beating. The last half of verse 48 should be really scary for those who are more advantaged than the average bear. Why do you think God gave you your abilities and advantages? So you could use them to indulge your desires at a higher level than others?
12:49-53 As John had announced Jesus would immerse/baptize with the Holy Spirit (prophesied New Covenant blessing) and fire (prophesied New Kingdom judgments). Jesus seems pretty keen to get the judging and destruction of enemies to center stage (must be that justice thing), but He has to face the cross first. The result of Jesus' first coming is not peace on earth (that's only toward those on whom His favor rests), but division and disunity. Those who refuse to follow Christ according to truth will be against those who do. Get used to it; it will all be worth it when Christ returns.
12:54-59 Speaking of Christ's return, do whatever it takes to avoid judgment, but living in holiness and righteousness (no substitutionary atonement, remember Jesus' audience had forgiveness on the basis of the Day of Atonement -see Matthew 1 introduction if you missed it). The just payback will be a temporary punishment (weeping and gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness during the kingdom). Note it is temporary, not unending. When justice has been served and payment made, the punishment ends (eternal state).
Application: Someday Jesus is going to ask you “So, what have you done with all those marvelous abilities that I entrusted to you?” If you're reading this, you should be smart enough to figure out the right answer to that inevitable question.
Prayer: God, thanks that You bless Your faithful servants; may I always be counted among them, using all that You have entrusted to me, as a good steward, for Your purposes and glory. Amen.


Luke 13 Chop Chop; Knock Knock
13:1 Now there were some present at the same time who told him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. 4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way."
6 He spoke this parable. "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none. 7 He said to the vine dresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil?’ 8 He answered, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it, and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.’"
10 He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. 11 Behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and she was bent over, and could in no way straighten herself up. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." 13 He laid his hands on her, and immediately she stood up straight, and glorified God. 14 The ruler of the synagogue, being indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the multitude, "There are six days in which men ought to work. Therefore come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day!" 15 Therefore the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn’t each one of you free his ox or his donkey from the stall on the Sabbath, and lead him away to water? 16 Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound eighteen long years, be freed from this bondage on the Sabbath day?" 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were disappointed, and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
18 He said, "What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches." 20 Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? 21 It is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened." 22 He went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and traveling on to Jerusalem.
23 One said to him, "Lord, are they few who are saved?" He said to them, 24 "Strive to enter in by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter in, and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen up, and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside, and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ then he will answer and tell you, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and yourselves being thrown outside. 29 They will come from the east, west, north, and south, and will sit down in the Kingdom of God. 30 Behold, there are some who are last who will be first, and there are some who are first who will be last."
31 On that same day, some Pharisees came, saying to him, "Get out of here, and go away, for Herod wants to kill you." 32 He said to them, "Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I complete my mission. 33 Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, for it can’t be that a prophet perish outside of Jerusalem.’
34 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, like a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you refused! 35 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’"

Observations: 13:1-9 Hearing Jesus speak of temporal judgments for those who were unfaithful at the end of chapter 12, someone told Jesus of the slaughter of some Galileans by Pilate. Jesus said anyone who doesn't repent in light of the coming kingdom, will suffer a similar fate. Jesus then references 18 people suddenly destroyed by a collapsing tower, and says the same fate awaits all those who dwell in Jerusalem who don't repent. Remember, up until this point, repent has been clearly established as living righteously in light of the coming kingdom (which was promised in the OT and announced by John, along with what repentance entailed -Lk 3). Jesus follows this double declaration with the parable of the unfruitful fig tree. If it didn't produce fruit (of righteousness stemming from repentance, not faith) it would be cut down (and burned).
13:10-22 Jesus frees a woman who was afflicted with demonic bondage that kept her from being physically upright. The spiritually bound synagogue leader fussed about Jesus healing people on the Sabbath (maybe he was upset it hadn't been included program printed in the bulletin). Jesus exposes the Pharisaical hypocrisy, and notes how appropriate it is to give spiritual freedom and rest from demonic bondage on the Sabbath (maybe this should be included in more synagogue/church programs, or at least in the sermons). The incident is followed by a pair of parables emphasizing the blessings and benefits of the kingdom of God despite the inauspicious humble beginnings (cf Mt 13).
13:23-30 Jesus' teaching is not the broad, easy way, but is sounding difficult. It prompts someone to ask if only a few are “saved.” Based upon the preceding (and following) context, saved would have to mean spared the temporal judgment in the promised OT kingdom, for unrighteousness and unfaithfulness. The issue hasn't been, nor is it in the rest of the chapter, failure to believe in Christ's death on their behalf, and escaping the eternal lake of fire, but rather getting blessed or cursed (but not eternally) for failing to do what's right in God's sight (just like in the OT, what a coincidence!!). This would be the glorification aspect of salvation, in the kingdom. At the risk of being boorish (too late), where has Luke told his readers they had to believe that Jesus died for their sins? Jesus gives them an excerpt from His Sermon on the Mount (see the end of Matthew 7 for more comments), encased in a parable about a master excluding people with whom he did not have a faithful relationship. They think that eating and drinking in his presence and being in the vicinity of his teaching qualifies them for the party (sounds like Seder/church). He refuses admittance on the basis of their unrighteous deeds (workers of iniquity; no faith mentioned either way). Jesus said in verse 24 that the way is narrow, and His hearers needed to strive to enter, because they will wish they had. This sure sounds like free-will human effort to me, or am I missing something? Then Jesus tells them where they have reservations. The outer darkness is where the unprofitable servants will weep and gnash, while the faithful wine and nosh. The OT faithful, along with Gentiles (gasp!) for the four corners of the globe will sit down at the feast in the Kingdom that comes from God which Jesus has been talking about all this time. The unfaithful/disloyal will be tossed out, yet still see the party participants from afar. The last-first, first-last refers to the status reversal of the religious establishment with the true followers of Jesus, a true reward passage (see comments on Matthew 19:30).
13:31-33 and 34-35 These two sections form the center of a giant chiastic structure starting at 9:51 and ending at 19:44. They focus on Jesus' upcoming death at Jerusalem. The structural correspondence between components doesn't add a lot of interpretative benefit, but we'll note the sections that do. The ever-helpful Pharisees warn Jesus that Herod wants to kill Him, and that Jesus should take a vacation, and get out of town. Jesus replies that He has a mission to complete, which isn't finished until He dies in Jerusalem, the prophets' death row. Jesus laments over Jerusalem's stubborn refusal to do what God wants and reveals two important pieces of information:
  1. Jesus wanted/desired/willed to gather them as His children, but they refused. They exercised their free-will to thwart the will of the Creator God. So much for sovereign will applying to whether or not someone someone accepts or rejects Christ. Remember that God sovereignly makes the rules (that's what a Sovereign King or nation does). God sovereignly attaches consequences to our decisions: obey, get blessed; disobey, get cursed.
  2. The rejection of God's love for them is not a terminal, irreversible decision. The Jewish nation has not been permanently left desolate (although from AD 70 to 1948 it didn't look too good). Jesus said there will come a time when the nation will see Him again (after His death). They won't see Him until they say the end of verse 35 (from Ps 118:26 see the surrounding context there). The pilgrim crowds shouted this on Palm Sunday, but not the religious establishment. Matthew 23:39 places the lament after Palm Sunday, and the context of Jesus' comment here in Luke is clearly in reference to after His mission this time round is concluded with His death. See Romans 11 for when Israel will repent and her desolate house revived.
Application: Those who live righteously in light of the coming kingdom will enjoy its blessings. What do you think happens to those who don't? What did Jesus say?
Prayer: My King, may there never be any doubt about my relationship with and service of You; save me a seat at the feast. Thanks. Amen.


Luke 14 Feast or Frivolity
14:1 It happened, when he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching him. 2 Behold, a certain man who had dropsy was in front of him. 3 Jesus, answering, spoke to the scribes and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" 4 But they were silent. He took him, and healed him, and let him go. 5 He answered them, "Which of you, if your son or an ox fell into a well, wouldn’t immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?" 6 They couldn’t answer him regarding these things.
7 He spoke a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, and said to them, 8 "When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, don’t sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him, 9 and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." 12 He also said to the one who had invited him, "When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. 13 But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind; 14 and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous."
15 When one of those who sat at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, "Blessed is he who will feast in the Kingdom of God!" 16 But he said to him, "A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people. 17 He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’ 18 They all as one began to make excuses. "The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 "Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go try them out. Please have me excused.’ 20 "Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I can’t come.’ 21 "That servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’ 22 "The servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.’ 23 "The lord said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.’"
25 Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t disregard/hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple. 27 Whoever doesn’t bear his own cross, and follow me, can’t be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace. 33 So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple. 34 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its saltiness, with what do you season it? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Observations: 14:1-14 This account of healing on the Sabbath corresponds with that in the beginning of the previous chapter, except this time the opposition is silent. Progress? Or are they plotting. Jesus uses the dinner invitation to help the Pharisees develop better self worth. Humble yourself, and you will be exalted. The reverse is also true. When you throw a dinner party, invite those who can't pay you back, and God will repay you at the resurrection of the righteous (Acts 24:15). This tells you the righteous will be resurrected and rewarded for what they have not gotten recompensed upon earth. Those who've never given without receiving won't get paid back with blessing. Think about that. Hmmmm.
14:15-24 The thought of the feast in the Millennial Kingdom, prompts one fellow to pronounce a blessing on those who will enjoy it. This prompts Jesus to give a parable. Those initially invited to the lord's feast were more concerned with their possessions and pleasures, and rejected the invitation. These folks correspond to the leaders of the Jewish nation, who would be the honored guests at any feast. The lord invites those the Pharisees would consider dishonorable, and then anyone they can find, so the house of the lord will be full. Those who were invited, and refused to come when called, are rejected. This section corresponds to those who were excluded in the previous chapter.
14:25-35 Jesus makes the connection between those who refused to come to the lord's banquet and those who refuse to follow in discipleship (which should make the connection in your mind that those who follow in discipleship are those who will enjoy the blessings in the future). See comments on Luke 9, and the Survey of Discipleship sermon and (Daniel the Disciple-Maker) on Truthbase.net for elaboration of this section. Love and hate are covenantal terms, relating to being loyal or disloyal. Our loyal allegiance must be to Jesus above all else, particularly ourselves, compared to that love, everything else would look like hate. One must sit down and count the cost, and commit to the task, or be subject to ridicule/dishonor (tower) and catastrophic loss (king-war). In addition to hating oneself and denying one's right to their life (carry cross) one must also renounce everything else (rights, will, ambitions, pleasures, and possessions). They are no longer ours, but are now the Master's. The last two verses are explained in Matthew 5:13. The essential characteristic of salt is saltiness, if that is lost, the salt is worthless. The essential characteristic of a disciple is a daily desire to deny oneself to follow Jesus. Lose that, and you're worthless. Keep it, and you have worth and value in God's sight every day, regardless of external circumstances and what the world thinks. What do they know?
Application: You have one life to waste, spend or invest; make sure you exchange it for something you'll enjoy forever. Anything less is folly.
Prayer: Lord God, thanks for inviting me to partake of the feast of eternal life with You, by following You as Your disciple. May I not foolishly pass up my invitation for what amounts to temporal frivolity. Amen.


Digging Deeper


God in a nutshell: God gives people the choice to respond to Him or not, and to live righteously for reward in the future kingdom, or not. He has sovereignly attached positive and negative consequences to our decisions, which we will reap according to what we choose and do. God will accept back the Jewish nation when they repent. His kingdom (promised in the OT) will come, and His will shall be done on earth, in the future. Because of His goodness and justice, He answers the prayers of those dependent upon Him, so that He is glorified.

Build-a-Jesus: Jesus invites (forgiven/justified) people to share in the feast of eternal life, by responding to, and following Him (but that requires denying our will to do His will). He can be rather aggressive in dealing with hypocrites and unrepentant fools.

Us in a nutshell: We can reject and refuse God's will, causing Him grief. We can respond and cause Him joy. Forgiven but unrepentant people will reap the negative consequences of their self-will. Faithful followers will reap the joy of feasting with Christ in the Kingdom.

Where to Go for More:
Truthbase.net


Luke complete text

Luke 11
11:1 It happened, that when he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples." 2 He said to them, "When you pray, say, ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’" 5 He said to them, "Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,’ 7 and he from within will answer and say, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give it to you’? 8 I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs. 9 "I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. 11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won’t give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, he won’t give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
14 He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. It happened, when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the multitudes marvelled. 15 But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons." 16 Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 But if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore will they be your judges. 20 But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come to you. 21 "When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole Armour in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. 23 "He that is not with me is against me. He who doesn’t gather with me scatters. 24 The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, ‘I will turn back to my house from which I came out.’ 25 When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
27 It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!" 28 But he said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it."
29 When the multitudes were gathering together to him, he began to say, "This is an evil generation. It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet. 30 For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will also the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, one greater than Jonah is here. 33 "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light. 34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn’t darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light."
37 Now as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He went in, and sat at the table. 38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed himself before dinner. 39 The Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness. 40 You foolish ones, didn’t he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give for gifts to the needy those things which are within, and behold, all things will be clean to you. 42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don’t know it." 45 One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you insult us also." 46 He said, "Woe to you lawyers also! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won’t even lift one finger to help carry those burdens. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48 So you testify and consent to the works of your fathers. For they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute, 50 that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.’ Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you took away the key of knowledge. You didn’t enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in, you hindered." 53 As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him; 54 lying in wait for him, and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.

Luke 12
12:1 Meanwhile, when a multitude of many thousands had gathered together, so much so that they trampled on each other, he began to tell his disciples first of all, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 But there is nothing covered up, that will not be revealed, nor hidden, that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. What you have spoken in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. 4 "I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 "Aren’t five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows. 8 "I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, him will the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies me in the presence of men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. 10 Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, don’t be anxious how or what you will answer, or what you will say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that same hour what you must say."
13 One of the multitude said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14 But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" 15 He said to them, "Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses." 16 He spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly. 17 He reasoned within himself, saying, ‘What will I do, because I don’t have room to store my crops?’ 18 He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 I will tell my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, be merry."’ 20 "But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’ 21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
22 He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, don’t be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they don’t sow, they don’t reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds! 25 Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height? 26 If then you aren’t able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 Don’t seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. 30 For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. 32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. 33 Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 35 "Let your waist be dressed and your lamps burning. 36 Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord will find watching when he comes. Most certainly I tell you, that he will dress himself, and make them recline, and will come and serve them. 38 They will be blessed if he comes in the second or third watch, and finds them so. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched, and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore be ready also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don’t expect him."
41 Peter said to him, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everybody?" 42 The Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the right times? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes. 44 Truly I tell you, that he will set him over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delays his coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken, 46 then the lord of that servant will come in a day when he isn’t expecting him, and in an hour that he doesn’t know, and will cut him in two, and place his portion with the unfaithful. 47 That servant, who knew his lord’s will, and didn’t prepare, nor do what he wanted, will be beaten with many stripes, 48 but he who didn’t know, and did things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked. 49 "I came to throw fire on the earth. I wish it were already kindled. 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division. 52 For from now on, there will be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
54 He said to the multitudes also, "When you see a cloud rising from the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it happens. 55 When a south wind blows, you say, ‘There will be a scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you don’t interpret this time? 57 Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 For when you are going with your adversary before the magistrate, try diligently on the way to be released from him, lest perhaps he drag you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will by no means get out of there, until you have paid the very last penny."

Luke 13
13:1 Now there were some present at the same time who told him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. 4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way."
6 He spoke this parable. "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none. 7 He said to the vine dresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil?’ 8 He answered, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it, and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.’"
10 He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. 11 Behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and she was bent over, and could in no way straighten herself up. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." 13 He laid his hands on her, and immediately she stood up straight, and glorified God. 14 The ruler of the synagogue, being indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the multitude, "There are six days in which men ought to work. Therefore come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day!" 15 Therefore the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn’t each one of you free his ox or his donkey from the stall on the Sabbath, and lead him away to water? 16 Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound eighteen long years, be freed from this bondage on the Sabbath day?" 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were disappointed, and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
18 He said, "What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches." 20 Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? 21 It is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened." 22 He went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and travelling on to Jerusalem.
23 One said to him, "Lord, are they few who are saved?" He said to them, 24 "Strive to enter in by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter in, and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen up, and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside, and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ then he will answer and tell you, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and yourselves being thrown outside. 29 They will come from the east, west, north, and south, and will sit down in the Kingdom of God. 30 Behold, there are some who are last who will be first, and there are some who are first who will be last."
31 On that same day, some Pharisees came, saying to him, "Get out of here, and go away, for Herod wants to kill you." 32 He said to them, "Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I complete my mission. 33 Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, for it can’t be that a prophet perish outside of Jerusalem.’ 34 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, like a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you refused! 35 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’"

Luke 14
14:1 It happened, when he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching him. 2 Behold, a certain man who had dropsy was in front of him. 3 Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" 4 But they were silent. He took him, and healed him, and let him go. 5 He answered them, "Which of you, if your son or an ox fell into a well, wouldn’t immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?" 6 They couldn’t answer him regarding these things.
7 He spoke a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, and said to them, 8 "When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, don’t sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honourable than you might be invited by him, 9 and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honoured in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." 12 He also said to the one who had invited him, "When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbours, or perhaps they might also return the favour, and pay you back. 13 But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind; 14 and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous."
15 When one of those who sat at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, "Blessed is he who will feast in the Kingdom of God!" 16 But he said to him, "A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people. 17 He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’ 18 They all as one began to make excuses. "The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 "Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go try them out. Please have me excused.’ 20 "Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I can’t come.’ 21 "That servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’ 22 "The servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.’ 23 "The lord said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.’"
25 Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t disregard his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple. 27 Whoever doesn’t bear his own cross, and come after me, can’t be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace. 33 So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple. 34 Salt is good, but if the salt becomes flat and tasteless, with what do you season it? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."