Paul defends himself before Festus, King Agrippa II, and his sister Bernice against the accusations of the Jerusalem establishment, who stood around Paul. He was calm and forceful in his defense. He appealed to “lord” Caesar.
A certain Greek noun, appearing 550 times, has often been mistranslated in the NT, and the mistranslation impacts people’s lives, particularly women. Certain translations tend to exclude them from public ministry.
Deconstruction overturns privileged hierarchy and meaning. Defenders promise us that they do not practice Anything Goes in their deconstruction of texts. Do they keep their promise? How do we verify it? Click on this link only if you have courage.
Paul defends himself before Felix at Caesarea. He is kept in custody, discussing with Felix, righteousness, self-control, and judgment to come. Felix is succeeded by Porcius Festus.
Paul appears before the Jewish High Council, a Roman commander rescues him, Jesus personally appears before Paul, a plot by assassins is foiled, and he is taken to Caesarea, where he had landed earlier.
Included in this post are the link to his video testimony, the transcript of the video, and my embedded comments.
Do you want to know what deconstruction really is? Read about it from its practitioners.
Paul delivers his defense (apologia) to the crowds who were demonstrating against him. It is a masterpiece.
This chapter has all sorts of prophetic words about Paul going up to Jerusalem. He arrives there. The chapter also sees James, the (half-)brother of Jesus, tell Paul to go along with a vow to be a good witness to the law-keeping converts to the Jesus Movement, which he did. A riot promptly beaks out when he is spotted in the temple. In v. 16, Paul’s third missionary journey comes to an end, and his journey to Rome via Jerusalem begins in v. 17.
How can we proclaim it if we don’t know what it is? After a basic definition offered just below, the gospel also has multiple parts to it. Let’s see what they are.
Postmodernism has produced all sorts of confusing interpretations of Scripture. For the postmodernist, Scripture has turned into a pot of stew.
Paul is on his way to Jerusalem. But first he forms a team, sees a boy named Eutychus survive a fall, and delivers his very moving farewell to the Ephesian elders. This chapter also begins Paul’s journey to Jerusalem (20:16 to 21:17). Please see the timeline table that harmonize Acts 18-25 and Paul’s epistles
Paul is in Ephesus and prays for twelve disciples who need the fullness of the Spirit, seven Jewish exorcists get pummeled, a demonstration erupts because of the goddess Artemis and Paul’s monotheism and the gospel. The fifth “panel” is in this chapter. Also see the ministry timeline set in a convenient table.
Does postmodernism spring out of the head of Zeus unconceived or misconceived? Or does it carry a heavy debt on its back to earlier movements and trends?
This is an easy-to-follow word study of key terms in the New Testament and a close look at Matthew 7:1-5. Let’s understand what it really means in context.
Paul finishes up his second missionary journey in v. 22 and begins his third in v. 23. In this chapter, his ministry in Corinth and Ephesus takes center stage. Priscilla and Aquila make their appearance, so does the powerfully effective speaker Apollos, who received more theology about God and the fulness of the Spirit.
I have added a Greek text + my slightly revised translation, and I answer Luke 1:35. Now, in my mind there is no doubt about the answer.
Paul is still on his second missionary journey, along with his team, minus Luke, who will rejoin them in Troas (20:5). The Bereans were nobler than the Thessalonians because the Berans searched the Scriptures. Paul preaches his famous discourse to the Areopagus council.
So begins an eight-past series. In the late 1980s or early 1990s, a pastor reported this conversation (as I recall it) between him and a woman from his large congregation. She apparently wanted him to approve of something.
Paul begins his second missionary trip, with Silas. The Spirit leads Paul and Silas not to go into two big regions but to go to Macedonia; the salvation of Lydia and her household; the deliverance of an oppressed girl; a beating, Paul and Silas singing and praying in prison; an earthquake; and a jailer’s and his household’s salvation. Timothy and Luke join Paul’s team.
The council in Jerusalem decided on how Gentiles could be saved. They held to four requirements, which were designed for peaceful fellowship between Messianic Jews and converted Gentiles. Paul and Barnabas split up. After this, Paul and Silas begin Paul’s second missionary trip, all the way to Acts 18:22. And Barnabas and Mark make a second team. Included: Timeline table of Paul’s journey coordinated with his epistles.
Scripture: Deuteronomy 22:28-29 and Exodus 22:16-17. Is the titled question true? Or are there circumstances that clarify what was really going on? A parallel case in colonial Philadelphia is also included here.
This chapter ends Paul’s and Barnabas’s first missionary journey, but not before Paul gets stoned and taken for dead. This chapter includes preaching, a healing miracle, and other signs and wonders. He tailors his message for towards pagans for the first time; then he is challenged by opponents.
This chapter is clearly transitional. In their first missionary journey, Barnabas and Saul go beyond Israel and Antioch and head westward. It includes worshipping and praying and personal prophetic words and spiritual warfare. It has Paul’s first recorded sermon, a masterpiece. This is Paul’s and Barnabas’s first missionary journey (to 14:28). Table: Paul’s travels which is coordinated with a timeline.
Scripture: Deut. 21:10-14. War was a fact of life in the ancient Near East. When a soldier whose army was victorious saw a woman he was attracted to, what could he do? The Torah regulates this cultural fact.
James, son of Zebedee, is executed; Peter escapes miraculously from jail; Rhoda’s exuberance, and Herod Agrippa’s sudden death.
Peter explains his eating with Gentiles, Agabus and his team of prophets appear and predict a worldwide famine, and the disciples are first called Christians in Antioch, and Barnabas and Saul are commissioned to bring relief to Jerusalem Christians.
Despite the confusion circulating over the web for years, the Bible unambiguously upholds the sanctity of prenatal life.
Scriptures: Lev. 25:44-46 and Deut. 23:15-16 (and Exod. 21:16, again, with its parallel Deut. 24:7). As we have observed in this series, slavery was a cultural fact of the ancient Near East. When an Israelite bought a foreign slave or a foreigner residing among them, what were his obligations to care for them and what rights did the slaves have? This post also has two parallel cases in colonial Virginia.
This chapter is the most important one in all the Bible for the description of including the Gentiles into the New Covenant community of God. This transition could happen only through Peter.
In this chapter: Saul’s conversion and Peter healing Aeneas and raising Tabitha from the dead. Thus, Saul and Peter are paired together in different storylines, and clearly Peter is in the lead, for now.
Scripture: Lev. 19:20-22. One OT scholar says that this law protected a slave woman when she was caught in the middle between three men.
In this chapter, because of the persecution of the Messianic Jews, they have to flee Jerusalem. Philip reaches out to Samaritans, and then to the Ethiopian Treasurer. Philip then gets snatched away by God and ends up at Azotus and preaches the gospel in that region.
Stephen’s speech begins the slow transition from dependence on the temple and towards a more global outreach. God does not dwell in temple buildings made with hands. Stephen is martyred.
Scriptures: Exod. 21:20-21, 26-27; Lev. 25:43, 46. There were two cultural (and unpleasant) facts in the ancient Near East, long before the Torah existed: (1) Masters hit their slaves to punish them, and (2) slaves had secondary status. How does the Torah intervene and regulate those two pre-existing facts? (I also include cases of a servant girl dying allegedly from a beating and a servant boy who was flogged for theft, in colonial Philadelphia.)
The Hebrew and Greek widows complain about distribution of resources. The apostles appoint seven servants to handle the issue. Certain members of a synagogue oppose Stephen and drag him before Caiaphas the high priest.
Ananias and Sapphira are instantly judged. God through the apostles worked many signs and wonders, and the people greatly honored the Messianic community. Some feared to join, but others did. Peter’s shadow was cast on them and miracles happened. The council arrested the apostles and put them in prison, but an angel released them. They went into the temple and preached but were rearrested. Gamaliel gave his speech urging caution about executing them. The apostles were flogged and released but never stopped preaching.
Scripture: Exod. 21:7-11. In a culture of arranged marriage and widespread poverty, fathers in the ancient Near East did this long before the Torah existed. Now the Torah has to intervene and tell the men what the daughter’s legal rights were. This post also looks at polygamy.
The council (Sanhedrin) arrest Peter and John and the healed man and threaten them. The two apostles say they must obey God instead of man. They return to the Christian community and report what happened. The whole community pray for boldness and share everything in common. The place where they met was shaken, and they are again filled with the Spirit.
The disabled beggar is healed at the gate called Beautiful. Peter, along with John, preaches the second recorded sermon, which is a great overview of OT Scriptures and themes proving Jesus is the Messiah.
Scriptures: Exod. 21:2-6; Lev. 25:39-42; Deut. 15:12-18. The Torah balances out fairness with generosity, yet it is still obviously situated in the ancient world–its own cultural context. It is always best to evaluate these ancient texts on their own terms and in their own times. Let’s see what we can discover. For comparison, this post includes the case of an indentured servant in colonial Philadelphia.
The Holy Spirit arrives with great power at the festival of Pentecost. Peter preaches the first sermon after the birth of the church. He tells the Jewish pilgrims that they must repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Three thousand souls were added to the church. Then the earliest community shared everything in common, and more people were being saved.
Luke addresses Theophilus, to whom he dedicated his second volume. Jesus promises the Holy Spirit. He commissions disciples to go beyond Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. He ascends into heaven. Matthias is chosen to replace Judas.
Scripture to be studied: Gen. 16:1-4. Hagar was a handmaid to Abraham’s wife, Sarah. Critics claim that Abraham could have sex with Hagar whenever he wanted because she was a slave. This post also looks into polygamy. It also includes a case of aslave woman named Lucy and her three children in 1827-1828, America, just for a comparison.
How closely and often do Acts and Paul’s epistles agree? Fifteen tables, plus two bonus tables, in this post, laying out the parallels.
Youtube critics daily, it seems, call for the blood of Christian prophets who are mistaken about some of their prophecies. The critics read Deuteronomy 13 and 18 and demand the death penalty for their ministries. But what did Paul say about them? Let’s do a side-by-side comparison of the OT and the NT.
Is the book of Acts historically reliable, in comparison to its own Greco-Roman writing culture? Many tables are included, to answer the question.
An old-fashioned Bible study here. There is a lot of confusion in certain quarters of the global Renewal Movement. How can we clear up the confusion? What did Paul really teach in 1 Corinthians 14? Are we willing to obey his teaching or just run roughshod over it?
What if 1 Timothy 2:12-15 is not about women teaching and dominating men at church? What if it is about a husband and wife at home? Or does the house church merge the domestic and public spheres? What would that mean for church policy and women teachers out in public? I also briefly discuss Titus 2:3-5 (Q&A 4).
We come at last to the end of the series. This part, summarizing the previous fourteen articles, can serve as a guide for which article the reader may need in the future. The series has always been about having confidence in the four Gospels so the gospel of the kingdom can go forth.
The number of similarities, even between the Gospel of John on the one side and Matthew, Mark, and Luke on the other, is remarkable.
When you read the first three Gospels, you are likely to observe countless similarities. And that is the dominant picture: the places, the names, the crowds, the rural setting, busy Jerusalem. However, some skeptics see insurmountable problems.
Whether you want your baby or not, God loves him or her, and he loves you. God can turn your Plan B into his Plan A, and make it better than your plans. Keep your baby, if you have an unplanned pregnancy.
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled on Roe. V. Wade. How did Blackmun interpret the Constitution’s silence?
Jesus appears again, this time on the shore of the Lake of Galilee. He miraculously provides them with a catch of 153 large fish. He asks Peter three questions about his love and commitment. He predicts by what manner of death Peter would glorify God. He tells Peter not to get distracted by the beloved disciple’s future. The post-script says that the beloved disciple wrote the Gospel, and his testimony is true. Not even the world itself would have room for all the books to contain all the things Jesus said and did.
God initiates. We respond. We need both passages to clarify and balance out the other one. This is an old-school exegesis (pronounced EX-uh-gee-sus or ex-uh-GEE-sus), which means a close reading or analysis of a text.
The author of this Gospel made sure he used eyewitness testimony; indeed he was an eyewitness!
Jesus is raised from the dead. Mary Magdalene visits the empty tomb. She reports back to Peter, who visits the tomb, but the beloved disciple gets there first. They depart and Mary returns. She sees two angels in the tomb; then Jesus appears to her outside it. She clutches him, and he tells her to stop because he will not leave permanently at that moment. He commissions her to tell the other disciples. He appears to them and shows them his hands (wrists) and side. He exhales and says for them to receive the Spirit. He appears to Thomas. John lays out the purpose of the book.
Luke researched those who knew Jesus from the “beginning,” his key criterion.
The chief priests and temple officers shout for him to be crucified. They back Pilate into a corner, saying that they have no king but Caesar. He reluctantly orders his crucifixion. The soldiers divide his garments. He hands his mother over to the disciple whom he loved. Jesus dies when he gives up his spirit. His side is pierced. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus work together to bury him.
The evidence suggests that Peter was indeed a portrait painter, but he used words alone. Jesus was his subject.
I really like this creed. I add a commentary, which I hope clarifies it. We the church today ignore it at our peril, particularly the American church.
Centuries ago, the church debated the issue of who Christ was. In today’s church, we like to innovate so much that we become arrogant and can sometimes stomp all over the ancient creeds. But we ignore this creed at our peril.
Jesus is arrested in a garden and brought before the emeritus high priest Annas. Then he is led to the serving high priest Caiaphas. Next, Pilate questions him, finds no basis for an accusation against him, and intends to release him because of a Jewish custom. The Jewish establishment and their allies shout for the insurrectionist Barabbas to be released, instead.
This article rounds a corner from the traditions transmitted before the Gospels were written to the Gospels themselves, as we have them now. Do they enjoy eyewitness testimony at their foundation?
This is Jesus’s long and profound prayer of consecration before going to the cross. He prays for himself, his immediate disciples (the eleven) and the church. He even prays for people in the world. The church is called to live in unity.
This is a question that must be explored. At least twelve scholars say it probably happened. If so, this gives a huge boost to the reliability of the Gospels.
Two natures (deity and humanity) are united in one person—the person of Jesus Christ. Let’s use the Q & A format, for clarity and conciseness.
No need to be afraid of this document. If it existed, Matthew and Luke used it. If they weren’t afraid, why should you be?
Jesus tell his disciples that persecution is coming. He teaches on the ministry of the Spirit. The disciples’ sorrow will turn to joy. In the world they will have trouble, but they can take courage, because he has overcome the world.
From the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451). English, Greek, and Latin are included; the post discusses how the definition opposes three deficient teachings about Christ and answers the objection that the fifth-century church just made it all up.
In this chapter, Jesus says he is the true vine, the Father is the vinedresser, and the branches must dwell or live in the vine. The world hated him, and it will hate his disciples.
We continue the series, and this post is about how the stories and teachings and memories of the deeds of Jesus were transmitted before the first three Gospels were written down.
Good question, and the answer is clear, based on one biblical truth. Other questions are included here, as well.
With this article (Part Five) we turn a corner away from archaeology and non-Christian written references to Gospel persons (the last three articles). Now we discuss the preservation of Jesus’ ministry — his words and activity — after his crucifixion (and resurrection) and up to the time when the Gospels were written.
Jesus is still in the middle of his farewell discourse. He says he is the way, the truth, and the life. He promises the Paraclete or Holy Spirit. He says the ruler of this world has no hold or claim on him.
This post answers a series of tough questions about this vital and indispensable doctrine.
Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. He predicts Judas’s betrayal. Jesus gives them a new commandment: to love one another. He also predicts Peter’s three denials. Verse 31 begins the Farewell Discourse(s) all the way to 17:26. The chronology between John and the Synoptics and Passover and the crucifixion is also discussed here. They can be harmonized.
If you throw a rock in a pond, does it produce ripples? Did the life of Jesus produce no effects at all? Are the ripples delusions or real? Now let’s study the historical evidence. If you have a son or daughter or a co-worker or husband who challenges you, send him or her to this link.
This topic is about Jesus Christ in his full personhood. Let’s use the Question and Answer format for clarity and conciseness.
Part 3 in the series that explains why the Gospels are reliable and lists some discoveries.
Mary anoints Jesus at Bethany. A plot is hatched to kill Lazarus. Jesus enters Jerusalem triumphantly. Some Greeks seek Jesus. The Son of Man must be lifted up. The unbelief of the people is stated. Jesus came to save the world, not judge it.
Let’s place his two natures side-by-side with verses from Scripture to see who he really is.
Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and declares that he himself is the resurrection and the life. The chief priests and Pharisees plot to arrest and kill Jesus. It is the Passover season.
Who were the “gods” and “sons of the Most High” in Psalm 82:6? Whom does Jesus say they were in John 10:34-36? Many commentators offer their opinion, and they are unanimous about who they were not. Now what about–who they were?
The Synoptics are Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Archaeology affirms their reliability. This post lists some discoveries.
Let’s learn about these key Christological points together, in the Q & A format.
So begins a fifteen-part series on the historical reliability of the four Gospels.
Jesus says he is the gate or door to the sheep pen. He says he is the Good Shepherd. He proclaims that he and the Father are one. The Father is in him and he in the Father. The religious establishment pick up stones to execute him prematurely. He replies to their mob mentality with Scripture. Ps. 82 is discussed in detail here in vv. 34-36. He withdraws.
Jesus heals a man born blind, on the Sabbath. The Pharisees and Jerusalem religious establishment investigate. The former blind man’s parents are called in. The former blind man gets the better of the establishment. They throw him out. Jesus teaches about true seeing and spiritual blindness.
The title could be “Is God Bound to Obey Our Decrees?” That’s what certain teachers seem to say. Let’s look into this subject.
You must be born again. But what does that mean? Does anything result from being born again? Or do we just stay the same?
What does the Bible say? It has the best revelation on the sexes, clearer and superior than any modern worldview.
Jesus forgives a woman caught in adultery, saying to her accusers: Let the one without sin be the first to throw the stone at her. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” Knowing the truth will set you free. The Jerusalem establishment’s father is actually the devil. Jesus makes this startling pronouncement: “Before Abraham was, I am.”
Jesus told his brothers that he was not (currently) going to this feast of Tabernacles, yet he went a little while later. Then he taught in public in the temple. Jesus challenged the rulers to judge with a righteous judgment and stop being lawbreakers who were seeking to kill him for (allegedly) breaking the law. They sent officers to arrest Jesus. The people’s opinion about him were divided. The officers returned and said his teaching was unprecedented, so they could not arrest him! Nicodemus steps forward and defends Jesus.
It is also called the Lord’s Table, Communion, Messianic Passover, and the Eucharist. What does it mean? How should we celebrate it?
In this chapter, Jesus feeds the five thousand. He walks on water. Then he teaches that he is the bread of heaven. Finally, he reveals that his words are Spirit and life, which is the interpretive key to the symbols abounding in this chapter.
John 6 and Jesus’ teaching about his body and blood and bread and manna from heaven is very symbolic. How should we interpret it, as it relates to the Eucharist or the Lord’s Table or Communion?
Jesus heals an unnamed man at the pool of Bethesda, in Jerusalem, on the Sabbath. The Jerusalem establishment go on offense against him. Jesus proclaims the authority of the Son, but only as it is built on the Father’s support and commission. Then Jesus speaks of the best supporting witness and testimony.
Jesus returns from Judea in the south to Galilee in the north. First, however, he passes through Samaria and has a dialogue with a woman. He also heals a royal official’s son, by long distance.
These myths show up in a variety of channels in the media and elsewhere, notably pro-marijuana websites, which are eager to draw in more customers to the unhealthy habit, so the weed advocates as an industry can make more money.
Jesus dialogues with Nicodemus and says, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus does not understand. Then John, the author of the Gospel, says the most famous verse of all. John the Baptist says Jesus must increase, but John must decrease. Jesus comes from above and is over all.
These myths appear in college papers and online. The users are eager to believe they don’t have a problem, so they have invented an entire mythology about this plant. Here are only five myths and the arguments to explode the myths.
Big Tobacco? Get ready for Big Marijuana! Please don’t smoke it. The health risks are too great.
In this chapter, Jesus turns the water into wine. He clears out an area of the temple during the Passover. He remained in Jerusalem and worked signs (miracles); many believe in him but he did not entrust himself to humankind, for he knew what was in people.
In this chapter, we learn that the Word was God. The Word became flesh. John the Baptist testifies about Jesus and who John himself is not. John proclaims that Jesus is the lamb of God and the Spirit coming down like a dove. Two disciples follow Jesus, Andrew and an unnamed one. Andrew calls his brother Simon, and Jesus nicknames him Peter. Jesus calls Philip in Galilee, and Philip invites Nathanael.
In this chapter, Jesus is resurrected. The women visit the tomb and find it empty. The women are the first evangelists. Jesus dialogues with his uncle Cleopas, brother to Joseph, on the road to Emmaus. Then Jesus appears to the other disciples and shows them his hands and feet and eats in front of them. He commissions them but tells them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. Finally he ascends into heaven in front of them.
In this chapter, Jesus is brought before Pilate; then he is escorted to Herod, who was in town. The crowds shout that Jesus must be crucified. Pilate delivers him over to them. Jesus is crucified, and the one insurrectionist who was crucified with him asked Jesus would remember him after they die. Jesus dies, after he entrusts his spirit to his Father. Joseph of Arimathea buried him. The women who followed him from Galilee were there at the crucifixion and the burial. Please see the table of events during Passion week.
These images lay out the right and wrong ways.
In this chapter, Judas betrays Jesus; the Last Supper and New Covenant are instituted; the disciples dispute over who is the greatest; Jesus predicts Peter’s betrayal, which happens. Jesus prays on Mount of Olives. The beginning of his trial takes place. He is hit and mocked. And the council sentences him to death. (See table of events during Passion Week, at the end).
The widow’s generous gift is announced; Jesus predicts wars and persecutions and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. He teaches the lesson of the fig tree and all the trees and says the destruction shall happen in his generation. He then says that the Son of Man is coming back (later). He warns his disciples to watch and not get intoxicated.
Jesus has already entered Jerusalem. The authority of Jesus is challenged; he tells the Parable of the Wicked Tenants; he renders his verdict on paying taxes to Caesar; he replies to the challenge by the Sadducees on the resurrection; he says the son of David is the Lord of David; Jesus rebukes the teachers of the law. See the table of events during Passion Week.
In this chapter: Jesus and Zacchaeus have a conversation; Jesus tells the Parable of the Ten Minas (or Parable of the Pounds); he makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, weeping over the city; he cleanses a part of the temple. See a table of events during the Passion Week, at the end.
Jesus tells the Parable of the Persistent Widow; the Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector. Jesus says to allow the children to come to him. He dialogues with a rich young ruler. He foretells his death a third time. He heals a blind beggar.
Jesus teaches forgiveness, particularly when sins are inevitable. The disciples ask to have their faith increased. Jesus urges his disciples not to expect a loud thank you and thunderous applause for doing minimal work. He heals ten lepers. Jesus teaches on the Second Coming.
Jesus teaches the Parable of the Prudent (or Dishonest) Manager. Then he says the law and the prophets were until John the Baptist, and the Law is still in effect. And he then issues his brief teaching on divorce. Finally, he tells the story or the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
Jesus teaches the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Coin, and the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath. He tells the Parable of the Wedding Feast. He tells the Parable of the Great Banquet. He reminds the huge crowds of the cost of discipleship. Salt without taste is worthless.
Jesus tells the Israelites to repent or perish like the ones whom Pilate slaughtered or like those workers on whom a tower fell. He tells the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree. He delivers a woman from a disabling spirit. He tells the short illustration of the mustard seed and leaven. He tells people to enter by the narrow door. Finally, he laments over Jerusalem.
Jesus says to beware of leaven of Pharisees. Don’t fear those who can kill only the body, but fear the one, who, after our death, has the authority throw us into Gehenna. Acknowledge Christ before men. He tells the Parable of the Rich Fool. He tells us not to be anxious about food and clothing or drink. We must be ready, for the Son of Man can come at any time. Jesus came to bring division, not peace. We must interpret the times. Settle with your accuser before you get to a magistrate (a reference to impending judgment).
Jesus teaches the Lord’s Model Prayer. He is accused of his power coming from Beelzebul. Return of unclean spirits; true blessedness is for those who hear the word of God and keep it. The sign of Jonah; the light is in you because Jesus’s message has entered. Woe pronounced on Pharisees and legal experts.
In Luke 9:51, Luke informed us that Jesus set his face like a flint toward Jerusalem, a major turning point. He winds his way there gradually. In this chapter, Jesus sends out the seventy-two. He pronounces woes on unrepentant towns. The seventy-two return. Jesus rejoices in his Father’s will. He tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He visits Martha and Mary.
Jesus sends out the twelve apostles. Herod is perplexed by him. Jesus feeds five thousand. Peter confesses Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus foretells his own death. We are called to take up our cross daily and follow him. The Mount of Transfiguration happens. He heals a boy with an unclean spirit. Jesus again foretells his own death. The disciples debate who the greatest is. Anyone not against them is for them. A Samaritan village rejects Jesus. It cost a lot to follow him. In v. 51, he sets his face like a flint toward Jerusalem, so this chapter has a major turning point. It now enters the Travel Narrative, but it is the slow route to get there.
This is a rich and full chapter. Women of Galilee support Jesus and travel with him. He tells the Parable of the Sower and then the purpose of parables. (I also offer an alternative free translation of the Parable of the Sower, based on some interesting grammar.) Do not hide a lamp under a container. Jesus’s mother and brothers are the ones who do the will of God. He calms a storm. He delivers a man with a legion of demons. He heals a woman with an issue of blood and heals Jairus’s daughter.
Jesus heals a centurion’s servant. Jesus raises a widow’s son from the dead. Messengers come from John the Baptist and ask about Jesus’s Messiahship. Jesus forgives a sinful woman.
We cannot answer all the questions in this overview, but we can exegete the Lord’s Supper in its original context in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This post also looks very briefly at 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 and 11:23-34. Then, what do various churches teach about the Lord’s Supper (or Communion or Eucharist)? I am here to learn (and offer my own opinions at various times).
In this chapter, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. After praying all night, he calls the twelve. He teaches the Sermon on the Plain or high place.
Jesus calls the first disciples, notably Peter. Jesus cleanses a leper. He forgives the sin of a paralytic and heals him, claiming God’s authority and prerogative to do so. The Pharisees and teachers of the law object to his ability to forgive sins. Jesus calls Levi. Questions about fasting: John’s disciples fast; Jesus’s disciples do not.
Jesus overcomes Satan. Jesus begins his ministry. The Spirit of the Lord is upon him. He is rejected at Nazareth. They try to throw him off a cliff, but he walks away. He goes to Capernaum and delivers a man with an unclean spirit. He heals Simon’s mother-in-law and many others. The people try to keep him from leaving, but he says he must preach the good news of the kingdom elsewhere.
Some scholars say they are irreconcilable, while others say reconciling them is not so difficult. I favor plausible harmonization. It’s all in the family. Bonus: see the American family “the Roosevelts” in a chart for parallels.
John the Baptist prepares the way. Jesus is baptized. Then the genealogy is laid out. He is the son of David and culminates God’s salvation history / story.
In this chapter: the birth of Jesus; the shepherds see angels; Jesus is circumcised; he is presented at the temple; Simeon sings his brief song of praise; the family returns to Nazareth. The boy Jesus, during the feast of Passover, dialogues with religious scholars, and they marvel. His parents lost track of him and looked everywhere. He increased in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. See the table of parallels between Gen. 11-21 and Luke 1:5-2:52. Luke’s birth narrative does not come from paganism, but from Scripture.
In this chapter: Dedication to Theophilus. Birth of John the Baptist foretold. Birth of Jesus foretold. Mary visits Elizabeth. Mary’s song: the Magnificat. The birth of John the Baptist. Zechariah prophesies.
In the empty tomb an angel tells three women to report the resurrection to the disciples. They leave, trembling and amazed, and in awe. Let’s look at the Longer Ending in the light of other Scriptures.
In continuity with Mark 14, Jesus is turned over to Pilate, who is amazed at his silence. Pilate delivers him to be crucified. Jesus is beaten and mocked. He is crucified. He dies, by giving up his spirit. A centurion says that Jesus truly was the Son of God. Joseph of Arimathea asks permission from Pilate to bury Jesus, and Pilate is amazed that the crucified one is dead already. Mary Magdalene and Mary (the mother of James and Joses [Joseph]) and Salome are following and observe from a distance. See the table of events during Passion Week at the end of this post.
The Passion Narrative begins. (See the table at the end for the events in Passion Week.) Jesus is anointed at Bethany. Judas betrays Jesus. Jesus institutes the Last Supper and New Covenant. He foretells Peter’s and the other apostles’ denial. Jesus prays in Gethsemane. He is arrested, a young man flees, and Jesus is brought before the Council. At the same time, Peter denies Jesus.
In verses 5-31, Jesus predicts the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, which will happen before his generation passes away (v. 30). He saw the near-future and accurately predicted it. In verses 32-37 he talks about the day or hour of his Second Coming, which has not yet happened for the past two thousand years (and counting).
Jesus tells the Parable of the Vineyard Owner and Wicked Tenants. He brilliantly replies to a challenge about paying taxes to Caesar. He answers the Sadducees’ question about the resurrection. He tells a teacher of the law what the Greatest Commandment is. He clarifies who the Son of David is. He says to beware of the teachers of the law who devour widows’ houses yet say long prayers. He observes a poor widow giving all she had.
Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey in an action parable. He tells a fig tree not to bear fruit ever again, in another action parable. He clears out an area of the temple in yet another action parable. The chief priests, the teachers of the law (scribes), and elders fight back and challenge him. Who authorized you to do this? See table of the events during Passion Week, at the end of this post.
It’s going to be wonderful. A list of Scriptures and comments are included here. A bonus list of wonderful things, too.
You want a brand-new body right now? Your wish will be done—but only at the right time! Let’s learn what the Bible says.
Jesus teaches on divorce and marriage. He blesses the children. He tells a rich young man to sell all he has and follow him. Jesus predicts his death and resurrection a third time. Right after Jesus makes this prediction, James and John request to sit next to Jesus in his glory, and the other ten become indignant. Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus.
Jesus goes up the Mount of Transfiguration. He heals a boy with severe demonic possession; he again predicts his death and suffering and resurrection, and the disciples don’t understand. Ironically, they argue over who is greatest. John tried to prevent a man who expelled demons, but Jesus replies that the man is doing good. Jesus teaches about removing hand, foot or eye, if it “causes” you to sin.
What does Paul mean that Jesus “emptied himself” by taking the form of a servant and was found in the likeness of men and appearance as a man (Phil. 2:6-8)? Did some attributes get trimmed off (e.g. omniscience, omnipresence, and invisibility) to become a semi-deity, a lesser god (of sorts), or did he keep all of them? Let’s explore this doctrine further.
Jesus feeds the four thousand. Pharisees demand a sign. He tells the disciples to beware of the leaven of Pharisees and Herod. The disciples are confused about his meaning. He heals a blind man at Bethsaida in an unusual way. Peter confesses Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus predicts his own death and resurrection and has to rebuke Peter. He tells the crowds about the cost of following him.
Jesus talks about washed and unwashed hands, clean and unclean foods and the command of God taking priority over the traditions of the elders. He goes up north to retreat, but he is spotted. He heals a Syro-Phoenician Greek woman—a Gentile and a woman!—who “defeats” his challenge to her, in his role as a reluctant teacher who is testing his “student” to answer correctly. Finally, in the Decapolis, east of the Lake of Galilee, he heals a deaf and mute man, in an unusual manner.
Jesus is unable to work many miracles in his hometown because of their unbelief. Jesus sends out the twelve. John the Baptizer is beheaded after a girl’s dance and a foolish promise. Jesus feeds the five thousand. He walks on water. He heals many sick people, when he walks by in the marketplaces, and they merely touch his garment. This post briefly discusses his divine attributes, his miracles, and his human nature.
Jesus delivers a man with a legion of demons. He raises up Jairus’s twelve-year-old daughter and heals a woman with an issue of blood.
This chapter has the parable of the sower; the purpose of parables; parable of light under a container; the parable of the growing seed; the parable of the mustard seed; the use of parables; and the calming of the storm.
Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. He teaches and heals the multitudes by the lakeside. He chooses the Twelve. His family intends to take custody of him. The teachers of the law claim that he expels demons by Satan’s mastery. He warns them not to blaspheme the Spirit. He tells the crowd that the one who does the will of God is his brother, sister, and mother.