This is Episode #303 and today we’ll read Luke chapters 14-16 together. Which is more powerful to save? The Scriptures or seeing someone rise from the dead? Let’s find out.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #303 and today we’ll read Luke chapters 14-16 together. Which is more powerful to save? The Scriptures or seeing someone rise from the dead? Let’s find out.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Luke Chapter 14
A Sabbath Controversy
One Sabbath, when he went in to eat at the house of one of the leading Pharisees, they were watching him closely. There in front of him was a man whose body was swollen with fluid. In response, Jesus asked the law experts and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they kept silent. He took the man, healed him, and sent him away. And to them, he said, “Which of you whose son or ox falls into a well, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” They could find no answer to these things.
Teachings on Humility
He told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they would choose the best places for themselves: “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, don’t sit in the place of honor, because a more distinguished person than you may have been invited by your host. The one who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in humiliation, you will proceed to take the lowest place.
“But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when the one who invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ You will then be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors, because they might invite you back, and you would be repaid. On the contrary, when you host a banquet, invite those who are poor, maimed, lame, or blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
The Parable of the Large Banquet
When one of those who reclined at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is the one who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
Then he told him, “A man was giving a large banquet and invited many. At the time of the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’
“But without exception they all began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. I ask you to excuse me.’
“Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m going to try them out. I ask you to excuse me.’
“And another said, ‘I just got married, and therefore I’m unable to come.’
“So the servant came back and reported these things to his master. Then in anger, the master of the house told his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in here the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’
“‘Master,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, and there’s still room.’
“Then the master told the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and make them come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, not one of those people who were invited will enjoy my banquet.’”
The Cost of Following Jesus
Now great crowds were traveling with him. So he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, and even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
“For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.
“Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty? It isn’t fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out. Let anyone who has ears to hear listen.”
Luke Chapter 15
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to him. And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “What man among you, who has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who don’t need repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
“Or what woman who has ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost!’ I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son
He also said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them.
“Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill from the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one would give him anything.
He Came to His Senses
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father told his servants, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! ’ So they began to celebrate.
He Was Lost and is Found
“Now his older son was in the field; as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he summoned one of the servants, questioning what these things meant. ‘Your brother is here,’ he told him, ‘and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
“Then he became angry and didn’t want to go in. So his father came out and pleaded with him. But he replied to his father, ‘Look, I have been slaving many years for you, and I have never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me a goat so that I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’
“‘Son,’ he said to him, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Luke Chapter 16
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
Now he said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who received an accusation that his manager was squandering his possessions. So he called the manager in and asked, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you can no longer be my manager.’
“Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do since my master is taking the management away from me? I’m not strong enough to dig; I’m ashamed to beg. I know what I’ll do so that when I’m removed from management, people will welcome me into their homes.’
“So he summoned each one of his master’s debtors. ‘How much do you owe my master? ’ he asked the first one.
“‘A hundred measures of olive oil,’ he said.
“‘Take your invoice,’ he told him, ‘sit down quickly, and write fifty.’
“Next he asked another, ‘How much do you owe?’
“‘A hundred measures of wheat,’ he said.
“‘Take your invoice,’ he told him, ‘and write eighty.’
Cannot Serve Two Masters
“The master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the children of this age are more shrewd than the children of light in dealing with their own people. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of worldly wealth so that when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings. Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much. So if you have not been faithful with worldly wealth, who will trust you with what is genuine? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.
“You cannot serve both God and money.”
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and scoffing at him. And he told them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly admired by people is revolting in God’s sight.
“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urgently invited to enter it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the law to drop out.
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and everyone who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
“There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen, feasting lavishly every day. But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was lying at his gate. He longed to be filled with what fell from the rich man’s table, but instead the dogs would come and lick his sores. One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side. ‘Father Abraham! ’ he called out, ‘Have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this flame!’
“‘Son,’ Abraham said, ‘remember that during your life you received your good things, just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, while you are in agony. Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us.’
“‘Father,’ he said, ‘then I beg you to send him to my father’s house — because I have five brothers — to warn them, so that they won’t also come to this place of torment.’
“But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’
“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
“But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”
These are such rich chapters! Let’s see… I tripped on the word ‘hate’ in 14:26, but realized I talked about that last June in Episode 58. And how can we not explore chapter 15 with the “lost” parables. I mean, to think there is no judgement for our sin thru Christ? How our heavenly Father is just glad to have us back and in the family? That’s so awesome. We’re not even gonna talk about that crazy shrewd manager. Again, last year.
I want us to look again at the last verse of chapter 16. “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”
We know this to be true, by the enormous numbers of people who reject Christ. John MacArthur writes a candid study note. He says, “Since unbelief is at heart a moral, rather than an intellectual problem, no amount of evidences will ever turn unbelief to faith. But the inherent revealed word of God has inherent power to do so.” So true. It makes me think of the hollow taunting of the Pharisees as Christ hung on that cross. “Save yourself and we’ll believe!” No, they wouldn’t have.
Let’s pray. Father, Romans 1:16 tells us the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to anyone who believes. I lift those who are lost to You right now, Lord, for this salvation. We know that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Give us renewed devotion to taking Your Gospel to the lost so that it may do its work. In Your name we pray, Amen.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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