This is Episode #304 and today we’ll read Luke chapters 17-18 together. Let’s take a second look at a couple of these parables!
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #304 and today we’ll read Luke chapters 17-18 together. Let’s take a second look at a couple of these parables!
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 17
Warnings from Jesus
He said to his disciples, “Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Faith and Duty
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
“Which one of you having a servant tending sheep or plowing will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? Instead, will he not tell him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, get ready, and serve me while I eat and drink; later you can eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did what was commanded? In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we’ve only done our duty.’”
Ten Men Healed
While traveling to Jerusalem, he passed between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men with leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
When he saw them, he told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were cleansed.
But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. He fell facedown at his feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus said, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And he told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.”
The Coming of the Kingdom
When he was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable; no one will say, ‘See here! ’ or ‘There! ’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Then he told the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you won’t see it. They will say to you, ‘See there! ’ or ‘See here! ’ Don’t follow or run after them. For as the lightning flashes from horizon to horizon and lights up the sky, so the Son of Man will be in his day. But first it is necessary that he suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
One Will Be Taken, The Other Left
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man: People went on eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: People went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, a man on the housetop, whose belongings are in the house, must not come down to get them.
“Likewise the man who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to make his life secure will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”
“Where, Lord?” they asked him.
He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there also the vultures will be gathered.”
Luke Chapter 18
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up. “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect people. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’
“For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so that she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’”
Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay helping them? I tell you that he will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee was standing and praying like this about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people — greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner! ’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other, because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Blessing the Children
People were bringing infants to him so that he might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. Jesus, however, invited them: “Let the little children come to me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
The Rich Young Ruler
A ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother.”
“I have kept all these from my youth,” he said.
When Jesus heard this, he told him, “You still lack one thing: Sell all you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
After he heard this, he became extremely sad, because he was very rich.
Possessions and the Kingdom
Seeing that he became sad, Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
Those who heard this asked, “Then who can be saved?”
He replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
Then Peter said, “Look, we have left what we had and followed you.”
So he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left a house, wife or brothers or sisters, parents or children because of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more at this time, and eternal life in the age to come.”
The Third Prediction of His Death
Then he took the Twelve aside and told them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. Everything that is written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles, and he will be mocked, insulted, spit on; and after they flog him, they will kill him, and he will rise on the third day.”
They understood none of these things. The meaning of the saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.
A Blind Man Receives His Sight
As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Hearing a crowd passing by, he inquired what was happening. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they told him.
So he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those in front told him to keep quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to him. When he came closer, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord,” he said, “I want to see.”
“Receive your sight,” Jesus told him. “Your faith has saved you.” Instantly he could see, and he began to follow him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Just a couple of things I want to suggest to you from these chapters. Things that – at least for me – seem to mean one thing at first read, but actually refer to something else.
First, let’s look again at 17:34-37. You might think that these verses refer to our being caught up in the air with Jesus when He returns. But when we contrast it with the description in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, we realize it’s not. This refers to one being taken in judgement as in the Noah event. The same word for ‘swept away’ is used.
Second, in reading the parable of the unjust judge and trying to apply spiritual application, it gets confusing. Are we supposed to compare God to the unjust judge and just keep nagging Him for what we want or need? How does that work? Actually, we are to think just the opposite. If this awful man can show kindness to this widow, think what your good and generous heavenly Father will do for you when You come to Him in prayer.
Let’s pray. Father, why is it that too many times, we come to You in prayer as a last resort and not first? Why do we judge You sometimes like this unrighteous judge, thinking somehow that Your default answer is ‘no’? It makes sense that we might not think of ourselves as worthy but You don’t change, Lord. You are always merciful and kind. Help us to remember that fearless child who runs to You first and persistently, with confident expectation. Thank You that we can trust You with our deepest needs. Amen.
God expects us to grow in our understanding of His word. Let me know the ones that have required you to dig a little deeper at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
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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