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Page 5: The Life of Christ Following the Harmony of the Gospels

An ongoing series on the life of Christ, following the Harmony of the Gospels found in the Thompson Chain Bible.  We are beginning at Jesus' baptism (paragraph 47) and will continue until His ascension. The gospel harmonies attempt to place each event of the life of Christ in order and give the relevant scripture as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Index   Page, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Back to 97: Cities Rebuked
Down to 99: Parable of the Wedding Feast

98: Encouraging Words for the Disciples - Lu. 12:22-32

Luke 12;22 ¶ And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

The first word of this discourse is Therefore. It has been said that when we come to the word Therefore we should back up and see what Therefore is there for. Here Jesus is expanding on the meaning of the Parable of the Rich Fool above (Par. 97).

The rich man thought only of himself and did not recognize that his increase came from the Lord who lets the rain fall on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). The value of our life is not measured by the size of our house or the car that we drive (Luke 12:15). The only true measure of our life is our relationship with our Creator and Redeemer.

The ravens don’t build barns and the lilies don’t toil or spin . They simply rely on their Maker and function in the role that He has assigned to them, yet their glory exceeds that of King Solomon. If God takes such good care of them, why can’t we exercise our faith and realize that we are of far more value to Him. He will not forsake us or see us in want , if we will place His kingdom and His righteousness first in our lives.

Luke 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Conclusion and Application:

When Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow, He wasn’t saying that we should be slothful. He was telling us to not be unduly anxious. We know that anxiety is the root cause of many of the health problems that plague our modern society. We can avoid much stress by not worrying about things that we have no control over (Luke 12:25) and focusing on the things that matter, such as our eternal destiny. The rich man left it all behind for someone else to fight over and was not ready to meet his maker.

I know from experience that when resources are tight, the best thing we can do is be generous to others. If we give to others, others will give to us (Luke 6:38).

Back to 98: Encouraging Words for the Disciples
Down to 100: Parable of the Wise Steward

99: Parable of the Wedding Feast - Lu. 12:36-38

Luke 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

After speaking of how we, like the lilies and ravens must look to God in total reliance for our food, raiment and shelter, Jesus continued His words of encouragement in a different vein. i.e. We should be more concerned about His second coming than amassing the riches of this world. In fact, in Luke 12:33, He commanded that the disciples sell what they possessed and give away to the poor.

We must be like the slaves and servants who catered to their master’s every whim. While he is away at a wedding feast that wears on into the night, they are awake and dressed . The house is illuminated and food is on the stove. Regardless of the late hour, when they hear his knock at the door, they will open to him immediately. As soon as he arrives, they will have a meal cooked and ready to set before him.

The master will be so overwhelmed by this show of devotion that he will treat his servants and slaves as equals. They will sit at the banquet table, and he will be the server.

Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Back to 99: Parable of the Wedding Feast
Down to 101: Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

100: Parable of the Wise Steward - Lu. 12:42-48 - Other related text Luke 12:49-59

Jesus continues with the example of an overseer who is in complete charge of his master’s household. The local thieves would strike in the darkest of night and break into the house. If the overseer is awake and on the job, the thieves will fail.

Peter asked if the parable applied to just the disciples or everybody. Jesus explained the faithful and wise servant was the one who was found doing the master’s will at his return. This man would be amply rewarded. However, an unfaithful servant , thinking that the master had delayed his coming, would let things slide and neglect the master’s business even to the point of partaking of drunken excess and beating the other servants. The master will return when least expected and give this man his portion with the unbelievers

Conclusion and Application:

We will all stand before Him to answer of the deeds done in this flesh, whether good or bad (II Corinthians 5:10). This won’t necessarily be a joyous time. Some who knew God’s will and didn’t do it, will be beaten with many stripes. Others who failed through ignorance will get off with much lesser punishment. To whom much is given, much is required. Greater privilege demands greater responsibility.

Luke 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Opposition to our Lord’s ministry was increasing and Jesus was already feeling the burden of the approaching cross. The approaching days would not be easy for His disciples. They needed to count the cost of discipleship. Households, perhaps ours, would be divided over the gospel message. We must be faithful at any cost.

Luke 12:54 ¶ And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.
55 And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.
56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?

Are we like these people who could predict the weather, but couldn’t discern that God Himself was in their midst? They saw scripture fulfilled before their eyes, the blind eyes opened and the dead raised, yet they refused to believe. We have signs all around us that point to his coming. We see the nations of the world poised to impose final a mid-east settlement that the anti-Christ will first confirm and then break. Does it stir us? Do we really believe that He can come at anytime? Hopefully we won’t be as the one who said, "My Lord delays His coming."

Luke chapter twelve concludes (Vs. 57-59) with the example of a person who is being threatened with court action by an adversary. Because he knows the power that the judge has to imprison him, he will do all in his power to get the matter settled quickly. If he delays he may pay a very heavy penalty. If the Lord is striving with us because we have been unfaithful in His service, we need to to settle the matter now, rather than later. A heavy penalty awaits, if we delay.

Back to 100: Parable of the Wise Steward
Down to 102: Parable of the Sower

101: Exhortation to Repentance and the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree - Lu. 13:6-9

Luke 13:1 ¶ There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

As Jesus was teaching on the subject of readiness for the master’s return, there were some present, who in a desire to show their own religious superiority, reminded Jesus of the recent massacre of some Galileans. Pilate had had them slain and their blood mingled with the temple sacrifice. The inference was that Galileans were naturally sinful and that their death was the judgment of God. Jesus refuted this idea and stated that unless they, the religious elite repented, they would perish also.

Eighteen men had died when a tower they were building for Pilate at the pool of Saloam fell on them. Once again Jesus said that, these men were not worst sinners than others. Jesus repeated again, "Except you repent, you will likewise perish."

The Parable of the Fig Tree

Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

In the Parable of the Fig Tree, Jesus is talking directly to national Israel and warning them that their doom is near. They can only avoid the coming destruction of Jerusalem, if they recognize Him as their Messiah and repent of their sins.

Jesus likened Israel to a fig tree that is the center piece of His garden. They had rejected Moses, and the prophets. Now they were rejecting the owner of the vineyard Himself. The gardener interceded for one last chance, just as Jesus intercedes for us. Unfortunately, it was all to no avail. Forty years later, the Roman armies slew thousands as they leveled and burned Jerusalem .

Conclusion and Application:

We need not look down on any race or class of people as inferior. We are all equal before God (Galatians 3:28).

When sickness and calamity strikes those around us, we are sometimes prone to wonder if it is the judgement of God, giving them their just dues. We would do better, if we simply examined our own heart and be sure that there is no sin there (Luke 6:41-42).

God was long-suffering with Israel, just as He shows patience with us. His patience is not inexhaustible. We had best not tread on His mercy (Romans 2:4).

Judgment came on the Jewish nation because they would not repent. Judgment is coming for all the world that will not receive the gospel (Revelation 6:17).

Thank God for Jesus, the keeper of His vineyard. He intercedes for us (Romans 8:27,34 ;Hebrews 7:25). Aren’t we thankful for that?

Back to 101: Exhortation to repentance and the parable of the Barren Fig Tree
Down to 103: Parable of Wheat and Tares

102: Parable of the Sower - Mt. 13:3-9,18-23; Mk. 4:3-20; Lu. 8:4-15

Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

At this point in Jesus’ ministry, He seems to change His method of teaching. His claims to Messiahship had been rejected and opposition to His ministry was growing. He began to speak in parables, which are simply eternal truths illustrated by the mundane events of everyday life. The honest seeker would be eager to know the meaning and the self sufficient would discount them as meaningless.

Jesus gave a group of seven parables at one time, beginning with the Parable of the Sower. We will see that He gave a full explanation of the symbols of this parable which are applicable to the rest of the parables. i.e. The seed is always the Word of God. The enemy is the devil often represented by the fowls of the air, etc.

Luke 8:4 ¶ And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus had just left a house near the shore of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd assembled around Him and pressed Him to the point that He entered a boat and used it as a pulpit (Matthew 13:1-2). As He looked out over the surrounding landscape, perhaps He saw a man sowing seed in a field .

Some of it fell on a hard-packed walkway. People walked on it and the birds of the air devoured it.

Some fell on a rock. It sprouted up, but it did not last for lack of soil in which to root itself and gain moisture.

Some fell among thorns which choked it out.

Some fell on good ground and produced fruit.

Jesus explains the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:18-23.

He is the Sower and the seed in the Word of God (Luke 8:8). The seed that falls by the wayside, is when a person hears the word and does not understand it .The wicked one will come immediately and snatch it, just as a bird will eat newly sown seed.

The seed that falls on stony ground is when one receives the word with joy, but does not establish roots. When trial or persecution comes, he falls away.

The seed that falls among thorns is one who receives the word, but it is choked out by the cares of life and the deceitfulness of riches. This man becomes unfruitful.

Lastly, some seed fell on good ground, put down roots and sprung up and produced fruit.

Conclusion and Application:

Jesus spoke in parables that those who resisted Him would hear and yet not understand (Matthew 13:13-15). He takes the wise in their own craftiness (Job 5:13; I Corinthians 3:19). The honest hearted person with a teachable spirit will come to understanding by the work of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). May we ever be teachable and hear the words of the Spirit (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6,13,22).

May our joy and exuberance ever be tempered by absolute faith in our Lord regardless of circumstances. We simply cannot live on the mountaintop continually.

May we ever check and recultivate the soil of our hearts to be sure that no thorn seeds remain that can spring up and defile us (Hebrews 12:15).

We’ll always have the cares of life (John 16:33) but they are only temporary. God’s kingdom is eternal.

May we never be deceived to the gospel of greed which will ultimately destroy us (I Timothy 6:9).

May our hearts always be good and fertile ground for the hearing and understanding of God’s word so that we will always be fruitful in His kingdom.

Back to 102: Parable of the Sower
Down to 104:Parable of the Mustard Seed

103: Parable of the Wheat and Tares - Mt. 13:24-30,36-43

Matthew 13:24 ¶ Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

After giving the Parable of the Sower Jesus continued with the Parable of the Tares and Wheat which is the story of a man who sowed good seed in a field. His enemy then appeared and sowed tares over the whole field also. In the early stages tares (Darnel) could not be distingiushed from wheat. The appearance was the same, but the roots were different. When no fruit appeared, it was obvious that the plant was not genuine.

The servants enquired if they should pluck these offending weeds out. The master said that if they did so, they would damage or destroy the good seed in the process. It would be better to just let them grow together and let them be separated at the final harvest. Jesus later explained (Matthew 13:36-43) that the good seed were the children of the kingdom planted by Christ Himself. The bad seed are the children of the wicked one sown by the devil. At the final harvest the angels of God will separate the wheat from the tares, the good from the bad. The bad seed will be cast into a furnace of fire while the good seed will blossom and flourish in God’s eternal kingdom.

Conclusion and Application:

The primary application of this parable is that evil will coexist with good in the world as a whole until His coming. It is not the church’s job to try and change the hearts of men by regulation and and legislation. Our job is to preach the word! World history is repleat with examples of forcing Christian conversion upon people at the point of a sword. It hasn’t worked yet and it never will.

The secondary application is to the church. All is not as it appears. In the world we say that “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.” Not so in the church, If it talks like a Christian, sings like a Christian, etc. doesn’t necessarly mean one is a Christian. While we do our best to exercise righteous judgment as to what is or isn’t correct (John 13:35; I John 2:5, 3:10 ), the final determination will be made at the end. All that offends will be destroyed.

If we are hasty in making these determinations ourselves, we’ll do much damage to the kingdom of God. We must be extremely careful in trying to right perceived wrongs within the church (James 5:7). We must stick closely to scriptural guildlines (I Timothy 5:19; Matthew 18:15-17).

Even if we are correct in our judgment that a person is not genuine, we must remenber that this person still has influence over others around him. If we pluck him up, we may pluck up some good wheat also.

Most of all, let us be generous in our judgment of others and hard on ourselves (I Corinthians 11:28)

Back to 103: Parable of the Wheat and Tares
Down to 105: Parable of the Leaven

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Last modified: 03-22-2018
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