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Page 11: 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 150: the Lord's Prayer and Parable of the Friend at Midnight
Down to 152: The Blind Man Healed


151: The Seventy Return - Lu. 10:17-24

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

The seventy disciples whom Jesus had sent out by twos to proclaim the gospel, returned to give glowing reports of their success. Even the devils were subject to them, in marked contrast to their failure a short time before to deliver a tormented boy (Luke 9:40). Jesus, ever affirming His deity answered, "I saw satan fall as lightening from heaven. Don't just rejoice over your success, rejoice because your name is written in heaven ( Daniel 12:1; Revelation 20:12),

Jesus rejoiced in His spirit and thanked His Father that the things which had been hidden from the wise and prudent men had been revealed to His disciples who were relatively ignorant and unlearned (Acts 4;3).

Jesus reaffirmed His relationship to His Father, exclaiming that no one really knew who He was, except His Father and those to whom the Father would reveal His identity (I Timothy 3:16; I John 5:20; John 10:30, John 14:8-9). As a man all the power of heaven and earth had been placed in His hands (Matthew 28:20; Colossians 1:19), and of course as God He is eternal (Isaiah 9:6, 52:6).

Jesus then turned to His disciples and told them that they were blessed to see the things that had recently been shown them. Many of the old prophets had seen glimmers of the coming kingdom but men were blessed to be participants.

Conclusion and Application:

The disciples had previously been powerless in casting out devils. Why are they successful now? Simply because they had been given power of attorney to use the name of Jesus. The demons fled at the mention of His name and they still do , The power to tread on serpents that Jesus gave to these seventy is available to the church today, all in the name of Jesus (Luke 11:19; Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15-18).

Jesus reminded the disciples of the eternal struggle between God and satan. He had seen him fall from heaven. Jesus would soon strike a major blow against him and render him powerless by the blood of His cross (Colossians 2;15). When satan is finally bound in the chains of hell, we will join these seventy rejoicing around the throne of God. No more, death, sickness, pain and disease. All that will be over, the tempter will be bound and God will wipe away all tears from our eyes (Revelation 21:4). As the song says, "What a day that will be!"

Our hearts are troubled when we see evil on every hand. We can take assurance that God's program will triumph in His own good time. What a privilege to be a blood bought citizen of heaven empowered by the Spirit and Name of Jesus, the Almighty God.

Back to 151: The Seventy Return
Down to 153: Parable of the Good Shepherd


152: The Blind Man Healed - Jn. 9:1-41

John 9:25 .... one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see...

You recall how that after Jesus healed a blind man, the religious elite, who prided themselves as the keepers of heaven's gate , got a little excited. They examined the man's parent's, and then finally asked the man himself. "Who is this fellow who dared to heal on the Sabbath day? Surely He must be a sinner?" To which the man replied, " Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."

The scribes and Pharisees began to revile this man and also to claim that Jesus had healed him by the power of the devil. The man replied with a simple argument. God doesn't hear the prayer of sinners. Hhow could this man heal me by the power of the devil? At that he was throw out of the synagogue. After the man had been dismissed from the synagogue, Jesus found him once again. He asked, Do you believe on the Son of God? The man answered , "Who is He, that I might believe." Jesus replied , "You haver seen Him and you are talking to Him right now." The man fell down and worshiped the Lord right there.

Some of the Pharisees who were standing nearby, heard Jesus say that He had come into the world to render judgment. That those who saw would no longer be able to see. Jesus affirmed that they were indeed blind, because they refused to see Him as Messiah. Therefore they were dead in their sins.

Conclusion and Application:

How easy it is to be drawn into pointless arguments that do nothing but cause friction and division. How easy it is to find out that our knowledge on many subjects is quite limited.

How blessed it is to realize that one day we met the Savior who accepted us as we were without checking our pedigree and credentials. A relationship was formed with Him that is unshakeable. When the storms of life arise, we have confidence that He will rebuke the wind. When the cupboard gets low, we know that he will multiply the loaves and fishes once again.

There are a lot of things I don't know. There are others where I know just enough to get into trouble. There is one thing I know that will never change. I was lost and Jesus found me, I was blind but now I see. Nobody can take that away from me.

Back to 152: The Blind Man Healed
Down to 154: The Feast of Dedication


153: Parable of the Good Shepherd - Jn. 10:1-17

1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

The expulsion of the blind man set the stage for the discourse of Jesus concerning the Good Shepherd. He likened those who were in charge of the religious system to thieves and robbers who would climb over the wall at night to steal sheep rather than to enter in at the door. They understood His allusions to daily routine of the shepherd, but they did not comprehend that He was talking directly to and about them.

So, Jesus got a bit more explicit. I am the good shepherd and I am the door to the sheepfold. My sheep know my voice and they will not follow another. They will enter in by the door and go freely in and out to find pasture.

He was the good shepherd who was destined to lay down His life for His sheep. We must either enter in by Him and find salvation or be damned. They were thieves and robbers who cared for nothing except for whatever advantage they could gain from their present positions. When the wolves came, they would flee and allow the sheep to be scattered.

John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Jesus than began to speak in a manner that claimed equality with the Father. He was in the Father and the Father in Him. He had power to lay down His life and also power to take it up again.

Back to 153: Parable of the Good Shepherd
Down to 155: The Trip Beyond Jordan


154: The Feast of Dedication - Jn. 10:22-40

This cause quite a division among the Jews as to just who He was and the claims that He was making. Once again they confronted Jesus, "Tell us plainly, just who are you." Jesus relied that He had already told them but they would not believe because they were not of His sheepfold. His sheep would hear His voice and have eternal life. No man could pluck them out of His hand and no man could pluck them out of His Father's hand, for the simple fact that, "I and my Father are One." The Jews clearly understood His claims and took up stones to stone Him for blasphemy because, "Thou being a man makest thyself God.."

Jesus simply reiterated His claims of Deity. He is in the Father and the Father is him, the works that He did in His Father's name testified of just who He was and is, The Almighty God veiled in the flesh of the man Christ Jesus.

Back to 154: The Feast of Dedication
Down to 156: The Raising of Lazarus


155: The Trip Beyond Jordan - Jn. 10:39-42

Jesus escaped out of the hands of those who were trying to stone Him and went across Jordan to the area where John had first baptized. Many of John's disciples recognized that everything that John had said about Him was true. Many believed on Him there.

Back to 155: The Trip Beyond Jordan
Down to 157: Retirement to the City of Ephraim


156: The Raising of Lazarus - John 11:1-46


1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.


Jesus had fled across Jordan, away from the center of religious activity, to avoid being killed before His time, which was fast approaching. While there, He received word that His close friend Lazarus was critically ill and near death.

When Jesus heard the news, he simply stated that the sickness was not unto death, but only that the glory of God might be manifested. He then remained two more days in this area after which He announced to His disciples that He desired to go to Judea again. His disciples reminded Him that the last time he was in Judea, the Jews tried to stone Him. Jesus simply replied that there were twelve hours in the day when one had available light to work. It was necessary to do the work of the kingdom when it presented itself. He then told His disciples, "Lazarus is dead."

Thomas, declared to his fellow disciples, that they shold all go up to Jerusalem with Jesus and die together with Him there. When Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Jewish tradition held the soul of the departed hovered near the body for three days, during which there was hope of life being restored..

The house was full of friends and comforters while the traditional mourning was in progress. Insincere professional mourners would cry and wail endlessly. Martha heard that Jesus had been seen coming up the road. She ran out to meet him as He approached. No doubt thinking of the many miracles Jesus had performed, she said, "Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died.. She continued, "Even now God will give you anything that you ask."

Jesus said, "Martha your brother will rise again." "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus then made a strong statement affirming his Deity. " I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: Do you believe this Martha?" "Yes Lord, I believe you are the Christ , the Son of God, whose coming has been foretold."

Martha ran back to the house and told Mary, "The Master is here, He is calling for you." Mary ran out to meet Him and stated once again that if Jesus had been there, her brother would not have died.

Jesus asked where Lazarus had been buried and they proceeded to take him to the tomb. He was touched by the weeping of Mary and the others who were with her to the point that He wept Himself. There was much commotion as Jesus viewed the tomb. Many there began to criticize Jesus saying that if He had opened blinded eyes, surely He could have kept Lazarus from dying.

Jesus ignored them all and commanded that the stone be rolled away. Martha reminded Jesus that it had been four days and surely the body was decaying. Jesus reminded her that He had stated before that if she would only believe, she would see the glory of God.

They rolled away the stone and Jesus began to pray. He thanked His Father that His prayer had been heard. He then commanded with a loud voice, "Lazarus come forth!" Lazarus came out of the grave bound from head to foot with grave clothes. Jesus sad, "Loose him and let him go."

Conclusion and Application:

When Jesus received the news of the illness of Lazarus, He had no doubt as to the final outcome. He waited for a sufficient time so that there would be no doubt that a miracle had taken place.

Even though He was the omnipresent all knowing God, Jesus was touched with the grief of Mary and Martha to the point that He wept Himself. Perhaps He saw in Lazarus a symbol of us all, dead in sin and trespasses and help captive by the grave.

He is indeed the resurrection and the life; not just in the future but right now. We do sit in heavenly places with and in Him (Ephesians 2:6).

Jesus did not hesitate to put His life in jeopardy for the sake of His friends. He returned to the very area where the people had tried to stone Him.

Thomas seems to be remembered for expressing doubt of the Lord's resurrection. We should also give him credit for his willingness to die with the Lord. Strong tradition tells us that Thomas did indeed die for His Lord, being run through with a spear in southern India.

Death could not hold Lazarus when Jesus cried, "Come forth!" He does indeed have the keys to death hell and the grave(Revelation 1:18) which He purchased with His own blood. A future day is coming when graves are going to give up their dead, at the sound of His voice (I Thessalonians 4:16).

Back to 156: The Raising of Lazarus
Down to 158: The Perean Ministry


157: Retirement to the City of Ephraim - John 11:54

45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
Many of the Jews who were present at the tomb of Lazarus believed on Jesus when they saw Lazarus raised from the dead. Others however, hurried to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done.


This prompted the Sanhedren court to call a special meeting. They were perplexed about what to do with Jesus because of His many miracles. They had not forgotten that after feeding the five thousand, the people were ready to proclaim Jesus king and set him on a throne as Messiah. They were afraid that this might happen again, which of course would have invited the wrath of the Romans, who would deal very harshly with anything that they perceived to be rebellion.

John 11:51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

Caiaphas, a Sadducee was the high priest that year. Of course the Sadducees cared much more for politics than religion. However, Caiaphas became an unwitting spokesman for the Spirit of God. John said, he prophesied that it was necessary that one man die be put to death, so that the nation could be spared. John added that He would not die for the Jewish nation alone, but would gather together in one all of the children of God who were scattered around the world.

John 11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

They plotted together on how they would kill Jesus. The Passover was near and the word was put out that if anyone saw Jesus, they should report it, so that He could be taken into custody.

Jesus and His disciples, went out to a city called Ephraim which was in the outlying area and ministered there.

Conclusion and Application:

When we preach the word of God we can't expect and different results than Jesus obtained when He raised Lazarus from the dead. Some believed on Him while others sought to do Him harm.Jesus said that if they hated Him, they would hate us (Matthew 10:25).

Just like Balaam's donkey, the high priest had no choice but to utter a prophesy inspired by the Spirit of God.

Back to 157: The Retirement to the City of Ephraim
Down to 159: The Women Healed of Her Infirmity


158: The Perean Ministry - Matthew 19:1-2; Mark 10:1

1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;
2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.


Upon hearing that the Sadhedrin court had issued orders for His arrest, Jesus traveled northward from Bethany to the town of Ephraim and then in a circular tour through Perea, which was beyond Jordan. This would bring him back to Bethany, at which time Mary would anoint His feet. Of course, the people of these areas flocked to Him and He ministered to them all.

Back to 158: The Perean Ministry
Down to 160: Discourse on the Number of the Saved


159: The Women Healed of Her Infirmity - Luke 13:10-17

Luke 13:10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.


Jesus was nearing the end of His ministry. He had probably been banned from the main synagogues. This is the last recorded instance of Jesus' teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath.

A women was present who was bent over by some sort of crippling infirmity. Luke called it a spirit of infirmity. She could not straighten up or raise her hands. She did not escape the attention of the Master. "Women, thou art loose from thine infirmity." Jesus laid His hands on her and immediately she stood up straight and began to utter praises to God.

The ruler of the synagogue could not deny that a miracle had been done, but he became indignant none the less. This sort of thing just shouldn't be done on the Sabbath. There were six other days in the week.

Jesus replied and called the ruler and his sympathisers hypocrites. Did not the law allow for the care and feeding of their animals on the Sabbath? How much more should this devout women who had been bound by satan for eighteen years be set free from her infirmity?

14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?


Jesus then repeated The Parable of the Mustard Seed, vs. 18-22( see Par 104 )

The kingdom of god is like a mustard seed which is very small. However when planted it grows into a tree large enough for the birds to lodge in. The kingdom is like a little bit of leaven mixed withthree measures of meal. Eventually all of the meal is affected by the leaven.

Jesus continued on towards His destiny at Calvary, teaching in all of the villages and cities along the way.

18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.


Conclusion and Application:

Jesus was well aware of the suffering woman as He was teaching. I believe that there was also a connection on the part of the women, much like the woman who pressed through the crowd with the hope of being healed if she could only touch the hem of His garment. (See Par.113

"Woman thou art loosed of thine infirmity." Words of the Master that are applicable for all times and all situations. Just as satan had bound this woman for eighteen years with infirmity, he has bound and continued to bind many others with all kinds of sickness, despair, abuse, addictions, etc. We can be free of it all at the gentle words of the Master, "Thou art loosed!"

The ruler of the synagogue is like many of us today. We get uncomfortable when God moves outside of the narrow parameters we have consigned Him to. We would rather have our dead traditions.

Jesus continued on building up the kingdom, one day and one incident at a time. May we do likewise.

Back to 159: The Women Healed of Her Infirmity
Down to 161: At the Pharisee's Supper


160: Discourse on the Number of the Saved - Luke 13:23-30

23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.


Strive to enter into the "strait gate." Many will try but few will succeed. Once the door is shut, no man will be able to enter (see Matthew 7:14).

But Lord don't you remember us? We ate and drank with you and you preached in our streets. "No I don't know you."

I believe the primary application of this text is to the Jewish nation and religious leaders of that day. They were talking to the very one who had said , "I am the door (John 10:7-9)," and yet they refused to receive Him. They heard His words as they ate with Him and had nothing but ridicule as a sinner women knelt to anoint His feet (Luke 7:36-50).

The Jewish nation of that day felt that no child of Abraham could be lost. Jesus said, "Not so, people of all races and nationalities are going to come from all directions and enter into the kingdom of God. They will rejoice in the kingdom with your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, while you yourself will be cast out.

Conclusion and Application:

Sobering words from the Master. Lest we feel superior in our perceived superior revelation of truth or our established denominations, we need to take them to heart.

We live in a day when extreme legalism has been replaced by easy believism. Both are wrong. Not everyone who says, "Lord, Lord" is going to enter the kingdom, it is a requirement that we do the will of the Father in heaven and that we obey all of His word. In fact some people will rise up on judgement day and remind the Lord that they did mighty works in His name, even casting out demons.The Lord will reply, "Depart from me, I never knew you" (Mt 7:21-29). That's pretty sobering when we think about it, isn't it?

Many in our day preach that all roads lead to heaven and that it doesn't really matter what you believe. There are indeed some absolutes in the word of God. We must believe that Jesus is God manifested in flesh or we will die in our sins (John 8:24). Jesus also stated that it was an absolute necessity to be born again if we intended to see or enter the kingdom of God (John 3:1-8) See The Birth of the Water and the Spirit http://about-him.com/page47.html .

Jesus told us in Matthew 7:13-14 that the door to heaven is through the strait gate. There is a another road that is broader, but it leads to destruction.

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Down to 162: The Man with Dropsy Healed


161: At the Pharisee's Supper - Luke 14:1-24

For the sake of those following the harmony of the Gospels found in the Thompson Chain Bible, this heading contains four separate teachings of Jesus when He was invited to eat at the home of an unnamed Pharisee.

Back to 160: Discourse on the Number of the Saved
Down to 162a: The Parable Rebuking Place Seeking


162: The Man with Dropsy Healed - Luke 14:1-6

1 And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.
2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? 6 And they could not answer him again to these things.


Jesus, on the Sabbath day, went to a supper hosted by one of the chief Pharisees. There was a man nearby who was afflicted with dropsy, which is an accumulation of fluid in the body cavities. Quite possibly, this was a setup to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath day.

The Pharisees watched Jesus to see what He would do. Jesus knew their thoughts and immediately asked if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath day. They would not answer and Jesus healed him and sent him on his way. He then asked if any of them did not hesitate to show mercy to an animal who had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath day. Again, they would not answer.

Conclusion and Application:

It had become the custom for those who were well off to host elaborate suppers on the Sabbath, often with entertainment. The only thing required was that the food be served cold, since it was unlawful to kindle a fire on the Sabbath day Exodus 35:3). Obviously, they were straining at the spirit of the law. Their custom was that anybody was free to drop in uninvited to eat and to listen to the ongoing conversation. Thus, the man with dropsy could have been either an invited or uninvited guest.

We still have our inconsistences today, don't we? A couple of things come to mind: We'll forbid laboring on Sunday and then hurry to the restaurant after church to let the unsaved wait on us, or we'll hurry home from church to watch the NFL on TV. I'm sure that you can think of many others.

We realize that Sunday is not the actual Sabbath. Most of us have adopted the practice of meeting on the Lord's day, the first day of the week. I cannot condemn the person who feels to observe Saturday or the person who treats every day the same (Romans 14:1-8). If I do, I become like the Pharisees in our segment above. When Jesus asked if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath, the Pharisees could not refute his logic. Certainly if it was lawful to relieve the suffering of an animal on the Sabbath, it would also be lawful to relieve the suffering of a human being.

The fact is that anytime we legislate a rule or a law, we will immediately have inconsistencies in it's application and of course these inconsistencies begat more laws. We can avoid these traps if we follow the words of Jesus. He stated that the greatest commandment of all was to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and then to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:29-33). All else will fall into place.

Jesus observed many things at this supper which He used as object lessons to teach the crowd.

Back to 162: The Man with Dropsy Healed
Down to 163: The Parable of the Great Supper


162a: The Parable Rebuking Place Seeking - Luke 14:7-14

7 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.


Jesus evidently had noticed that there had been a scramble among the guests to have the best seats in the house, no doubt close to the host and other guests of distinction. The host had the final say on the seating arrangement and it was his prerogative to ask someone to take a less desirable seat then they had chosen. Obviously this would be a great embarrassment. Jesus then uttered a spiritual law that is a foundation of His kingdom. If we exalt our self, we will be humbled, if we humble ourselves, we will be exalted.

Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Jesus looked around the dining room and it became apparent that the host had invited his relatives and his rich friends, all of whom would no doubt return the favor. Jesus told the host, that he should have rather invited the poor, the lame and the blind. By doin gso, he would have a reward at the resurrection of the just.


Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.


Conclusion and Application:

How often we violate the words of Jesus, by seeking to find favor in the eyes of men, rather then of God? How many of us invite the less fortunate to our homes. How many of us give with no thought of return? How often do we really try to lift the afflictions of others? How many of us can read Isaiah 58:6-7 without being convicted?

God puts a great prize on humility. The principal is still in effect. The first shall be last and the last shall be first (Matthew 20:16). God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humblen (James 4:6). He dwells in the high and lofty place but also with him who has a contrite and humble heart (Isaiah 57:15).

Back to 162a: The Parable Rebuking Place Seeking
Down to 164: Discourse on Counting the Cost


163: The Parable of the Great Supper - Luke 14:15-24

One of the guest feigned piety and exclaimed, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God." This prompted Jesus to give a parable, the meaning of which was not lost upon His host and the other Pharisees. A certain man gave a great supper and invited many. As was the custom, a servant would issue a second invitation as a reminder when the hour drew near. To refuse such an invitation was a gross insult and in some circles even today, a declaration of war. (J.W. Shepherd, The Christ of the Gospels).


We've heard the sermon preached many times, how that all of the invitees gave flippant excuses why they could not attend. One had to go and check out a piece of ground that he had purchased, evidently sight unseen. Another had puchased oxen and had not proven them. Another had just gotten married and fely he could not leave his bride.


When the servant reported these things to his master, the master became angry and commanded that the servant go out into the streets and bring in the poor, the maim, the halt and the blind. The servant did so, but room still remained in the banquet hall. The servant was then commanded to go out into the highways and hedges and compel those whom he found to attend the supper. The house must be filled for this occasion, whatever it took. None of those who had refused the firs tinvitation would by any means taste of the good things that had been prepared for the supper.

Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.


Conclusion and Application:

The host and the Pharisees knew exactly what Jesus was saying. They were children of Abraham and had the privilege of hearing the good news of the kingdom first. They rejected it. The door was opened wider for the gentiles to come in and yet there was room. The order was given to go out into the highway and hedges and to bring in the unclean and the heathen.

The call is still going out, Whosoever will, let him come and drink of the waters of life freely (Revelation 22:17). Our previous condition means nothing. Though our sins be as scarlet, we shall be washed whiter than snow (Isaiah 1:18).

None of us have anything to brag about. Jesus found us in the in the streets and alleys. He went searching to the highways and hedges and there he found us consumed by all manner of sin. He washed us in His precious blood and sanctified us by His Spirit (I Corinthians 6:10-11). We will sit down with Him as guests of honor at the marriage supper of the lamb. Unfortunately, those who first rejected His invitation will only be able to look on with regret (Matthew 8:11-12, 21:31; Revelation 19:9; ). That is sad.

Back to 163: The Parable of the Great Supper
Down to 165: Parable of the Lost Sheep


164: Discourse on Counting the Cost - Luke 14:25-35

Luke 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

After the confrontation at the Pharisee's supper, great multitudes followed Jesus as He continued His journey towards his destiny at Jerusalem. Many of them were no doubt excited that Jesus had brought the Scribes and Pharisees to silence after healing the man afflicted with the dropsy. Jesus knew that most of them were only there for the joy of the moment. He turned to the crowd and stated the requirements for discipleship.

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Jesus demands absolute loyalty. Family, friends, business or any thing else of this life cannot be first in our lives. He demands it all.

Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Jesus knew that He was about to be crucified. The twelve were not totally unaware of the fact (John 11;16), but it really hadn't sunk into their thinking. When Jesus said that a man must bear his cross to be His disciple, the crowd knew exactly what he was saying. In 6 A.D. the Romans had crucified thousands who has revolted under Judas Machabeus. Before crucifixion, the condemned were forced to carry their cross to the place of execution, they understood the vivid imagery very well.

Jesus then stressed the necessity of counting the cost, before we decide to follow Him. He used examples that may have been very familiar to the crowd. We have all seen examples of people who start to build a house, which never gets finished. It becomes a laughing stock and joke to those who pass by. Likewise, (perhaps Sadaam Hussien would be a good example when he invaded Kuwait in 1991) they had probably seen kings who rushed to war when diplomacy would have been the better course of action.

The final absolute is that we must forsake all that we have to be His disciple.

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Jesus capped off the lesson by repeating His admonition on salt from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:13). See The Sermon on the Mount http://about-him.com/page46.html

Luke 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


Conclusion and Application:

These conditions of discipleship laid down by Jesus are absolutes, they are not suggestions.

Carrying our cross does not mean just dealing with the hardships and frustrations of life. It means being ready to die for the Master. The RSV states that a man must carry "his own" cross. The early church counted it joy to suffer with Him (Acts 14:22; Romans 8:17; II Thessalonians 1:4; I Peter 4:13-14).

There is no such thing as easy discipleship. Jesus wants all or nothing (Revelation 3:16). He wants us to do a cost benefit analysis before starting our journey. There can be no turning back (Luke 9:16). Jesus gave us His assurance that if we followed Him we would sit with Him judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Every person who had forsaken family, houses and lands in this life would be reimbursed one hundred fold and also inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:28-29).

I believe that much of the current prosperity doctrine that is currently in vogue is in direct opposition to our Lord's teaching on discipleship (See God Wants You Rich) http://about-him.com/page45.html ).

Questions:

1. How many of us really live up to this teaching?

2. Given the prevalence of the current prosperity teachings, do we even take our Lord's teaching on discipleship seriously?

3. Have we done a cost benefit analysis concerning discipleship?

4. How do we weigh sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus against the pleasures of this world (Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 11:25).

5. Have we considered our eternal inheritance, if we endure until the end (Revlation 3:5)?

Back to 164: Discourse of Counting the Cost
Down to 165: Parable of the Lost Sheep

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