From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/13:

A man brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing after the attempts made by His disciples failed. Jesus says to the man, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” In response, the man cries out to Jesus in tears, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!” This man has some faith, but he trusts that Jesus will strengthen what little faith he has; which I’m sure increases while watching Jesus miraculously heal his son.

After Jesus heals the boy, the disciples ask why they couldn’t. Jesus says, “Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” The more time we spend praying to the Lord, the more we rely upon Him to work in our lives, which strengthens our relationship with God and grows our faith.

While Jesus and His disciples were staying in Galilee, “Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.’ And they were exceedingly sorrowful.” But the disciples were not sorrowful for long because soon their attention turns back to themselves and their best interests. They begin fighting with one another over who will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. So Jesus says to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Then Jesus takes a little child and says, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus explains that His mission is to “save that which was lost.” To illustrate His mission, Jesus tells a story of a man with a hundred sheep, but one goes astray. Jesus says that the man will leave the ninety-nine sheep to go after the one lost sheep, and if he finds it, “he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

No one is too far from God! In Charles Spurgeon’s sermon One Lost Sheep, he encourages us to go after the lost as Jesus did:

“Go after them, for so our shepherd did. He braved the mountain’s slippery side. I do not suppose the shepherd had any greater love for mountain tracks than you have, but up the rough tracks He climbed, for the sheep’s sake. Go after sinners into their poverty and wretchedness, until you find them. 

“Here is one thing to cheer you. If you should win such a soul as that, you will have more joy, a great deal, than in saving those for whom you regularly labor—more joy over that lost one than over the ninety and nine hopeful ones. It will be such a support to your faith, such a boost for your joy, such a bright light to your labor to have won such a specially guilty one. I should not wonder but what you will talk about it for many a day, and it will be a source of strength to you when things are not quite as you would desire. Such converts are our crown of rejoicing. May I especially recommend that you make a trial of this extra sheep-seeking? If you do not succeed, you will have done no harm, for you will have copied your Lord and Master. But you will succeed, for He is with you, and His Spirit works by you.”

We end the reading with Jesus instructing us to go to a brother or sister in Christ and reconcile with them if we have been offended. He also says we should offer unlimited forgiveness to one another – “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” And later Jesus’ brother James will write, “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

More teaching from Jesus tomorrow, so keep reading. (Mark 9:14-29, Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 9:37-43a, Mark 9:30-32, Matthew 17:22-23, Luke 9:43b-45, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 9:33-37, Matthew 18:1-6, Luke 9:46-48, Mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50, Mark 9:42-50, Matthew 18:7-35)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/12:

Jesus asks His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” They respond that some say He is John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and some say one of the prophets. Then Jesus, testing their faith, asks, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” So Jesus says to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

The confession that Jesus is the Son of God is the rock on which the church will be built. Soon in the story, after the resurrection of Christ, those who believe in Him as the Son of God and receive the power of the Holy Spirit will begin gathering together to worship as the church, and they will be called Christians (Acts 11:26).

“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day… Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?’” 

Following Jesus in this dark world is not easy. He never says it will be. But it is so worth it. Nothing this world offers can satisfy the longings of your heart and give you the peace you desire besides an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior. Paul will later write about this peace to the new Christians:

  • “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). 
  • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
  • “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).  

We end the reading with Jesus taking Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain where Jesus is transfigured; His face is like the sun and His clothes white as the light. Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus, talking with Him “and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”

When Jesus is alone again, the disciples ask Him why the scribes say Elijah must come first. Jesus responds, “‘Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist” (Malachi 4:5-6, Matthew 17:11-13).

Just as they killed John the Baptist, Jesus soon will be turned over to the cruel hands of men who will crucify Him. However, this is all part of God’s original plan that He laid out for us at the beginning of this story in Genesis 3:15. After the fall, God gave Adam and Eve a promise that He was sending them a Savior, and He gave them a picture of that promise when He killed an innocent animal and used the skin to cover the guilty, Adam and Eve. Jesus’ death, as the final atoning Sacrifice, will be sufficient to remove our sins and cleanse us for a right relationship with the Lord, which was broken back in the garden. Jesus will lay down His life, as prophesied throughout this entire story, to give us new life and to restore us to His Father. 

More teaching from Jesus tomorrow, so keep reading. (Mark 8:22-30, Matthew 16:13-20, Luke 9:18-20, Mark 8:31-9:1, Matthew 16:21-28, Luke 9:21-27, Mark 9:2-13, Matthew 17:1-13, Luke 9:28-36)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/11:

“Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.’”

Jesus initially doesn’t respond to the Gentile woman, and his disciples ask Him to send her away. Jesus says to the disciples, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” And after the woman prayed a short but powerful prayer to Jesus – “Lord, help me!”, He responds, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 

Jesus’ response appears harsh. However, based on the commentaries that I read, Jesus is actually responding in a loving and merciful way, as He always does to anyone who throws themselves at His feet. The bread is the ministry of the gospel and the little children are the Jews, God’s chosen people. When Jesus first sent His disciples out, He told them to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not the Gentiles or a city of Samaritans (Matthew 10:6). By God’s design, the Jews are first to receive the gospel. The dogs in Jesus’ statement are the Gentiles, as this is how the Jews perceive the Gentiles. But Jesus came to die for all. Therefore, after His death and resurrection, Jesus will send his disciples out to the Gentiles as well as the Jews, just as God planned before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-7). God worked His plan of salvation through His chosen people, the Jews, but eternal life is available for anyone who puts their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

So instead of getting offended at what Jesus said, the woman is humble and persistent in her faith by responding, “‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.’ Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” 

Jesus also, once again, shows compassion for the multitudes, about four thousand people, who have been with Him for three days with nothing to eat. Jesus says he wants to feed the crowd, and the disciples question Him saying, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?” Didn’t the disciples just see Jesus feed five thousand people with only five loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21)? The disciples are still shaky in their faith. However, Jesus simply asks them how many loaves they have. Jesus knows the answer to this question, but He is asking for their benefit because He is patiently working to grow their faith in Him. So when they respond saying they have seven loaves and a few fish, Jesus does what Jesus always does — He makes possible what is seemingly impossible. He feeds the multitudes until they are filled, leaving seven baskets full of leftovers.

But the Pharisees are still trying to trap Jesus by asking Him to show them a sign. So Jesus rebukes them for not being discerning because they are blinded to Him as the Messiah. And Jesus warns His disciples of the false doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Pharisees believe in justification by works and elevate the man-made laws over God’s commands. The Sadducees believe there is no resurrection, angels, or spirit. However, Jesus has been clear that salvation is obtained by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who will soon in the story die for our sins and rise three days later, defeating death.

Tomorrow Jesus has an encounter with Elijah and Moses. Keep reading. (Mark 7:24-30, Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:31-37, Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 8:1-10, Matthew 15:32-16:4, Mark 8:11-21, Matthew 16:5-12)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/10:

Today Jesus has two discussions regarding bread. First, the crowds find Jesus because they are looking for more of the bread He gave them in yesterday’s reading about the five loaves. Jesus says to them, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” The people want to know what work they must do to receive the food of everlasting life. Jesus responds, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Jesus is saying that works don’t save — it is faith, and out of faith in Him our good works flow. The writer of Hebrews explains that it is impossible to please the Lord without faith – “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” This is the first of seven “I Am” statements that Jesus will make to further reveal Himself. Remember when the Lord appeared to Moses at the burning bush and commissioned him to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, He told Moses to tell the Israelites that “I Am” sent him (Exodus 3:14). In Jesus’ “I Am” statements, He is describing Himself as the spiritual life-giving Messiah, the Son of God – “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

However, this statement is extremely perplexing to the Jews who are trying to figure out how they would receive eternal life by eating the flesh of the son of Joseph and Mary, whom they know. But instead of making it clearer for them, Jesus does the opposite by saying, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

The Jews don’t understand that Jesus is the final Sacrifice who has come to shed His blood so that we may have eternal life. That is why today we take communion by eating the bread and drinking the juice as a symbolic act to remember what He did on our behalf. After Jesus’ death, Paul is going to say, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

The second conversation around bread is when the Pharisees see Jesus’ disciples eating bread without washing their hands. These hard-hearted religious ones have a certain way they wash their hands in order to be deemed clean, and they look down upon anyone who doesn’t adhere to their standards. But Jesus has a rebuking word for the religious leaders. He calls the Pharisees hypocrites and quotes Isaiah – “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:6-7, Matthew 15:8-9, Isaiah 29:13). Once again Jesus makes clear that He is not impressed with any outward ritual acts of worship or obedience. Jesus is going after the hearts of the people, and from a true heart change a desire for obedience will follow.

Jesus calls out the religious ones for upholding the traditions of man over God’s commandments. He explains that what you put into your body doesn’t defile you; it is what comes out of your body from your heart – “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

We also learn today that many disciples leave Jesus because of their lack of faith. And soon one of Jesus’ twelve disciples is going to betray Him, and Jesus knows exactly who it is – “‘Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?’ He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.” However, this is all part of God’s plan to redeem mankind. Remember, nothing surprises the Lord! So keep reading to see His perfect plan unfold. (John 6:22-71, Mark 7:1-23, Matthew 15:1-20)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/9:

“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus and said to his servants, ‘This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.’ For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Because John had said to him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’ And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.”

John the Baptist was sent to prison for telling King Herod it was unlawful to marry Herodias, his brother’s wife. Herodias was furious at John for rebuking them and wanted to have him killed “but she could not; for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him.”

However, Herodias got an opportunity to destroy John the Baptist when her daughter was dancing for her husband, King Herod, and all the other important men in Galilee at Herod’s birthday dinner. Herod was so pleased with the girl that he told her he would give her anything she wanted, up to half the kingdom! 

The excited girl ran to her mom to bounce off ideas of all the amazing things she could possibly ask for. Herodias, full of anger and bitterness which blinded her to her daughter’s best interests or to pleasing her husband, told the girl to ask for John the Baptist’s head on a platter. “So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.’ And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.”

“When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” When evening comes, the disciples ask Jesus to send the crowd home so they may find food to eat. “Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?’ But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.” 

Jesus is not only concerned with caring for the masses, He is also training and teaching His disciples so that their faith may increase. So Jesus performs a miracle by feeding about five thousand men, plus their wives and children, with five loaves of bread and two fish. “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.’”

We end the reading with Jesus walking on water to meet His disciples who are struggling in a boat during a windstorm. Peter asks if he can walk on the water to meet Jesus, and Peter does well staying on top of the water as long as his gaze is fixed upon Jesus. But as soon as he takes his eyes off Jesus and puts them on his surrounding circumstances, he becomes fearful and begins to sink. So Jesus rebukes Peter by saying, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

Even Peter, Jesus’ disciple, is on a faith journey just like Abraham, just like Isaac, just like Jacob, and just like all the men and women of God before him and since him. The Lord will never give up on His chosen ones. God has big plans for Peter! And Jesus will continue to grow Peter into the man who will start the church. 

Keep reading to see Peter become all that the Lord has planned for him to be. (Luke 9:7-9, Mark 6:14-29, Matthew 14:1-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15, Mark 6:45-52, Matthew 14:22-33, John 6:16-21, Mark 6:53-56, Matthew 14:34-36)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/8:

Jesus heals two blind men and “When they had departed, they spread the news, about Him in all that country.” Then He heals a mute and demon-possessed man. “And the multitudes marveled, saying, ‘It was never seen like this in Israel!’” However, things are quite different when Jesus goes to His home church in Nazareth. We read about Jesus being rejected in his hometown in the Book of Luke (Luke 4:16-30), and here we have Mark’s and Matthew’s accounts of what occurs when Jesus teaches in Nazareth.

Jesus begins teaching in His home synagogue, and the people question Him – “‘Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?’ So they were offended at Him.”

“But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.’ Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”

Jesus has marveled two times in the story. First, at the faith of the Gentile Roman officer (Matthew 8:5-13) and now here, over the lack of faith of the people in His hometown, which limits the blessings they could receive. This is unfortunate for the people in his hometown, but it’s not going to stop Jesus from pouring blessings on those who will receive Him!

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”

Jesus sends out His twelve disciples, and “He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” Jesus sends His disciples first to the lost sheep of Israel, God’s chosen people. He tells them not to go to the Gentiles or enter the city of the Samaritans at this time. Later He will send his disciples to the Gentiles as well as the Jews, but the gospel message is first delivered to the lost of the house of Israel, the Jews, as Paul will later write – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

Jesus instructs His disciples to take nothing with them except His word and His healing powers. He says, “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”

Jesus warns His disciples –  “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”

“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell… Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

After seeing the resurrected Christ and receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ disciples will become men who do not fear man. They will confess Jesus as Christ and preach His teachings even under heavy persecution, which will eventually cost them their earthly lives. However, they will receive far more — eternal life with their beloved Lord and Savior along with all those who confess Jesus as Lord — “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Tomorrow we will see how preaching the truth costs John the Baptist his earthly life. Keep reading. (Matthew 9:27-34, Mark 6:1-6, Matthew 13:53-58, Matthew 9:35-38, Mark 6:7-13, Matthew 10:1-42, Luke 9:1-6)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/7:

Today Jesus acts on behalf of three people: a demon possessed man, a woman with an incurable health condition, and a man with a dying child. All three have one thing in common; they are desperate. And they need healing that can only come from Christ. 

So after the shaky boat ride from Capernaum across the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and the disciples arrive in a small town where Jesus meets a man who is demon-possessed and living like a wild beast among tombs. Jesus asks for the demon’s name, “And he said, ‘Legion,’ because many demons had entered him.” So all the demons beg Jesus saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.”

The evil spirits are many, and they are united and organized in their attempts to steal, kill, and destroy. However, Jesus comes to give abundant life (John 10:10). So Jesus does not allow the demons to destroy this man who is made in God’s image. Instead, He sends the evil spirits into the pigs as they requested— “Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.” Thus the evil spirits carried out their intended goal to steal, kill, and destroy.

Now the man who was delivered from the evil spirits by Jesus has an amazing testimony! So when he asks to go with Jesus, Jesus commissions him by saying, “‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has compassion on you.’ And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.”

Then Jesus travels back across the sea to the Galilean side. There He meets one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus, who begs Jesus to come and heal his dying twelve year old daughter. While Jesus is working His way through the crowds to get to Jairus’ house, a woman who has been suffering for twelve years with a terrible and incurable blood flow illness touches Jesus’ garment in a desperate attempt to be healed. Jesus asks who touched Him, and Peter pipes up saying, “the multitudes press on You and You ask who touched You?!” 

However, Jesus knew this was a different kind of touch. This wasn’t just people carelessly pushing on Him. This was an intentional and deliberate act of faith on the part of the woman, and Jesus desires to heal way more than just her bleeding condition. He desires to heal her spiritually and publicly so she can walk in freedom! So when the desperate and faithful woman comes forward and fearfully falls at His feet, Jesus lovingly says to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Once again we see when a person who is deemed unclean by the Law touches Jesus, Jesus does not become unclean. The one who comes to Him in faith is made clean, healed by His power because Jesus came to restore those who are once on the fringes, without hope and without community, into the family of God.

Now, “While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.’ But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.’” 

To the human eye and the natural man, Jairus’ situation appears hopeless. However there is always hope to be found in the word of God, and Jesus gave His word that she would be healed. And since Jesus never disappoints, He gives new life to Jairus’ twelve year old daughter just as he gave new life to the woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years. “And her parents were astonished but He charged them to tell no one what had happened” because His popularity, as well as animosity toward Him, was growing there and His time had not yet come.

Tomorrow Jesus sends out His disciples, so keep reading. (Mark 5:1-20, Matthew 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-39, Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, Luke 8:40-56)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/6:

Today Jesus gives seven illustrations to explain the Kingdom of God:

  1. The Lamp – “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.” Jesus says that at the final judgment, all things secret will be revealed and more will be given to the one who hears God’s word, understands it and obeys it; but for those who don’t, what has been given will be taken away.
  2. The Growing Seed – Christ followers scatter the seed by sharing God’s word. God is responsible for tilling the hearts of those who receive it and growing His Kingdom which will reach its full culmination when Jesus returns.
  3. The Mustard Seed – The Kingdom of God begins small, like the smallest seed, but results in enormous growth with an abundance of blessings.
  4. The Leaven – God’s activity is not fully visible to the world, but it begins in the heart and grows to feed others.
  5. The Hidden Treasure – The Kingdom of God is more valuable than any earthly treasure.
  6. The Pearl Merchant – The man that finds the Kingdom of God will give up everything to be a part of it.
  7. The Fishing Net – Evil will coexist with the righteous in this world, but there will be a day when evil is cast out and the righteous prevail. Jesus says one day, “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

We end the reading with Jesus and the disciples on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee when a terrible storm arises. Jesus rebukes the wind and the water, exposing His power over the earth. He also rebukes the scared disciples for their lack of faith. This time the disciples are the ones who marvel saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Jesus is still patiently growing these men into great men of God like that fourth seed that we read about yesterday – “But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred” (Mark 4:8). 

Jesus says about the fourth seed – “But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” Jesus’ disciples are going to be 100% reproducers, bearing much fruit for the Kingdom of God. However, following hard after Christ is going to cost them their lives, but Jesus is promising that so much more awaits them in heaven than this world can offer. Soon Jesus will say to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26).

Tomorrow Jesus continues to show His power to the people by performing more miraculous healings. So keep reading! (Matthew 13:10-23, Luke 8:9-18, Mark 4:21-29, Matthew 13:24-30, Mark 4:30-34, Matthew 13:31-52, Mark 4:35-41, Matthew 8:23-27, Luke 8:22-25)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/5:

Today we see that Jesus values women as part of His ministry plans along with the twelve disciples – “Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.” Not only did women accompany and support Jesus’ earthly ministry, we will soon discover that Jesus will first appear to women after His resurrection and entrust them with sharing the good news of His resurrection with others.

When Jesus was preaching to the crowds, He cast a demon out of a man, resulting in some scribes and Pharisees assuming that Jesus is doing the work of Satan. Jesus explains that it would make no sense for Satan to cast out his own demons. He says, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you… He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” 

Then Jesus tells them that there is only one sin that is unforgivable – “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” The Holy Spirit testifies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God through whom salvation is provided. Jesus is saying that the only sin that will not be forgiven is rejecting the testimony of the Holy Spirit who calls people to salvation through belief in Jesus Christ. 

However, the scribes and Pharisees are ignoring the words of Jesus and are still trying to catch Jesus in an unlawful act. Therefore, they ask Him to perform a sign, although He has already performed many signs proving He is Lord. So instead of giving them a sign, Jesus gives them a story about Jonah being in the belly of a fish for three days which led to the salvation of Nineveh. Like Jonah, Jesus will be in the belly of the earth three days, and three nights and then rise again, an act only God can do, so that salvation will be available for the world. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection provides a way for us to be a part of God’s eternal family.

Jesus speaks of His true family when His brothers and His mother, Mary, come looking for Him. Jesus says, “‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.’”

We end the reading with Jesus speaking His first parable, which is about a sower and his seed. The parable teaches that not all who hear the gospel (the Good News of Jesus Christ) will understand and believe.

  1. Some seeds will fall by the wayside, meaning that as soon as someone hears, Satan will snatch away what was sown on their hearts.
  2. Some seeds will fall on stony ground, meaning that some will immediately receive the word, but it will have no roots so they will not endure the tribulations of the world.
  3. Some seeds are sown among the thorns, meaning that some hear the word but are drawn away by the desires of the world.
  4. “But there are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” These are the ones who have eternal salvation which is evident by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20).

Tomorrow Jesus will give several illustrations to help us understand the kingdom of God, so keep reading. (Luke 8:1-3, Mark 3:20-30, Matthew 12:22-45, Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21, Mark 4:1-9, Matthew 13:1-9, Luke 8:4-8, Mark 4:10-20)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/4:

Jesus performs two miracles today: 

  1. He heals a centurion’s servant after the centurion says, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” Jesus responds, “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.” This Gentile Roman officer has so much faith that it makes even Jesus marvel! Jesus is going to marvel again in a few days, but it will be at the lack of faith of the people in His own hometown, Nazareth, which is another reminder that we can not please the Lord without faith (Hebrews 11:6).
  2. Jesus shows compassion for a widow who is burying her son by touching the coffin of the young man and bringing him back to life. “Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us’; and, ‘God has visited His people.’ And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.”

Now John the Baptist, still in prison, starts to wonder if this is really the Christ so he sends his disciples to inquire of Jesus. Jesus responds, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Since all of these things were prophesied through the prophet Isaiah, John the Baptist is assured that Jesus is the Son of God sent for our salvation.

Jesus declares, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist.” As John is sitting in prison the people fail to recognize his greatness, just as they fail to recognize the deity of Jesus Christ. “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” The people find fault in both and do not have faith to believe that they were sent by the Lord — one as the messenger and the other as the Messiah. So Jesus gives a warning to the unbelievers— “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” However, He also gives an invitation to all – “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

We end the reading with a sinful woman washing Jesus’ feet with her tears and her hair and anointing them in oil. A religious Pharisee, Simon, believes if Jesus were truly a prophet, He would not let a sinful woman touch Him. Jesus rebukes the Pharisee by saying that this sinful woman did more for Him than he did since Simon did not even give Jesus water for His feet or kiss Him or anoint Him in oil. However, this desperate sinful woman hit her knees at the feet of Jesus — “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then Jesus turns to the woman and says, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” 

In Dane Ortlund’s book Gentle and Lowly, he says, “In the one place in the Bible where the Son of God pulls back the veil and lets us peer way down into the core of who he is, we are not told that he is ‘austere and demanding in heart.’ We are not told that he is ‘exalted and dignified in heart.’ We are not even told that he is ‘joyful and generous in heart.’ Letting Jesus set the terms, his surprising claim is that he is ‘gentle and lowly in heart.’”

Dane Ortlund goes on to say, “And what did he do when he saw the unclean? What was his first impulse when he came across prostitutes and lepers? He moved toward them. Pity flooded his heart, the longing of true compassion. He spent time with them. He touched them… But there is something deeper in Christ’s touch of compassion. He was reversing the Jewish system. When Jesus, the Clean One, touched an unclean sinner, Christ did not become unclean. The sinner became clean… Jesus walked the earth rehumanizing the dehumanized and cleansing the unclean.”  

Tomorrow we will continue to see Jesus rehumanizing the dehumanized and cleansing the unclean, so keep reading. (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-17, Matthew 11:1-19, Luke 7:18-35, Matthew 11:20-30, Luke 7:36-50)