From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/24:

God is sovereign over all things, including our spiritual awakening. Jesus performed many miracles so that people could see and believe in Him as the Messiah. However, many did not believe thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophesy, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them” (John 12:40, Isaiah 6:10).

Later, Paul will tell us the way to be healed – “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).

So we see there is a tension in Scripture between the Lord awakening and our turning. However, it is clear that salvation is the work of the Lord through His Son Jesus. That is why Jesus cries out that anyone who believes in Him believes in His Father who sent Him into the world as the light. Jesus says He came to save the world and He only speaks from the authority given to Him by God, His Father.

“Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, ‘Let no fruit grow on you ever again.’ Immediately the fig tree withered away.”

Jesus curses the fig tree as an illustration of Israel, who appears to have faith on the outside like the tree appeared healthy on the outside with its leaves. However, once Jesus came close to the tree, He discovered there was no fruit, no figs. Therefore Jesus destroyed the tree as a warning to the judgment coming upon the ones who have the appearance of faith on the outside but lack a heart truly surrendered to the Lord. But to the ones who truly love Jesus, Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

When Jesus and the disciples arrive in Jerusalem, Jesus drives out of the temple the people who were using it as a place of business instead of a house of prayer. Later, Jesus’ authority is questioned by the priests, scribes, and elders – “And they said to Him, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?’” They are not only questioning on whose authority Jesus cleaned the temple but also under whose authority is He healing people and teaching in the temple since He isn’t a part of the official Jewish authority.

“But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?’” This question exposes the Jewish leader’s ignorance because if they say John was doing the work of the Lord then Jesus will ask why they didn’t believe him, but if they say man, then the people would revolt against them because many believed John the Baptist was a prophet of the Lord. So they just give the cowardly answer of “We do not know.” Therefore Jesus responds, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Jesus always meets the needs of those who come to Him humbly; however, He resists the prideful and arrogant ones who question His authority with unbelief. Tomorrow Jesus will continue to call out the hypocrisy in the Jewish leadership. Keep reading.

(John 12:37-50, Mark 11:12-14, Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:15-19, Matthew 21:12-17, Luke 19:45-48, Mark 11:20-33, Matthew 21:23-27, Luke 20:1-8)

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From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/23:

“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”

Jesus’ disciple, Judas Iscariot, begins rebuking her for wasting costly oil under the guise of caring for the poor and the others criticize her sharply. “But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.’” So Jesus rebukes the men who have been seeking a position of prominence with Jesus and elevates the woman who was simply showing love for her Savior. 

When Jesus and His disciples come near Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sends His disciples to bring Him a colt. “All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey’” (prophesy from Zechariah 9:9).

“Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.’”

Jesus knows the crowd shouting praises to Him is soon going to turn into a crowd shouting for His crucifixion. Therefore Jesus weeps over Jerusalem because of their unbelief. He says the day is coming when they will be surrounded by their enemies. This day will come in 70 AD when the Roman army will destroy Jerusalem and the temple, killing many Jews and taking the ones who don’t escape into captivity.

The reading ends with Jesus predicting His death – “‘Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’” The spiritually blind assume the voice is just thunder because they have completely missed that the Messiah is standing before them.  

Jesus goes on to say that the ruler of the world, Satan, will be cast out. Jesus will die and be raised from the dead, defeating death and putting an expiration date on Satan’s reign. One day Jesus is coming back and when He does “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Keep reading.

(Mark 14:3-9, Matthew 26:6-13, John 12:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-40, John 12:12-19, Luke 19:41-44, John 12:20-36)

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From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/22:

Jesus says again, “So the last will be first, and the first last.” He illustrates this with a story about laborers. They all work different amounts of hours but all get paid the same, regardless of how long they worked, and the ones that work the least amount of hours get paid first. But the ones that worked longer hours believe that this payment system is unfair, assuming that they are entitled to more. So Jesus explains that the master can do whatever he likes with what he has. Although we may think we deserve more or are better than others, that is not how Jesus operates. Part of having faith is trusting the Lord with what He has given us and not looking around and comparing it to others (2 Corinthians 10:12). Jesus tends to the whole flock, but He knows best what to specifically give to each individual for their flourishment and for His glory. And anything that we receive from the Lord is a gift by His grace and mercy.

Therefore, when Zacchaeus, a rich chief tax collector, seeks to see Jesus “but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature”, Jesus tells him to come down from the sycamore tree for He is going to eat dinner at his house. But the crowd couldn’t believe that Jesus would want to eat with a disgusting sinner such as Zacchaeus the tax collector. Tax collectors were seen as traitors trying to profit off their own people by taking money from the Jews to give to the Roman Empire. However, Zacchaeus believes that Jesus is Lord so he “made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully…and said to the Lord, ’Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’” Therefore Jesus says to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Regardless of Zacchaeus’s position in life or public opinion about him, he is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

While Jesus is journeying to Jerusalem with his disciples, He explains to them what He must endure for the gift of salvation to be offered to the world – “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again. But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.” 

James and John ask to sit next to Jesus “one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” So again Jesus has to explain that being part of His kingdom isn’t about your own personal power or position; it is quite the opposite from how the world operates – ”Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” James will be the first to be martyred of the disciples and John will be the last disciple to die, although not by martyrdom. But both will suffer as servants of Christ. 

We end the reading with another parable from Jesus “because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.” The parable is about a master and his servants. The master tells the servants to “Do business till I come”, teaching that the Lord expects those who belong to Him to be diligent in doing kingdom work until Jesus’ return. The master in the parable desires for his servants to invest what he has given them and not to just play it safe by doing nothing with what they have received.

Jesus calls His followers to step outside of their comfort zones and serve Him. And why not? We have nothing to lose and someone else has everything to gain by hearing the Good News. Plus, Jesus has already promised to provide all that we need to serve Him and the kingdom of God by giving us power through the Holy Spirit. After Jesus’ resurrection, we will see the disciples emboldened by the Holy Spirit for the work of the ministry – “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Tomorrow is Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Keep reading.

(Matthew 20:1-16, Mark 10:32-34, Matthew 20:17-19, Luke 18:31-34, Mark 10:35-45, Matthew 20:20-34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-19:27)

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From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/21:

Two men are praying in the temple: 1) A Pharisee – “God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” 2) The tax collector – “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

Which one do you think was justified by God? The tax collector! – “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Therefore Jesus tells His disciples to come to Him as humble as little children – “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

A rich man asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments: “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

The rich man, feeling pretty good about himself and his deeds, responds saying that he already does all of those things. However, Jesus knows that he is still clinging to this world. So Jesus says, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Then the rich man leaves sorrowful for he did not want to give up his great possessions.

Jesus warns about the love of material possessions – ”Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” So the disciples begin questioning who can be saved. Jesus responds, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Peter says to Jesus that the disciples have left all to follow Him. And because of that, Jesus says “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Jesus requires His disciples to hold loosely to everything else in this world in order to follow Him. 

However, the Pharisees are not interested in following Jesus; they want to destroy Him. So the Pharisees test Jesus by questioning Him on the topic of marriage and divorce. Jesus makes clear that marriage is designed by God as a union between one man and one woman. He says that the Lord allowed Moses to permit divorce because of our hardened hearts; however, this was not the Lord’s original plan. Since divorce is a result of our sinful nature, “He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

“They said to Him, ‘Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?’ He said to them, ‘Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.’”

Hearing how marriage is a binding commitment before the Lord, the disciples wonder if it would be better for them not to marry at all. Jesus responds, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”

Keep reading. 

(Luke 18:9-14, Mark 10:1-12, Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:13-16, Matthew 19:13-15, Luke 18:15-17, Mark 10:17-31, Matthew 19:16-30, Luke 18:18-30)

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From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/20:

Jesus tells Martha that she will see the glory of God if she believes. Then Jesus prays, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Afterward Jesus cries into the tomb, “Lazarus, come forth!” When Lazarus came out of the tomb, “many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. But some went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did.”

The Passover was near and the Jews “spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, ’What do you think – that He will not come to the feast?’ Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.”

On Jesus’ way to Jerusalem, ten outcast lepers cry out to Him, “‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.” The lepers are healed by grace through faith, which is evidenced in their obedience of going to the priests who could not naturally heal lepers. The priests are to examine the lepers and offer sacrifices on their behalf in order to pronounce them as clean according to the Law of a Moses – “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest. And the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine him; and indeed, if the leprosy is healed in the leper, then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field’” (Leviticus 14:1-7).

This is a beautiful picture of what Jesus is about to do on behalf of unclean sinners. He is going to lay down His life, shedding His innocent blood as the final sacrificial Lamb so that we may be washed clean and given new life under the blood of Christ. One of the lepers healed by Jesus was overwhelmed with gratitude for the cleansing and new life that was given to him. So he, a Samaritan, came back to Jesus “and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.” The Samaritan did not take for granted the grace shown to him like the other nine healed lepers. So Jesus responds to this man’s show of gratitude by saying, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” 

We end the reading with Jesus explaining the coming kingdom of God to the Pharisees. He says that first the Son of Man “must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation”, speaking of His imminent crucifixion on the cross. However, Jesus explains that He is coming back one day. And when He comes again, it will be like in the days of Noah and the flood and the days of Lot and Sodom. The people will be going about their usual business with no regard for the Lord when the judgment comes. 

Since the coming judgment is inevitable, we are not to be like the people of this world who are only focused on themselves and not the Lord. With the parable of the judge and the widow, Jesus urges us to be persistent in our prayers, trusting that the Lord hears and that He will act on behalf of those who love Him in His perfect way and in His perfect timing. Jesus says if an unjust judge will answer the request of a persistent widow, how much more do you think a completely just God will do for the ones He loves – “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Will he find that kind of faith in you? Keep reading.

(John 11:38-57, Luke 17:11-18:8)

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From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/19:

Today Jesus tells the multitudes it is going to cost them their lives to follow Him – “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple…So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

Again Jesus reveals His heart for the lost with stories about a lost sheep and a lost coin. Once the sheep and coin are found, the owners rejoice greatly. Jesus says, “likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” To further illustrate the joy that occurs when a lost person is found, Jesus tells another story about a prodigal son who wasted all of his inheritance on harlots. When the son finally hit rock bottom and humbly returned home, the father celebrated with a feast for the son. When his brother heard about the celebration he said to his father, “Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’” 

The father responds, “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.” The father’s response illustrates that it doesn’t matter how far away from God you are in any given moment; the Lord will rejoice over anyone who humbly repents and turns to Him, regardless of past sins.

We end the reading with two different stories about two different men named Lazarus. The first story gives us some insight into heaven and hell while the second story glorifies the Son of God.

First Lazarus – There is a rich man who enjoys all his earthly possessions and ignores the suffering beggar named Lazarus who lies at his gate. When both men die, Lazarus goes to heaven where he is comforted by Abraham and the rich man burns in hell. The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to him for some relief from his torment and Abraham responds, ”Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.” Therefore, now is the time to seek the kingdom of God through a relationship with Jesus Christ because once you die it is too late.

Second Lazarus – Jesus’ friends, Martha and Mary, have a brother named Lazarus who is very sick. Jesus says, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” So two days after Lazarus dies, Jesus goes to his tomb in Bethany. There He is first greeted by Martha, and Jesus assures her that her brother will rise again. Jesus says to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” 

Although we are all guaranteed to die, only those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior will rise again to eternal life in heaven.

Tomorrow Jesus will raise Lazarus from the grave, proving that He has power over death which can only come from the Lord. Keep reading.

(Luke 14:25-17:10, John 11:1-37)

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From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/18:

The only way for salvation is through Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who calls His sheep by name “and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” Jesus says He is the door to life. “If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for His sheep…Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again.” And soon Jesus is going to lay down His life for His flock. 

At the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, the Jews question Jesus about whether or not He is the Christ. So Jesus responds, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

Jesus goes on to say, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”

Jesus grieves over the people in Jerusalem who are rejecting Him and ultimately rejecting the kingdom of God – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” 

Jesus desires for all to repent and turn to Him for salvation before it is too late, before your death or His return. Judgment is inevitable for those who ignore the word of God and reject His Son Jesus. Remember the flood, when Noah, a preacher of righteousness, warned the people for decades of the coming judgment and no one responded except for his seven family members who entered the ark with him. When God finally shut the door of the ark, it was too late for anyone on the outside to be saved. Jesus will soon compare His return to the days of Noah – “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:36-39). 

However, God is patient with us, not wishing that anyone should perish, desiring that we all repent and follow Him (2 Peter 3:9). Tomorrow Jesus explains what it will cost to be one of His followers. Keep reading.

(John 10:1-42, Luke 13:22-14:24)

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From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/17:

Jesus warns us to be alert because one day He will return – “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Jesus instructs us to be doing the will of the Lord while He is gone. He says that punishment will be worse for the ones who knew the will of the Father and chose to ignore it than for those who never knew – “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” The Lord will hold those that He entrusted with much in the way of gifts, knowledge, and responsibilities, to a higher standard.

Judgement is going to come swiftly upon the unbelievers and on those who are falsely professing Jesus’ name with no life of obedience, which is a sign of their false belief. But to the ones whose hearts are surrendered to Him, Jesus says, “stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are awaiting their master to come home.”

Jesus warns that believers and unbelievers will be divided and this division will split even blood-related families. Just like Jesus told the Jews that their salvation is not based on their bloodline to Abraham, our salvation is not based on any relationship other than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus continues to heal on the Sabbath. Today he heals a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years and a man who was blind from birth. But once again the Pharisees are angry that Jesus “worked on the Sabbath”. So when the unbelieving Jews ask the formerly blind man’s parents who healed their son, the parents avoid answering the question “because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.” 

Fear of man is a major stumbling block to professing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As Solomon wrote, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25). However, unlike his parents, the man who was healed by Jesus can not deny Him. So he responds to the religious leaders, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

Jesus comes to open the eyes of the blind to truth and light. Whoever trusts in Jesus and proclaims Him as Lord and Savior will have eternal life. But those, like the Pharisees, who hear the truth and reject Him, will forever remain in darkness.

Keep reading.

(Luke 12:35-13:21, John 9:1-41)

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From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/16:

Today Jesus once again faces accusations of casting “out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons.” Jesus explains that He is stronger than Satan because He casts out demons by the finger of God. However, if that person is delivered from a demon but not filled with Jesus, he can end up in an even worse condition –  “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” So if our hearts aren’t filled with Jesus, they will be filled with corruption and evil. 

Jesus says “blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” And he rebukes those seeking a sign. He reminds them of the people of Nineveh who heard Jonah’s message from the Lord and the Queen of the South who visited Solomon to hear the word of God and to see His works. He says that these Gentiles were more open to receiving the Lord than the religious people who are standing right in front of the Messiah. Jesus declares Himself greater than any of the prophets or kings before Him. However, the people are blindly rejecting Him.

Jesus says just as you wouldn’t hide a lamp, the word and works of the Lord should be on display to benefit others. However, the people are spiritually blinded to what Jesus is saying and offering. He says, “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.” Spurgeon explains this statement by saying, “If you do not see Jesus, it is not because he has hidden himself in darkness, but because your eyes are blinded.” But once the Lord has lifted the veil and you see Jesus, your heart will be transformed and your whole body will shine brightly.

When a Pharisee is appalled that Jesus didn’t wash His hands before eating, Jesus continues to explain that a person’s heart is what matters, not the external  – “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. Foolish one!” Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for being all about the show with the best seats in the synagogues, publicly tithing, and greetings in marketplaces but showing no justice or love of God. Jesus is completely unimpressed with their fake outward performance. They may have everyone else fooled but they can’t fool the One who matters, Jesus. 

Jesus warns His disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known…do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!”

“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” We all have a choice to make; confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior or deny Him. 

We end the reading with Jesus encouraging His disciples to seek the kingdom of God. He comforts them by saying that His Father knows the needs of all and He will lovingly provide for your needs if you seek Him – “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Keep reading and seeking the kingdom of God. 

(Luke 11:14-12:34)

#bibleliteracymovement #chronologicalbibleteaching

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/15:

Jesus says, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The only source of truth that we have is the word of God. And truth is what releases people from the bondage of sin and the enemy.

But the Jews say they have never been in bondage because they are descendants of Abraham. Jesus responds, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you… If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.” 

Jesus goes on to explain to them who their father is – “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

There are only two walks of life: one of faith in Jesus (the righteous) or one of unbelief (the unrighteous). There is no in-between. You either belong to God, the Father of truth, or to Satan, the father of lies.

The unbelieving Jews ask Jesus if He is greater than their father Abraham. “Jesus said to them, ’Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’” Jesus calling Himself “I AM” is Him once again declaring to be the eternal God that existed before the life of Abraham. Remember I AM is the same name that God used to describe Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). So the Jews know that Jesus referring to Himself as I AM is the same as Jesus calling Himself God, which infuriates them. So “they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

Then Jesus sends out seventy disciples two by two and says to them, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” When the disciples return full of joy, they say, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” So Jesus responds, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

We end the reading with Jesus once again teaching the disciples about prayer. “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?…If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” 

The best gift anyone can receive is the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who seals the believers’ salvation, sanctifies us, provides wisdom, convicts us of sins, empowers us to be bold witnesses, and gifts us for the work of the ministry! So if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and received the gift of the Holy Spirit and eternal life, repent of your sins and ask to be saved and salvation will be given to you. Then you too will have your name written in heaven just like the disciples we read about today. 

More teaching from Jesus tomorrow, so keep reading.

(John 8:21-59, Luke 10:1-11:13)

#bibleliteracymovement #chronologicalbibleteaching