From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/28:

Only God the Father knows when Jesus will return. Therefore Jesus tells us to be alert because it is going to come unexpectedly as in the days of Noah — “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.”

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 

To be counted worthy you have to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Because on the day that God pours out His wrath on the whole earth, only those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ will have the ability to stand.

Jesus gives two parables, the ten virgins and the three servants, to describe the kingdom of heaven. Both illustrate that we need to be watchful and prepared for Jesus’ return. In the three servants parable, Jesus makes the point that He wants us to be good stewards of what He has given us. The Lord expects us to use our given time, gifts, and talents to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others. God could have chosen any way to advance the gospel, but He chose to use us, His disciples. Therefore, do the work of the Lord, then He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”

Jesus explains the final judgment – ”When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’” The righteous will ask when did we do all these things? And Jesus will respond, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

However, for those on the left hand who do not belong to Jesus, He will say, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels… And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” 

Tomorrow Jesus is betrayed by Judas. Keep reading. (Mark 13:32-37, Matthew 24:36-51, Luke 21:34-38, Matthew 25:1-46)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/27:

Today as Jesus sits on the Mount of Olives with His disciples, He foretells of three future events.

  1. Jesus speaks about the temple that will be destroyed in 70 AD when the Roman army will invade and destroy Jerusalem – “Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” David Guzik writes, “Many Jews expected the Messiah to return in glory when hostile Gentile armies surrounded Jerusalem. However, Christians in Jerusalem knew what Jesus had said and they obeyed Him, fleeing across the Jordan River mostly to Pella. Few, if any, Christians perished in the fall of Jerusalem. The ancient Christian historian Eusebius wrote that Christians fled to Pella in response to ‘an oracle given by revelation’ (History of the Church, 3.5.3, cited in Morris)… History records that 1.1 million Jews were killed and another 97,000 were taken captive in one of the worst calamities ever to strike the Jewish people. Jesus warned them to avoid it. When the Romans were done with Jerusalem in A.D. 70 not a single Jew was left alive in the city.”
  1. Jesus says an even more difficult time will occur at His second coming, which is described in detail in the Book of Revelation. He warns His disciples not to believe the false christs and false prophets who will rise up to deceive people before His return. Jesus foretells of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes which will occur. He says, “But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”
  1. Jesus tells His disciples that following Him is going to cost them their lives here on earth. However, they will be gathered to Him in heaven for eternity – “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.”

Our salvation comes at a high cost, the life of God’s Son. So following the Son will come at a cost to us, our earthly lives – “But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

“Immediately after the tribulation… the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Therefore, eternally speaking, not a hair on our heads will be lost because no one can destroy those in Christ. We will spend eternity with Jesus. Tomorrow Jesus speaks more about His return, so keep reading. (Mark 13:1-23, Matthew 24:1-25, Luke 21:5-24, Mark 13:24-31, Matthew 24:26-35, Luke 21:25-33)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/26:

Yesterday the Lord silenced the Sadducees, and today the Lord silences the Pharisees – “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” 

The first command to love the Lord covers the first four of the Ten Commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before Me. 2) You shall not make idols. 3) You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. 4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. And the second command to love your neighbor covers the next six of the Ten Commandments, making the law applicable to us today: 5) Honor your father and your mother. 6) You shall not murder. 7) You shall not commit adultery. 8) You shall not steal. 9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 10) You shall not covet.

Jesus asks the Pharisees whose Son Christ is. The Pharisees respond that He is the Son of David. So Jesus responds saying “how can the Son be from David if David even calls Him Lord” (Psalm 110:1). “And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.”

Jesus warns the multitude and His disciples of the hypocritical religious leaders – “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation… Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Just because someone has a leadership position in the church does not mean that they are pleasing to the Lord. Actually, Jesus is repulsed by these rich, fake, and showy religious leaders. However, there is one in the temple that Jesus sees who catches His heart. Jesus pulls His disciples in to show them a person the world neglects. But not Jesus. It takes spiritual illumination to see as the Lord sees – “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.’” 

Jesus never publicly addresses the faithful widow. However, He saw her and He was pleased, and that is all that matters! 

Tomorrow Jesus tells His disciples what awaits them in the future. Keep reading. (Mark 12:28-34, Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:35-37, Matthew 22:41-46, Luke 20:41-44, Mark 12:38-40, Matthew 23:1-12, Luke 20:45-47, Matthew 23:13-39, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/25:

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/25:

Today Jesus gives three parables against the hypocritical religious leaders:

  1. The two sons: A man with two sons tells the older son to work in the vineyard. The son says no but later changes his mind and goes. This son represents the tax collectors and harlots. The other son says he will work the vineyard but doesn’t. This son represents religious leaders. Jesus uses this parable to rebuke the religious leaders for failing to respond to John the Baptist’s ministry — “Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.’”
  2. The evil farmers: A vineyard owner sends his servants to check on his vineyard that was leased to evil vinedressers. The evil vinedressers beat, stone, and even kill some of the servants. The owner eventually sends his only beloved son, assuming that they wouldn’t kill his son. But they kill his son as well. Just as the people of Israel have beaten, stoned, and killed the Lord’s prophets throughout this story, they are about to kill God’s only beloved Son, Jesus. Therefore, the Lord will take the kingdom of God from them because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior— “Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?’ Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” The church will be the new recipient of God’s kingdom made up of Gentiles and Jews across many nations.
  3. The wedding feast: Jesus illustrates the consequences of ignoring the invitation to the kingdom of God. When the guests invited to the wedding feast ignore the invitation and go about their own business instead of coming when called by the king, the king sends his servants out to the highways to invite as many people as they can. “And the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

We are only saved by true faith in Jesus Christ. The Lord knows the hearts of all and He knows who truly belongs to Him. “In short, many hear, few believe: many are members of the visible, but few of the invisible church” (Benson commentary).

The religious leaders are offended by Jesus’ stories so they continue to try “to catch Him in His words.” They ask Him if it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. “But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, ‘Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?’ And He said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.”

Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, ask Jesus about marriage in heaven. Jesus explains there is no marriage in heaven for in this respect we will be like angels. “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’ … Then some of the scribes answered and said, ‘Teacher, You have spoken well.’ But after that they dared not question Him anymore.”

Jesus is saying that the Sadducees are wrong in their belief that there is no resurrection of the dead, as Jesus will soon prove. So keep reading. (Matthew 21:28-32, Mark 12:1-12, Matthew 21:33-46, Luke 20:9-19, Matthew 22:1-14, Mark 12:13-17, Matthew 22:15-22, Luke 20:20-26, Mark 12:18-27, Matthew 22:23-33, Luke 20:27-40)

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 prophecy— “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 which 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 of 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 the people out of the temple 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 by 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 leaders’ 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)

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 Mary 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)

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

Again Jesus says, “So the last will be first, and the first last.” He illustrates this with a story about laborers. They each worked different amounts of hours, but all were paid the same regardless of how long they worked. The ones who worked the least amount of hours were paid first. The ones who worked longer hours believed that this payment system was unfair, assuming that they were entitled to more compensation. 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 flourishing and for His glory. Anything that we receive from the Lord is a gift by His grace and mercy.

Therefore, when Zacchaeus, a rich chief tax collector who is short in stature, climbs a sycamore tree to see Jesus in the crowd, Jesus tells him to come down for He is going to eat dinner at his house. However, 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. But 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’ 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 explains that being part of His Kingdom isn’t about your own personal power or position. His Kingdom is quite the opposite of the way 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. However, both will suffer as greatly 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 says to the servants, “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 rather than playing it safe by doing nothing with what they have received.

Jesus calls His followers to step outside 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)

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)

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 comes 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 to go 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 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 did. 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)

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 responded, “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; 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)