Today we conclude the book of Luke, but we are not concluding the writings of Luke. He is also the author of the book of Acts. The two work together to display the work of Christ in seeking and saving the lost....Keep Reading
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Today we see Paul’s missionary trip to Corinth. It is here where Paul meets the famous Priscilla and Aquila people mentioned a few times in the New Testament. They had come from Italy (shout out to the Loverde’s). What we have in this passage are normal things that we have seen in other passages. We see Paul pleading with the Jewish community, making his case from the scripture that Jesus is the Christ and that he came, died, and rose again and all those who repent and believe in Him will be saved. Paul was faithful in going to each synagogue from each city that he visited to plead with the Jews to believe in the gospel. There is one distinction that we have here that we do not see in other prior chapters of Acts. Verse 6 “And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, ‘Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.’” The distinction is that we see Paul become discouraged with trying to reason with the Jewish people that he says, “From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” It was just in chapter 16 that Paul and Silas were singing hymns to the Lord in prison....
Growing up in a Pentecostal church, many times people would refer to the miracles of Paul where they would take his handkerchiefs or aprons and touch other people with it to be healed. Which is what we see in this chapter. They would try to reenact those very things. There are two issues with that; Firstly, Paul and the twelve disciples had apostolic authority that was given to them for their time to promote the preaching of the gospel. We no longer have apostles or people who can do those types of things (perform miracles). Secondly, the miracles that we see through the book of Acts are not the main point of the chapters, but they are a means to an end. The point of the miracles is to providentially make a way for the proclamation of the gospel. This is what we see from verses 11-41. In this scene what we have is God using the apostle Paul powerfully. Demons are being cast out, people were being healed, people were being made well. As stated previously, the miracles that were happening were making a way for Paul to be able to powerfully proclaim the gospel. ...
Has there ever been a time where you had to say goodbye to a person you would never see again? The emotions that come with that are overwhelming, and that is what we find in verses 17-36. Paul is being led by the Holy Spirit to return to Jerusalem and he calls the Ephesian elders to come meet him at Miletus. Keep in mind that from the time that Jesus departed from the disciples in Acts 1 till now has been about 20 years. So, Paul has been laboring for a long time already, and it is here that Paul feels that life is about to change for him. Verse 22-23 “And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.” Just from this alone you can see how little Paul regarded his own life. Someone could easily say, if the Holy Spirit is telling me that I will go through trials there I am going to go somewhere else. Paul takes the opposite approach, even though there is knowledge that he will go through trials and tribulations he puts himself in the hands of God and follows the instruction of the Spirit. So instead of taking the path of least resistance, he continues on the rugged path knowing that if God is with him, he is safe. Paul rightfully prepares the people he is leaving to be well aware of the dangers that will come. He instructs the elders to always be watchful, to care for the flock, to guard those disciples to not be led astray. ...
In a chapter like this, it becomes quite difficult to determine exactly where to turn our focus. But, for today I have selected the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane....Keep Reading
There are seven times that Jesus spoke from the cross. They are spread across the four gospels as each author takes a slightly different focus of the final hours....Keep Reading
Today we are reading the sermon that Jesus preached that is commonly known as “the Olivet Discourse.” We also find this sermon in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. It is an extended passage about the coming judgment of the Jewish nation as well as the return of Christ. There are only three verses in this discourse that are unique to Luke’s gospel; namely verses 34-36....Keep Reading
In recent days my notes have been a bit long. I will be attempting to be deliberately more brief moving forward. Today our focus is going to be on one story tucked in the center of this chapter – verses 11-19. ...Keep Reading
There are many occasions in the gospels when people ask Jesus a question. He usually responds with a very rich answer. However, there are occasions when Jesus answers a question with a question. Why does He do that?...Keep Reading
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ...Keep Reading
The Prodigal Father - I want us to recognize the unchanging, unlimited, unfading, love of God that we see in this parable. But in doing so, I want us to be careful not to project ourselves onto the father character in the story. The point of the story is that He is NOT like us. ...Keep Reading
Many of the parables are presentations of contrasts. Usually, the contrast is based around the actions of one person versus the actions of another. But the point that Jesus makes is never simply about the outward actions. He uses these contrasts to unveil people’s hearts. In Luke 18:9-14 we find a parable about two men who went up to pray. These two men were very differe...Keep Reading
There are multiple parables in Luke 16 that are exclusive to this gospel account. Today we are going to set our attention on the parable of ‘The Rich Man and Lazarus’ found in verses 19-31. For our purposes today, I want us to consider five main aspects of this story so that we might apply what Jesus is teaching us. ...Keep Reading