Devotions October

Mat 19; Mar 10

October 31, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

These two chapters overlap with what we saw yesterday in Luke 18. Matthew 19 differs from Luke 18 by opening with teaching on marriage and divorce (19:3-12 and also Mark 10:2-12). Matthew also gives Jesus’ teaching on children and his encounter with the rich young ruler (19:26) that […]

Luk 18

October 30, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

The two parables that open this chapter appear only in Luke’s gospel and both teach on prayer. The first story is about a widow that demonstrates persistence in the face of difficult odds. The second contrasts prayers of a publican and Pharisee to teach the importance of authenticity […]

Joh 11

October 29, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Calling Lazarus back from death is the seventh sign miracle in John’s gospel (John 11). Lazarus was Jesus’ friend along with his sisters Mary and Martha. These sisters send messengers to inform Jesus that Lazarus is ill. Jesus intentionally waits two days before going to him. By this […]

Luk 16-17

October 28, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Luke 16 is often difficult for Western readers. A servant (steward or manager) is dismissed for improprieties. He quickly calls in the tenant farmers that rent land from his boss and reduces the amount of their harvest they had agreed to pay as rent. He knows that they […]

Luk 14-15

October 27, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Luke 14 give yet another Sabbath healing (14:1-6). Meals are central to life in first century society, and the events of this chapter take place in the context of a meal in the home of a leading Pharisee. Meals are statements of friendship and social ranking. Jesus tells […]

Luk 12-13

October 26, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

This fairly long chapter (Luke 12) is a collection of teaching on a variety of very important life topics, issues that we deal with daily. This focus continues through the first nine verses of chapter 13. Imagine that you are part of this scene. Jesus and his disciples […]

Luk 10

October 25, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Previously (Luke 9:51), Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem. We enter into a section of Luke’s gospel that focuses on Jesus’ ministry as he moves forward toward Jerusalem and the crucifixion that awaits him there. Here in Luke 10 Jesus sends out 70 other apostles and sends them […]

Joh 9-10

October 24, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Here in John 9 Jesus heals the man born blind from birth, the sixth miracle in John’s gospel. This infuriates the Pharisees because Jesus did this healing on the Sabbath. They pressure his parents because they refuse to believe that he had been born blind. Fearful of the […]

Joh 7-8

October 23, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

When Jesus was last in Jerusalem (John 5), his enemies plotted to kill him. The Feast of Tabernacles (harvest festival) is at hand and Jesus wants to go up to Jerusalem. He refuses pressure from his physical half-brothers (7:3-5) with great fanfare. Instead, he delays his travel and […]

Mat 18

October 22, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

This is the fourth teaching portion that Matthew records in his Gospel. This particular teaching concerns relationships. In response to conflict about relative positions of power among his disciples, Jesus speaks to them about the need to be child-like in the innocence of their attitudes (18:1-14). Luke records […]

Mat 17; Mar 9

October 21, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

In Matthew 17 Jesus takes his inner circle of disciples, Peter, James and John, up a high mountain where he is transfigured before their eyes and they see him in all his glory. Moses and Elijah appear speaking with him and the voice of God bears witness from […]

Mat 16; Mar 8

October 20, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Pharisees are orthodox lay leaders while the Sadducees are trained theologians, more liberal and rational in their views. Both groups approach Jesus and demand from him a sign that he is the Messiah (Mat 16). Jesus warns his disciples against what he calls the leaven (yeast) of the […]

Mat 15; Mar 7

October 19, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

The conflict between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees continues as they confront Jesus about his disciples violating their tradition in the matter of ceremonial hand washing. Later, as Jesus is along the border with Tyre and Sidon, a Gentile woman with audacious faith approaches him to heal […]

Joh 6

October 18, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

John 6 is added to our chronological reading at this point because it is the only portion of John’s gospel that focuses on the later part of Jesus’ Galilean ministry, the peak of his popularity. Jesus’ Galilean ministry occupies the bulk of the synoptic (similar) gospels, Matthew, Mark […]

Mat 14; Mark 6; Luke 9

October 17, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

In Matthew 14 John the Baptist dies at the command of Herod. We also see the feeding of the 5,000, an event recorded in all four gospels. Immediately following, Jesus sends his disciples off by boat on Lake Galilee toward Gennesaret on the NW shore. In a windstorm, […]

Mat 10

October 16, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Varying numbers of people followed Jesus as his disciples (learners). After a good period of time being with Jesus and learning from him, and following a night of prayer, Jesus formally commissions 12 of them to be his apostles (sent ones). Though still called disciples at times, these […]

Mar 4-5

October 15, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Mark 4 is one of three teaching-intensive sessions in this gospel. Three parables form the heart of this chapter: the sower (4:1-9), the seed that grows by itself (4:26-29) and the mustard seed (4:30-34). All three give some aspect of the nature of the kingdom of God. Jesus […]

Mat 13; Luk 8

October 14, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Matthew 13 is a series of seven parables Jesus tells by the Sea of Galilee immediately following his rejection by the Pharisees in chapter 12. All have to do with the nature of the kingdom. The parable of the sower (or soils) speaks of the varied responses people […]

Luk 11

October 13, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Luke 11 begins with the prayer that we often call The Lord’s Prayer. This is very similar to the prayer that we saw in Matthew’s The Sermon on the Mount. Here, Jesus gives this prayer in response to the disciples […]

Mat 11

October 12, 2015

Devotions October|

What does it say?

Matthew 11 finds Jesus once again on a preaching tour of Galilee. As opposition to Jesus’ ministry grows, even John the Baptist wrestles with doubt and sends messengers to Jesus to ask if he is really the Messiah. Jesus responds by pointing to the works that he is […]