Jesus teaches about prayer, hypocrisy, covetousness, world anxieties, & watchfulness (Journey 40)

We have reached our 40 on this blog for this Journey of Christ, which is quite exciting. For those actually following along with the Journey, there is likely about 20-25 more journeys to go on this entire Journey with Christ. Therefore, please continue to learn about Jesus Christ.

SCRIPTURES: Today’s readings are culminated within Luke 11:1-13:21. Please read them thoroughly to have the best benefit from our material below.

The Model Prayer

Jesus begins with the Model Prayer as He is journeying from Bethany to somewhere in Judea. Jesus was praying in a certain place, and His Disciples asked Him how to pray. The Lord teaches them that when they pray, they should begin with addressing Our Father in Heaven, giving glory to Him, requesting His Kingdom come and Will to be done as in Earth just as Heaven, give us our daily bread, forgive us as we forgive those who have done evil to us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Jesus gave two pictures (The Parable of the Importunate Friend) to show His followers that they can put their requests to God confidently, for even a weary and stubborn neighbor can be persuaded into giving him what he needs. How much more then will God, who is a loving Father, supply all the needs of His Children. Now, His Children do not have to beg from a god who is unwilling to give, but rather, they go to God as children go to their father, knowing that he would not disappoint them or give them less than asked.

What else can we learn here: We can learn from His Model Prayer by adapting our prayers after it so that we can be confident we are praying according to His Will. We need not to beg Him, but rather request as a child would request from his father.

Is Jesus in league with Beelzebub?

On one occasion of casting out demons, the Pharisees blamed Jesus of doing it to the power of satan. Jesus replied that if the devil was being used to cast out demons, the devil would only create war in his kingdom, because he would be destroying himself. The only way a strong man can be defeated is if a stronger one overpowers him. In casting out demons, Jesus showed He was stronger than satan and his demons. His Reign, which would result in destroying the devil has begun.

When a stronger one should come and overcome him, He takes all the armor and divides the spoils. Those not with the Son are against Him, and those with Him can share in the spoils. For example, when an unclean spirit goes from a man, he tries to find rest but cannot find any, so he goes back to the “house” and finds it swept and garnished.

Therefore, he goes and takes other spirits more wicked than himself and enter therein into the one where he was originally cast out making the man worse than he originally was. Therefore, it is vital to accept the Lord Jesus when an unclean spirit is cast out, so that the man does not become possessed again.

A woman then speaks out that blessed is the womb that bares thee and the paps that thou hast sucked. He says to her that the ones that are actually blessed are the ones that hear the Word of God and keep it. Therefore, He is saying that if you give yourself to obeying the Law, you better keep doing so. If we hear the Word of God and keep it, you are blessed!

Therefore, again, the Pharisees asked for a miracle for Jesus to perform proving He was Messiah. The only sign He would agree to would be His death and Resurrection, to which they should look for the sign of the Prophet Jonas (Jonah).

How can we learn from this: If we go to help people become delivered of their evil, we must make sure that they are Saved by Christ, otherwise, they could easily be given over to the hand of the enemy again. We must hear the Word of God and keep it in our hearts, so that we may tell of all that Christ has done for us and for people in the Work of Redemption.

Then Jesus talks with a Pharisee over breakfast

The Pharisees thought that religion was about keeping ceremonial laws; however, their hearts were full of wicked plans to advance themselves while they were oppressing others. They took great advances in washing their hands, cleaning things, and doing the ceremonial laws well; however, they failed to clean the evil from their hearts.

In addition, the Pharisees were quite strict in their calculation of offerings to God, to which, they did exactly a tenth of their produce even counting seeds and stalks. However, this did not prove valuable if they did not practice love, mercy, justice, etc. toward their fellow people. They were a proud and vain people who were always looking for praise; however, in God’s Sight, they were just as unclean as graves full of decaying bodies, to which, they just spread the uncleanness to people who touched them. The Pharisees made others unclean with their evils. The Pharisees and Scribes were quite offended at Jesus’ remarks, and decided they would start using things to trap Jesus into saying something bad.

What is the overarching message Jesus is conveying: We should look to our own hearts and be sure they are cleansed and purified, to which we can attend to the great things of the Law and Gospel so that we do not neglect what God wants for us in rewards and blessings. We need to pray that we obtain such meekness and patience to Glorify the Lord in all things so that He can work in and through us.

Jesus’ Parables to the Disciples and other “students”

First the facts surrounding this: Jesus speaks to His Disciples and a vast throng about hypocrisy, covetousness (Parable of the Rich Fool), world anxieties, watchfulness (Parable of the Waiting Servants and of the Wise Steward), and His own approaching passion. Here we have a series of discourses to the Disciples, 1-12; to one of the crowd, 13-21; to the Disciples, 22-40; to Peter, 41-53; to the multitude, 54-59. The constant interruption is typical of the teaching of Jesus. This address as often, repeats some of Christ’s favorites sayings. Besides the Parable of the Rich Fool, 12:16-21; NOTE: those of the waiting servants, 37-40; and of the Wise Steward, 42-48.

Now the story: Jesus first warns to beware of the Pharisees and Sadducees, because they were still going around speaking in darkness about several things, and asking Jesus to show a sign. He then speaks about the people maintaining a reverence in obedience to God, knowing that as their Heavenly Father watches over them that He never forgets about them, especially those that are faithful. They must confess about Him before men, for He will confess about us before God. Speaking against the Lord will cause blasphemy that will be unforgiven. However, when we behold the Holy Ghost’s Power, He will help us say what needs to be said when speaking about the Lord!

One person spoke up and said he was more concerned on personal safety or security, and that he wanted Jesus to force his brother to give him a bigger share of inheritance received. However, Jesus was not a rabbi who settled disputes of the Law; rather, He was a teacher from God unconcerned with people’s greed. He then tells the man a story of a rich but foolish farmer who was only concerned with wealth. Suddenly, the farmer died, and therefore, his wealth was of no use any further, which also prevented him from obtaining Heavenly riches.

People who come into the Kingdom of God should not view the material things of the earth as others may view them; rather they should put God’s interests first and be generous to others. Ones who just focus on wealth are disloyal to God, and therefore guarantee disappointment for them. Jesus referred to their local belief about the results of good and bad eyesight, to which, people believed the eyes were like windows that allowed light to enter the body and keep it in good health.

Their belief was furthered that healthy eyes meant a healthy body (light) and diseased eyes meant a diseased body (darkness). A healthy view of material things resulted in healthy spirituality; however, an unhealthy view resulted in spiritual darkness that would only become darker. A person can be the slave of one master at a time; therefore, if people devote their attention to increasing their wealth and comfort, they are no longer loyal to God.

Many people become in bondage of material things, not necessarily due to greed, but because they worry too much about having enough money for themselves. They should realize that God is the life-giver, and that He can give what is necessary to maintain life. If He cares for the grass, birds, and flowers, then He would certainly care about people. Believers should not be so anxious over material things, because believers should be trusting in God by putting His Kingdom first. People are under His Rule and should trust that He will provide!

The followers of Jesus must continually be ready for any circumstances, to which, they are like household servants waiting for their master to return home after a feast. The servants must be ready and waiting on him when he returns whether it is sooner or later than expected. They may receive an unexpected reward due to their diligence. Another illustration of readiness is about a householder who secures his house against burglary, and since he does not know when the burglar will prowl, he keeps the house always secure. Jesus used both of these stories to remind His followers to always be ready for the Coming of Christ, whether in the coming crises or the final crises at the end times.

When Peter asked if the Parable was to the Disciples only or to all people. However, Jesus gave no direct answer, but did describe another Parable. The master of a household appointed a servant to the position of manager over all other servants while he went on a trip. He gave the managing servant the instructions for running the household, so that while the master was away any longer than expected, the man thought he could just do as he liked. Suddenly the master returned, and on discovering that the manager just did as he liked, the master dealt severely with him. Other servants that did wrong were punished, but the manager punished the worst. Everyone is therefore accountable to God; however, God expects more of those who know more.

Jesus gave another warning about the need to be prepared for the Coming of Christ, to which, He felt the tension rising as He saw the cross would mean fiery judgment for some people, a baptism of suffering for Himself, and conflict for those opposed by troubled relatives because they were loyal to Him. In addition, people should make peace with those that are troubling them, because an offender would be wise to reach agreement with the opponent quickly, otherwise, worse circumstances would come by unfavorable judgment in court.

Jesus intends: Depend not on the knowledge and wisdom of the world, but continue to focus on Kingdom things, make peace with your brethren, and allow the Lord to provide for you so you do not have to strive so hard for wealth.

Jesus cites eschatology in Repent or Perish admonition to the Jews

Two tragedies were in the minds of the Jewish people, to which, one was caused by Pilate, to which, he killed a number of Galilean Jews while they offered sacrifices at the Temple, and the other caused by the collapse of a tower that killed many Jerusalem citizens. Some Jews had thought that because such victims met terrible deaths, they must have been worse sinners than others. Jesus noted that this was not the case, because the rest of the Jews would then suffer a far worse fate if they didn’t repent and accept the Messiah.

Israel has been unfaithful, and of no use to God just as a fig tree that never produces fruit. God had been patient enough, but now he was giving them one last chance to repent and accept the Messiah, otherwise, they would have judgment upon them.

What does He teach here: The Lord expects that we repent and turn from ways that do not bring Him Glory, because He wants us to line up with His Will. If we prove to persist in our sin and stray away from the call to righteousness, we only hurt ourselves, because we are not doing God’s Will.

Then a crippled woman is healed on the Sabbath

While Jesus was preaching on the Sabbath in a Synagogue, He saw a woman who was crippled that needed serious help. Jesus went and healed her, which made the ruler of the Synagogue angry, because the people were not to be there for healing on the Sabbath. Jesus showed the man to be hypocritical, along with those who support him, by reminding them that they feed their own cattle on the Sabbath, so surely they could help a crippled woman.

Parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven: Jesus then tells a Parable, to which, the mustard seed foretells the expansion of the Kingdom, to which from small beginnings it grows to a vast community all over the earth. Similarly, in the Parable of the Leaven, as a small amount of leaven spread through a lump of dough, so will the Kingdom spread through the world.

We should not allow things to get in our way of receiving God’s Blessing!