Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

119. The unjust judge- Luke 18:1-8


-Jesus relates the parable of the persistent widow so that He could show us that at all times we ought to pray and not lose heart. Relentless crying out to God is welcome we see here in this passage. Even an unrighteous judge will carry out justice when bothered to a breaking point, so how much more will God provide for His elect when we cry out to Him day and night. He will not delay over us long at all (Luke 18:7). This is a promise of the LORD. Justice will come quickly when we groan under duress for His grace, mercy, and compassion. However, there is a warning here as He looks forward to His second coming. The question is, will Jesus find faith on the earth (Luke 18:8)? This seems to be an open ended question that will be decided by humanity. We know from the Scriptures that there will be a great turning away from the truth of Christ’s message and love before His return, but there will also be that small remnant of believers who are faithful to the end. *Application* Which group are you in today? Have you given up hope in the Lord and His promises? Have you lost heart and neglected prayer to Him in all of the trauma, drama, and busyness of life? Have you lost faith (pistis in the Greek= belief, trust) in your Helper? Or have you remained faithful, persistent, abiding, and unrelenting in your seeking, asking, and knocking? This is what the LORD desires from you O person of God. His deliverance will be swift, so cry out to Him day and night without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).


Verses to Memorize- Luke 18:1, 8


120. Pharisee and the Publican- Luke 18:9-14


-Jesus told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and their self-righteousness viewing others with contempt (Luke 18:9). He tells the story of two men that went to the Temple to pray, one a self-righteous Pharisee and the other a humble-repentant tax collector. The Pharisee thanked God he wasn’t like other people who were sinners because of his good works and piety. The tax collector was unwilling to even raise his head to Heaven in his humble prayer as he beat his chest asking for mercy and grace because of his sin. Jesus tells us that the repentant is the one who went home justified instead of the proud. Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted by God (Luke 18:14). *Application* It is easy to get self-righteous especially when you have been a believer for a long period of time. Don’t ever let yourself become Pharisaical in your heart attitudes and physical demeanor. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). God only justifies the one who comes to Him in humble-repentant faith seeking His righteousness.


Verse to Memorize- Luke 18:14


121. Divorce- Matt. 19:3-12, Mark 10:2-12


-The Pharisees tested Jesus in this account on the issue of divorce. Jesus wisely taught them, and all of us by the written Word, what this man/woman relationship was all about in the eyes of the LORD. In God’s eyes marriage is sanctified and holy. The two come together in what is designed to be an unbroken union to last until death on this earth (There is no marriage between man and woman in Heaven, Mark 12:25). This is a picture of our eternal union with the LORD. He is the groom and we as believers are His bride (Revelation 19:7-9). Hardness of heart is what breaks up the marriage out of an adulterous attitude. Divorce is division and factions that spring up from insincerity and a lack of faithfulness and unity. It is tantamount to idolatry in the spiritual realm, which is the thing marriage should teach us in the first place if we dare to consider it. So Jesus refutes their tricks and tests wonderfully as He quickly discerned their intentions and skillfully answered with precision and accuracy according to the Spirit of the LORD. *Application* Just as marriage is designed to an unbreakable union, so too our relationship should be with God. God is faithful and consummates our relationship through His Spirit by sealing us (Ephesians 4:30). We can grieve Him when we act unfaithfully towards Him, but it is His covenant to us that is bidding and He will never let us go (John 10:27-30). Isn’t it great to think that God will never divorce us as His children? He is faithful!  


Verse to Memorize- Matthew 19:6

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