Monday, October 8, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

113. The lost coin- Luke 15:8-10


-In this parable Jesus speaks of the woman who has lost a coin and lights her lamp (illumination) and sweeps her house searching carefully until she finds it (diligent investigation). Upon finding the coin, she calls her friends and neighbors together for a time of celebration and rejoicing because the lost has been found. This is like the scene in Heaven in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10). *Application* True joy comes in finding something considered ultimately precious. The Father is concerned for every soul that is lost and separated from His loving care and mercy. When the lost is found there is great celebration in God’s presence because of His love and grace. Our churches and us individually need to burn with this same passion for those outside the Kingdom of God. We need to light our lamp and sweep diligently in every place to compel them to come to Christ (Luke 14:23) and contend for the faith (Jude 1:3).


Verse to Memorize- Luke 15:10


114. The prodigal son- Luke 15:11-32


-The final parable given, as the Lord shares in the context of grumbling Pharisees and scribes who could not understand why the Savior would receive sinners and tax collectors, is the renowned story of the prodigal son. This young man squanders his father’s inheritance, which he demanded in the most disrespectful manner, on loose living in a distant country and returns, upon becoming totally impoverished and coming to his senses, to his compassionate father who is looking for him (probably every day) to return home. The grace of the father (who represents our Heaven Father) is demonstrated by his receiving his son back with open arms, extravagant gifts, and a celebration party with all the best. For an excellent exposition on this parable see Captured By Grace: No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God by David Jeremiah. The prodigal son receives much more than he expected by the father’s grace and gifts as he humbled himself considering himself unworthy of sonship and confessed his sin with a repentant heart (Luke 15:21). The older son returned from the field indignant that so much love was being poured out on this rebellious brother. He never got the point that God’s love and mercy wins the day. This older son never gets the point that repentance is paramount even though the father pleaded with him over the matter for acceptance. He had a “better than thou” attitude. *Application* The Father in heaven rejoices along with His heavenly hosts when even one sinner, who is dead, begins to live with a spiritual life found in the loving, gracious, and merciful God. For this to happen, repentance is required on our part as the Good Shepherd diligently seeks us out or patiently waits for us to come to our senses and return to Him. Of course faith is also a requirement as we see in other places in Scripture (Ephesians 2:8-9).



Verse to Memorize- Luke 15:32


115. The unjust steward- Luke 16:1-15


- Luke stresses the issue of wealth and riches as this chapter begins with Jesus continuing to teach, this time to His disciples, but there were Pharisees present who loved money greatly.

-The stewardship of money is established first. Jesus stresses wise use of it under the Master’s authority and Kingdom building. The key statement here is “He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much (Luke 16:10).” *Application* The true riches of the Kingdom of God are given to those who can use wealth to the glory of the Lord. No one can serve two masters; they will love one and hate the other being devoted to one and despising the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

-Jesus accused the Pharisees of justifying themselves in the sight of men, and He related the Old Testament in stating that the Lord knows the heart of a person (1 Samuel 13:14; 16:7). Jesus maintains the Law and the Prophets by his statements here, but He teaches that those seeking to do things their own way are trying to force their way into the Kingdom of God (Luke 16:16). *Application* We cannot fool God. He is omniscient and sees all of our heart’s motivations and agendas. Use His provided resources humbly for His Kingdom’s growth and quit forcing your way into His grace with unrighteous acts of self work and abasement.



Verse to Memorize- Luke 16:10

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