Monday, August 14, 2006

“The Last Months of Jesus’ Earthly Ministry”

The miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead in the tomb wrapped in grave cloths is recorded in John 11:1-46. The Jews plotted to kill Jesus from this time on, because many of their followers were being converted to Jesus after hearing of this miracle. They also wanted to kill Lazarus to “dispose of the evidence” of the miracle! Jesus then retired to the city of Ephraim, (John 11:54).

He healed a woman who had been afflicted by a demonic spirit causing her to be bent over. This had gone on for 18 years, and as Jesus laid his hands on her, she was immediately healed! (Luke 13:10-17). He also healed a man with Dropsy, (Luke 14:1-6). Both of these healings, as usual, caused a lot of commotion among the Pharisees. He then rebukes the disciples for trying to pick their place in Heaven. (Luke 14:7-14).

Jesus then preaches on various parables recorded in Luke’s Gospel. The parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:15-24), which Jesus sends workers out in the highways and by-ways to “compel” sinners to come taste of His dinner. The discourse on “Counting the Cost” in Luke 14: 25-33, teaches in order to be a true disciple of Jesus, we must put Him first above everything else and follow HIM. The parable of the “Lost Coin”, (Luke 15:8-10), teaches the joy in Heaven over a single repentant sinner. The parable of the “Prodigal Son” (Luke 15: 11-32), teaches the love the Father has for His children who repent and come home to HIM! The parable of the “Unjust Steward”, (Luke 16: 1-13), teaches us to be good stewards of the blessings and knowledge that God gives us. “The Parable of Dives and Lazarus”, (Luke 16:19-31), teaches that there is a literal Heaven and Hell, separated by an uncross able gulf, which, after arriving at either place, becomes too late to make any further decisions on the outcome of being there. It also teaches that the conditions of the next life may be a complete reversal of the conditions of this life! Jesus then teaches on forbearance, faith, humility, (Luke 17: 20-37), and talks about His second coming, (Luke 17: 20-37).

The parables of the unjust; the Pharisee and the Publican are recorded in Luke 18: 1-14 and teaches that complete humility and dependency on God are required in order to receive forgiveness. Jesus taught on divorce, but He put up with it because of the hardness of their hearts by His mercy. In Matthew 19: 16-30, He taught about the “rich young ruler” who would do anything to go to Heaven, “except” give up the “most” important thing in his life; his riches! The parable of “The laborers in the Vineyard”, (Mat. 20: 1-16), teaches that it does not matter what age in God’s time span true believers have lived, but all receive the same pay: ETERNAL LIFE!!

Jesus foretells of His future sufferings (Luke 18: 31-34). He heals two more blind men , (Mark 10: 46-52), and then calls him down and goes to his house for a meal bringing him salvation. The parable of “The Ten Pounds” (Luke 19: 11-37), teaches that the believers have to make the best use possible for God’s work, or they will loose the authority to work in God’s kingdom. This authenticates the true from the false disciples. The anointing of Jesus by the woman with an alabaster vial of costly perfume while at Simon, the leper’s house (Mark 14: 3-9), brings to a close the last months of Jesus’ evangelizing ministry in His “fleshly tabernacle.”

Marked Elect

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