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Jesus Christ

In Judea

[Matt 19:1-12; Lk 10:1-13:21]

Teaching concerning divorce

[Matt 19:1-12] Jesus and his followers travel to the area of Judea where many more people follow Jesus and are healed. The Pharisees come intending to entrap Jesus with a question concerning divorce and the law as given by Moses. Jesus responds by referring to Genesis and confirming God’s true intent for marriage, one man and one woman, which should be for life. Should a person then divorce, marriage to another is not permitted all the time the spouse is still living, the exception given relating only to the Jewish period of betrothal.

The mission of the seventy

[Lk 10:1-24] Jesus sends seventy of his disciples out to preach the gospel with the ability to support their preaching with miracles, and with full instructions on how to practise their mission. They are to go without any physical means of support, relying on the hospitality of those cities that accept them, but not lingering in those that don’t. They later return with joy reporting the success they had experienced, including being able to exorcise spirits. Jesus tells them they are blessed, as many prophets and kings had desired to have seen and heard the things they have seen and heard.

The parable of The Good Samaritan

[Lk 10:25-37] A lawyer asks Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus draws from him the need to love God and your neighbour, then relates the parable of The Good Samaritan as an example of what is meant by loving your neighbour.

At Bethany with Mary and Martha

[Lk 10:38-42] On an occasion when Jesus is at Martha’s house, Martha complains that her sister is spending time sitting at his feet leaving her to do the work. He tells Martha that Mary is right to take the opportunity to care for her soul rather than the things of this world.

Teachings in Judea

[Lk 11:11-13:21] Later, when Jesus has finished praying, he is asked by one of his disciples to teach them to pray. He teaches them what we refer to as the Lord’s Prayer, encouraging them to always ‘ask, seek and knock’ through prayer, to which God will respond. When Jesus later casts out a demon, some people say that it is done in the name of Satan (perhaps having heard of the Pharisees’ accusation some time before) to which Jesus explains the absurdity of that idea, and then warns it is possible for a person to be repossessed to a greater degree if precautions are not taken once cleansed. A woman speaks up and says how blessed Jesus’ mother is to have borne him, to which Jesus replies that it is more blessed to hear the word of God and keep it. Then, when many people are gathered around him, Jesus refutes those looking for a sign, citing Jonas (Jonah) and Solomon as being signs of their times, saying that one who is greater than Jonas and Solomon is before them, and their eyes should be able to perceive this. Jesus is then invited to dine with a Pharisee, but when he sits to eat the Pharisee expresses surprise that Jesus did not wash his hands first. As before, Jesus condemns the Pharisees for their hypocrisy in appearing to be righteous by their ceremonies and behaviour, but not following the spirit of the law in many things they do, pronouncing woes against the Pharisees and the lawyers in his condemnation. Meantime, a very large crowd has been gathering along with Jesus’ disciples who are waiting on him. When Jesus joins the crowd, he first turns to his disciples and again warns them against ‘the leaven of the Pharisees’, which is hypocrisy, against reticence in professing the gospel and in blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, the latter of which is an unforgivable sin. In response to a request by a man concerning inheritance due him, Jesus tells a parable about covetousness, teaching his disciples to first seek the kingdom of God, encouraging them to focus their lives on God and live in dependence on Him. He then tells another parable to warn them they will not know the hour when he will return, but they are to remain faithful to his teaching, for the faithful will be rewarded, but the unfaithful will be punished. However, they are to expect trouble and persecution because of their faith. Jesus then speaks to all the people, warning them to discern what is right, so they too might be prepared in time for the judgement to come. On being told of Galileans who were slaughtered by Pilate when making sacrifices, Jesus teaches that fate is not caused by sin, and emphasises the necessity of repentance. Then, using the parable of the fig tree, teaches the importance of bearing fruit in one’s life. Later, when Jesus is teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath, he heals a woman who has been afflicted for eighteen years, and puts to shame the ruler of the synagogue for his indignation that this healing work was done on the Sabbath. Jesus then repeats the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast, first told when he was ministering in Galilee, as these parables warn against false teaching in the church.

In and around Perea

Luke’s account

[Lk 13:22-18:14] Jesus continues his journey towards Jerusalem, now passing through the cities and villages of Perea, east of the Jordan. On the way, Jesus is asked if there will just be a few who will be saved, to which he replies in the same way he did at the end of the Sermon on the Mount [Matt 7:21–23], emphasising the importance of knowing him. That same day, certain Pharisees warn Jesus that Herod seeks to kill him, but Jesus is defiant, and in his response foretells his death at Jerusalem and denounces judgements on that city. On a Sabbath, Jesus is in one of the chief Pharisees’ house, but the Pharisees continue to try to find fault with him. When Jesus then heals a man there with dropsy, he is again challenged concerning ‘working’ on the Sabbath, but rebukes his challengers. A parable is then told by Jesus to certain of the guests, giving a lesson on humility, then to the same people he speaks of the need for charity. One of those present, inspired by Jesus’ words, says to him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. To this Jesus responds with a parable telling of the rejection of the Jews, and others, who are concerned more for the things of the world, and of the acceptance of those who might be considered less worthy. Later, when a great number of people are with him, Jesus tells them that discipleship cannot be undertaken without serious consideration of the personal consequences, otherwise it is likely to wane. When publicans and sinners are drawn to Jesus to hear his words, the Pharisees and scribes murmur against his keeping company with such people. Jesus responds to their attitude with four parables: the lost sheep, the lost silver, the prodigal son and the shrewd manager. The Pharisees are offended by Jesus’ words and show contempt for them. Jesus rebukes them and relates a parable about the fate of the rich man and Lazarus, warning against covetousness and lack of compassion for the needy, and its consequences. Jesus turns to his disciples and teaches them the need to take care not to give offence and to readily forgive offences against them. He also encourages them to keep increasing their faith, and teaches them humility in their service to God. As Jesus travels on towards Jerusalem, passing through Samaria and Galilee, he cleanses ten lepers, but only one gives thanks and glorifies God, and he is notably a Samaritan. Later, following an enquiry from the Pharisees, Jesus turns to his disciples with words concerning the coming of the kingdom of God, and how it will be at an unexpected time. Jesus then relates the parable of the persistent widow and the judge, teaching fervency in prayer, followed by the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, teaching an attitude of humility.

Matthew’s account

[Matt 19:13-20:34] Some little children are brought to Jesus for a blessing, but his disciples seem to think he shouldn’t be troubled by their presence. Jesus corrects their attitude and blesses the children before continuing on his way. A rich young man later asks Jesus what he should do to gain eternal life, since he had obeyed the commandments from his youth, but still felt there to be something lacking. When Jesus suggests he should give up his wealth to follow him he leaves disappointed, for his possessions are considerable. Jesus tells his disciples how much more difficult it might be for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven if his riches mean so much to him. Peter then enquires what their fate might be as they had given up everything to follow him. He is told they will be sitting on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus concludes this exchange by saying that anyone who surrenders family or possessions for his sake will receive much more and inherit eternal life. Jesus then relates the parable of the workers in the vineyard, telling us that the kingdom of heaven and eternal life are available even to those who come to him very late in life. Continuing their journey towards Jerusalem, Jesus again tells his disciples he will be betrayed, is to suffer and be killed, but will be resurrected on the third day. James and John’s mother comes to Jesus and asks that her sons should have positions of honour in his kingdom. Jesus tells her this honour is not for him to give, then reminds his disciples that they, like him, should not expect to be served but should serve others. Later, when they are leaving Jericho, two blind men call to Jesus addressing him as the Son of David and asking for mercy. Jesus has compassion for them, touches their eyes and their sight is immediately restored. They then join the others and follow Jesus.

Hierarchical Précis