Preaching God's Word: Luke 13-24

Luke 13:1-35

Jesus stresses the need for both repentance (1-5) and the fruits of repentance (6-9). God’s Word, planted in our hearts at conversion, is to bear fruit. This requires continual repentance and faith (Colossians 2:6; Galatians 3:1-5). Don’t put it off till tomorrow! Today is ‘the day of salvation’. Don’t ‘neglect’ God’s ‘great salvation’ (15-16;  2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 2:3). Let there be spiritual growth, affecting the whole of your life (18-21). Jesus was ‘journeying toward Jerusalem’ - to ‘finish His course’ at the Cross (22, 32-33). He came from the Lord (35). Through Him, we come to the Lord (24; John 10:9). There is no salvation in ourselves (25-27). Apart from Him, there is ‘no peace’ (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11). Jesus loves you (34). Make ‘sure’ that your trust is in Him. He will never fail you  (2 Peter 1:10-11).

Christ’s Love – Reaching Us, Changing Us And Growing In Us (Luke 13:1-21)

In Luke 13:1-21, we see Jesus preaching, teaching and healing. At the heart of His ministry, there is love. The story of Jesus’ life on earth is an “old, old story.” It tells us about events which happened about 2,000 years ago. This story is still relevant to our life today. That is because it is the story of love. This love is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. “The old, old story” is the story of Jesus and His love.

Luke 14:1-24

The call for humility - "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
The call to go out to the people and bring them into the Lord's House - "Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full" (Luke 14:23).
The call for humility and the call to go out to the people and bring them into the Lord's House - How are they to be related to each other?
* First, humility doesn't mean that we rest content with saying, "I couldn't do this" or "I couldn't do that." With humility, we must rise to the challenge of doing what God wants us to do.
* Second, going out to the people doesn't mean that we go in our own strength. We don't go, feeling full of our own importance. We go with our faith in the Lord. We go in His strength.
We need both - the humble attitude and the active commitment to serving the Lord.

Luke 14:25-35

"Follow Me." This is Jesus' message to all of us. To each and every one of us, He says, "Follow Me." He calls us to be His disciples. He calls us to follow him. What will it mean to follow Jesus?
* "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27)
- He is calling us to take up our cross. He is calling us to deny ourselves. He is calling us to follow Him. As we think about Christ's cross, we think also of His resurrection. the way of the cross is not an easy way. We do, however, have the help of the risen Lord. He comes to us. He lives in us. He gives us His joy. We are to live a Christ-like life. We are to follow Christ.
* "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (Luke 14:35).
We have heard the Word of the Lord. How will we respond to His Word? Don't let it go in one ear and out the other ear. let His Word reach your heart. let His Word change your life. The Lord is speaking His Word to us. Are we listening to Him? Listen to the Lord. Learn from the Lord. Live for the Lord.

Following Jesus (Luke 14:27)

“Follow Me.” This is Jesus’ message to all of us. To each and every one of us, He says, “Follow Me.” He calls us to be His disciples. He calls us to follow him. What will it mean to follow Jesus?
* “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27).
- He is calling us to take up our cross. He is calling us to deny ourselves. He is calling us to follow Him. As we think about Christ’s cross, we think also of His resurrection. the way of the cross is not an easy way. We do, however, have the help of the risen Lord. He comes to us. He lives in us. He gives us His joy. We are to live a Christ-like life. We are to follow Christ.
* “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 14:35).
We have heard the Word of the Lord. How will we respond to His Word? Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other ear. let His Word reach your heart. let His Word change your life. The Lord is speaking His Word to us. Are we listening to Him? Listen to the Lord. Learn from the Lord. Live for the Lord.

Luke 15:1-32

"This man receives sinners" (Luke 15:2). This man is our Saviour. He receives sinners. Will we, sinners, receive Him?
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Prior to the parable of the prodigal son, we have two short parables - the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin. "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep / coin" (Luke 15:6, 9). "There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent" (Luke 15:7). "There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).
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In the parable of the lost son, we see ourselves.
- In his weakness, we see our weakness.
- In his guilt, we see our guilt.
- In his loneliness, we see our loneliness.
- In his sin, we see our sin.
In the story of his return to the loving father, we catch a glimpse of another Son - the perfect Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who provides a way for us to return to our heavenly Father - "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
- We come in our weakness. We receive His strength.
- We come in our guilt. We receive His forgiveness.
- We come in our loneliness. we receive His friendship.
- We come in our sin. we receive His salvation.
Like the prodigal son, we come to an end of ourselves. we find all that we need in Christ. This is the Good News which comes from the heart of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father loves. The Son died for us. The Holy Spirit comes to us.

The Story of God’s Perfect Love – The Story of God’s Perfect Son (Luke 15:11-32)

* Jesus told a story of God’s love – “the story of the prodigal son” (Luke 15:11-32).
* Jesus is the Story of God’s love – His Story is the Story of God’s perfect Son.
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In Luke 15:13, we read of the prodigal son going into the “far country”. In Luke 15:20-22, we read of the joy of his homecoming -”20So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.”
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In Philippians 2:8, we read of Jesus going into “the far country” (Luke 15:13) – “He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” – so that we might have an even greatest Homecoming of all – Christ has been “exalted … to the highest place.” He has been given “the Name that is above every name.” What a day it will be when “at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

The prodigal son becomes the returning son (Luke 15:11-24).

So often, we have been like ‘the prodigal son’(Luke 15:11-24). We have walked away from our Father’s House. We have wandered off into ‘the far country’. We feel that we are far from God, yet still He draws near to us. The Lord is at work in our hearts. He is bringing us ‘to our senses’. He is reminding us of His love. He is drawing us back to Himself. In love, He is calling us home again. He is speaking to our hearts. He is saying to us, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’. As His love reaches our hearts, ‘the prodigal son’ becomes ‘the returning son’: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son’.

Luke 16:1-18

We have confidence in the God of glory. He is the God who has given us a glimpse of His heavenly and eternal glory. In the "parable of the shrewd manager", Jesus speaks to us of "eternal dwellings" (Luke 16:9). His words are an echo of the 23rd Psalm: "I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever" (Psalm 23:6). "Eternal dwellings" - This is our goal. "Eternal dwellings" - This is our destination. We look beyond the goal of a better and safer world. We look forward to a new world. We look forward to a world in which "there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain" (Revelation 21:4). We look forward to a world which will shine with the brightness of God's glory (Revelation 22:5). With our confidence in the God of glory, we commit ourselves to serving Him. We are to let the life of His eternal Kingdom shape our life here on earth. We are to live as people of hope. We are to live as people who who have caught a glimpse of the God of hope. We are to live as people who will work for a better world because we are gripped by the vision of God's glorious Kingdom.
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God is calling us to be wise (Luke 16:8). God is calling us to be trustworthy (Luke 16:10). God is calling us to serve Him (Luke 16:13) .
(1) God is calling us to be wise (Luke 16:8).
God is calling us to pray to Him. We are to ask Him for the special kind of wisdom which He alone can give to us: "Lord of all wisdom, I give Thee my mind, rich truth that surpasseth man's knowledge to find. What eye hath not seen and what ear hath not heard is taught by thy Spirit and shines from Thy Word."
(2) God is calling us to be trustworthy (Luke 16:10).
God is calling us to pray to Him. We are to ask Him for His strength which will enable us to keep on going when we feel like giving up: "Lord of all power, I give Thee my will, in joyful obedience Thy tasks to fulfil. Thy bondage is freedom, Thy service is song; and, held in Thy keeping, my weakness is strong."
(3) God is calling us to serve Him (Luke 16:13). God is calling us to make up our mind. He is calling us to be decisive. He is calling us to take action. He comes to us with the promise of victory. He gives us a glimpse of the glorious destiny towards which He is leading us - "you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings" (Luke 16:10). This is our high and heavenly calling. Jesus says to us, "No servant can serve two masters" (Luke 16:13). He challenges us to make up our mind - "Which world will you live for? - This world or the world that is to come?" Let us commit our lives to Him: "Lord of all being, I give Thee my all. If e'er I disown thee, I stumble and fall, but sworn, in glad service, Thy Word to obey, I walk in Thy freedom to the end of the way."
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May God help us to keep our eyes on Him. He is the source of true wisdom. He is the source of true strength. He is the source of true victory.

“No servant can serve two masters … ” (Luke 16:13) - Let us serve the Lord.

God is calling us to make up our mind. He is calling us to be decisive. He is calling us to take action. He comes to us with the promise of victory. He gives us a glimpse of the glorious destiny towards which He is leading us – “you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:10). This is our high and heavenly calling. Jesus says to us, “No servant can serve two masters” (Luke 16:13). He challenges us to make up our mind – “Which world will you live for? – This world or the world that is to come?”

Luke 16:19-31

This is the story of two men - "a rich man" and "a poor man" (Luke 16:19-20). As we read about these two men, we must think also of a third Man, the Storyteller, our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1) The "rich man"
The rich man had more than enough, but it wasn't enough! In terms of this world, he had more than enough: "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day" (Luke 16:19). In terms of the world to come, he had nothing. The man who had everything turned out to be the man who had nothing. Spiritually speaking, his life was empty. here is a man who refused to listen to the Word of God - "Moses and the prophets" (Luke 16:31). He lived a self-centred life, the kind of life which is called in question by Jesus with His searching question: "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36). Rather than living for the eternal God and His eternal Kingdom, this man lived for himself. The lesson of this man's life is summed up in the Biblical warning: "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). God is saying to us, "Listen and learn." Let's learn from the rich man. We learn how we are not to live. Let there be less of self and more love for God and others. Let's be "lovers of God" rather than "lovers of pleasure" (2 Timothy 3:4). Let's love others with the love which we ourselves have received from Christ: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:16-18). How are we to live the life which pleases God? - "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
(2) The "poor man" - Lazarus
The poor man had less than enough, but it was enough! On earth, he was "a beggar" (Luke 16:20). In heaven, everything was so different - "the angels carried him to Abraham's side" (Luke 16:22). The name, "Lazarus" , means "God has helped", "God is my Helper." In the meaning of the name, "Lazarus", we have God's Word to us. He is saying to us, "See yourself as spiritually poor. Look to Me for help." Jesus warns us against going our own way without Him. He calls us to put our trust in Him, walking with Him on the pathway of holiness (Matthew 7:13-14). Following Jesus - This is the one thing that matters more than anything else.
(3) The Storyteller - Jesus
Jesus is enough! He is all that we need!
(a) The story of the "rich man" and the "poor man" comes from the One who lived in earthly poverty - "no room at the inn" (Luke 2:7); "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head" (Luke 9:58). The way of earthly poverty, living in obedience to God, doing the Father's will - This was His pathway to heavenly glory.
"5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:5-11).
(b) The name of "Lazarus" appears in Jesus' ministry in John 11. In John 11:25, the way to eternal life is made clear: "I am the Resurrection and the Life ... ". Jesus is the One who has come back to tell us that there is life beyond the grave. He has "risen from the dead" (Luke 16:31). We have more than "Moses and the prophets." We have more than the Word which was spoken and written in Old Testament times. We have Jesus. He is "the Word made flesh" (John 1:14). Jeus is the risen Lord. He is our Saviour. He is enough!

Luke 17:1-19

Here, Jesus speaks about temptation, forgiveness, faith and service.
(a) Temptation - ‘watch yourselves’, always remembering that we can only win victory through the strength of the Lord (3; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
(b) Forgiveness - This is practical teaching. We not only receive forgiveness for ourselves. We are to forgive others (3-4; 1 John 1:9; Ephesians 4:32).
(c) Faith - There will never come a time when we no longer need to pray, ‘Increase our faith’. What great things can be achieved for God, when our faith in Him is strong (5-6; 1 John 5:4-5, 14-15).
(d) Service - We are always ‘unworthy servants’. We never outgrow our need of ‘God’s mercy’(10; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 4:1). We need ‘the attitude of gratitude’(17-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Luke 17:20-37

Our life is made up of past, present and future. We have come from the past - the things that have happened to us. we are moving towards the future - the things that are still to happen to us. We live in the present - the things that are happening to us here-and-now.
(1) We are to learn from the past.
(2) We are to look toward the future.
(3) We are to live in the present.
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(1) Learning from the past
Jesus says to us, "Remember" (Luke 17:32). We are to "remember Lot's wife." We are to learn from the past. This means more than remembering the past of our own life. It also means learning from the past that takes us right back to the book of Genesis. That's where the story of Lot's wife comes from. Learning from the past, we go back beyond Lot's wife. we go back to the first words of the Bible - "In the beginning, God." Before the world was created, there was God the Creator. He is the God who loves us with an everlasting love. we remember the God of love. We also remember Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. we remember that he died for our sins. We remember that He rose again from the dead. When we remember Jesus Christ, we must think of all that He has done for us. We are to remember Him with a deep appreciation of His love. As we look back, remembering what the lord has done for us, let's lift up our hearts and voices, with praise and thanksgiving, to God.
(2) Looking toward the future
Jesus says to us, "The days are coming" (Luke 17:22). He says to us, "I will come again" (John 14:3). we do not only look ahead to the days that lie ahead for ourselves. We look forward to the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is coming - This is our great hope for the future. we must never lose sight of this glorious future. We must never lose sight of Jesus. He is our great and glorious Saviour. we must look forward, with great expectation, to the Lord's return. we must look forward, with great anticipation, to the coming of God's heavenly and eternal Kingdom.
(3) Living in the present
Our life is always more than a backward look to the past and a forward look to the future. We learn from the past, but we don't live in the past. We must live in the present. We look forward to the future, but we don't escape into daydreaming about the future. We must live in the present. Jesus says to us, "The Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). He emphasizes the importance of the Spirit of God living in our hearts. the presence of God is not simply something to be remembered from 'the good old days.' The presence of God is not merely something to which we look forward, as we think about 'the golden age' that lies ahead of us. The presence of God is to be enjoyed here-and -now.
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Jesus' disciples said to Him, "Increase our faith" (Luke 17:5). This is what we must pray for - an increase of our faith. An increase of our faith will involve an increase of our appreciation of all that God has done for us in the past and an increase of our expectation of all that God is going to do for us in the future. "Increase our faith" - Let's pray for a living faith. Let's pray for a real faith. Let's pray for a faith that makes a difference - today.

Luke 18:1-17

Jesus says, "Let the little children come to Me" (Luke 18:16). God is calling us to teach the children. He is also calling us to learn from the children. We are to "receive the Kingdom of God like a little child" (Luke 18:17). in the simplicity of children, we have a model for our faith in the Lord. As we grow in Christ, we are to become more childlike in our attitude towards our heavenly Father.
This simple, childlike faith is seen in the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8) and the humble tax collector (Luke 18:9-14).
In Luke 18:1-8, we learn that (a) God wants to bless us; (b) God waits to bless us. His blessing comes in His time. We must wait upon Him patiently; (c) God calls us to put our faith in Him - "Will He find faith in us? (Luke 18:8). During our time of waiting patiently on the Lord, our faith will be put to the test. We may often wonder, "Does God want to bless us?" As we learn to wait, with patience, on the Lord, He will increase our faith. He will give us strength to hold on to our faith that He wants to bless us. As we learn to wait for God's time of blessing, we become more ready to receive His blessing in a spirit of thanksgiving, " This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes" (Psalm 118:23). When everything comes too easily to us, we are inclined to glory in ourselves rather than giving all the glory to the Lord. Let's the time of waiting for God's blessing to come to us. The time of His blessing becomes so much more precious to us when we have learned the truth of His promise: "Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength" (Isaiah 40:31). May God help us to grow in faith and to enter into the blessing which is promised to those who put their trust in Him.
In Luke 18:9-14, we learn from the tax collector. We see his attitude of faith - simple, sincere, humble, childlike faith. This is so different from the attitude of the Pharisee. He was full of arrogant pride. he took God's blessing for granted, but he didn't receive God's blessing! We must choose. Which attitude will we bring into the presence of God? What attitude do we bring with us into God's House? What attitude will we take with us as we go out from the House of the Lord? Let it be childlike faith.

Luke 18:18-43

Here, we read about a man who had an eye- problem. He was "a blind man" (Luke 18:35). We read also about a man who had a different kind of "I" problem. Self! This was the problem for the "rich, young ruler." He loved himself more than he loved the Lord. All of us have this "I" problem: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6). We learn also, in Isaiah 53:6, what God has done about our "I" problem: "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." These words point forward, prophetically, to the teaching of Jesus: "Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again" (Luke 18:31-33). Jesus died for us. Jesus rose from the dead for us. This is the Gospel. This is the Good News. "Christ died for our sins ... He was raised on the third day" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
* The story of the rich young ruler is a story of sadness. This man had a choice to make: Turn away from sin or turn away from the Saviour. He made his choice. He turned away from the Saviour.
* The story of the blind man is a story of gladness. He was "praising God." Those who witnessed this great miracle of healing also "praised God" (Luke 18:43).
* How can our sadness become gladness? It is through the cross of Christ. Our "I" problem is crossed out. Our "eyes" are opened as we look to Jesus. The eye problem is not only a problem for those who are physically blind. It is a problem for every one of us. It is our "I" problem. Our sadness becomes gladness when we turn our eyes upon Jesus. As we think of our "I" problem, we realize that we cannot change ourselves. We need to be changed by the Lord. We are not to be sad because of our "I" problem (SIN). we are to rejoice in the Lord's saving power. This is what Jesus is teaching us in Luke 18:27 - "What is impossible with men is possible with God" Through the grace of God, we can have this testimony: "I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold." God gives us this testimony as He answers the prayer: "Open the eyes of my heart, Lord." This prayer to God comes as we respond to God's Word to us. As we think about our "I" problem, we hear God speaking to us: "My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to My ways" (Proverbs 23:26). Give your heart to the Lord. Let Him give you His gladness. This is so well-expressed in the fine, Christ-centred hymn: "Rejoice and be glad! The Redeemer has come ... Sound His praises, tell the story of Him who was slain; sound His praises, tell with gladness He now lives again." We end with the words of Luke 18:43 - "When all the people saw it, they also praised God." The Word of God has come to us in Christ, May all of us praise God.

Luke 19:1-27

Grace always begins with the Saviour - never with the sinner!

Before Zacchaeus went looking for Jesus - "he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him" (Luke 19:4), Jesus came looking for Zacchaeus - "the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10).
The Saviour's love for the sinner comes before the sinner's love for the Saviour.

* The conversion of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10): We are saved by the Lord. The great lesson of the story of Zacchaeus is stated clearly in Luke 19:10 - "The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
* The parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27): We are to serve the Lord. The great lesson of the parable of the pounds is summed up in the phrase, This Man is to "reign over us" (Luke 19:14).
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Taking the two stories together - an event from Jesus' life and a story told by Jesus, we learn that Jesus is both our Saviour and our Lord.
Jesus is our Saviour. He is able to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He saves us.
Jesus is our Lord. As those who have been saved by the Lord, we are to serve Him, He gives His salvation to us. We are to give our allegiance to Him. He gave His life for us. We are to give our life to Him.
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Zacchaeus was small. He was insignificant. Jesus says, "You are important to Me. You are loved by Me." Loneliness is transformed by love. "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes" (Psalm 118:23). What a day this was for Zacchaeus! It was the greatest day of his life. It was the beginning of a new life. It was the day of decision. It was the beginning of the way of discipleship. From this day forward, he was learning, the lesson of the parable of the pounds. He was learning, day-by-day, to live under the rule of Christ, through the power of God's Spirit and the teaching of God's Word.

Luke 19:28-48

Jesus was "going up to Jerusalem" (Luke 19:28). Jesus "wept over" Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).
There are different ways of looking at Jerusalem. We can look at this city from the point of view of (a) the historian; (b) the tourist; (c) the politician; (d) the believer.
(a) the historian
A study of the history of Jerusalem is of considerable interest, We must, however, take care that we don't live in the past. We must press on to the future. Jesus was "going to Jerusalem." It was His love for us which kept Him going. He looked forward to the fulfilment of God's purpose of love. Let's give thanks for God's past blessings. Why? - We look back so that we might be inspired to move forward. God is calling us on to His future. It is the future of His Kingdom. It is the future, which is eternal life.
(b) the tourist
A trip to "the Holy Land" (Israel) and "the Holy City" (Jerusalem) is, for many people, a highlight of their life. It's the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition. There's a thin line between a "holy day" and a "holiday." Many people have a great holiday in Israel. They enjoy their visit to Jerusalem. Do they love Jesus more aas a result of going to "the Holy Land" and "the Holy City"? Holiness concerns the way we live all year round. This is very different from spending a week visiting "the Holy Land" and "the Holy City." The Saviour died and rose again in Jerusalem. he is still with us here-and-now. We don't have to travel to Jerusalem to be where he is. he is with us. he wants to bless us here. He wants to bless us now. We don't have to travel many miles, at great expense, to meet with Jesus. Here, in our daily life, we can know that we are loved by Jesus, our Saviour. Today, in this place, we can enjoy the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(c) the politician
The current situation in Jerusalem is complex and confusing. It's difficult to understand. What are we to do as we think about present-day Jerusalem? - "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6). As we pray for present-day Jerusalem, we must not lose sight of the great future God has in store for all who put their trust in Him through His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The New Testament speaks of this future. It's the Jerusalem that is above. It's the heavenly Jerusalem. It's the new Jerusalem. We must look beyond the words of the politicians. We must also read the words of prophecy, which lead us beyond the confusion of Jerusalem's present situation to the glory of God's heavenly and eternal Kingdom.
(d) the believer
* In Galatians 4:25-26, Paul contrasts "the present city of Jerusalem" and "the Jerusalem that is above." We look forward to something far better than "the present city of Jerusalem."
* In Hebrews 12:18-24, the writer contrasts Mount Sinai, where the Ten Commandments were given, and "Mount Zion", "the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God."
* In Revelation 3:11-13, the coming Christ calls us to be overcomers, as we travel towards "the new Jerusalem" - "the city of our God."
* In Revelation 21:1-4, 10-11, we read about the glorious future which becomes ours through faith in Christ. Let the glory of God shine upon you. Let it lead you to the Holy City.

Luke 19:28-48

"Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord" (Luke 19:38).
As we turn our attention to Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we need to see the bigger picture.
- We need to look back to the Old Testament prophecy, which was fulfilled when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem.
- We need to look forward to the coming Kingdom of God towards which the words, "Blessed be the King ... " direct our attention.
(1) "See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9).
See Him and "rejoice greatly". Riding on a donkey, He is (a) righteous; (b) gentle; (c) our Saviour.
(2) "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16).
(a) Think of what God is doing and remember that Jesus Christ is Lord - "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever" (Daniel 2:44); "Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).
(b) Think of what we must do and open your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ - "Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is He, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty — He is the King of glory" (Psalm 24:9-11); "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20).
The holy Son of God, our loving Saviour, waits for you to invite Him to come into your heart and your life. Do not close the door to Him (Luke 19:41-46). Open the door to Him (Luke 19:37).

Luke 19:37-39

It is good for us to remember that, on that day of celebration, the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, there were those, among the crowd, who were, quite clearly, under the judgment of God. We read of “the great multitude of the disciples (who) began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice” (Luke 19:37). Sadly, however, we read of the Pharisees, who said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples” (Luke 19:39). The story of the first Palm Sunday is repeated in our world today. There are those who are learning to rejoice in the Lord.. They are learning to worship the God of their salvation. Unfortunately, there are also those, mingling with the Lord’s people, who seek to dampen the spirit of praise. They themselves know nothing of the true spirit of worship, and they don’t like to see others rejoicing in the Lord. From the story of the first Palm Sunday, the Lord is speaking to us concerning salvation and judgment. Are you a disciple of Jesus, a disciple who is learning the meaning of true worship? Or, are you a Pharisee who knows nothing of the spirit of true worship?

Luke 20:1-26

Jesus was "teaching the people." He was "preaching the Gospel" (Luke 20:1).
What is it that we bring to the people? - The Gospel.
* What is the Gospel?
- It's the Gospel of God's "beloved Son" (Luke 20:13).
- It's the Gospel of the resurrection (Luke 20:17).
* Who is Jesus Christ? What has Jesus Christ done for us? - These are the key questions which the Gospel answers for us - "Christ is the answer"; "Jesus is the answer for the world today."
* Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. From all eternity, He is the Son of God. He is God's only begotten Son. He is the Son of God's eternal love. He has been sent to us by the God of eternal love. God is well pleased with Jesus Christ, His beloved Son. We must listen to Jejesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
* Jesus Christ is the risen Lord. He is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebredws 13:8). For all eternity, He is the Son of God. In Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, there is eternal life for all who put their faith in Him.
* What will be our response to Him? "And astonished by His answer, they became silent" (Luke 20:26). This was a guilty silence. There is, however, another silence. It is the silence which expresses our worship in the face of the greatness of God and His , our Saviour, Jesus Christ - "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

Luke 20:27-21:4

* Let us worship God. When we come to worship God, we are to pray that we will worship Him "in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). We worship God as "the God of the living" (Luke 20:38). We worship Jesus Christ our "Lord" (Luke 20:44). We are to pray that Jesus Christ will be glorified in our praise. We bring our worship to God in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We seek the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in our worship. We come to the Lord's Table, rejoicing in the love of God, giving thanks for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, receuiving strength from the Holy Spirit.
* Let us worship God. Jesus invites us to think about our worship. Are we like "the teachers of the law" - outwardly impressive but inwardly impoverished (Luke 20:45-47)? Do we long to be like the widow - deep in our worship of God, complete in our consecration to God (Luke 21:1-4).
* Let us worship God. Jesus looked around Him. He saw empty religion. He saw real worship. He invites us to look at the widow and her gift. He invites us to look at our own worship. He calls us to pray that our hearts and lives will be touched deeply by the love of God. We look at the widow and her gift. May we learn from her. May God help us to love Him more deeply, more truly and more fully. What was most significant about her gift? It wasn't the amount she gave. It was the giving of her heart. She gave her all to the Lord. The giving of our heart and our life to the Lord - This is true "spiritual worship" (Romans 12:1).
- True spiritual worship is a response to God's love for us. We come to the cross of Christ. We grow in our appreciation of His great love for us. At the cross, we learn that "the Son of God loved us and gave Himself for us" (Galatians 2:20). At the cross, we give ourselves to the Lord. It is His love for us which inspires our love for Him - "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."
- True spiritual worship is an expression of our love for God. Our love for Him comes from His love for us - "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19) - "Love so amazing, so divine, shall have my soul, my life, my all."
- True spiritual worship: It's God's love for us leading to our love for Him. We may sum it up thus: "Love changes everything." Love - This is what makes the difference. We see this in the widow and he gift. Love - it's God's love for us. Love - it's our love for God. This is what leads to a changed life (Romans 12:1-2).
As those who have been loved with the greatest love of all, the love of God, let's give our love to Him. Let's show our love for Him by living lives that are being changed by His love.

Luke 21:5-38

There is much to cause us to be fearful. There is much that makes us feel uncertain. Jesus casts out our fear. He gives us hope. He says to us, "your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:28). Think of this great redemption (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21:1-4). Let fear be banished from your heart. Let your heart be filled with hope.
* "The Lord Himself will come down from heaven" (1 Thessalonians 4:16). This is the great future towards which we look forward. It is an event of great encouragement.
- We will meet the Lord in the air.
- We will be with the Lord for ever.
- Encourage one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).
* In Revelation 21:1-4, we read about our glorioius, heavenly and eternal hope - "the Holy City, new Jerusalem" (Revelation 21:2). What a wonderful message there is here! "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:3). This is redemption! We are redeemed. We are delivered from the things that blight our life here on earth. No more death or mourning, no more crying or opain (Revelation 21:4 - What a wonderful redemption this is!
* Why live in fear? Why live in uncertainty? Let's look up, beyond the things that happen here on earth, to the things that are above, in heaven.

Luke 22:1-23

Within the story of the first Communion service, we have the story of two men - men with similar names, men with very different characters. Both names have five letters. Both names begin with 'J.' Both names end with 'S.' That, however, is where the similarity between Judas and Jesus ends. Judas and Jesus could hardly have been more different. Judas was the betrayer. Jesus is the Saviour. Judas, the betrayer, and Jesus, the Saviour - both men were soon to die: in very different circumstances! The story of Judas was a story of tragedy. The Story of Jesus is a Story of triumph.
The story of these two men - the tragedy of Judas and the triumph of Jesus - begins with the chief priests and the scribes: "the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put Jesus to death" (Luke 22:2). These men, proud of their own religious traditions, had no time for Jesus. He had challenged them to be God's men. They were to be more than religious men. they were to be God's men. They would have none of this. No young preacher was going to tell them how they were to live their lives. This young preacher, who had appeared from nowhere, had to be silenced. What right had this young upstart to tell them what to do. there was no other alternative. He had to be silenced - fully and finally! He had to die. Little did they know that the cross was to be Jesus' greatest triumph!
As the chief priests and the scribes plotted Jesus' death, they discovered , much to their surprise and amazement, that they had a very unexpected accomplice - one "of the twelve": Judas (Luke 22:3). Making sure that no-one was around, making sure that no-one was looking, making sure that no-one could see him, Judas went about his ungodly business. With great stealth and almost unbelievable deception, this evil man, one of Jesus' twelve disciples, laid his plans to betray the Lord to His enemies. Judas, one of the twelve, a man whose life should have been marked by loyalty to his Lord, could think of one thing only - "What's in it for me?" As he left the chief priests and the scribes with the money bag in his hands, with the bagful of coins safely in his pocket, Judas must have thought to himself, "What a cinch! What an easy way to make money!" He could hardly have been more wrong. This was no shortcut to a fortune. This was a quickstep to self-destruction. within a matter of days, Judas, in total despair, had taken his own life. Jesus, on the other hand, was to be raised from the dead and declared, triumphantly, to be the Son of the living God.
Why did Judas do such an awful thing? Was it a "spur of the moment" thing? Was it something which just crossed his mind there and then? The Bible makes it clear that the betrayal of the Lord by Judas "was a thief", a man who "used to take what was put into the money box" (John 12:6). The scene was already set for the betrayal. Prior to the ultimate act of betrayal, there was a whole string of acts of dishonesty and disloyalty. Long before the last week of Jesus' earthly life, the Lord said to His disciples: "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" (John 6:70). Jesus was under no illusions about the godless character of Judas. The Bible makes it perfectly clear that the story of Judas was not the story of a good man who went wrong in a sudden moment of weakness. Rather, it is the story of a man who was wrong, from the beginning.Judas was a man who had been crooked for some considerable time. It was the easiest thing in the world for the devil to put the thought of betrayal into Judas' mind (John 13:2). Judas was already prepared for Satan to enter him (Luke 22:3). The seeds of betrayal went back much further than the act of betrayal. we need, however, to go back further beyond the act of betrayal, beyond the plan of betrayal, beyond the seeds of betrayal. it is only when we go back, right back, that we discover God's plan of salvation.
God wasn't "caught on the hop" by this plan of betrayal and this act of betrayal. Long before Judas ever heard of Jesus, God, in love, had sent His Son to be the Saviour of all who put their trust in Him. Judas may have thought he was 'one up' on Jesus. He may have thought he had 'put one over' on Jesus. He was sadly and tragically mistaken. The truth could not be hidden from the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew all along what Judas had been up to. Jesus was one step ahead of Judas. While Judas was plotting to betray Him, Jesus calmly announced, "the hand of him who betrays Me is with Me on the table" (Luke 22:21). Jesus was in complete control of the situation. Here, at the Lord's Table, we see how foolish Satan really is. On the surface, Satan appears to have the upper hand. He is plotting Jesus' downfall. The real situation is, however, quite different. Jesus is simply allowing Satan to carry out the plot which will lead to his own downfall, through the death of Jesus on the cross. Jesus speaks to His disciples. He speaks of himself as the Bringer of salvation. He also declares Himself to be Lord over Satan.
At the first Communion service, Judas, the betrayer, and Jesus, the Saviour, sit at the same table. Judas doesn't reveal his real attitude toward Jesus. He tries to hide what he really is. He pretends to be faithful to Jesus. This is all an act. what he is really doing is something very different. He is planning the ultimate act of disloyalty. The Lord knows exactly what is going on in Judas' mind. The Lord knows that there is, sitting with the twelve, one who despises all that Jesus is. Seated with the twelve, there is one who despises all that Jesus stands for. Among His closest friends, there is one who despises all that Jesus came to do. How does Jesus react to this situation? Does He respond to hatred with hatred? No! He responds with love. In love, He yearns for Judas to turn from his sin. In love, He longs for Judas to become a true disciple - not in name only but in reality. If there was ever a moment when Judas could have renounced his evil conspiracy, it was the moment when Jesus dipped the morsel of bread in the wine and gave it to Judas (John 13:26). That was a moment of love, a moment in which the Saviour declared His love for the sinner. In that moment of love, there was also a moment of opportunity. In the offering of bread and wine to Judas, there was an opportunity for him to avert the tragedy of his life. The opportunity was lost and that moment became a moment of truth, a moment in which the truth concerning Judas was clearly revealed. In that moment, Judas declined the love,missed the opportunity and went out into the night and betrayed his Saviour and Lord. Things could have been so different for Judas. Seated at the Lord's Table, he could have chosen Christ and His salvation. Jesus offered the bread and wine to Judas. Jesus was making a special appeal to Judas. It was the special appeal of His love. Jesus appealed to Judas. He called him to turn back from the way he had chosen. Judas ate the bread. Judas drank the wine. Sadly, he refused the reality of which they speak. He refused to open his heart to Jesus Christ, his Saviour and Lord.
From that moment of truth, when the love was resisted and the opportunity was refused, the stories of these two men, Judas and Jesus, went relentlessly on. The tragic story of Judas went quickly on to its disastrous end. Judas was lost. He was lost because he had lost himself in the presence of "the Son of God who loved him and gave himself for him" (Galatians 2:20). the Story of Jesus went on, not to a disastrous end but to a glorious triumph, His victorious death on the cross, His mighty resurrection and His exaltation as Saviour and Lord.
Gathered around the Lord's Table, we remember the Story of the Lord Jesus Christ. Can we be callous like the black-hearted traitor, Judas? While the other disciples wondered about all that Jesus had said to them, Judas sat there and listened, knowing all along that he was the betrayer. Dare we follow the course which Judas took? - "Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action. Reap a habit. Sow a habit. Reap a character. Sow a character. Reap a destiny." What will your response be? Will you receive the love that Christ offers to you? Will you grasp the opportunity that He presents to you? This can be your moment of salvation - if you will come to the Saviour. This can be the highlight of your story. This can be the turning-point. This can be the moment of destiny. This can be the moment when everything changes - for time and eternity. Everything depends on your answer to the all-important question: Will you come, in faith, to Jesus Christ? Will you come to Him right now?

Luke 22:7-38

The first celebration of the Lord's Supper took place at the time of the Passover. It was a time of rejoicing. It was a time of thanksgiving. We can also relate the celebration of the Lord's Supper to our time of Harvest Thanksgiving.
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We note the connections between the the Lord's Supper and Harvest Thanksgiving.
- In the Harvest Thanksgiving service, we think of the work of both God and man. Both are necessary. In our celebration of the Lord's Supper, we are reminded of what Christ has done for us and we are called to make our response to His love.
- At both services, the Lord's Supper and Harvest Thanksgiving, we are reminded of the importance of both receiving and sharing. We receive God's blessing. We are to share His blessing with others.
- When we celebrate the Lord's Supper and give thanks for the Harvest, we are reminded of our hope for the future and we are encouraged to play our part in paving the way for a better future.
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(1) The Lord's Supper, the Harvest, the land and the work
In our celebration of the Lord's Supper, our chief focus is on our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We should not, however, forget to thank God for the harvest. We should thank Him for the land. We should thank Him for the workers. They have worked to produce food and bring it to our tables. we should not forget them when we gather at the Lord's Table.
(2) The Lord's Supper, the Harvest, receiving and sharing
In our celebration of the Lord's Supper, we have the privilege of receiving and the responsibility of sharing. We receive the blessing of God's forgiveness into our hearts. We are reminded that Christ died " for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2). We have received Christ's love. We are to share His love with others. We've received an ample supply of food. We mustn't forget those who aren't so fortunate as we are. They have very little food. They're very hungry. When we remember the suffering of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, we must remember those for are suffering greatly. When we remember Jesus Christ, crucified for us, we must not forget those who are dying because they don't have enough food to eat. When we give thanks for our harvest, we must not forget those who don't have much to eat. This is a global issue which should by addressed by all of us. Each of us should play our part in providing food for those who are very hungry.
(3) The Lord's Supper, the Harvest, hope for the future, working towards a better future
In Luke 22, at the Lord's Supper, Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God.
- "And He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the Kingdom of God" (Luke 22:15-16). The Kingdom of God - this is the great fulfilment towards which we look forward.
- "After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes" (Luke 22:17-18). The coming of the Kingdom - this is the great future which fills our hearts with hope.
- "You are those who have stood by Me in My trials. And I confer on you a Kingdom, just as My Father conferred one on Me, so that you may eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom ... " (Luke 22:28-30). Eating and drinking at the Lord's Table in His Kingdom - what a glorious future this is! As we contemplate this future, let's play our part in sharing Christ's love. As we celebrate the Harvest, we are to pray for, long for and work for a better world, a world free of hunger. In seeking to play our part in paving the way for a better world, we look beyond this earthly world to the ultimate fulfilment of God's purpose - "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:1-4).

Luke 22:39-71

Jesus was ‘greatly distressed… troubled… very sorrowful… ’(Mark 14:33-34). ‘Nevertheless, in obedience to His Father’s will, He chose the way of the Cross (42; John 10:17-18). Satan – ‘the power of darkness’- would have his ‘hour’, but Jesus was to be ‘seated at the right hand of the power of God’(53,69). Jesus suffered much persecution (63-71). He endured it ‘for the joy that was set before Him’, the joy of ‘bringing many sons to glory’(Hebrews 12:2; 2:10). The way of the Cross is never easy. It involves death to self (2 Corinthians 4:10-12). Do not ‘sleep’. Pray (45-46). Don’t ‘follow at a distance’ and deny your Lord (54, 57-58, 60). Keep close to Jesus. Let the ‘rivers of living water flow’(John 7:37-39; Acts 1:8). When you sin, let His ‘Word’ lead you to repentance (61-62; Psalm 119:11).

Luke 22:63-23:25
Barabbas is released. Jesus is crucified. The Saviour takes the sinner's place.
* Here, we see the wonder of God's love - "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son" (John 3:16). We hear the cry of the crowd, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" (Luke 23:21). Behind their hostility, we see something else - the love of God. We look at Christ's crucifixion. We ask, "Why did God allow it?" The answer is given - God did it! Human explanations are not enough. We need the divine explanation - "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son" (John 3:16).
* Out of the great love of God comes the great exchange: "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that, in Him, we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21); "Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18); "He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live to righteousness" (1 Peter 2:24).
* His love for us calls out, from our hearts, our love for Him. We look at Barabbas. We wonder, "What became of Barabbas after the day that Jesus was crucified and Barabbas was set free?" We look at ourselves. How will we live now that we see that the Saviour has taken our place, bearing our sins so that we might receive His salvation?
- "See from His head, His hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small, love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."
- O dearly, dearly has He loved, and we must love him too, and trust in His redeeming blood, and try His works to do."
- "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
- "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).
We rejoice in His love. We are changed by His love. To Him alone be all the glory!

Luke 23:1-25

In Jesus’ trial, we see unity in evil (Luke 23:12). Politically, Pilate and Herod were at odds with each other. Spiritually, they were united in their opposition to Christ. Jesus was found guilty by neither Pilate nor Herod (Luke 23:13-16). They were Very Important People. Jesus was a threat to them. They held positions of great power. They could not allow Jesus to ‘upset the apple cart’. Three times, Pilate declared Jesus’innocence (Luke 23:4, 14, 22). ‘Public opinion’said, ‘Crucify Him!’(Luke 23:21). Pilate had a problem. He would be ‘crucifying’ himself - politically - if he ignored public opinion. Pilate made his choice. Jesus had to go. Jesus went - but He came back again! There is real human drama here, but there is much more than that: There is God! Crucified by men, Raised by God (Acts 2:23-24): This is divine drama, the drama of redemption!


Loving Jesus and Following Jesus: Here, we focus on two verses where there is special mention of women – Luke 23:27; Luke 23:49.
(1) Loving Jesus
Among those who followed Jesus, there were “women who mourned and wailed for Him” (Luke 23:27). They “mourned and wailed for Him” because they loved Him. Our love for Jesus is a response to His love for us – “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34); “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Let His love reach you. Let His love change you. Let His love for you draw out your love for Him.
(2) Following Jesus
The women are described, in Luke 23:49, as “the women who had followed Him from Galilee.” We hear more about “the twelve”, especially Peter, James and John. We don’t hear much about “the women”, but we do hear something about them in Luke 23:27 and Luke 23:49. What we hear is an example, inspiration and challenge to us. Like them, we are to love Jesus and we are to follow Jesus. Their example will inspire us to love Jesus and to follow Him. Will you love Him more? Will you follow Him more closely?

Luke 23:26-24:12

‘God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong’(1 Corinthians 1:27). In his weakness, the thief on the cross trusted Christ for salvation (42-43). Pilate, a man of power, rejected Christ, sending Him off to be crucified (23:23-25). Jesus was ‘delivered into the hands of sinful men’. Jesus was ‘crucified’. This was not, for Him, the end. He rose from the dead (7). At the Cross, ‘the centurion’ described Jesus as ‘a righteous man’(47). In the resurrection, God declared Him to be much more than a righteous man – He is ‘the Son of God’(Romans 1:4). Don’t be like those who do ‘not believe’, those who consider Christ’s resurrection to be ‘an idle tale’(11). Something has ‘happened’, something very wonderful – Jesus has risen from the dead:… ‘believe… be saved’(12; Romans 10:9).

Luke 23:50-24:12

The story of Jesus doesn’t end, at the end of chapter 23, with Jesus’ burial. It continues on, into chapter 24, with His resurrection. The mighty resurrection of Christ is proclaimed in Luke 24:6 – “He is not here. He has risen.”
Before turning directly, let’s notice something significant about His burial. The man who attended to Jesus’ burial was Joseph of Arimathea – “he was waiting for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 23:51). He didn’t have long to wait for a mighty demonstration of the life-giving power of God’s Kingdom. In His resurrection from the dead, Christ shows to us the life of the ultimate future, the life of the coming Kingdom of God, the life that takes us beyond the grave.
The great event of Christ’s resurrection stands at the very heart of the New Testament.
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What does the New Testament teach us concerning Christ’s resurrection?
- (1) The resurrection was predicted in the ministry of Christ.
- (2) The resurrection was presented as a miracle of God.
- (3) The resurrection was proclaimed in the message of the Church.
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(1) The resurrection was predicted in the ministry of Christ.
The important passages are Luke 9:18-22; Luke 11:29-30 and Luke 18:31-33. We must note that it is the event of the resurrection which makes the meaning of these verses clear.
(2) The resurrection was presented as a miracle of God.
There is only one explanation of Christ’s resurrection – God did it!
(i) Who moved the stone? – God.
(ii) Who met with the disciples? – Christ.
(iii) Who empowered the disciples for witness? – The Holy Spirit.
God’s work in us is His miracle, from beginning to end.
- He takes away the stony heart of unbelief.
- He comes to us, in Christ, and gives us new life.
- He comes to us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to equip us for witness.
(3) The resurrection was proclaimed in the message of the Church.
(i) “witnesses of the resurrection” (Acts 1:22).
(ii) Preaching the resurrection (Acts 2:24; Acts 4:33).
(iii) Paul preaching the resurrection (Acts 17:18).
Today, the resurrection of Christ must still be the heart of the Church’s message: “He is not here. He has risen!”


Jesus was dead and buried. The Pharisees were jubilant. They were celebrating. That was the end of the troublemaker. Jesus was dead and buried. The disciples were despondent. They were mourning. They had lost their great Friend.
Joy and sadness: the joy of the Pharisees and the sadness of the disciples - Soon, it was all going to change. The joy of the Pharisees would be short-lived. The sadness of the disciples would soon turn to gladness. Soon, everything was about to change. Soon, Jesus’ enemies would know that their evil plot had backfired on them. Soon, the disciples would know that this was not a hopeless end. Soon, they would know that this was the beginning of an endless hope.
Think of the endless hope which the resurrection of Christ opened up for His disciples: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). This is our glorious hope: “Death is swallowed up in victory … Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54, 57).
* How does a hopeless end become an endless hope? The answer is found in these wonderful words, which announced Christ’s resurrection - “He is not here. He has risen!” (Luke 24:6).
* Jesus had spoken, prophetically, concerning His crucifixion and resurrection – “Remember how He spoke to you … “(Luke 24:6-7). The Lord’s promise had been fulfilled. Jesus had kept His Word. He had returned from the grave. He had triumphed over the grave. Remembering Jesus Christ, “risen from the dead”, we rejoice that He did not raise false hopes and then leave them dashed. We rejoice that He did what He said He would do. He rose from the dead. As we think about of the words of prophecy, spoken by Jesus and fulfilled by Him in His resurrection from the dead, let us think also of His words of prophecy concerning His Second Coming. Jesus said that He would come again to gather His believing people into His Father’s house: “Do not let your hearts be troubled …” (John 14:1-3). Jesus has fulfilled His prophecy concerning His resurrection. He will fulfil His prophecy concerning our resurrection to eternal life. We look back to His resurrection. We look forward to our resurrection in Him. This is the joy of the resurrection – Christ’s resurrection and our resurrection in Him. It is the joy of fulfilment. It is the joy of the resurrection which has already taken place – Christ’s resurrection. It is the joy of anticipation, the joy of the resurrection which has yet to take place – our resurrection in Christ.

“The Resurrection Factor” (Luke 24:5) and “The Hallelujah Factor” (Luke 24:52-53)

The Resurrection Factor and The Hallelujah Factor - These are the titles of books which highlight for us two important  aspects of our Christian faith: Jesus has risen from the dead. We rejoice in the risen Lord.
The Resurrection Factor  and The Hallelujah Factor - The titles of these books could have been taken from the words of Luke 24:5 -  “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (the Resurrection Factor) and Luke 24:52-53 - “And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple, blessing God” ( the Hallelujah Factor).
* What is “the Resurrection Factor”? 
Is it just a nice idea - something we’d like to think was true, but we don’t really believe that it is true?  No! The Bible tells us that Jesus’ resurrection is a fact of history. Jesus has risen from the dead.
Is it just a matter of the memory of Jesus living on in the minds of His disciples? No! The Bible tells us that it is a mighty miracle of God - something that God has done. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the power of the living God.
This is the resurrection factor - a fact of history, a mighty miracle of God!
Jesus had been dead. Now, He is alive. This is the resurrection factor.
How did this happen?  - GOD  raised Him from the dead.
Worldly unbelievers may say, “Surely, you don’t believe this? We hear what the world is saying, but we also ask, “What does the Word say?
Jesus had spoken to His disciples about both His crucifixion and His resurrection (Luke 24:7).  Jesus’ resurrection is a confirmation of who He is - “the Son of God” (Romans 1:4) and the fulfilment of what He came to do - His triumph over death (Acts 2:23-24). This is the resurrection factor - the Son of God has triumphed over death. Now, in His Name, salvation is proclaimed to us. In “the Name of Jesus Christ …  whom God raised from the dead”, there is “salvation.” He is the solid Rock upon which our faith is built since there is “no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).
* What is the Hallelujah Factor? 
It is our response to the Resurrection Factor. It is joyful praise, arising from the hearts of those who know that Jesus has risen from the dead.
Can there be true joy without His resurrection? Can we truly praise God if the story of Christ ended on the Cross?
There can be no joyful praise if there is no triumphant resurrection: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).
Before there can be the Hallelujah Factor, there needs to be the Resurrection Factor.
There is a Resurrection Factor - “Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20). This Resurrection Factor leads to the Hallelujah Factor: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:5-7).
We begin with the Resurrection Factor, and we move on, from there, to the Hallelujah Factor. We believe the fact - “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” - and  the song of praise arises in our hearts - we “rejoice  with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of our faith - the salvation of our souls” (1 Peter 1:3, 8-9).

Here, we look at Jesus’ ministry of God’s Word. He speaks as the risen Christ. We see His pattern for us today. It is through His presence among us that there is a true and growing understanding of God’s Word. When we gather to hear God’s Word, we must come into the Lord’s House, believing that Jesus will fulfil to us His precious promise: “where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
We focus particular attention on Luke 24:25-27, Luke 24:30-32, Luke 24:44-49 and Luke 24:52-53.
* “all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27) – This is a reference to the Old Testament. Many people dismiss the Old Testament. They tell us that we don’t need to pay attention to it. Jesus tells us that this attitude is “foolish” (Luke 24:25). We have much to learn from the Old Testament. It directs us to the New Testament. The promises, given in the Old Testament, have been fulfilled in the New Testament. A notable example of this is found in Isaiah 53, which speaks, prophetically, of Christ’s death on the cross for the salvation of sinners. In the New Testament, Christ is at the centre of everything. The Gospels tell His Story. Acts tells of the advance of His Gospel. The Letters apply the message of His Gospel. Revelation shows us the glory of Christ.
* In Luke 24:30-32, we see that, through the ministry of God’s Word, our hearts are warmed and our eyes are opened.
* In Luke 24:44-49, we move on from receiving God’s Word from the Lord (Luke 24:44-46) to sharing God’s Word with others (Luke 24:47-49). As we receive and share God’s Word, we are to pray that His Word will be spoken to us and spoken by us with “power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
* In Luke 24:52-53, we are reminded that the preaching of God’s Word flourishes when God’s people bring to Him their joyful praise and worship.


With great joy, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Christ’s resurrection is (i) a fact of history - something that happened; (ii) a fact of faith - something that we believe; (iii) a fact of experience – something that changes us.
We focus our attention on Luke 24:30-35. We will learn about the Person of Christ – who He is; the Purpose of Christ – what He has done for us; the Presence of Christ – how He continues to bless us today.
(1) The Person of Christ – who He is.
Note the contrast between the description of Jesus, given in Luke 24:19, and the declaration of Jesus resurrection in Luke 24:34 – “the Lord has risen.” He is more than “a prophet.” He is “the Lord.” What convinced these disciples that Jesus is more than “a prophet”? What convinced them that He is “the Lord”? – His resurrection (Romans 1:1-4).
(2) The Purpose of Christ – why He came.
Luke 24:30-31, 35 – This was not a Communion service. It was an ordinary sharing of bread. There is no mention of wine. The two people weren’t present at the institution of the Lord’s Supper in the upper room. Perhaps, They had heard about the Last Supper. Perhaps, they had been present at the feeding of the five thousand. Perhaps, as the risen Christ broke bread with them, they noticed the nail marks on His hands. All we are told is this – “Jesus was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread. They recognized Him when He broke the bread” (Luke 24:35). The simple action of breaking the bread turns our thoughts to the symbolic action – the broken bread speaks to us of our Saviour’s body, broken for us.
Here, we see the purpose of Christ. Here, we see the purpose of His love. The cross of Christ stands at the heart of the Gospel. This is the Good News – “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures … He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). When we think of the power of Christ’s resurrection, we must also remember the love of His crucifixion.
(3) The Presence of Christ – how He continues to bless us today.
In the time between His resurrection and his ascension, Christ was preparing His disciples for the time when He would no longer be with them as a bodily presence. He was preparing them for a new stage in the knowledge of Him. The risen Lord is unseen, but He is never absent. He is with them always. He is with us always. Christ ministers to us. He does this through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who brings Christ to us. He does this by way of the Holy Scriptures. Christ’s pattern of revelation is still the same for us.
(i) Instruction in the Scriptures;
(ii) The warming of the heart;
(iii) The opening of the eyes;
(iv) Unseen but never absent, the Saviour sends us out to walk by faith – “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Luke 24:13-53

‘In all the Scriptures’, Jesus teaches ‘the things concerning Himself’(27). Do ‘our hearts burn within us… while He opens to us the Scriptures?’(32). He calls us to be His ‘witnesses’, to preach His message of salvation ‘to all nations’(47-48). Before we can preach, we must listen to Him. Before we can proclaim His resurrection, we must consider His suffering for us: ‘See my hands and my feet’(39) – even after His resurrection, they still bear ‘the mark of the nails’(John 20:25). Listen to Christ. Consider His suffering for you. Be ‘clothed with power from on high. Let the Lord ‘bless’ you, strengthening your worship and filling you ‘with great joy’. With all this going on in your lives, we will consider it not only our responsibility but our joyful privilege to be His ‘witnesses’(48-53)!


The Gospel is Good News. The preaching of the Gospel is the telling of the story of Christ’s birth, His baptism, His victory over temptation, His transfiguration, His crucifixion, His resurrection and His ascension.
This is the story of our Saviour.
* It is the story of all that He came to do for us – the purpose of His coming to earth.
* It is the story of all that He has done for us – He has provided us with the perfect sacrifice for our sin (His death for us) and the perfect example for our living (His perfect life).
* It is the story of all that He will do for us – In His resurrection and ascension, there is the forward look.
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Resurrection and ascension
* Luke 24:36 – Jesus is a wonderful Saviour. He speaks to us His wonderful words of peace.
* Luke 24:37-39 – The disciples were “terrified.” They were “troubled.” Jesus shows them that this is real. They are not imagining things. Jesus really has risen from the dead.
* Luke 24:44-46 – A backward look: The Scriptures have been fulfilled.
* Luke 24:47-48 – A forward look: There is work to be done and you are the people who must do it.
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How are we to do the work of the Lord? – “with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Notice that the disciples were to “stay in the city.” Here, we see the vital connection between worship and witness. When we worship, we come to God in our weakness. We come, confessing our sin. We come, seeking His forgiveness. We wait upon the Lord for the renewal of our strength. As our strength is renewed, we begin to worship and we are equipped for witness.
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Weakness, Waiting, Worship, Witness – God is speaking to us concerning these things.
* In our weakness, we come, needing God’s blessing. We need the blessing, spoken of in Luke 24:50 – “Lifting up His hands, He blessed them.”
* In our waiting, we believe that God is going to fulfil His promise: “I send the promise of My Father upon you, but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).
* As we wait upon the Lord, our waiting becomes worship – We worship “with great joy … continually in the temple, blessing God” (Luke 24:52-53).
* Worship “in the temple” leads to witness in the world – “repentance and forgiveness of sins” is to “be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to these things” (Luke 24:47-48).

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