Ichthys Acronym Image
Ichthys home navigation button

Gospel Questions XV

Word RTF

Question #1:

 Does Luke mean here that he is writing a chronological history ("to write it out for you in consecutive order")?

it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,
Luke 1:3 NKJV

Response #1:

The word kathexes has been taken to mean that – but of course there is a chronological thread in all historical writing, and Luke is no different in following the story in this manner. More likely, given Luke's uses of the word elsewhere in his gospel and in Acts, the word means something like "next", in the sense of "the next one to do so" – which tells us that Luke was indeed not the first to write and that he knew it too (this also syncs with "to me also" in v.3).

Question #2:

Is there any lesson in the fact that it is Gabriel who is sent to Daniel to explain matters of eschatology and to Zechariah and Mary in connection with the birth of the Messiah?

And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings."
Luke 1:19 NKJV

Response #2:

Gabriel is an archangel, one of a college of seven, and these are entrusted with special missions (see the link https). Gabriel's particular expertise seems to be as the Lord's herald (which is the commonality in all of the specific mentions of him).

Question #3:

Did Mary think at all about what might happen to her if she suddenly got pregnant while engaged to Joseph?

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:38 NKJV

Response #3:

It is a mark of Mary's great faith that she didn't let such considerations bother her. Most of us, given a great task by the Lord, would immediately revert to human-viewpoint and consider all the potential hazards and problems. Even Moses and Gideon did so. Not Mary.

Question #4:

If Elizabeth was already six months gone by the time Mary came visiting and Mary stayed about three months with her, is it within reason to assume that she was there when John was born?

And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
Luke 1:56 NKJV

Response #4:

It's certainly possible.

Question #5:

Verse 7. I ran into something you said about this to the effect that it was only the Lord Jesus Who suffered the humiliation here. Can you explain it again to me, sir?

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7 NKJV

Response #5:

The "manger" is a movable feeding trough which was used as a crib since they didn't have one at the inn. The notion of the whole family bedding down in a barn is not scriptural. The sign to the shepherds was the lowly crib used for the Savior of the world.

Question #6:

This is not saying that the two were high priests at the same time, right? Rather that everything happened during their two tenures.

while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
Luke 3:2 NKJV

Response #6:

Correct. And Annas retained some power when his son in law Caiaphas became the high priest. Our Lord's first "trial" was before Annas; then He was taken to Caiaphas.

Question #7:

Comparing Matthew 1:12, should we assume that different branches from the same lineage could name their children in much the same way? The genealogy in Luke is separates from the one in Matthew after David where Luke traces from Nathan while Matthew traced from Solomon. But the names are similar at some points including the one I just pointed out. These two Zerubbabels and the two Shealtiels are four different people therefore. But it wouldn't be unusual if the Jews of that time tended to name their children similar to each other. Luke appears to suggest that this was the case through the example of the naming of John in chapter 1. Do you agree, sir?

the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,
Luke 3:27 NKJV

Response #7:

Repeating names are not uncommon in any culture. In some cultures, children take the name of the grandfather (e.g., Erik Svenson's grandfather is Sven, and Erik's son will be Sven Erikson). Even names which seem to us unique and even bizarre may be more common – even in the Bible – than we would imagine without paying close attention to the many genealogies. The Greek name "Thucydides" seems odd to us – but it turns out that there were a lot of them (as many as 17 from the Classical and post-Classical periods) besides the famous historian.

Question #8:

I used to be confused about this and other accounts of this story. I wasn't sure if our Lord was tempted during the forty days while He fasted or after He finished fasting. The reason was that if He had finished fasting, it shouldn't be a temptation whether He should eat or not. But He was tempted throughout those forty days, wasn't He? The three temptations at the end of His fast were just the only ones recorded, not the only ones that He faced, weren't they? Or is this a language problem? As for being tempted to eat when the fast had ended, the issue was not really about whether He should eat then or not but whether He would follow Satan's lead when there appeared to be a legitimate reason to or whether He would not. Is this a correct way of appreciating this?

being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
Luke 4:2 NKJV

Response #8:

Mark 1:13 and Luke 4:2 both say that our Lord was being tested/tempted by the devil throughout the forty days; all three accounts (Matthew included) present these three tests/trials as the last ones taking place when the forty days had been completed.

Question #9:

Verse 13 seems to me to confirm what you said in the Luke Questions PDF. The way that part is structured appears to suggest that the description of the temptations was to make a point rather than to necessarily trace history strictly. For one thing, it appears to imply that there were other temptations.

Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Luke 4:13 NKJV

Response #9:


Question #10:

This is a return from the wilderness where He was led by the Spirit to be tempted, isn't it, sir?

Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
Luke 4:14 NKJV

Response #10:

Based on Matthew 4:12 and Mark 1:14 we know that our Lord's return to Galilee followed Him receiving news of John's imprisonment. This happened in the spring, but our Lord was baptized the prior fall, so there are approximately 180 days between these two events of which the time of testing in the wilderness is only 40. Mark 1:12 says that the Spirit led Him into the wilderness "immediately" upon Him being baptized and demarcated publically as the Messiah, and while that allows for a few days wherein He treats with the soon-to-be disciples (as John relates), it cannot have been too many. So it seems our Lord did not return to Galilee immediately after the conclusion of the forty days.

Question #11:

What was this? Was it the custom that any member of the congregation in a synagogue could stand up at will to read? How did it work exactly? Or was this somehow just a response to the Lord's authority?

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
Luke 4:16 NKJV

Response #11:

We know from Paul's experience in Acts that individuals "with something to say" were invited to do so at synagogue services on the Sabbath. Clearly, the congregation wanted to hear what the Lord had to say on this occasion (even if they were not happy with what they heard).

Question #12:

Regarding Luke 4:22-30. Is this a different time from the Matthew 13 story? Or was it the same story?

So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
Luke 4:28-30 NKJV

Response #12:

Matthew 13:54ff. seems to be a different occurrence.

Question #13:

Is this a prophecy of the event in Matthew 23? I thought it might be. But then their initial admiration of Him turned into an attempt at murder so that I wondered. It doesn't seem to me a prophecy about the Cross since the "physician, heal thyself" is prophesied to be thrown as a taunt at Him because of the miracles that He wouldn't be doing in Nazareth rather than because He would not be coming down from the Cross. Am I right about that, sir?

He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ”
Luke 4:23 NKJV

Response #13:

I would agree that the sentiment these people used to try to undermine our Lord in this passage is similar to the taunt thrown at Him on the cross. However, this proverb is not a biblical one but a common saying; in the context of Matthew 27:42 the taunt in the following verse is actually a quotation of scripture fulfilled by the crucifixion:

All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
“He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
Psalm 22:7-8 NKJV

Question #14:

I thought that this part might mean that this is the same as the Matthew 13 story but #6 above is one reason I wasn't sure that it was. There is no reason that our Lord would not have said this twice to them, is there?

Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country."
Luke 4:24 NKJV

Response #14:

Our Lord no doubt said many things many times over the three plus years of His public ministry. Repetition is the key to teaching, and there are many instances where similar sentiments are repeated within the same gospel (making that principle clear). As John says at the end of his gospel, "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (Jn.21:25 NKJV). The gospel writers were led by the Spirit to include just what we needed to hear and know – but this is only a small fraction of what our Lord said and did.

Question #15:

Why do the demons keep declaring the identity of our Lord? And why does our Lord continue to rebuke them and stop them from doing so any further? Was it because they were interfering with the free will choice of those who heard them to believe in the Lord or not? Is that even possible, that they could interfere with that free will choice just by declaring our Lord's identity?

Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.
Luke 4:33-35 NKJV (cf. Lk.4:41)

Response #15:

The fact of this demonstrates His power and authority, so overwhelmingly that even His angelic adversaries have to "bow the knee" before Him (Is.45:23; Rom.14:11; Phil.2:10). The prohibition from our Lord is exactly along the lines of why He taught in parables, that is, so that those who were not willing to receive the truth might be able to reject it (whereas the demons could be in no doubt because of their greater powers of perception); free will, I would agree, is at the heart of the matter when it comes to truth being veiled to those who are not interested in receiving it.

Question #16:

I feel that there's a lesson in here for us. Do you think that it is a reasonable application of this verse for us to be wary of an elitist, separatist attitude that claims to derive from having Christ? That is, those who truly have Christ and know what He is about know that He is seeking to reconcile the whole world to God through us so that we don't become aloof or hermits. While we recognize a true distinction between Christ and the world and therefore between believers and unbelievers, we don't try to separate from the world and build our own little universe cut off from everyone else on account of the idea that we exclusively possess Christ for whatever reason. Is this a reasonable application?

Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them;
Luke 4:42 NKJV

Response #16:

I think that's a fine application. In terms of interpretation, beyond what is obvious in our Lord's very clear words, the individuals who wanted to keep Him there were likely not even believers – or not very positive ones if they were. They were benefitting from His blessing and healing and they wished that to continue – along the lines of the five thousand who get the free lunch and track Him down on the other side of the Sea of Galilee, but are really only interested in more free lunches in a kingdom they hope will come immediately – though they are unwilling to accept Him as He is or to understand what the first advent was all about (Jn.6:60-66).

Question #17:

Verse 16. For "to", the NASB has "in" in the footnote. Why is that? Is our Lord teaching the crowds in wildernesses and slipping away from them while there? Or is he slipping away from them wherever they are in order to go into the wildernesses to pray? Also, these wildernesses are also desert places as the NASB footnote says, right? And just to make sure, He chooses these places to pray in to avoid distractions, doesn't He?

So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
Luke 5:16 NKJV

Response #17:

The Greek has "in", not "into", but the prepositional phrase can be taken either way. Our Lord made it a practice to remove Himself for privacy in prayer throughout His ministry, regardless of where He was ministering. A good lesson for us.

Question #18:

Our Lord appears to be reacting to the faith of the man's friends or does the "their" there refer to the friends of the man and the sick man himself? Is there some way to be sure? Is it possible that our Lord will forgive someone's sins because of another person's faith in their behalf? Is this the meaning of "[giving] life for him (that is, the person praying for the sinning brother) to those who commit sin not leading to death (that is, the sinning brother)" in 1 John 5:16?

When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
Luke 5:20 NKJV

Response #18:

I think our Lord knew better than we can imagine just exactly where the true faith resided. The man's friends may have had faith, but they would be unlikely to have the same measure of it, each and every one. The common factor is the man himself. His friends only go to these extremes because he is insisting (we deduce), and that insistence to do something that is never done is indicative of deep faith.

Question #19:

This passage is often used to justify what seems to me an unhealthy mixing up with the world where churches and professing believers make a point of associating with unbelievers even in questionable activities. For example, while I was still mixed up with the church scene, there was often the drive to use music that aped secular art and sometimes secular, unbelieving musicians themselves in church programs to "attract unbelievers to come and hear the gospel". It was often proclaimed as Christian witnessing and true humility to "hang out" with unbelievers. And I did plenty of that both in action and in vehement profession as well. But it doesn't mean that at all, does it? Matthew wanted to have the Lord in his home after he himself had embraced Him as his Master and of course anyone who has tasted the Lord wants everyone else to know about Him especially others just like us. So, this is hardly a situation of accommodating sin and rebellion but instead of joyfully and humbly celebrating the Lord Who did not leave him in his sin, isn't it?

And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Luke 5:30-32 NKJV

Response #19:

I agree with you. For our Lord to attend a reception given by one of His disciples and to use the opportunity to further the truth is a far cry from desecrating a church which is supposed to be teaching the truth with all manner of pointless activities. This just goes to show that many people do what they want and then look to the Bible for some verse or other to justify their actions (it won't, but they were going to do what they wanted in any case).

Question #20:

Who are the "they" here? The Pharisees and their scribes of verse 30? If so, why do they speak of themselves in the third person here?

Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?”
Luke 5:33 NKJV

Response #20:

This would be the other people at the banquet who were neither scribes nor Pharisees but who were equally offended by the truth.

Question #21:

Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’
Luke 5:33-39 NKJV

I had a conversation about this passage and similar accounts of it in other gospels with a former teacher of mine some time ago. Could you look at it and tell me what you think, sir? 

Here it is:

What do you think of Mark 2:21-22 in terms of our discussion about remaining in and continuing to attend church where the Truth of God's Word is neither not the focus or is very poorly treated? Consider also Luke 5:33-39, esp verse 39.

Please may i know how these scriptures relate to that discussion?

I was thinking in terms of the fact that when a believer commits to God's Truth, that is like taking new wine and church groups can be like old wineskins. In the event that the believer tries to put this new thing of such potency into this old thing, there is a chance that instead of saving it, he will destroy it and the Truth will still be wasted just like the new wine is lost when the old wineskins bursts. What do you think, sir?

That saying means that God does not put His life in an old life.

That seems strange to me in light of the Luke passage. Clearly, Nicodemus could receive God's life in his heart even though he was a Pharisee but Jesus's response here was made to the Pharisees and to John's disciples who were upholding old traditions when the new was right there to be had.

The old life (sin) must be dealt with before the new life is put in one. Nicodemus' natural life was dealt with before the new life was put in him. The passages are to the effect that old life and new life cannot coexist

Oh. I understand what you said now. But it seems to me that the same works for institutions like denominations. While they still cling to their errors, it is really not possible to "change them from within", is it?

I don't want to apply it to denominations, as that will be out of context!

Can you explain that further for me, sir? My reservation is that John's disciples and the Pharisees were very like today's denominations in so far as they were clearly defined institutions that possessed and held on to traditions and doctrines that gave no place to the Truth.

Jesus was speaking to the scribes and Pharisees only. He was speaking to the nature they carry, which is SIN. Denominations of today have born again Christians unlike the Pharisees, so it can't apply.

Yes, sir, it was the Scribes and Pharisees who asked the question. I was referring to the practice of John's disciples as well since in another place (Matthew 9:14), they themselves also ask the question and get the same answer from our Lord. I think that the two groups (Pharisees et al and today's denominations) are very similar in that respect. I mentioned Nicodemus who remained a secret disciple of Jesus until His Death at which time he came out with it. Two of our Lord's first disciples also, one of whom was Andrew who later became an apostle, also came to our Lord from among John's disciples. That might mean that there were some among them who also truly believed in our Lord but who still identified with John for whatever reason. That is what we see in today's denominations as well. So, the two situations appear very similar to me.  END

I would be very happy to learn where I was wrong or could have been more right if possible, sir.

Response #21:

You are right on the money. Your interpretation is correct. The other person's application is a loose one and capable of great misinterpretation, but it is not in any case the correct interpretation. Jesus is clearly comparing the legalistic and ineffective teaching of the scribes and Pharisees in their synagogues to the powerful new teaching of the truth by Himself (and later by those who belong to Him) – and that is why He did not, after the inauguration of His ministry, go into the synagogues to teach. Likewise, while Paul began there often, he always ended up moving to other venues.

Question #22:

What is the lesson in our Lord's words here? And did David actually break the Law by eating that bread and giving it to his companions?

And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” But Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he went into the house of God, took and ate the showbread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat?” And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Luke 6:2-5 NKJV

Response #22:

The lesson is that the Lord made the Sabbath for the benefit of His people; it is not meant to be a means of oppressing or disadvantaging His people – and it is certainly no means for finding fault with Him who is the Lord of the Sabbath. As our Lord points out repeatedly, necessary things can overrule the Sabbath rest requirements. I dare say that if your spouse were ill and needed immediate medical attention the fact that the doctor was more than a Sabbath's journey away should not dissuade you from fetching him. David was on the run for his life and the bread no doubt saved his life and the lives of the men fleeing with him. I guarantee you that Saul would not have stopped the pursuit because it was the Sabbath. People often use religious scruples as excuses for not doing the right or necessary thing because they don't want to, or for finding fault with others. This is evil hypocrisy and our Lord is calling it out here.

Question #23:

Jesus telling us to "turn the other cheek" in Luke 6:27-36, this passage is teaching us to bear humiliation and inconvenience without fighting back or attempting to hurt other people even if they are the immediate cause of our humiliation and discomfort. I believe you distinguished this from how we ought to react to threats to life and one's loved ones and crimes perpetrated against us. Have I got this right, sir?

Response #23:

Yes, and nicely put! There is no serious threat to life and limb in the situations the Lord describes. Self-defense is something entirely different as is legitimate use of deadly force by constituted authority. After all, our Lord will personally slaughter the armies of antichrist at Armageddon and thus save Israel (compare the typical parallel of the Red Sea: Ex.14-15).

Question #24:

In Luke 6:39-49, am I right to think that our Lord was teaching multiple lessons here rather than addressing Himself to one subject matter?

Response #24:

I'm not willing to say that there is no continuity whatsoever to long passages in the gospels where there is no indication that our Lord stopped speaking; but it is also true that there are many instances where it is incontrovertible that He introduces topics that are "new enough" that we will make a mistake of interpretation by overly belaboring the connection.

Question #25:

Why does Luke omit what Jesus does to make the miracle happen? Was it to focus on the man's unusual faith?

And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.” Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.
Luke 7:2-10 NKJV

Response #25:

The point about drawing attention to the man's unusually strong faith is a good one. Jesus did not need to "do" anything but merely proclaim it for it to happen (not that this did not entail effort on His part in His humanity). Often He does "do" a variety of things for healing et al., because of a lack of similar faith or to make a specific point such as the legitimacy of doing the Will of God on the Sabbath (touch healing assigns the source to Him), and also for Him to have to "work" for the Will of God to be done (cf. Ex.17:11-12).

Question #26:

Was it usual that a crowd would follow a bereaved person like that? Or was this a special circumstance?

And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.
Luke 7:12 NKJV

Response #26:

As with funerals today, my impression is that such a genuine outpouring of support was a sign of the grace the individual and / or his mother had in the eyes of the townspeople (cf. Prov.10:11).

Question #27:

Why did they stop?

Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
Luke 7:12 NKJV

Response #27:

I imagine for the same reason that a crowd would stop today if it bumped into a person of immense authority and standing, namely, to see what he would have to say.

Question #28:

It seems to me that by the time our Lord raised Lazarus He had raised at least this widow's son from the dead but it was still hard for His disciples to believe that He could raise Lazarus. To be fair, I am not certain that Mary, Martha and Lazarus had even learned about Him by this time. But His apostles were there. Their later reaction at the time of the Lazarus miracle seems a little like they had forgotten about this one (although the particular stated concern there seemed to be for the Lord's safety from the Jews). But as you said before, we are often very weak just as they were then and very soon after a miracle we may forget that God is powerful enough and knowing enough to rescue us out of all difficulty.

Response #28:

It's a good point that the disciples ought to have been much more spiritually advanced than they were, given their proximity to the Lord for so long (Mary and Martha, however, were among the greatest believers of their generation: cf., Matt.26:13; Jn.11:21-27).

Question #29:

What does our Lord mean here? I'm not sure I haven't asked this question or read an answer from any of the Q & A PDFs because it has bothered me for a long time but I don't remember any answer from you about it. From everything I've learned from you, I am confident that OT believers were very much a part of the Church. But why does our Lord say that the least in the kingdom is greater than John Whom our Lord declared to be the greatest of all prophets ever born. I don't understand at all.

“For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
Luke 7:28 NKJV

Response #29:

Basic meaning: better the last in line at the resurrection than tops in the Church and still in the world (see the link).

Question #30:

Is Nain in or around Bethany? The scene shifts rather seamlessly from raising the widow's son from the dead to John the Baptist's query to being in Simon's house. That's why I wonder.

Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.
Luke 7:36-39 NKJV

Response #30:

As with many geographic references in scripture, no one knows for certain. Some have identified it with a place in the north fairly close to Mt. Tabor. If so, that is a long way from Bethany which was within relatively easy walking distance of Jerusalem.

Question #31:

It appears that the Lord turns things inside out. First He says that Mary is forgiven all her many sins "for she loved much" then He says, "he who is forgiven little loves little". He is speaking to Simon about the human perception of sin, isn't He? Because who can say truthfully that they have only so little to be forgiven? And I think that our love for God is taught in the Bible to be a response to His magnanimity in forgiving us. So, there is more in what our Lord was saying than that because Mary loved so much, she was forgiven so much? Am I right about this, sir?

“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Luke 7:47 NKJV

Response #31:

I think our Lord says that it's the other way around. He forgives us all everything, after all, having died for all of our sins. But a person who feels that he/she needs very little forgiveness will be naturally less grateful than a person who fully realizes just how much that forgiveness was needful. The irony, of course, is that if a person committed just one sin of the tiniest moment, without the cross there could be no eternal life but only damnation. So regardless of how WE view ourselves and how good or bad we think we've been, every Christian (and every human being) ought to recognize the magnitude of the cross and that we owe our Lord more than we could ever properly imagine.

Question #32:

This is probably the clearest rendering of this part of the parable. It seems obvious from here that the issue is that the Word result in a mature faith that bears fruit. And I read the cross-references again and they were abundantly clear as well to me now. The issue in all of them is fruitfulness not a complete failure of faith. The faith just does not mature enough to be fruitful but it does remain. I am happy to be able to see it this clearly now.

"Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity."
Luke 8:14 NKJV

Response #32:

Good!  Covered in Peter #12.

Question #33:

It seems that bearing fruit is very closely associated with "perseverance" or "steadfastness".

"But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."
Luke 8:15 NKJV

Response #33:

Yes, hypomone, "perseverance" ("patience" in the translation above), is an important Christian virtue:

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance (hypomone) that are ours in Jesus . . .
Revelation 1:9 NIV

We have tribulation in the world as we look forward to the kingdom, and "patient endurance" (hypomone) is what keeps us holding on to the hope of what is to come in the face of the waves of trouble and darkness here in devil's world (cf. e.g., Rom.2:7; 5:3-4; 8:25; Heb.12:1; 2Pet.1:6).

Question #34:

Is there a connection between this bit and what our Lord was saying just before? Verse 18 makes me think that there is. If there is, what exactly is it? And what does verse 18 mean?

"No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."
Luke 8:16-18 NKJV

Response #34:

In my experience, this is generally not a fruitful path of interpretation. Our Lord's teaching is a perfect, complete whole, but it is split up into four gospels (which of course only provide limited details chosen by the Spirit: Jn.21:25). That is not to say that the order is not also inspired or that there is no reason for it; clearly there must be. But when a new parable or a new subject follows, trying to say that there is therefore an interpretative twist to be placed on the next or the prior element of teaching – unless that is obvious and clearly intentional – usually not only results in spinning one's wheels but can very often produce more harm than good when trying to find "the reason for the connection" is forced.

Question #35:

Is the Lord back in Capernaum or Nazareth at this point? Or did His family come looking for Him wherever He was here?

Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
Luke 8:19-21 NKJV

Response #35:

Text doesn't say, however, this passage seems to be directly parallel to Matthew 12:46-50 and Mark 3:31-35; Mark seems to place this event following the ordaining of the twelve (Mk.3:14ff.). According to Thomas and Gundry, this would have been in Galilee, but I'm not sure we can say definitively.

Question #36:

 How was our Lord able to speak to a crowd of 5 000 at that time and have them all able to hear Him? Was this another miracle? If it was, He must have been doing it a lot.

But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.”
Luke 9:14 NKJV

Response #36:

There are many examples of public speakers having trained their voices to be able to accomplish such feats. John Wesley was famous for this, and also Demosthenes in Classical times. So I'm not surprised our Lord was able to do so. It does demonstrate another aspect of His diligent preparation: such a voice has to be developed.

Question #37:

Our Lord tended to organize things, didn't He?

Response #37:

He did absolutely everything "decently and in order" (1Cor.14:40).

Question #38:

This command used to puzzle me. I understand that many times when He told people He had done a miracle for to not say anything about it it was to reduce attention directed toward Him. But this seems a bit different. My thought right now is that telling the Jews that He was their Messiah was just provoking them at the wrong time. They did not accept Him so He was not going to tell them Who He really was not until it was time for Him to go to the Cross. Am I right in that understanding, Sir?

And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one,
Luke 9:21 NKJV

Response #38:

Yes, that is correct. We are told that He gave everything in parables because of their unwillingness to hear (e.g., Matt.13:10ff.; 13:34ff.), and told us to beware of casting pearls before swine for fear of being trampled by the ungrateful (Matt.7:6). This is a good lesson for the over-eager. For while being overly reluctant to share the truth with others is not commendable, being overly-eager also carries its own liabilities. Knowing precisely the right time, place and manner of speaking the truth is thus another thing we can learn from our Lord's example.

Question #39:

It surprised me to learn that I had lost sight of the "daily" in this command. For a long time, it was a big theme in my life that you carried the Cross daily - which at the time meant that I had to find some way or must at least be willing to suffer some inconvenience for the Lord everyday. But after I started studying Ichthys, I've learned just how hard it is to make Bible study, prayer and diligent, studious application of the truths of the Bible to one's daily life can be. To be sure, I am more surprised than I can imagine anybody being that I have learned as much as I have and changed as much as I have but to also see how easy it is to fail to read the Bible one day, then two days, then three and it stretches on, not to mention failing to pray as well, in the face of passages like this one is an awakening. This is partly what started me up again yesterday. I realized that I don't have tomorrow or next week or "when I have sorted this or that out". You had taught me that already but to my shame some of these lessons take a while to really come home to me. I came to appreciate that all I have is today, right now. If I am not reading the Bible today or praying for the Church today or studiously seeking understanding of the truths I find in the Bible today or believing it today or applying it today, then I am not doing any spiritual growing or producing today. Simple. And that means that today I am not pleasing God. Isn't that right, Sir? You did tell me in our very early emails that there will always be some reason to fail to do as we should. We could be too busy or too tired. But what needs to be done, what we are commanded to do is still our duty to do. And when we don't do it, we have failed to please our Commanding Officer. And that we pleased Him or failed to please Him TODAY is all that counts, right, Sir?

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Luke 9:23 NKJV

Response #39:

I would agree with you in general terms. The twin peril to avoid here is on the one hand setting a good standard that is too high to reasonably adhere to without stumbling and on the other hand completely demoralizing oneself as a result of the seemingly inevitable failure of strapping on more than one can reasonably bear. Everything we do for the Lord is good. Every improvement we can make in our approach to the end of being more effective and efficient for Him is good. But this is a growth process – and always will continue to be until we are perfect (which means perfecting will never end this side of heaven). More to the point of this command is the need to keep the proper mindset at all times day by day. That is a struggle too. When we remember to "carry our cross" we are reminded that our cross is very light compared to His, and that at the end of our road, even if it were to end in martyrdom, we will find ourselves before Him in glory a split-second later. None of us will have to die for a single sin – because He died for them all. So keeping the cross we are to carry in mind at all times and seeking to carry it well keeps our mission in the forefront of our thinking: we all have a cross to carry to a place the Lord is leading us, we all have a purpose for our lives which involves growth, progress and production in helping others. And when we see that mission in terms of the cross, we are reminded whom it is we are serving, and what He did for us so as to be able to have the great privilege of following in His footsteps.

Question #40:

So, the eight days count from when Peter acknowledged that our Lord is the Christ of God, Sir? And this acknowledgment was answered with a prophecy regarding His Death. I would like to refresh my memory on what you taught concerning that, Sir? And why does Matthew 17:1 say "six days later" instead of eight, Sir?

Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
Luke 9:28 NKJV

Response #40:

This is the difference between inclusive and non-inclusive counting, neither of which corresponds to our modern thinking on the matter. We would say "seven days later" and not "on the eighth day following when counting inclusively" or "when six full days had elapsed not counting the day He said this and the one on which it happened".

Question #41:

What words did our Lord mean here?

“Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
Luke 9:44 NKJV

Response #41:

This is a prophecy of Judas' betrayal and the resultant crucifixion. For the sake of His disciples, our Lord is emphatic about that here (hence the special language) because of the great revelation that the three had been given to see and the great miracle that had just taken place: such a thing as the crucifixion was deemed impossible in their minds despite His continual prediction of it. I suppose that is loosely analogous to Christians today who ignore the possibility of the Tribulation ACTUALLY happening and them finding themselves in it, even if they have heard true teaching on the subject.

Question #42:

Why were they afraid to ask Him what He meant?

But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.
Luke 9:45 NKJV

Response #42:

Probably because 1) they had heard this before and were embarrassed to admit that they didn't understand yet AND didn't accept it; and 2) they were no doubt also afraid to get more details about something they hoped wouldn't happen.

Question #43:

Part of verse 55 and then whole of the next verse except for "and they went on to another village" is said in the footnote not to be in early manuscripts. Is it a part of the Bible?

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.
Luke 9:55-56 NKJV

Response #43:

It is not part of scripture; it's only in printed Bibles today because of the KJV whose inferior exemplar based on only a couple of very late mss. includes it.

Question #44:

Why does our Lord have these two different attitudes? The enthusiastic-sounding one appears to have cold water poured on his zeal by the Lord and the colder one is given a stirring by the Lord. The first one is a test, isn't it? And so is the second. In the first, how true that zeal is is what the Lord is revealing with His words. And in the second, the test of faith in the Lord and His ability to take care of things that the man felt responsible for is what the Lord administers, is it not? Could you explain more comprehensively to me what "let the dead bury their dead" means, Sir?

Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
Luke 9:57-60 NKJV

Response #44:

Our Lord knows the hearts of all. The one who says "I will follow You wherever You go" probably received this reply because for whatever reason this emotionally expressed sentiment would not prove to be true and enduring (many people "talk the talk": cf. Matt.21:28-31). If he really did mean it at first, when it came to suffering the deprivations of this particular ministry, our Lord knew that this person would turn aside (far worse than not beginning to follow in the first place; cf. 2Pet.2:21-22). It may be that this individual, impressed by the power of our Lord's miracles and the growing "popularity" of His ministry was looking to "hitch his wagon to a star", as we say. Our Lord's words are in that case a rebuke of his faulty motives.

In the case of the one who says "let me first go and bury my father", our Lord discerns that this is just an excuse from a person who wants to put on a good show but not actually follow through (as in the case of a person who boasts of gifts never given: Prov.25:14). He wants credit for "being willing" (though he is not), even while he really has no intention of doing what he says. Our Lord therefore "calls" him on it. Incidentally, this in not a case of the father being dead and the funeral being the next day; the man is saying he has responsibilities to his family, but once these are discharged (who knows how long in the future), he'll do God's will.

Question #45:

What is the difference between this third case and the second so that our Lord responds this way to the man here?

And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:61-62 NKJV

Response #45:

The "problem" is the same, but in this case the man is genuinely interested in following our Lord – but he is not realizing that to go back home and attend to his affairs is going to cause him to become enmeshed in them again and not follow after all. Our Lord is very direct because of the terrible downside of "not getting to it", even when there really is a genuine spark.

Question #46:

Why do some manuscripts read one thing here while others read another? The footnote says that some manuscripts read 72 although it reads 70 here. I know that you hold that the correct reading is 72 and I believe you. But I don't remember too well anymore why there is this conflict. If I remember right, it has something to do with the similarity of mission that these have with the 144 000 whose number is actually a doubling of 72 with a multiplication of a 1000. Could you explain it to me again, Sir?

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also,[some mss. say 72] and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
Luke 10:1 NKJV

Response #46:

"70" is a "magic" number and that led to mistaken readings, whether a deliberate false "correction" or a natural slip. But the number is 72, a multiple of 12 and also 144K. See the link.

Question #47:

So, first the 12, then the 72 and finally the 144 000. The same mission and the same provisions.

Response #47:

Similar mission indeed and similar provisions, but, e.g., the 144,000 are all martyred at the same time. We don't know the fate of all of the twelve (Paul, of course, is enlisted later to replace Judas), but those who were martyred or predicted to be martyred (as with Peter) did not die at the same time, and we have no idea what happened to the 72, but we have no indication from scripture that they too were martyred (which may have been the case later on).

Question #48:

This puts me in mind of the ministry of the 144 000 too. Their special sealing also protects them from harm and it is around the conclusion of their own ministry that Satan loses his place in the heavens and is thrown down to the earth. So, our Lord's words here are also a prophecy about the 144 000 and the times in which they will work?

And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:18-20 NKJV

Response #48:

It's an excellent observation about the collocation of the "fall" our Lord relates here and the conclusion of the 144K ministry at that same time, the Tribulation's mid-point (when Satan and his angels are thrown down to earth and the 144,000 are martyred as the "first fruits" of the Great Persecution).

Question #49:

On the Good Samaritan, on the surface, this seems to say that we should be willing to help anyone we run into who is in material trouble. But this is not what our Lord is saying, is it? How do we interpret this passage in view of our calling to learn and grow in God's Truth and help others who are willing to do the same?

But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Luke 10:29-37 NKJV

Response #49:

I wouldn't say "anyone": 1) a "neighbor" is a believer in scripture first and foremost (e.g., Rom.15:2; Eph.4:25; Jas.2:5-10); while that is not to say that unbelievers should never be helped, believers are the ones to whom we are to direct our gaze (cf. Jas.2:15-17). Samaritans were considered "marginal" members of the community of faith if members at all, so this man's willingness to help a believer (all Israelites were supposed to be believers) further redounds to his credit; 2) the wounded man is in ABSOLUTE and IMMEDIATE need with no doubt about it AND with no one else around to help: if the Samaritan does not help, he will most likely die; 3) there is no danger posed to the Samaritan by this man inasmuch as he is helpless; so there is no chance that the Samaritan will be robed or "scammed" because the need is genuine; 4) the Samaritan clearly has the means, and while he does go out of his way and do wonderful things, the sense I get from the story is that he is not put off of his journey, he does not expend resources that are voluminous, nor more than he is easily able to spend; 5) once he has taken care of the man, he goes on his way, albeit with assurances that the man will be taken care of at his expense. So we rightly laud what the Samaritan did, but there are so many things here which are different from the sort of "guilt trip" charity that Christians are often "guilted into" that they need to be noticed and carefully considered.

Question #50:

I've always wanted to be like Mary but then I worry about getting Jesus something to eat sometimes. This is our arrogance, isn't it? He does not need us to give Him anything. We need Him to give us everything. I think that was what Mary totally got that me and Martha struggle with at least sometimes.

"But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:42 NKJV

Response #50:

Everything is about choice. This makes the point very clearly that if it is a question of material service or a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to the Lord's teaching, the latter is certainly better. And there are plenty of religions (some putatively Christian) where it's all about service with NO learning of the truth. Clearly, that is the wrong priority. We don't eschew service, but we put it in its proper place.

Question #51:

In the footnote, it says that phrases from Matthew 6:9-13 were added to make the two passages similar. But I can't tell what was added. What text was added there?

So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
Luke 11:2-4 NKJV

Response #51:

You'll have to tell me what English version you're referring too. The two prayers are slightly different in the original Greek, and it is true that some versions (as well as some Greek mss.) have assimilated the two. For instance, Luke says only, "Father", while Matthew qualifies, "Our Father, the One in the heavens" at the beginning. The substance of the two prayers is identical, however, and it is somewhat ironic that feuds over precise verbiage here manage to overlook the powerful meaning encapsulated in this prayer of all prayers (please see the links:

The Lord's Prayer I

The Lord's Prayer II

When we pray this, we are reminding ourselves that God Himself is our Father (and thinking about who He is and what that means) that His holiness will be established in a perfect world to come, that our true home and existence is there when He rules all and there is no rebellious creature free will, and that in the meantime we have been totally provided for, in forgiveness of our sins (looking backward at salvation and the cross), in provision for everything we need in this world today, and in deliverance through to the end to the resurrection or being taken back to Him. In other words, we already have what we are praying for and this prayer is the perfect one to reorient ourselves to these transcending heavenly realities we ought never to allow to slip from our hearts and minds. But arguing over words . . .

Question #52:

Were there other people besides the Lord casting out demons then? Were the children of the Pharisees casting out demons too?

"And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges."
Luke 11:19 NKJV

Response #52:

They were going through the motions, but they had no actual power to do this – analogous to all those today who pretend to perform exorcisms today. Our Lord's point is that if their sons pretended to such power, then it was doubly hypocritical of them to cast doubt upon Him who was actually casting out demons in fact.

Question #53:

What did Jesus mean by "today...and tomorrow...and the third day" and by "I will reach my goal (or be perfected as in the footnote)"?

And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’
Luke 13:32 NKJV

Response #53:

This is a prediction of His three and a half year ministry and its conclusion – but also of the resurrection on the third day.

Question #54:

What does this teaching mean? I have come to think that charity to the poor is not really what the Gospel is about. So, this is a little difficult for me to understand. Is it metaphorical? If it is, what does it stand for? If our Lord meant it literally however, what are the reasonable limits here since I don't think He means that we should never invite the well-to-do to our parties if we have them? Or could this be that He was dealing specifically with the attitude of the Pharisees, that is, with their tendency to pretend that only the rich and powerful were good enough for them and they would not be seen with poor people if they could help it, to avoid being associated with the sin that made those people poor? Or is it connected somehow to verses 15 - 24?

Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Luke 14:12-14 NKJV

Response #54:

There is charity and there is charity. Giving something genuinely needed to a believer in need is blessed. Giving money to some organization even if putatively run by believers where one has no real idea of the use to which it will be put is much less so. Spending money on oneself, one's friends, one's pleasures, may not be sinful (up to a point), but it certainly is not going to be rewarded because it is not rewardable. If we were really 100% "in" for earning eternal rewards, then we would be more inclined to do as Paul tells us, namely, "make every punch count" (1Cor.9:26). The problem people often have with our Lord's teachings such as this is that they apply them in an absolute way when they themselves are not absolutely perfect. But our Lord understands that we are not perfect. Nevertheless, everything He tells us is true. We are told, e.g., not to sin – but none of us ever comes close to fulfilling that command. What then? Shall we sin because we cannot be completely sinless? God forbid! We shall do our best to sin less and fight against sin with all our might – even though we understand that we will make mistakes and act out of selfishness from time to time. Similarly, devoting ourselves body and soul to the plan of God without compromise of any sort is beyond the strength of any Christian. What then? Shall we turn away in despair from the Will of God for our lives because we cannot be perfect? God forbid! That is the devil's trap. No, rather we shall set ourselves to running the best race we can day by day, and will try to do better every step of the way. We understand that reading our Bibles for an hour is better than sleeping for an hour. But we all need sleep. And we understand that ministering for an hour is better than attending a social function for an hour. But we all need some socializing, some friends, some family. Our Lord tells us here what is good and what is rewardable and recommends it. Of course we are going to be less than complete in our taking up of His good advice – but the more and the harder we try to do so, the greater will be our reward. So we don't have to feel that we should NEVER give a party for our friends or that we should ALWAYS stint ourselves for believers who are in need. But it is true that less of the former and more of the latter does result in a greater reward (provided, of course, correct motives, fulfillment of responsibilities to our families, genuine need on the part of actual believers receiving our benefits, etc.). Getting depressed about this passage is to take it the wrong way. Giving up everything as a result is to take it the wrong way (I doubt there is a single monk in the history of the world who is going to be highly rewarded – and I doubt the salvation of many). Becoming legalistic or shorting our families and their legitimate needs as a result of reading this is to take it the wrong way. Checking out our priorities letting the Spirit speak to us as to how we might do better as a result of reading this is the correct approach.

Question #55:

In the parable of the prodigal son (Lk.15:11-32). Who does the older brother represent here? Is he just part of the furniture of the parable or is he another point that Jesus was making?

"And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ "
Luke 15:27-30 NKJV

Response #55:

He represents 1) ungracious believers generally who take a legalistic attitude towards repentant believers, and 2) legalistic Israel of our Lord's day (cf. Matt.21:31-32). In either case, given the behavior of the older son, one wonders just how much he respected his father – he certainly had no love, even for his brother; so if legalists then and now are saved, it's in spite of their thoughts, deeds and actions which resemble more those of unbelievers.

Question #56:

Regarding the parable of the unjust steward (Lk.16:1-9), could you explain this parable, Sir? Why or what does it mean that "the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light"?

"So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home."
Luke 16:8-9 NKJV

Response #56:

Unbelievers tend to have a better "cost benefit" appreciation of essentials than believers do. After all, if we really do believe that the smallest reward in eternity is worth more than the entire world here and now put together, that ought to motivate us to act accordingly – but in most cases believers (lukewarmness being the rule here in Laodicea) act as if they are going to live in this world forever and never have their work for Christ evaluated at all.

Question #57:

Does our Lord mean here that having faith at all is enough to accomplish the impossible? That is, was He saying that the apostles did not need to have their Faith increased but to have it at all? If He was, how does that work with the many times that He rebuked them for having small faith? Otherwise, what does He mean here?

“And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
Luke 17:4-5 NKJV

Response #57:

In verses 4-5, our Lord is calling for an attitude and a policy of complete forgiveness of our brothers and sisters whenever they ask for it. This was hard for the disciples to accept (i.e., they didn't want to sign on to doing it). In verse six and following, you are correct that faith is something that can grow. Our Lord is saying that even a small amount of genuine faith is capable of anything – but also that they were acting as if they didn't even have that small amount.

Question #58:

Just to be sure, this passage is speaking of the Resurrection?

"I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left."
Luke 17:34-35 NKJV

Response #58:

Yes – at the second advent.

Question #59:

Is this part of the Bible?

“Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
Luke 17:36 NKJV

Response #59:

This appears to be an assimilation (in some mss.) from Matthew 24:40. It's missing in ms. Aleph. On the other hand, D (Beza), wherein it does occur, is a good witness (though in the minority by a considerable amount here). This is a place where one could see how it could have gone either way, that is, this is an easy additional detail in a sequence that might have been accidentally skipped; or on the other hand if it were left out here by the Spirit one could see how the lack of the passage might have been filled in by a scribe familiar with Matthew's account. The important thing is that Jesus did say this as we know from Matthew, so it is part of scripture, even if not part of Luke.

Question #60:

I assume that this "they" refers to the Pharisees and the Scribes etc. Or could it have been the crowd that is always present when He is out and about?

But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Luke 19:7 NKJV

Response #60:

Scripture says "all", so we may assume that this was the universal reaction (even if there were some few exceptions). This is a very good point not to miss. Even though everyone in Israel was – at that moment – praising Him, the same crowd would soon be calling for His crucifixion. No everyone who says, "Lord, Lord" will be saved (Matt.7:21); only those who have truly put their faith in Him so as to be born anew from above.

Question #61:

I believe you teach that our Lord bought the animals prior and put them away for His entry into Jerusalem. Is there another way then to understand why this place says "its (that is, the colt's) owners"? The footnote offers "lords" as an alternative reading to "owners". Mark does say that the people who asked were bystanders. But that does not mean that they could not have been the colt's owners/lords per Luke's account, does it, Sir?

But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”
Luke 19:33 NKJV

Response #61:

Here's what I actually wrote: "My guess is that our Lord Jesus paid for it (or rented it) out of what was left of His own private resources, and that this is why the disciples were allowed to take it when they came for it.". So the bystanders of Mark probably includes the "lords" (kyrioi) of Luke – by whom Luke means either the owners (with whom our Lord had an arrangement) or, more likely, those who had been given charge of the animals until the time He had need of them (cf. Matt.21:3; Mk.11:3; Lk.19:31).

Question #62:

Verses 3 - 4. What does our Lord mean here? Am I right to think that this woman's example is not that she gave even what she needed to eat with or carry out normal everyday responsibility with but that she was a woman whose whole life revolved around pleasing God so that what she gave was something she made sure to have to give to Him after fulfilling her material responsibilities? What I think I mean is, when I am trying to get a job, this woman's example teaches me to contextualize that effort in my pursuit of spiritual maturity and production so that even though my job is entirely secular and may have nothing to do with the Bible or Bible-teaching, it still is an offering to God if I choose it to allow me to pursue spiritual growth and production with maximum commitment? Is this what this place teaches?

So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
Luke 21:3-4 NKJV

Response #62:

While I agree that anything we do for the sake of the kingdom represents a sacrifice, I don't find what you reference in this passage. I think you must mean chapter 21? The widow's mite demonstrates that God bases His evaluation of us on what we have to work with. A rich man with no time constraints whatsoever who spent half an hour a day studying the Bible would not be doing as much in God's eyes as a poor man working two jobs to support a family who only managed half as much.

Question #63:

How far does "but before all these things..." apply in the context? And does that phrase mean that the following prophecy either is not eschatological or has a dual application to the apostles and the early Church and to the Tribulation? It is the "before" that I am confused by because I have learned from you that the Great Persecution will come AFTER the Antichrist has consolidated his power by defeating the Southern Alliance and taken control of the world which I understand from the CT series to be what vv 10 - 11 speaks of. So, if our Lord says here that the Great Persecution will come before he (the Antichrist) consolidated his power, it is confusing. This is why I think that He was prophesying of the persecution that the early Church will face. But how far then does the "...before..." go in the context because much of what follows seems to me to apply to the Tribulation as well?

“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.
Luke 21:12 NKJV

Response #63:

It's the English translation that is the problem here. My translation:

But, [what is] even more [grievous] than these things (i.e., the disruptions of the Tribulation's first half),(48) they will lay hands upon them (i.e., believers during the Great Persecution), betraying them into [the hands of] their [religious] assemblies and prisons, haling them before kings and governors for the sake of my Name.
Luke 21:12

From fn #48 in CT 4:

The use of the Greek preposition pro in the phrase pro de touton (πρὸ δὲ τούτων) is misunderstood in the versions as being temporal, whereas it should be taken here as preferential in degree rather than in time, that is "more significant" rather than "more recent" (cf. 1Tim.2:1; Jas.5:12; 1Pet.4:8). The point is that for believers the Great Persecution will be much more of a shock to the system than even the horrendous and notable judgments for which the Tribulation is renowned.

Question #64:

What does our Lord mean here? He cannot mean that the apostles or we later in the Tribulation will not be martyred, does He? Does He speak of eternal perishing here? It seems to me the most likely interpretation. And it seems to me to be what verse 19 is speaking of: that if we endure everything that will come at us without giving up our faith, we will be saved.

"But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls."
Luke 21:18-19 NKJV

Response #64:

It means that we don't have to worry at all about what will happen to us in the Tribulation (or now – or then, in the case of the disciples): nothing can stop the plan of God from being perfectly carried out. If it is our Lord's will for us to minister the truth during the Tribulation, we will be kept safe in doing so – right up until the point when we are brought home in martyrdom honoring Him. And if it is His will for us to endure until the second advent, nothing can stop that either. But we do have to understand that these will be tough times:

If anyone [is marked] for captivity, he is going into captivity. If anyone [is marked] for death by the sword, by the sword [he must] be killed. Therefore endurance and faith [on the part] of [my] sanctified ones is [called for].
Revelation 13:10

Question #65:

The "vengeance" spoken of here is the Antichrist's for Israel's revolt against his rule, isn't it, so that Daniel's prophecy (Daniel 11:44? The North here is Israel, right, Sir?) will be fulfilled?

"For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled."
Luke 21:22 NKJV

Response #65:

The Greek word ekdikesis is better rendered "retribution". Since the purpose of the retribution is to "fulfill all that has been written", it is better to take this as the completion of God's wrath against the forces of evil, human and angelic:

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
Revelation 15:1 NKJV

Question #66:

Is our Lord confirming here that the Tribulation is a time to be bold about our faith and confident rather than timid and fearful? So, while we should not arrogantly put ourselves in harm's way by unnecessarily antagonizing the world at the time, we most definitely should not hide our Faith away or try to play nice to avoid trouble?

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Luke 21:28 NKJV

Response #66:

The Great Tribulation will be especially difficult – hence the name. But our Lord gives us in this chapter a general outline of what will happen. Since we know that at the end of this He returns and we who remain alive are resurrected, though we are not given to know "the hour and the day", yet we are to discern that our deliverance, "redemption" (meaning of the body = the resurrection) is very close, when we see these things He tells us about in advance begin to happen.

Question #67:

If we are to recognize what "these things" are, we must study them to know them, must we not? So, it is foolishness, isn't it, Sir, to say that we don't need to trouble ourselves learning them now because, as one of the believers I speak with in that WhatsApp group often says and I paraphrase, "the Holy Spirit will get us through that time if we have to live through it"? I know that you always shared this passage with me when we discussed knowing the time but I think that it is only now that I understand how they say that we must be diligent in studying eschatology in order to know when these things are happening.

"So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near."
Luke 21:31 NKJV

Response #67:

This is restatement by our Lord of the same principle of verse 28 after using the parable of the fig tree to explain it. So you are absolutely correct. In any case, I think this is obvious. The reason why most believers are not concerned with eschatology is either because 1) they are not concerned about the Bible and spiritual growth generally, and/or 2) they believe in the fallacious "pre-Trib rapture" teaching which erroneously proclaims that believers will not have to endure the Tribulation – so of course there is no need to be serious about studying what the Bible has to say about it.

Question #68:

Should it read "for they were afraid of the people" or should it rather read" but they were afraid of the people"? Why would fear of the people motivate the chief priests and scribes to kill the Lord?

And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.
Luke 22:2 NKJV

Response #68:

The people believed Jesus was a prophet and had just turned out in force to welcome Him into Jerusalem on palm Sunday. The leaders were concerned that if they killed Him outright they might be stoned by the people. Compare:

And although [Herod] wanted to put [John] to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
Matthew 14:5

Question #69:

Is there a dual application here? Will the apostles rule the twelve tribes of the ethnic nation Israel in the Millennium and the whole Body of Christ organized into twelve divisions as Eternal Israel too? Or does our Lord only mean the latter? Also, should I understand from your teachings that Eternal Israel is all the Family of God including the Angels, the Church and the Millennial Believers? Or is it only the Church or only the Human side of God's Family?

". . . that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
Luke 22:30 NKJV

Response #69:

This refers to the entrance into the land of Jews who return to the land (see the link: "The regathering and purging of Israel").

As to the eternal Israel, the Church, this is composed of all believers from Adam and Eve to the last person saved during the Tribulation. The Friends of the Bride and the elect angels are the two other elements of the family of God.

Question #70:

The footnote says, "obtained by asking" as an alternative reading to "demanded permission". Does this mean that Satan was given permission to sift Peter like wheat? I personally thought he did because of Peter's later denial of Christ. I am not sure now. What is the Truth here, Sir?

And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat."
Luke 22:31 NKJV

Response #70:

The verb is a compound with ex- which does make it intensive, but the verb only occasionally means "to get what one wants"; more often, as here, it means "to ask emphatically".

Question #71:

I note here a difference. It seems to me that the provision of a money bag is not as "commanded" as the provision of a sword. The money bag is to be taken by those who have it but if anyone does not possess a sword, he should take pains to acquire one. It seems to me then that it is up to those who minister as teachers to determine whether they can provide for themselves as they minister and to do so, otherwise they are free to use the material support of those to whom they minister. I wonder however if this does not go further. Can we also say that for the Church in general, any believer who possesses wealth or can with their talents should not just throw it all away because they have become believers but should use it for their Walk of Faith and those who cannot should not be shy of leaning on their wealthier brothers for support in their own race? But for all, teachers and other gifts alike, everyone should make sure to take appropriate measures to protect themselves from criminal persecution and harm as far as possible. Is this a good interpretation? Or is it just a good application? Or does it completely miss the point?

Then He said to them, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."
Luke 22:36 NKJV

Response #71:

I think rather that swords are more expensive than the other items and also more easily thought to be unnecessary. The point of our Lord's words here is to let the disciples know ahead of time that the special protection and provision they enjoyed as heralds of the Messiah was going to lapse, and that as apostles of His growing Church they would need to make their way through this world in the normal way. Of course, they as we are indeed supernaturally protected and provided for. But in this time that is not evident to the fleshly eye (though we know it and feel it), nor given without our participation in doing what we need to do (though this is merely to let us demonstrate our faithfulness as God could certainly do for us as He did for them if that were what the ground rules for this dispensation enjoined).

Question #72:

Why are two swords enough for a group of thirteen men?

So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
Luke 22:38 NKJV

Response #72:

Our Lord was not calling for an inventory, so His words here are meant for the future, not the present (and circumstances always change). From part of Luke Questions:

"Enough" is misleading for our purposes here because in English this refers to quantity so one might wrongly assume that our Lord is talking about the number of swords. However, the Greek verb eao has nothing whatsoever to do with quantity; it means "allow", or in this context, "let it go" / "leave this topic now" / "that's enough [of that]".

Question #73:

The footnote says that these verses are not in early manuscripts. Are they part of the Bible?

Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:43-44 NKJV

Response #73:

No.  It's a late insertion and not part of scripture.

Question #74:

The footnote says "Or 'Let Me at least do this'". Which is what the Lord said? Did He say this or "No more of this"?

But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
Luke 22:51 NKJV

Response #74:

NIV's “No more of this!” is correct.

Question #75:

NASB says that Jesus answered "Yes I am" and adds in the footnote, "Literally, 'You say that I am'". I am more familiar with the latter answer and it has always puzzled me that the Jews took it to be an admission rather than an accusation. How did they say that He was? Now that I am thinking about it, I am thinking that He meant that they were doing to Him everything that prophecy said that they would do to the Son of God and were thus by their actions saying or confirming that He was indeed the Son of God. It seems that they understood this. Is that right? Did I figure this all right?

Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.”
Luke 22:70 NKJV

Response #75:

I agree with you that they are verifying this by their actions, but the precise meaning is that they are accusing Him of blasphemy so as to be able to condemn Him, and the supposed blasphemy is just this. So while technically they are asking Him a question, in fact they are making an accusation, which is just what the Lord – in cutting through all the deception – tells them: "You are saying [through your accusations] that 'I AM' [God] – [and you are correct]".

Question #76:

Is this verse a part of the Bible?

(for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).
Luke 23:17 NKJV

Response #76:

Yes, but it fell out of a number of the mss. traditions early on.

Question #77:

Our Lord already said here that the Gospel was to go to all the nations beginning from Jerusalem. This puts me in mind of how much I often have to hear something before I get it. That seems to me to be what happened to the apostles and the rest of the early believers.

"and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
Luke 24:47 NKJV

Response #77:


Question #78:

Was it in Bethany that Jesus ascended into Heaven? The Ascension is said to have happened on Olivet (Acts 1:12). Is Olivet in Bethany then?

Response #78:

(50) And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. (51) And it came to pass as He was blessing them that He disappeared from their [sight]. (52) Then, having worshiped Him of their own accord, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
Luke 24:50-52

Notice that "and was taken up into heaven" is not present in my translation above. This part of verse 51 is a later addition, no doubt added by someone who thought that this was the ascension. It is not. This is our Lord disappearing from the eleven as He did on a number of occasions during His time on earth after the resurrection (also at Lk.24:31 previously in the same chapter).

Ichthys Home