Archive for the ‘Part 3’ Category

PART 3

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008



PART 3

THE SON OF GOD





64. The Transfiguration

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1And after six daysa Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountainb apart by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. 3And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
        5And Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid.
        7And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; give heed to him.”
        8And suddenly looking around they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
        (Mt. 17:1–3; Mk. 9:5–8)



a   “after six days”—Six days after Peter's confession of the apostles' belief that Jesus is the Son of God.

b   “led them up a high mountain”—Jesus and the apostles have retreated to the domains of Herod Philip, north of Galilee. They have recently been at Caesarea Philippi. Mt. Hermon is about 10 miles northeast of Caesarea Philippi and is the only “high mountain” in these parts. The apostles probably camped at the foot of Mt. Hermon while Jesus and the three ascended the mountain. (See map on page 24.)

Mt. 17:1  Peter, James / Peter and James (RSV) • John and / John his brother and (RSV) • apart by themselves. / apart. (RSV)
Mt. 17:2  them. His / them and his (RSV)
Mk. 9:7   give heed to (NASB alt. trans.) / listen to (RSV)   (158:0–1/1752–4)

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65. Coming Down the Mountain

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        9And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man should have risen from the dead.a 10So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.
        11And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?”b
        12And Jesus replied, “Elijah does come first to prepare the way for the Son of Man, who must suffer many things and be rejected. 13But I tell you that Elijah has come,c and they did to him whatever they pleased.”
        (Mk. 9:9–13)



a   “until the Son of Man should have risen from the dead.”—This is Jesus' first mention of the fact that he will die and rise from the dead. It must have shocked the apostles exceedingly.

b   “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?”—The scribes and rabbis had collected many prophecies scattered throughout the Jewish Scriptures that described a coming Messiah who would deliver them from their bondage and inaugurate a new age of righteousness. Furthermore, they believed that this “anointed one” would be preceded by one who would come to prepare the way for this Messiah. In this regard they looked to the prophecy of Malachi who said, "Behold, I shall send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." (Mal. 4:5)

c   “I tell you that Elijah has come”—Peter and the apostles have recently confessed their belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. (Ch. 63) Here Jesus identifies John the Baptist as his forerunner, the Elijah of Malachi's prophecy. (See fn. b above.)

Mk. 9:9   And as / As soon as (RSV)
Mk. 9:12  to prepare the way for / to restore all things for • for the Son / and how it is written of the Son (RSV) • Man, who must suffer / man, that he should suffer (RSV) • be rejected. (Mof) / be treated with contempt. (RSV)
Mk. 9:13  pleased. / pleased as it is written of him. (RSV)   (158:2/1754)

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66. Jesus Heals the Epileptic Boy

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        14And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them. 15And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him.
        16And he asked them, “What are you discussing with them?”
        17And one of the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has an evil spirit; 18and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid;a and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
        19And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me.”
        20And they brought the boy to him; and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
        21And Jesus asked his father, “How long has he been like this?”
        And he said, “From childhood. 22And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.”
        23Jesus said to him, “All things are possible to him who believes.”
        24Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe. Help my unbelief!”b
        25And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.”
        26And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.”
        27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
        (Mk. 9:14–27)



a   “he has an evil spirit; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid”—On the surface this appears to be a case of simple epilepsy. As the Oxford Bible notes, “the symptoms point to an epileptic seizure.” (Oxford Bible, p. 1226) However, a little later in the passage Jesus clearly casts out a demon. Perhaps this was a case of both epilepsy and demon possession.

b   “I believe. Help my unbelief!”—This statement of commingled faith and doubt presents an accurate and revealing picture of the human condition. We have faith but we must also reckon with our doubts. There is but one great struggle the believer must face, and that is to “fight the good fight of faith” over doubt.

Mk. 9:17  has an evil spirit; (Rieu) / has a dumb spirit; (RSV)
Mk. 9:19  long shall I bear (ASV) / long am I to bear (RSV)
Mk. 9:20  and / when the spirit saw him immediately it convulsed the boy and (RSV)
Mk. 9:21  he been like this? (Gspd) / he had this? (RSV)
Mk. 9:23  Jesus / And Jesus (RSV) • him, "All / him, “If you can! All (RSV)
Mk. 9:25  And Jesus rebuked / And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked (RSV) • it, "I / it, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I (RSV)   (158:4–5/1755–8)

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67. Peter Protests Jesus’ Death

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        31And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32And he said this plainly.
        And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.a 33But turning and looking at his apostles, he rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are not on the side of God, but of men. 23You are a stumbling block to me.”
        34And he said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him disregard himself, and take up his responsibilities, and follow me. 35For whoever would save his life [selfishly], shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's, shall save it. 36What does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? 37What shall a man give in exchange for [eternal] life? 38For whoever is not ashamed of me and of my words in this sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also not be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
        (Mk. 8:31–33; Mt. 16:23; Mk. 8:34–38)



a   “and began to rebuke him.”—This would indeed be an announcement hard for the apostles to accept. They have recently confessed that Jesus is the Son of God; now he tells them that he is to suffer and die at the hands of men.
        This would also mean that the apostles will be left alone in the world without their beloved leader and Master. But perhaps uppermost in their minds is the inherent contradiction of this fact with their long cherished Jewish idea of a Messiah who would sit upon the throne at Jerusalem ruling the nations.

Mk. 8:31  elders, the / elders and the (RSV)
Mk. 8:33  and looking at his / and seeing his (RSV) • his apostles, he (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples, he (RSV) • Satan! You / Satan! For you (RSV)
Mk. 8:34  he said / he called to him the multitude with his disciples and said (RSV) • him disregard himself / him deny himself (RSV) • his responsibilities, and / his cross and (RSV)
Mk. 8:35  life [selfishly], shall lose (KJV) / life will lose (RSV) • it, but whoever / it; and whoever (RSV) • gospel's, shall save (KJV) / gospel's, will save (RSV)
Mk. 8:36  What / For what (RSV) • and lose his own soul? (KJV) / and forfeit his life? (RSV)
Mk. 8:37  What / For what (RSV) • What shall a (KJV) / What would a (RSV) • in exchange for (KJV) / in return for (RSV) • for [eternal] life? / for his life? (RSV)
Mk. 8:38  is not ashamed / is ashamed (RSV) • this sinful / this adulterous and sinful (RSV) • also not be / also be (RSV)   (158:7/1759–60)

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68. Back in Capernaum

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        30They went on from therea and passed through Galilee. And he would not have anyone know it. 33And they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the houseb he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?”
        34But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest (in the kingdom).
        35And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be servant of all.”
        36And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms he said to them: 3“Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will make little progress in the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever humbles himself like this child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 37Whoever receives one such child receives me. And whoever receives me receives not only me but him who sent me. 6But whosoever causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 8And if your hand or your eye causes you to stumble, sacrifice them; it is better to enter life minus these than to be shut out of the kingdom. 10See that you do not despise these little ones, for their angels do always behold the faces of the heavenly hosts.”
        (Mk. 9:30, 33–36; Mt. 18:3–4; Mk. 9:37; Mt. 18:6, 8, 10)



a   “went on from there”—That is, they went on from the vicinity of Mt. Hermon back to Galilee. (See map on page 24.)

b   “in the house”—Perhaps the house of Andrew and Peter, who lived at Capernaum.

Mk. 9:34   greatest (in the kingdom). / greatest. (RSV)
Mk. 9:35   be servant / be last of all and servant (RSV)
Mt. 18:3   will make little progress in the / will never enter the (RSV)
Mt. 18:4   child, the same is greatest (KJV) / child, he is the greatest (RSV)
Mk. 9:37   child receives / child in my name receives (RSV) • not only me (Phi) / not me (RSV)
Mt. 18:6   ones to / ones who believe in me to (RSV)
Mt. 18:8   your eye causes (Mt. 18:9) / your foot causes (RSV) • to stumble, sacrifice them; / to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; (RSV) • life minus these than / life maimed or lame than (RSV) • than to be shut out of the kingdom. / than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. (RSV)
Mt. 18:10  for their / for I tell you that in heaven their (RSV) • of the heavenly hosts / of my Father who is in heaven (RSV)   (158:7–8/1759,61)

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69. The Sermon on Forgiveness

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        12“If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14Even so, it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
        15“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault,a between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16But if he will not hear you, take one or two others along with you that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the congregation, and if he refuses to listen even to the congregation, let him be to you as a heathen and a tax collector. 18Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.b 19Where two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it shall be done for them by my Father in heaven.c 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
        (Mt. 18:12–20) (continued)



a   “tell him his fault”—Jesus' way is to speak with tact, tolerance, and patience.

b   “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”—Whatever is decided upon and decreed by the brotherhood of believers on earth will be recognized in heaven.

c   “Where two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it shall be done for them by my Father in heaven.”—(if it is not inconsistent with the Father's will).

Mt. 18:12  "If / "What do you think? If (RSV)
Mt. 18:13  it, he / it, truly, I say to you, he (RSV)
Mt. 18:14  Even so, (KJV) / So, (RSV)
Mt. 18:15  have won your (Wms) / have gained your (RSV)
Mt. 18:16  he will not hear you, take (KJV) / he does not listen, take (RSV)
Mt. 18:17  the congregation, and (Gspd) / the church; and (RSV)
Mt. 18:18  Whatever / Truly, I say to you, whatever (RSV)
Mt. 18:19  Where two / Again I say to you, if two (RSV) • it shall be (KJV) / it will be (RSV)
Mt. 18:20  there am I in (KJV) / there I am in (RSV)   (159:1/1762–3)

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69. The Sermon on Forgiveness (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        21Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
        22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.d 23Therefore the kingdom may be likened toe a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.f 25And as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27And out of compassion for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.”
        28“But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii,g and seizing him by the throat he said, “Pay what you owe.' 29So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. 31When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him and said to him: 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all the debt because you besought me; 33and should not you have mercy on your fellow servant as I had mercy on you?' 34And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.”
        (Mt. 18:21–34)



d   “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”—Seventy-seven is an alternate translation of this verse, which is often translated “seventy times seven.” (Oxford Bible, p. 1195) In Genesis 4:24 Lamech expresses his enthusiasm over the metal weapons of his son, “If Cain is avenged seven times, truly Lamech is avenged seventy-seven times.” Perhaps Jesus is here using this statement of revenge by Lamech to teach his lesson on forgiveness.

e   “Therefore the kingdom may be likened to”—This Parable of the Unforgiving Servant reminds us of Jesus' prayer, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Ch. 28, Mt. 6:12) Both convey the same idea: God forgives us (as the king forgave his servant), but to receive that forgiveness we must also forgive others. We expect mercy and forgiveness from our heavenly Father, therefore we should also show forgiveness and mercy to our fellow man.

f   “ten thousand talents”—A talent was more than fifteen years' wages of a laborer. (Oxford Bible, p. 1195) Ten thousand talents in silver content would amount to almost $10,000,000 and would be much more in buying power. (Master Study Bible, p. 1009)

g “a hundred denarii”—The denarius was equivalent to one day's wage.

Mt. 18:22  “Not seven (Phi) / “I do not say to you seven (RSV) • but seventy-seven times. (RSV alt. trans.) / but seventy times seven. (RSV)
Mt. 18:23  be likened to (KJV) / be compared to (RSV)
Mt. 18:27  of compassion for (KJV) / of pity for (RSV)   (159:1/1763–4)

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70. The Strange Preacher

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        38John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.”
        39But Jesus said, “Forbid him not; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40For he that is not against us is for us. 41For truly I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink will by no means lose his reward.”a
        (Mk. 9:38–41)



a   “will by no means lose his reward.”—That is, such a service of love will be rewarded in heaven.

Mk. 9:39  Forbid him not; (KJV) / Do not forbid him; (RSV)
Mk. 9:41  drink will / drink because you bear the name of Christ, will (RSV)   (159:2/1794)

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71. Proclaiming the Gospel in Jerusalem

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1Jesus would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2Now the Jews' feast of Tabernacles was at hand.a 3Some said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples may see the works you are doing. 4For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5For even his brothers did not believe in him.
        (Jn. 7:1–5)



a   “Now the Jews' feast of Tabernacles was at hand.”–This was the celebration of the final harvest and came in the cool autumn months (September–October). Thus it was much better attended than either the Passover at the end of winter or Pentecost (the “feast of Weeks”) at the beginning of summer. The fact that this feast was attended by Jews from all over the known world made it an ideal occasion for Jesus' first public proclamation of the gospel in Jerusalem. This particular feast probably occurred in September—October, AD 29, and Jesus would have been around 35 years old.
        The feast of Tabernacles was held in commemoration of the time the Hebrews lived in the wilderness before they entered Canaan. As part of this celebration, families built small huts or booths using palm and willow branches and other greenery. For many Jews the feast of Tabernacles included a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The feast was appointed by Moses in Leviticus: “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month [according to the ecclesiastical calendar], when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord seven days. And you shall take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook. You shall dwell in booths for seven days; all that are native in Israel shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the Lord.” (Lev. 23:39, 40, 42–44)

Jn. 7:1  Jesus would / he would (RSV)
Jn. 7:3  Some said / So his brothers said (RSV)   (162:1/1788–90)

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72. On the Way to the Feast

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        51When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.a 52And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of Samaritans, to make ready for him; 53but the people would not receive him.
        54And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?”
        55But he turned and rebuked them and said, “You know not what manner of spirit you are of.”b
        56And they went on to another village.
        (Lk. 9:51–56)



a   “he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”—Even though his followers had urged him to make himself known in Jerusalem, they certainly must have been taken aback when Jesus boldly chose to attend this feast, since the Jewish religious leaders at Jerusalem now sought to have him arrested and killed. (See Ch. 71.)

b   “You know not what manner of spirit you are of.”—James and John are manifesting a vengeful attitude, and Jesus rebukes them for it.

Lk. 9:53  him. / him because his face was set toward Jerusalem. (RSV)
Lk. 9:55   KJV • spirit you are (RSV) / spirit ye are (KJV)   (162:0/1788)

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73. The First Talk in the Temple

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        2The feast of Tabernaclesa was at hand. 11The Jews were looking for Jesus at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13Yet for fear of the Jewsb no one spoke openly of him.
        14About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15The Jews marveled at it, saying, "How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?”c
        16So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17If any man's will is to do his will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but I seek the glory of him who sent me. 19Did not Moses give you the law? Yet you do not keep the law. Why do you seek to kill me?”
        20The people answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?”
        21Jesus answered them, 22“You circumcise a man upon the Sabbath 23in accordance with the law of Moses, but you are angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well. 24Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
        25Some of the people of Jerusalem said, 27“We know where this man comes from; but when the Messiah appears no one will know where he comes from.”
        (Jn. 7:2, 11–25, 27) (continued)



a   “the feast of Tabernacles”—See Ch. 71, fn. a, for a discussion of the feast of the Tabernacles.

b   “the Jews”—"The Jews” here refers especially to the Jewish Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court and ruling body of the Jewish nation. It was they who sought to apprehend Jesus, bring him to trial before their court, and condemn him to death. (See also Ch. 13, fn. b.)

c   “has never studied”—(at the schools of the rabbis in Jerusalem).

Jn. 7:2   The feast / the Jews' feast (RSV)
Jn. 7:18  but I seek the glory of him who sent me. / but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. (RSV)
Jn. 7:19  Yet you do not keep / Yet none of you keep (RSV)
Jn. 7:21  them, / them, “I did one deed and you all marvel at it. (RSV)
Jn. 7:22  You / Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you (RSV)
Jn. 7:23  in accordance with the law of Moses, but you are angry / If on the sabbath a man receives circumcision so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry (RSV)
Jn. 7:25  Jerusalem said / Jerusalem therefore said (RSV) • said, / said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? (RSV)
Jn. 7:27  We / Yet we (RSV) • but when / and when (RSV) • the Messiah appears (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ appears (RSV)   (162:1–2/1788–91)

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73. The First Talk in the Temple (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        28So Jesus proclaimed as he taught in the temple, “You know me and you know where I come from? But I have not come for myself; and he who sent me is true. 29I know him, for I come from him and he sent me.”
        30So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31Yet many of the people believed in him; they said, “When the Messiah appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”
        32The Pharisees heard the crowd thus muttering about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.
        33Jesus then said, “I shall be with you a little longer, and then I go to him who sent me. 34And then you will seek me, but you will not find me; for where I am you cannot come.”
        35The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we shall not find him? Does he intend to go among the Greeks? 36What does he mean by saying, 'You will seek me and you will not find me,' and, 'Where I am you cannot come'?”
        45The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?”
        46The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!”
        47The Pharisees answered them,“Are you also led astray? 48Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49But this people who know not the law are accursed.”
        50And one of them said, 51“Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?”
        52They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee.”
        (Jn. 7:28–36, 45–52)



Jn. 7:28  come for myself; (KJV) / come of my own accord; (RSV) • and he / he (RSV) • true. / true and him you do not know. (RSV)
Jn. 7:31  the Messiah appears, (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ appears, (RSV)
Jn. 7:34  And then you / you (RSV) • me, but you / me, and you (RSV) • for where / where (RSV)
Jn. 7:35  to go among / to go to the dispersion among (RSV) • Greeks? / Greeks and teach the Greeks? (RSV)
Jn. 7:47  you also led (KJV) / you led (RSV) • astray? / astray, you also? (RSV)
Jn. 7:48  or the / or of the (RSV)
Jn. 7:49   (KJV) • who know not / who knoweth not (KJV)
Jn. 7:50  And one of them said, / Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them said (RSV) • said,“Does / said to them, “Does (RSV)   (162:2/1791–92)

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74. The Woman Caught in Adultery

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        2Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3The Jews brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. What do you say about her?” 6This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.a
        Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 8And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 9But when they read it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?”
        11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, go your way.”
        (Jn. 8:2–6, 8–11)



a   “This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.”—The Jewish leaders may have reasoned thus: If Jesus opposed stoning her, he could be accused of setting himself above Moses and the Jewish law; if he approved the stoning, he could be brought before the Roman authorities, who denied the Jews the right to execute the death sentence without their approval; and if he refused to answer, they could accuse him of cowardice.

Jn. 8:3   The Jews brought / The scribes and Pharisees brought (RSV)
Jn. 8:5   such a woman. / such. (RSV)
Jn. 8:9   they read it, / they heard it, (RSV)
Jn. 8:10  are your accusers? (Ber) / are they? (RSV)
Jn. 8:11  go your way.” (ASV) / go, and do not sin again.” (RSV)   (162:3/1792–3)

92

75. “I Am the Light of the World”

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        12Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.”
        13The Pharisees then said to him, “You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true.”
        14Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know whence I came and whither I go. You know not whence I come or whither I go. 15You judge according to the flesh. I judge no man. 16Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me. 17In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true— 18I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.”
        19They said to him, “Where is your Father?”
        Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
        20These words he spoke as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him.
        21Again he said to them, “I go away, and you will seek me [and not find me], for where I am going you cannot come. 23You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24You shall die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.a 26I have much to tell you. But he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him. 28When the Son of Man is lifted up, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself but speak thus as the Father taught me. 29And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.”
        30As he spoke thus, many believed.
        (Jn. 8:12–21, 23–24, 26, 28–30)



a   “I am he."—“I am the light of the world.” (Jn. 8:12)

Jn. 8:12  me shall not (KJV) / me will not (RSV) • but shall have (KJV) / but will have (RSV)
Jn. 8:14  I came and (KJV) / I have come and (RSV) • I go. (KJV) / I am going. (RSV) • You know not whence / But you do not know whence (RSV) • I go. (KJV) / I am going. (RSV)
Jn. 8:15  no man. (KJV) / no one. (RSV)
Jn. 8:19  him, “Where / him therefore, “Where (RSV)
Jn. 8:20  spoke as / spoke in the treasury, as (RSV) • him. / him because his hour had not yet come. (RSV)
Jn. 8:21  me [and not find me], for where / me and die in your sin; where (RSV)
Jn. 8:23  You / He said to them you (RSV) • from beneath; (KJV) / from below; (RSV)
Jn. 8:24  You / I told you that you (RSV) • You shall die (KJV) / you would die (RSV)
Jn. 8:26  to tell you. / to say about you (RSV) • you. / you and much to judge. (RSV)
Jn. 8:28  When / So Jesus said, “When (RSV) • When the Son of Man is lifted up, then / “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then (RSV) • nothing of myself but / nothing on my own authority but (RSV)
Jn. 8:30  believed. / believed in him. (RSV)   (162:5/1794–5)

93

76. Teachings on Spiritual Freedom

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        31Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples. 32You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
        33They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to anyone; how is it that you say, 'You will be made free'?”
        34Jesus answered them, “Verily, verily, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not continue in his master's house forever; but the son continues forever [in his father's house]. 36If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
        37“I know that you are descendants of Abraham, yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in your hearts. 38I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
        39They answered him, “Abraham is our father.”
       Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.a 40But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 42If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
        (Jn. 8:31–40, 42–43) (continued)



a   “If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.”—Jesus uses the word child (plural children) in two distinct ways. Webster's Unabridged defines these two meanings as: (1) “a son or daughter; a male or female descendant,” and (2) “one who in character or practice shows strong signs of the relationship to or the influence of another (as a disciple of a teacher)." It is in this second sense that Jesus uses the word children here. In this sense, to be a child of Abraham means to follow in the ways of Abraham.
        Thus, Jesus affirms that the Jews are children of Abraham in the first sense (“I know that you are descendants of Abraham”—Jn. 8:37), while pointing out that they are not children of Abraham in the sense of being followers of his teachings and practices. “But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.” (Jn. 8:40)
        We may be children of God in both senses. In the first sense (being a descendant), we are already children of God—he is our Creator Father. In the second sense (being a follower), we may become true children of God by believing that he is our Father and choosing to do his will. (“It is my will that your will be done.”)

Jn. 8:32  You / and you (RSV) • You shall know (KJV) / you will know (RSV) • truth shall make (KJV) / truth will make (RSV)
Jn. 8:34  them, “Verily, verily, I (KJV) / “Truly, truly, I (RSV)
Jn. 8:35  in his master's house (Wey) / in the house (RSV) • but the (KJV) / the (RSV) • forever [in his father's house]. / forever. (RSV)
Jn. 8:36   (KJV) • free, you shall (RSV) / free, ye shall (KJV)
Jn. 8:37  in your hearts. (Rieu) / in you. (RSV)
Jn. 8:39  do the works of Abraham. (KJV) / do what Abraham did. (RSV)
Jn. 8:42  If / Jesus said to them, “If (RSV)   (162:7/1796–7)

94

76. Teachings on Spiritual Freedom (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        44You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires.b He has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. 45But because I tell the truth you do not believe me.”
        46“Which of you convicts me of sin? If I proclaim the truth, why do you not believe? 47He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
        48The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you have a demon?”
        49Jesus answered, “I have not a demon; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50I seek not my own glory; there is one who seeks it and he will be the judge. 51Verily, verily, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
        52The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a devil. Abraham died, as did the prophets. And you say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.' 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets are dead! Who do you claim to be?”
        54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is as nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, the very one of whom you say that he is your God. 55But you have not known him. I know him. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my days, and [by faith] he saw it and was glad.”
        57The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”
        58Jesus said to them, “Verily, verily, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
        59So they took up stones to cast at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.
        (Jn. 8:44–59)



b   “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires.”—Here Jesus makes clear the spiritual meaning of fatherhood and sonship—the "child” is the one whose will is to do what his father desires. (See also Ch. 76, fn. a.) The unbelieving Jews who seek Jesus' destruction have chosen the ways of evil (and the devil) rather than the will and way of God. Thus, they are children of the devil.

Jn. 8:44  He has / He was a murderer from the beginning, and has (RSV)
Jn. 8:46  I proclaim the / I tell the (RSV) • believe? / believe me? (RSV)
Jn. 8:48  you have / you are a Samaritan and have (RSV)
Jn. 8:50  I seek not my (KJV) / I do not seek my (RSV)
Jn. 8:51  Verily, verily, I (KJV) / Truly, truly, I (RSV)
Jn. 8:52  a devil. (KJV) / a demon. (RSV)
Jn. 8:53  prophets are dead! (KJV) / prophets died! (RSV)
Jn. 8:54  me, the very one of (Phi) / me, of (RSV)
Jn. 8:56  (KJV) • and [by faith] he / and he (KJV)
Jn. 8:58  Verily, verily, I (KJV) / Truly, truly, I (RSV)
Jn. 8:59  to cast at (KJV) / to throw at (RSV)   (162:7/1796–7)

95

77. Martha and Mary

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        38Jesus entered a village and a woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
        41But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. 42Only one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”
        (Lk. 10:38–42)



a   “Martha and Mary”—Martha and Mary were the sisters of Lazarus and they lived at Bethany, a small village about two miles from Jerusalem. All three were very close to Jesus and he later raised Lazarus from the dead. (See Chs. 98, 102, and 103.)

Lk. 10:38 Jesus entered / Now as they went on their way, he entered (RSV)   (162:8/1797–8)

96

78. The Ordination Address

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1The Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come.
        2And he said to them, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3I send you forth as lambs among wolves. 4Carry neither purse nor bag.a And salute no one on the road. 5Whatever house you enter, first say: 'Peace be to this house.' 6If there is anyone there who loves peace, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not it shall return to you.b 7And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Do not go from house to house. 9Minister to the sick. 10But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, say, even as you leave, 11'Nevertheless, know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.' 16He who hears you hears me. And he who rejects youc rejects me. And he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
        (Lk. 10:1–7, 9–11, 16)



a   “Carry neither purse nor bag.”—Carry neither money nor extra clothing.

b   “your peace shall rest upon him; but if not it shall not return to you.”—You shall stay there or depart for another house.

c   “he who rejects you”—He who rejects your gospel message.

Lk. 10:1   The / After this the (RSV)
Lk. 10:2   is indeed plentiful, / is plentiful, (RSV)
Lk. 10:3   I / behold I (RSV) • you forth as (KJV) / you out as (RSV) • lambs among wolves. (KJV) / lambs in the midst of wolves. (RSV)
Lk. 10:4   Carry neither purse (KJV) / Carry no purse (RSV) • purse nor bag. (KJV) / purse, no bag, no sandals; (RSV)
Lk. 10:6   If there is anyone there who loves peace, your (Gspd) / And if a son of peace is there, your (RSV)
Lk. 10:7   laborer is worthy of his hire. (KJV) / laborer deserves his wages. (RSV)
Lk. 10:9   Minister to the / Heal the (RSV) • sick. / sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' (RSV)
Lk. 10:10   you, say, even as you leave, / you, go into its streets and say, (RSV)
Lk. 10:11  near you. (KJV) / near. (RSV)   (163:1/1800–1)

97

79. The Requirements of Ordination

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        57As they were going along the road, a man said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
        58And 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.”
        59But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
        60But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their dead;a but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”b
        61Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
        62Jesus said to him, “No man, having put his hand to the plow, if he turns back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”c
        16And behold, one came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?”
        19And Jesus said: “You know the commandments: do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, and honor your father and mother.”
        20The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed, what do I still lack?”
        21Jesus said to him, “If you wish to go the whole way,d go, sell what you possess and give to the poor; come and follow me, and you shall have treasure in heaven.”
        22When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
        (Lk. 9:57–62; Mt. 19:16; Mk. 10:19; Mt. 19:20–22)



a   “Leave the dead to bury their dead”—As an ordained minister of the gospel, go forth proclaiming the kingdom of God and leave others to attend to the affairs of this world (bury the dead).

b   “go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”—Here again is revealed Jesus' central concept—the kingdom of God. He came to establish this kingdom on earth and ordained his followers to proclaim this kingdom to the world.
   What is Jesus' kingdom? It is the will of God dominant and transcendent in the heart of the believer. We may enter this kingdom by believing Jesus' gospel that we are all children of God and choosing to abide by our Father's will.

c   “fit for the kingdom of God.”—Fit to be an ordained messenger of the kingdom.

d   “If you wish to go the whole way”—If you wish to be not merely a disciple, but an ordained minister of the kingdom.

Lk. 9:57   to Jesus, “I / to him, “I (RSV)
Lk. 9:60   their dead. / their own dead. (RSV)
Lk. 9:62   No man, having put his (KJV) / No one who puts his (RSV) • plow, if he turns back / plow, and turns back (RSV)
Mk. 10:19  defraud, and honor / defraud, honor (RSV)
Mt. 19:21  you wish to go the whole way, go, (NEB) / you would be perfect, go, (RSV) • poor; come and follow me, and you shall have treasure in heaven.” / poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.” (RSV)   (163:2/1801–3)

98

80. The Discussion Concerning Wealth

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        23And Jesus said to his disciples, “It is hard for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a [self-satisfied] rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”a
        25When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
        26But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
        27Then Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you, what then shall we have?”
        29And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30who shall not receive manifold more in this world, and in the world to come life everlasting. 30But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”
        (Mt. 19:23–27; Lk. 18:29–30; Mt. 19:30) (continued)



a   “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a [self-satisfied] rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”—Here Jesus makes his point by modifying the Jewish saying: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the heathen to inherit eternal life.”

Mt. 19:23  It is hard (ASV) / Truly I say to you, it will be hard (RSV)
Mt. 19:24  It / Again I tell you, it (RSV) • a [self-satisfied] rich / a rich (RSV)
Lk. 18:30  who shall not (KJV) / who will not (RSV) • this world, and / this time, and (RSV) • the world to come life everlasting. (KJV) / the age to come eternal life. (RSV)
Mt. 19:30  first shall be (KJV) / first will be (RSV) • last shall be first." (KJV) / last first." (RSV)   (163:3/1803–4)

99

80. The Discussion Concerning Wealth (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1“The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. b 2After agreeing with the laborers for a denariusc a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; 4and he said, “You go in the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went. 5Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?' 7They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.' 8And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' 9And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, 12saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'
        13But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I do you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give this last as I give to you. 15Is it not lawful to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'”
        (Mt. 20:1–15)



b   “The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.”—This parable, The Laborers in the Vineyard, is an example of Jesus' preceding statement, “many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” (Ch. 80, Mt. 19:30) The laborers whom the householder hired first were the last to be paid, while those who were hired last were the first to be paid.
        All the laborers were paid the same wage. This parable teaches us that our reward for serving God is the same whether we come to this service early or late in life. All are granted entrance into the kingdom of heaven, life eternal.

c   “a denarius”—The standard wage for a day's labor.

Mt. 20:1   The / For the (RSV)
Mt. 20:15  Is it not lawful to (KJV) / Am I not allowed to (RSV)   (163:3/1804)

100

81. The Return of the Seventy

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
        18And he said to them, “I beheld Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 20Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
        21In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, my Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these thingsa from the wise and men of understanding and revealed them to the children of the kingdom. Yea, Father, so it was well pleasing before you. 22Everything has been put into my hands and no one knows who the Son is except you, or who you are except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal you.”
        23Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see. 24For I tell you that many prophets and kingsb desired to see what you now see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
        13“But woe to you Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum!c If the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 14It shall indeed be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.”
        (Lk. 10:17–18, 20–24, 13–14)



a   “these things”—the gospel of the kingdom.

b   “prophets and kings”—great men of past ages.

c   “Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.”—Probably the cities that did not well receive the gospel message of the seventy.

Lk. 10:18  I beheld Satan (KJV) / I saw Satan (RSV)
Lk. 10:20  but rather rejoice / but rejoice (RSV)
Lk. 10:21  thank you, my Father, / thank thee, Father, (RSV) • that you have hidden / that thou hast hidden (RSV) • to the children of the kingdom. / to babes. (RSV) • before you. / before thee. (RSV)
Lk. 10:22  Everything has been put into my hands and (Phi) / All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and (RSV) • except you, or / except the Father, or (RSV) • who you are except / who the Father is except (RSV) • reveal you.” / reveal him.” (RSV)
Lk. 10:13  But woe to / Woe to (RSV) • Chorazin, Bethsaida, / Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! (RSV) • Bethsaida, and Capernaum! If (Lk. 10:15) / Bethsaida! For if (RSV) • ago in / ago sitting in (RSV)
Lk. 10:14   (KJV) • It / But it (KJV) • shall indeed be / shall be (RSV)   (163:6/1806–8)

101

82. Parable of the Good Samaritan

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        25And behold, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
        26Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read [the scriptures]?”
        27And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”a
        28And Jesus said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”
        (Lk. 10:25–28) (continued)



a   “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”—The first part of this admonition is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4–5: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” The second part comes from Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The lawyer answered well in that he summarized the highest teachings of the Jewish religion, which were also the teachings of Jesus.
        Love is the rule of living in the kingdom—supreme devotion to God and loving your neighbor as yourself.

Lk. 10:25  put Jesus to / put him to (RSV)
Lk. 10:26  Jesus said / He said (RSV) • read [the scriptures]?" / read?" (RSV)
Lk. 10:28  And Jesus said / And he said (RSV)   (164:1/1809)

102

82. Parable of the Good Samaritan (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        29But the lawyer, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”b
        30Jesus replied, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a certain priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 34and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' 36Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”
        37He answered, “He who showed mercy on him.”
        And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
        (Lk. 10:29–37)



b   “But the lawyer, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'”—The lawyer in asking this question knew that Jewish law defined one's neighbors as other Jews, “the children of one's people.” (“You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”—Leviticus 19:18) He also knew that if Jesus taught that non-Jews were one's neighbors he would be placing himself in conflict with Jewish law. Jesus answers this attempt to ensnare him with one of his greatest parables, The Good Samaritan.
        Whatever the lawyer's motives, the question is a good one. Since Jesus has just affirmed the great commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself,” the question “Who is my neighbor?” is really equivalent to the question, “Who should we love as we love ourselves?” For many, one's neighbors consist only of those who live in their immediate neighborhood. For others it is those of one's town or region, race or nationality. Jesus in The Parable of the Good Samaritan expands the neighbor concept to include the whole world—even our enemies.

Lk. 10:29  But the lawyer, desiring / But he, desiring (RSV)
Lk. 10:30  “A certain man (KJV) / “A man (RSV) • fell into the hands of robbers, (Rieu) / fell among robbers, (RSV)
Lk. 10:31  a certain priest (KJV) / a priest (RSV)
Lk. 10:35  And on the morrow he (KJV) / And the next day he (RSV)
Lk. 10:36  proved to be a neighbor (NASB) / proved neighbor (RSV)
Lk. 10:37  He answered, “He / He said,“He (RSV) • answered, “He who / answered, “The one who (RSV)   (164:1/1809–10)

103

83. Healing the Man Born Blind

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1As Jesus passed by, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2And his disciples asked him, “Master, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”a
        3Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. 4We must do the works of him who sent me while it is day; for the night comes when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
        6As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the spittle and applied the clay to the man's eyes, 7saying to him: “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.”
       So he went and washed and came back seeing. 8The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?”
        9Some said, "It is he"; others said, “No, but he is like him.”
       He said, “I am he.”
        10They said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”
        11He answered, “A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash'; so I went and washed and received my sight.”
        12They said to him, “Where is he?”
        He said, “I do not know.”
        (Jn. 9:1–12)



a   “Master, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”—The Jews tended to believe that such cases of blindness at birth were the result of the sins of the parents.

Jn. 9:1   As Jesus passed / As he passed (RSV) • man who had been blind from birth (Rieu) / man blind from his birth (KJV)
Jn. 9:2   him, “Master, who (“Rabbi” translated “Master”) / him, “Rabbi, who (RSV)
Jn. 9:4   must do the / must work the (RSV) • for the night / night (RSV)
Jn. 9:6   clay with the spittle (TCNT) / clay of spittle (RSV) • and applied the clay to the (NASB) / and anointed the (RSV) • eyes, / eyes with the clay, (RSV)
Jn. 9:7   Siloam.” / Siloam” (which means sent). (RSV)
Jn. 9:9   am he.” (KJV) / am the man." (RSV)
Jn. 9:11  A man (KJV) / The man (RSV)   (164:3/1811–3)

104

84. Before the Sanhedrin

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        13They brought to the Pharisees [Sanhedrin]a the man who had formerly been blind. 14Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.b 15The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I now see.”
        16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man cannot be from God, for he does not observe the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
        17So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?”
        He said, “He is a prophet.”
        18The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight. 19They asked them, “Is this your son who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
        20His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and he was born blind, 21but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews [Sanhedrin] had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be the Messiah, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him.”
        24So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.”
        25He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I know not; but one thing I do know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.”
        (Jn. 9:13–25) (continued)



a   “the Pharisees [Sanhedrin]”—The Sanhedrin was the high ruling body of the Jews. It was composed of Pharisees (scribes and rabbis) and Sadducees (priests and certain wealthy Jews) and was presided over by the High Priest. Since the Sanhedrin was the Jewish supreme court, it was they who would have conducted such an investigation into Sabbath breaking (healing the blind man on the Sabbath).

b   “Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.”—Perhaps it was Jesus' plan to bring his life and teachings more forcefully to the attention of the rulers of the Jews by this act of healing on the Sabbath day.

Jn. 9:13  Pharisees [Sanhedrin] the (See fn. a above.) / Pharisees the (RSV)
Jn. 9:15  I now see (Mof) / I see (RSV)
Jn. 9:16  man cannot be from (TCNT) / man is not from (RSV) • not observe the (Phi) / not keep the (RSV)
Jn. 9:19  They asked / and asked (RSV)
Jn. 9:22  Jews [Sanhedrin] had (See fn. a above.) / Jews had (RSV) • be the Messiah, he (Ch. 13, fn. c) / be Christ, he (RSV)
Jn. 9:25  I know not (KJV) / I do not know (RSV) • but one (Bas) / one (RSV) • I do know (Wms) / I know (RSV) • that whereas I (KJV) / that though I (RSV)   (164:4/1813–5)

105

84. Before the Sanhedrin (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        26They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
        27He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?”
        28And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”
        30The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not of God, he could have done nothing.”
        34They answered him, “You were born in sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out of the synagogue.
        35Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
        36He answered, “Tell me who he is that I may believe in him.”
        37Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who now speaks to you.”
        38He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
        (Jn. 9:26–38)



Jn. 9:34  in sin, (KJV) / in utter sin, (RSV) • out of the synagogue. (Wms) / out. (RSV)
Jn. 9:35  of God?” (RSV alt. trans.) / Man?” (RSV)
Jn. 9:36  Tell me who he is that (NEB) / And who is he, sir, that (RSV)
Jn. 9:37  who now speaks (Ber) / who speaks (RSV)   (164:4/1814–5)

106

85. Teaching at Solomon’s Porch

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        22It was the feast of the dedicationa at Jerusalem; 23it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
        25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness to me. 26But you do not believe, because you do not belong to my flock. 27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28And I give eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30The Father and I are one.”
        31The Jews took up stones again to stone him.
        32Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?”
        33The Jews answered him, “For no good work would we stone you but for blasphemy,b because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
        34Jesus answered them, 36“You say of him whom the Father sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God.' 37If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not, 38but if I do the works of God, even though you do not believe me, believe the works. The Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
        39Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
        40He went away again beyond the Jordan [Perea] to the place where John had first baptized, and there he remained.
        (Jn. 10:22–34, 36–40)



a   “It was the feast of the dedication”—The feast of the dedication occurred during December and January. This visit of Jesus would have occurred around January AD 30, and Jesus would have been about 35 years old.

b   “blasphemy”—blas•phe•my n. [from the Greek blasphemein, to speak evil of] 1: irreverence toward God: (1) indignity offered to God in speaking, writing, or signs (2) the act of claiming the attributes or prerogatives of deity. (Webster's Unabridged)

Jn. 10:24  the Messiah, tell (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ, tell (RSV)
Jn. 10:25  name bear / name, they bear (RSV)
Jn. 10:26  my flock. (TCNT) / my sheep. (RSV)
Jn. 10:30  The Father and I are one.” / I and the Father are one." (RSV)
Jn. 10:33  For no good work would we (TCNT) / It is not for a good work that we (RSV)
Jn. 10:34  them, / them, “Is it not written in your law, 'I said, you are Gods'? (RSV)
Jn. 10:36  You / Do you (RSV) • Father sent / Father consecrated and sent (RSV)
Jn. 10:37  KJV
Jn. 10:38  do the works of God, even (Jn. 10:37) / do them, even (KJV) • works. The / works, that you may know and understand that the (RSV)
Jn. 10:40  again beyond the (KJV) / again across the (RSV) • Jordan [Perea] to / Jordan to (RSV)   (164:5/1815–6)

107

86. “I Am the Good Shepherd”

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        41And many came to him;a and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.”
        41Jesus said to them,b “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you claim that you can see, your sin remains.”
        1“Every shepherd who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in by another way, is a thief and a robber; 2but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers.”
        6This parablec Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
        (Jn. 10:41; 9:41; 10:1–6) (continued)



a   “And many came to him”—Jesus and the apostles have hastened away from the jurisdiction of the Jewish authorities after the feast of Dedication. (See Ch. 85, Jn. 10:40.) They have journeyed north and west across the Jordan River to the province of Perea. (See map on page 16.) And in this province of Perea, Jesus now begins his last preaching tour before his arrest and crucifixion.

b   “Jesus said to them”—Apparently a number of Jesus' enemies (the Jerusalem religious teachers and leaders) have followed him and make up a part of the crowd gathered about him. It is to them that he declares, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you claim that you can see, your sin remains.” (Jn. 9:41)

c   “This parable”—In this parable of The Good Shepherd Jesus contrasts himself, the true shepherd, with a false shepherd (“a thief and a robber"). These false shepherds (the Pharisees and Jerusalem religious leaders) are a part of Jesus' audience, and in the parable Jesus depicts them as “strangers” whom the sheep (those who hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness) will not follow.

Jn. 9:41  no sin; (KJV) / no guilt; (RSV) • but since you claim (Ber) / but now that you say, (RSV) • that you can see (Rieu) / 'we see,' (RSV) • your sin remains.” (KJV) / your guilt remains.” (RSV)
Jn. 10:1  Every shepherd who / Truly, truly, I say to you, he who (RSV) • way, is / way, that man is (RSV)
Jn. 10:5  they know not the (KJV) / they do not know the (RSV)
Jn. 10:6  This parable Jesus (KJV) / This figure Jesus (RSV)   (165:1–2/1817–8)

108

86. “I Am the Good Shepherd” (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        7So Jesus again said to them, “I am the door to the [Father's] sheepfold. 8All who seek to enter without me are thieves and robbers; and the sheep will not heed them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, 15as the Father knows me and I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life safeguarding the sheep. But if I lay down my life I will take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.”
        19There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20Many of them said, “He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the sayings of one who has a demon. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” 42And many believed in him there.
        (Jn. 10:7–20, 42)



Jn. 10:7   them, “I / them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I (RSV) • door to the / door of the (RSV) • the [Father's] sheepfold. (Knox) / the sheep. (RSV)
Jn. 10:8   who seek to enter without me / who came before me (RSV) • and the sheep will not heed them. / but the sheep did not heed them. (RSV)
Jn. 10:9   in and / in and out and (RSV)
Jn. 10:10  I have come that / I came that (RSV) • that you may / that they may (RSV) • it more abundantly. (KJV) / it abundantly. (RSV)
Jn. 10:17  life safeguarding the sheep. But if I lay down my life I will take it up again. / life that I may take it up again. (RSV)   (165:2/1818–9)

109

87. Trust and Spiritual Preparedness

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1In the meantime, when so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they trod upon one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.a 2Nothing is covered up that shall not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.”
        3“Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and whatever you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.b 4I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.”
        6“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
        8“And I tell you everyone who acknowledges me before men the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; 9but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”
        10“And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against God will not be forgiven."c
        11“And when they bring you before the synagogues and before the rulers and the authorities, be not anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; 12for the spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
        (Lk. 12:1–4, 6–12)



a   “hypocrisy”—hy•poc•ri•sy n. [from the Greek hypokrisis, act of playing a part on a stage, outward show] 1: the act or practice of pretending to be what one is not or to have principles or beliefs that one does not have; esp: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion. (Webster's Unabridged)

b   “Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and whatever you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”—Here Jesus is referring especially to his Jerusalem enemies who are secretly planning his destruction. And indeed, after his crucifixion, the closed deliberations of the Sanhedrin plotting his death were subsequently brought to light.

c   “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against God will not be forgiven.”—A nonbeliever in Jesus might unknowingly blaspheme the Son of Man; but those who knowingly speak evil of God and ascribe his doings to the forces of evil will hardly repent of their sins. Thus they will have no capacity or opportunity to receive forgiveness.

Lk. 12:2   that shall not (KJV) / that will not (RSV)
Lk. 12:10  against God will / against the Holy Spirit will (RSV)
Lk. 12:12  the spirit will / the Holy Spirit will (RSV)   (165:3/1819–20)

110

88. Teaching about Wealth and Material Possessions

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        13One of the multitude said to him, “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.”
        14But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?”
        15And he said to them,“Take heed, and beware of all covetousness;a for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
        16And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; 17and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' 18And he said: 'This I will do; I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, be merry.' 20But God said to him, 'Foolish man! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' 21So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
        (Lk. 12:13–21)



a   “covetousness”—cov•et•ous adj. [from the French coveitié, covetousness, desire] a: marked by craving and deep desire to own wealth or possessions (it's on your account that he's been so particular about money of late, he was never covetous before—G.B. Shaw) b: having a craving for possession (a man covetous of honors) c: marked by inordinate, culpable, or envious desire for another's possessions (throwing covetous eyes out of their forests on the fields and vineyards of their neighbors—J.A. Froude) (Webster's Unabridged)

Lk. 12:20  him, 'Foolish man! This / him, 'Fool! This (RSV)   (165:4/1821–22)

111

89. Talk to the Apostles on Wealth

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        22And Jesus said to his apostles,a “Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24Consider the ravens; they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his stature or a day to his life? 26If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?”
        27“Consider the lilies, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more shall he clothe you. O you of little faith! 29And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. 30For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. 31Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.”
        32“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Provide yourselves with purses that wax not old, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
        (Lk. 12:22–34)



a   “Jesus said to his apostles”—This teaching, given to his chosen apostles who had forsaken all to follow him, must be somewhat different from his instruction given to the disciples and the multitude. Those disciples and followers are responsible for the support of their families and should contribute to the sustenance of those who have dedicated themselves fully to the work of the kingdom.

Lk. 12:22  his apostles, “Do (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples, “Therefore, I tell you do (RSV)
Lk. 12:23  Life (Gspd) / For life (RSV)
Lk. 12:25  cubit to his stature (RSV alt. trans.) or a day to his life? / cubit to his span of life? (RSV)
Lk. 12:27  they toil not, neither do they spin / they neither toil nor spin (RSV) • I say to you (KJV) / I tell you (RSV)
Lk. 12:28  If (KJV) / But if (RSV) • grass of the field, which is alive today / grass, which is alive in the field today (RSV) • the fire, how / the oven, how (RSV) • more shall he / more will he (RSV) • O you of / O men of (RSV)
Lk. 12:33  that wax not old, (KJV) / that do not grow old, (RSV) • old where / old, with the treasure in the heavens that do not fail, where (RSV)   (165:5/1823–4)

112

90. Watchfulness and Faithfulness

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        35“Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning. 36And be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Then he will have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.”
        39“You understand that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40You also must be ready; for the Son of Man is departing at an unexpected hour.”
        41Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us,a or for all?”
        42And the Lord said, 43“Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find doing his duties. 44Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.”
        45“But if that servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to mistreat his fellow servants and to eat and drink and be drunken, 46the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him; and will put him with the unfaithful. 48Everyone to whom much has been given, of him will much be required.”
        49“Fiery trials are drawing near. 50I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am on watch until it is accomplished! 51Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.b 52For henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three.”
        (Lk. 12:35–37, 39–46, 48–52)



a   “for us”—(the apostles). At this time Jesus is very popular and attracts large crowds and many followers. But he knows that soon great trials will be upon them. He is warning the apostles to be watchful and ready, “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning.”

b   “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”—Jesus is the Prince of Peace; but his coming to earth did not bring peace—not at first, at least. Although the individual believer will find great peace in his heart, the world will not know Jesus' peace until all are willing to accept his teaching of the kingdom of heaven. Until then there will be inevitable division between believers and nonbelievers.

Lk. 12:37  Then he will have / truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have (RSV)
Lk. 12:39  You understand that / But know this that (RSV)
Lk. 12:40  is departing at / is coming at (RSV)
Lk. 12:42  said, / said, “Who is the faithful and wise steward, whom the master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? (RSV)
Lk. 12:43  find doing / find so doing. (RSV) • doing his duties. (Rieu) / doing. (RSV)
Lk. 12:45  to mistreat his fellow servants and / to beat the menservants and maidservants and (RSV) • and be drunken (KJV) / and get drunk (RSV)
Lk. 12:49  "Fiery trials are drawing near. / “I came to cast fire upon the earth; (RSV)
Lk. 12:50  am on watch until / am constrained until (RSV)   (165:5–6/1824)

113

91. Dining with the Pharisees

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        37A Pharisee asked him to dine with him; so he went in and sat at table. 38The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39And the Lord said, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.”
        45One of the lawyersa answered him, “Teacher, in saying this you reproach us also.”
        46And he said, “Woe upon you lawyers also! for you load men with burdens grievous to bear, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. 47Woe upon you! for you build the tombs for the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48So you are witnesses and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for you now plan to kill the prophet who comes in this day doing what the prophets did in their day. 50The blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, 51may be required of this generation. 52Woe upon you lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”
        53As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard, and to provoke him to speak of many things, 54lying in wait for him, to catch him at something he might say.b
        (Lk. 11:37–39, 45–48, 50–54)



a   “One of the lawyers”—Evidently Jesus was invited to a meal given by a Pharisee, whose guests included a number of lawyers and Pharisees. These Pharisees, who strictly followed the practice of ceremonial washing, were shocked when Jesus did not engage in this Pharisaic practice.

b   “lying in wait for him, to catch him at something he might say.”—to be used to bring him to trial and judgment before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.

Lk. 11:37  A / While he was speaking a (RSV)
Lk. 11:39  said, “Now / said to him, "Now (RSV)
Lk. 11:46  Woe upon you (KJV) / Woe to you (RSV) • burdens grievous to (KJV) / burdens hard to (RSV) • yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. (NIV) / yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. (RSV)
Lk. 11:47  Woe upon you! (KJV) / Woe to you! (RSV)
Lk. 11:48  for you now plan to kill the prophet who comes in this day doing what the prophets did in their day. / for they killed them, and you build their tombs. (RSV)
Lk. 11:50  The / that the (RSV)
Lk. 11:51  may be (NIV) / will be (RSV)
Lk. 11:52  Woe upon you (KJV) / Woe to you (RSV)
Lk. 11:54  catch him at / catch at (RSV)   (166:1/1825–7)

114

92. Healing the Ten Lepers

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        12And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers,a who stood at a distance 13and lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
        14When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”b
        And as they went they were cleansed. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
        17Then said Jesus, “Were not ten cleansed? Where then are the nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
        19And he said to him, “Arise and go your way; your faith has made you whole.”
        (Lk. 17:12–19)



a   “ten lepers”—See Ch. 34, fn. b, for a definition of leprosy.

b   “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”—This was required by the law of Moses: "The Lord said to Moses, 'This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest; and the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall make an examination.'” (Leviticus 14:1–3)

Lk. 17:19  you whole.” (KJV) / you well.” (RSV)   (166:2/1827–8)

115

93. Will Few or Many Be Saved?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        22He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.a 23And some one said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few or many?”
        13And Jesus said to them, “Enter by the narrow gate;b for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
        25“When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us.' He will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from.' 26Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' 27But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!'c 28There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. 29And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. 30And behold, some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.”
        (Lk. 13:22–23; Mt. 7:13–14; Lk. 13:25–30)



a   “He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.”—Jesus crossed over into Perea when the authorities sought to arrest him at the feast of the dedication. (See Ch. 85.) Since he is moving toward Jerusalem he probably began this last preaching mission in northern Perea and gradually moved south. (See map on page 16.)

b   “And Jesus said to them, 'Enter by the narrow gate'”—Here Jesus teaches that, although the way leading to life is “straight and narrow” and the way to destruction is “broad and wide,” still, salvation is first a matter of personal choice. Thus, whether few or many are saved is ever dependent upon how many choose to “enter by the narrow gate” and fight the good fight of faith.

c   “iniquity”—in•iq•ui•ty n. [from the Latin iniquus, uneven, unjust] 1: absence of or deviation from just dealing: gross injustice: WICKEDNESS (the iniquity of bribery). (Webster's Unabridged)
        We may distinguish three levels of failure to achieve the doing of God's will. Evil is an unconscious or unintended breach of the Father's will; sin is a conscious and deliberate violation of God's will; and iniquity is a willful, repeated, and persistent transgression of the divine will. Evil is the measure of our imperfection in obeying God's will; sin is the measure of our unwillingness to be spiritually guided; and iniquity is the measure of our continued rejection of the Father's way of salvation.

Lk. 13:23  few or many? / few? (RSV)
Mt. 7:13   And Jesus said to them, “Enter (Lk. 13:24) / “Enter (RSV)
Mt. 7:14   Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, that (KJV) / For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that (RSV)
Lk. 13:30  some who are last will / some are last who will (RSV) • some who are first will / some are first who will (RSV)   (166:3/1828–9)

116

94. Teaching about Accidents and Natural Law

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1There were some present at that time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? 4Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?”a
        6And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7And he said to the vinedresser, 'Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?' 8And he answered him, 'Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. 9And if it bears fruit next year well and good; but if not you can cut it down.'”
        (Lk. 13:1–2, 4, 6–9)



a   “do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?”—The Jews tended to believe that prosperity was the sign of God's favor, while adversity and poverty were the result of his disapproval. The associated idea that accidents (such as the tower of Siloam falling on eighteen men) were the result of spiritual forces punishing sinners is here questioned by Jesus. He then proceeds to tell a parable, The Parable of the Fig Tree, that demonstrates and teaches that the events of the physical world are governed by natural laws, and only those who comply with those laws (dig about the tree and put on manure) may hope to reap the benefits (a bountiful yield).

Lk. 13:1 that time / that very time (RSV)   (166:4/1830–1)

117

95. Sabbath Meal with the Pharisees

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1One Sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him. 2And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy.a 3And Jesus spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?”
        4But they were silent.
        Then he took him and healed him, and let him go. 5And he said to them, “Which of you, having an ox that has fallen into a well, will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”
        6And they could not reply to this.
        7Now he told a parableb to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8“When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him, 9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11Every one who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”
        12“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not always invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, sometimes invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.”
        (Lk. 14:1–14)



a   “dropsy”—A condition in which parts of the body such as the face, arms, and legs become swollen as the result of an abnormal accumulation of fluid.

b   “he told a parable”—The Lowest Seat at the Feast.

Lk. 14:5   having an / having a son or an (RSV)
Lk. 14:7   he noticed how (Wey) / he marked how (RSV)
Lk. 14:11  Every / For every (RSV) • himself shall be (KJV) / himself will be (RSV) • himself shall be (KJV) / himself will be (RSV)
Lk. 14:12  “When / He said also to the man who invited him, “When (RSV) • not always invite / not invite (RSV)
Lk. 14:13  feast, sometimes invite / feast, invite (RSV)   (167:1/1833–4)

118

96. Parable of the Great Banquet

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        15When one of those who sat at table with Jesus heard this, he said, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
        16But Jesus said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; 17and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for all is now ready.' 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' 19And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' 20And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' 21So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' 22And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' 23And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'”
        (Lk. 14:15–24)



Lk. 14:15  with Jesus heard / with him heard (RSV) • he said, “Blessed / he said to him, “Blessed (RSV)
Lk. 14:16  But Jesus said / But he said (RSV)   (167:2/1835)

119

97. The Woman with the Spirit of Infirmity

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” 13And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God.
        14But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, but not on the Sabbath day.”
        15Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? 16And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham who has been bound down by evil for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”
        17And as he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
        (Lk. 13:10–17)



Lk. 13:14  healed, but not / healed, and not (RSV)
Lk. 13:16  Abraham who has been bound down by evil for / Abraham whom Satan bound for (RSV)   (167:3/1835–6)

120

98. News of Lazarus’ Illness

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointmenta and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent to him saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”
        4But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness is not unto death, it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.”
        5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6When he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.”
        8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you,b and are you going there again?”
        9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
        11Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.”
        12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
        13Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead; 15and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
        16Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
        (Jn. 11:1–16)



a   “It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment”—See Ch. 114.

b   “the Jews were but now seeking to stone you”—This refers to Jesus' recent visit to Jerusalem during the feast of Dedication. (See Ch. 85, Jn. 10:31.)

121

99. Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        9He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a publican. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' 13But the publican, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 14I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”
        (Lk. 18:9–14)



Lk. 18:10  a publican. (KJV) / a tax collector. (RSV)
Lk. 18:13  the publican, standing (KJV) / the tax collector, standing (RSV)
Lk. 18:14  himself shall be (KJV) / himself will be (RSV) • himself shall be (KJV) / himself will be (RSV)   (167:5/1838)

122

100. Teaching on Marriage and Divorce

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1Now when Jesus entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordana 2large crowds followed him.
        3And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?”
        4He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female?” 5And he said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become as one.”
        7They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
        8“Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but in the beginning it was not so.”
        (Mt. 19:1–5, 7–8)



a   “the region of Judea beyond the Jordan”—The province of Perea. (See map on page 16.)

Mt. 19:1  Jesus entered / Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered (RSV)
Mt. 19:2  large / and large (RSV) • him. / him, and he healed them there. (RSV)
Mt. 19:5  And he said / and said (RSV) • become as one.” / become one flesh.” (RSV)
Mt. 19:8  Moses / For your hardness of heart, Moses (RSV) • but in the / but from the (RSV)   (167:5/1838–9)



101. Jesus Blesses the Little Children

        13And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. 14But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”b
        16And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.
        (Mk. 10:13–16)



a   “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”—Here Jesus teaches us to seek entrance into the kingdom of heaven with the faith and trusting dependence of a little child. And although this faith is childlike, resembling the trust of a child in his earthly father, it is in no sense childish.

Mk. 10:14   (KJV) • was indignant, and (RSV) / was much displeased, and (KJV) • of heaven. / of God. (KJV)   (167:6/1839–40)

123

102. Arrival at Bethany

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        17Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house.
        21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
        23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
        24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
        25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
        Do you believe this?”
        27She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Deliverer, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”
        28When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
        32Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
        (Jn. 11:17–32)



Jn. 11:27 the Deliverer, the (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ, the (RSV)   (168:0/1842–3)

124

103. The Resurrection of Lazarus

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; 34and he said, “Where have you laid him?”
        They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”
        35Jesus wept.
        36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
        38Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
        Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”
        40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone.
        And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I know that you hear me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that you did send me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”
        44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth.
        Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
        45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
        (Jn. 11:33–46)



Jn. 11:41  thank you that you have heard (NIV) / thank thee that thou hast heard (RSV)
Jn. 11:42  I know that you hear me / I know that thou hearest me (RSV) • that you did send / that thou didst send (RSV)
Jn. 11:43  come forth!” (KJV) / come out." (RSV)   (168:1–2/1843–7)

125

104. The Sanhedrin Decides that Jesus Must Die

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        47So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council,a and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48If we let him go on thus, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.”b
        49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all; 50you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” 51He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, 52and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53So from that day on they took counsel how to put him to death.c
        54Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, and there he stayed with his disciples.d
        (Jn. 11:47–54)



a   “the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council”—The Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme court and ruling body, met to decide what to do about Jesus.

b   “If we let him go on thus, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.”—The Sanhedrin knew that many of Jesus' followers regarded him as the Messiah, Israel's deliverer. They were afraid that this would lead to serious problems with the Roman authorities.

c   “So from that day on they took counsel how to put him to death.”—For a long time the Sanhedrin (the Jewish high court) had sought to apprehend Jesus and bring charges against him. Now they go even further; they decree his death in advance of anything resembling a trial.

d   “Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, and there he stayed with his disciples.”—Probably he returned to the regions of Perea and the Decapolis, the provinces lying across the Jordan River from Judea. This area was outside the reach of the Jewish Sanhedrin.

Jn. 11:54  wilderness, and / wilderness, to a town called Ephraim; and (RSV)   (168:3/1847)

126

105. Those Who Are Lost

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to Jesus. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”a
        3So he told them this parable: 4“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? 5And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.' 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
        8“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.' 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
        (Lk. 15:1–10) (continued)



a   “And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”—Jesus answers this criticism by the Pharisees that he associates with sinners by telling three parables. They teach us God's attitude toward sinners, toward those who are lost in sin.
        In The Lost Sheep the shepherd leaves his flock to go in search of a lost sheep; he rejoices greatly when the sheep is found. This parable teaches that God (and his Son) actually go in search of those who are lost. The fact that we are lost only increases God's interest. Another time Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” (See Ch. 111, Lk. 19:10.) We know that we must search for God, but The Lost Sheep reveals that God also searches for us, especially when we are lost.
        Like The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin also teaches that God searches for those who are lost and rejoices when they are found; it emphasizes the diligence and thoroughness with which God conducts this search.
        In The Lost Sheep the shepherd goes in search for the sheep that unintentionally went astray; The Lost Son (following page) depicts God's attitude toward a son who willfully and intentionally departs from his father's will and becomes lost in sin. It teaches that even when a son chooses the path of sin, the loving heavenly Father is ever willing to accept his son back into his family. This story, which so beautifully pictures the human condition and the Father's loving acceptance of an erring child, is perhaps Jesus' greatest parable.

(169:0–1/1850–1)

127

105. Those Who Are Lost (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        11And Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons; 12and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them.”
        13"Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into the country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. 14And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. 15So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough to spare, but I perish here with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”' 20And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; 23and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; 24for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry.”
        25"Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. 27And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' 28But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29but he answered his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!'”
        31“And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'”
        (Lk. 15:11–32)



(169:1/1851–3)

128

106. The Shrewd Steward

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1And Jesus also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'”
        3“And the steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.' 5So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' 6He said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' 7Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' 8Even his master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness.”a
        “The sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.b 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves with righteousness like those who make friends with unrighteous mammon,c so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.”
        10“He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11If then you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?”
        13“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
        14The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him.
        (Lk. 16:1–14)



a   “shrewdness”—shrewd•ness n. the quality or state of being shrewd, as a: sagacity in practical affairs (the political shrewdness that characterized his later career—Carol L. Thompson) b: keenness of discernment : ACUMEN (the tradition of rural shrewdness—Malcolm Cowley). (Webster's Unabridged)

b   “The sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.”—The sons of this world sometimes show more wisdom in their preparation for the future than do the children of the kingdom.

c   “mammon”—Semitic word for money or riches.

Lk. 16:8   Even his master / The master (RSV) • The / for the (RSV)
Lk. 16:9   yourselves with righteousness like those who make friends with unrighteous / yourselves by means of unrighteous (RSV)
Lk. 16:11  in handling worldly wealth, who (TEV) / in the unrighteous mammon, who (RSV)
Lk. 16:13  No man can / No servant can (RSV)   (169:2/1853–4)

129

107. The Desire for Preference

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        20Being asked when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21nor will they say, 'Lo, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”a
        20The mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to Jesus, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.
        21And he said to her, “What do you want?”
        She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”b
        22But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”
        They said to him, “We are able.”
        23He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
        24And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.
        25But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever would be first among you must be your minister;c 28even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life in the service of many.
        (Lk. 17:20–21; Mt. 20:20–28)



a   “the kingdom of God is within you.”—Jesus' kingdom is an inner spiritual kingdom—the rule of God in the heart of the believer. This is one of Jesus' greatest pronouncements.

b   “She said to him, ‘Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.’” —John’s mother (and the apostles) think that Jesus is going up to Jerusalem to receive his kingdom. They believe the kingdom is about to be realized on a world-wide scale and that Jesus will rule over the nations from his capital at Jerusalem.
        Although Jesus’ followers were destined for great disappointment when this did not happen, the concept of a future world kingdom under God's rule, a divine world government, is a valid one and was taught by Jesus. It refers to a future phase of Jesus’ inner kingdom that follows the growth and expansion of his brotherhood of the kingdom on our world.
        Thus, Jesus taught two concepts of the kingdom on earth; he taught the kingdom as:
        (1)    A present reality—existing now within the heart of the believer. Personal spiritual fellowship with God the Father. The inner submission of our will to God’s will. The kingdom of God within.
        (2)    A future hope—when the kingdom would be realized in fullness. The Messiah rules over the nations of the world. The kingdom as an outward and world-wide phenomenon. (See also Ch. 166, fn. b.)   (continued next page)

Lk. 17:20  asked when / asked by the Pharisees when (RSV)
Lk. 17:21  is within you.” (KJV) / is in the midst of you." (RSV)
Mt. 20:20  The / Then the (RSV) • to Jesus, with / to him, with (RSV)
Mt. 20:27  your minister; / your slave; (RSV)
Mt. 20:28  life in the service of many. / life as a ransom for many. (RSV)   (171:0/1867–8)

130

108. On Counting the Cost

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        25Now great multitudes accompanied him; and Jesus turned and said to them, 26"If anyone comes to me and is not willing to forsake his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' 31Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. 33So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple."
        34"Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
        (Lk. 14:25–35)



(continued from previous page)
c    “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your minister.”—Here Jesus distinguishes two basic ways of living: the ways of the world and the ways of the kingdom. Those who choose and live the way of the kingdom will seek more to serve others than to rule over them.

Lk. 14:25  and Jesus turned / and he turned (RSV)
Lk. 14:26  and is not willing to forsake his / and does not hate his (RSV)   (171:2/1869–70)

131

109. Jesus Predicts His Death

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        32And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed,a and those who followed were afraid.
        And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; 34and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise.”
        34But they understood none of these things; this saying was hid from them, and they did not grasp what was said.b
        (Mk.10:32–34; Lk. 18:34)



a   “they were amazed”—This refers to the apostles' reaction to Jesus going up to Jerusalem in the face of the Sanhedrin's condemnation of death.

b   “they did not grasp what was said.”—The apostles, like all the Jewish believers, expected Jesus to establish a temporal kingdom on earth with its headquarters at Jerusalem. Thus, they could not comprehend Jesus' announcement that he would die at the hands of the chief priests and scribes.

(171:4/1871–2)


110. The Healing of Bartimaeus

        35As Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man named Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging; 36and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. 37They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
        38And he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
        40And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?”
        He said, “Lord, let me receive my sight.”
        42And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you whole.”
        43And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
        (Lk. 18:35–43)



Lk. 18:35  As Jesus drew / As he drew (RSV) • man named Bartimaeus was (Mk. 10:46) / man was (RSV)
Lk. 18:42  you whole. / you well. (RSV)   (171:5/1873)

132

111. Staying at the House of Zaccheus

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And there was a man named Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. 3And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way.
        5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.”
        6So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. 7And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.v
        8And Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
        9And Jesus said to him “Today salvation has come to this house,a and you have become indeed a son of Abraham.b 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
        (Lk. 19:1–10)



a    “Today salvation has come to this house”—Jesus taught a gospel of eternal salvation, eternal survival. How do we gain this salvation?
        In Jesus’ gospel God is our Father and we are all his children, brothers and sisters to one another in God’s heavenly family. Our part is to believe this gospel, accept the truth that we are sons and daughters of God, and by faith realize our sonship with God. (I am a son of God. / I am a daughter of God.) And as his children our part is to choose and do our Father’s will. (Your will be done. / It is my will that your will be done. / Not my will, but yours, be done.)
        When we wholeheartedly choose to do our Father’s will, we are transformed; with every choice and decision to follow in God’s way we are identified less and less with our passing material body and more and more with our inner soul and God’s indwelling spirit presence.
        When our body dies our soul survives through its identification and union with God’s inner spirit. This is a salvation that has been gained through faith and the submission of our personal will to God’s higher spiritual will.

b   “you have become indeed a son of Abraham.”—You have become a true follower of the way of Abraham, the way of God. (See Ch. 76, fn. a.)

Lk. 19:2  named Zaccheus; (Mon) / named Zacchaeus; (RSV)
Lk. 19:5  him, “Zaccheus, make (Mon) / him, “Zacchaeus, make (RSV)
Lk. 19:8  And Zaccheus stood (Mon) / And Zacchaeus stood (RSV)
Lk. 19:9  house, and you have become indeed a / house, since he also is a (RSV)   (171:6/1873–4)

133

112. The Parable of the Pounds

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        11As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return. 13Calling ten of his servants,a he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, 'Trade with these till I come.' 14But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.'”b
        15“When he returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. 16The first came before him, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.' 17And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' 18And the second came, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' 19And he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.' 20Then another came, saying, 'Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; 21for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.'”
        22“He said to him, 'I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?' 24And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.' 25(And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten pounds!') 26I tell you, that to everyone who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
        28And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
        (Lk. 19:11–26, 28)



a   “Calling ten of his servants"—Jesus is here speaking especially to his chosen apostles; he is urging them to justify their stewardship of the gospel by being faithful in their efforts.

b   “We do not want this man to reign over us.”—The apostles falsely believe that Jesus is going up to Jerusalem to receive a kingdom. (Lk. 19:11) Jesus is seeking to prepare them for the reality of his impending rejection. He tells a parable in which the citizens reject a nobleman as their earthly ruler just as the Jews are about to reject Jesus as their spiritual ruler.

(171:8/1875–7)

134

113. Danger of the Jerusalem Visit; Arrival in Bethany

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        55Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?” 57Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.a
        1Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 9When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, 11because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
        (Jn. 11:55–57; 12:1, 9–11)



a   “Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.”—The Sanhedrin has decreed Jesus' death, (Ch. 104 ) and now issues orders calling upon all of Jewry to deliver him into their hands.

172:0,1/1878)

135

114. Mary Anoints Jesus

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        2At the house of Simon in Bethany they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3Marya took an alabaster flask of costly ointment of pure nard and poured it over his head, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4But there were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment thus wasted?” 5And they reproached her.
        4Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
        6But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you will, you can do good to them; but you will not always have me. 8She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burying.b 9And truly, I say to you, whenever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
       ( Jn. 12:2–3; Mk. 14:4–5; Jn. 12:4–5; Mk. 14:6–9)



a   “Mary”—the sister of Lazarus.

b   “she has anointed my body beforehand for burying.”—By this act Mary demonstrates her faith in Jesus and his teaching that he would be given over into the hands of the gentiles, be condemned and killed, and on the third day rise. (See Ch. 109.) Few of his followers are willing to accept or believe that this could really happen. But Mary does believe Jesus. She is anointing him before his death with ointment that was intended to be used after his death.
        This ointment was quite expensive—equal in value to a year's labor (300 denarii). Judas and others object to what appears to them to be an extravagance and a waste. But Jesus rebukes them and honors Mary's act. And just as he prophesied this story of Mary is "told in memory of her."

Jn. 12:2  At the house of Simon in Bethany they (Mk. 14:3) / There they (RSV)
Jn. 12:3  took an alabaster flask of (Mk. 14:3) / took a pound of (RSV) • nard and poured it over his head, and (Mk. 14:3) / nard and (RSV)
Mk. 14:4  Judas / But Judas (RSV)   (172:1/1879)

136

115. Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        12The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
        1And when Jesus and the apostles drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his apostles, 2and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied; untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.'”
        4And they went away, and found a colt tied at the door out in the open street; and they untied it. 5And those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”
        6And they told them what Jesus had said; and they let them go. 7And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it; 14as it is written, 15“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass's colt!”a
        16His apostles did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.
        8And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9And those who went before and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!”
        (Jn. 12:12; Mk. 11:1–7; Jn. 12:14–16; Mt. 11:8–10) (continued)



a   “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass's colt!”—This phrase is a quotation from Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, your king comes to you. He is just and brings salvation. He is lowly, riding upon an ass, upon a colt, the foal of an ass.” (KJV)
        A warrior entered a city on a horse. A king on a mission of peace entered riding upon an ass. Jesus would not enter as the warrior king and ruling Messiah expected by the Jews, but rather as a man of peace, fulfilling the spiritual concept of the Messiah. Here, Jesus once more seeks to demonstrate to his followers that his kingdom is not of this world; it is a purely spiritual affair involving the rule of God in the hearts of his earth children.

Mk. 11:1   when Jesus and the apostles drew / when they drew (RSV) • his apostles, and (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples, and (RSV)
Mk. 11:2   tied; untie / tied on which no one has ever sat; untie (RSV)
Jn. 12:16  His apostles did (Ch. 22 fn.a) / His disciples did (RSV)   (172:3/1880–2)

137

115. Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        37As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
        39And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
        40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
        41And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, 42saying, "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. 43For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, 44and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.”b
        19The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him.”
        (Lk. 19:37–44; Jn. 12:19)



b   “For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.”—This prophecy was swiftly fulfilled. In AD 70 the Roman army leveled Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and dispersed the Jews living there.
        The following description of this event is found on page 195 of Civilization Past and Present, a standard college history text: "During centuries of tribulation, the Prophets had taught that God would one day create a new Israel where righteousness prevailed under a divinely appointed leader, a Messiah. But groups concerned less with a spiritual kingdom than with an independent political state called for rebellion. In AD 66 violence erupted. The Roman garrison at Jerusalem was massacred, and the revolt spread beyond the walls of the city. Rome met the challenge with a large army commanded by Vespasian. When in AD 69 Vespasian was proclaimed emperor and went to Rome, his son Titus completed the siege of Jerusalem. The siege was recorded in all its horror by the Jewish historian Josephus: 'While the [temple] was on fire, everything was plundered that came to hand, and ten thousand of those that were caught were slain: nor was there a commiseration of any age, or any reverence of gravity, but children, and old men... and priests, were slain in the same manner.'” (The Genuine Works of Flavius Josephus, III Bk. 4, Ch. 5)
        “Although other revolts were attempted later and Roman armies devastated Palestine even more completely, the wholesale destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 spelled the end of the ancient Hebrew state. The Jews' dream of an independent political state was to remain unrealized for almost nineteen centuries, until, as a result of United Nations action, the republic of Israel was proclaimed in 1948.”

(172:3/1881–3)

138

116. Visiting the Temple; The Widow’s Mites

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        10And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.”
        11And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple.
        41And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42And a poor widow came, and put in two mites, which make a penny.
        43And he called his apostles to him, and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.”
        11And when he had looked round at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
        (Mt. 21:10–11; Mk. 11:11; 12:41–44; 11:11)



Mk. 12:42  two mites, which (KJV) / two copper coins, which (RSV)
Mk. 12:43  his apostles to (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples to (RSV)   (172:4/1883)

139

117. Cleansing the Temple

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        13The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. 15And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple, 12and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.
        16And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade.” 16And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 13He said to them, “It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you make it a den of robbers.”
        15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant; 16and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?”
        And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast brought perfect praise'?”
        47And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him; 48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words.
        (Jn. 2:13–15; Mt. 21:12; Jn. 2:16; Mk. 11:16; Mt. 21:13, 15–16; Lk. 19:47–48)



(continued from following page)
        Increasingly yielding the fruits of the spirit in our daily lives is the law of the kingdom. It is the universal aspect of God’s will for us; it applies to each and every individual. The Father would have us all bear spirit fruit—thereby developing our spiritual character along the perfected lines taught and exemplified by Jesus.
        The Father also has a personal and specific will for each individual that is different for every personality. For example, the Father’s special mission for Jesus was that he establish the kingdom of heaven on earth.
        The Father’s unique and personal will for us is his plan for our ideal lives and careers. This is our call to service, the part that God would have us play in life’s drama. As we grow closer to him, we are increasingly able to discern the Father’s plan for our lives. His spirit lives within us, constantly seeking to guide us forward through the maze of living towards the goal of destiny.

Mt. 21:13   Isaiah 56:7
Mt. 21:16   Psalms 8:2   (173:1/1888–91)

140

118. Challenging Jesus’ Authority to Teach

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        23The chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”
        24Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you a question; and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25The baptism of John, whence was it? From heaven or from men?”
        And they argued with one another, “If we say 'From heaven,' he will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' 26But if we say, “From men,' we are afraid of the multitude; for all hold that John was a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.”
        And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
        (Mt. 21:23–27)



Mt. 21:23  The / And when he entered the temple, the (RSV)   (173:2/1891–2)


119. Parable of the Two Sons

        28Jesus asked the Jewish leaders, “What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' 29And he answered, 'I will not'; but afterward he repented and went. 30And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir'; but did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?”a
        They said, “The first.”
        Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him.”
        (Mt. 21:28–32)



a    “Which of the two did the will of his father?”—Saying we will do the will of God is not enough; we must actually do our Father's will. This is Jesus' fundamental teaching. The kingdom he taught is the will of the Father dominant in the heart of the believer. This kingdom is composed of those individuals who have faith in the Fatherhood of God and are dedicated to doing his will.
        The will of God for us, his earth children, is that we increasingly yield the fruits of the spirit in our daily lives. These character fruits of the spirit are most clearly seen in the life of Jesus. They include: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, patience, kindness, and self-control.   (continued on preceding page)


Mt. 21:28  Jesus asked the Jewish leaders, “What / “What (RSV)   (173:3/1893)

141

120. Parable of the Absent Landlord

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        33“Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. 34When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; 35and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. 37Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' 39And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
        41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” 16When they heard this, they said, “God forbid!”
        42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing the fruits of it. 44And he who falls on this stone, while he is thereby broken in pieces, will be saved; but when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
        45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.a 46But when they tried to arrest him, they feared the multitudes, because they held him to be a prophet.
        (Mt. 21:33–41; Lk. 20:16; Mt. 21:42–46)



a   “When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.”—In this parable, God is the householder, the tenants are the Jewish nation, and the servants sent by the householder are the Jewish prophets. The son whom the tenants rejected and killed represents Jesus and his gospel of the kingdom.

Mt. 21:42   Psalms 118:22,–23
Mt. 21:43  a people producing (Rieu) / a nation producing (RSV)
Mt. 21:44  stone, while he is thereby broken in pieces, will be saved; / stone will be broken to pieces; (RSV)   (173:4/1893–4)

142

121. Parable of the Marriage Feast

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, 3and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come. 4Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.' 5But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you can find.' 10And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; 12and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.' 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”
        (Mt. 22:1–14)



(173:5/1894–5)


122. The Request for a Sign

        18The Jews said to him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?”
        19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
        20The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”
        21But he spoke of the temple of his body. 22When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the word which Jesus had spoken.
        (Jn. 2:18–22)



Jn. 2:22  believed the word / believed the scripture and the word (RSV)   (173:5/1895)

143

123. The Attempt to Entrap Jesus

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        13And they sent to him some of the Phariseesa and some of the Herodians,b to entrap him in his talk. 14And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15Should we pay them, or should we not?”c
        But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a coin, and let me look at it.” 16And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?"
        They said to him, “Caesar's.”
        17Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.”
        And they were amazed at him. 26And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him by what he said; but marveling at his answer they were silent.
        (Mk. 12:13–17; Lk. 20:26)



a   “Pharisees”—The Pharisees consisted of the scribes and rabbis taken together.

b   “Herodians”—The Herodians were a political party that sought emancipation from direct Roman rule through the restoration of the Herodian dynasty.

c   “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”—Jesus' enemies probably reasoned something like this: If he advised against paying taxes, he could be brought before the Roman authorities for sedition. On the other hand, if he affirmed the payment of tribute to Rome, he would lose favor with the Jewish people who hated the Roman overrule.

(174:2/1899)

144

124. The Sadducees and the Resurrection

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        23The same day Sadducees,a who say that there is no resurrection, came to him; and they asked him a question, 24saying, “Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies, having no children, his brother must marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.' 25Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. 26So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27After them all, the woman died. 28In the resurrection, therefore, to which of the seven will she be wife? For they all had her.”
        29But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, 32'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”b
        33And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. 39And some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40For they no longer dared to ask him any question.
        (Mt. 22:23–33; Lk. 20:39–40)



a   “Sadducees”—the Sadducees consisted of the priesthood and certain wealthy Jews.

b   “And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”—If God says I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it means that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still in existence, still living. Thus, Jesus uses this statement by God (speaking to Moses) as evidence that there is a resurrection after mortal death. Otherwise God would have said, “I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Mt. 22:23  Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him; / Sadducees came to him, who say there is no resurrection; (RSV)
Mt. 22:32   Ex. 3:6 • I am the / I am the (RSV)   (174:3/1900)

145

125. The Great Commandment

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him, 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”a
        29Jesus answered, “The first is, 'Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 39And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
        32And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 33and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
        34And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
        And after that no one dared to ask him any question.
        (Mt. 22:34–36; Mk. 12:29–30; Mt. 22:39, 40; Mk. 12:32–34)



a    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” —Here this question is clearly answered. Jesus quotes Dt. 6:4–5, which commands us to love God supremely and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He then goes on to say, “On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” The commandment to love is “the greatest commandment.”
        In 1 Corinthians Paul gives this beautiful description of the nature and import of love: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ( (1 Cor. 13:1–7, 13)

Mt. 22:36  the greatest commandment / the great commandment (RSV)
Mk. 12:29   Dt. 6:4
Mk. 12:30   Dt. 6:4   (174:4/1901)

146

126. Jesus Questions the Pharisees

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42saying, “What do you think of the Deliverer? Whose son is he?”
        They said to him, “The son of David.”
        43He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the spirit, calls him Lord, saying in the book of Psalms, 44'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet'? 45If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?”a
        46And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
        (Mt. 22:41–46)



a   “If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?”—The Pharisees said that the promised Deliverer is the “son [offspring] of David." How then is it that David, the supposed author of Psalm 101, refers to this coming Messiah as “my Lord”? How can the Lord of David be his son?

Mt. 22:42  the Deliverer? Whose (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ? Whose (RSV)
Mt. 22:43  David, in the (RSV alt. trans.) / David, inspired by the (RSV) • saying in the book of Psalms, 'The (Lk. 20:42) / saying, 'The (RSV)
Mt. 22:44   Psalms 110:1   (174:4/1901–2)

147

127. Before the Greeks

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        20Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
        22Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.
        23And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
        27“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.”
        Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him.”
        30Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; 32and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
        34The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Christa remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up?b Who is this Son of Man?”
        35Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”c
        (Jn. 12:20–32, 34–36)



a   “Christ”—[from Greek Christos, literally, anointed, translation of Hebrew anointed, Messiah] 1: one who is accepted as the Messiah (this Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ—Ac. 17:3). (Webster's Unabridged) (See also Ch. 13, fn. c.)

b   “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up?”—Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, and means literally “anointed" or “anointed one.” The followers of Jesus came to regard him as “the Christ,” by which they affirmed that he was the Messiah, the anointed one from God. It was believed that this long-awaited deliverer would remain on the earth forever. Therefore, the Greeks are shocked when Jesus declares that he will be “lifted up" (be crucified and ascend to heaven). They reply that “the Christ remains on earth forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up?”

c   “believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” —We are not born knowing that we are sons and daughters of God. By believing Jesus’ gospel that we are all children of a loving heavenly Father and then living in this faith we may actually realize and experience this great truth. In this way we may truly become faith sons of God.

Jn. 12:28 glorify your name / glorify thy name (RSV)   (174:5/1902–4)

148

128. Jesus’ Indictment of His Jerusalem Enemies

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, 2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; 3so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but do not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.a 4They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.”
        5“They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteriesb broad and their fringes long, 6and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, 7and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.”
        9“And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.c 11He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; 12whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
        13“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. 14Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation. 15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”
        16“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18And you say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.' 19You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?”
        (Mt. 23:1–7, 9, 11–19) (continued)



a   “they preach, but do not practice” —The true follower of Jesus will practice the principles of the gospel of the kingdom. Jesus calls us not merely to espouse his teachings but rather to live the teachings (“not in word only but also in power and in the Holy Spirit”). (1 Thes. 1:5)

b   “phylacteries”—(phy•lac•ter•ies) Phylacteries are small square leather boxes containing verses from scripture; traditionally these were worn on the left arm and forehead by Jewish men during the morning weekday prayers.

c   “you have one Father, who is in heaven”—Here is a simple and clear declaration of the central truth of Jesus’ gospel: God is our loving heavenly Father. From the Fatherhood of God everything else flows, e.g., sonship, brotherhood, faith, will, love, service, forgiveness, birth of the spirit, fellowship with God, fruit of the spirit, righteousness, and salvation.

(175:1/1906–7)

149

128. Jesus’ Indictment of His Jerusalem Enemies (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!”
        25“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. 26You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside may be clean.”
        27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
        29“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31This you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.”
        33“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?c
        34My Father has sent you prophets and wise men, some of whom you have killed, and some you have persecuted, 35and so upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.”
        37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would not! 38Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.”
        (Mt. 23:23–38)



c   “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”—These words are reminiscent of John the Baptist's earlier indictment of the Jewish religious leaders at the river Jordan: “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come for baptism, he said to them: 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth fruit that befits repentance. Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.'” (See Ch. 13, Mt. 3:7–8, 10.)

Mt. 23:34  My Father has sent you / Therefore I send you (RSV) • men, some / men and scribes, some (RSV) • you have killed, and / you will kill and crucify, and (RSV) • you have persecuted, / you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, (RSV)
Mt. 23:35 and so upon (NEB) / that upon (RSV) Zechariah, whom / Zechariah the son of Bachariah, whom (RSV)
Mt. 23:37 wings, but you / wings, and you (RSV)   (175:1/1908)

150

129. The Destruction of Jerusalem

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”
        2And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.”
        3As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, the apostles 7asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?”a
        4And Jesus answered them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Deliverer, and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7There will be famines and earthquakes in various places; 9they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them. 11And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13and you will be hated by all for my name's sake.”
        (Mk. 13:1–3; Lk. 21:7; Mt. 24:4–7; Mk. 13:9, 11–13) (continued)



a   “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?”—Tell us what will be the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and how shall we (the apostles) know when these events are about to take place?

Mk. 13:3  temple, the apostles asked (Mt. 24:3) / temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked (RSV)
Mt. 24:5  the Deliverer,' and (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ,' and (RSV)
Mt. 24:7  There / For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and there (RSV)
Mk. 13:9  they / for they (RSV)   (176:0–1/1912–3)

151

129. The Destruction of Jerusalem (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        20"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; 22for these are days of vengeance. 24This people will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles.b 21And if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Deliverer!' or 'Look, there he is!' believe it not. 22False Messiahs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.”
        30“Truly I say unto you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place.”
        (Lk. 21:20–22, 24; Mk. 13:21–23, 30)



b
  “and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles”—Jesus was crucified in April, AD 30 (time of the Passover). Less than 40 years later, in AD 66, there was a revolt of the Jews seeking to throw off the Roman yoke. The Roman army came against them and in AD 70 they broke through the walls, leveled Jerusalem, and killed many of its inhabitants. This they did in response to the revolts led by so-called “deliverers.” The Jewish historian Josephus recorded the scene: “...one would have thought that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething hot...the blood was larger in quantity than the fire...the ground did nowhere appear visible, for the dead bodies that lay on it, but the soldiers went over heaps of those bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them.” Quoted from The Genuine Works of Flavius Josephus, III, Book VI, Ch. 5, trans. by W. Whiston. (Philadelphia: Johnson & Warner, and Worcester, Mass.: Isaiah Thomas, 1809). (See also Ch. 115, fn. b and Ch. 160, fn. a.)

Lk. 21:22  vengeance. / vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. (RSV)
Lk. 21:24  This people will (Lk. 21:23) / they will (RSV) • Gentiles. / Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (RSV)
Mk. 13:21  And if / And then if (RSV) • the Deliverer!' or (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ!' or (KJV) • is!' believe it not. (KJV) / is!' do not believe it. (RSV)
Mk. 13:22  False Messiahs and (Ch. 13, fn. c) / False Christs and (RSV)   (176:1/1913)

152

130. Jesus’ Second Coming

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        3As he sat on the Mount of Olives the apostles came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?”a
        27He answered them, saying, “Then they will see the Son of Man coming with power and great glory.”
        36“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 28From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.b 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.”
        (Mt. 24:3; Lk. 21:27; Mt. 24:36; Mk. 13:28–29)



a   “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?”—In their own minds the apostles connected the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem with the “end of the world” and Jesus' second coming. Thus two questions are being asked and answered in this discussion on the Mount of Olives: (1) When will Jerusalem be destroyed? and (2) When will Jesus return to consummate the kingdom? The first question (Jerusalem's destruction) was addressed in Chapter 129, and the second question (Jesus' second coming) is discussed here. It should be noted that although the apostles connected Jesus' second coming with the “end of the world,” Jesus did not teach this doctrine. In fact he specifically taught only three things concerning his return: (1) that he definitely would one day return, (2) that when he returned it would be in power and glory, and (3) that no one in heaven or on earth knows when this return will take place except the Father.

b   “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.”—In the winter the fig tree is dormant and barren; in the spring it puts forth its first tender shoots; while in the summertime it comes to full fruit. Here Jesus seems to associate his return with the summertime. Summertime of what?
        The kingdom of heaven taught by Jesus is an inner spiritual dominion—the rule of God in the hearts and minds of his earth children. Since the time of Jesus the world has known little of this spiritual kingdom, but much of materialism. From the standpoint of the kingdom this materialistic age is a spiritual wintertime, a time when Jesus' inner kingdom is alive yet dormant.
        He tells us to look for the springtime when the “branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves.” Perhaps he means that when we see the rebirth of his spiritual kingdom in the world, we can then look to the summertime of his next visitation.

Mt. 24:3   the apostles came (Ch. 22, fn. a) / the disciples came (RSV) • the end of the world?” (KJV) / the close of the age?” (RSV)
Lk. 21:27  He answered them, saying, “Then / “And then (RSV) • coming with / coming in a cloud with (RSV)   (176:1–2/1913–5)

153

131. Parable of the Talents

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        14“For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property;a 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. 17So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' 21His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' 23His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' 24He also who had received one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' 26But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.'”
        37And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet.
        (Mt. 25:14–29; Lk. 21:37)



a   “For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property”—In this parable a man going on a journey entrusts his property to his servants; in a like manner, Jesus is leaving this world and is entrusting his property—his truth—to his apostles and believers. The faithful servants use the talents given them to create new wealth for their master; likewise Jesus' apostles and believers are called to use the truths he taught to grow in truth and to minister this truth in others. As new wealth was produced from the old, so new spiritual gains should be the result of our stewardship of Jesus' truth.    (continued next page)

(176:3/1916–8)

154

132. Judas Conspires to Betray Jesus

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1It was now two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread.
        3The chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4and took counsel together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult among the people.”
        14Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him to you?”
        11And when they heard it they were glad, and promised to give him a reward. 6So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of the multitude.
        (Mk. 14:1; Mt. 26:3–5, 14–15; Mk. 14:11; Lk. 22:6)



(continued from previous page)
        The Parable of the Talents also teaches us that, in accordance with the truths we receive, we will one day face a reckoning. We must grow in the knowledge of truth and increasingly give forth the fruits of the spirit in our daily lives. And we must grow in our devotion to the unselfish service of others. In this way we are worthy stewards of Jesus' truth and will be abundantly rewarded. If, however, we are like the unworthy servant who hid his talent in the ground, if we are selfish and slothful stewards of truth, we must also face the just consequences of our actions. Jesus' truth is living, it must grow in us and through us in the world.

Mt. 26:3   The chief / Then the chief (RSV)
Mk. 14:11  him a reward. / him money. (RSV)   (177:4/1924–7)

155

133. Preparation for the Passover

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        17Now the apostles came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”a
        13And he sent two of his disciples, Peter and John, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14and wherever he enters, say to the householder, 'The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my apostles?”' 12And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready.”
        13And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
        (Mt. 26:17; Mk. 14:13–14; Lk. 22:12–13)


a   “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”—The Passover was a part of the Jews' commemoration of the time of their escape from Egypt under Moses. The Passover meal took place on the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan) of the Jewish calendar (middle of March). The feast of Unleavened Bread began the next day and lasted for seven days. (Leviticus 23:5–6)
        The Passover was celebrated in remembrance of the original Passover meal in Egypt. This was the time when Moses directed the Hebrew slaves to slaughter a lamb, put its blood on their doorposts, and then to eat the lamb. That night, according to tradition, the Lord “passed over” the Hebrew households while the first born of all the Egyptians died. Because of this, Pharaoh summoned Moses and “urged the people to hurry and leave Egypt.” The feast of Unleaven Bread was celebrated in remembrance of this hasty exit from Egypt. (See Exodus 12:1–33.)

Mt. 26:17  Now the / Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the • the apostles came (Ch. 22, fn. a) / the disciples came (RSV)
Mk. 14:13  disciples, Peter and John, and (Lk. 22:8) / disciples and (RSV)
Mk. 14:14  my apostles?” (Ch. 22, fn. a) / my disciples.” (RSV)   (178:2/1933)

156

134. At the Start of the Supper

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        17And when it was evening he came with the twelve. 24A dispute arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.
        14And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. 15And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”a 17And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves; 18for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
        (Mk. 14:17; Lk. 22:24, 14–18)



a   “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” —Jesus knows that he is about to suffer and die at the hands of the Jerusalem religious leaders and tells the apostles that he will not eat with them again until they sit together in the kingdom of God in heaven.
        Jesus taught two distinct concepts of the kingdom of God:
        (1) The kingdom of God on earth—In all his teachings Jesus gave first emphasis to the kingdom within (“The kingdom of God is within you.” Ch. 107, Lk. 17:21) This is the kingdom of God on earth; it exists in the hearts and minds of each individual who has chosen to abide by his Father’s will—to do the will of God. This is the kingdom that Jesus came to establish on our world.
        (2) The kingdom of God in heaven—Jesus also taught another phase of the kingdom, the kingdom of God in heaven. This is the goal of gospel believers, to survive death and ascend to the heavenly mansion worlds. (“In my Father’s house are many mansions.” Ch. 140, Jn. 14:2) This is the salvation—the eternal survival—we attain by choosing and doing the Father’s will while on earth.

Lk. 22:16  it again until (RSV alt. trans.) / it until (RSV)   (179:0-2/1936–8)

157

135. Jesus Washes the Apostles’ Feet

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. 5Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.
        6He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
        7Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.”
        8Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.”
        Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.”
        9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
        10Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not everyone of you.” 11(For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “You are not all clean.”)
        12When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
        25And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over their subjects; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.”
        (Jn. 13:3–17; Lk. 22:25–27)



Lk. 22:25  over their subjects; and (NEB) / over them; and (RSV)   (179:3/1938–40)

158

136. Jesus’ Last Words to Judas

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        14And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. 15And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” 21When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
        22And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?”
        23He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me.”
        25Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?”
       He said to him, “You have said so.”
        23One of his apostles, whom Jesus loved,a was lying close to the breast of Jesus; 24so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.” 25So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, “Lord, who is it?”
        26Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
        27Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly."”
        28Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night.
        (Lk. 22:14–15; Jn. 13:21; Mt. 26:22, 23, 25; Jn. 13:23–30)



a   “One of his apostles, whom Jesus loved”—The apostle John Zebedee, the writer of this gospel according to John.

Jn. 13:23  his apostles, whom (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples, whom (RSV)   (179:4/1940–1)

159

137. Jesus Establishes the Remembrance Supper

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        27And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you. 25Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.a 29I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”
        19And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body.b Do this in remembrance of me.”
        (Mt. 26:27; 1 Cor. 11:25; Mt. 26:29; Lk. 22:19)



a   “Do this...in remembrance of me”—This remembrance supper is the believer's symbolic rendezvous with the Master, wherein the bread and wine are partaken in remembrance of him.
        The Jewish Passover celebrated the Jews' emergence from a state of racial slavery into individual freedom. Jesus is here instituting a new Passover symbolizing a new dispensation of spiritual freedom in the kingdom of heaven.

b   “And he took bread...and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body.'”—Here Jesus identifies the bread with his body, his life and teachings in the flesh.
        On another occasion Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.” (Ch. 56, Jn. 6:35) He also explained what he meant by “bread”: "The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the men of the world." (Ch. 56, Jn. 6:33) This bread of life is the word of the Father as revealed in the Son.
        Jesus also declared: “I am this living bread, and if any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever.” (Ch. 56, Jn. 6:51) In his earth life, Jesus brought to mankind the gift of the living word of truth incarnated in the likeness of mortal flesh. Our faith acceptance of his truth gives us eternal life.
        Here Jesus is instituting a new sacrament in which the bread is partaken in remembrance of his life on earth and the words of truth he spoke.

Lk. 22:19  body. (Mt. 26:26) / body which is given for you. (RSV)   (179:5/1941–3)

160

138. The Commandment to Love

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        35And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
        They said, “Nothing.”
        36He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. 31Now is the Son of Man glorified, and in him God is glorified. 33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me; but, where I am going you cannot come. 36Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward.”
        34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another even as I have loved you.a 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”b
        11“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
        12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants; but I have called you friends, and all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide. 17This I command you, to love one another.”c
        (Lk. 22:35–36; Jn. 13:31, 33, 36, 34–35; 15:11–17)



a   "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another even as I have loved you.”—The older commandments to "love one another” and to "love your neighbor as yourself” are raised to greater heights in this new commandment to love others even as Jesus loves us.

b   “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”—The way of Jesus is the way of love. It is the rule of living within the kingdom. If we would be his disciples, we must love one another.

c   “This I command you, to love one another”—This commandment to love is the greatest commandment in Jesus’ teachings. It is the only command that Jesus clearly emphasizes to his disciples. The true follower will make love a priority of life.
      Love is the desire to do good to others.
      Love identifies the will of God.

Jn. 13:31  “Now / When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now (RSV)
Jn. 13:33  me; but, where / me, and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, 'Where (RSV)
Jn. 13:36  Where / Jesus answered, 'Where (RSV)
Jn. 13:34  you. / you, that you also love one another. (RSV)
Jn. 15:15  I do not call / No longer do I call (RSV) • servants; / servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; • friends, and all / friends, for all (RSV)   (180:0–1/1944–5)

161

139. “I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches”

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. 2Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.a 3You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches.b He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”c
        9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.”
        (Jn. 15:1–10)



a   “Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”—When we enter the kingdom, we have only begun our efforts to perfect ourselves in the doing of our Father’s will. We enter the kingdom as little children, but the Father requires that we grow up by grace to spiritual adulthood. When we follow in the way of the spirit we increasingly give forth the fruit of the spirit in our daily lives. Spiritual fruit bearing is the proof that we are living in the kingdom—doing the Father’s will. The Father requires that we bear much fruit, and he prunes away our unfruitful branches.
        The fruits of the spirit are simply the character traits that Jesus manifested in his life on earth; thus he is our ideal example.

b   “I am the vine, you are the branches.”—This is a wonderful thought for meditation.

c   “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”—To increasingly and spontaneously give forth the fruit of the spirit in our daily lives is the test and measure of our following in the way of Jesus—doing the Father’s will. Some of the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, patience, and kindness. Of these love is the greatest.

(180:2/1945–6)

162

140. The Hatred of the World

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        18“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, the world hates you. I chose you out of the world. 20Remember the word that I said to you, 'The servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you. 21But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.a 23He who hates me hates my Father. 26But when the Comforter comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, he will bear witness to me.”b
        (Jn. 15:18–23, 26) (continued)



a   “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.”—Evil is an unconscious or unintended transgression of God's will, but sin represents a conscious and knowing choice to do wrong.

b   “But when the Comforter comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, he will bear witness to me.”—Before this time we have heard of the Father's Spirit of Love and the Holy Spirit, but this is the first mention of the Spirit of Truth. This is a new spiritual endowment that is to be sent into the world by Jesus. This Spirit of Truth is a joint bestowal of the Father and the Son, and it bears witness to Jesus and his teachings.

Jn. 15:19  world, the world hates you. I chose you out of the world. / world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (RSV)
Jn. 15:20  you, 'The servant (KJV) / you, 'A servant (RSV)
Jn. 15:23  Father. / Father also. (RSV)
Jn. 15:26 the Comforter comes, (KJV) / the Counselor comes, (RSV) • Truth, he / Truth, who proceeds from the Father, he (RSV)   (180:3/1946–7)

163

140. The Hatred of the World (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many mansions;c if it were not so, I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. 3And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
        5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"
        6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. 7If you know me, you know my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.”
        8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.”
        9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you then say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the work's sake.”
        (Jn. 14:1–3, 5–11)



c   “In my Father's house are many mansions”—Heavenly worlds to which believers ascend after death.

Jn. 14:2   many mansions; (KJV) / many rooms; (RSV) • so, I would not have / so, would I have (RSV) • you / you? (RSV)
Jn. 14:6   Father, except through me. (Wms) / Father, but by me. (RSV)
Jn. 14:7   you know me, / you had known me, (RSV) • you know my / you would have known my (RSV)
Jn. 14:9   you then say, (KJV) / you say, (RSV)
Jn. 14:11  the work's sake." < a href="/Bibles/KJV/NewTestament.htm#Jn 14:11">(KJV) / the sake of the works themselves." (RSV)   (180:3/1947–8)

164

141. The Spirit of Truth

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        16“And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you for ever, 17even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive; you shall know him, and he will dwell with you, and will be in you.”a
        18"I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.b 19Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. 20In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
        25“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit,c whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”d
        22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?"
        23Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father and I will come to him and make our home with him.”e
        (Jn. 14:16–21, 25–26, 22–23)



a   “the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive; you shall know him, and he will dwell with you, and will be in you.”—The reception and function of the Spirit of Truth is limited by the individual's spiritual capacity and love of truth. The world has not yet come to accept the truths of Jesus' teaching and cannot receive his Spirit of Truth, but believers may know this Spirit in their own inner experience.

b   “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.”—Jesus is returning to the Father but he assures the apostles and believers that he is not leaving us alone. In his place he is sending his personal spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to be with us, guide us, and comfort us.

c   “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit”—In John's recital of Jesus' words, the apostle here associates the “Counselor” with the Holy Spirit. However, the Counselor Jesus is referring to is the same Counselor mentioned earlier—the Spirit of Truth. (See Jn. 14:16 above.) Why then does John identify the Counselor with the Holy Spirit? Perhaps it is because the Spirit of Truth, when it comes, works as one with the Holy Spirit.

d   “he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”—The Spirit of Truth functions in us to restate the words of Jesus and to lead us into all truth. (See also Jn. 16:13, Ch. 142.)

e   “my father and I will come to him and make our home with him”—Jesus' Spirit of Truth will come and live (with the Father's Spirit) in the souls of those who follow in the Master's way.

Jn. 14:17  receive; / receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; (RSV) • you shall know / you know (RSV) • him, and he will dwell with / him, for he dwells with (RSV)
Jn. 14:21  and / and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and (RSV)
Jn. 14:23  Father and I will / Father will love him, and we will (RSV)   (180:4/1948–9)

165

142. The Necessity for Leaving

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1“I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. 2They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3And they will do this because they have not known the Father. 4But I have said these things to you, that when the hour comes you may remember that I told you.”
        5“Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Why are you going?' 7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away.a For if I do not go away the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes he will make the world conscious of sin and righteousness and judgment.”b
        12“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of himself, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me. He will draw on my truth and declare it to you.c 15All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
        (Jn. 16:1–5, 7–8, 12–15) (continued)



a   “it is to your advantage that I go away”—Here Jesus makes a startling statement. How could his leaving the apostles alone in the world be to their advantage?
        Jesus is to die, but in his stead he is sending a new spirit that will take the place of his personal presence and teaching. This new spirit endowment is the Spirit of Truth; it is a joint bestowal of the Father and the Son, and it functions to foster truth in the individual. This spirit comforter destroys the believer's sense of isolation and loss due to Jesus leaving the world. It helps men recall his words and illuminates his life on earth, and it provides new power for the believer to witness to the truths of Jesus' gospel (as was seen at Pentecost). Eventually it leads the believer into all truth.

b   “he will make the world conscious of sin and righteousness and judgment”—The Spirit of Truth in us makes clear the difference between sin and righteousness, and helps us to choose wisely concerning them.

c   “He will not speak of himself, but whatever he hears he will speak.... He will draw on my truth and declare it to you.”—The Spirit of Truth comes from Jesus and reveals Jesus' truth to us.

Jn. 16:3   Father. / Father, nor me. (RSV)
Jn. 16:4   when the hour (KJV) / when their hour (RSV) • you. / you of them. (RSV)
Jn. 16:5   Now / But now (RSV) • me, 'Why are (Tay) / me, 'Where are (RSV)
Jn. 16:7   the Comforter will (KJV) / the Counselor will (RSV)
Jn. 16:8   will make the world conscious of sin (Bas) / will convince the world concerning sin (RSV) • and judgment." / and judgment: concerning sin because they do not believe in me. (RSV)
Jn. 16:13  all truth. (KJV) / all the truth; (RSV) • He / for he (RSV) • speak of himself, but (KJV) / speak on his own authority, but (RSV)
Jn. 16:14  me. He / me, for he (RSV) • will draw on my truth and (Phi) / will take what is mine and (RSV)   (180:6/1951–2)

166

142. The Necessity for Leaving (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        16“A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me.”
        17Some of his apostles said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,' and 'because I go to the Father'?” 18They said, “What does he mean by 'a little while'? We do not know what he means.”
        19Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me'? 20You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21When a woman is in travail she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she is delivered of the child she no longer remembers the anguish for joy that a child is born into the world. 22So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23In that day if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. 24Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive that your joy may be full.”
        25“I have said this to you in proverbs. The hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in parables but tell you plainly of the Father, 27for the Father himself loves you. 28I came from the Father and have come into the world.”
        29His apostles said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure! 30By this we believe that you came from God."
        (Jn. 16:16–25, 27–30)



Jn. 16:17  his apostles said (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples said (RSV)
Jn. 16:23  day if / day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if (RSV)
Jn. 16:25  in proverbs. (KJV) / in figures; (RSV) • in parables but (KJV ) / in figures but (RSV)
Jn. 16:27  you. / you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. (RSV)
Jn. 16:29  His apostles said (Ch. 22, fn. a) / His disciples said (RSV)   (180:6/1952)

167

143. Last Words of Peace and Comfort

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        27“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' 29And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.”a
        32“The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
        (Jn. 14:27–29; 16:32–33)



a   “You heard me say to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.”—Here Jesus once again prophesies his own death. What is the purpose of this prophecy? It is to enable the apostles not to be dismayed, but rather to grow stronger in their faith when they witness its fulfillment (Jesus' crucifixion). And it is to enable them to know peace, the peace of Jesus, in the midst of their coming tribulation. (“I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace.”) (Jn. 16:33 above)
        Prophecy strengthens our faith and prepares us for the future. It enables us to face even great tribulation with faith, peace, and assurance.)

(181:1/1953–4)


144. Warning the Apostles and Peter

        31Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night; it is written, 'Smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
        33Peter declared to him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away. 35Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.”
        34Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”
        26And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
        (Mt. 26:31–33, 35, 34; Mk. 14:26)



Mt. 26:31   Zechariah 13:7 • it / for it (RSV) • Smite the Zh.13:7 (KJV) / I will strike the (RSV)
Mt. 26:35  Even / Peter said to him, “Even (RSV)   (181:2/1962)

168

145. Jesus Prays for His Apostles

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        39And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the apostles followed him.
        1Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you. 2You have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and him whom you have sent. 4I glorify you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me with the glory which I had with you before the world was made.”
        6“I have manifested your namea to the men whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8I have given them the words which you gave me. They have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. 9I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me. 10All mine are yours and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11And now I am no more in the world, and I am coming to you, but they are in the world. Holy Father, keep them in your name, that they may be one even as we are one. 12While I was with them, I kept them in your name.”
        (Lk. 22:39; Jn. 17:1–12) (continued)



a   “I have manifested your name”—What is the name of God that Jesus manifested to the apostles? It is Father. Throughout his life Jesus consistently taught us to look to God as our Father, our loving heavenly Father.

Lk. 22:39  the apostles followed (Ch. 22, fn. a) / the disciples followed (RSV)
Jn. 17:1–12  you (NRSV) / thee, thou (RSV) • your, yours (NRSV) / thy, thine (RSV) • are (NRSV) / art (RSV) • have, gave, did, (NRSV) / hast, gavest, didst, (RSV)
Jn. 17:1   Jesus lifted / When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted (RSV)
Jn. 17:2   You / since you (RSV)
Jn. 17:3   and him whom / and Jesus Christ whom (RSV)
Jn. 17:5   glorify me with / glorify thou me in thy own presence with (RSV)
Jn. 17:8   I / for I (RSV) • me. They / me and they (RSV)
Jn. 17:9   me. / me, for they are yours; (RSV)
Jn. 17:11  world, and I am coming to you, but they are in the world. / world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. (RSV) • name, that / name which you have given me, that (RSV)   (182:1/1963–4)

169

145. Jesus Prays for His Apostles (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        12“I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them. 15I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from evil. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you did send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
        20“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. You, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory which you have given me I have given to them. May they be one even as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24Father, I desire that they also behold my glory which you have given me before the foundation of the world. 25O righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these know that you have sent me. 26I made known to them your name.”
        (Jn. 17:12, 14–15, 17–26)



Jn. 17:12  perdition. / perdition, that scripture might be fulfilled. (RSV)
Jn. 17:14  them. / them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (RSV)
Jn. 17:21  You, Father, are in me and I in you; / even as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, (RSV)
Jn. 17:22  them. May they be / them, that they may be (RSV)
Jn. 17:23  me, so / me, that they may become perfectly one, so (RSV)
Jn. 17:24  also behold / also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to behold (RSV) • me before / me in your love for me before (RSV)
Jn. 17:26  name." / name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." (RSV)   (182:1/1964–5)

170

146. Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        32And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his apostles, “Sit here, while I pray.” 33And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” 41And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.”a
        40And he came to the apostles and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
        42Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”b 44And his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. 43And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.
        43And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
        44So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45Then he came to the apostles and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going, see, my betrayer is at hand.”
        (Mk. 14:32–34; Lk. 22:41–42; Mt. 26:40–42; Lk. 22:44, 43; Mt. 26:43–46)



a   “not my will, but yours, be done.”—In this time of his great earth crisis Jesus resorts to his favorite prayer, “Not my will, but yours, be done.” This prayer, along with its positive form, “Your will be done” (Mt. 26:42 above) should be the habitual practice and constant guide of the true follower of Jesus. This prayer of faith submission to the Father's will is right in all life situations.

b   “your will be done.”—Jesus is now convinced that it is his Father's will that he submit to the natural course of human events. He is living the earth life to the full, and he accepts the death that is a part of this life. An ordinary human being cannot have his death removed through divine intervention, so Jesus refuses to use his heavenly powers to free himself—even though it means death on the cross.

Mk. 14:32  his apostles, "Sit (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples, “Sit (RSV)
Lk. 22:42  if you are willing, (NIV) / if thou art willing, (RSV) • but yours, be (NIV) / but thine, be (RSV)
Mt. 26:40  the apostles and (Ch. 22, fn. a) / the disciples and (RSV)
Mt. 26:42  it, your will (NIV) / it, thy will (RSV)
Lk. 22:44  And / and (RSV)
Mt. 26:45  the apostles and (Ch. 22, fn. a) / the disciples and (RSV)   (182:3/1968–70)

171

147. The Arrest of Jesus

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
        43And Judas came, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away under guard.”
        4Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”
        5They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
        Jesus said to them, "I am he.” 6When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
        47Judas was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him. 45And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, “Master!” And he kissed him.
        48Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
        7Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?”
        And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
        8Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go.”
        (Jn. 18:2–3; Mk. 14:43–44; Jn. 18:4–6; Lk. 22:47; Mk. 14:45; Lk. 22:48; Jn. 18:7–8) (continued)



Mk. 14:43  And Judas / And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas (RSV) • came, and / came, one of the twelve, and (RSV)
Lk. 22:47  Judas was / While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was (RSV)
Lk. 22:48  Jesus / but Jesus (RSV)   (183:2–3/1972–4)

172

147. The Arrest of Jesus (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        50Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus. 10Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it. 11Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; 52for they who take the sword will perish by the sword. 11Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me? 53Do you think I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”
        12So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him. 55At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me.”
        56Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.
        51And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen coat about his body. They seized him, 52but he left the linen coat and ran away naked.
        (Mt. 26:50; Jn. 18:10–11; Mt. 26:52; Jn. 18:11; Mt. 26:53; Jn. 18:12; Mt. 26:55–56; Mk. 14:51–52)



Mt. 26:50  Jesus. / Jesus and seized him. (RSV)
Jn. 18:10  Simon / Then Simon (RSV) • it. / it and struck the high priest's slave and cut off his right ear. (RSV)
Mt. 26:52  for they who (KJV) / for all who (RSV)
Mk. 14:51   linen coat about / linen cloth about (RSV) • They / and they (RSV)
Mk. 14:52   linen coat and / linen cloth and (RSV) (183:3/1974–5)

173

148. The Private Examination by Annas

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        13First they led him to Annas; he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14It was Caiaphas who had given counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
        19Annas then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing secretly. 21Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me, what I said to them; they know what I said.”
        22When he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?”
        23Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
        24When day came Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest; 53and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes were assembled.
        (Jn. 18:13–14, 19–24; Mk. 14:53)



Jn. 18:13  he / for he (RSV)
Jn. 18:19  Annas then / The high priest then (RSV)
Jn. 18:24  When day came Annas sent (Lk. 22:60) / Annas then sent (RSV)   (184:0–1/1978–80)

174

149. In The Courtyard of Annas; Peter’s Denial

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        15Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. As this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus, 16while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in.
        18Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. 17The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you also one of this man's disciples?”
        He said, “I am not.”
        26One of the servants of the high priest asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27Peter again denied it.
        69And the maiden began again to say, “This man is one of them.”
        71But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.”
        59And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted saying, “Certainly this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.”
        60But Peter said, “I do not know what you are saying.”
        And immediately, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.a And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62And he went out and wept bitterly.
        (Jn. 18:15–16, 18, 17, 26–27; Mk. 14:69, 71; Lk. 22:59–62)



a   “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.”—Perhaps this took place as Jesus was being led from Annas' house to the home of Caiaphas and his “trial” before the Sanhedrin court.

Jn. 18:26  priest asked / priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked (RSV)
Mk. 14:69  maiden began / maiden saw him and began (RSV) • say, “This / say to the bystanders, “This (RSV)
Lk. 22:60  said, “I / said, “Man, I (RSV)   (184:2/1980–2)

175

150. Before the Sanhedrin Court

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        59Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death. 60But they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.'”
        62And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him,“I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Deliverer, the Son of God.”a
        62And Jesus said, “I am; and presently shall the Son of Man be seated at the right hand of Power, and reign over the hosts of heaven.”
        63And the high priest tore his garments, and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?”
        66They answered, “He deserves death.” 67Then they spat in his face and struck him, and some slapped him.
        (Mt. 26:59–63; Mk. 14:62–64; Mt. 26:66–67)



a   “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Deliverer, the Son of God.”—Caiaphas identifies the Jewish Deliverer-Messiah as the Son of God. Jesus, without hesitation, affirms that he is the Son of God.

Mt. 26:63  the Deliverer, the (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ, the (RSV)
Mk. 14:62  and presently shall the Son of Man be seated / and you will see the Son of Man seated (RSV) • and reign over the hosts of / and coming with the clouds of (RSV)   (184:3/1982–4)



151. The Time of Humiliation

        63Now the men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him; 64they also blindfolded him and asked him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65And they spoke many other words against him, reviling him.
        66And they said, 67“If you are the Messiah, tell us.”
        But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68and if I ask you, you will not answer.”
        (Lk. 22:63–68)



Lk. 22:66  And / and they led him away to their council, and (RSV)
Lk. 22:67  the Messiah, tell (Ch. 13, fn. c) / the Christ, tell (RSV)   (184:4/1984–5)

176

152. The Sanhedrin Brings Charges against Jesus

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        28Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.a 29So Pilateb went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”
        30They answered him, “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over.”
        31Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”
        The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.”
        2And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is a king.”
        12But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer. 13Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor wondered greatly .
        (Jn. 18:28–31; Lk. 23:2; Mt. 27:12–14)



a   “They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.”—The praetorium was an addition to the Roman fortress of Antonia, where Pilate and his wife resided during his visits to Jerusalem. The praetorium was a gentile building; the Jews would not enter it because it would render them ceremonially unclean and would bar them from participating in the Passover feast.

b   “Pilate”—Pilate was the Roman procurator who governed Judea, Samaria, and Idumea.

Lk. 23:2 is a king. / is Christ a king. (RSV)   (185:0,2/1987,89–90)

177

153. Pilate Examines Jesus Privately

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        33Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
        34Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”
        35Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?”
        36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews.”
        37Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”
        Jesus answered, “I am, as you say, a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who loves the truth hears my voice.”
        38Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”a
        After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, “I find no fault in him.”
        5But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”
        (Jn. 18:33–38; Lk. 23:5)



a   “What is truth?”—That is: Who knows what truth is?

Jn. 18:36   (KJV)
Jn. 18:37  “I am, as you say, a (NOR) / “You say that I am a (RSV) • who loves the (Phi) / who is of the (RSV)
Jn. 18:38  no fault in (KJV) / no crime in (RSV)   (185:3/1991–2)

178

154. Jesus before Herod

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        6When Pilate heard this,a he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9So he questioned him at some length; but he made no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in gorgeous apparel, he sent him back to Pilate. 12And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
        (Lk. 23:6–12)



a   “When Pilate heard this”—When Pilate heard that Jesus taught “throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.” (Ch. 153; italics added)

(185:3-4/1992–3)

179

155. Jesus Appears before Pilate Again

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        13Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people. After examining him I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges. 15Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Behold, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16I will therefore chastise him and release him.”
        8And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he was wont to do for them. 15Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16And they had then a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas, 19a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city, and for murder. 17So when they gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Barabbas or Jesus?”
        11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 10Pilate perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 18But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas.”
        (Lk. 23:13–16; Mk. 15:8; Mt. 27:15–16; Lk. 23:19; Mt. 27:17; Mk. 15:11, 10; Lk. 23:18) (continued)



Lk. 23:14  After / and after (RSV) • him I / him before you, behold, I (RSV) • charges. / charges against him. (RSV)
Mt. 27:17  Jesus?" / Jesus who is called Christ?” (RSV)
Mk. 15:10  Pilate perceived / He perceived (RSV)   (185:5/1993–4)

180

155. Jesus Appears before Pilate Again (continued)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        19While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with this innocent man, for I have suffered much over him in a dream last night.”
        20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the people to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 20Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus: 12“Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?”
        21But they shouted out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”
        14And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?”
        They shouted all the more, “Crucify him.”
        21The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?”
        And they said, “Barabbas.”
        22Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus?”
        They all said, “Let him be crucified.”
        (Mt. 27:19–20; Lk. 23:20; Mk. 15:12; Lk. 23:21; Mk. 15:14; Mt. 27:21–22)



Mt. 27:19  While / Besides while (RSV) • with this innocent man (Knox) / with that righteous man (RSV) • him in / him today in (RSV) • dream last night.” (NEB) / dream.” (RSV)
Mk. 15:12  “Then / And Pilate again said to them, “Then (RSV)
Lk. 23:21  “Crucify him, crucify (KJV) / “Crucify, crucify (RSV)
Mt. 27:22  Jesus?” / Jesus who is called Christ?” (RSV)   (185:5/1994)

181

156. Pilate’s Last Appeal to the Crowd

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        1Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. 27The soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 17And they clothed him in a purple cloak, 29and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30And they spat upon him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.
        4Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” 5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”
        6When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”
        Pilate said to them, “I find no crime in him.”
        7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid.
        (Jn. 19:1; Mt. 27:27; Mk. 15:17; Mt. 27:29–30; Jn. 19:4–8)



Mt. 27:27 The / Then the (RSV)
Jn. 19:6 them, “I / them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I (RSV)   (185:6/1994–5)



157. Pilate's Last Interview with Jesus

        9He entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where do you come from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”
        11Jesus answered him, “You could have no power over me unless it were permitted from above. He who delivered me to you has the greater sin.”
        (Jn. 19:9–11)



Jn. 19:9   “Where do you come from?” (Mof) / “Where are you from?” (RSV)
Jn. 19:10  “Do you refuse to speak (Wms) / “You will not speak (RSV)
Jn. 19:11  “You could have (KJV) / “You would have (RSV) • it were permitted from / it had been given you from (RSV)   (185:7/1994–5)

182

158. Pilate Surrenders to the Jews

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        12Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend.”
        13When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement. 14Now it was the day of preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour.a He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
        15They cried out, “Away with him, crucify him!”
        Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
        The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
        23They were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate gave sentence that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, whom they asked for; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.
        24So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.”
        25And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”
        (Jn. 19:12–15; Lk. 23:23–25; Mt. 27:24–25)



a   “the sixth hour”—6 AM (Master Study Bible, p. 1114)

Jn. 19:13  Pavement. / Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha. (RSV)
Jn. 19:15  They / But they (RSV)
Lk. 23:23  him, crucify / him, away with him, crucify (RSV)   (185:7–8/1996)



159. The Death of Judas

        3When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.”
        They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.”
        5And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself.
        (Mt. 27:3–5)



Mt. 27:3 that Jesus was / that he was (RSV)   (186:1/1998)

183

160. On the Way to the Crucifixion

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        17So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross. 32Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.
        19Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth—the King of the Jews.” 20Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, “Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'”
        22Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
        27And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. 28But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the breasts that never nursed.' 30Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us.'”a
        21And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
        (Jn. 19:17; Lk. 23:32; Jn. 19:19–22; Lk. 23:27–30; Mk. 15:21)



a   “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us.'”—Here Jesus is referring to the coming destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 when the Romans destroyed the city in response to a violent revolt of Jews seeking political independence. (See Ch. 129, fn. b, for a fuller discussion of Jerusalem's destruction.)

Jn. 19:17  cross. / cross, to the place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. (RSV)
Lk. 23:28  Jerusalem, weep not for (KJV) / Jerusalem, do not weep for (RSV)
Lk. 23:29  barren, and / barren, and the wombs that never bore, and (RSV) • never nursed.” (NRSV) / never gave suck.” (RSV)   (187:1/2004–6)

184

161. The Crucifixion

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        22And they brought him to the place called Golgotha. 33There they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. 34And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
        34They offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall;a but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 37And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus—the King of the Jews.”
        23When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom. 24So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” Thus was fulfilled the scripture, “They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” 25So the soldiers did this.
        (Mk. 15:22; Lk. 23:33–34; Mt. 27:34, 37; Jn. 19:23–25)



a   “They offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall;”—This drugged wine was intended to help lessen the suffering, but Jesus refused to drink it.

Mk. 15:22  Golgotha. / Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). (RSV)
Lk. 23:33  There / And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there (RSV)
Jn. 19:24   Ps. 22:18 • Thus was fulfilled the / This was to fulfill the (RSV)   (187:2/2006–8)

185

162. Those Who Were Present

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        25And it was the third hour,a when they crucified him.
        25Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas,b and Mary Magdalene, 41and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
        39And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
        41So also the chief priests and the scribes and elders mocked him, saying, 42“He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he is the King of Israel, let him now come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God. Let God deliver him now. He said, 'I am the Son of God.'” 44And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
        36Then the soldiers sat down and kept watch over him there. 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine.
        (Mk. 15:25; Jn 19:25; Mk. 15:41; Mt. 27:39–44, 36; Lk. 23:36)



a   “the third hour”—The third hour after sunrise. (New Oxford Annotated Bible, p. 1237) This would be around 9 o'clock Friday morning.

b   “his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas”—It would appear that Jesus' mother, Mary, had a sister (also named Mary), identified here as “the wife of Clopas.”

Jn. 19:25  Standing / But standing (RSV)
Mt. 27:42   (KJV) • he is the (RSV) / he be the (KJV)
Mt. 27:43  He said / for he said (RSV)
Mt. 27:36  Then the soldiers sat / then they sat (RSV)
Lk. 23:36  him sour wine. (Phi) / him vinegar. (RSV)   (187:3/2008)

186

163. The Criminal on the Cross

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        39One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Son of God? Save yourself and us!”
        40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42And he said, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
        43And he said to him, "Verily, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
        26When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loveda standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!”
        And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
        (Lk. 23:39–43; Jn. 19:26–27)



a   “the disciple whom he loved”—John, the writer of this gospel, is here referring to himself. It was John who cared for Jesus' mother, Mary, at this tragic time of her son's crucifixion, and then took her to live at his home.

Lk. 23:39  the Son of God? / the Christ? (RSV)
Lk. 23:42  said, "Lord, remember (KJV) / said, “Jesus, remember (RSV)
Lk. 23:43  him, "Verily, I (KJV) / him, “Truly, I (RSV)   (187:4/2008–10)

187

164. Jesus’ Last Hour on the Cross

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.a 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”b
        28After this Jesus said, “I thirst." 29A bowl full of common wine stood there; so they put a sponge full of the wine on a javelin and held it to his mouth. br />        46Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “It is finished; Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!” 30And he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
        39And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, “Certainly this man was innocent. Truly this man was a Son of God!”
        49And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance and saw these things.
        (Mt. 27:45, 46; Jn. 19:28–29; Lk. 23:46; Jn. 19:30; Mk. 15:39; Lk. 23:49)



a   “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.”—This was probably due to a sandstorm from the Arabian Desert. “From the sixth...till the ninth hour” (after sunrise) would be from around noon till 3 PM. (New Oxford Annotated Bible, p. 1211) Thus Jesus probably died on Friday afternoon around 3 o'clock.

b   “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—This is the first line of This is the first line of Psalm 22. In his final hours of consciousness perhaps Jesus' human mind here returns to the repetition of Psalms memorized in childhood.

Mt. 27:46  cried, “Eli / cried with a loud voice, “Eli (RSV)
Jn. 19:28  Jesus said, / Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (RSV) • said, “I / said (to fulfill the scripture), “I (RSV)
Jn. 19:29  of common wine stood (TCNT) / of vinegar stood (RSV) • the wine on (Phi) / the vinegar on (RSV) • on a javelin and (NEB) / on hyssop and (RSV)
Lk. 23:46  said, “It is finished; Father, (Jn. 19:30) / said, “Father, (RSV) • into your hands (NAB) / into thy hands (RSV) • I commend my (KJV) / I commit my (RSV)
Mk. 15:39  said, “Certainly this man was innocent. Truly (Lk. 23:47) / said, “Truly (RSV) • was a Son (Gspd) / was the Son (RSV)   (187:5/2010–1)

188

165. After Jesus’ Death

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        31Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; 33but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood.
        35He who saw ita has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth—that you also may believe.
        (Jn. 19:31–35)



a   “He who saw it”—John Zebedee (the author of this gospel of John).

Jn. 19:34  blood. / blood and water. (RSV)   (187:5/2011)

189

166. Joseph and Nicodemus Bury Jesus

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        42And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the councila who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God,b took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 58Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.
        38So he came and took away his body. 39Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds' weight. 40They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
        41Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid. 42So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. 60And Joseph laid Jesus' body in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.
        54It was the day of Preparation and the Sabbath was beginning.c 55The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Maryd were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre. 56Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
        (Mk. 15:42–43; Mt. 27:58; Jn. 19:38–42; Mt. 27:60; Lk. 23:54–55; Mt. 27:61; Lk. 23:56)



a   “the council”—the Sanhedrin.

b   “looking for the kingdom of God”—Jesus in his kingdom teachings always emphasized the kingdom as a present reality—the rule of the Father in the heart of the believer. So why is Joseph “looking for the kingdom”? This is because the Jews of this period regarded the kingdom as something that was coming (in spectacular fashion) in their future. In this respect they looked especially to Daniel and the prophecy of the Great Image.
        In this prophecy King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that depicts the coming of the kingdom of God to earth. Daniel volunteers to interpret the dream. It reveals that four great kingdoms will rule the (Western) world. The first kingdom is Nebuchednezzar's Babylon; it will be followed by Persia, then Greece, and finally Rome. This series of conquering world empires ends with Rome; it gradually declines and disintegrates (becomes divided) into its constituent parts, the Roman provinces, and is overrun by various barbarian tribes.   (continued next page)

c   “the Sabbath was beginning”—The Sabbath began at sundown on Friday evening.

d   “the other Mary”—Mary, the wife of Clopas.

Mt. 27:60  And Joseph laid Jesus' body in / and laid it in (RSV)   (188:0–1/2012–3)

190

167. Guarding the Tomb

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

        62Next day,a that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63and said, “Sir, we remembered how that deceiver said, while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64Therefore order the sepulchre to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away, and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
        65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.”
        66So they went and made the sepulchre secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
        (Mt. 27:62–66)



(continued from previous page)
        These provinces (e. g., Italia, Gallia, Hispania, Britannia, Germania, Syria, Judea, and Aegyptus) form the basis for the modern nation-states of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Daniel further interprets the dream, saying, “And in the days of those kings [after the Roman Empire becomes divided into various kingdoms], the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.” (Dan. 2: 44)
        This coming of the kingdom of God as depicted by Daniel was the concept held by the Jews at the time of Jesus. It refers to a future time when God will destroy the kingdoms of men and set up a divine world government. God, through his anointed one, the Messiah, will then rule the nations from his capital at Jerusalem, and this rule will be forever. This was the kingdom concept held by John the Baptist, the apostles, and the Jewish believers. It is why many of his followers expected Jesus's immediate return to rule the earth in power and glory.
        Jesus, while he emphasized the kingdom within, also recognized that in the future God would bring the outer kingdom (divine world government) to our world. This is a future phase of the kingdom in which God rules the nations of the world in addition to his rule in the hearts of believers.
        The center of the prayer Jesus taught his apostles is a petition for this advanced stage of the kingdom, the time when God will rule both hearts and governments (as he does in heaven)—“Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (See also Ch. 107, fn. b.)

a   “Next day”—Saturday (the Sabbath).

Mt.27:63  that deceiver said (KJV) / that imposter said (RSV)   (188:2/2014)

191