Thursday 20 September, 2012

Luke 20:41-44

41 Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? 42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ 44 David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

Jesus is unravelling the thinking and teaching of the Pharisees. They make the mistake of thinking they know better. He leaves this topic on a question – unanswered and confusing for the Pharisees who were putting so much weight on lineage.  He is shifting the weight to say that the Messiah is the Son of God.

How to apply this? Jesus is my Lord. I don’t want my thoughts and faith with the weight on the wrong thing. I never want to limit Him by my thinking – guessing that I know His ways. The only solution is to seek Him and be open to Him changing my mind and heart from the inside out.

Written by Lyndall Gourlay

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Wednesday 19 September, 2012

Luke 20:27-40

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” 34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[a] 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” 39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

The Sadducees were trying to trap Jesus.  They were asking questions about the resurrection which they did not believe in.  Jesus answers their question explaining some of the nature of the Kingdom to come and of the resurrection of dead.

I love how Jesus, even when asked a question that is designed to trap Him, answers the question, and so well that some of the people there were impressed and said so while others decided to ask no more questions because He could clearly not be caught out.

I need to ensure I develop this kind of grace to people and the wisdom to go with it!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Tuesday 18 September, 2012

Luke 20:20-26

20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.

I love how Jesus turns things back to the real issue.  “… give to God what is God’s”.  Jesus comes back to the issue of right relationship with God.

Am I in a right relationship with God?  Am I giving to God the best of me – my time, my love, my heart, my soul, my mind, my strength, my wealth, my assets and resources, my worship, my all? They are not mine after all.   They are all His.  And for all He has done for me by sending His Son to die in my place – He is so deserving of them.

When Jesus cut through all the patronising rhetoric and pretense the spies came to Him with, they were left speechless and awestruck by His words.  Sometimes Jesus needs to do that to us as well.  We too, will be left awestruck at his penetrating perceptiveness.  His kind but firm, merciful words will cut to the real issues in us and bring us back to right relationship so we can get on with giving to “God what is God’s”.

Thanks so much Lord, for Your breathtaking, merciful words; that bring me back to a right relationship with You.  Thanks for making a relationship possible through the cross.  May my “giving to God” take on a whole new meaning from now on.

Written by Boudy van Noppen

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Monday 17 September, 2012

Luke 20:9-19

9 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!” 17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’[a]? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” 19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.

I’ve read this story of the evil farmers many times, and it never ceases to amaze me the lack of respect shown – the lack of respect for people & for others property. In this passage, I know that Jesus is referring to the religious leaders & priests, and their disrespect for Jesus God’s only son. It makes me mad to think that they could disrespect Jesus this way. That they would let God down this way – the one they called Lord …

BUT, am I (or we) any different? I know there have been times in my own life where I have not treated others in a respectful way. Whether as a teenager and thought I knew better than my parents – after all they were never young and couldn’t understand that the fun didn’t start until after curfew time!! Or choosing not to follow a leader/boss because “my way” was always better. Through my disrespect at these times, I was letting God down.  I may have never murdered anyone to get what I wanted (and that’s a good thing…) but I still disrespected God’s plan and way, thus letting Him down.  His heart & plan is all about loving God and loving others – when I choose to do different to this, I step outside of His plan.

Respect comes in many ways – with our spouses & families, boss, pastor, leader, friend, the list goes on… it’s really all about our heart and attitude towards God and others. Know that God loves each of us, more than we could ever comprehend.

Written by Ps. Mandy Miller

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Sunday 16 September, 2012

Luke 20:1-8

20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?” 3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?” 5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.” 8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Jesus is teaching. He is questioned by the ‘Religious’ leaders of the day.  Where did he get the authority to do these things (probably referring to cleansing the temple in previous paragraph).   Jesus turns it around and catches the leaders in their own question.  The leaders completely avoid giving a real answer to Jesus.

I read this story and am convicted.  I judge these guys for only being worried about their own skin and positions – how they will look before others.  But

how often do I give an answer that is not an answer to avoid exposing my heart, my sin, avoid telling what I think or feel because it would expose my beliefs, my faith, my heart as it is ‘safer’ for me to remain hidden.

Sadly I am now thinking I might be too much like these guys!

Father, I am sorry for all the times that I too have avoided questions about my beliefs & faith and ask for courage to answer the questions asked of me.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Saturday 15 September, 2012

Luke 19:45-48

45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’[a]; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

Jesus must have had a presence like those clever orators we see sometimes today.  There are some people who can just capture a room in the way that they speak.  This description of Jesus teaching in the Temple after he cleared it, reminds me that Jesus was one of those people.  I am not good at picturing Jesus and how He might have been.  But its important to have some sort of a picture as it helps us to learn about Him, His character and how to be His friend – how we can relate to Him.

Being His friend and being able to introduce your friend to others, means you need to respect Him and see that He has much to give others.  While so much of that we get from what He spoke about, some of it has to come from the non-verbal stuff, like it does for each of us in relationship with other people.  That says more sometimes than what we actually say.  How awesome that we have a leader who was a “Leader” – who had presence – who could capture your attention so well – who knew how to communicate what we need to hear – someone who you could really respect and be happy to introduce Him to others.

Praise you Jesus – you not only know me, know what I need to hear, are my friend but you are awesomely good and skilled at all those things.  Help me to learn more so I can grow my picture of you into the rich portrait it should be.

Written by Therese Manning

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Friday 14 September, 2012

Luke 19:41-44

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come on you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Jesus gives a very forthright summation of Jerusalem.  He makes plain that the people of the city have missed their opportunity of salvation.  What a dreadful thought that there can be a time where we place ourselves beyond salvation.

I pray that I would remain soft before you Lord at all times experiencing Your salvation.

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Thursday 13 September, 2012

Luke 19:28-40

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a] “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Verse 30 begins with “Go…” So many times in Jesus interactions with His disciples He tells them to do something with clear directions about how to handle the situation. In this case He tells them what to do, what to say and how to answer when questions are asked. All the disciples have to do is be obedient. They are. It doesn’t say they thought about whether they would do it or not; or whether they should do it; or whether they had in fact heard Jesus or made it up themselves…. they listened, they heard they obeyed and it happened to them just as Jesus described. This obedience provided a donkey that carried Jesus on His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowds cheered and shouted praise – declarative prophetic praise!

Oh God, how often do I question you when you speak to me… to go… to do… to respond…?

How often do I miss out on partnering with you obediently in situations that would lead to your triumphant entry into people’s lives? Help me be obedient – opening the way for you to enter into those situations in all your glory!

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

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Wednesday 12 September, 2012

Luke 19:11-27

11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ 14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ 17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ 18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ 19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ 20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ 24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ 25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ 26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

What is incredible to me in this passage is how quick the king is to reward faithfulness in what he has given responsibility over. Interestingly as well, the reward was the blessing grander responsibility. Two of the three servants were to “take charge” of 10 and 5 cities respectively, because of how they used the money he gave them before he left.

It would appear that Luke is saying that Jesus taught this parable because people thought that the “Kingdom of God was going to appear at once.” As history tells us, however, Jesus has ascended to heaven to return some day soon, and has given us gifts and “mina” to “put to work” in the meantime.

Interestingly, the third servant in the passage “laid away” their mina. They treated what the king had given them as though they had never been given it.

Just as all the servants in this parable had at least some resource and responsibility from the king, so too has Jesus given me resources and responsibility. This parable does not allow me to have such an attitude whereby I think I have nothing to give. It rather calls me to know and uncover the resources that God has given me to use, and to use them responsibly – put them to work for his glory.

Lord, help me to discern, and put to work, every bit of resource you have given me – my time, my talents, and my treasure – so that you may be supremely glorified in my life. And keep me from ever considering myself as a “have not” – for there are no “have not’s” in your Kingdom.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

2 replies
  1. Kerrie says:

    Great message to remind us that we can’t just sit around waiting for Jesus to come back. We’ve all been given a great purpose to live for and gifts to see that purpose happen.

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Tuesday 11 September, 2012

Luke 19:1-10

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

There is something comical about a disliked, short, rich man, probably wearing a robe climbing a tree out of excitement to see Jesus. Comedy aside though, I find myself wondering: What did Zacchaeus see in Jesus that made him so excited? What was it that had him so quick to climb down and take Jesus to his house “in great excitement and joy”?

Previously I have envisaged a bumbling man with no friends, eager to receive some love and attention from a great leader who had the approval of crowds of people. Perhaps there is an element of this, but I wonder if there is more going on within him than this, and possibly, this is what Jesus sees.

Whether due to an act of the Holy Spirit, an act of emotional excitement or his own wisdom, Zacchaeus saw who Jesus really was, and responded to him in repentance. Members of the crowd clearly did not respond in the same way.

I am encouraged by the way that Christ can cause such a response and I am reminded that this is a response to Him that we should expect and pray for in others far more often!

Written by Justin Ware

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