Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Luke, along with all the New Testament writers, is confirming what the “true” gospel is for the early Christians. By the time of their writings in the early Christian experience, the devil was very busy changing the gospel from what Jesus taught to a pagan perversion of it. Therefore, Luke takes us back through the genealogy to show that the thread of the gospel has been taught since given by God to His son, Adam and down to Noah, through Abraham to Moses, to David, to John the Baptist and then again through Jesus His Son. That gospel has never changed. “Some things in them (the writings of Paul) are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, leading to their own destruction, as they do the rest of the Scriptures.” 2 Peter 3:16. The purpose of the entire Bible is to keep the everlasting gospel alive and known in the world. When it was no longer being taught, Jesus came and taught it. When it can no longer be taught again, Jesus will come again and end it all.
Luke 3:1 to Luke 4:44
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Caesar Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, and Annas and Caiaphas high priests, a message from God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.
Continuing with our perspective, Luke is attempting to draw his readers into the reality of Jesus as the Messiah. He sets up the historical and prophetic backgrounds into which Jesus came. The world, along with the Christians, 30 years after Christ, were still being “convinced” of the fact that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. They were still being convinced that going to Jesus was all you needed. No “church” and its feast days and traditions, sitting in church or lamb sacrifices or pagan temple rituals were necessary for salvation. Therefore, Luke lays down the historical facts, known to most Christians at the time, into which Jesus came.
Continuing with John the Baptist, Luke is linking Jesus with John. Most knew of John and believed John to be a prophet of God. But large numbers who had been baptized by John had never heard of Jesus. They had accepted the message of John to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments for their eternal life. John renewed their love of the Old Testament for their salvation. But after their baptism they returned to their homes. Many of those “homes” were in other countries. Therefore, they did not know of the Messiah John had pointed to. We find this fact when Paul came to Ephesus. He found a few disciples there and asked them, “‘Then into what were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Then Paul said, ‘John baptized when they repented, telling the people to believe in the One who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ ‘On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.’” Acts 19:3-5.
Since Luke is the author of Acts, he realized there needed to be a firm historical foundation “proving” Jesus to be the Messiah. Since most believed in John as a prophet, Luke is attempting to show that not only did John point to Jesus as the Messiah but that the Messiah did not change the message of John but continued teaching it. Therefore, it wasn’t something “new” they had to accept, they could believe in Jesus because He did not change the message proclaimed by the prophet John who did not change the message from the Old Testament. It is a continuum that has never changed. “Jesus, the Messiah, is the same yesterday (Old Testament) and today (their day) —and forever (our day)!” Hebrews 13:8.
Today, people seem to be tired of the same old truths Jesus taught and are attempting to change them to something more exotic and exciting. Simply changing the life is not enough. We have to add bells and whistles to it in order to fleece people of their eternal life and their money.
“But after a time the zeal of the believers began to wane, and their love for God and for one another grew less. Coldness crept into the church. Some forgot the wonderful manner in which they had received the truth. One by one the old standard-bearers fell at their post. Some of the younger workers, who might have shared the burdens of these pioneers, and thus have been prepared for wise leadership, had become weary of oft-repeated truths. In their desire for something novel and startling they attempted to introduce new phases of doctrine, more pleasing to many minds, but not in harmony with the fundamental principles of the gospel. In their self-confidence and spiritual blindness they failed to discern that these sophistries would cause many to question the experiences of the past, and would thus lead to confusion and unbelief.” AA 580.
John went throughout the entire Jordan region, proclaiming a baptism about repentance for the forgiveness of sins, . . .“Repentance” was not what was being taught by the church. Sacrifices and offerings which brought in revenue to the church were all that was needed according to the church. Just pretend you have “repented”, put on a show of piety, go to church, then you were saved as a good member of the church. But true repentance that changed the life from sinner to saint, no, that was not taught by the church.
. . . as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “He is a voice calling out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord! Make his paths straight!
“Make His paths straight!” In our lives His paths are to be straight, sinless, perfect and obedient to the Ten Commandments. John was to make the path as straight as possible for the people to follow in order to find Jesus. We are to do the same. We are to lay out before people the straight path to Jesus which leads only through living the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life. As they listened to John, accepting the message from the Old Testament to change their lives, by living in obedience to the Ten Commandments, they were preparing themselves to receive the Messiah who was living the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life. That is how those who followed John were able to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
And again, Luke takes us back to the Old Testament showing that John understood he was not preaching something new, but confirming what had already been taught in the Old Testament. The voice of truth is always calling out in the wilderness of sin.Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked ways will be made straight, and the rough roads will be made smooth.
Have you leveled every mountain and hill of sin in your life? Have you straightened out every crooked way in your life? Have you smoothed out the rough roads in your life so others will not stumble on their way to Jesus?
Everyone will see the salvation that God has provided.’”
Yes they could. By looking at Jesus and His perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life they would be able to see the Salvation God requires of every single person who desires to live in Heaven. In you can everyone see God’s salvation? Can they see the sinless, perfect and Commandment keeping life “God has provided” for you to live?
John would say to the crowds that were coming out to be baptized by him, “You children of serpents! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Other than putting on a show, have you ever heard your church call its members “children of serpents”? Have you heard from your church the warning to flee from the coming wrath of God by living the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life? It is time to get out of your church, open your home and begin inviting everyone you can to study for truth and the “salvation that God has provided”. Churches want your money, not your salvation. Are you living as “children of serpents” or children of God?
Produce fruit that is consistent with repentance! . . .
Oops, that’s not what the church back then, nor the churches of today, wanted to hear. Producing “fruit”, works, deeds that are consistent with repentance? Not in your life! We just want to put on a show, go to church and look the part. But to actually stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Commandments consistent with repentance, no way!
Don’t begin to say to yourselves, 'We have father Abraham!’ because I tell you that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones!
Nothing has changed in over 2000 years. We still believe that our membership in our churches entitles us to God’s favor. It doesn’t!
The ax already lies against the roots of the trees. So every tree not producing good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire.”
The ax of God is already lying at the foundation of all churches today. They are about ready to be demolished and thrown into the fire. Get out now before you are destroyed along with them. The only ones who will be spared are those producing the good fruit Jesus commands us to produce: the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life.
The crowds kept asking him, “What, then, should we do?”
How sad. These were church people and they had never been told how to live the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life. All they knew was “go to church” and partake in rituals, ceremonies and traditions. Same today.
He answered them, “The person who has two coats must share with the one who doesn’t have any, and the person who has food must do the same.”
Practical Christianity has nothing to do with going to church, rituals, traditions, holy days or ceremonies. It is all about giving to the worthy poor. Your church isn’t in need. It is wealthy and in need of nothing. Get out and put your money where God needs it.
Even some tax collectors came to be baptized. They asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
How powerful the message of John was! It touched the hearts of sinners with practical Christianity, not church-going nonsense. Lives were being changed.
He told them, “Stop collecting more money than the amount you are told to collect.”
Churches should take that concept to heart. Since God never told a church to collect from you, stop supporting your church.
Even some soldiers were asking him, “And what should we do?” He told them, “Never extort money from anyone by threats or blackmail, and be satisfied with your pay.”
Churches use a lot of extortion and blackmail to get money. The Catholic Church invented “purgatory” to extort and blackmail people for their money. All churches do the same in some form or another. I am very satisfied with my “pay”. God has given me eternal life for my “pay”. I’m thankful. Are you thankful for what God has given you?
Oh, did you hear what John said to those pagan soldiers? He didn’t tell them to go to church. He didn’t tell them to find a pastor to discuss their salvation. He told them how to live the righteous, perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. John didn’t even campaign to “defund” the soldiers who were acting as their “police”. He just instructed them to do their work righteously.
Now the people were filled with expectation, and all of them were wondering if John was perhaps the Messiah.
The churches today are all filled with expectation in the “soon” coming of Jesus. They are all looking around to see if they can find the new “messiah” for our times. So blinded are they, they are looking around to find someone to put their eyes upon and anoint as the “messiah”. Don’t be fooled. “Soon”? There are events that still have to be fulfilled before Jesus can come. To learn what those events are, please visit our website or read “Change Your Life Biblically”.
John replied to all of them, “I am baptizing you with water, but one is coming who is more powerful than I, and I’m not worthy to untie his sandal straps. It is he who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
You won’t find that humbleness in churches or pastors today. No, it is all about “Look at me”! “Our church is of God”. Turning the eyes of people to Jesus and what He taught is not the desire of churches or pastors. Yet, that is the only way we can be baptized with the Holy Spirit and His “fire”. It can’t be found in churches. Even though John was, and churches today are, baptizing with water, John pointed to Jesus and His Spirit for their eternal life. Where are you going?
His winnowing fork is in his hand to clean up his threshing floor. He will gather the grain into his barn, but he will burn the chaff with inextinguishable fire.”
Notice carefully, He is coming to “clean up HIS threshing floor”; not the pagan threshing floor, not the worldly threshing floor but the threshing floor of His church. The institution He founded and set up to represent Him was no longer representing Him. It was filled with “chaff” and needed cleaning up. It had to be burned up. There was nothing else He could do with those who claimed to be His church. How is your church? Is it filled with “chaff” and ready for burning?
With many other exhortations John continued to proclaim the good news to the people.
So what was the “good news”? Of course, John was preaching that they must be perfect, stop sinning, repent, produce fruits in keeping with repentance and to keep the Ten Commandments to get eternal life. Nothing about going to church. Obviously, going to church isn’t “good news”. Is your church exhorting you to live the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life?
Now Herod the tetrarch had been rebuked by John because he had married his brother’s wife Herodias and because of all of the other evil things Herod had done.
John could have left the political leaders out of it. He could have stuck to pointing fingers at the church. But Herod was the ruler of the people and was responsible for setting the example. He sinned and John could not let power or money interfere with his message and duty of preparing the way for the Messiah. Are you standing up for righteousness or voting for those whose lives are filled with abominations? Voting for people and propositions that please us, even though they are filled with abominations, is a sin. We must call out sin wherever it is. How brave are you?
Added to all this, Herod locked John up in prison.
Of course he did. Are you willing to be locked up for speaking up against sin?
When all the people had been baptized, Jesus, too, was baptized. While he was praying, heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him, appearing in the form of a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you!”
Why did the Father love Jesus? Why was He pleased with Jesus? Because Jesus lived as the Father commands us to live: perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping. Now you know what you must do to be loved and pleased by the Father.
Jesus himself was about 30 years old when he began his ministry. He was (so it was thought) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
The genealogy list is not a complete list of names covering four thousand years. It only hits the highlights that most Jews would have been familiar with. Why would they be familiar with the list? Because the Messiah had to come from the line of God’s people through the line of Judah. People today get all hung up over the list claiming that it isn’t complete or is missing names. Of course it is. It would take a scroll or two to list every name in the genealogy of over four thousand years. But I understand this list. In my own genealogy, I can trace it back 300 years to Switzerland. I don’t have to name every person in the genealogy, just the high points that connect. I can leave off the horse thieves who were hung and stick to those who made good.
However, what was important was the fact that we have all descended from God. No evolution in Luke’s list. No one is any more favored than anyone else. God is color blind and sees us all as His children. There are no male, female, Jews, Gentiles, pagans, Germans, Italians, English, Africans or Asians in the sight of God. Every one of us can be a “son of God”.
Then Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where he was being tempted by the devil for 40 days.
Notice, when filled with the Holy Spirit we are not led to church but “into the wilderness”. God is not in our churches. He is in nature. We need to lift our eyes and thoughts off of man and place them where God can be found: nature.
During that time he ate nothing at all, and when they were over he became hungry.
That is how committed Jesus was to being in communion with His Father. I can’t even begin to imagine that kind of commitment. I am sure that for those who will be alive for the seven months from the close of probation until Jesus comes they will develop that kind of commitment.
Many have expressed to me how they want to be “like Jesus” and go 40 days without eating. That is not being like Jesus. Jesus didn’t go into the wilderness to “prove” how long he could fast. He went into the wilderness to commune with His Father and was so immersed in His communion He forgot about eating. His Father supplied the needed nourishment. No different than Moses was nourished when in the presence of Jesus on the Mountain of Sinai.
After the communion, His physical body was then returned to the normal human state of hunger. While the Father kept the body nourished, the stomach was empty. Therefore, when coming out of His communion, the stomach let it be known it was empty and needed filling. Perfect time for the devil to tempt Him.
The devil told him, “Since you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
Over the years in this ministry, the devil has been very tempting. I have fallen and given into his temptations more times than I would have liked. But I’m learning and becoming stronger in God’s power. It really boils down to a simple concept: trust God and wait patiently for Him to provide. Getting what I want when I want it doesn’t work. I’m learning to do a lot more waiting in patience.
Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One must not live on bread alone, but on every word of God.’”
We live way too much on the “bread” of this world and our churches and not nearly enough on the “Word of God”. So few actually live by the Word of God. Most know a few texts, go to church, claim to live the Christian life by “believing” in Jesus, but not many actually order their lives by the “Word of God”. To live the perfect, sinless, Commandment keeping life unto death, not really. And by the way, “It is written” was not the New Testament. Jesus learned His salvation from the Old Testament. There was no “New Testament” until 300 years after Jesus.
The devil also took him to a high place and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant.
Are you striving for the “high place”, the “kingdoms of the world”? Is the devil taking you up to the high places of the world and tempting your eyes with all the good things of the world? Are you breaking the Commandments just to get a promotion or wage increase? Are you neglecting God’s work for worldly relationships?
He told Jesus, “I will give you all this authority, along with their glory, because it has been given to me, and I give it to anyone I please.
Most are hearing the devil whisper in their ears, “I will give you all this authority, along with their glory”. Most accept his lies. Few are willing to turn away from temptation. Our churches are full of the glory and authority of the world. I don’t see much for the glory and authority of Jesus.
So if you will worship me, all this will be yours.”
Yep, and the churches fall down and worship Lucifer, teaching his lies and doing his bidding. And they are getting glory and honor from the world!
But Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”
That is not what the churches are doing. They do not worship “the Lord your God”, nor do they “serve only Him”. No, they worship the god of this world. They refuse to live in obedience to Jesus who taught us to live the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life. Their “worship” is not worship of God.
The devil also took him into Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the Temple. He told Jesus, “Since you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,
Since Jesus was quoting Scripture, Old Testament, the devil decided to present his temptations in religious wrap. Let’s take Jesus to church! Same today. The devil entices to sin by worldly standards, but if they refuse such blatant “sin”, OK, let’s go to church and continue to sin under the cover of “Christianity”.
Because it is written, ‘God will put his angels in charge of you to watch over you carefully. With their hands they will hold you up, so that you will never hit your foot against a rock.’”
And, if it will make you feel better in your sin, I’ll even give you a couple of texts to sooth your conscience while you sin. How about “Saved by Grace”, or “Unconditional Love of God”, or “God Loves Everyone”? Of course the texts are either taken out of context or straight up lies, but whose looking? What the devil didn’t quote was the fact that God will protect you and hold you up IF you are living in obedience to God as He commands.
Jesus answered him, “It has been said, ‘You must not tempt the Lord your God.’”
All churches are tempting God. They sin and sin and sin and then expect God to protect them and hold them up. In His great mercy and grace He may for awhile. But there comes a time when His grace will run out and then you will receive the penalty for your sin.
After the devil had finished tempting Jesus in every possible way, he left him until another time.
He is more successful with us. But you can be assured no matter how many times he tempts you he will come back another time. He studies our character, wants, wishes and desires, and then puts the perfect temptation in front of us. That is why we must be like Jesus and fill our lives with the truths of the Bible so the Holy Spirit can warn us and bring to mind the truths to fight the temptations.
Then Jesus returned to Galilee by the power of the Spirit. Meanwhile, the news about him spread throughout the surrounding country.
He didn’t return to “join” a church. The Spirit of God moved Him to go where God the Father needed Him to be. The “Sacrifice” must get the attention of the people. The “news about Him” must spread around the world to prepare their minds to accept the “Lamb of God”.
He began to teach in their synagogues and was continuously receiving praise from everyone.
He didn’t “go-to-church”. He was moving from synagogue to synagogue in order to prepare “His” people, the “church”, for the Messiah’s work. Would they accept Him? Was the “church” willing to look to Jesus instead of the “church” for their salvation? Would the “church” join Him in teaching the world to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get their eternal life? In other words, would the church learn to love.
Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been raised. As was his custom, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.
A “custom” is not the same as “membership”. Since He was the son of Joseph, yes, as a good Jew He would have followed His Father to “church” every Sabbath. But that is not the same as being involved with the “church”. It was during those formative years He learned of the corruption of the “church”. He saw the fallen state of the “church” and His spirit recoiled from it. It gave Him fodder for the years He would be teaching.
Another point, Luke in no way brings up the “Sabbath day” to try to prove that it was no longer needed. You do not hear any comment of it being abolished. It was simply taken as a fact that it was still “the Lord’s Day” 30 years after Christ. The “LORD” of the Old Testament created the Sabbath and commanded us to keep it. Therefore, it is forever the “Lord’s Day”.
When he stood up to read, the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
Not much reading and teaching from the Old Testament in our churches today. Most churches are so immersed in the New Testament they have a warped understanding of truth. Jesus, who knew the Old Testament, was not warped in His understanding. He knew His “Bible”. Do you? He knew exactly where to go. Do you?
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set oppressed people free, and to announce the year of the Lord’s favor.”
First, He slid into their feelings and emotions with what they expected. The Messiah would come to “tell the good news” that Israel was going to defeat its enemies. The Messiah would “announce release” of Israel as prisoners of Rome. The Messiah would recover “sight to the blind” world so they would know Israel was God’s people, and you don’t mess with God’s people. The Messiah would “set oppressed” Israel free from the Romans and all who did not agree with them.
That is how they were interpreting this reading. They were so blinded by their church, they never realized that they were the ones who needed “recovery of sight”. The church was oppressing people with its traditions, ceremonies, rituals and services. Love was no longer practiced. The church was no longer preaching “good news to the poor”. After all, the poor could not afford it.
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. While the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him, . . .
With their fantasies firmly activated by the reading, they had their eyes “fixed on Him” in anticipation that He would be the One to bring about their fantasies. Was He going to announce at this time that He was raising a rebellion against the Romans? If He was going to call them to join with Him in fighting the enemies of the Jews, so be it, they were ready to stand up and join Him.
. . . he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled, as you’ve heard it read aloud.”
Yes! He is about to announce He is the Messiah. Get your spears! Spread the news! Let us begin freeing Israel from her enemies.
All the people began to speak well of him and to wonder at the gracious words that flowed from his mouth. They said, “This is Joseph’s son, isn’t it?”
Absolutely. He is one of us! Yes, how proud we are of Him. Our boy will now rise up and lead us to victory against our enemies.
So he told them, “You will probably quote this proverb to me, ‘Doctor, heal yourself! Do everything here in your hometown that we hear you did in Capernaum.’”
Oops. What did He say? Is He chastising us? Yes, of course we want you to do here what you did in Capernaum. What is your problem? Show your power, your might and your works of miracles! Does this sound like your church?
He added, “I tell all of you with certainty, a prophet is not accepted in his hometown.
What is He talking about? Of course we accept Jesus. All He has to do is live up to our expectations. All He has to do is bring us pride and joy and honor by doing what we want.
I’m telling you the truth—there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when it didn’t rain for three years and six months and there was a severe famine everywhere in the land. Yet Elijah wasn’t sent to a single one of those widows except to one at Zarephath in Sidon.
Wait a minute! What did He just say? Is He saying Israel wasn’t good enough for Elijah? Is He saying God bypassed Israel and put Elijah, a prophet of God, in the home of a pagan? How dare He. God would never do that.
There were also many lepers in Israel in the prophet Elisha’s time, yet not one of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
This is too much! How dare He tell us that God bypassed His people to cleanse a pagan. And an enemy of the state at that! How dare He! We are to destroy our enemies, not cleanse them! Get this man out of here. He can’t be of God! He doesn’t agree with our fantasies.
All the people in the synagogue became furious when they heard this.
How like our churches today. They become “furious” when they don’t hear what they want to hear. I get it all the time on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. I get it by phone, email and by letter. People don’t want truth. They want fantasies.
They got up, forced Jesus out of the city, and led him to the edge of the hill on which their city was built, intending to throw him off.
Most churches, if they don’t get what they want, want to kill you. This is why we must be very careful. We are to uphold righteous and just causes. Most just throw their weight behind whatever the church says to do. Who made church our “god”? Get out of your church and go to Jesus and live in obedience to Him alone. Most churches are still “intending to throw Him off” the cliff.
But he walked right through the middle of them and went away.
When we live in obedience to Jesus and not a church, the angels of God will surround us and make us “invisible” to those who want to hurt us. Unless it is the express will of God for us to suffer or even die for the advancement of God’s cause, He will take care of us. He has protected me so many times I can’t even count them all. Not because I am worthy, but for His honor and glory. And if it is our time to die, glory to God!
Then Jesus went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and began teaching the people on Sabbath days.
Luke could have left out, “on Sabbath days”. There was no reason to put it in if the Sabbath was no longer an obligation. But Luke was a Christian. He knew the will of Jesus. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law. Jesus came to magnify it, fulfill it in His life in order to reveal to us how it is to be fulfilled in our lives. He kept the Sabbath holy. Going to church didn’t make Jesus Holy. He was “holy” because He lived in obedience to the holy Ten Commandments. He went to church in order to reach “His people”. He didn’t go to listen, He went to teach them truth. Is that what you are doing?
They were utterly amazed at what he taught, because his message was spoken with authority.
“Authority”! What would give His message “authority”? People go to church and listen to their pastors, ministers, leaders and teachers drone on and on, but people don’t really care. They sit there debating in their heads weather or not they agree or disagree with what is being said. Or, they sit in a comatose state, hearing nothing. Why? Because there is no “authority”. They have heard it a thousand times. There is no “conviction”. Those teaching are not practicing what they teach. And for most, what they are teaching has nothing to do with changing the life. It is all theoretical, church compiled nonsense and conspiracy theories.However, there was power, “authority”, in the life of Christ. He lived what He taught. He taught with conviction because He was convicted that what He taught was truth. He didn’t teach “theory” or conspiracy theories, He taught truth that had to do with living the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life.
In the synagogue was a man who had a demon. He screamed with a loud voice, “Oh, no! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Actually, I have had those kinds of people come at me. They didn’t want their nice, comfortable church destroyed. They didn’t want to be disturbed by truth. They loved their nice comfortable church that taught them what they wanted to hear. They had big itchy ears and wanted the minister to scratch them.
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” At this, the demon threw the man down in the middle of the synagogue and came out of him without hurting him.
Jesus wasn’t there to scratch their ears, pat them on the back or give them praise for meeting in church on the Sabbath. We really do need to tell our churches to be quiet. In fact, we really need to tell the members to “come out” of the church. Churches present the greatest threat to Christianity. After all, that was where the demon was.
Overwhelmed with amazement, they all kept saying to one another, “What kind of statement is this?—because with authority and power he gives orders to unclean spirits, and they come out!”
Have you driven “unclean spirits” out of your life? Have you let the “authority and power” of Jesus cleans you? Or, are you still living in sin?
So news about him spread to every place in the surrounding region.
We all have our missions to perform. However, in the performance of our mission, we are to live the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life. Each of us is called by God to spread the news about Him to every place. Has Jesus impacted your life so much you keep spreading the news?
Then Jesus got up to leave the synagogue and went into Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a high fever, so they asked Jesus about her. He bent over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began serving them.
It appears He didn’t stay for potluck at the church. He went to Simon’s house. Interesting to note, Jesus never, as far as I can remember, gathered a crowd. Let that sink in. It is stated policy of churches that we must gather crowds. Hold large evangelistic meetings by advertising. Success is measured by the number of people in attendance and the amount of money gathered. Jesus left the crowd and went to a home. I think our priorities are all out of alignment. Way too much “rock-n-roll” in us. Not enough quiet time with Jesus.
“They were not to enter into the synagogues and call the people together for public service; their efforts were to be put forth in house-to-house labor. They were not to waste time in needless salutations, or in going from house to house for entertainment.” DA 351.
Jesus saw a need and fulfilled it. That is the essence of Christianity. God saw a need and created a world. He saw a need and filled it with plants. He saw a need and filled it with creatures. He saw a need and created man. He saw a suffering human and healed. What are we doing in our lives? Do we create need or do we fill the needs in others? Some people are “suckers”. Some are givers.
When the sun was setting, everyone who had any friends suffering from various diseases brought them to him. He placed his hands on each of them and began healing them.
Since it was the Sabbath, the good church members obeyed their church dogma and stayed home until the Sabbath ended. If the Sabbath had been done away with, this would have been a good place for Luke to explain that the Sabbath was done away with and we no longer needed to observe it. He didn’t. Amazing how loud silence can be. However, it would not have been in violation of God’s law for Christ to heal on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was created by God for the restoration of man: physically, mentally, spiritually and socially.
Even demons came out of many people, screaming, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus rebuked them and ordered them not to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
If Jesus was looking for publicity, this was free publicity. Who wouldn’t want it? But Jesus was not looking for selfish gain. He was looking to glorify His Father in Heaven. He pointed all to His Father. “Screaming” demons were not God’s plan or purpose for man. All this screaming and dancing and entertainment going on in our churches is from demons, not God. Just because they knew “He was the Messiah” didn’t make them righteous. Neither does it make it right when done in church under the guise of Christianity.
At daybreak he left and went to a deserted place, while the crowds kept looking for him. When they came to him, they tried to keep him from leaving them.
We need to follow the example of Jesus and leave the crowds, the churches and their denominations and go “to a deserted place” to meet with Jesus. You see, people get all hung up over the individual. We do the same today. It is all “about” Jesus and we claim the Name, yelling and shouting it. But it has nothing to do “with” Jesus. It has to do with what He taught. Jesus can’t save you. He can only save you if you take what He taught and put it into your life and live it.
But he told them, “I have to proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God in other cities, because I was sent to do that also.”
And there you have it. All they wanted was to keep Him for what they could get out of Him: healing and food to satisfy their ego, pride and selfishness. But Jesus wasn’t fooled with all the hype. It isn’t about Him, it’s about what He was proclaiming: the “good news about the kingdom of God”. All they had to do was take the message and put it into their hearts. But they were not interested in changing their lives, only getting the miracles.
So he continued to preach in the synagogues of Galilee.
He had to go to His own people first. Soon they would reject Him and he would no longer be able to “preach in the synagogues”. Today one can’t preach the truth in the churches. They don’t want to hear it. Churches are so organized, ritualized, programed and controlled, it is impossible for the Spirit of God to enter. The truth is cast out and closed out. Get out of the churches now and go to Jesus. Listen to what He teaches and live in obedience to it.