Luke 6 Part 3–Loving and Judging

Perspective changes everything.  Imagine being an all-knowing, all-powerful, and omnipresent God.  Not only could you control all circumstances and overcome all obstacles; but you have known what the obstacles were and when those obstacles would occur since the dawn of time! That is the God we serve.  Jesus came to help people understand that this very God personally loves and cares for each of the people on earth.  This is not a God that is either distant or aloof. This is a God that truly loves His own and would do and give anything to save them.  

With that in mind, Jesus called the folks He met to do the same.  Love people.  Make the love unconditional.  Love them simply because that is what God does–loves us.  Also, quit judging the folks you disagree with.  Nobody knows each of us like God knows us–still, He loves us completely and perfectly.  Jesus called His followers to practice the very same lifestyle.  No more Loving “IF” or loving “Because” we simply love folks.  Our only acceptable “Because” is Because God Loves US!!!!  it is not an easy request.  it requires a faith that clings to a perfect God.  

We cannot place our faith in people, they always disappoint.  We cannot place our faith in science, money, history, or power–those things change constantly.  We must place our faith in the one constant–Our Heavenly Father, Adonai.  As it says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!”  As Jesus began changing the world, His message was that we needed to accept this amazing Love that God demonstrates.  He also emphasized the critical nature of our sharing that unconditional and non-judgmental love with all the folks we meet.  If we will do that, we will truly experience the power of God in our lives!  Believe me, that power is darn well worth it!

God Bless You


27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Luke 6 Part 2–Praying and Choosing

One of the great reminders to me in the bible is this passage of scripture.  After Jesus calls the religious leaders out for their sabbath claims; Jesus does two very important things.  He spends the day and night praying, and then He returns and called His apostles.  Once they were chosen, He reached out to the crowds and reminded them of the blessings that comes from humility and trials as well as the struggles that come from an easy life.  It was quite a pep talk to these men He just singled out to start the church.

Walking with the Lord is a journey that needs to be bathed with prayer.  As we pray, God reveals to us the people and conditions in our lives that sanctify –make us more like Him.  Jesus did not come into His ministry as an emperor, A warrior, or even a flashy playboy.  Instead, He came as a simple man, humble, but clearly speaking and leading with authority.  We are called to be like Him.  In that, we will be called to mission, we will experience trials and temptations, and we will see Him do amazing things in our lives.  We can never doubt His presence, His leadership, or His call on our lives.  We must simply trust and seek Him with all our hearts. He said it best in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Then all these things will be added to You!”

God Bless You


One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Blessings and Woes

17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

20 Looking at his disciples, he said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man.

23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

24 “But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
    for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
    for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
    for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

Luke 6 Part 1–The Sabbath

One of the struggles God has with His chosen is helping them to understand why there are rules in life.  God framed life for us to give us the maximum experience.  He set parameters for our benefit and aid.  He did not craft rules as some “GOTCHA Mechanism”. When Jesus began his ministry, His primary focus was to show the world a true snapshot of the Father, not some ominous caricature of a cosmic kill joy, with a ruler to slap our hands every time we missed a box or failed to properly honor a rule.  Chief among those gotchas was the sabbath.  Make no mistake, God wants us to set aside a day for rest and worship.  We need that.  We get to spinning so fast on our axis, that sometimes we would wear out if we did not take a day and slow down refocus and reconnect with the Lord.  

Still, that process was never intended to be a burden, in fact, it was designed as the opposite–a relief to the week’s burdens. The Jewish leaders, however had crafted the law so carefully as to completely lose the meaning behind God’s day of rest.  They made it so intricate that people literally dreaded what God intended to be the best day of the week.  So, Jesus as He was ministering, showed these “scholars” that they were missing the boat.  He simply celebrated the day without fanfare or worry–not sweating the small stuff.  The religious leaders hated that!  “Where is the guilt?, where is the oppression in that?”, they thought.  Jesus simply shook His head and left examples for those that had eyes to see, that God was not playing Gotcha–no Father does that!

We, as God’s chosen, are loved and saved from our sin and the world’s grip on our lives.  Why would the Father save us to then make us miserable with rules and checklists that direct each breath and step we take?  Jesus said it best when asked what laws were the most important–He replied, “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength! then Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” If we will do those two things, there will never be a need for a checklist.  Our behavior will reflect the Father! Jesus knew that and did his best to teach and demonstrate that throughout His ministry!

God Bless You


 One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples broke off heads of grain, rubbed off the husks in their hands, and ate the grain. But some Pharisees said, “Why are you breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?”

Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He went into the house of God and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests can eat. He also gave some to his companions.” And Jesus added, “The Son of Man[a] is Lord, even over the Sabbath.”

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

On another Sabbath day, a man with a deformed right hand was in the synagogue while Jesus was teaching. The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees watched Jesus closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.

But Jesus knew their thoughts. He said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” So the man came forward. Then Jesus said to his critics, “I have a question for you. Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?”

10 He looked around at them one by one and then said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 11 At this, the enemies of Jesus were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him.

Luke 5 Part 1–The First Apostles

How does one build a ministry?  Jesus started by simply speaking the truth in love.  Crowds were amazed.  Jesus gave a perspective on God that no other rabbi had.  A God that loves His people personally. A God that considered each soul as important as another.  A God that truly loved them and was not seeking wrath for error or omission.  That was the message from Jesus.  As Jesus approached His first apostles, He was being pressed on all sides. He stepped into the boat of Simon (Peter).  Peter had no idea that this short fishing trip would change his life and the world.  Jesus knew, though. 

Simon, James, and John–all business partners would meet Moses and Elijah, they would see the miracles, the sacrifice, the resurrection, and the building of the Church.

John would become the beloved disciple and the author of a gospel, a few letters, and the biblical account of Christ’s return. Peter would start the gentile outreach, walk on water, heal the lame, and lead the churches initial growth.  Jesus’ choices for his team were not done haphazardly, nor were any of the choices a mistake. 

God is very purposeful.  He does nothing by chance and is not surprised by seeming departures from a plan.  In our lives, we face interruptions, unforeseen changes, and emergent circumstances that we simply cannot handle.  Fortunately, our Lord can handle each of them.  He does so with grace and style. It is our call simply to trust the Lord and follow Him–just like Andrew, Simon, James, and John.  If we will, He will also make us “Fishers of Men!”

God Bless You


One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,[a] great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon,[b] its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Luke 4 Part 3–The Heart of The Ministry

When one considers the magnitude of Jesus’ task, and then considers the intent and intensity of the enemy,  it is amazing that He always had time to heal and to listen.  Jesus had just been thrown out of His hometown. But he knew His mission eclipsed the rejection.  So, Jesus began traveling town to town.  When He arrived , He would heal the sick, cast out demons and preach God’s truth with authority.  He never had toapologize.  He knew these people–they were His creation.  

What is more, they lived in fear of God–not reverence, but fear.  Their leaders were making neat but impossible checklists for them to be “Good Enough” for God.  Jesus came to speak the truth–God was simply not about checklists.  The Father loved HIs people.  God missed them and the fellowship with them.  He wanted to have individual and personal relationships with them.  Now, in the days ahead, Jesus would teach as many as would listen the truth about this God they claimed to follow. His disciples would watch and learn that all they thought they knew about a sovereign and distant God was simply wrong.  Their God would sacrifice like none other to restore what the enemy had taken.

So, Jesus preached, healed, and showed the world what the Father truly wanted for us.  Never easy, never without opposition.  That never bothered the Lord–that is what he signed up for.  He was focused on loving, healing, and restoring God’s place in men’s hearts!  We get to enjoy that personal relationship and eternal commitment all these generations later. 

Our Lord loves us with the same intensity he had as he sent Christ to earth.  He wants us to know His personal commitment to us.  We simply ask Him to come into our lives and then trust the Almighty Father to complete that for which He sacrificed so much.  It was never intended to be complex.  It was always intended to be easily found and offered with Love for anyone who would trust Him.

God Bless You


And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha![b] What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

Jesus Heals Many

38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

Jesus Preaches in Synagogues

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.[c]

Luke 4 Part 2–Jesus Begins His Ministry

Jesus had just won a head on battle with Satan.  He was finally ready to begin His ministry.  So, He returned to His hometown, and there He read the scripture in Isaiah that announced the Messiah’s coming. Jesus told His people the truth they had been hoping for their entire lives–the Messiah has come, and I am Him.  One would expect the next part of the story to be about celebration and mass revival.  Instead, Jesus knew that He would be rejected by His own and despite that, He told them the hard truth.  In response, they were going to kill Him.  Not the way one would choose to start a ministry.

It is difficult to be treated objectively by those that know you best.  Their perspective is clouded with history, jealousy, personal angst, and comparison.  They cannot see truth even when it is staring at them.  In Christ, we are new creations.  He accepts us warts and all.  His love for us transcends all the history and baggage we have in our lives.  In effect, Jesus knew how it felt to be rejected.  He would never reject His chosen. We can stand confidently in the truth of His desire to be in relationship with us, just as we are.  That is better treatment than He received from His own people!

Thanks Lord, for your unconditional love.

God Bless You


And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.

Luke 3 Part 3 –Jesus Lineage

I never grow tired of looking at the lineage of Jesus.  In Matthew and in Luke, we are reminded that since the beginning , God had a plan. Looking at Jesus Lineage in both books reminds me that God uses many folks from man levels of society to accomplish His plan.  Jesus comes from the lineage of Enoch, Judah, Ruth, Rahab, David, Solomon, Joseph, and Mary.  Some of the finest and sketchy folks–murders, liars, harlots, beggars, Kings, and people that escaped death.  Jesus is from a lineage of Kings that rose from shepherds.

God simply does not care about our pedigree, He only cares about our hearts, humility, and willingness to submit and follow Him.  Make no mistake, as one of His chosen, we can rest assured that we will be given awelcomeof love and warmth when we go to be with Him.  He provides all we need while we are here and eternity with Him as His child.  As we enjoy our adopted relationship, we must remember it was launched off the sacrifice of a child born in as manger but of the lineage of royalty–Just like us!

God Bless You


Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,[e] the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Luke 3 Part 2–John Starts the Ball Rolling

So How does one start a ministry that changes the world? In Jesus case, He was baptized by John the Baptist.  John started his ministry by telling people of how to repent and follow God. No one was preaching repentance from sin.  So, people followed Him As his crowds grew, so did the controversy Herod’s behavior with his family.  John baptized Jesus and in that, Jesus completed the preparation of his ministry.  In this passage, we see an actual demonstration of the trinity.  As Jesus was baptized The Holy Spirit descended like a dove and from Heaven the father said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” 

Sadly, after Jesus was baptized, Herod arrested John and put him in prison.  John had condemned Herod’s relationship with his brother’s wife.  in addition, other Gospels say that as Jesus ministry began to grow, John’s ministry diminished.  It was important to note that John never expected his ministry to last. He came to announce Jesus ‘s ministry and then he would be done.  John was, in his own right, was a a charismatic and popular preacher.  He was an important part to Jesus ministry.  John was the final prophet to announce Jesus coming. Now that Jesus had arrived the new covenant would begin, and people would see the love of God in the face of a man.  Jesus would change the world.

In our day, we still cling to the hope of glory.  We still are excited to know that Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.  John’s announcement to the people then was the same promise to us today.  God came to save us from our sin. As Jesus exited the water that day, he would start the journey to make that promise real.  Luke wanted to make sure the credit for Jesus start included Joh’s ministry.  That prophecy was kept in spades.

God Bless You


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,[a]
    make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
    and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
    and the rough places shall become level ways,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe 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.”

10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics[b] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation and be content with your wages.”

15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.

21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[c] with you I am well pleased.”[d]

Luke 3 Part 1–Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

As with any great event, Jesus ministry started with John the Baptist preparing the way.  John, Jesus’ cousin, was sent by the Lord to start the transformation to welcoming the Messiah.  John was a wonder.  He traveled through and told people to repent and get ready for the coming Messiah.  He preached a life of selflessness.  He told those that could exploit to be content and do what was right.  He told soldiers to be content with their pay. He told tax collectors to be content with a reasonable tax.

Mostly, John was charged with the duty of preparing people for the coming of Jesus.  The people had been waiting for hundreds of years, so a little prep would be useful.  So God called John to be that person to make the announcement.  He had forewarned the people in Isaiah that John would come on the scene to set the stage.  Now the time had come.  John had a special role and, in his time,, he became quite well known and many followed Him.  But John knew his time was limited, so He simply made the most of it.  He would tell anyone that was willing to listen of the Lord’s coming and the need to prepare their hearts.

We need to live our lives prepared as well.  Jesus will return.  In the meantime, we need to live as one content with all that God has provided.  We need to live as new creations.  Our daily lives should be filled with faith, hope and love.  If we will walk in that way, we will model the life John called those in his day to lead.  We will live a life honoring to God and modeling the life of Jesus!

God Bless You


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a]

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[b] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

Luke 2 Part 4–Another Big Day at the Temple

Amazingly, Jesus knew from early on that his mission was greater than most.  In this last story written in Luke 2–the Jesus recap, Luke tells the story of Jesus, still as a boy attending a festival in Jerusalem.  After the festival, as all were headed back, Mary realizes Jesus was not there.  Panic ensues and the search was on.  After a time, they found Jesus meeting with the Rabbi’s and having quite the conversation with them.  Mary was not pleased.  She called Jesus on his wandering off, but, Jesus was not upset, he said, I just figured you would know I was at my Father’s House and being about my Father’s business! 

The verses that followed are awesome.  Jesus went home and obeyed…and Mary hid these things in her heart as treasures.  Jesus never intended disrespect and was a model son–but His was a mission to change the world.  His mom knew that, God picked her to help in His preparation, after all! So, while worried, she was pleased to see her son becoming the Man He had to be.  She knew what was ahead and she knew Jesus had to be ready.  God chose well.

In our day, God is still choosing well.  We are each called and prepared for a mission. We are His people and live lives to honor Him.  We need to seek Him with all our hearts and realize that each trial and event in our lives makes us a little more ready to face what lies ahead.  We have to trust Him, as Mary did.  We must follow humbly and graciously and allow the Lord to execute His plan for our lives. We too must be about our Father’s business.

God Bless you


Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.