One of the things the greater culture seems to have forgotten is that parents are responsible for their children. Too often the situation seems to be that parents feel they are responsible to their children. To use a couple of clichés, we have put the cart in front of the horse and have allowed the tail to wag the dog.
You remember when the Lord healed the Centurion’s servant. We read about it in Luke 7:1-10. This happened in Capernaum northwest of the Sea of Galilee. The centurion was well known to the Jewish elders as a good man. He had even built them a synagogue. He was also a well informed man because he knew of the general Jewish aversion to entering the home of a Gentile. He was humble too, as he said he was “not worthy” of the Lord’s presence.
Christians know that this world is not our home. As the old song says, we are just passing through. We also know that we are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-21). One particular element of our lives here is the duty we have to reach out to people with the saving gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16).
After the events in Thessalonica and Berea recorded in Acts 17 Paul was left alone for a time in the philosophical center of the Greco-Romans world, Athens in Greece. The idolatry he saw disturbed him and led him to engage Jew and Gentile alike in a discussion of mankind’s spiritual condition. He even entered the marketplace where he encountered Epicurean and Stoic philosophers.
As many of you know, our School of Bible Emphasis (also known as “SBE”) began again for this new school year the second Tuesday of September. The program was begun nearly thirty years ago by Winfred Clark who preached and served as an elder for this congregation for many years. It is a work overseen by our eldership and headed up by Jimmy Clark, the son of the school’s founder and the preacher for the Bethel Church.
There can be no doubt that Christians are familiar with the Lord’s words about the wise man building on the rock. Doctor Luke has them here in Luke 6:46-49 and they are found in Matthew’s gospel in 7:24-27.
Everyone who has been to one of our vacation Bible schools has the song and the motions that go with it burned into our brains. And that, my friends, is a good thing.
Bible students know the Sermon on the Mount and most people think of the account in the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters of Matthew. Doctor Luke provides us a bit of a different look into some of the same material in Luke 6:17-49. We might remember that when Jesus spoke to large groups of people the likelihood is that He gave the same lesson a number of times so that the substantial crowds (6:17) would have opportunity to hear Him. This accounts for the small differences in wording we see sometimes when comparing the gospel records.
Doctor Luke gives us a concise account of the choosing of the apostles. This gives us the opportunity to think about this group of men and discern a few lessons. The account is Luke 6:12-16: Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Luke 6:1-11 flows conceptually from the material in 5:33-39. In both places the Pharisees were having trouble with the way Jesus was conducting Himself with regard to certain elements of their interpretation of the Law of Moses. In this passage the problem was with the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10). A fascinating element of this series of event is the inability of the Pharisees to see the reality of what was unfolding before their very eyes. The prophecies of their own Bible were being fulfilled. The Lord was offering proof that He was the Son of God and thus the Messiah.
Luke chapter 5 contains three examples of the power of faith. In verses 1-11 faith is shown to be superior to human reasoning. You remember that Simon Peter had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. The man knew fishing; he was a fisherman! But he had heard the teaching of the Lord and so when Jesus told him to let down his nets again, Peter did it. He was rewarded not only with a fine catch but with a new job that gave his life a superior purpose. He became a fisherman for souls.
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