One a Day Through the New Testament

One a Day Through the New Testament

Luke 24: Two forgotten witnesses

The resurrection accounts are among the most powerful and important in all of Scripture. Without them, Christianity is nothing more than Islam, the Eastern mystic religions, or any other humanly-devised religion. The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity and what sets it apart from all other religions. In his account of the resurrection, Luke dedicated half of the chapter to the experience of two unnamed men walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Emmaus was a village some seven miles…

Luke 23: He should have made a friend of Jesus

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is an ancient proverb from India, predating the Lord Jesus by about four centuries. It is generally used to forge military alliances between non-allied nations against a common foe. For example, the United States and France were not allies at the time of the American Revolution, but both had Great Britain as a common enemy at the time, leading France to assist the States in their war for independence. In today’s reading…

Luke 22: And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.

When I was a boy and a young man, there was no one on earth I loved and respected more than my Grandpa Burleson. I recall as a teenager thinking about how embarrassed I would be if he knew what foolishness I was getting in to, always hopeful he would never find out. It killed me inside any time I ever disappointed him. He never had to say anything; you just knew. One can only imagine what went through Peter’s…

Luke 21: The Widow’s Might, a.k.a., Who has despised the day of small things?

Haggai and Zechariah were contemporaries who were called into service after Israel’s return from captivity. The foundation of the temple had been laid, then the work was set aside as people pursued their own interests (Hag 1:4, 9). But as the people rebuilt the temple, those who had seen it in its former glory began to weep (Hag 2:3), as the new temple would never match the glory of the former. God told Haggai the glory of the new would…

Luke 20: The Wicked Vinedressers

Of all the parables of Jesus, this one is perhaps the most pointed. It doesn’t take a great deal of insight to identify the target, as the ones against whom Jesus spoke figured it out immediately (cf v 19)! The owner of the vineyard is the Lord, and the vineyard is the nation of Israel. His vineyard was planted when he chose Israel from among the nations to be His special people. As a vineyard must be planted and then…

Luke 19: Zacchaeus was a Giant

“Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he.” So goes the children’s Bible class song. Though he may have been short in stature, he was a spiritual giant. How often have you heard it said, “It takes a big man to admit he’s wrong.”? Zacchaeus not only expressed his desire to follow Jesus, he was intent to go above and beyond any reasonable expectation to make amends for any past wrongdoing or transgressions. In Jewish…

Luke 18: Will He Find Faith on the Earth?

Luke 18 opens with the parable of the persistent widow. This is a beautiful and inspiring text for those who love and believe in God. One of the helpful things about the parable is that the purpose is given before the parable and an application at the conclusion. (Note that the parable of the Pharisee and publican in verses 9-14 does the same.) Jesus opens this parable with a character of utmost contempt—a man who had no fear of God…

Luke 17: A Little About a Lot

Luke 17 contains four great themes worthy of careful consideration. Perhaps a brief comment on each will whet your appetite to spend some time with each. Verses 1-4 teach us the importance of dealing with those in sin to bring them to repentance, while also teaching us to learn the kind of forgiveness that God extends to us (seven times in a day). Verses 5-10 are helpful in correcting those who accuse us of teaching works or merit-based salvation. The…

Luke 16: Peering into Paradise

Luke 16 contains the account of the rich man and Lazarus. You may have noticed that I did not call this a parable. That’s because I do not believe it to be one. This account does not bear the marks of a parable. First, there is a man who is named in the parable. That’s not found in any other parable. Second, the word parable means “to throw beside.” A parable is a real-life illustration or story of something that…

Luke 15: Are You Lost? And if so, Why?

Today’s reading contains three parables concerning those who are lost. In response to criticism that Jesus’ audience, and by extension, Jesus, was somehow tainted by the presence of tax collectors and sinners, Jesus offered three parables to show the value of every soul. Luke 15:4-7 is the Parable of the Lost Sheep. This account pictures those who are lost in ignorance. Sheep are not highly intelligent. Adding to that problem, they have no natural defense. Thus, a sheep might graze…