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Dr. Ward R. Williams Ph. D., University of Minnesota, is the Author of "The Life Of Christ" Course on Bible Student .com. ... Dr. Williams has served as Registrar at Southern California Bible College, Vice President at Southeastern Bible College , Academic Dean at Evangel College and Trinity Bible College
Interpreting the Signs of the Times
And he said also to the people, When you see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway you say, There comes a shower; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, There will be heat; and it comes to pass. You hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that you do not discern this time? Yes, and why even of yourselves judge you not what is right? When you go with your accuser to the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you before the Judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny. ...Luke 12:33-59
The pool and tower of Siloam
. There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said to them, Suppose you that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, think you that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
Jesus found no fruit in Israel in three years of ministry
He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit on it, and found none. Then said he to the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why should it use up ground? And he answering said to him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and put manure on it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that you shall cut it down.
A Pharisee invites Jesus to dine with him
And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spoke unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And he said to them, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day? And they could not reply to this.
Jesus reproves the guests and gives them a lesson in courtesy
And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying to them, When you are bidden of any man to a wedding, don't sit down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than you be bidden of him; And he that bade you and him come and say to you, Give this man place; and you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade you comes, he may say to you, Friend, go up higher: then you shall have honor in the presence of them that sit at meal with you. For whoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted. Luke 13:1-14:11
Jesus gives the host a lesson in hospitality
Then he also said to him that bade him, When you make a dinner or a supper, don't call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor your rich neighbors; lest they also bid you again, and a recompense be made to you But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And you shall be blessed; for they cannot recompense you: for you shall be recompensed at the Resurrection of the Just.
Jesus warns about making excuses regarding the Kingdom of God
And when one of them that sat at meal with him heard these things, he said to him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God. Then said he to him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it: I pray you have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to test them: I pray you have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and showed his lord these excuses. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you have commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.... Luke 14:12-24
The Cost of of Discipleship - Counting the Cost
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said to them, If any man come to me, and hate ( prefer God ) not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he has sufficient to finish it? Otherwise when he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and takes counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassador, and asks terms of peace. So likewise, whoever of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men throw it away. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.... Luke 14:25-35
The Religious Leaders condemn Jesus for making friends of sinners
and he gives them 3 Parables about repentant sinners
Then drew near to him all the publicans and sinners to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them. And he spoke this parable to them, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was |ost. I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Silver Piece
Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, does not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.
The Prodigal Son
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine ate: and no man gave anything to him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!.. I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you, And am no longer worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants.
Prodigal son by Rembrandt
Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring here the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, Your brother has come; and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore his father came out, and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years I have served you, neither transgressed I at any time your commandment: and yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this your son has come, who has devoured your living with harlots, you have killed for him the fatted calf. And he said to him, Son, you are ever with me, and all that I have is yours It was right that we should make merry, and be glad: for this your brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.... Luke 15:1-32
Jesus continues by teaching them wise use of Wealth
And he said also to his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused to him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said to him, How is it that I hear this of you? give an account of your stewardship; for you may be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's debtors to him, and said to the first, How much do you owe my lord? And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said to him, Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much do you owe? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. And he said to him, Take your bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely:
for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon (money) of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlastiig habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Wisdom in material Wealth prepares for the use of True Riches
If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said to them, You are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. The Law and the Prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the Law to fail.
The Rich Man and Lazarus - The Wrong Use of Wealth
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desired to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from here to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there. Then he said, I pray you therefore, Father, that You would send him to my father's house: For I have five brothers; that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, Father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the Prophets ( The Word of God ), neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.... Luke 16:1-31
The Duty to Forgive and be Reconciled if possible
Take heed to yourselves: If your brother trespass against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns again to you, saying, I repent; you must forgive him.... Luke 17:3-4