Thank you – 50

July 29, 2019

Thank you – 50

After more than seven months, I have finished the third book of the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke.  Every time I finish a book of the Bible, I send a thank you blog.  I usually post five blogs a day covering about a verse of the biblical books.  So far, I have posted over 10,000 blogs about the individual paragraphs and of all the 46 books of the Old Testament, plus the individual verses of the first three books of the New Testament.  It has taken me five years to get this done.

Over 900 people have emailed me that they are following this project in some form or another.  196 people follow this blog every day.  During the month of March, 2019, 2,253 people visited this site.  The highest recent day was 130 people on July 5, 2019.  There have been over 54,882 hits on this blog since its inception.  I just want to thank all of you.  Word Press sent me a yearly compilation that showed that about 6,800 people from 84 countries visited this web site in 2015.

I realize that 12,613 of you have left comments, but I have not responded to them.  Some of you might want to moderate my comments, which is fine with me.  If you want to contact me directly, my email is efinne1540@gmail.com.  During this past seven months, 250 people have commented via email on this work.  Here is a list of those who sent email comments this past seven months.  Thank you to everyone. 

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Resurrection and ascension of Jesus

The resurrection story of Jesus centers around the empty tomb.  The women of Galilee made an early morning visit to the tomb of Jesus, where the stone was rolled away.  No body there, but two men were there and they spoke to them.  Remember what Jesus had said that the Son of Man would rise again.  They remembered it.

The women from Galilee told the apostles, but the apostles did not believe them.  The women were named, but the apostles thought that this was an idle tale.  Thus, Peter went to the tomb himself.

Next came the story of the two apostles on the road to Emmaus.  They were talking to each other when Jesus appeared to them.  They did not recognize Jesus who asked them what they were talking about?  They wondered why he did not know what was happening in Jerusalem.  They had crucified the prophet Jesus of Nazareth, who had brought the hope of redemption.  Some women at the tomb saw a vision of angels.  The women were right.  However, Jesus reprimanded them since they acted like foolish followers, Jesus explained the suffering Messiah and interpreted the scriptures for them.

These two disciples finally recognized Jesus.  He was going to go further on, but they asked him to stay.  Jesus blessed the bread and then he vanished.  Their hearts were burning.  They returned to Jerusalem to the eleven apostles.  Jesus had appeared to Simon and they had recognized Jesus.

Finally, Jesus appeared to the apostles.  He spoke to them.  Did he look like a ghost?  Why did they doubt?  He was flesh and bones with hands and feet.  He wanted to know if they had anything to eat.  They gave Jesus a piece of fish and he ate it.

Jesus gave his last instructions to his apostles.  He told them that scripture had been fulfilled.  They should understand scripture.  The Messiah would suffer and rise on the third day.  They were to be witnesses to Jesus and preach repentance.  However, they were to stay in the city.  Finally, Jesus blessed them and then he was taken up to heaven.  However, the disciples returned to Jerusalem and prayed in the Temple.

The sufferings and death of Jesus

Next Jesus prayed at the Mount of Olives.  He asked them to avoid temptations.  However, he wanted the will of his Father done.  An angel from heaven appeared as Jesus was sweating blood.  Meanwhile, his disciples were sleeping.  He told them to get up and pray.

Jesus was arrested, as Judas with a crowd arrived.  Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.  Should they strike back?  Someone cut off an ear of a Temple servant, but Jesus healed his ear.  He asked why they came out against him like he was a robber, when he had been teaching daily in the Temple.  Then they seized Jesus.

Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard when someone said that he had been with Jesus.  However, Peter denied it three times.  Then Jesus looked at Peter and Peter wept bitterly.

Jesus was brought before the Council.  They mocked Jesus, as they asked him who struck him.  They reviled Jesus.  The council assembly said that Jesus was a non-believer.  He gave no answer until he said that he was the Son of Man and the Son of God.  Thus, they said that they had heard it themselves.

Jesus was brought before Pilate because he had said that he was a king, the King of the Jews.  Pilate spoke to Jesus, since Jesus had stirred up the people.  When Pilate heard that he was a Galilean, he sent Jesus to Herod.  Herod was happy to meet Jesus.  He questioned him, but Jesus gave no answers.  The chief priests and the Scribes were angry.  Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate and he and Pilate became new friends, even though they had been enemies beforehand.

Pilate called the chief priests and said that Jesus was not guilty, so that there was no need for the death penalty.  He was going to release Jesus.  However, he had the obligation to release someone at Passover.  The crowd said that they wanted Barabbas, an insurrectionist murderer.  Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but the crowds wanted to crucify him.  Pilate said that he would release Jesus, but the loud cries of the crowd prevailed.  Pilate finally agreed.  He released Barabbas.

Simon of Cyrene was asked to carry the cross for Jesus.  The women followers of Jesus were weeping.  Jesus told them to weep for themselves.  They would say Blessed are the barren!  Let the mountains fall on us!  Two other criminals were crucified with Jesus.  One asked for forgiveness, but the other scoffed at Jesus.  The soldiers offered vinegar.  There was a dispute about the Greek inscription, since it said that this is the King of the Jews.  One criminal said that Jesus should save himself and the other two criminals.  The other criminal said that Jesus was innocent.  He wanted to be remembered by Jesus.  Jesus responded that today he would be with him in paradise.

After three hours of darkness, Jesus died.  The Temple curtain was cut in half.  The Roman centurion said that he was an innocent man.  Many were beating their breasts, standing at a distance.

Joseph of Arimathea, who was looking for the kingdom of God asked for the body of Jesus.  He put the body of Jesus in the tomb before the Sabbath.  The women were watching, but they rested on the Sabbath.

The last supper Passover

There was a conspiracy to kill Jesus, but Passover was coming.  This plot against Jesus involved Judas Iscariot who planned to betray Jesus.  He made an agreement about the right time to do this.

Meanwhile, Jesus and his disciples made their preparations for the Passover meal.  Jesus decided where this would be.  They were to meet a man with a jar of water.  He would then show them a guest room, a large upper room, where they would prepare the Passover meal.

The right hour had come for Jesus and the last supper before his suffering began.  Jesus said that he would not eat with them again.  He was not going to drink the cup of thanksgiving again with them.  Then he took the thanksgiving bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples with a new covenant.  He said that the betrayer was at the table with them and should be cursed.  Who would do this?

At the same time a dispute about greatness broke out.  Who was the greatest?  Jesus reminded them his authority would be like a servant leadership.  He would confer the kingdom, so that they would judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

Then Jesus foretold Simon Peter’s denial.  They should pray for faith.  However, Simon said that he would die for Jesus, but Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times.

What to bring with you?  They had lacked nothing during their previous mission trips.  Now they should buy what they need, because scripture would be fulfilled.  It was enough, it was time to move on.

The teaching of Jesus in Jerusalem

Jesus was a true teacher.  They asked him if it was right to pay tribute to Caesar?  Jesus, however, perceived their craftiness.  He told them to show him a Roman coin.  He told them to render to Caesar what was Caesar’s.  Thus, they were silent.

The Sadducees came to Jesus with a question about the resurrection.  The Mosaic law said that a brother should take a dead brother’s wife.  There were seven brothers and they all died without children.  Finally, the widowed wife died.  Whose wife would she be in the resurrection?  Jesus responded that they were the sons of this age.  There would be no marriage in the resurrection among the children of God.  Moses said God was a God of the living.  He had given a good answer, so that there were no more questions.

Jesus then asked how could the Christ Messiah be the son of David, since he mentioned in the psalms that he was a lord.  How could be both lord and son?  Jesus called out the hypocrisy of the Scribes with a great condemnation.

Jesus noticed the rich giving gifts in the Temple.  However, there was a poor widow who gave more because she had given out of her necessities and not her abundance.  Jesus then predicted the future destruction of the Temple.  None of the noble stones of the Temple would be left untouched.  They wanted to know when this would take place?

Jesus told them that they should not be led astray and not to be afraid.  There would be many fights, great earthquakes, and persecutions.  However, they should bear testimony, but not plan ahead.  Wisdom would come to them.  There would be family betrayals.  They would be hated by everyone, but they would not lose a hair of their head, if they had endurance.

In the future, Jerusalem would be surrounded.  They should leave the city in this great distress at the fall of Jerusalem.  There would be signs and great fear because the Son of Man was coming to redeem them.  Jesus explained the parable about the fig tree.  When they see the leaves on the trees, they should know that the kingdom of God was near.  This present generation would see it.  The words of Jesus would not pass away.  They were to be ready.  Everybody will be involved.

Jesus enters Jerusalem

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, but he stopped in Bethany.  He told his disciples to get a colt that was in a neighboring town.  When they untied this colt, they were to say that the Lord needs it.  They did exactly that.  Jesus then sat on the colt as they spread garments around him.  They began to rejoice and say peace and glory.  The Pharisees wanted Jesus to rebuke his disciples, but Jesus said the stones would cry out if he did that.

Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem.  There would be future hidden things when the city would be surrounded on every side because there were terrible things ahead.  Jesus entered the Temple.  He said that it should be a house of prayer.  They tried to destroy Jesus, but the people listened to Jesus.

Some Jerusalem officials come to Jesus and asked him where he got his authority?  He had a question for them about the baptism of John the Baptist.  Was his baptism from heaven or not?  They refused to answer because the people thought that John was a prophet.  Then Jesus said that he was not going to tell them about his authority.

Jesus then told the parable about the rented vineyard and the wicked tenants who beat up his slaves.  Finally, he sent his beloved son.  However, these bad tenants killed the heir.  He would then destroy these tenants.  The rejected stone would become the crushing stone.  The chief priests and Scribes wanted Jesus destroyed, because this parable was aimed at them.

The prophecy fulfilled

Jesus then had the prophecy of his death and resurrection.  This would be a prophecy fulfilled for the twelve apostles.  There would be some bad treatment for the Son of Man, but he would rise on the third day.  However, the apostles did not understand this.

Jesus healed the blind beggar who asked what was going on as Jesus passed by.  He wanted mercy.  Jesus met and had a dialogue with this blind beggar.  Faith and sight went hand in hand.

Jesus was in Jericho when a small man named Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree to see him.  Jesus wanted to stay at Zacchaeus’ house, where he was welcomed.  Other people complained that Jesus was eating with a sinner, but Zacchaeus defended himself.  Jesus said that salvation was coming to the lost ones.

Finally, Jesus told this parable about the ten minas when he was near Jerusalem.  This nobleman gave his slaves money.  However, some people did not like this nobleman.  When he returned home, he wanted to know what the various slaves had done with their ten minas.  The first slave had made ten more minas, as much as he originally had from trading.  Thus, the nobleman put him in charge of ten cities.  Another slave had gained five minas.  He was put in charge of five cities.  The third slave said that he wrapped up his ten minas in cloth.  He knew that his nobleman was a very severe man.  The nobleman said that he should have known better.  Why did he not at least collect interest?  This nobleman said to take away his money and give to the one had ten already.  Then this nobleman killed his enemies.

The Law and the kingdom

Jesus then told the parable of the dishonest house manager who had been wasting things.  He was not going to be a manager any longer.  What was he to do?  He needed a plan.  He found out how much a person owed him and cut it in half.  He gave a discount to another debtor.  He was a shrewd one.  Jesus told them to make friends with the faithful ones who would give true riches.  Take care of other things because you cannot serve two masters.

God knows the heart of those who are lovers of money.  The good news is in the power of the law.  Watch out for adultery.  Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  Lazarus was a poor man, so that the dogs licked his sores.  The rich man and Lazarus both died.  Father Abraham took Lazarus into his bosom, so that he had the good things of eternal life.  There were no switching places.  The rich man wanted to send Lazarus to warn his brothers, but Abraham said that they had Moses.  Someone from the dead would not make a difference.

Jesus spoke about temptations.  People should put a millstone around their necks rather than lead a brother into sin.  Forgiveness was necessary.  You had to increase faith much like a mustard seed that grows.  The slave should not sit at the table, but prepare the food without a thank you, because it was his duty.

Jesus cleansed the ten lepers on his way to Jerusalem.  The ten lepers asked for mercy to be cleansed.  However, only the cured Samaritan leper praised God.  What happened to other nine?  Only the foreigner returned, because of his faith.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God was near.  They would not see the Son of Man.  They were not to be deceived by false claims.  The Son of Man would come like lightning.  They would suffer because of their rejection.  Just like Noah when the flood destroyed them all, so it will be in the future.  Just like Lot, they should stay where they were.  You could gain or lose your life.  Half will be taken away.  Only one of two women will be taken.  Only one of two men in the field will be taken.  The eagles will be gathered ready to pounce.

Jesus told the parable about the widow and the bad judge.  They should pray.  The widow petitioned the bad judge for justice.  This judge had no regard for God or man, but this widow wore out this bad unrighteous judge.  Will God delay his coming?  Will the Son of Man find faith on earth?

Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.  The Pharisee prayed that he was not bad like other people, since he fasted and tithed, while the tax collector prayed for forgiveness.  Who was justified?  They were bringing infants to Jesus.  Jesus then told them that they had to be like children to enter the kingdom of God.

There was a rich ruler who asked Jesus what he had to do to gain eternal life.  Jesus wanted to know why he called him good?  He had followed all the commandments.  Then Jesus asked him to follow him.  The apostles had left their homes for an eternal reward.

The returning sinner

Herod wanted to kill Jesus.  Jesus said to go tell the fox Herod that the prophet would die in Jerusalem, because they would not respond.  A man with dropsy came to Jesus while he was at diner with the Pharisees.  Would he heal him on the Sabbath?  They were silent.  They wanted the places of honor, but Jesus told them to take the lowest place, and then they would be honored to move up.  They were to be humble with their diner invitations.  Invite the needy because there will a resurrection of the just.

Jesus told the parable of the great banquet.  The kingdom of God was like a great dinner banquet that was ready.  However, people gave excuses of why they could not come.  They had the excuses of buying new property, or new oxen, or taking a new wife.  He told his servants to get somebody in there, but there was still room.  They went to the highways and byways, so that none of the original invited ones would come.

Jesus explained the cost of discipleship.  Great crowds followed him.  To be a disciple they would have to bear the cross.  You had to figure out the cost of a building before you built something.  You could not build a foundation without money.  Otherwise you would not be able to finish it.  When you are preparing for war, you have to figure out the terms of peace.  Were they willing to renounce everything for Jesus?  If the salt loses its taste, throw the bad salt away.

As Jesus was eating with the tax collectors and sinners, he told this parable about the lost sheep.  A shepherd had one hundred sheep.  He lost one and then found it, so that there was rejoicing with his friends.  There is joy in heaven over one repentant sinner.  Jesus told the parable of the lost silver coin.  There would be rejoicing over the found coin, so too there will be joy over one repentant sinner. 

Then Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son.  A man had two sons.  The younger son wanted his inheritance.  He then squandered his property in a foreign country.  A The famine came, so that he ended up feeding pigs, although he had nothing to eat since he was dying of hunger.  He was a sinner, but he realized that the hired servants of his father had food to eat.  He decided to go home.  The father embraces his son, as he admitted that he was a sinner.  The son was to be dressed up with a fatted calf prepared for him.  The dead son was alive.  Now the oldest son wanted to know what was going on?  His father said that his brother had come home.  The older brother was angry because there had never been a party for him.  His younger brother had lived with prostitutes, while he was always with his father.  However, the father said that his lost brother had been found.

More parables

Jesus told the parable of the rich fool.  How would he divide his inheritance?  Who is the judge?  What should he do with his possessions?  This rich man wanted more storage space.  He then built new storage sheds.  Then he decided to eat, drink, and be merry.  What a fool!  He had the wrong treasure.

Do not be anxious about food and clothing.  They are more valuable than birds.  Can anyone add anything to their life by being anxious?  The lilies of the field do not worry.  Men of little faith, they should not worry about food and drink.  Everybody needs food and clothing, but seek the kingdom, and then their Father will build up treasures in heaven and in their heart.

Jesus said to be ready!  Wait for the master!  The lord will be pleased.  Blessed are those slaves who watch for the thief, because the Son of Man is coming.  There were the faithful and unfaithful servant slaves.  Who is the wise manager?  Blessed is the good servant!  He will be put him in charge of everything.  The unwise slave will receive a punishment, a beating.

Jesus will be a cause for division, not peace.  There will be fire on earth with a stressful baptism to come.  Family members would be divided.  They should know the signs of the time.  They can tell when a rain shower is coming because of the southern hot wind.  Thus, they will interpret the present time with a good judgment. 

They should settle their case so that they will not go to jail.  They were to remember Pilate and the Galileans, sin and punishment.  Therefore, they should repent.  Otherwise, they will end up like those who died at the Tower of Siloam.

Jesus told the parable about the barren fig tree.  He wanted to cut the tree down, but was persuaded to wait another year.

Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, when a woman with an infirmity for eighteen years wanted to be cured from her infirmity.  Jesus laid hands on her, but this was on the Sabbath.  Jesus called them hypocrites because they would not let him heal this daughter of Abraham.  Thus, they were shamed.

Jesus told the parable of the mustard seed that was like the kingdom of God.   The parable of the leaven yeast was also like the kingdom of God.  On the way to Jerusalem, they asked Jesus how many people would be saved?  Jesus said that it was a narrow door.  He will say where are you from?  They will say that they ate and drank with him.  However, he will say that I do not know you.  Then you will weep!  They will come from all directions.  The first shall be last.