Jesus, the Master Teacher

Jesus, the Master Teacher

Scripture: Luke 4:32, Luke 8:22-25, Deuteronomy 6:5
Date: 05/30/2015  Lesson: 9
"The mission and ministry of Jesus, His forgiving heart and embracing grace, did not exclude anyone but included all who would accept His call. His everlasting love brought Him in touch with the entire spectrum of society."

Shadows of Light: Seeing Jesus in all the Bible by Doug Batchelor

Shadows of Light: Seeing Jesus in all the Bible by Doug Batchelor
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Welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour, coming to you from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in rocklin, California. We're so glad that you are tuning in - whether this is your first time or you are just one of our die-hard family members - that we're so excited that you join us every single week. It doesn't matter; we're just glad that you are joining us for another lesson study as we open up God's Word and we study together. Whether you're listening on the radio, watching live on our website, or on the various television networks, welcome. We're going to sing your favorites and we're going to start with #21 - a wonderful song that we love - immortal, invisible, God only wise - and we're going to sing the first and fourth stanzas.

#21 - Join with us. Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible hid from our eyes, most blessed, most glorious, the ancient of days, almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise. Great father of glory, pure father of light, thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight; all praise we would render; o help us to see 'tis only the splendor of light hideth thee! Another song that ties in with our lesson study today, which is Jesus, the master teacher, is another wonderful song, which you'll find on #492 - like Jesus - #492 - and I hope that it is the prayer of each and every one of you, that we will want to be like Jesus no matter where we are or what we're doing, that we will remember he is always with us and we will always want to be like Jesus. First and last stanzas - #492. Teach, me, father, what to say; teach me, father, how to pray; teach me all along the way how to be like Jesus.

I would be like Jesus, I would be like Jesus; help me, Lord to daily grow more and more like Jesus. Teach me how we may be one, like The Father and The Son; and when all is overcome, I will be like Jesus. I would be like Jesus, I would be like Jesus; help me, Lord to daily grow more and more like Jesus. Thank you so much for joining with us; and at this time we're going to invite Pastor Doug Batchelor to come and say a prayer for us as we begin our program. Amen.

Thank you very much debbie - our singers and musicians - and those of you who are joining us today for our Sabbath School Study Hour. Let's begin with a word of prayer and ask for God's presence and blessing. Loving Lord, we are so thankful that we can have this rock - this foundation of truth - your word that is so freely available and at our fingertips and that we can gather together with freedom and to study the truth. Lord, we believe that these words are much more than black ink on white paper - that they are spirit and they are life and we pray that as we study them, that we'll feel the power changing us. Help us to put into practice the things we learn.

Bless us. Be with me as I share and teach and I pray you'll quicken my mind to remember things studied before and that we'll all be drawn closer to you. We pray in Jesus' Name, amen. Once again, I want to thank our friends who are joining us for our Sabbath School Study Hour. We welcome you; we're glad you're studying with us.

In a moment we'll get to our study from the book of Luke. We have a free offer. Each week we like to make something available and today it is a study guide called rescue from above - this is part of the classic Amazing Facts Bible study series. Rescue from above - talking about the plan of salvation because that is a lot of our focus in our lesson today. And if you want a free hard copy, just call the number -788-3966 - it's actually 866-study-more - and ask for offer #109.

You can also get them online for free if you go to amazingfacts.org. You can take the study guide - read it - or even fill it out there online. So much is done on the internet. Our lesson today is lesson #9 from our study guide dealing with the Gospel of Luke. And I'm hoping that when we get done with this 13-week study, all of you will have at least read through the book of Luke.

And I think I mentioned before, it is my favorite of the Gospels. I just love the book of Luke. There are so many parables and stories you only find in Luke. Luke interviewed a number of people in writing his Gospel story that were sometimes neglected by what you find in Matthew, Mark, and John. And today we're going to be talking about Jesus the master teacher and we have a memory verse and I hope you'll say this out loud with me - it's Luke 4:32 from the new king James version - Luke 4:32 - are you ready? "And they were astonished at his teaching, for His Word was with authority.

" You think, 'why would that be so astonishing? Didn't all the rabbis and teachers teach with authority?' Not really. When they would teach they'd often say, 'well, this passage of Scripture could mean this' and 'this could mean that' and 'rabbi so and so says it really has this meaning' and 'another rabbi says it has that meaning. It used to mean this but now it means that in our culture, today.' And they had just all these different ways and it's like nobody could know for sure what the truth was. But that wasn't how Jesus taught and so that's actually our first section that we're going to address and that's the authority of Jesus. Now there's some verses we're going to look at that are going to bear this out and, to begin with, we're going to go to the story - we're in Luke chapter 8, verse 22 - Jesus steals - stills the storm - Luke 8:22 - "now it happened, on a certain day, that he got into a boat with his disciples.

And he said to them, 'let us cross over to the other side of the lake.' And they launched out. But as they sailed he fell asleep." - Hard day of study and teaching - "and a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him and awoke him saying, 'master, master, we are perishing!'" - I like the way it's also worded in one Gospel, it says, 'master, carest thou not that we are perishing?' - Think about that: God so loved the world he gave his son that we shouldn't perish, that they should wake up Jesus and say, 'don't you care that we're perishing?' He could have said, 'yeah, I care. I'm going to die for you guys so you don't have to perish.' So he did definitely care about their perishing and he woke up and he calmed the sea - "then he arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water." - You read in the other versions it says, 'he said, 'peace be still.'' And that would really be because you're reading it in Greek. In Hebrew the word is 'shalom.

' You know that one word 'shalom' is a greeting, it's a farewell, it's a blessing - any of you been to Hawaii? You know they use the word 'aloha' for about everything - and in Hebrew, 'shalom' was a word that meant many things. And Jesus probably just said one word in Hebrew; he just said, 'shalom' - peace be still and all of a sudden, at His Word, these raging elements flattened out and when the disciples saw that, they were terrified. Now just get the picture, these are fishermen. They have spent a lot of time on the sea. When you see the sea of Galilee, it's not that big.

You know, you say the word 'sea' - some of our great lakes are bigger than the sea of Galilee. You can see across it easily on a clear day. But you get out in the middle of it and - because the Jordan valley is one of the most interesting pieces of geography on the planet, the lowest point on earth is at the bottom of the Jordan valley, that's the dead sea and then it goes up to the mountains of lebanon, which are way above - they're thousands of feet above sea level and there's such a radical shift that there are convections of air and low pressure systems that develop. It develops its own weather very quickly and it might be glassy calm and then, all of a sudden, later in the day, things can change - the wind can come sweeping down and it beats up these big waves and fishing boats can't have high gunwales on them or you can't get the fish and the net in. They're usually a little bit lower and the waves start swamping it.

Jesus has been ministering all day long - he is exhausted - so much so he's sleeping in the storm - and it's dark. He preached all day and now he's crossing over. The sun's gone down and they're trying to bail the boat. They're trying to save themselves and lightning flashes and they see Jesus is asleep. They've forgotten Jesus was with them.

Sometimes we try to save ourselves because we forget Jesus is with us. And so they woke up Jesus. You know how you wake up Jesus? Same way they did: you pray. And the Lord will do things for us when we ask that he otherwise would not do. You wonder what would have happened if they didn't wake him up.

I personally believe that boat was already unsinkable because Jesus was the lifesaver in the boat. And so they wake him up - now who commanded them to cross the sea? Jesus did, he said, 'I want you to pass over.' Will the Lord get you to the other side if he tells you to do something? Does he promise there will not be a storm on the way? So just because you encounter resistance, does not always mean that you are not doing God's will. In fact, Jesus actually says, 'woe unto you when all men speak well of you.' In other words, if everything's going smoothly, it's not always evidence that you're doing the right thing. Jesus said if you are doing the right thing, you will meet with resistance - you'll meet with persecution. And so don't let that surprise you.

He says, 'peace, be still.' And then he says, 'where is your faith?' Now after he calms the sea - were they frightened? Were the disciples scared during the storm? Yeah - 'we're perishing' - they thought they were dying. They were frightened. After he calms the storm, are they now calm? No, it says they were exceedingly afraid. Now they're even more afraid, you know why? They said, 'who is this man? With authority he commands the elements of nature and they obey.' So how much authority did Jesus have? Did he have just authority over his disciples, saying, 'go here. Go there.

Preach this. Preach that.' Or did he have authority over the very laws of nature? I mean, when someone can make the wind blow and then speak and the wind stops; when someone can make the waves rise and they speak and they get glassy calm, you've just got - all of your senses are telling you that these raging elements - you've got clouds and wind and lightning and waves and - he speaks one word - all of a sudden clouds part - moon is up there - clear sky - glassy waves - no wind - perfectly still - they're afraid because they recognize His Word has creative authority. So you can see that. Alright, we're going to have you read for us Luke 19, verses 45 and 46. Then he went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, 'it is written, 'my house is a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.

''" Here's another example of his authority: who was in charge of the temple? Levites - sons of aaron - temple guards. Here comes this rabbi from nazareth - he walks in, his eyes flash - he takes some of the cords they used for tying off the sheep, and he takes a handful of those so it looks like a cat-o-nine tails - he's got this whip in his hand. It never says he whipped anybody. It never says he yelled. I mean, Jesus didn't start screaming with a hoarse voice and have a tantrum.

I think his voice had just so much authority to it that he said, 'my Father's house is to be a house of prayer and you have made it a den of thieves' - and just the conviction of what he said - they were so afraid they didn't argue. He turns over the tables. The guards don't arrest him. The levites don't confront him. The priests don't stop him.

And it's like they suddenly, inherently know he is the one that calls the shots. Jesus - have you ever met a person - they haven't spoken. You've never met them before. You can look at them and they have a bearing of confidence and authority. Have you ever met people like that? They just carry it with them and, you know what? It doesn't always matter how tall or short they are; how young or old they are; there are some people that you just look at them and you can say, 'that's a leader.

' This person has that bearing of authority. And Jesus, when he went in there, and his connection with The Father and the Spirit - I think that in the book desire of ages it says, "divinity flashed through humanity" when he said that and people were terrified. It's like it was the judgment day when he said this to them. They were frightened. They went scrambling out of there.

And then the children - but they weren't afraid. They stayed and they sang. Now the definition for authority - and this is just your, you know, online merriam webster definition - it says, "the power or right to give orders; to make decisions; to enforce obedience" - some synonyms would be 'power; jurisdiction; command; control; charge; dominance; rule; sovereignty; supremacy; influence; and clout." Ever heard someone say, 'they've got clout'? They've got authority is what that means. Jesus had that. Here's another example of the authority of Jesus.

You look in Luke chapter 4 - Luke 4, verse 40 - verses 31 through 36 is where he casts out devils. "Then he went down to capernaum, a city of Galilee," - this is where Peter lived - "and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. And they were astonished at his teaching, for His Word was with authority. Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'let us alone! What have we to do with you, Jesus of nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the holy one of God!' But Jesus rebuked him, saying, 'be quiet, and come out of him!' And when the demon had thrown him in their midst," - a demon actually fell and convulsed - "it came out of him and did not hurt him.

Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, 'what a word this is! For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.'" Now does Jesus still have that authority? Does a person need to rant and rage in church, in order to have an unclean spirit? Or are there some people that may look very composed and sophisticated but they're harassed by the devil? Can the word of Jesus still set people free from demonic possession and demonic - certainly, if he can cast thousands of devils out of the man at Galilee - that demoniac - he can cast out ten or one. If he can deal with demonic possession, Jesus can deal with demonic harassment. Do you know the difference? Everybody is demon harassed. That's called temptation. You ever been harassed by the devil? He's giving you a hard time - making you want to think or say or do things you know you shouldn't think or say or do? Everybody has that.

If the devil - if Jesus has the authority, through His Word, to cast devils out - that's demon possession - he can set people free who are just devil harassed. Resist the devil and he will - flee. Flee from you. How did Jesus resist the devil? The word. Where do we have our authority? It's the word.

Is this authority? Isn't this the authority Jesus used? Do we still have that authority? What did Jesus say before he went to heaven? 'All authority in heaven and earth has been given unto me. Go ye, therefore.' And what was his authority? His Word. Isn't that wonderful, when you think about it? There's promises in God's Word. There's authority in God's Word. You know, when I do evangelism, I think it's very important for an evangelist to speak with confidence, conviction, and authority.

You don't win souls to Jesus if you say, 'well, you know, it could mean this' and 'it could mean that' and 'this could be right' and 'this could be wrong' and 'we're not really sure' and 'this is what I believe but others believe differently' and - you're not going to get anywhere with that. John the baptist, when he preached, he said, 'repent! Turn from your ways. the Kingdom of heaven. You'll be forgiven. Change your' - there needs to be some authority in what is said.

I think if you're a believer in the Word of God, don't be apologetic about what you believe. You're better to be confident and maybe be a little wrong, than to be wishy washy about everything. But Jesus taught as one that had authority and we just talked about that a second ago. They were amazed at his authority. Here's another example: you go to Luke 7 - you know the story of the centurion? This is a great study on biblical authority.

Luke chapter 7, verse 7 - there's this centurion, his servant is sick, and he sends messengers to Jesus and says, 'you know, if you could heal my servant I'd be really grateful.' Well, he thought Jesus was just going to say, 'okay, be healed' and he'd be healed. But Jesus begins to go to the man's house because that's what he had done for everybody else. He actually goes and he touches them or says a word and the centurion, he's mortified, he says, 'I'm not worthy that you should come to me.' And you can read here in verse 7 - Luke 7:7, "therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to you." - I sent messengers - "but say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority," - I'm a soldier, we understand authority - we understand rank - "having soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'go,' and he goes; and to another, 'come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'do this,' and he does it.

'" - 'I take orders of those above me. I give orders to those below me. You're the God of heaven. Give the order. You don't even have to come.

Send your angels with an order to tell my servant to be healed.' And Jesus stops in his tracks. You know there's only a couple of times that Christ actually commends a person for faith. Most of the time when Jesus talks about faith, he says, 'o ye of little faith.' When the disciples panicked in the boat, what did he say to them? 'O, great faith!' - No. He says to the apostles over and over, 'where is your faith? O ye of little faith.' But the gentiles, on at least a couple of occasions, he commends the faith of gentiles. You remember that woman who had a demon-possessed daughter? And she says, 'please heal my daughter.

' And Christ said, 'look, I'm sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, it's not appropriate to take the children's food and give it to the dogs.' - He said that because that's how the gentiles were referred to by the apostles. She said, 'oh, yeah, but even the dogs get the crumbs.' And Jesus says, 'great is your faith.' And it's interesting, the ones who were commended for faith were the gentiles. So he says, 'great is your faith.' And he does it. He heals the centurion's servant. He understands the authority of Jesus.

Do you believe in his authority? The authority of His Word that he can answer your prayers? He can do it instantly. Alright, let's look at another example of this. You go to Luke chapter 5, verse 24. I'm kind of bouncing around in Luke, but the lesson does also. Still talking about authority, the man is let down through the roof - he's paralyzed.

He looks like his primary concern is that he wants to be healed, but Jesus deals with his most important concern. And he says, in the presence of all that are listening and there's some apostles there, there's some scribes and pharisees there - he said, "'but that you may know that The Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins' - he said to the man who was paralyzed, 'I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.' Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, 'we have seen strange things today!'" Then, they were surprised that he would take the audacity to say 'your sins are forgiven.' Does Jesus have authority to forgive sins? He not only has authority to save from sin, he forgives past sin, he forgives the power of sin in the present, and he can deliver you from sin in the future. And so he has that authority. Now that - they really had a problem with that.

Jesus, several times, did things and said things that made it clear that he had power to forgive sin and the Bible says God and God only can forgive sin. And so Jesus was saying, 'I have that authority to forgive sin.' And so that really shocked them that he said this. You can look also in Luke 12 - we're - just a couple more on authority then we'll move along. Luke 12, verse 8 - Jesus said, "also I say to you, who confesses me - whoever confesses me before men, him The Son of man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

" Jesus was saying, 'look, my name has power in heaven.' - How many of you remember the story of job? When The Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and satan came also, and the Lord said to the devil, 'where did you come from?' Who is that speaking, God The Father or The Son? I think that was Jesus and Jesus is saying, 'have you considered my servant job, that there's none like him? The devil is saying, 'I represent the earth. The earth is my domain.' - See, even Jesus - Jesus even said satan is the prince of this world, didn't he? He said, 'the prince of this world comes and has nothing in me.' But Jesus was letting the devil know, you don't have complete dominion. Have you considered my servant job?' So when Christ said, 'whoever confesses me before men in this world, I will confess him before my father and the angels of heaven.' Do you have an example of that in the Bible? He is confessing the name of job in heaven. And so when you stand up for God here on earth and you think nobody's noticing, there's a whole stadium filled with angels and God and unfallen beings that see the battles we're going through. And when you think 'nobody cares that I'm being faithful.

' Oh, you'd be surprised. There's a Great Controversy. There's untold millions - we are a spectacle to the universe. Jesus said he will confess your name before the unfallen worlds, when we confess his name. So when you're under pressure to compromise your beliefs because of our culture and our world, and you feel like you're the only one that stands up - that you're old fashioned - you're straight-laced - you're called all kinds of kooky names because of your beliefs.

The world might say that about you but how does heaven say - how does heaven speak about you? Does the Lord want more people like Elijah that will stand up when everyone else - more people like John the baptist? He says, 'confess me - I have authority to confess your name in heaven.' And then you can read in Luke chapter 6 - when you do the sermon on the mount that you find in Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7, Luke compresses it all into part of just chapter 6. In Luke's version of Jesus' sermon on the mount - the greatest sermon - he's really covering seven principle points, and it outlines them for you here in the lesson. I'm going to go over this very quickly with you. You've got the Christian blessedness is one. The Christian rejoicing in the midst of rejection is another.

The woes to guard against is three. The Christian imperative - that great command - is four. The Christian way is five. Christian fruit bearing is six and the Christian builder - the wise man who builds on the rock - is seven. And let's go ahead and open our Bibles quickly and we'll highlight some of these - these great teachings of Luke - teachings of Jesus - that you find in Luke chapter 6.

He starts with verse 20, "then he lifted up his eyes toward his disciples, and said: 'blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'" - Now, is that different from Matthew? How does it read in Matthew - the beatitudes? Is Jesus saying you're blessed for being poor? Or does he say 'poor in spirit'? So it shows there's more - God is not saying, 'I want everyone to be poor.' But Luke really identifies with the poor. Have you noticed - like in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, he talks about this certain poor beggar. Luke often accentuates Jesus' love for the poor and so he highlights that here - "blessed are you poor for yours in the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

' Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for The Son of man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did persecute the prophets before you." Now does it say anything about 'blessed are the peacemakers' here? How about 'blessed are the meek'? So if you want to - Karen was reading a Bible - I think - I think she said she had a Bible where it took the four Gospels and it put them all together, chronologically. That's a good study tool. I wouldn't say you should make it your regular Bible, but someone actually did the research and they overlapped all the teachings, chronologically, of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and it's really interesting, you get all those teachings overlapped together - the way we do it now is sort of by cross referencing. It actually makes the teachings of Jesus broader when you look at it that way.

But you'll see what Luke is doing is Luke is basically giving a condensed version of that sermon on the mount. Luke then says, "but woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation." Now, is Luke saying that riches are a curse? Can be. Doesn't Jesus say it's harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom than a camel to go through the eye of a needle? I think if people are looking for earthly riches, it can be a woe if that's our objective. "Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger." - If - he's saying if your goal in life is riches now and a full stomach now and you don't have a greater purpose than happiness and satisfaction now, you're going to miss everything. He's saying, 'really, you should be thinking ahead to the Kingdom to come.

' And then he makes those statements - verse 27, "but I say to you who hear: 'love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you." - That's tough to live up to - give to everyone who asks of you. Is there a limit? If you know that people in church just read that verse and they're pretty well set, you can go to them and say, 'could I have ten thousand dollars, please?' It says right here, 'give to him that asks of you.

' He's speaking in general terms, right? We should be generous. We should know how to forgive. I mean, if somebody comes and says, 'look, I'm going to take away your cloak and I want you to give me your sweater, and I want your tempurpedic mattress and I want your car and I want' - I mean, that's not what Jesus is saying. He's saying that - he's talking about if someone is suing you because they think that you owe rights, sometimes you're better off letting a person just have something and having peace - 'and if those do - do good - and do good to good to you...what credit is that to you?' - "For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.

" - He means even the pagans do that - "but love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the most high. For he is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your father also is merciful." Now how is that rendered in Matthew? 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.' How does Luke say it? 'Be therefore merciful.' Have you always been frightened a little bit by that verse, 'be ye therefore perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect? Who here is perfect as your Father in Heaven? If we have perfect love and perfect mercy, that's how we're modeling - and that's why it's important to compare these Gospels back and forth. "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not and you shall not be condemned.

" - That's a promise - "forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you." You notice what he's saying? You're going to get what you give. "Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." Those are some of the high points of the sermon on the mount. Alright, let's go to the section under a new family - a new family - someone is going to read for me, in a minute, Ephesians 3:15.

Okay, darryl will have that in just a second. Let me read that verse for you, Luke 8 - Luke 8:19 - 21, "then his mother and brothers came to him, and could not approach him because of the crowd. And it was told him by some, who said, 'your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.' But he answered and said to them, 'my mother and my brothers are these who hear the Word of God and do it.'" Now, I actually had a call that came into the radio program this week, someone quoted this verse and they said, 'was Jesus disowning his family?' They looked at what Jesus said at the cross when he said, 'woman, behold your son.' And when, you know, his brothers said - and his family said, 'come, we want to talk to you. You're - you're - things are getting out of control.' And when mary said, 'look, they're out of wine.' He said, 'woman, my time has not yet come yet.' And when he was down in the temple and he said, 'wouldst ye not I must be about my father's business.' And they said, 'did Jesus basically abandon his family?' No, not at all. Christ was saying - first of all, he put the care of his mother - one of the last things he does is take care of his mother because he feels a connection and responsibility, he puts her in the care of John.

Here he's saying - he's surrounded by people who are listening to the Word of God and he's saying, 'first and foremost, my mission is to teach the Word of God and encourage people to do it - to be hearers and doers of the word. This is more important than a family pow wow.' And so that's all that Jesus is saying by this. He was also saying that when we hear and do the Word of God, we are part of a heavenly family. You remember the statement where - I don't remember the exact reference right now, but Peter says, 'Lord, we've forsaken everything to follow you, what will we have? And Jesus said, 'no man has given up father, mother, husband, wife, houses, land, children, for my sake and the Gospel, except he will have a hundred times more in this life.' - Fathers and mothers and houses and lands and family - with persecution - and eternal life in the world to come. So when you become a Christian and you join God's church, do you have less family or more family? Yeah, Jesus said the believers are all family.

Who wrote the book of acts? Luke. And Luke is there saying, 'everyone treated everybody like a brother and if anyone had need, they'd sell to take care of the needs of others.' And there was this great sense of family that they had. Alright, go ahead, read for us please Ephesians 3:15. "For this reason I bow my knees to The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." Alright, and now family sometimes has wedding and family functions. And you can read here in Luke 5:29, "then levi gave him a great feast in his own house.

And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. And their scribes and the pharisees complained against his disciples, saying, 'why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.'" Jesus was saying, 'the new family that I'm calling are from all different backgrounds.' Now you can understand the dismay of the religious leaders because what does psalm 1 say? Anyone know? First psalm - first verses in the first psalm. 'Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the unGodly or sits in the seat of the scornful or walks in the way of the sinners.' - I'm getting it mixed up but that's what it says. Avoid sinners - don't sit with sinners - first psalm.

And they thought this was good Bible teaching and here's Jesus, he's deliberately going to a dinner and sitting with sinners and they thought that was a violation of teaching. And he's basically saying, 'look, unless you reach out and mingle with some of these people, how are you going to ever reach them? Should Christians only eat with Christians? Isn't it important to interact with people from other faiths and other - you know, there's going to be different functions and things - can you sometimes be faced with some moral dilemmas of how to behave in those situations? How many of you have family that are not believers somewhere? Yeah, most of us, right? And if you're - you know if you are like us, when our kids were little I'd go around all of my dear pagan family and they'd start talking to the kids and say, 'oh, santa claus got you this.' And the tv's going and you go visit them and sometimes it's over Sabbath and the tv's going and the conver - and you can run into some real moral challenges, you know what I'm talking about? When you're visiting family - or you go to a wedding - it's a family member, you want to be there, but sometimes those weddings get out of hand. You all know what I'm talking about? Yeah, and there's off-color jokes and then they have the reception afterward which could mean the drinking and the band and the dancing and, you know, here you're a believer and you've got to have wisdom to know and say, 'hey, this was great. I'm so glad I could be here for the vows. Got to run now.

' Sometimes you've got to gracefully extricate yourself from those situations. But, in the same way, Christians need to know how to engage and interact with unbelievers or you're never going to reach - if you're only friends with the people sitting with you in church, how are you going to witness and bring others to the Lord? You've got to connect with them. Now, that doesn't mean you start hanging out at the bar so you can find Bible studies because you also do want to be a witness by your example and so this is a principle where we need to know how to reach people and bring them into the family. Jesus then talks about this parable - I love this parable - Luke 14:15 - of the great supper - "now when one of those who sat at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, 'blessed is he'" - kind of in a pompous, sanctified way - "'blessed is he who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God!'" - And, you know, a lot of the religious leaders said, 'oh, it'll be so nice when the Messiah comes and we can eat bread together in God's kingdom where we're not oppressed by the Romans anymore.' And Jesus said, "a certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it.

'" - Why, did he buy it sight unseen? - 'Please excuse me.' - They've accepted the wedding invitation, they should have planned accordingly. This is a king who's having a wedding. And another one says, "I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them." - You buy your car sight unseen? They didn't have the internet back then - "'I ask you please have me excused.' Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'" - Well, she could probably come with you. They're just making excuses - "so that servant came and reported these things to his master. 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" - remember what I said about Luke and the poor? Luke's Gospel - he is the great champion of the poor - "and bring here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.

' And the servant said, 'master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' Then the master said to the servant, 'go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.'" - Will heaven be filled? Yeah, God's insisting there'll be plenty there - "for I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper." Now what is that parable all about? The religious leaders - the orthodox jews - at that time said, 'oh, we're going to eat bread in the Kingdom of God.' 'We are God's chosen people.' But they weren't willing to accept Jesus when he came and come to the wedding feast of The Son. So then the disciples are told - the messengers - are told, 'go out and I want you to get the people who maybe are not of the religious group, but they're jews. Bring them in.' That was when you get the fishermen and you get the shepherds and you get the tax collectors and they become part. And he says, 'yeah, but there's still room.' He says, 'now I want you to go to the gentiles - go to the highways and the hedges and bring them in.' And so the house was filled, but the ones who said, 'oh yeah, we're God's people' they didn't accept Jesus - many of them, and so they were - ended up in outer darkness. Alright, we're going to keep going here - got just a few minutes left.

In Luke 17:17 - we're still talking about the - the ones from the outside who come. You know when the ten lepers are cleansed, how many came back to thank him? One out of the ten. Was he a jew or a gentile? Gentile. He was a samaritan - technically a gentile. And you'll often hear, in the Gospel of Luke, how he's saying that many will come from the east and the west and will sit down in the Kingdom with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the natural children may be in outer darkness.

Now why was this message important to Luke? Of the Gospel writers - first of all, was Luke an apostle? He was never called an apostle, but he is what they would call one of the evangelists who wrote a Gospel. Was he a jew or a gentile? Gentile. So Luke, when he joined the church, he was one of the early converts. He often ran into people that were saying, 'don't hang out with the gentiles because we're jews.' That first generation, in the early church, they struggled with that. And even after Peter heard the Lord say, 'don't call any man unclean,' the Gospel now was to go to everybody, Paul had to chastise Peter for, kind of, being hypocritical - he was hanging out with the gentiles until some emissaries came from Jerusalem then Peter said, 'we better not hang out with these guys, it's not going to look good.

' And they kind of had like a caste system. You've got the jews and you've got the gentiles and so Luke spoke out against that and he would highlight - it was the samaritan that came back to praise God. And he talks about naaman, the leper, that believed. Alright, in our last few minutes, we're going to be talking about the parable of the good samaritan - another example of it was not the priest - you all know this story. Let me just review it quickly.

'A certain man who was going from Jerusalem to Jericho - he's going down, traveling by himself, he fell among thieves, who robbed him and stripped him and beat him nearly to death and left him half dead and went their way and while the man is dying on the road in great suffering, a certain priest comes down the road and he sees that a crime is recently happened and he's thinking, 'I don't know, thieves may not be far away. Maybe this man is getting what he deserved. I don't want to interfere.' And he just goes down the road. This is a member of the man's own church. He's going from Jerusalem - house of God - down to Jericho - las vegas.

He's going the same way as the man who fell. By the way, does the Bible talk about anybody falling? The whole human race. Adam fell. It's called 'the fall.' This man that fell among thieves - what's the devil called? The devil is a thief and a robber who comes to destroy - that's the devil. The devil met adam and eve and they were naked when they got done.

This man, the thieves robbed him, stripped him - leaving him naked and wounded - half dead. After the devil met adam and eve in the garden, a sentence of death fell upon the human race. So then a levite comes. Again, still members of the same church. It says he stopped - at least he looked.

Maybe he said a prayer, but he doesn't do anything, he just stops and he looks and he goes down the road. Maybe he says, 'you know, look, I'll call a tow truck.' Now the man is, you know, he's half dead. He's not all dead, he's wounded. He may be semi-conscious and when he's laying there and he sees the priest come. He's probably laying there after being robbed and thinking, 'oh, I need some help.

Maybe the thieves'll come back and kill me.' And he's praying, 'Lord, send help.' And the pastor comes and he thinks, 'oh, praise the Lord!' And he's going, 'oh, help. Help. Help.' The pastor just goes by - looks at him and says, 'you probably did something terrible.' And 'God's punishing you, I can't get involved. It's your fate.' Who knows what happened. And he thinks, 'this isn't good.

' And then he sees the head elder comes by - the levite. He comes and he stops and the man says, 'oh, thank the Lord. Praise the Lord. Help me. Help me.

' He says, 'oh, I'm going to pray for you. I'll say a prayer but I won't do anything.' And he prays, 'be ye warmed and filled.' And then he goes on down the road. Doesn't do anything and, you know, he's got one eye swollen shut, he's been beaten and he's maybe got a broken bone or his ribs are broken and it's getting hot now. Buzzards are circling and he knows he's running out of time. And then he looks and he hears a noise coming and the clop of a donkey and he sees around this dirt hill on the trail, a samaritan comes.

Samaritans hated jews. Here's a jew that is half dead. Many samaritans would think, 'I'm going to finish him off if there's no witnesses. This guy's own pastor and head elder just walked by him. How does he think it's going to end now when he sees the samaritan coming? He thinks, 'this isn't good.

' And then the samaritan stops and he starts coming towards him. He thinks, 'oh no, no, no, please don't.' And it says - what does he do? He shows him compassion and he has pity on him. Now Jesus tells the story of the good samaritan in the inquiry - and this was actually part one - a lawyer is saying, 'who is my neighbor?' Jesus says, 'you want to know the great commandment? Love your neighbor.' He says, 'you know what it is. Love your neighbor.' He says, 'well who's my neighbor? I can't really be sure.' And Jesus tells this parable. Now the samaritan stops and it says that he has mercy on him - he has compassion.

He went to him - Jesus comes to us - the samaritan is like Christ - he binds his wounds, he pours in oil - what does oil represent? Holy Spirit - and wine? What does wine represent in the new covenant? I just told you, it's the new covenant - the blood of the covenant, right? And he puts him on his own animal - he has no strength - and he brings him to the inn and he reaches into his pocket and he takes out money and he says, 'I will pay.' He takes care of him and he says, 'but I've got to keep going. You take care of him. Whatever more you spend, I'll reimburse you.' And then he says, 'when I come back again, I'll pay you back.' So who is the man who fell among thieves? Who does he represent? The human race - us. Who is the thief? The devil. You know, this may have been a story that actually happened, too.

This is something they may have even heard about. Matter of fact, one of those thieves that robbed that man could have been hanging on the cross next to Jesus. And who does the samaritan represent? Samaritans were kind of half breeds because they had some Jewish blood. They intermarried with some of the priests. They believed the five books of Moses but they had a lot of assyrian blood too.

Did Jesus have some gentile blood in his veins? You know about Ruth and tamar and rahab and possibly bathsheba. There was some - Jesus had other races in his blood. Jesus is half God and half man, so to speak, and he comes to the one that has been beaten and he shows mercy and he says, 'look, I'm going to get off my donkey. I'll walk and you ride.' He trades places with him - 'I'm going to take my clothes and I'll tear them up and make bandages - his robe, like his righteousness - he bandages up his wounds - 'and I'll pour in the oil of the Spirit and the wine of the new covenant and I'll bring you to where others will care for you.' That's the church. And he tells the innkeeper, 'you take care of him.

When I come back I'll repay you.' Is Jesus coming back? We - do we maybe have to invest in taking care of others? Is there a payday coming? The whole story of the Gospel is wrapped up in the story of the good samaritan. And we all have an opportunity to show that love and that compassion to others. So then he closes that parable by saying to the lawyer, 'who then was neighbor to him that fell among thieves?' And you know what the lawyer says? He won't even say 'the samaritan' because it just - it hurts on the lips of a jew to say the word. I mean, there was a lot of animosity between the two - and so all he could say was, 'he that showed mercy to him.' And so Jesus basically said, 'go and do likewise.' So who is our neighbor, the person who lives next door? Anybody that is in need - that God brings into your path. God wants us to show his love.

He wants us to present his robe of righteousness - the blood of the covenant - the oil of the Spirit - taking care of the practical needs - give them our strength. This is what we're supposed to do for whoever the Lord brings us in contact with. Wow, this is a record. I never dreamed I'd get through all these parables, but I think I did it on time. Hey friends, I want to remind you, if you did not hear at the beginning of our presentation, we have a free offer today and it's a study that deals with the plan of salvation.

You ought to get it and then read it and then share it with somebody as well. It's offer #109 and all you do is call 866-788-3966. We'll send that to you - that's 866-study-more - or, if you want to, you can go to the Amazing Facts website and you can download and read this for free. It's simply amazingfacts.org. God bless you and thank you for joining us during our study today.

God willing, we'll study together again next week. When I was 15 I bought my first bag of marijuana out of curiosity and from the age of 15 on to 23 was a constant experimentation with different substances. By the time I was 23 there was not a drug I had not tried. I had worn myself out searching for happiness. And one day, I came home tired, as usual, and I started drinking and, as usual, after I started drinking, I started looking for a higher buzz.

Someone came by with some xanax. Someone also came by with something else that I liked, and that was cocaine. This time, not thinking, I took the whole thing. So I went to bed about 5:00 in the afternoon. My roommate went off to work that night.

When he came back from work the next day though, he noticed something was wrong because I was still in bed in the same position. He tried to wake me up and he couldn't wake me up. And when my parents found me, they found me curled up in the fetal position in my hospital room, unconscious still. And I stayed unconscious in this coma-like state for the next week. I stayed the next month in the hospital, slowly getting better to where I could sit up in bed and I had to learn to walk again.

But my parents found this one facility out in the hills of tennessee. I had to admit that I liked the place, but they were Christian and, even worse than that, I said 'yes' when they asked me if I wanted to go to church that week. Before the pastor said the benediction, I was so excited because I was planning my escape. And so, after everybody was all in bed that night, I made sure that they were snoring and that they were asleep. I went into the kitchen and stole a few bananas, got my backpack ready - I figured I could get sober on my own.

My favorite song was I did it my way. Of course, my definition of sober was a nice supply of marijuana each day and alcohol on the weekends. And, of course, if I had a bad hangover, I might need some of those relaxing pills to take. But other than that, that would be it. So here I am, stranded on the street in the big city of houston, my bag of clothes is gone.

My cell phone is gone. My wallet - my bus ticket's gone. I don't have anything but the shirt on my back. It's at that point that this man comes up to me - this mysterious man - he's actually very short and appears to be homeless and he led me to some food and even a place to stay that night. Looking back, it is my firm conclusion that that was an angel.

So my dad was able to come down to houston and pick me up and take me back up to the health retreat at wildwood in tennessee. They had a satellite. On this channel there was a man named Doug Batchelor. I liked what I heard. I liked the way he explained the Bible - it was so simple - and he also had an experience similar to mine and I had talked a little about him and they happened to have a whole set of cassette tapes.

I would wake up at 4:00 in the morning sometimes and I would get up and I would watch two of those videos before breakfast. I would sit this close to the tv watching what Doug Batchelor was saying - just eating up every word of it - I was so tired of hearing lies and even believing my own lies, that I - it was so wonderful to find something that was solid that I could rely on. And so, when I got home from rehab, in my local church, erik flickinger from Amazing Facts was holding an evangelistic series. They solidified my conviction and it was then I made the absolute decision to follow Jesus. I praise the Lord Jesus Christ for Amazing Facts.

I praise God for Amazing Facts because they are so Bible-based. They send out evangelists who are willing to teach the truth to people. I'm thankful that they're preaching right now all over the world, changing lives just as they changed mine. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

For life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com.

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