August 26-31, 2021

In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” August 26-31 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month.…

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Luke 20:20-26: Render Unto Caesar

Esther 9-10, Proverbs 17:15-28, Luke 20:20-26, Philemon 12-25 Luke 20:20-26: Once more trying to trap Jesus, they send spies (20:20), pretending to be sincere, and ask him a cunning question. First of all, they start with flattery. Flattery is normally a trap (Proverbs 29:5), but here their flattery has a particular aim. They are encouraging him to be…

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Luke 20:9-19: A Vineyard

Esther 7-8, Proverbs 17:1-14, Luke 20:9-19, Philemon 1-11 Luke 20:9-19: In response to the religious leaders’ unwillingness to be authentic in their response to Jesus and accept him as the Son of God, Jesus tells the people a parable. Note: when someone refuses the gospel, it is right to offer a warning, even if it is couched in…

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Luke 20:1-8: Questions and Answers

Esther 5-6, Proverbs 16:17-33, Luke 20:1-8, Titus 3:9-15 Luke 20:1-8: When people do not like what someone is saying or doing, they rarely actually change the words or the deeds themselves. It is easier, and often more effective, to instead challenge the right that the person has to do those things. If you can caricature that person as…

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Luke 19:39-48: A House of Prayer

Esther 3-4, Proverbs 16:1-16, Luke 19:39-48, Titus 3:1-8  Luke 19:39-48: (19:39-40) The Pharisees long for the people to stop praising Jesus. So it ever was thus: false religions and false religious leaders will strongly advocate against the praising of the name of Jesus. The word “God” or “providence” they may have less objection to. But the name of…

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Luke 19:28-38: Blessed Is the King

Esther 2, Proverbs 15:18-33, Luke 19:28-38, Titus 2:11-15    Luke 19:28-38: The triumphal entry—famous for its celebration and praise—has a different flavor for those of us who know the opposition that is in wait for Jesus. Even in verses 39 and 40, when the Pharisees object to the praise that Jesus is receiving, we sense the growing opposition…

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Luke 19:11-27: Make the Most of Your Talents

Esther 1, Proverbs 15:1-17, Luke 19:11-27, Titus 2:1-10 Luke 19:11-27: Jesus tells this parable for those who suppose that the kingdom of God is to appear immediately. How we need this reminder often today. Too many times, well-meaning Christian people are confused by claims that the end times are about to come to an end, and Christ will…

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Luke 19:1-10: Seek and Save the Lost

Nehemiah 13, Proverbs 14:19-35, Luke 19:1-10, Titus 1:10-16 Luke 19:1-10: The famous story of Zacchaeus, a rich man, but also a “chief tax collector” (19:2). The story is not simply about a rich man who is saved and becomes generous. It is a story about a rich man who is a collaborator with the occupying Roman officials who…

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Luke 18:31-43: Blind Man Sees

Nehemiah 12, Proverbs 14:1-18, Luke 18:31-43, Titus 1:1-9  Luke 18:31-43: (18:31-34) Jesus again predicts his death and resurrection. This is the very center of what he came to do, the highpoint, and focus of all. He wants those around him to understand the significance of the event, that it is planned and deliberate, and that it is the…

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Luke 18:18-30: Many Times More

Nehemiah 11, Proverbs 13:13-25, Luke 18:18-30, 2 Timothy 4:9-22   Luke 18:18-30: Someone of privilege, high status, probably wealth, and standing, approaches Jesus. The question is to the point, with little time to waste, and appropriately polite as if the “ruler” knew how to address people with deference and politeness. “Good Teacher,” he says, “what must I do…

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