Luke 22: The Hour has Come!

LISTEN | READ

(71 verses, 08:50 to read)

What I am about to READ

The institution of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus fulfilling Scripture, and the beginning of His passion.

MARK

1: “The Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.”

3: “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot…”

8: “So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying,‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.’”

19-20: “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’”

27: “For who is the greater,one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”

34: “Jesus said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.’”

37: “For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”

42: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

48: “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

53: “But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

69-71: “But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.”  Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

LEARN

Chapter 22 marks a shift in Luke’s Gospel. Jesus, knowing His Father’s will, has willingly made His trek to the cross (see Luke 9:51), and now the HOUR has come. The suffering, the beating, and the cross were just a few short hours away. Yet, Jesus once again prepares His disciples for what’s coming, just as He has been doing for the past three years.

The chief priests and the scribes have discovered a way to arrest Jesus without crowds present (vv. 2-6). Among the din of their murderous planning, Jesus prepares to eat the Passover meal one last time with His disciples (vv. 7-13). However, this would not be a typical Passover celebration. During this memorial meal, Jesus institutes something new; something far greater than the Passover meal. He institutes His last will and testament: His very body to eat and His very blood to drink “FOR YOU” (vv. 19-20).

Despite the opinions to the contrary, Jesus’ Words of Institution are not figurative. The language is not confusing. Rather, the words actually mean precisely what they say: the bread IS Christ’s very body and the wine IS His very blood given for you to eat and drink.

Jesus’ announcement that one of the twelve will betray Him (v. 22) caused a dispute among the disciples (v. 24). Jesus quickly crushed their squabble. He explained that greatness in the Kingdom of God is humility and service, just as He has come as a servant (vv. 25-30).

In this rather long chapter we read about BOTH Jesus’ prophecy of Peter denial (vv. 31-34) AND the fulfillment of that prophecy (vv. 54-62). But Jesus reminds Peter that He has prayed that his faith may not fail (v. 32). That’s right, Jesus prays for His disciples! After Peter turns (repents), he is charged with strengthening his brothers (v. 32).

We also learn about the person and work of Jesus in this chapter. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. In particular, He fulfills Isaiah 53:12: “And he was numbered with the transgressors” (v. 37). The reality of this fulfillment cannot be overstated! Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, willing became sin. He hung on the cross and was “numbered with the transgressors,” as he bore the entire world’s sin (1 Peter 2:24). All sins. Past, present, and future sins were in Christ as he paid the price and took the penalty as our Substitute.

Then the hour came. Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested by the chief priests, elders, and the officers of the temple (vv. 47-52). It was their hour, and the power of darkness (v. 52). The chapter ends with Jesus being mocked and enduring a mock trial (vv. 63-71). His death is just a few short hours away. Yet He willing goes to the cross, obeying His Father’s will, because He knows His death will give us forgiveness, life, and salvation! That’s the Gospel!

MEDITATE

There’s a lot to meditate upon in this chapter!

First, I would commend Luther’s Small Catechism for your reading. Read and mediate upon “The Sacrament of the Altar.” (Click HERE.) The Lord’s Supper, which Christ institutes in this chapter, is a blessed treasure that He has given to His Church.

Second, I encourage you to meditate on Christ’s passion, which has begun in this this chapter.

And finally, give thanks and praise to God! Jesus is your Substitute. He took the punishment you deserve, and He graciously gives you forgiveness, life and salvation. That’s the Gospel!

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

Sub Cruce,

Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.

Psalm 49: Only God Can Redeem from Death

Originally posted by Pastor Andrew Packer

(20 verses, 0:50 to read)

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What I am about to READ

  • Death comes to all – rich and poor, wise and foolish- but God redeems us from death.

MARK

  • Introduction: Listen! (1-4)
  • Central Theme: Believers do not need to fear (5-6)
  • Evidence: Death comes to all, including the rich (7-15)
  • Conclusion: No need to fear – God is merciful and just. (16-20)

LEARN

  • The Psalmist calls for the whole world to hear this word of wisdom he is about to speak regarding the riddle of death. (1-4)
  • The central theme is that the believer does not need to fear those who are persecuting him – in this case the wealthy who are using their wealth to make his life miserable – because God redeems us from death. (5-6)
  • The wealthy cannot use their money to earn their salvation. God will not be bribed. The wise, the foolish, the rich, the poor, all will die. There is no escaping this fact – no matter how hard men may try. And the Psalmist’s trust is not in wealth or wisdom, but in the one true God who conquers death for him. (7-15)
  • So, the Psalmist does not need to fear any man – even if that man has all the resources in the world to afflict him. He knows God is merciful and just (16-20).

MEDITATE

  • Death is our most obvious problem. It’s the one problem we cannot escape no matter how hard we try. You can put all your fear, love, and trust in riches, but at the end of the day you still end up dead. Death is the result of sin and it is the wages of sin. Death though does not have the last word. Christ has conquered death in His death and resurrection. Only Christ knocks out death once and for all. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
  • Compare with Psalm 73.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

-Pastor Andrew Packer

Jeremiah 43: You Can Run but You Can’t Hide

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(13 verses, 2:30 to read)

What I am about to READ:

The Jews fled the Babylonians and went to Egypt. But the sword of Babylon would find them.

MARK & LEARN

1-3: Johanan and his men tried to justify themselves. Their unbelief convinced them that Jeremiah and Baruch were lying. They thought that Jeremiah and Baruch only wanted to get the Jews killed by the Babylonians.

4-7: They disobeyed God and fled to Egypt.

11:“Strike the land of Egypt”—Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Egypt occurred in the 37th year of his reign, or about 568 BC. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, all the Jews living in Egypt at that time were deported to Babylon.

8-13:  Jeremiah hid a marker in the pavement in front of Pharaoh’s palace. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, would invade Egypt and pitch his tent right on that marker.

MEDITATE

Johanan and his men (as well as the rest of the people) thought it wise to disobey the word of the Lord and follow their own imagination. Yet, God’s will is done…despite man’s attempt to be in control. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Listen to the word of the Lord! For He knows what is good, right, and true…even if you don’t understand what He’s doing at the time.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

Sub Cruce,

Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.

Psalm 48: The Towers and Ramparts of the City of God

Originally Written by Pastor Flamme

(14 verses, 1:03 to read)

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What I am about to READ

  • The holy Christian Church is established forever.

MARK

  • The beauty of the city of God (1-3).
  • The Lord’s enemies are dispersed, dismayed, and terrified before the Lord’s city (4-8).
  • The Church rejoices because of her justification by the Lord (9-11).
  • The Church is sturdy, enduring, and eternal. It cannot be destroyed (12-14).

 LEARN

  • This psalm describes the Lord’s bride, the Church. How do we know that? God makes himself known within her citadels. This happens when the Word of God is preached and the sacraments are administered according to Christ’s command. The Church is brought into existence and is centered on the means of grace. Second, the temple is included with the descriptions of the city of God. This temple is Christ himself who embodies God’s love by his sacrifice on our behalf. His judgments bring rejoicing because they impute holy and perfect righteousness that is grasped by faith.
  • The language of citadels, ramparts, and towers bring to mind the strength, stability, and endurance of the Church against which the gates of hell will not prevail.

MEDITATE

  • Though the world is spiraling into sin and death, the holy Christian Church will remain. We have Christ’s promise. Our enemies cannot and will never silence the Word of God, the preaching of Law and Gospel.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

Luke 21: It’s the end of the world as we know it

Reposted from Pastor McKinley

(38 verses, 4:39 to read)

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What I am about to READ

  • Jesus observed and commented on a widow’s offering and then teaches His disciples about the great tribulation, culminating in His return to judge the quick and the dead.

MARK

  • In vv. 1-4, Jesus teaches what it is to trust in God, using the example of a faithful widow.
  • In vv. 5-19, Jesus warned about what Christians can expect in the time between His ascension and return in judgment.
  • In vv. 20-24, Jesus prophesies about the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.
  • In vv. 25-33, Jesus points Christians to more signs of the coming judgment.
  • In vv. 34-35, Jesus urges Christians to remain alert to His coming.
  • In vv. 37-38, St. Luke provides a summary of Jesus’ activities during Holy Week.

LEARN

  • It’s probably tempting for prosperity Gospel types to use the widow’s offering as a way of supporting their theology. “If you just send your seed money in, God will multiply what you have!” This section is unique to Mark and Luke (which is interesting, consider Mark follows Matthew very closely in the last several chapters of his Gospel), but neither gives any indication that the woman indeed did receive some sort of temporal blessing from God. Instead, this section stands to teach us that Christ is the one Who gives us everything that we need to support this body and life. This means that even in our lack, our Lord is enough for us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shows that God does indeed know what we need. This is true because He created us, and because Christ became just like us. God will give us what we need. If we don’t have it, we can be confident that God will still provide for us, even if it is not in this life. This also gives the Church a wonderful opportunity to engage in acts of mercy on behalf of those who are unable to provide for themselves basic needs of clothing, food, and shelter.
  • The subject quickly changes, though, to more eternal matters. Tumultuous times are ahead for the Church. This included the destruction of the temple (c. 70 A.D.), which our Lord foretells here. The destruction of the Jerusalem temple will also make room for false prophets to come in to entice Christians away from the true faith. Wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and persecution will also mark the last days. But haven’t these things been present for centuries? Indeed, we have been living in the last says since our Lord’s ascension into heaven.
  • Notice, however, that Jesus brings comfort: “Do not be terrified” (v. 9) and “But not a hair of your head will perish” (v. 18). Jesus doesn’t say these things to frighten the faithful. Jesus says in His farewell discourse in John (13-17), “I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.” When these things Jesus said come about, it will confirm again that Jesus speaks the truth about who He is. This also means that what He says to comfort us is most certainly true.
  • V. 19 says, “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” Jesus is not teaching here that by our suffering we gain eternal life. All of this is in the context of the Lord’s coming. This is a call to faithfulness in His Word and promises. Through these things, Jesus holds onto us and strengthens us for the struggles that He has warned us about.
  • Again, Jesus pointedly speaks about the fall of Jerusalem, which will happen in connection to the destruction of the temple. This would have been unthinkable for early first century Jews. But again, this shows that Jesus is truly the one He claims to be. This also serves as a warning to us. Jerusalem falls because of the unfaithfulness of the Jews, which God had warned in Deuteronomy 28. If we forsake the promises of the Gospel, we will also bring the curses of the law upon our own heads.
  • Finally, after all the signs of the times are fulfilled, Jesus will return. Again, this is not something that we can discern. “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). But even this coming in judgment is something we can look forward to. Jesus is coming with our redemption (v. 28).
  • The way the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to arrange this chapter is helpful for us who are living in these last days. After Jesus foretells his coming, He goes back to telling them to look at signs (the fig tree) and to avoid spiritual slothfulness. It is tempting to think that the end is upon us every time we hear about some great disaster, manmade or natural. When things calm down again, we may become less alert to the signs around us. Jesus is returning, and we ought constantly be on the lookout for it, through hearing the Word and prayer.
  • What is “this generation” in v. 32? Here, Jesus is not speaking of the people standing in front of Him, but to all the people who are living in the last days before His coming.
  • The conclusion of this chapter is important. Jesus’ movements and teachings are public. During His trial, Jesus criticizes the Jews for not confronting Him during those times. If Jesus were really guilty of anything, why didn’t they simply arrest Him publicly, rather than in secret and at night? St. Luke emphasizes the innocence of Jesus, who is the spotless lamb, who takes away the sins of the world.

MEDITATE

  • Prayer: Oh, grant that in Thy holy Word we here may live and die, dear Lord; and when our journey endeth here, receive us into glory there. Amen. (TLH 292)

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

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Jeremiah 41: Murder and Mayhem

(18 verses, 2:49 to read)

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What I am about to READ

  • This chapter is a fuller explanation of the events recorded in II Kings 25:22-26, which is an accounting of Jeremiah’s interaction with Gedaliah, the Babylonian governor of Judea.

MARK

  • vv. 1-3: Gedaliah is murdered
  • vv. 4-8: Ishmael murders pilgrims through treachery
  • vv. 9-10:  Ishmael take captive the town of Mizpah (and presumably Jeremiah as well)
  • vv.11-18:  The captives are freed, but Ishmael escapes

LEARN

  • This section of Jeremiah is part of a transition into further prophecy, which will begin after the historical narrative material found in chapters 40 and 41.
  • Gedaliah was set up as governor by the Babylonians.  He was in charge for only 7 months before he was assassinated.
    • Ishmael assassinates Gedaliah and all those with him out of jealousy and hatred for the Babylonians.  Gedaliah was seen as no more than a puppet.  He was also not of the line of David.  Ishmael presumably believed that he was doing a good and upright thing.
  • But we see what type of man Ishmael is.  Pilgrims, who obviously because of hitter shaved beards and mutilated bodies are in griefcome in order to offer sacrifices.  While it is true that such outward acts were forbidden by God and therefore were probably taken from the pagan Canaanites, Ishmael has not divine directive to slaughter them.  But feigning friendship and solidarity he does just that.
  • He then takes Mizpah captive along with all those who are still there.
  • Johanan come to the aid of the people of Mizpah and overtake Ishmael and his army.  While he is able to free the prisoners, Johanan is unable to capture Ishmael.

MEDITATE

  • Prayer: O gracious Lord, as your servant Johanan had mercy on those who were suffering and protected those who were under tyranny, may we always receive the gift of your Divine protection.  Keep us safe from the evil one and free us from all those who would love to rest the kingdom from Your hands. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

-Rev. Eli Lietzau, pastor
Faith in Christ Lutheran Church, ABQ, NM

Luke 20: Beware of the Scribes

(46 verses, 5:24 to read)

LISTEN & READ

What I am about to READ

  • Jesus gives us a much needed warning.

MARK

  • Jesus’ Authority is Challenged (1-8)
  • Parable of the Wicked Tenants (9-18)
  • Taxes and Caesar (19-26)
  • Sadducees and the Resurrection (27-40)
  • Whose Son is the Christ (41-44)
  • Beware of the Scribes (45-47)

LEARN

  • I love the way Kretzmann explains this passage: “In the hearing of all the people Jesus sounded this warning against the scribes, for they all should know what the situation was. The scribes among the Pharisees were the most dangerous of them all, for they were teachers of the Law and should have been examples to all the people both in doctrine and life. Instead of which they were corrupters of the people in their teaching and hypocrites in their life. Cf. Mark 12:38-40.
  • They dearly loved to walk around in a grand manner. As a mark of distinction they wore their robes or mantles clear down to their feet. They were flattered if anyone recognized them in public with the greeting of deference due to a person of higher station. In the synagogues they invariably chose the seats of honor, the place where the rulers of the synagogue sat, facing the people.
  • In the homes also, they made it a point to try for the highest place at the table, the position of honor next to the host. Morally rotten they were, for they offered to make intercession for the widows in their bereavement and pretended thus to advance their interests, while in reality their own interest was their own enrichment at the expense of the poor credulous women. Thus hypocrisy, pride, and covetousness are the outstanding traits in the character of the scribes.
  • They themselves who, as teachers, should know better, will receive the greater damnation, greater than that of those who sin in ignorance. And all disciples of Christ of all times should beware of their oily presence, since nothing good can ever come of it.”

MEDITATE

  • Jesus out of His great love for us warns us about the Scribes and anyone who would act like the Scribes.  Beware of any pastor or Christian who in their pride seeks to build up their own kingdom and seeks their own worldly gain and advancement – whether it’s in person or through various media such as the internet!
  • Jesus wants you kept in the one true faith and so He warns you against those who would seek to lead you away from the pure teaching and preaching of the Word to follow their own little personality cults.
  • Thanks be to God for faithful pastors who point you to Christ and all that He teaches!

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

-Pastor Andrew Packer