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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Saturday, February 24, 2018
The Gospels & Early History
I Corinthians 7-8
I Samuel 11-15
He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered.
They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
He said to the man with the withered hand, " Get up and come forward!'
And He said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?' But they kept silent.
After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand.' And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.
Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea,
and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him.
And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him;
for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him.
Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, "You are the Son of God!'
And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.
And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him.
And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach,
and to have authority to cast out the demons.
And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter),
and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, "Sons of Thunder');
and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot;
and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.
And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal.
When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, " He has lost His senses.'
The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul,' and " He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.'
And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan?
"If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
"If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
"If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!
" But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.
" Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;
but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin'
because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit.'
Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him.
A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.'
Answering them, He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers?'
Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, " Behold My mother and My brothers!
"For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.' 4
He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land.
And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching,
"Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow;
as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.
"Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil.
"And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
"Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
"Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.'
And He was saying, " He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'
As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.
And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables,
so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.'
And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables?
"The sower sows the word.
"These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
"In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;
and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.
"And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word,
but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
"And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.'
And He was saying to them, " A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?
" For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.
" If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.'
And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides.
" For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.'
And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil;
and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and growshow, he himself does not know.
"The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.
"But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.'
And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?
"It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil,
yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE.'
With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it;
and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
On that day, when evening came, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side.'
Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.
And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.
Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?'
And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still.' And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.
And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?'
They became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?' 5
Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.
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