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The Parables #94

The Pharisee and the Publican, Pt 2.

Scripture: Luke 18:10-14.

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We are considering the information given us about the ‘Pharisees’ in the New Testament.
We saw that the name is likely derived from a Hebrew word meaning ‘breach’ or ‘division’. It suits them well since they ever sought to be separated from others whom they considered morally inferior to themselves. They were highly critical that the Lord Jesus entered  the company with sinners on occasions `and ate with them!

Now consider how they distinguished themselves from others.

Their appearance.

They laid great emphasis on their outward appearance. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity,” Matthew 23:27-28.
They delighted to be seen of men and be admired by them. “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi,” Matt 23:5-7.
They sought to draw attention themselves and have men admire them. They were pride incarnate!! They loved to be thought highly of and desired men to acknowledge and honour them. ‘Rabbi’ means ‘Master’!

A phylactery

The Parables #93

The Pharisee and the Publican, Pt 1. 

Scripture: Luke 18:10-14. “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”

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What hypocrisy is seen in the house of God?!

One of the central tasks the Lord Jesus gave Himself was the pulling down of the image, the public face that the sect of the Pharisees had created for themselves.

We will start by considering something about the first man mentioned – the Pharisee.

The name. Some believe the name comes from a Hebrew word, the name of a man in the Old Testament, Phares, (Genesis 38:29) meaning  to “divide,” to “make a breach.” It suits them for the Pharisees separated themselves from the common people believing themselves to be more righteous  than they. They trusted in themselves, despising others, verse 9.

The Parables #92

Scripture: Luke 15:1-7.

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Yesterday we were speaking of the relationship that exists between the angels and God’s people.

We mentioned Luke 2:13-14. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

I spoke of the excitement amongst the angels that the word ‘suddenly’ suggests. One thing that occurred to me after I had gone home was that one very real and important reason why the Angels were excited was the fact that this was the first time they could look upon their Creator! Up until His incarnation, the Saviour was invisible but now he had forever taken  “ . . . upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men,” Philippians 2:7. He could now been seen

We come to our concluding part of this parable.

1. The Saviour follows after the lost sheep most diligently
“ . . . . go after that which is lost, until he find it?” His diligence is illustrated in the actions of the woman in verse 8.

2. When He rescues the lost one He takes great care of it. “Laid on His shoulders.” We partake of and are upheld by His power and strength. Isa 40:11 – ARM, Mark 10:16 – HANDS.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” Isaiah 9:6.
Rule of the world upon His ‘shoulder’ while His lost sheep is on His ‘shoulders’!!

3. Carries all the way home. There He celebrates, verse 6.

4. Heaven rejoices. Only heaven is aware of each and every sinner saved! We know so little of what is happening in God’s Kingdom!

I believe you have in the picture of this ONE sheep a representation of all the redeemed and it it being carried home, a picture of that day when the Saviour brings us all to glory. What a day of rejoicing that will be!!

The Parables #91

Scripture: Luke 15:1-7.

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We are considering the question:  Just who are the 99? Verse 5?

I am setting before you who I believe the 99 represent. The flock spoken of here could not be an ‘earthly’ body of people for a number of reasons. Here are the two reasons we have looked at so far.
They need no repentance.
Christ said He would never LEAVE His ‘sheep’.

Here are some more reasons.

1. Because the rejoicing takes place in heaven. Verse 7, 10. “And when he cometh home,” verse 6, ie, Heaven. There is rejoicing on earth over sinners saved but not to the degree that there is in heaven. We have very little knowledge of those rescued whereas the angels know of every sinner saved EVERYWHERE!
Heaven is the ‘home’ to which the Shepherd is taking the lost sheep, and where the 99 were left in order to find the wandering one!

You have a wonderful picture of it all in 1 Samuel 17:28. David left one kind of sheep in the wilderness to rescue another kind of sheep, Israel. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel,” 1 Chron 17:7.

2. Because of the place where the 99 were left. ‘Wilderness’ can give the wrong impression. It refers to a pleasant place, meadow. Jer 23:10, (Ps 23:20. See also Joel 1:19, 2:22 and Matt 14/13, 19, Mark 6/31 – ‘grass’, ‘rest’. Mark 6/39 ‘green grass’. Heb 4/9, ‘heaven our rest’. These benefits may be had in the ‘wilderness’!!
There are ‘oases’ in the ‘wilderness’. Nothing pictures heaven more than an oasis which is beautiful and pleasant and peaceful, in contrast to the emptiness of the wilderness around. So there is in heaven an oasis from this evil world. Sin began in heaven and it left its mark there for it too will be purged in the end, 2 Pet 3:10.

3. What we have said serves to bring before us the close link between the heavenly hosts and the elect of God.
It is closer than we can presently understand.

Their happiness at the first advent. Luke 2:13-15. Rejoicing for us!

Their interest in the scheme of salvation. 1 Pet 1:12

They are guardians over God’s people. Hebs 1:14 (look after), 2 Kings 6:17, Matt 24:31. Children  Especially consider Matt 18:10. How wonderful this is!

The Parables #90

Scripture: Luke 15:1-7.

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We are considering the question:

Just who are the 99, verse 5?

The flock spoken of here could not be an ‘earthly’ body of people for a number of reasons. Here is another reason as well as that given last time which was that it could not be  ‘a band of human beings because of the their description. “ . . . . ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance,” verse 7.
The new reason is:
Because the Saviour has promised never to ‘leave’
His people.
The 99 were ‘left behind’.
Here is a promise given to His people. “ . . . he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5.

* Those who are left “in the wilderness” in this parable could not be those to whom this promise was given!
The word ‘leave’ means ‘forsake’, which makes it even more unlikely that it is the saved that is referred to.
We must ever remember that the Lord Jesus does not have to LEAVE you while He comes to me to help and look after me! He is OMNIPRESENT! He is everywhere present at all times! “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, . . . lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen,” Matt 28:18, 20. Acts 18;10. He was with Paul & all the apostles. He was with EACH ONE of them.Even so He is ever with all of His people. Jesus’ divine nature makes Him always with us.  “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD,” Jer 23:23-24.

* This truth Nathaniel learned. “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel,” John 1:47-49.