Luke chapter 18 - God must be our first choice
Jesus spoke of a woman who kept pestering a judge for justice. Eventually, the judge said
LUKE 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
So persistence is a virtue that Jesus compliments.
LUKE 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
When Jesus returns, will He find faith? Not much. This is one of the saddest Scriptures.
Very few believe the Bible. People are more impressed with church traditions and man-made doctrines.
Jesus then described two men praying.
LUKE 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
God is not interested in us telling Him how good we think we are. God is not impressed with human self-justification.
LUKE 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
God is only impressed when we make an open confession of our sins and shortcomings.
God thinks oppositely to us. If we think we are good, He will chop us down to size.
If we acknowledge that we are not worth much, He will help us up.
LUKE 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
At the end time, the children must be restored back to the faith of the apostolic fathers. We children must get back to Jesus, Who is the Word of God. A little child has complete faith and trust in his father to protect, guide, and provide for him. A little child does not need to listen to anyone else. So we as the spiritual little children of the end time need no other guidance than what our apostolic fathers wrote for us in the New Testament.
LUKE 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
Humans are a mixture of good and evil. Only God is good. So by calling Jesus "good", this man was admitting that Jesus was God.
This man had kept the ten commandments.
LUKE 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
:24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Again, Jesus hammers home the point that wealth is not our purpose of being on earth. The rich man could not leave his wealth. He preferred money to God.
We can only get into Heaven by putting Jesus first. The rich put their money first. So money is a barrier and an obstacle on their path to Heaven. Please do not be fooled by the prosperity doctrine. God's real blessings are spiritual.
God's main purpose for our lives is to restore us back to the New Testament faith of the apostles.
LUKE 18:26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
So only God can save us, but under the condition that we put Him first.
Peter indicates the need to leave everything in order to follow Jesus.
LUKE 18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
We must be prepared to leave our family for God's sake. He has to be our first love, not just a casual acquaintance.
Our real reward is in Heaven. But on earth, we will still have a reward. Here we must be careful that we do not just think in terms of physical things. By opening our eyes to the mysteries that are hidden in Scripture, God is giving us an amazing spiritual reward. But all too often, we prefer a physical reward to a spiritual reward. We must let God reward us as He sees fit.
Luke describes how a blind individual gained his sight. This is symbolic of each of us being able to see the revelation of the meaning of Scripture.
LUKE 18:35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:
:36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.
:37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
:38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
:39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
Son of David is the title that Jesus will have in the Millennium as the King. The blind man thus had his Scriptural facts wrong, so Jesus could not help him. Jesus was not impressed by the fact that the man knew something about the Scripture. Jesus was switched off by the fact that the man misunderstood the Scripture.
LUKE 18:40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,
:41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
Now he called Jesus "Lord", which was correct. Now Jesus could help him.
LUKE 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
:43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
We need our spiritual sight -- The ability to see what the Bible means.
The lesson is that we must be able to clearly see what the Bible says, and not muddle it up. If you see the theory of the Big Bang in Genesis Chapter 1, then you are blind to what the Bible actually is saying.
The Big Bang has creation starting with a flash of light in an explosion that makes space and time. This is a guess as no one knows what time is, much less how it is created. No known explosion has ever created any time.
But creation in the Bible does not start with a flash of light.
Genesis starts with God first creating the heaven and the earth in the beginning. No time span is mentioned as God was still operating in eternity where time does not exist. The sun, moon, and stars were all created first. The earth was covered in water, which had evaporated to form a dense layer of cloud. Under this dense layer of cloud, there was darkness upon the face of the deep waters. The sun was already there above the dense layer of clouds. The clouds stopped the sunlight from reaching the earth's surface. Then God began to move.
God spoke and said,"Let there be light". The spoken Word of God dispersed the thick clouds around the earth so that the sunlight could now reach the surface of the earth. The earth saw the glorious light of the sun for the first time. This was the first day, Sunday, when God began to allocate time to what He was doing.
A human is a handful of dust. So God deals with us as He did with the earth.
To begin with, we were covered in a layer of water in our mother's womb. But we had a thick cloud of unbelief around our souls, which is why we were born in sin. Then sometime later in our lives God spoke, and if we believed and repented, the unbelief around our souls was dispersed, and the light of God's Word for the first time was able to reach our souls. Then only could we rejoice in the glorious light of the Son of God, and see what an amazing Saviour He is. But ever since our birth He had always been there as Saviour. It is just that only when we repented that we were able to see that fact for the first time. Then our new life, as a child of God, began at that time as we started to walk in the light of God's Word.
Being able to see the revealed Word of God is the greatest proof that we, as the blind individual, have been in the presence of Christ, Who alone can change us from being unbelievers to believers.