By Keith Leroy Brooks
Contents: Birth of John the Baptist foretold. Virgin birth of Jesus foretold. Mary's visit to Elizabeth. Mary's praise because of Jehovah's favor. Birth of John the Baptist.
Characters: Holy Spirit, Luke, Theophilus, Herod, Zeeharias, Elizabeth, Gabriel, Elias, Joseph, Mary, Abraham, John.
Conclusion: John, the forerunner of Jesus, came to earth by divine appointment and arrangement. Jesus, the Christ was born of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and was therefore the Son of God to whom was promised the throne of His father, David.
Key Word: John and Jesus, vv. 31, 60.
Strong Verses: 31, 32, 35, 37, 78, 79.
Striking Facts: vv. 31-32. The name "Jesus" (Savior) links Him to humanity and suggests His career as Prophet. He is conspicuous as "Jesus" up to His resurrection. "Christ" (annointed One) links Him to Prophecy which He came to fulfill and suggests His work as Priest atoning for sin. "Lord" (the Jehovah name applied to Him) links Him with Deity and suggests His Kingship. He is coming again to rule.
Contents: Birth of Jesus. His adoration by the shepherds. Adoration and prophecy of Simon and Anna. Return to Nazareth. Jesus and His parents at the Passover.
Characters: Jesus, Caesar, Augustus, Cyrenius, Joseph, Mary, Moses, Simeon, Anna.
Conclusion: Jesus the Christ, in the fullness of time was brought into the world according to divine counsels. Although born amid the meanest circumstances, His humiliation was attended by discoveries of His glory and His coming was announced as glad tidings to all people. From His childhood days He showed forth some of the rays of His glory in the divine wisdom which He manifested.
Key Word: Glad Tidings, v. 10.
Strong Verses: 10, 49.
Striking Facts: v. 52. In the perfections of His divine nature there could be no increase. But as Son of Man, in His human nature, His body increased and He grew in all the endowments of a human soul. Christ accommodated Himself as Son of God, to His state of humiliation in human flesh.
Contents: Ministry of John the Baptist. Baptism of Jesus. Genealogy of Mary.
Characters: Holy Spirit, God, John Baptist, Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Philip, Annas, Caiaphas, Zacharias, Abraham.
Conclusion: Way must be made for the reception of Christ by the removing of all obstructions that stand in the way of Him and of His grace. The seal of His divine authority has been given from the opened heavens; let us therefore prepare to bid His salvation welcome.
Key Word: Baptism, vv. 16, 21.
Strong Verses: 16.
Striking Facts: v. 23. Matthew gives Joseph's genealogy Luke gives Mary's. Luke does not say Heli "begat" Joseph. Joseph was his son-in-law. If Jesus was the son of Joseph, as some claim, He is forever barred from the throne, being a descendant of Coniah who was cursed, that none of his line might have the throne. Jesus was accordingly conceived by the Holy Ghost in Mary, Mary's father being a descendant of David through another line.
Contents: Temptation of Jesus. Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth. Casting of demons out of man at Capernaum. Healing of Peter's wife's mother and others.
Characters: Jesus, Holy Spirit, Satan, Joseph, Elias, Eliseus, Naaman.
Conclusion: Our Savior was victorious over Satan by the power of the Holy Ghost and the use of the divine Word as His sword and those are well armed who are thus equipped. The words of Christ's mouth were attended with a power which pricked the consciences of men, dispersed evil spirits and drove away disease.
Key Word: Temptation, v. 2. Fame, vv. 14, 32, 36, 37, 40.
Strong Verses: 4, 8, 12.
Striking Facts: vv. 17-19. It is interesting to notice that Jesus stopped His quotation in the middle of a passage from Isaiah. He stopped with "the acceptable year of the Lord" which is His first advent, but He knew His coming rejection. "The day of vengeance of our God" has to do with His second advent, and He therefore omitted it at the time.
Contents: Miraculous draught of fishes. Healing of a leper and a paralytic. Call of Matthew. The scribes and Pharisees answered. Parables of the garment and bottles.
Characters: God, Jesus, Simon, James, John, leper, Moses, Pharisees, scribes, Levi, John the Baptist.
Conclusion: Jesus Christ has divine power to command the very fishes of the sea; to drive out incurable disease by His Word; to separate sinners from the penalty of their sins, and authority to call whom He will. Those will speed well indeed who will take Him at His word and trust to His ability and efficiency whatever their case.
Key Word: Faith in Christ, vv. 5, 12, 20, 28.
Strong Verses: 24 (a), 32.
Striking Facts: v. 21. The doctrine that Jesus Christ has power to forgive sin has been fully attested, proving that He is God. He appears to be so by what He does in this chapter alone, and human experience through, the centuries witnesses to His deity. Those who charge Him with blasphemy are themselves proven to be blasphemers.
Contents: Jesus and the Sabbath. Healing of a withered hand. Choosing of the twelve. Sermon on the Mount. Parable of the house built on a rock.
Characters: God, Jesus, disciples, Pharisees, David, man with withered hand.
Conclusion: Works of necessity are allowable on the Sabbath and above all it is to be spent in the service of and to the honor of Him who is Lord of the Sabbath, whose good works we are to perform.
The blessings of Christ are covenanted to suffering saints who live by the precepts of His gospel, enduring hardship for His sake, in hope of the glory of heaven which will abundantly countervail all hardships. Woe to those who rest upon a false foundation, trusting in the riches of this world and holding Christ and His people in contempt.
Key Word: Lord of Sabbath, v. 5. Sermon on Mount, vv. 12, 20.
Strong Verses: 5, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 31, 35, 37, 38, 41, 45, 46.
Striking Facts: Jesus as a human being in perfect subjection to the Father walked in constant communion with Him through prayer. In those days when His enemies were filled with madness against Him, He gave much time to prayer. If He, the Son of God, needed to pray, how much more business should we have at the throne of grace?
Contents: Centurion's servant healed. Widow's son raised. Questions from John the Baptist in prison and Jesus' testimony. Jesus annointed in the Pharisee's house. Parable of the creditor and two debtors.
Characters: God, Jesus, centurion's servant, centurion, man who was raised, his mother, John the Baptist, Pharisees, sinful woman, Simon.
Conclusion: He who had such a commanding empire in the kingdom of nature as that He could command away diseases and raise the dead, is certainly none other than the Messiah, long announced by the prophets and empowered for the forgiveness of sins.
Key Word: Healer and For giver, vv. 10, 48.
Strong Verses: 7, 23, 47, 50.
Striking Facts: v. 28. This is usually taken to mean that the "least" of those who preach the Gospel of the risen Lord, being employed under a more excellent dispensation, are in a more honorable office than John the Baptist, who merely announced His birth and ministry. The meanest of those who follow the Lamb, excel the greatest of those, in position, who proclaim His advent. Those living under the Gospel dispensation have therefore a greater responsibility.
Contents: Jesus preaching and healing in Galilee. Parable of the sower, the lighted candle. Stilling of the waves. Demons cast out of man of Gadara. Healing of a woman. Raising of Jairus' daughter.
Characters: God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, Jesus' mother and brothers, disciples, the Gadarene, Jairus, woman with issue of blood, Peter, servant of Jairus, James, John, daughter of Jairus.
Conclusion: It is the comfort of God's people that all power is given unto Jesus Christ, their Saviour. He has under His check and control, the elements of the universe, the prince of the power of the air with all his most malignant demons, all human diseases, even death itself, and exercises these powers as will best glorify God. He is rich in fact who is rich in faith in Christ, having received the good seed of His promises into their hearts.
Key Word: Preaching and showing, v. 1. (See v. 4, preaching; vv. 25, 35, 48, 55, shewing.)
Strong Verses: 11, 17, 18, 21, 39.
Striking Facts: v. 28. Demon-possessed men never have expectation to receive benefit from Jesus Christ, nor inclination to do Him service, a fact which alone proves His deity. Demons know Him to be the Son of God who is ultimately to execute vengeance. They express only dread of Him.
Contents: The twelve sent forth to preach and their return. 5000 fed. Peter's confession of Christ. The transfiguration. The powerless disciples and the demon ridden boy. Jesus' rebuke of sectarianism. Tests of discipleship.
Characters: Jesus, God, disciples, Herod, John the Baptist, Peter, Elijah, John, James, Moses, man and his demon ridden son.
Conclusion: Jesus Christ is God's anointed, owned to be so from the opened heavens and by the lives of witnesses and shown to be so in His superiority over all forces; His ability to empower others for supernatural work; His power to supply both temporal and spiritual needs and His authority over malignant spirits. Wise are they who give up all to cleave to Him, for though they lose their lives for His sake, they shall gain life to their unspeakable advantage.
Key Word: The mighty Christ, v. 43.
Strong Verses: 23, 25, 26, 35.
Striking Facts: vv. 22. 44. When men had a fond conceit of a temporal kingdom in which Christ, the miracle worker, should reign to supply all their needs, He would have one truth "sink down into their ears" the absolute necessity of His atonement. All His miracles and the interest He had gotten by them, could not prevent His sacrifice on the cross. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin" nevertheless those who carried out the plan were "wicked men," inspired with evil motives.
Contents: The 70 sent out. Jesus denounces judgment on cities. Parable of the good Samaritan. Martha and Mary entertain Jesus.
Characters: Jesus, 70 witnesses, Satan, lawyer, Martha, Mary.
Conclusion: Whom Christ sends may be sure He will go along with them and give them success. His servants should apply themselves to their work under a deep concern for precious souls, looking upon them with His compassion, and as riches which ought to be secured for Him. True service for Him comes out of communion with Him, and that service is worthless to Him which is done with motives of selfish pride.
Key Word: Service, vv. 1, 30, 38.
Strong Verses: 2, 20, 21.
Striking Facts: v. 21. Jesus rejoiced (only time recorded) to perfect strength out of weakness for His own glory. He is pleased to reveal His counsels in those whose extraction and education have nothing in them promising until He, by the Holy Spirit, elevates their faculties and furnishes them with this knowledge. The believer need not therefore be disturbed if some of the "wise and prudent" of the world would crucify Him afresh. Vital experience of Christ in the soul over-balances all human reasonings about Christ.
Contents: Jesus' doctrine of prayer. Jesus charged with casting out demons by Beelzebub, and His answer. Woes denounced upon the Pharisees and lawyers.
Characters: Jesus, disciples, Satan, Jonah, Solomon, Queen of the South, Pharisees, lawyers, scribes, Abel, Zacharias.
Conclusion: One great design of Christianity is to enforce upon us the duty of prayer, instruct us in it and encourage us to expect advantage by it. Prayer changes things. Our prayers are God's opportunities to do for us what He otherwise could not do. Let us therefore lay hold of God's willingness with confidence and cling to Him with persistency. Obstinate infidelity will never be at loss for something to say in its own excuse, though ever so absurd. They will yet be compelled to face Him in judgment to answer for all their absurdities and will see the emptiness of all external ceremonies.
Key Word: Prayer, v. 1. Evil generation, v. 29 (14,54).
Strong Verses: 2, 3, 4, 9, 13, 23, 28.
Striking Facts: v. 29. The sign from God for the confirmation of our faith is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the greatest and most convincing proof that He was sent from God.
Contents: Jesus warns of leaven of the Pharisees. Parable of the rich fool. Parable of the second coming. Parable of the steward and his servants. Christ, the divider of men.
Characters: Jesus, disciples, Pharisees, rich man, Peter.
Conclusion: Those who make not religion a mere cloak, but have a saving faith in Christ, can set at defiance all the opposing forces of the world, knowing that having given Him first place in their lives, they are safe in Him. They need not take anxious thought for the things of this life nor dread even the killing of the body, which can only send them to their rest and eternal joy with Christ the sooner. Let them therefore sit loose to the world, living in hourly hope of His glorious return.
Key Word: Jesus our security, vv. 7, 8, 11, 28, 31, 37.
Strong Verses: 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 22, 24, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 37, 40, 48.
Striking Facts: v. 40. Jesus is certainly coming back to earth in power and great glory and His people are now to live in a state of expectation, doing everything with that hope and to that end. The theology of v. 45 is characterized as the theology of unfaithful stewards who will be caught unawares to their shame.
Contents: Parable of barren fig tree. Woman loosed from her infirmity. Parable of mustard seed and leaven. Jesus teaching on way to Jerusalem.
Characters: Jesus, Galileans, Pilate, infirm woman, ruler of synagogue, Abraham, Satan, Isaac, Jacob, Pharisees, Herod.
Conclusion: Genuine repentance and faith toward Christ is the only avenue of escape from perishing. Nothing can be expected concerning barren and hypocritical lives except that they should be cut down and cast away. Not all who say "Lord, Lord" will find entrance to His kingdom, and to be bidden by Him that day to "depart" means hell. Those who would be saved must enter in at the strait gate, having undergone a change of heart.
Key Word: Hypocrites rejected, vv. 15, 25, 30, 35.
Strong Verses: 3, 24, 34.
Striking Facts: vv. 6-9. The fig tree symbolizes Israel in Christ's time (Psa. 80:8-16). Three years and more Jesus sought fruit of this tree and found none. Having produced all His credentials as Messiah, He made His triumphal entry with multitudes shouting "Hosanna," but He knew they would shortly shout "crucify." The next day He saw a fig tree and finding nothing but leaves, He cursed it. (Mark 11:12-14.) See v. 34. This is Israel's condition "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
Contents: Jesus heals on the Sabbath. Parable of the ambitious guest. Parable of the great supper. Parable of the tower, of the king going to war, and of the savorless salt.
Characters: Jesus, Pharisees, lawyers, man with dropsy.
Conclusion: Pride and hypocrisy will get shame and will at last have a fall, for the Master of the feast will marshall His guests and will not see the more honorable miss their due.
Many have been bidden to the great supper of Christ, and many there are who stay away on excuses of small concern. The ingratitude of those who slight the Gospel invitation is an abuse of His mercy, and grace despised is grace forfeited. God will however have a church in the world, though there be many who heed not the call.
Key Word: Great supper, v. 16.
Strong Verses: 11, 26, 27, 33.
Striking Facts: In the two parables of Luke 14:16-24 and Matt. 22:1-14 we see the historical development of the plan of salvation. (1) Prophetic announcement represented by the first invitation. (2) Second epoch, complete preparation followed by acts of violence. (3) Extension of the invitation to the hitherto uninvited guests, the Gentiles. The key note is Matt. 22:14.
Contents: Parables of the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son.
Characters: Jesus, Pharisees, scribes.
Conclusion: God has a particular care over backsliding sinners (Isr. in this case) and follows them with the calls of His Word and the strivings of the Holy Spirit until at length they are wrought upon to return. Their repentance and conversion are a matter of joy and rejoicing among the angels of heaven.
Key Word: Lost and found, vv. 4, 8, 32.
Strong Verses: 7, 10.
Striking Facts: v. 18. If one has been in the Father's house as a son, he, like the prodigal is still a son and will be constantly constrained by the Holy Spirit and the intercessory work of Christ to "arise and go to the Father."
Contents: Parable of the unjust steward. Jesus answers Pharisees. Rich man -and Lazarus in the spirit world.
Characters: God, Jesus, disciples, John the Baptist, rich man, Lazarus, Abraham, five brothers of rich man, Moses.
Conclusion: Worldlings are often more consistent with themselves and more enthusiastically pursue their ends than Christians. Though they aim low they aim better, improving their opportunities and doing that first which is most needed. Let us he thus wise in spiritual affairs.
Prosperity is not a mark of being a favorite of heaven, nor poverty a mark of God's rejection of a man. Salvation is appropriated by those only who accept the evidence of God's Word during their lifetime, and, having died outside of Christ, there is no ray of hope eternally.
Key Word: Wisdom, v. 8; opportunity lost, v. 25.
Strong Verses: 10, 13, 15.
Striking Facts: v. 23. "Hell" is lit, "hades," the prison place of departed unsaved spirits until the time of the Great White Throne judgment, when these spirits shall be resurrected for judgment and sent into the final hell forever. This is not a parable, for Jesus never names the characters in parables, with definite statements of things that took place.
Contents: Instruction in forgiveness. Parable of service. Ten lepers healed. Second coming of Jesus foretold.
Characters: Jesus, disciples, ten lepers, Pharisees, Noah, Lot, Lot's wife.
Conclusion: God's relation to the believer is not one of contract but of ownership, and since we never can merit His favors, we should ever let Him have the praise of His comforts, while we seek to manifest His spirit toward our fellowmen.
Our Lord Jesus is with certainty coming back to earth to reign gloriously. His coming will be with such suddenness that none can announce it in advance. The world will be moving on in its regular pursuits in disregard of the warnings of God's Word, when He appears.
Key Word: Duty, v. 10; thankfulness, v. 16; Second Coming, v. 24.
Strong Verses: 4, 6, 24, 26, 34, 36.
Striking Facts: v. 21. Jesus did not teach these wicked men that the "kingdom of the heavens was "within" them, but "among" them. It was then in their midst in the person of the Savior and His disciples. He has a kingdom which is yet to come with outward show (v. 24) and with such suddenness that men will not be able to point here and there and say "the kingdom is coming." This is exactly what men are now trying to do, thinking the earthly kingdom can be set up without the King present.
Contents: Parable of the unjust judge. Parable of Pharisee and publican. Little children blessed. Rich young ruler. Death and resurrection foretold. Blind man healed near Jericho.
Characters: God, Jesus, Pharisee, publican, Peter, disciples, blind man.
Conclusion: Trouble and perplexity should drive us to prayer, for it is persistent and believing prayer that drives trouble and perplexity away. There is, however, no way of approach to God on the ground of our own merits, but only on the ground of God's mercy as shown at the blood-sprinkled mercy seat ("mercy" is lit. "propitiation." The publican said, "be toward me as thou art when thou lookest upon the atoning blood"). True discipleship is conditioned upon receiving the Lord Jesus Christ with the simplicity and humility of a child, being willing to follow Him and submit to His discipline whatever it may cost us in the things of this world, being confident that whatever we have left behind for His sake will be abundantly made up to us in better things, both here and hereafter.
Key Word: Prayer, vv. 1, 10; discipleship, vv. 22, 29, 43.
Strong Verses: 1, 7, 14, 17, 27, 29, 30.
Striking Facts: vv. 31-34. Christ ever speaks of His sufferings as necessary to the fulfillment of Scripture. (1 Pet. 1:11.) His death on Calvary was absolutely essential and would have taken place in any case. He came to give His life a ransom, and therefore did not die as a martyr.
Contents: Conversion of Zaccheus. Parable of the pounds. Triumphal entry. Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. Purification of the temple.
Characters: God, Jesus, Zacchaeus, Abraham, disciples.
Conclusion: The Lord Jesus came from heaven to make possible the bringing of those that are lost to God. Having made this provision, He has gone into a far country to receive for Himself a Kingdom and return in great power. He has endued His followers in the world with advantages and capacities of serving the interests of His church until He returns to receive it, when all shall render account to Him and receive their reward accordingly.
Key Word: Coming King, vv. 12, 38.
Strong Verses: 10, 26.
Striking Facts: v. 38. The great honor paid to Christ by multitudes makes the ignominy of His death to appear the greater. He could have influenced all men as easily as those to whom the ass and colt belonged, but the Great Ambassador of heaven knew He was entering Jerusalem to be rejected and crucified according to the divine purpose. The great song of rejoicing will yet be taken up by innumerable multitudes when He returns to receive the Church and set up His Kingdom.
Contents: Jesus' authority questioned. Parable of the vineyard. Question of the tribute money. Answer to Sadducees about resurrection. Jesus questions Scribes.
Characters: Jesus, priests, Scribes, John the Baptist, Caesar, Sadducees, Moses, Abraham.
Conclusion: Those who question Christ's authority, if they would but catechize themselves in the most evident principles of religion, will have their folly made manifest, for the evidence of His authority is complete and convincing. Those who are resolved not to recognize His authority, disowning Him as Lord of the Vineyard, will find themselves eventually thrown out of their lease, and stripped of all their title, for He will yet become the headstone of the corner.
Key Word: Christ's authority, vv. 2, 13, 44.
Strong Verses: 17, 25, 38.
Striking Facts: v. 44. Christ as God was David's Lord, but Christ as man was David's son.
Contents: The widow's mite. Discourse on the course of the age and return of the Lord.
Characters: Jesus, widow, disciples.
Conclusion: As the time draws near when the Kingdom of God shall be fully established upon the earth, and the King shall return in glory, the days will be characterized by increasing apostasy, disturbances in the earth and in the heavens, and intense hatred of those who proclaim the Gospel. The age will culminate in a period of terrible fear upon man, and then shall Christ appear.
Key Word: Course of age, v. 7.
Strong Verses: 8, 9, 18, 25, 26, 27, 33.
Striking Facts: vv. 20-24. Two sieges of Jerusalem are in view in this chapter. These verses refer to the siege of Titus, A. D. 70, when v. 24 was fulfilled. Christ did not come then. Jerusalem has been trodden down throughout the present dispensation and will ever be disputed about until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled and He comes who is rightful King.
Contents: Judas covenants to betray Jesus. Last passover. Lord's supper instituted. Peter's denial predicted. Jesus' arrest. Peter's denial.
Characters: Jesus, priests, scribes, disciples, Judas, Peter, Satan, captains, maid.
Conclusion: Jesus Christ, in fulfillment of the Scriptures, was betrayed into the hands of wicked men by His own familiar friend, and as the spotless Lamb of God was led away to the slaughter, for the purpose to which He had consecrated Himself, the shedding of His blood for the putting away of sin. He faced the issue alone, victorious over all Satanic attempts to turn Him from the divine purpose, and forsaken by His own, went forth to be slain.
Key Word: Jesus' last night, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 19, 20, 42.
Striking Facts: vv. 19-20. The Lord's supper itself is an evidence of Christ's deity, for no man could institute a memorial of himself of this character. It is a memorial of His finished work (v. 19; 1 Cor. 11:26), a symbol of the impartation of His life to us (vv. 19, 20; 1 Cor. 11:29), a vehicle of the impartation of Himself (vv. 19-20), a prophecy of His return and the marriage supper. (1 Cor. 11:26; Luke 22:16, 18.)
Contents: Jesus before Pilate and Herod. Barabbas released and Jesus condemned. The crucifixion and entombment.
Characters: Jesus, Pilate, Caesar, Herod, Barabbas, Simon, two thieves, Joseph.
Conclusion: (Only the divine Word can conclude this scene.) See Isa. 53:3-6, 10; 1 Cor. 15:3-4.
Key Word: Crucifixion.
Strong Verses: 4, 14, 33, 38, 45, 46.
Striking Facts: vv. 4, 14, 43. The holiness of Jesus is attested by adverse witnesses. Centurion, v. 47. Thief, v. 41. Pilate, vv. 4, 14. Pilate's wife, Matt. 27:19. Judas, Matt. 27:3-4.
Contents: Resurrection of Christ. Ministry of the risen Christ. His commission to evangelization. The ascension.
Characters: Jesus, angels, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary mother of James, Peter, disciples, Cleopas.
Conclusion: Jesus who suffered all things in fulfillment of the divine warrant, also came forth from the domain of death in fulfillment of the same Scriptures, thereby being shown to be the Son of God with power, whose authority may never be questioned. Those who have come to know the power of His death and resurrection must go and tell a guilty world that an act of indemnity has passed the royal assent which all that believe shall have the benefit of.
Key Word: Resurrection.
Strong Verses: 5, 6, 25, 39, 44, 46, 49.
Striking Facts: v. 49. Those who are to proclaim this supernatural Gospel need to be endued with power from on high. The church of Christ could never have been set up by any human power, neither can its message prosper without the same baptism of the Spirit. As the disciples tarried for Pentecost, so let none venture today upon their embassy until they have received power from on high.