Tag Archives: unbelief

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

Jesus Appearance to the Disciples

from Google Images

Those of us who embrace Jesus as our Savior often take it for granted that, once Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, they immediately recognized and believed that what he told them was true, namely, he would go to Jerusalem, and the authorities would arrest him, turn him over to the gentiles, and they would crucify him, but he would also be raised to life after three days. Nevertheless, if we do believe this, it isn’t so. Even after Jesus appeared to his Apostles and other disciples, most of them still didn’t believe he had risen from the dead. This is how great a power their previous worldview exercised over their accepting what their eyes and ears and hands clearly told them. They simply would not believe what the facts distinctly revealed. They kept making allowances for what contradicted what they still believed. Pretty much, this is exactly what we can expect of anyone who has had his worldview challenged by the Gospel. Folks simply do not want to give up what they believe about reality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 16, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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How Jesus Was Made Known

Jesus' Made Known in Emmaus

from Google Images

When the two disciples who walked and spoke with Jesus arrived in Emmaus, Jesus made out like he would continue (Luke 24:28), because travelers, who wished to cover great distances and had a significant amount of daylight left, wouldn’t normally stop early for the day, unless they were invited to do so. The Greek word (G4364) means to make a show or pretend. It is used only here in the New Testament and in the Septuagint only at Job 19:14 where Job claims that his friends would pretend they didn’t know him. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 11, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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The Unbelief of the Two Disciples

Unbelief of 2 on way to Emmaus

from Google Images

As two of his disciples walked to Emmaus, Jesus asked them what they were discussing so seriously (Luke 24:17). The two seemed astonished with Jesus’ question, and one named Cleopas replied, wondering how there could be even one pilgrim in Jerusalem who didn’t know about the recent events that occurred there (Luke 24:18). It is, therefore, implied that the stranger (Jesus) was coming out of Jerusalem, so the city was still in view. Therefore, Jesus had joined them very near the time in which they had departed the city themselves. So, consequently, it was perceived by the two that Jesus couldn’t have been coming from any other direction. This makes Jesus’ appearance to the two men not long after they left the other disciples in the Upper Room. So it was still very early in the morning, perhaps cir. 6:30 to 7:00 AM as we measure time today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 9, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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The Third Day

Third Day

from Google Images

Just because the Apostles and other disciples of Jesus wouldn’t believe in Jesus’ resurrection, doesn’t mean they had lost all hope. It is true that they didn’t look for Jesus to walk out of the grave, but the mention of the third day by the two traveling to Emmaus indicates that they did look for something to occur three days after Jesus was crucified (Luke 24:21). Nevertheless, how should we understand this? They couldn’t have mentioned the three days in the context of Jesus’ promise to rise again, otherwise their faith in that promise, i.e. to at least look for his resurrection, would have permitted the two to recognize Jesus who walked with them. Moreover their disbelief of the women’s witness, saying it was pure nonsense, shows they couldn’t have been looking for Jesus to rise from the dead. So, what significance did the three days have for Jesus’ disciples? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 6, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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The Unbelief of the Disciples

Unbelief of the disciples

from Google Images

The Apostles and the other (male) disciples of Jesus simply wouldn’t believe the testimony of the women (Mark 16:11), for the same reason they couldn’t believe Jesus’ testimony that he would rise again the third day(Matthew 16:21-22; cf. John 12:34). They simply had no context in their worldview where such an understanding would fit (Mark 9:31-32), and they were afraid to ask Jesus to clear up their ignorance. Therefore, they considered the report of the women nothing more than idle tales (Luke 24:11). The Greek word (G3026) is used only here in the New Testament, but it is used in secular literature as a medical term for delirium or hysteria. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 4, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Unbelief and Mocking Jesus


from Google Images

For practical purposes the Romans needed an accusation to charge Jesus in order to crucify him, because such a thing would become a matter of public record. In the second century AD Justin Martyr, while addressing the Emperor, Pius, mentioned that proof of what he said could be obtained from the Acts of Pilate,[1] something that hardly could be so, if Pilate wasn’t required to record the reasons for the executions he commanded. Therefore, Pilate’s official verdict was: Jesus of Nazareth was the King of the Jews—a political crime, something for which he had earlier found him innocent. Nevertheless, he could hardly mention in a public record that he had executed Jesus for claiming to be the Son of God, a religious crime, according to the Jews (John 19:7, 13-16), but a matter of harmless superstition, according to Rome (cf. Acts 25:18-20). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 12, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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What Occurs at the End of the World

End of the World - 3

from Google Images

In the past few studies on the parables of Jesus, I have been demonstrating that the reasons for Jesus telling the parables are twofold. They are the bookends that identify two classes of hearers of the word of God, namely believers and unbelievers. Yes, unbelievers do listen to the word of God, but only in an effort to strengthen and support what they already believe (Matthew 12:24). This is key to identifying unbelievers who say they believe God’s word. They already think they know the truth, so they use scripture as a tool to strengthen their position (Matthew 7:15-20). Believers, on the other hand, receive the word of God as their truth (Matthew 13:23). Understanding the word, they allow the truth to mold their behavior in life. In other words, believers are changed by the word of God in an effort to establish the reign of God, but unbelievers change the word of God in an effort to establish their own reign in the presence of God. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 1, 2018 in AD 70 Eschatology


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Bookends of Meaning in the Parables


from Google Images

Jesus once told his disciples to neither give what is holy to dogs (irreligious people) nor to cast their pearls before swine (religious people with closed minds), because neither group would appreciate their offerings. Instead, they might use what was given them to hurt the disciples (Matthew 7:6). The fact is, this is exactly the position Jesus had taken when he began teaching in parables. The word of God wasn’t appreciated by either the Jewish authorities nor by the people. Both groups showed they had no real value for what Jesus’ preached, and on more than one occasion the religious authorities tried to do harm to Jesus, if not kill him (Luke 4:28-29; 6:11; Matthew 12:14-15). Moreover, since the people were easily intimidated by the Jewish authorities, they also refused to confess him (Matthew 12:23-24; cf. John 9:18-22). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in AD 70 Eschatology


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Peter Denies Knowing Jesus

Peter Denies Jesus - 1

from Google Images

The Jewish authorities arrested Jesus and led him away to the house of the high priest, and Peter followed at some distance (Luke 22:54). It would be an error to say that the Apostles were cowards. They were, indeed, willing to die with Jesus or be arrested with him, but all this was in the context of unbelief. They simply didn’t believe what Jesus told them, i.e. that their hearts had forsaken the way he taught them (Mark 14:50). They were acting like men and not messengers of heaven. They took on the posture of rebels, willing to fight their enemies with swords. This is the world’s way to attain victory, but Jesus claims to be our ‘Way’(cf. John 14:6) – i.e. his example points to victory. If, then, Peter followed Jesus (Luke 22:54; cf. Matthew 26:58), it was in the context of unbelief not an expression of loyalty. His posture was that of a rebel, and he followed Jesus as a spy, not a disciple. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 12, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Jesus Being Ironical


from Google Images

While they were in the state of unbelief, Jesus asked his Apostles, when they went out with the Seventy (Luke 22:35; cf. 10:4) and enjoyed the success of their labor, did they lack anything, and, of course, they replied they lacked nothing. In other words, while in the state of belief, they lacked nothing. God was with them, and they enjoyed success in everything they did in the service of the Kingdom of God (cf. Luke 10:17). However, now that they were in the state of unbelief, Jesus said they needed to do the opposite of what he had commanded them in Luke 10:4. In other words, they needed to take their purses and their scrips (shepherd bags), because, while in the state of unbelief they could not expect the provision of God. In fact, if they had no swords, they would now need to sell even their garment to buy one, because without faith they couldn’t expect the protection of God (Luke 22:36). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 28, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Does Satan Pray?

Satan's Prayer

from Google Images

Jesus first told the disciples that all of them would be offended in him that evening and this would be the fulfillment of prophecy (Mark 14:27; cf. Zechariah 13:7), but they didn’t believe him (cf. Mark 14:29). Then Jesus told Peter that Satan has desired (G1809) to sift all the Apostles, as though they were wheat, in order to separate them from Jesus (Luke 22:31). That is, Satan intends to kill Jesus and then scatter the Apostles in hope that he may prove them to be no more than chaff, as he had done with Judas, who, rather than being a disciple of the Lord, proved to be his betrayer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 26, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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The Surprising Power of False Doctrine

Lies we believe - 3

from Google Images

Jesus had been seeking to prepare his disciples for the shock of his death that would occur in the near future. The problem was that the death of the Messiah had no place in the disciples’ understanding, nor in the understanding of anyone who looked for his coming in the first century AD (cf. John 12:32-34). Each time the Apostles showed any sign that they were listening to the voice of God within them (cf. Matthew 16:17), Jesus revealed that he would be taken from them, tortured, killed and rise the third day. Such was the case in Matthew 20:17-19 (cf. Luke 18:28-30 and 31-33). Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 11, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Believing the Lie Rather than the Truth

Believing Error

from Google Images

In Matthew 17:22 and for a second time Jesus repeated his teaching or revelation that he would suffer and die at the hands of men but would rise again on the third day. Just as in Matthew 16:16-17, Jesus second revelation of his suffering, death and resurrection follows an incident that offers evidence of the Apostles’ spiritual understanding. In Matthew 17:10-13 the Apostles (three of them) displayed some spiritual growth, showing they were listening to the voice of God in their hearts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 8, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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The Line Begins at the Rear!


from Google Images

Jesus said that the many (the nation) who come and knock claim that they have eaten and drunk in his presence, i.e. in the presence of the master of the house, and he had taught in their streets (Luke 13:26). However, the context of the parable shows they were praying to God to act on their behalf. They still didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah, and they didn’t realize the very God whom they claimed to worship was the very one who visited them in the person of Jesus 40 years prior to their request at the time of the Jewish war with Rome. They claimed they had “eaten and drunk in his presence” i.e. they worshiped him in the language of the Temple sacrifices. They claimed he (God) taught in their streets – i.e. the Torah was read in the synagogues each Sabbath and Holy Day. They claimed they worshiped him and listened to and obeyed his words, and on this basis they made their request: “open to us” i.e. act on our behalf. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 15, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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The Gospel of the Closed Door

Closed Door

from Google Images

If we compare Luke 13:25 with Matthew 10:25, we should be able to see that Jesus is the master of the house in the parable, and that it is he who closes the door after he is risen up (Luke 13:25). So, understanding what Jesus refuses to do for the many is necessary to understanding the meaning of saved in John 10:9 and Luke 13:23, because certainly the rabbi who asked Jesus the question didn’t believe he needed to be saved from his sins. He believed this was provided for through the Temple sacrifices. Moreover, sin is never mentioned by Jesus or anyone else in either Luke 13 or John 10. So, what does Jesus mean by saved in John 10:9, and is he speaking of the same thing that the rabbi has in mind in Luke 13:23? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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