Isaiah envisioned people using swords for plow parts and turning spears into pruning tools—a peaceful ideal still not realized. A Roman military officer, admittedly unworthy to have Jesus under his roof, asked the Lord to cure his paralyzed servant by just saying the word—a wonderful expression of faith. Jesus worked the miracle from a distance. Crowds gathered to hear the rock-solid teaching that leads to faith and good works. Miracles occurred before the throngs and in the presence of just a few. When Jesus sent the Twelve to proclaim the

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When a poor widow donated all that she had to the Temple treasury, her offering looked like a pittance, but Jesus remarked that it had great worth. Besides, the Lord foretold, the richly adorned Temple would get demolished. People wanted to know when or at least what signs would give them warning, and Jesus responded that people would incorrectly interpret calamities as signs. Believers would face persecution, but He would give them words of irrefutable wisdom to defend themselves. Meanwhile, people should take care that everyday anxieties not

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In a parable, servants received handsome rewards for making profits with a nobleman’s money entrusted to them. One servant, fearful of losing the nobleman’s gold, hid it to give back later. When Jesus saw the Temple area turned into a marketplace that stole glory from God, He drove the thieving sellers away. A blind man shouted for Jesus from the roadside, ignoring bystanders who told him to stop yelling. A wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus climbed a tree so that he could see the Lord over the crowd. Jesus noticed, giving sight to the m

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Pharisees asked when the Kingdom of God would come. Jesus said to look around. At Passover time in Jerusalem, the Lord saw the outer Temple area turned into a marketplace and ransacked it. Gentiles could only worship in that outer area, and Jesus wanted it returned to holy purpose. The Lord came for everyone. Ten lepers realized that Jesus had cured them, and the Lord commented that only one, a Samaritan, returned to give glory and thanks. Our readiness to welcome the Lord when He comes again includes persisting in prayer and forgiveness. Jesus

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In times of discouragement, grief, injustice, or failure, we tend not to feel blessed. We want a discount on the cost of discipleship, even though Jesus has already paid dearly for our sins. The Lord promised not to reject anyone who comes to Him. Even better, He notices when we have wandered away or become lost. Scribes and Pharisees noticed that Jesus welcomed sinners to eat with Him. The Lord explained that anybody who had gone in search of a stray sheep or swept the house to look for a lost coin would rejoice to find it. Sometimes, we squan

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Jesus cured a crippled woman in the synagogue on a Sabbath. She did not even have to ask. At the home of a Pharisee, the Lord inquired about the lawfulness of working a Sabbath miracle. No one answered, and He healed a man anyway. Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a tiny seed becoming a huge plant or a little yeast raising a batch of dough. Even little things we do matter in God’s Kingdom. Walled cities in Biblical times had gates large enough to accommodate vehicles and harnessed animals arriving in the flow of traffic. Pedestrians could

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With the master of the house away, servants had the choice to serve loyally or slack off for a while. Clouds piling up or the wind direction can signal a coming shift in the weather, but people ignore signs of the times. Each person has a lifetime to serve the Lord, but no one knows how long it will last. Jesus will come back, but no one knows exactly when. Readiness to welcome Him will have its reward! In a parable, Jesus described an orchard owner who allowed the gardener to tend an unproductive fig tree for an extra year, instead of chopping

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