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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Jesus offered more wisdom than Solomon and more universal preaching than Jonah. Pharisees hid behind man-made rules, such as ritual washing before meals. As scholars of the law, scribes managed to snatch away the key to knowledge of truths that Jesus came to teach. Nothing remains hidden from God—a fearsome thought, except that Jesus said to fear not. Everyone sins, but God still values people, good works, and faith. A problem arises when sinners blaspheme against the Holy Spirit by refusing to accept forgiveness, mercy, and salvation. Longin

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When God accepted the repentance of the people of Nineveh, Jonah felt angry about all that he had gone through to relay the warning of God’s earlier intention to destroy the city. Knowing that the second part of the “Greatest Commandment” teaches love of neighbors, a scholar of Mosaic law asked Jesus to define “neighbor.” In the Lord’s parable of the good Samaritan, the scholar would have preferred a hero from his side of the ideological fence. Martha got nowhere by asking Jesus to tell her sister to help with serving, instead of si

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Apostles chosen by Jesus objected to an outsider healing in His name, but the Lord welcomed anyone taking His side. James and John offered to call down fire from heaven on a Samaritan village that turned away messengers announcing Jesus’ planned visit. Jesus said to just move on. Seeing the Disciples’ growing interest in greatness in heaven and on Earth, Jesus said to humble themselves like children. When the Lord appointed 72 new laborers in His mission, He gave them power to heal wherever they found welcome. Among people ready or not to a

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