Before healing a man’s withered hand, Jesus asked the scribes and Pharisees in the synagogue if they thought it lawful to do something good on the Sabbath. The Lord answered His own question by working the miracle. They responded by angrily discussing what to do about Him. After spending a night in prayer, Jesus chose the Twelve to become Apostles. Using the measure God desires, love and forgiveness outweigh human notions of owing and fairness. We can choose to act with compassion, kindness, and gentleness. The way we want others to treat us

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Despite plenty of poor widows and lepers among the “chosen people,” God had helped Gentiles by sending the prophet Elijah to a poor widow in Sidon and directing a Syrian leper to Elisha for healing. When Jesus mentioned that bit of history, infuriated people in His hometown synagogue wanted to throw the carpenter’s son off a cliff! On the other hand, believers pressed toward Jesus on the shore of Lake Gennesaret (the Sea of Galilee) until He got into Peter’s boat to teach the crowd. Afterward, when the Lord suggested going fishing, Pete

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Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees that they kept others out of the Kingdom of God with their false teachings. Nathanael doubted that the Messiah would come from Nazareth but changed his mind upon realizing that the Lord already knew him when they first met. In Biblical times, a bride and her bridesmaids didn’t know when the groom’s party would arrive to escort them to the wedding celebration. In Jesus’ parable about ten bridesmaids, five missed the nighttime arrival because they went in search of more oil for their torches. Waiting for

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A rich young man asked Jesus how to gain eternal life, and the Lord said to obey the Commandments. Jesus had not finished, though, and the man went away sad because Jesus expected more. It didn’t seem fair! Saint Peter wanted to know the perks for the Twelve, who had given up everything to follow the Lord. Jesus said that those who followed Him would receive a hundred times more than they gave up—and eternal life besides. Still, He warned in parables that laborers for the Kingdom should expect the last to come first. Everything depended on

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After Jesus let Peter off the hook for prematurely telling a tax collector that He had paid the temple tax, the Lord provided a coin in the mouth of a fish for Peter to pay up for both of them. God readily forgives but also wants sinners to mend their ways. When Peter thought that forgiving someone seven times seemed generous, Jesus said that 77 times sounded better. Pharisees pointed out that Moses had allowed divorce. Refusing to take the bait, Jesus explained that some marriages lacked validity in the first place. While Jesus promised the gr

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Jesus withdrew after the death of John the Baptist but could not ignore the overriding compassion He felt for the crowd that soon found Him. A Canaanite woman saw Jesus as the One who could heal her daughter. He echoed what the Israelites thought by saying that dogs should not get food meant for children. She answered that even dogs get table scraps, and Jesus worked the miracle. The Lord gave the Disciples power, but their faith remained imperfect. Peter started to sink when Jesus invited him to walk on water toward Him. The Disciples could no

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Jesus used down-to-earth examples when He compared the Kingdom of heaven to a tiny mustard seed that becomes a huge plant, a little yeast that raises a whole batch of dough, or one treasure worth more than all other belongings combined. In His hometown, people took offense when Jesus, son of the local carpenter and Mary, taught in their synagogue without the usual credentials. A friend named Martha wanted Jesus to tell Mary, her sister, to help with serving. Jesus said that Mary had the right idea by listening to Him with undivided attention. A

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