OCTOBER 16-20

Luke 2:41-52 - Discovering that young Jesus is missing, his frantic parents retrace their steps and find him in the temple at Jerusalem

Verses 41-42: "Now his parents
[Jesus' earthly parents, Mary and Joseph] went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover [a time of celebration to commemorate (remember) the Jewish Passover]. And when he [Jesus] was twelve years old, they [Jesus and his parents] went up to Jerusalem after [according to] the custom of the feast."

Verses 43-45: "And when they had fulfilled the days
[of the Passover; or after they had been at the feast for seven or eight days], as they returned [home], the child Jesus tarried [remained] behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his [Jesus'] mother [Mary] knew not of it [did not know about it]. But they, supposing him [Jesus] to have been in the company [of others, or assuming that he was somewhere in the large group of travelers], went a day's journey; and they [Joseph and Mary] sought [looked for] him [Jesus] among their kinsfolk [relatives] and acquaintance [neighbors and friends]. And when they found him not [did not find him], they turned back again [returned] to Jerusalem, seeking [searching for] him."

Verses 46-47: "And it came to pass, that after three days they
[Joseph and Mary] found him [Jesus] in the ['court' of the] temple, sitting in the midst of [in the middle of, or among] the doctors [religious teachers, rabbis], both hearing [listening to] them, and asking them questions. And all that [all who] heard him [Jesus] were astonished at his understanding [of the law and the scriptures] and [his] answers [to the doctors' questions]."

Verses 48-49: "And when they
[Joseph and Mary] saw him [Jesus], they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us [why have you frightened us and caused us to worry]? behold, thy [human] father [Joseph] and I have sought thee sorrowing [have searched for you with great sadness, anxiety, and concern]. And he [Jesus] said unto them [his parents], How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not [did you not know] that I must be about my Father's [God's] business? [Jesus had an overwhelming desire to please his heavenly Father (and he did that by always obeying and serving him) because he loved his Father more than anything or anyone else in the world.] And they [Joseph and Mary] understood not the saying which he spake [spoke] unto them."

Verses 50-51: "And he
[Jesus] went down [from Jerusalem] with them [Joseph and Mary], and came to Nazareth [where they lived], and was subject unto [was respectful and obedient to] them [and became a carpenter, like his earthly father, Joseph]: but his mother [Mary] kept all these sayings in her heart [or mind, which means that she remembered them].

Verse 52: "And
[as he grew up on earth,] Jesus increased in wisdom and stature [height, maturity], and in favour with God and man [people] [see note below*]."
_________________________

*According to the Bible, Jesus has two natures (human and divine), which means that he is fully God and fully man. This is explained in an article by Matt Perman entitled "How Can Jesus Be God and Man?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-can-jesus-be-god-and-man#modal-417-nr93t94s.

Concerning verse 52 above, which refers to Jesus' human nature, James Burton Coffman wrote:

"The fourfold development of Christ: mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually is here affirmed, exactly the type of growth and development that is inherent in the very fact of the incarnation. He [God the Son] who 'emptied himself' and became a man found it needful to pass through the helplessness of infancy, the ignorance of babyhood, and the incompetence of adolescence just like all men. The true humanity of our Lord is thus brilliantly presented by Luke, no less than his true deity. That this is the greatest mystery of all ages is a fact; but that has not prevented the full acceptance of it by the faithful of all ages."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/2-52.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

OCTOBER 15

Genesis 2:15: "And the LORD God took the man
[that he had created, referring to Adam], and put him into the garden of Eden to dress [cultivate, care for] it and to keep [watch over] it [i.e., to guard it (protect it from harm, prevent it from being destroyed by wild animals, etc.)].

OCTOBER 14

Leviticus 19:29
[These were God's instructions, delivered by Moses, to the children of Israel (the descendants of Jacob)]: "Do not prostitute thy daughter [do not allow your daughter to have sex in public during religious worship, as some nations do--see note below*], to cause her to be a whore; lest [or else] the land [or country] [will] fall to whoredom [be overcome by prostitution, both physical (as in fornication) and spiritual (meaning idolatry)], and the land [will] become full of wickedness."

Wickedness spreads like wildfire and is caused by many things. In this case, God warns his people to avoid the sins of fornication and idolatry.
_________________________

*According to John Gill's commentary, the phrase Do not prostitute thy daughter "… refers to a wicked practice among the Phoenicians or Canaanites … whose women used to prostitute themselves in the temples of their idols …" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/leviticus/19-29.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

OCTOBER 9-13

Matthew 4:1-11 - Temptation of Jesus:

Verse 1: "Then
[immediately after his baptism] was Jesus led up of [by] the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness [or desert, referring to an uninhabited region in Judea] to be tempted of [by] the devil [who was trying to get him to sin]."

Temptation #1:

Verses 2-3 [Satan tries to get Jesus to sin]: "And when he [Jesus] had fasted [gone without food] [for] forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred [hungry]. And when the tempter [the devil, or Satan] came to him [Jesus], he said, If thou be [if you are] the Son of God, command that these stones be made [into] bread."

Verse 4
[Jesus replies to Satan]: "But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is written [in Deuteronomy 8:3--see note below*], Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth [comes] out of the mouth of God."

Temptation #2:

Verses 5-6 [Satan tempts Jesus a second time]: "Then the devil taketh him [Jesus] up into [or brought, led, or accompanied him to] the holy city [Jerusalem], and setteth [set] him on a pinnacle [or spire--the highest point] of the temple, And saith unto him [Jesus], If thou be [if you are] the Son of God, cast thyself down [throw yourself down, or jump]: for it is written [in Psalm 91:11-12--see note below*], He [God] shall give his angels charge concerning thee [meaning 'God's angels will protect you']: and in their hands they shall bear thee [hold you] up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone ['so you won't hit your foot on the stones (or be injured) if you fall']."

Verse 7
[Jesus replies to Satan]: "Jesus said unto him [Satan], It is written again [in Deuteronomy 6:16--see note below*], Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God [in this case, meaning that Jesus must not tempt his Father (God) to protect him from the consequences of foolish actions]."

Temptation #3:

Verses 8-9 [Satan tempts Jesus a third time]: "Again, the devil taketh [took] him [Jesus] up into an exceeding [extremely] high mountain, and sheweth [showed] him all [of] the kingdoms of the world [in this case, probably meaning the kingdoms of Palestine, or the land of Canaan, and other kingdoms nearby], and the glory [splendor, magnificence, beauty] of them [referring to everything in those kingdoms]; And [Satan] saith [said] unto him [Jesus], All [of] these things [kingdoms] will I give thee, if thou wilt [if you will] fall down and worship me."

Verse 10
[Jesus replies to Satan]: "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence [go away], Satan: for it is written [in Deuteronomy 6:13--see note below*], Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Jesus is victorious!

Verse 11: "Then the devil leaveth [left, went away from] him [Jesus] [for a time], and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him [waited on him, attended to his needs]."

As we can learn from the above verses:

1. Satan is very familiar with God's word, but he's also a master deceiver. By subtly omitting parts of, misquoting, or misapplying scripture, he is able to use it to his advantage.

2. Temptation does not result in sin unless and until we yield to it.

3. The best way to resist Satan and overcome temptation is by memorizing, believing, and obeying God's word--and using it like a sword (because the Bible is called the "sword of the Spirit" in Ephesians 6:17--see note below*).
_________________________

In his commentary on the temptation of Jesus, Albert Barnes wrote:

"… From this narrative we may learn:

"(a) That no one is so holy as to be free from temptation, for even the Son of God was sorely tempted.

"(b) That when God permits a temptation or trial to come upon us, he will, if we look to him, give us grace to resist and overcome it, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

"(c) We see the art of the tempter. His temptations are adapted to times and circumstances. They are plausible [believable]. What could have been mere plausible than his suggestions to Christ? They were applicable to his circumstances. They had the appearance of much piety. They were backed by passages of Scripture misapplied, but still most artfully presented. Satan never comes boldly and tempts people to sin, telling them that they are committing sin. Such a mode would defeat his design. It would put people on their guard. He commences, therefore, artfully and plausibly, and the real purpose does not appear until he has prepared the mind for it. This is the way with all temptation. No wicked person would at once tempt another to be profane, to be drunk, to be an infidel, or to commit adultery. The principles are first corrupted. The confidence is secured. The affections are won. And then the allurement is little by little presented, until the victim falls. How everyone should be on his guard at the very first appearance of evil, at the first suggestion that may possibly lead to sin!

"(d) One of the best ways of meeting temptation is by applying Scripture. So our Saviour did, and they will always best succeed who best wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Ephesians 6:17."

(Source for Barnes quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-4.html, "Verse 11")
_________________________

Good advice from Charles Spurgeon:

"I know some people, who earn their living in employments which are very hazardous to their immortal souls. They are in the midst of evil, yet they tell me that God can keep them in safety there. I know that he can, but I also know that we have no right to go, voluntarily, where we are surrounded by temptation. If your calling is the wrong one, and you are continually tempted in it, you may not presume upon the goodness of God to keep you, for it is your business to get as far as you can from that which will lead you into sin …"

(Source for Spurgeon quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-4.html, "Verses 1-11," "Matthew 4:7")
_________________________

*Here are the Bible verses referred to above:

-- Deuteronomy 8:3: "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."

-- Psalm 91:11-12: "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

-- Deuteronomy 6:16: "Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah."

-- Deuteronomy 6:13: "Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name."

-- Ephesians 6:17: "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"

OCTOBER 8

Matthew 12:34-37 - Judgment Day
To the Pharisees (part of the ruling class of Israel), who had condemned him because he healed people on sabbath days and who accused him of casting out devils by Beelzebub (the prince of devils) rather than by the Holy Spirit of God, Jesus said:

Verses 34-35: "O generation of vipers [Jesus was comparing the Pharisees to extremely venomous (poisonous) snakes], how can ye [you], being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance [fullness] of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man [person] out of the good treasure [storehouse] of the heart bringeth forth good things [out of his (or her) mouth]: and an evil man [person] out of the evil treasure [of the heart] bringeth forth evil things [out of his (or her) mouth]."

Verse 36: "But I say unto you
[Pharisees--and everyone else in the world], That every idle word that men shall speak [everything that people say during their lives, meaningful or not], they shall give account thereof [they shall explain to God in heaven] in the day of judgment."

Verse 37: "For by thy
[your] words thou shalt [you shall] be justified [considered righteous in God's sight--by asking Jesus to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die], and by thy words thou shalt be condemned [pronounced guilty by God] [and sent to hell]."

At the moment of salvation, born-again Christians are cleansed from sin by Jesus' blood and are clothed with (or are covered by, receive, are given, share in) his righteousness. As a result, we will be judged by Jesus' righteousness rather than our own on judgment day. The Bible says:

-- 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

-- This verse is explained in detail in the following article: "Why does Christ's righteousness need to be imputed to us?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/imputed-righteousness.html.

On the other hand, unbelievers (people who reject God's gift of eternal life) are counting on their own righteousness (good works, good deeds) to save them from hell. Unfortunately, that won't work because, according to the Bible:

-- Isaiah 64:6: "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags [in God's sight]; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

OCTOBER 7

1 John 2:15-17 - Whom Do You Love More--The "World" or God?

Verse 15: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world
[i.e., worldly pleasures]. If any man [or woman or child] love the world, the love of the Father [referring to God] is not in him [or her, which means that he (or she) may not be a true Christian]."

Verse 16: "For all
[of the evil] that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [sins of the flesh (body); i.e., fornication, gluttony, drunkenness, etc.], and the lust of the eyes [wanting to be rich and have luxurious possessions, being addicted to pornography, etc.], and the pride of life [seeking power, honor, fame, etc.], is not of the Father [does not come from God], but is of the world [comes from Satan, who is the god of this world]."

Verse 17: "And the world
[the things in the world] passeth away, and [so does] the lust [strong desires, cravings] thereof: but he [or she] that doeth the will of God [i.e., the person who is born again and obeys God's word] abideth [remains, continues] for ever [in the love of God … having fellowship with God and resulting in peace, joy, and blessings, both on earth and in heaven--see note below*]."

We can admire the beauty of nature and enjoy the other things that God has created, but we should not covet or worship any of them.
________________________

*Regarding verse 17, Albert Barnes wrote: "But he that doeth the will of God abideth forever - This cannot mean that he will never die; but it means that he has built his happiness on a basis which is secure, and which can never pass away …" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-2.html, "Verse 17")

OCTOBER 2-6

Luke 10:25-37 - Parable of the Good Samaritan

Verse 25: "And, behold, a certain lawyer
[one of the scribes] stood up, and tempted [tried to prove] him [Jesus], saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit [receive] eternal life [in heaven, or 'what shall I do to be saved']?"

Verses 26-28: "He
[Jesus] said unto him [the lawyer], What is written in the law [of Moses]? how readest thou [how do you read it, what does it say]? And he [the lawyer] answering said, Thou shalt [you shall] love the Lord thy God with all thy [your] heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and [thou shalt love] thy neighbour as [you love (or should love)] thyself [yourself]. And he [Jesus] said unto him [the lawyer], Thou hast [you have] answered right [correctly]: this do, and thou shalt live [forever in heaven]."

Verse 29: "But he
[the lawyer], willing to justify himself [or make it appear that he was a righteous man], said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?"

Verse 30: "And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves
[got attacked by robbers], which stripped him of his raiment [clothing], and wounded him, and [then] departed [went away], leaving him half dead [near death]."

Verse 31-32: "And by chance there came down a certain
[Jewish] priest that way: and when he saw him [the man who had been attacked], he passed by on the other side [of the road]. And likewise [in a similar manner] a Levite [religious leader--assistant to the priests], when he was at the [same] place, came [over to where the injured man was lying] and looked on him, and [then] passed by on the other side [of the road]."

Verses 33-34: "But a certain Samaritan
[whose people were hated by the Jews because they were 'half-breeds' (half-Jewish and half-Gentile)--see Note 1 below], as he journeyed [traveled], came [to the place] where he [the injured man] was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on [sympathy for] him, And [the Samaritan] went to him [the injured man], and bound up [bandaged] his wounds, pouring in oil and wine [which he used as medicine to cleanse and heal the wounds], and set him [the injured man] on his own beast [of burden; i.e., the Samaritan's mule or donkey], and brought him [the injured man] to an inn, and took care of him."

Verse 35: "And on the morrow
[the next day] when he [the Samaritan] departed [left, went away], he took out two pence [see Note 2 below], and gave them to the host [innkeeper], and said unto him, Take care of him [the injured man]; and whatsoever thou spendest more [any extra amount that you spend], when I come again, I will repay thee [you]."

Verses 36-37: "Which now of these three
[people--priest, Levite, Samaritan], thinkest thou [do you think], was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he [the lawyer] said, He that shewed [showed] mercy [kindness, compassion] on him [the injured man]. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise [do the same thing, or follow his example]."

At the end of his commentary on this parable, Albert Barnes wrote:

"Go, and do thou likewise - Show the same kindness to 'all' - to friend and foe - and 'then' you will have evidence that you keep the law, and not 'till' then. Of this man we know nothing farther; but from this inimitably beautiful parable we may learn:

"1. That the knowledge of the law is useful to make us acquainted with our own sinfulness and need of a Saviour.

"2. That it is not he who 'professes' most kindness that really loves us most, but he who will most deny himself that he may do us good in times of want.

"3. That religion requires us to do good to 'all' people, however 'accidentally' we may become acquainted with their calamities.

"4. That we should do good to our enemies. Real love to them will lead us to deny ourselves, and to sacrifice our own welfare, that we may help them in times of distress and alleviate their wants.

"5. That he is really our neighbor who does us the most good - who helps us in our necessities, and especially if he does this when there has been 'a controversy or difference' between us and him.

"6. We hence see the beauty of religion. Nothing else will induce people to surmount their prejudices, to overcome opposition, and to do good to those who are at enmity with them [meaning people who hate them or are their enemies]. True religion teaches us to regard every man as our neighbor; prompts us to do good to all, to forget all national or sectional distinctions, and to aid all those who are in circumstances of poverty and want. If religion were valuable for nothing 'but this,' it would be the most lovely and desirable principle on earth, and all, especially in their early years, should seek it. Nothing that a young person can gain will be so valuable as the feeling that regards all the world as one great family, and to learn early to do good to all.

"7. The difference between the Jew and the Samaritan was a difference in 'religion' and 'religious opinion;' and from the example of the latter we may learn that, while people differ in 'opinions' on subjects of religion, and while they are zealous for what they hold to be the truth, still they should treat each other kindly; that they should aid each other in necessity; and that they should thus show that religion is a principle superior to the love of sect, and that the cord which binds man to man is one that is to be sundered [split apart] by no difference of opinion, that Christian kindness is to be marred by no forms of worship, and by no bigoted attachment for what we esteem the doctrines of the gospel."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-10.html, "Verse 37")
________________________

Note 1: For background information on Samaritans, read the GotQuestions.org article entitled "What is a Samaritan?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-a-Samaritan.html.

Note 2: According to Wikipedia, pence is the same as denarius--a silver coin which was the usual day's wage for a laborer in Bible times.

OCTOBER 1

Psalm 78:58: "For they
[the children (people, nation) of Israel] provoked him [Almighty God] to anger [which means they made God very angry] with their high places [where other 'gods' were worshiped in Bible times--see note below*], and [they] moved him to jealousy with their graven images [idols]."

The above verse is true for the people of all nations and religions on earth, not just Israel.
________________________

*Biblical definition of high places: places of worship on elevated pieces of ground. Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/high-places.html


Previous Verses
October 2019
OCTOBER 16-20

Luke 2:41-52 - Discovering that young Jesus is missing, his frantic parents retrace their steps and find him in the temple at Jerusalem

Verses 41-42: "Now his parents
[Jesus' earthly parents, Mary and Joseph] went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover [a time of celebration to commemorate (remember) the Jewish Passover]. And when he [Jesus] was twelve years old, they [Jesus and his parents] went up to Jerusalem after [according to] the custom of the feast."

Verses 43-45: "And when they had fulfilled the days
[of the Passover; or after they had been at the feast for seven or eight days], as they returned [home], the child Jesus tarried [remained] behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his [Jesus'] mother [Mary] knew not of it [did not know about it]. But they, supposing him [Jesus] to have been in the company [of others, or assuming that he was somewhere in the large group of travelers], went a day's journey; and they [Joseph and Mary] sought [looked for] him [Jesus] among their kinsfolk [relatives] and acquaintance [neighbors and friends]. And when they found him not [did not find him], they turned back again [returned] to Jerusalem, seeking [searching for] him."

Verses 46-47: "And it came to pass, that after three days they
[Joseph and Mary] found him [Jesus] in the ['court' of the] temple, sitting in the midst of [in the middle of, or among] the doctors [religious teachers, rabbis], both hearing [listening to] them, and asking them questions. And all that [all who] heard him [Jesus] were astonished at his understanding [of the law and the scriptures] and [his] answers [to the doctors' questions]."

Verses 48-49: "And when they
[Joseph and Mary] saw him [Jesus], they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us [why have you frightened us and caused us to worry]? behold, thy [human] father [Joseph] and I have sought thee sorrowing [have searched for you with great sadness, anxiety, and concern]. And he [Jesus] said unto them [his parents], How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not [did you not know] that I must be about my Father's [God's] business? [Jesus had an overwhelming desire to please his heavenly Father (and he did that by always obeying and serving him) because he loved his Father more than anything or anyone else in the world.] And they [Joseph and Mary] understood not the saying which he spake [spoke] unto them."

Verses 50-51: "And he
[Jesus] went down [from Jerusalem] with them [Joseph and Mary], and came to Nazareth [where they lived], and was subject unto [was respectful and obedient to] them [and became a carpenter, like his earthly father, Joseph]: but his mother [Mary] kept all these sayings in her heart [or mind, which means that she remembered them].

Verse 52: "And
[as he grew up on earth,] Jesus increased in wisdom and stature [height, maturity], and in favour with God and man [people] [see note below*]."
_________________________

*According to the Bible, Jesus has two natures (human and divine), which means that he is fully God and fully man. This is explained in an article by Matt Perman entitled "How Can Jesus Be God and Man?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-can-jesus-be-god-and-man#modal-417-nr93t94s.

Concerning verse 52 above, which refers to Jesus' human nature, James Burton Coffman wrote:

"The fourfold development of Christ: mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually is here affirmed, exactly the type of growth and development that is inherent in the very fact of the incarnation. He [God the Son] who 'emptied himself' and became a man found it needful to pass through the helplessness of infancy, the ignorance of babyhood, and the incompetence of adolescence just like all men. The true humanity of our Lord is thus brilliantly presented by Luke, no less than his true deity. That this is the greatest mystery of all ages is a fact; but that has not prevented the full acceptance of it by the faithful of all ages."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/2-52.html, "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible")

OCTOBER 15

Genesis 2:15: "And the LORD God took the man
[that he had created, referring to Adam], and put him into the garden of Eden to dress [cultivate, care for] it and to keep [watch over] it [i.e., to guard it (protect it from harm, prevent it from being destroyed by wild animals, etc.)].

OCTOBER 14

Leviticus 19:29
[These were God's instructions, delivered by Moses, to the children of Israel (the descendants of Jacob)]: "Do not prostitute thy daughter [do not allow your daughter to have sex in public during religious worship, as some nations do--see note below*], to cause her to be a whore; lest [or else] the land [or country] [will] fall to whoredom [be overcome by prostitution, both physical (as in fornication) and spiritual (meaning idolatry)], and the land [will] become full of wickedness."

Wickedness spreads like wildfire and is caused by many things. In this case, God warns his people to avoid the sins of fornication and idolatry.
_________________________

*According to John Gill's commentary, the phrase Do not prostitute thy daughter "… refers to a wicked practice among the Phoenicians or Canaanites … whose women used to prostitute themselves in the temples of their idols …" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/leviticus/19-29.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

OCTOBER 9-13

Matthew 4:1-11 - Temptation of Jesus:

Verse 1: "Then
[immediately after his baptism] was Jesus led up of [by] the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness [or desert, referring to an uninhabited region in Judea] to be tempted of [by] the devil [who was trying to get him to sin]."

Temptation #1:

Verses 2-3 [Satan tries to get Jesus to sin]: "And when he [Jesus] had fasted [gone without food] [for] forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred [hungry]. And when the tempter [the devil, or Satan] came to him [Jesus], he said, If thou be [if you are] the Son of God, command that these stones be made [into] bread."

Verse 4
[Jesus replies to Satan]: "But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is written [in Deuteronomy 8:3--see note below*], Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth [comes] out of the mouth of God."

Temptation #2:

Verses 5-6 [Satan tempts Jesus a second time]: "Then the devil taketh him [Jesus] up into [or brought, led, or accompanied him to] the holy city [Jerusalem], and setteth [set] him on a pinnacle [or spire--the highest point] of the temple, And saith unto him [Jesus], If thou be [if you are] the Son of God, cast thyself down [throw yourself down, or jump]: for it is written [in Psalm 91:11-12--see note below*], He [God] shall give his angels charge concerning thee [meaning 'God's angels will protect you']: and in their hands they shall bear thee [hold you] up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone ['so you won't hit your foot on the stones (or be injured) if you fall']."

Verse 7
[Jesus replies to Satan]: "Jesus said unto him [Satan], It is written again [in Deuteronomy 6:16--see note below*], Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God [in this case, meaning that Jesus must not tempt his Father (God) to protect him from the consequences of foolish actions]."

Temptation #3:

Verses 8-9 [Satan tempts Jesus a third time]: "Again, the devil taketh [took] him [Jesus] up into an exceeding [extremely] high mountain, and sheweth [showed] him all [of] the kingdoms of the world [in this case, probably meaning the kingdoms of Palestine, or the land of Canaan, and other kingdoms nearby], and the glory [splendor, magnificence, beauty] of them [referring to everything in those kingdoms]; And [Satan] saith [said] unto him [Jesus], All [of] these things [kingdoms] will I give thee, if thou wilt [if you will] fall down and worship me."

Verse 10
[Jesus replies to Satan]: "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence [go away], Satan: for it is written [in Deuteronomy 6:13--see note below*], Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Jesus is victorious!

Verse 11: "Then the devil leaveth [left, went away from] him [Jesus] [for a time], and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him [waited on him, attended to his needs]."

As we can learn from the above verses:

1. Satan is very familiar with God's word, but he's also a master deceiver. By subtly omitting parts of, misquoting, or misapplying scripture, he is able to use it to his advantage.

2. Temptation does not result in sin unless and until we yield to it.

3. The best way to resist Satan and overcome temptation is by memorizing, believing, and obeying God's word--and using it like a sword (because the Bible is called the "sword of the Spirit" in Ephesians 6:17--see note below*).
_________________________

In his commentary on the temptation of Jesus, Albert Barnes wrote:

"… From this narrative we may learn:

"(a) That no one is so holy as to be free from temptation, for even the Son of God was sorely tempted.

"(b) That when God permits a temptation or trial to come upon us, he will, if we look to him, give us grace to resist and overcome it, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

"(c) We see the art of the tempter. His temptations are adapted to times and circumstances. They are plausible [believable]. What could have been mere plausible than his suggestions to Christ? They were applicable to his circumstances. They had the appearance of much piety. They were backed by passages of Scripture misapplied, but still most artfully presented. Satan never comes boldly and tempts people to sin, telling them that they are committing sin. Such a mode would defeat his design. It would put people on their guard. He commences, therefore, artfully and plausibly, and the real purpose does not appear until he has prepared the mind for it. This is the way with all temptation. No wicked person would at once tempt another to be profane, to be drunk, to be an infidel, or to commit adultery. The principles are first corrupted. The confidence is secured. The affections are won. And then the allurement is little by little presented, until the victim falls. How everyone should be on his guard at the very first appearance of evil, at the first suggestion that may possibly lead to sin!

"(d) One of the best ways of meeting temptation is by applying Scripture. So our Saviour did, and they will always best succeed who best wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Ephesians 6:17."

(Source for Barnes quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-4.html, "Verse 11")
_________________________

Good advice from Charles Spurgeon:

"I know some people, who earn their living in employments which are very hazardous to their immortal souls. They are in the midst of evil, yet they tell me that God can keep them in safety there. I know that he can, but I also know that we have no right to go, voluntarily, where we are surrounded by temptation. If your calling is the wrong one, and you are continually tempted in it, you may not presume upon the goodness of God to keep you, for it is your business to get as far as you can from that which will lead you into sin …"

(Source for Spurgeon quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/matthew-4.html, "Verses 1-11," "Matthew 4:7")
_________________________

*Here are the Bible verses referred to above:

-- Deuteronomy 8:3: "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."

-- Psalm 91:11-12: "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

-- Deuteronomy 6:16: "Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah."

-- Deuteronomy 6:13: "Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name."

-- Ephesians 6:17: "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"

OCTOBER 8

Matthew 12:34-37 - Judgment Day
To the Pharisees (part of the ruling class of Israel), who had condemned him because he healed people on sabbath days and who accused him of casting out devils by Beelzebub (the prince of devils) rather than by the Holy Spirit of God, Jesus said:

Verses 34-35: "O generation of vipers [Jesus was comparing the Pharisees to extremely venomous (poisonous) snakes], how can ye [you], being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance [fullness] of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man [person] out of the good treasure [storehouse] of the heart bringeth forth good things [out of his (or her) mouth]: and an evil man [person] out of the evil treasure [of the heart] bringeth forth evil things [out of his (or her) mouth]."

Verse 36: "But I say unto you
[Pharisees--and everyone else in the world], That every idle word that men shall speak [everything that people say during their lives, meaningful or not], they shall give account thereof [they shall explain to God in heaven] in the day of judgment."

Verse 37: "For by thy
[your] words thou shalt [you shall] be justified [considered righteous in God's sight--by asking Jesus to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die], and by thy words thou shalt be condemned [pronounced guilty by God] [and sent to hell]."

At the moment of salvation, born-again Christians are cleansed from sin by Jesus' blood and are clothed with (or are covered by, receive, are given, share in) his righteousness. As a result, we will be judged by Jesus' righteousness rather than our own on judgment day. The Bible says:

-- 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

-- This verse is explained in detail in the following article: "Why does Christ's righteousness need to be imputed to us?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/imputed-righteousness.html.

On the other hand, unbelievers (people who reject God's gift of eternal life) are counting on their own righteousness (good works, good deeds) to save them from hell. Unfortunately, that won't work because, according to the Bible:

-- Isaiah 64:6: "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags [in God's sight]; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

OCTOBER 7

1 John 2:15-17 - Whom Do You Love More--The "World" or God?

Verse 15: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world
[i.e., worldly pleasures]. If any man [or woman or child] love the world, the love of the Father [referring to God] is not in him [or her, which means that he (or she) may not be a true Christian]."

Verse 16: "For all
[of the evil] that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [sins of the flesh (body); i.e., fornication, gluttony, drunkenness, etc.], and the lust of the eyes [wanting to be rich and have luxurious possessions, being addicted to pornography, etc.], and the pride of life [seeking power, honor, fame, etc.], is not of the Father [does not come from God], but is of the world [comes from Satan, who is the god of this world]."

Verse 17: "And the world
[the things in the world] passeth away, and [so does] the lust [strong desires, cravings] thereof: but he [or she] that doeth the will of God [i.e., the person who is born again and obeys God's word] abideth [remains, continues] for ever [in the love of God … having fellowship with God and resulting in peace, joy, and blessings, both on earth and in heaven--see note below*]."

We can admire the beauty of nature and enjoy the other things that God has created, but we should not covet or worship any of them.
________________________

*Regarding verse 17, Albert Barnes wrote: "But he that doeth the will of God abideth forever - This cannot mean that he will never die; but it means that he has built his happiness on a basis which is secure, and which can never pass away …" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-2.html, "Verse 17")

OCTOBER 2-6

Luke 10:25-37 - Parable of the Good Samaritan

Verse 25: "And, behold, a certain lawyer
[one of the scribes] stood up, and tempted [tried to prove] him [Jesus], saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit [receive] eternal life [in heaven, or 'what shall I do to be saved']?"

Verses 26-28: "He
[Jesus] said unto him [the lawyer], What is written in the law [of Moses]? how readest thou [how do you read it, what does it say]? And he [the lawyer] answering said, Thou shalt [you shall] love the Lord thy God with all thy [your] heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and [thou shalt love] thy neighbour as [you love (or should love)] thyself [yourself]. And he [Jesus] said unto him [the lawyer], Thou hast [you have] answered right [correctly]: this do, and thou shalt live [forever in heaven]."

Verse 29: "But he
[the lawyer], willing to justify himself [or make it appear that he was a righteous man], said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?"

Verse 30: "And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves
[got attacked by robbers], which stripped him of his raiment [clothing], and wounded him, and [then] departed [went away], leaving him half dead [near death]."

Verse 31-32: "And by chance there came down a certain
[Jewish] priest that way: and when he saw him [the man who had been attacked], he passed by on the other side [of the road]. And likewise [in a similar manner] a Levite [religious leader--assistant to the priests], when he was at the [same] place, came [over to where the injured man was lying] and looked on him, and [then] passed by on the other side [of the road]."

Verses 33-34: "But a certain Samaritan
[whose people were hated by the Jews because they were 'half-breeds' (half-Jewish and half-Gentile)--see Note 1 below], as he journeyed [traveled], came [to the place] where he [the injured man] was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on [sympathy for] him, And [the Samaritan] went to him [the injured man], and bound up [bandaged] his wounds, pouring in oil and wine [which he used as medicine to cleanse and heal the wounds], and set him [the injured man] on his own beast [of burden; i.e., the Samaritan's mule or donkey], and brought him [the injured man] to an inn, and took care of him."

Verse 35: "And on the morrow
[the next day] when he [the Samaritan] departed [left, went away], he took out two pence [see Note 2 below], and gave them to the host [innkeeper], and said unto him, Take care of him [the injured man]; and whatsoever thou spendest more [any extra amount that you spend], when I come again, I will repay thee [you]."

Verses 36-37: "Which now of these three
[people--priest, Levite, Samaritan], thinkest thou [do you think], was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he [the lawyer] said, He that shewed [showed] mercy [kindness, compassion] on him [the injured man]. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise [do the same thing, or follow his example]."

At the end of his commentary on this parable, Albert Barnes wrote:

"Go, and do thou likewise - Show the same kindness to 'all' - to friend and foe - and 'then' you will have evidence that you keep the law, and not 'till' then. Of this man we know nothing farther; but from this inimitably beautiful parable we may learn:

"1. That the knowledge of the law is useful to make us acquainted with our own sinfulness and need of a Saviour.

"2. That it is not he who 'professes' most kindness that really loves us most, but he who will most deny himself that he may do us good in times of want.

"3. That religion requires us to do good to 'all' people, however 'accidentally' we may become acquainted with their calamities.

"4. That we should do good to our enemies. Real love to them will lead us to deny ourselves, and to sacrifice our own welfare, that we may help them in times of distress and alleviate their wants.

"5. That he is really our neighbor who does us the most good - who helps us in our necessities, and especially if he does this when there has been 'a controversy or difference' between us and him.

"6. We hence see the beauty of religion. Nothing else will induce people to surmount their prejudices, to overcome opposition, and to do good to those who are at enmity with them [meaning people who hate them or are their enemies]. True religion teaches us to regard every man as our neighbor; prompts us to do good to all, to forget all national or sectional distinctions, and to aid all those who are in circumstances of poverty and want. If religion were valuable for nothing 'but this,' it would be the most lovely and desirable principle on earth, and all, especially in their early years, should seek it. Nothing that a young person can gain will be so valuable as the feeling that regards all the world as one great family, and to learn early to do good to all.

"7. The difference between the Jew and the Samaritan was a difference in 'religion' and 'religious opinion;' and from the example of the latter we may learn that, while people differ in 'opinions' on subjects of religion, and while they are zealous for what they hold to be the truth, still they should treat each other kindly; that they should aid each other in necessity; and that they should thus show that religion is a principle superior to the love of sect, and that the cord which binds man to man is one that is to be sundered [split apart] by no difference of opinion, that Christian kindness is to be marred by no forms of worship, and by no bigoted attachment for what we esteem the doctrines of the gospel."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-10.html, "Verse 37")
________________________

Note 1: For background information on Samaritans, read the GotQuestions.org article entitled "What is a Samaritan?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-a-Samaritan.html.

Note 2: According to Wikipedia, pence is the same as denarius--a silver coin which was the usual day's wage for a laborer in Bible times.

OCTOBER 1

Psalm 78:58: "For they
[the children (people, nation) of Israel] provoked him [Almighty God] to anger [which means they made God very angry] with their high places [where other 'gods' were worshiped in Bible times--see note below*], and [they] moved him to jealousy with their graven images [idols]."

The above verse is true for the people of all nations and religions on earth, not just Israel.
________________________

*Biblical definition of high places: places of worship on elevated pieces of ground. Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/high-places.html


Verse of the Day
Archives
__________
 (Earlier years are
 on a separate page.
 Click here to view
 them: Archives)