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April 24

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Reading for Today:

Judges 13:1–14:20
Psalm 50:16-23
Proverbs 14:29-30
Luke 17:20-37


Judges 13:5 Nazirite. The word is from the Hebrew “to separate.” For rigid Nazirite restrictions, such as here in Samson’s case, see Numbers 6:1–8. God gave 3 restrictions: no wine (vv. 3, 4), no razor cutting the hair (v. 5), no touching a dead body and being defiled (v. 6). Such outward actions indicated an inner dedication to God.

Judges 14:1–4 she pleases me well. The Philistines were not among the 7 nations of Canaan which Israel was specifically forbidden to marry. Nonetheless Samson’s choice was seriously weak. Samson sins here, but God is sovereign and was able to turn the situation to please Him (14:4). He was not at a loss, but used the opportunity to work against the wicked Philistines and provided gracious help to His people. He achieved destruction of these people, not by an army, but by the miraculous power of one man.

Luke 17:20 when the kingdom of God would come. They may have asked the question mockingly, having already concluded that He was not the Messiah. does not come with observation. The Pharisees believed that the Messiah’s triumph would be immediate. They were looking for Him to come, overthrow Rome, and set up the millennial kingdom. Christ’s program was altogether different. He was inaugurating an era in which the kingdom would be manifest in the rule of God in men’s hearts through faith in the Savior (v. 21; see Rom. 14:17). That kingdom was neither confined to a particular geographical location nor visible to human eyes. It would come quietly, invisibly, and without the normal pomp and splendor associated with the arrival of a king. Jesus did not suggest that the Old Testament promises of an earthly kingdom were hereby nullified. Rather, that earthly, visible manifestation of the kingdom is yet to come (Rev. 20:1–6).

Luke 17:22 The days will come. This introduces a brief discourse that has some similarities to the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 and 25. you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man. I.e., desire to have Him physically present. This suggests a longing for His return to set things right (see Rev. 6:9–11; 22:20).

DAY 24: What about those who claim to see a wide gap between Luke’s theology and Paul’s theology?

Although Luke, more than any of the other Gospel writers, highlighted the universal scope of the gospel invitation, some have questioned why a companion of Paul’s would use so little of Paul’s language in explaining the process of salvation. But a difference in vocabulary does not necessarily imply a difference in thought or underlying theology.

Luke certainly wrote in his own style. He was an astute observer and careful thinker. In writing the Gospel, he was careful not to insert Pauline language back into the Gospel account. The theology of Luke’s record parallels Paul’s exactly. Luke repeatedly related accounts of Gentiles, Samaritans, and other outcasts who found grace in Jesus’ eyes. This emphasis not only records Jesus’ appeal, but also proves to be precisely what we would expect from the close companion of the “apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13).

A compelling illustration of this parallel involves Luke’s treatment of the centerpiece of Paul’s doctrine—justification by faith. Luke highlighted and illustrated justification by faith in many of the incidents and parables he related in his Gospel. For example, the account of the Pharisee and the publican (18:9–14), the familiar story of the prodigal son (15:11–32), the incident at Simon’s house (7:36–50), and the salvation of Zacchaeus (19:1–10) all serve to demonstrate that Jesus taught justification by faith long before Paul wrote about it.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214,