The Cost of Discipleship & the Price of Worship

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first twenty-five verses of the eighth chapter of this New Testament book. “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, w high had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance” (Luke 8:1-3). “And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundred fold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 8:4-8). “And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that Ewing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:9-15). “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have” (Luke 8:16-18). “Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it” (Luke 8:19-21). “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him” (Luke 8:22-25). When you come to the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find it beginning with a wonderful description of certain women who gave of themselves for the cause of the Christ. I have to admit that when I read the words which are found in the first few verses of the eighth chapter I am absolutely and completely captivated with supplying the need of Christ and how there was a group of women who gave of themselves to the cause of Christ in the midst of the earth. If you take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find it written how Jesus went throughout every city and village preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God and how the twelve were with him. What makes the words which we find in this passage so incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about it is when you consider how not only were the twelve disciples together with the Lord Jesus as He went throughout the cities and villages teaching and preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom of God but there were certain women who had devoted themselves to walking with and following the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that not only did these women walk with and follow the Lord Jesus Christ but Luke also writes and records how these women were those whose lives were personally touched, changed and transformed by the word of Christ and His ministry unto them. If you continue reading within the second verse of this passage you will find Luke writing how there were certain women “which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities.” Oh please don’t miss the incredible language that is found within this passage of Scripture for within it we not only find it written how there were certain women who were with Jesus but these were also women whose lives were personally impacted and touched by Him in a profound way. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding these women and how they weren’t simply ordinary women who decided to walk with and follow Jesus. When Luke writes of these women he is very careful and deliberate in writing how they were women which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Oh we must needs recognize and pay close attention to this for there is something to be said about these women and their underlying desire to walk with and follow Christ whithersoever He journeyed. There is within this passage of Scripture—not only a wonderful picture of these women who were healed and delivered by the word and power of Christ manifested in their lives but also a beautiful picture of how these women would become disciples and personal followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. These women weren’t women who had merely heard the word and teaching of Christ as He taught the multitudes nor were they women who had perhaps heard the call of the Lord Jesus to follow Him. We know from Scripture that there were at least five individuals—two sets of brothers and one publican—whom Jesus specifically called to follow Him. If you take the time to read the four gospel narratives you will find the gospel authors deliberately and intentionally take the time to ensure we as the readers know that Jesus had personally called these individuals to walk with and follow Him. With this being said, however, I would like to say that I do not for one minute believe that Jesus did not issue a similar call unto the other seven disciples whom He had chosen to walk with and follow Him. Although Scripture does indeed describe how there were five distinct individuals who were called of Christ to walk with and follow Him that in no way suggests the incredible truth surrounding the other seven disciples whom the Lord Jesus had also called to walk with and follow Him. Before I delve into that which is found in the eighth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the incredible truth surrounding the disciples and the Lord’s deliberate and intentional choosing of them to walk with and follow Him. There is something we must needs recognize and understand and how at the very outset of the ministry of the Lord Jesus we find Him deliberately and specifically calling men who would walk with and follow Him. This process of calling such men would included two sets of brothers who were fishermen by trade as well as one who was a publican who was even sitting at the receipt of custom when Jesus called him. Oh there is something truly astonishing and captivating about the words which we find here in the four gospels for within them we are brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the call Jesus would issue in the lives of these men. These were men whom Jesus found living their lives as they had always done and even being in the place of their employment and line of work. If there is one thing we must needs recognize concerning the words which are found within the four gospel narratives it’s that when the Lord Jesus came upon these individuals He deliberately and intentionally called and chose them—not only to walk with and follow Him but also from that which they had known within their lives. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something incredibly unique and powerful about the call of Christ upon the lives of these five men and how He would show up unannounced and without prior notice calling and inviting them to walk with and follow Him. Jesus would indeed and would in fact show up right where these men worked and right where they were during their lives and would seemingly interrupt everything they knew with a single call and invitation—the invitation to “Follow me.”

Oh it is with this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found within the four gospel narratives concerning Jesus’ calling of these men to walk with and follow Him. I would like to first and foremost call your attention to Jesus’ calling of Simon who would be called Peter and his brother Andrew as well as James and his brother John who were the sons of Zebedee. I find it absolutely incredible that these four men would indeed be called almost at the very same time as Jesus would show up beside the Sea of Galilee and call and invite them to walk with and follow Him. Jesus would arrive full of the Holy Ghost and walking in the power of the Spirit having been anointed by the Spirit and sent forth by Him and would issue a profound and powerful invitation unto these four men whom He would call and invite to walk with and follow Him. Having said this I now invite you to consider the following words which are found in each of the four gospels concerning these men who would indeed be called to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus beginning with the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew:

“Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zebulon, and the land of Netphthalim, but way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him” (Matthew 4:12-22).

“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Now as he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him” (Mark 1:14-20).

“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a fraught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they in closed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the fraught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him” (Luke 5:1-11).

“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (Which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of JOna: Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone” (John 1:35-42).

The words presented here in these passages of Scripture are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to consider what is being presented for within these four gospel accounts we find Jesus calling certain of His disciples to walk with and follow Him. It would be within the gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew, John Mark and the beloved physician Luke where we find the account of the Lord Jesus deliberately and intentionally calling Simon and his brother Andrew to walk with and follow Him. What’s more is that it’s within these three gospel narratives we find the Lord Jesus also calling James and his brother John who were the sons of Zebedee to walk with and follow Him. It is within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John as well as the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke we find additional language and information presented unto us about the Lord Jesus calling these brothers to walk with and follow Him. It would be in the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find John the Baptist publicly proclaiming Jesus of Nazareth to be the Lamb of God and the two disciples who were with him departing from him and following Jesus. Jesus would turn Himself about as these men followed Him and would ask them what it was they sought. Upon hearing these words these two men would speak of and refer to Jesus as Rabbi which would be interpreted Master and ask Him where He dwelt. Jesus would invite them to come and see where it was He dwelt during those days and they came to where he dwelt and abode with him that day. The apostle John writes how one of the two which heard John speak and followed him was Andrew who was Simon Peter’s brother. Immediately after following Jesus, seeing where he dwelt and abiding with Him that day He would return unto his brother and declare how they had found the Messiah which being interpreted was the Christ. Not only this but he would bring Simon called Peter unto Jesus who was called the Christ upon which Jesus would declare unto him that he was Simon the son of Jona but would be called Cephas.

If you turn and direct your attention to the words found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find the narrative and account of Jesus by the lake of Gennesaret which was also called the Sea of Galilee. It would be there at the lake of Gennesaret Jesus would enter into Simon called Peter’s boat and entreat him to thrust out a little from the shore that He might teach the people. There in the midst of Simon called Peter’s ship the Lord Jesus would teach the multitudes and crowds of people who had gathered themselves unto Him that they might hear the word of God. What we find within the fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke, however, is something entirely different for within this passage we find that after Jesus had finished and made an end of teaching He would entreat Simon to further make use of his ship and launch out into the deep and to let down his net for a great catch of fish. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding that which would take place within the life of Simon called Peter leading up to that moment when Jesus would emphatically declare and proclaim unto him that he would be made into a fisher of men. Simon would indeed launch the ship out into the deep and would let down the net at the word of the Lord Jesus and would immediately inclose such a great draught of fish that not only would the net break but so also would he call for the help of James and his brother John to come with their ship and help him. There in the midst of the deep waters Simon would fall down at the knees of the Lord Jesus and entreat him to depart from him for He was a sinful man. It would be in response to this Jesus would command him to not fear for from that time forward he would be made to be a fisher of men.

It is absolutely necessary for us to recognize and understand the words and language we find within these passages of Scripture for within them we find the Lord Jesus calling Simon and his brother Andrew as well as James and his brother John to follow Him. Within the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew and within the New Testament gospel narrative written by John Mark you will find the account of Jesus coming unto the Sea of Galilee and calling Simon and his brother Andrew to follow Him that He might make them fishers of men. Not only this but it would be within these gospels we also find Jesus calling James and his brother John who were the sons of Zebedee to follow him as well. Upon hearing the call and invitation of Jesus these two sets of brothers would indeed forsake everything they had known—their boats, their nets, the sea, the fish and even their very livelihoods—that they might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. Oh how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about and consider it for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding Jesus’ call unto these brothers to walk with and follow HIm. Upon hearing the call of Jesus to walk with and follow Him these brothers would abandon, forsake and leave everything behind that they might indeed walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. Oh this is something which we must recognize when we are engaging in a conversation such as this for when you return to the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find another disciple—not including Matthew who was also called Levi—whom the Lord Jesus would call to walk with and follow him. It would be beginning to read with and from the forty-third verse you find Jesus also calling Philip whom He would also call to walk with and follow Him. We have already been presented with the Lord Jesus calling Simon and his brother Andrew as well as James and his brother John to walk with and follow him and now we find Jesus calling Philip to walk with and follow Him:

“The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathaniel, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Anathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man” (John 1:43-510>

Please do not miss the incredible beauty that is found within this passage of Scripture for within it we find the Lord Jesus calling another one of His disciples to walk with and follow Him. It would be here in this passage of Scripture we find the Lord Jesus going forth into Galilee and finding Philip. It would be upon finding Philip the Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite him to follow him. The apostle John writes concerning Philip that he was of Bethsaida which was the same city as Andrew and Peter and how Philip would immediately begin speaking of the wonderful truth concerning the Messiah and the Christ. The apostle John would write how Philip would find Nathanael and would proclaim unto him how they had found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets wrote about—Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph. Ultimately Philip would bring Nathanael unto the Lord Jesus Christ of which Jesus—when seeing him approaching him—would emphatically declare, saying, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael would initially be taken back by the words which Jesus had spoken unto him and would ask how it was Jesus knew him and who he was. It would be in response to this Jesus would declare unto him that before Philip called him and when he was under the fig tree he saw him. Upon hearing this Nathanael would answer and respond unto Him by emphatically declaring, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God and that He was the King of Israel. It would be in response to this Jesus would speak unto Nathanael and would declare that because he said unto him he saw him under the fig tree he would believe on Him—a question which would directly confront the statement Nathanael would make as well as that which was present within his heart. Not only this but Jesus would go on to declare that he would see greater things than these and that thereafter he would see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

It is absolutely necessary we pay attention to the words which are found within this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with Jesus calling Philip to walk with and follow Him. Thus far we have witnessed and beheld Jesus calling Simon and his brother Andrew to walk with and follow Him as well as James and his brother John to follow Him. Within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find an account of Jesus calling Philip who would be another one of the disciples who would walk with and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. This is something we have a great need to recognize and pay attention to for it is a powerful transition which leads us to the place where we can read the words found in the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew, written by John Mark and written by the beloved physician Luke. Within these passages we are indeed brought face to face with the absolutely tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the call of the Lord Jesus Christ unto these men to walk with and follow Him. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that upon hearing the call of the Lord Jesus to follow Him these men would immediately forsake and leave everything they knew and everything they had to walk with and follow Him. Jesus issued no other invitation unto them beside simply following Him and these men would automatically associate the call to follow Him with forsaking everything they had known within their lives. For these men hearing the call and invitation of the Lord Jesus to walk with and follow Him would mean the forsaking and abandoning of everything they had known and had within and throughout their lives.

There is a great need for us to recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew, the beloved physician Luke as well as John Mark for each of these authors would write how Simon and his brother Andrew as well as James and his brother John would immediately forsake everything and follow the Lord Jesus. For Simon and his brother Andrew they would forsake their ships and their nets that they might follow Jesus while for James and his brother John they would also forsake and leave their father. This is something which we must needs pay careful and close attention to for it brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the call and invitation to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus and what it would mean for those who would hear that call. OH it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following passages of Scripture written within the New Testament gospel narratives of Matthew, Mark and Luke for within each of them we find the account of Jesus calling another one of His disciples—Levi who was also called Matthew. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible these passages are for not only do they present us with Jesus calling another to follow Him but we also find this man whom Jesus called forsaking everything that he might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. Oh there is something incredibly unique and powerful when you consider the words which we see in these passages of Scripture for within them we find yet another one who heard the call and invitation of the Lord Jesus to follow Him and would abandon, and forsake everything to follow Him. Oh having said this I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found within each of these New Testament gospels and the incredible call given unto Levi also called Matthew to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus:

“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:9-13).

“And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinkers with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:13-17).

“And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom; and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made a him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answered said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but winners to repentance” (Luke 5:27-32).

These three passages of Scripture are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about and consider them for they call and draw our attention to the incredible surrounding the Lord Jesus calling Levi who was also called Matthew to follow Him. First and foremost we find Jesus finding Levi while he was sitting at the receipt of the custom which was undoubtedly that which was his source of income and livelihood. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it is for it calls and draws our attention to Jesus once more showing up precisely where one worked and where one made their living and calling and inviting them to walk with and follow Him. What we must recognize and understand when reading the words found in these passages of Scripture is that not only did Jesus show up while Levi was sitting at the receipt of custom and invite him to follow Him but we also find Levi immediately forsaking everything, leaving the receipt of the custom and following the Lord Jesus. Each of these three gospel authors present us with the incredibly beautiful truth surrounding Levi hearing the call of the Lord Jesus to follow Him and he would forsake everything that he might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. Oh that we would indeed recognize and understand the words which are found within this passage of Scripture for within it—not only do we find Levi leaving and forsaking everything that he might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus but we also find him preparing for Jesus a feast in his own house. Upon hearing the call and invitation to follow Him Levi would not only forsake everything that he might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus but we also find him preparing a feast for the Lord Jesus within his own house. What’s more is that it would be there in his own house where many publicans and sinners would gather together unto Jesus that they might eat and drink with Him. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in these passages of Scriptures for Jesus’ calling of this one publican would open the door to many other publicans and sinners who would gather themselves unto Jesus in the house that they might eat and drink with Him.

I am absolutely and completely convinced we must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which we see in these passages of Scripture for they present us with the beautiful picture of Jesus calling Levi who was a publican while he was sitting at the receipt of the custom. Not only would Levi arise from that place and follow Him but he would also open his own home unto Jesus and His disciples that they might eat and drink with him. It wasn’t merely enough for Levi to forsake everything upon hearing the call and invitation given unto Jesus to walk with and follow Him for he would also invite Jesus into his own home and unto that place where he himself lived and dwelt. Oh how absolutely wonderful and beautiful it is to consider the fact that Levi would forsake everything he had known that he might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus whithersoever he would go. This would not only mean Levi would walk with and follow the Lord Jesus but also that he would open his own home unto Him that He might enter in and fellowship with Him. What makes this all the more intriguing when you think about it is when you consider the words which Jesus would speak unto one of the seven churches in the prophetic book of the Revelation as He would declare that He stands at the door and knock and whoever answers and responds to his knocking and opens the door he and His Father would enter in and sup with them. This reality would also be made present and manifested in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John when Jesus would also declare that if anyone hears His voice and obeys it He and His Father would enter in and fellowship with them. Oh there is something truly astonishing about this when we take the time to read it for it brings us face to face with one who was given the call and invitation to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus and how that would result in the opening of his own home—and not only the opening of his home but also the fellowship of publicans and sinners.

I sit here today thinking about the words found in these passages of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the beautiful truth of Jesus calling this man to walk with and follow Him and as a direct result of His calling him to walk with and follow Him he would forsake everything and follow the Lord Jesus. It’s important to note that not only would Levi forsake and leave everything that he might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus but he would also open his own home and invite Jesus and His disciples in to it as he prepared a great feast for them. What is truly astonishing about the words we see in this passage of Scripture is how the calling of Levi would not only result in the opening of his home unto Jesus and his disciples but it would also open up his home unto many publicans and sinners. Oh there is something truly captivating and powerful about this when you take the time to think about it for Jesus’ calling of this publican to follow Him would open the house of this publican—not only unto Jesus and His disciples but also unto many publicans and sinners. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for Jesus’ call to this single publican would open the door to many other publicans—and even sinners—who would sit down to eat and drink with the Lord Jesus. It would be a direct result of Jesus’ calling of this single publican to follow him that would not only result in the opening of his home but it would also bring about the fellowship of Jesus and His disciples as well as publicans and sinners. Here in the house of this publican there would be the fellowship of both Jesus and his disciples as well as publicans and sinners. Not only this but there would also seem to be the presence of Pharisees and scribes—or at least the observance of these religious leaders during those days. In fact it would be the religious leaders who would be offended with the Lord Jesus for His seeming willingness to eat and drink with sinners for such a thing was viewed as a stigma in their eyes and their hearts and minds.

Before I transition to the words which are found in the tenth and sixteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the nineteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. It is here in this particular chapter where we find another publican—a chief among the publicans—who desired to see the Lord Jesus. In this passage of Scripture we find the record of a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief publican and was one of short stature who desired to see the Lord Jesus. It would be this chief publican who would so desire to see Jesus that he would run ahead of the crowd that he might climb into a sycamore tree for to see the Lord Jesus when and as He passed by. Jesus and His disciples as well as those who were walking with and following Him would indeed pass by and Jesus would deliberately and intentionally look up into the tree to the place where Zacchaeus was. Not only this but Jesus would command Zacchaeus to come down from the tree for on that day he needed to be a guest and abide with him in his house. Immediately Zacchaeus would come down from the tree and would invite Jesus and His disciples into his house. Oh this is something we must needs recognize and understand for here within this passage we find something similar to what was presented in the gospel narratives written by Matthew, John Mark and even Luke concerning the calling of Levi. Jesus’ calling of Levi would ultimately unlock and open his house—and not only open his house but would also open the door unto many publicans and sinners who were in need of forgiveness and healing. Now here within this passage of Scripture we find Jesus declaring unto Zacchaeus that he must needs be a guest in his house on that day—something which would ultimately draw the ire and the angst of the religious folk during that day. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the nineteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke beginning with the first verse:

“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, for so much as he also is a son of Abraham. For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:1-10).

We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which we find in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the incredible picture of this man named Zacchaeus who was not only the chief among the publicans but one who was also rich. On this particular day Jesus desired to be guest within and abide in the house of this chief publican who was indeed also a rich man. It’s important to recognize and understand that Zacchaeus would indeed receive Jesus into his house joyfully—and would not only receive Jesus into his house joyfully but would also make confession in the sight and presence of the Lord Jesus. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that when Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to enter into the house of this one who was a chief publican it would offend those who were present with him—perhaps even those who were there in the midst of the city of Jericho. Undoubtedly there might have been many within the city who were taken advantage of by this man named Zacchaeus who was not only a publican but chief among the publicans. There were many on this particular occasion who were offended with Jesus for He would enter into the home of one who was a sinner to be guest. Oh how absolutely incredible this truly is for while there would be those who would murmur and complain about Jesus entering into the house of one who was a sinner Zacchaeus himself would make public confession within his home concerning his desire for restitution and restoration. Zacchaeus would not only declare that he would give half of his goods unto the poor but he would also declare that if he had taken any thing from any man by false accusation he would restore unto him fourfold. Thus within the house of this publican—not only do we find the wonderful and beautiful reality of giving unto the poor but we also find the incredibly beautiful picture of restoration and restitution as he would restore four-fold unto any whom he had taken advantage of by false accusation.

There is a truly wonderful and powerful need to pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find one who was a chief among the publicans and who was rich welcoming Jesus into His home. Not only would this chief among the publicans invite the Lord Jesus into his home but he would also make a public confession there in the midst of the house. Oh there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for Matthew to be present in the house of this chief publican knowing that he himself was also a publican whom Jesus had called to follow Him. Within the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke we find Jesus entering into the homes of two publicans—one whom Jesus would call to follow Him and another whom Jesus would declare that He must needs be a guest in His house. What’s more is that on both occasions Jesus’ actions would so offend and upset the religious and zealous folk during those days for the Pharisees and scribes would themselves be offended with Jesus because He and His disciples would eat and drink with sinners and publicans. The Pharisees and scribes could not understand how and why Jesus would not only enter into the homes of one who was a publican and sinner but would also eat and drink with publicans and sinners. Oh it wasn’t enough for Jesus to enter into the home of a single publican for he would also eat and drink with many publicans and sinners. Not only this but later on in this same gospel and during those days we find the Lord Jesus entering into the house of another publican—one who was chief among the publicans—and how such an act would offend the religious and zealous folk during those days who viewed Jesus as entering into the house of a sinner.

The more I sit here thinking about and considering the words found in these passages of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the truly wonderful and beautiful reality of Jesus calling Simon and his brother Andrew to walk with and follow Him. Not only this but Jesus would also call James and his brother John to walk with and follow Him. It would be in direct response to Jesus’ call and invitation to follow Him that these two sets of brothers would forsake and leave everything they knew and everything they had that they might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find Jesus calling Philip to walk with and follow Him of which Philip would indeed follow Him—and not only follow Him but would also go and speak unto Nathanael emphatically declaring and proclaiming that they had found the Messiah and the Christ. In addition to this we find the Lord Jesus calling Levi also called Matthew as he sat at the receipt of the custom and inviting him to follow him. Levi would indeed arise from that place and walk with and follow Him—something which would indeed result in Levi rising from that place and following the Lord Jesus. Oh we dare not and must not miss the incredible importance of what is found in these passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to Jesus’ invitation unto men to follow Him and how it would not only lead to these men abandoning and forsaking everything and following the Lord Jesus but it would also lead to the opening of homes—the home of Simon called Peter, the home of Levi called Matthew. What’s more is that Jesus’ calling and inviting these men would open the door to Jesus eating and drinking with publicans and sinners and how such a reality would anger and offend the religious folk which were present during those days. Oh this is something we must not miss and lose sight of for if you transition to the tenth and sixteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will find additional language concerning the call and invitation given by the Lord Jesus to walk with and follow Him.

I firmly believe that before we can return to the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke we must needs consider the words which are found in the tenth and sixteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. What’s more is that I am convinced we must also turn and direct our attention to the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the seventh chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints. There is a tremendous truth found in these passages of Scripture for they call and bring our attention to the truly wonderful truth surrounding discipleship and those who would choose to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. Oh that we would recognize and pay close attention to the words which we find in these passages of Scripture for they can and will help us to understand the words and language presented unto us in the eighth chapter of the gospel written by Luke concerning the woman who not only walked with and followed the Lord Jesus but who also gave of their substance to minister unto Him. OH it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the tenth and sixteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew as well as the words presented by the apostle Paul in the seventh chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them” (Matthew 10:1-5). “…Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when he come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city” (Matthew 10:5-15). “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preache ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:5-33). “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loveth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:34-39). “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:40-42). “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: Thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:21-23). “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after new, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? OR what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some s tending here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:24-28). It is within these passages we find Jesus speaking directly unto His disciples—not only concerning walking with and following Him in ministry but also walking with and following Him as disciples. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize the importance of this for there is a great need to understand that we have not merely been called to walk with the Lord Jesus in ministry but also walking with the Lord as disciples in fellowship. It is with these words and these passages of Scripture we understand and come face to face with the incredibly challenging truth regarding discipleship and how discipleship does indeed and does involve the cross—and not only the cross but it also involves suffering, affliction, persecution, trials, troubles, tribulation and the like. There is within this passage of Scripture a powerful truth regarding the cross and its presence within the lives of those who would not only come after but also walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we understand that the cross is more than just an instrument which was used to crucify and put the Lord Jesus to death and it was mentioned by Jesus in relation to discipleship and following Him twice before He would ever even take up His cross. This is something we have a great need of recognizing for anyone who desires to come after Him must needs deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him. It is with this in mind I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian congregation concerning those who are unmarried and those who are virgins. The apostle Paul provided very specific instructions and guidance concerning those who were married as well as those who were unmarried and described how they ought to live in this life and their service to the living God. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture and allow it to serve as a foundation for what we find in the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke: “I saw therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: IF any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. Is any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant is the Lord’s foreman: likewise also he that is called being free, is Christ’ servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God” (1 Corinthians 7:8-24). “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried carets for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married care that for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is different also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman care that for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord with distraction. But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomplicated toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. Nevertheless he that standeth steadfast in his heart having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 7:25-40). THE UNMARRIED WOMAN CARETH FOR THE THINGS OF THE LORD! I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and pay attention to the words found in these passages of Scripture for they call our attention to the truth regarding woman who are not married in this life and yet are in the Lord. The apostle Paul emphatically declared that the unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord while the married woman cares for the things of her husband and how she might please him. Thus with this being said there is a powerful truth surrounding those women who aren’t married and are in the Lord and how their hearts, their desires, their passions and their desires are indeed all about the Lord and how they can and shall please the Lord. This is something we have a great need of recognizing when reading these words for within this passage of Scripture we find Luke writing concerning certain women which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities who were Mary Magdalene out of whom sent seven devils, Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, Susanna and many others. Not only this but what we also find in this passage of Scripture is how these women ministered unto the Lord out of their substance. What makes this all the more captivating and beautiful when you take the time to think about it is when you consider Mary who dared enter into a house uninvited and unannounced and would pour out the contents of her alabaster box upon the feet of the Lord Jesus. Each of the four gospels present us with Mary who dared bring her alabaster box filled with precious ointment which she would break at the feet of Jesus that she might take the contents which were inside and lavish them upon the Lord. I sit here today thinking about the incredible truth that is found in the opening verses of the eighth chapter of the gospel written by Luke and I am absolutely struck by these women who were willing to minister unto the Lord of their own substance. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words which are found in these passages of Scripture it’s how much these women deliberately and intentionally desired to minister unto the Lord Jesus of their own substance. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful and beautiful reality of these women who dared to not only walk with and follow the Lord Jesus but also minister unto Him out of their substance. Oh it was one thing to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus, however, it was something else to open up one’s home unto the Lord Jesus that you might have fellowship together with Him. It’s one thing to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus, however, it’s something else entirely to take an alabaster box and pour out the contents upon the feet of the Lord Jesus as you wash His feet with tears and dry them with one’s hair. There is something truly captivating about those who are willing to take of their substance that they might minister unto the Lord Jesus for there are examples of those who would give of their substance unto the poor but these examples of ministering unto the Lord Jesus are incredibly unique. What’s more is that we as the saints of God and disciples of Jesus must needs recognize that just as much as we might very well have been called to minister unto others we have also been called to minister unto the Lord out of our substance. There would be those who would like to think and believe that their primary focus is to minister unto others and completely miss and lose sight of the fact that we have indeed and have in fact been called to minister unto the Lord first and foremost. Oh tell me dear brother, tell me dear sister—when was the last time you gave of yourself willingly, deliberately and voluntarily to meet the needs of the Lord Jesus? Oh it is with this in mind I leave you with the following words which are found in the four gospels concerning the ministry of Mary with her alabaster box and the ointment and perfume inside as well as the ministry of the woman during the time of the passion and suffering of the Lord Jesus: “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat a at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her” (Matthew 26:6-13). “And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye here? She hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you awlays, and when soever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is comer a forehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (Mark 14:3-9). “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had hidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touché the him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say not thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she. Loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50). “Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was. One of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let here alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always” (John 12:1-8).

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