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On Counting the Cost
This time while Jesus was in Perea, preaching in the towns, greater crowds than ever before were following him, claiming to believe in him as the son of David and the King of Israel. Most of these people saw that he was going toward Jerusalem, and the report went abroad among them that when he reached that city he would take the throne that had been King David's.
Seeking the Lost
The Pharisees were very careful to keep all the rules of the Jewish law, and were supposed to be very religious, because they prayed often in public places and went regularly to church. But Jesus saw that their religion was only pretended and not real, and would have nothing to do with them,except rebuke them for their sins.
The Parable of the Lost Son Found
You remember that the enemies of Jesus, the Pharisees and scribes, said of him, He gives welcome to bad men, and eats at the table with them! Jesus in answer gave a parable or story to show how God welcomes a sinner who turns from his sin and seeks his heavenly Father. This is one of the most beautiful among all the parables of Jesus. It is called The Prodigal Son.
The Parable of the Dishonest Steward
At this time Jesus gave to his disciples the parable of The Dishonest Steward. A steward is a man who takes care of any business or lands or houses belonging to another man who employs him. Jesus said : There was a rich man who had a steward who took charge of all his business. Some one told the rich man that his steward was cheating him and making a wrong use of his money.
A Parable for the Lovers of Money
Jesus knew that the Pharisees, for all their church-going and their carefulness in keeping the rules of their law, were in their hearts lovers of money, and were living for the things of this world and not for God. He gave to them a parable about a rich man who suddenly became poor, and a poor man who became rich. It is called The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
Two Parables Upon Prayer
Jesus told his disciples a parable to show that they should always keep on praying and never be discouraged. This parable is named The Parable of the Unjust Judge. In a certain city, he said, there was a judge who in his rule did not try to do right, but was often unjust and wicked; for he had no fear of God and no care for what men said about him.
The Little Children and the Rich Young Man
While Jesus was still passing through the land of Perea, on his way to Jerusalem, at one place the fathers and mothers brought their babies to him, asking him to place his hands on their heads and speak upon them a blessing. When the disciples saw them doing this, they were not pleased.
The Workers in the Vineyard
Jesus explained by a parable what he meant in saying, Many that are first shall be last, and some that are lowest here will be the highest in God's kingdom. This parable was The Workers in the Vineyard.
The Blind Man At the Gate
Six miles from the river Jordan, on the west, stood Jericho, toward which Jesus came with a great crowd of people around him. As he drew near Jericho, a blind man was seated beside the gate, begging for the small coins of those who passed by. This blind man's name was Bartimeus, a word which means the son of Timeus.
In the Rich Man's Home at Jerricho
But blind Bartimeus was not the only man in Jericho who was eager to meet Jesus. In that city was living a very rich man named Zacceus, who was the head of all the tax collectors in that part of the country. He had heard that Jesus was unlike other Jews, in being friendly toward the tax gatherers, and he greatly desired to see him.
The Alabaster Jar
From Jericho to Jerusalem was a journey of fifteen miles up the mountains by a very steep road; a road often dangerous on account of the robbers who were hidden among the rocks by the wayside. But at the time of the Passover when thousands of people were going up to the feast, it was safe, through the crowds traveling together.
Palm Sunday
The news that Jesus was at Bethany went abroad, and very soon the village was thronged with people eager to see him. Many of these were men who had come from the country up to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover; and most of them were ready to believe in Jesus as the Christ, the promised King of Israel.
Monday On the Mount in the Temple
After the royal coming of Jesus to the city and the Temple, on the next morning—which was Monday—Jesus left Bethany very early, without waiting for his breakfast, and with his twelve disciples walked over the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem. The walk and the early morning air made him hungry, and seeing a fig tree covered with green leaves in a field near the road, he went to it, hoping to find some figs upon it.
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