Morning Bible Study
Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just
at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.
11:27-28 Best Blessings
:27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from
the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that
bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”
:27 Blessed is the womb that bore You
This woman in the crowd is blown away with who Jesus is, and is beginning
to think that His mother must have been someone special.
It’s possible that this is an early attempt by someone to worship Mary,
Yet pay attention to how Jesus responds.
:28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the
word of God and keep it!”
:28 blessed … who hear the word of God and keep it
Jesus isn’t going to say bad things about His mom, but He takes this
opportunity to point out that there are things more blessed than His mom.
Hear and Do
Don’t get me wrong. Mary was indeed
a very special woman.
Yet pay attention to what Jesus is saying.
You have the ability to be even more blessed than even Mary.
It starts with hearing the word of God.
Paul talked about the advantage that his countrymen the Jews had over
9:4 NKJV) who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory,
the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the
They had the Word of God.
Whether it’s reading your Bible, listening to a teacher on the radio, or coming
to church, there is a measure of blessing that you are receiving by just being
there exposing yourself to the Word of God.
It’s a blessing that you don’t receive when you don’t read
your Bible on your own or you take a month off from church.
As great as it is to be exposed to the Word of God, the greatest blessing
comes when you do it, when you put it into practice in your life.
Some of that blessing includes the good things that God brings as a result
of your obedience.
26:4 NKJV) then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its
produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Some of that blessing comes from the help that God gives you when the same difficult
times come on you that come to everyone else.
7:24–27 NKJV) —24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I
will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain
descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it
did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these
sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his
house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and
beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
The person who only “heard” wasn’t protected during the
storm. It was the one who was “doing”
that found protection.
Doing what God asks you to do is not always easy.
Sometimes there’s a price we pay in obedience.
But it’s always best.
:29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say,
“This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
:29 This is an evil generation
Just last week we read about some of the people coming to Jesus. Some were claiming that He was casting out
demons using Satan’s power. While…
(Luke 11:16 NKJV) Others,
testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven.
It’s the people that were evil, not their request for signs.
They weren’t looking for a reason to believe, they were looking for a
reason NOT to believe.
:30 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man
will be to this generation.
:30 Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites
Nineveh – today this is the modern city of Mosul in modern Iraq, now
under ISIS control.
Jonah was that fellow who was told by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead
of going to Nineveh, Jonah boarded a ship heading in the opposite direction,
and tried to run away from God.
God responded to Jonah’s disobedience by sending a storm on the ship, Jonah
was tossed overboard, and he was swallowed by a giant fish.
Jonah was in the belly of that fish for three days before he repented and
the fish vomited him out on the beach.
Jonah then went to preach to the people of Nineveh.
The sign of Jonah to the people of Nineveh was him having come out of the
belly of the fish to preach to them.
Jesus would be a sign to the people by coming from the belly of the earth.
His resurrection would be the greatest of “signs”.
:31 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of
this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to
hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
:31 The queen …will rise up in the judgment
Queen of the south – the Queen of Sheba
Jesus is referring to the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon (1Kings
She was a powerful and wealth woman who had heard of King Solomon and had
travelled a great distance just to see if the things she heard were true.
When she met Solomon, she was blown away with his great wisdom. It was worth the trip to find out about
Jesus is saying that if this woman went to such great lengths to see
Solomon, how much more should the people of His generation be coming to listen
to Him, since He is Solomon’s Creator?
Beware of excuses
Jesus gives us an interesting picture of the judgment, as if witnesses will
be called in to testify against us.
The witnesses will be people who have been through things similar to us,
but who responded properly to what they faced.
When the people of Jesus’ generation are being judged, the Queen of Sheba
will be called to the stand to testify concerning how she visited Solomon, and
how these people should have followed Jesus.
Some of us give interesting excuses as to why we can’t do what Jesus is
asking us to do.
Some of us will blame our upbringing.
I think Greg Laurie might be called to the witness stand
and tell of how he responded to God even though his mom was an alcoholic and
married seven times.
Some of us will blame the difficulties we’ve been through.
I wonder if Joni Eareckson Tada will be called to the
witness stand. She has been paralyzed since
she was sixteen from a diving accident.
I wonder if God will call Corrie Ten Boom to the stand as
she describes life in a Nazi concentration camp, all because she was a
Christian trying to help the persecuted Jews.
The real issue is, do you believe Jesus?
Do you believe who He is? Do you
think He’s big enough to help you do what He’s asking you to do?
In the movie “Star Wars” (Episode VI), Yoda has been training Luke
Skywalker, but there comes a point when Luke thinks he can’t do what Yoda has
asked him to do…
Watch out for those excuses. Jesus is big enough. You need to believe Him and start following
:32 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation
and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a
greater than Jonah is here.
:32 for they repented at the preaching of Jonah
When Jonah finally arrived in Nineveh, he didn’t have a very polished
(Jonah 3:4 NKJV) Then he
cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
Religion vs. Jesus
The people that Jesus is speaking to are religious people, religious Jews.
Yet they have their own Promised Messiah standing right in front of them,
and they are rejecting Him.
Jonah didn’t even care for the people of Niniveh, while Jesus has done
nothing but show love and grace for the people coming to Him.
He’s cleansed the leper.
He’s healed the sick.
He’s raised the dead.
But because of their immersion in religion, these people are rejecting the
very Son of God.
Religion is about man trying to reach God.
Religion demands that you have to do this, don’t do that, perform the
rituals, always come to our church, stand up, sit down, do, do, do.
Jesus is about God reaching down to man.
God saw that man had a problem and that man’s sin separated us from God.
God sent Jesus to take on human flesh, and to die as a sacrifice to pay for
Jesus offers forgiveness and eternal life to us who will choose to simply
believe in Him.
Religion and Jesus don’t really mix.
:33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or
under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.
:33 a lamp … under a basket
The purpose of lighting a lamp is to make light. The whole purpose of light is so that you can
Don’t confuse this teaching with an earlier teaching of Jesus where we are
the lights and we shouldn’t hide our little lights. (Mat. 5:14-16)
Here the idea is going to be that the truth about Jesus is the light, but
these people haven’t been letting the Light do its work. Instead, they have been trying to cover up
the light by ignoring the truth about Jesus.
:34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your
whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body
also is full of darkness.
:34 when your eye is good
Jesus is addressing the issue of why these people are not paying attention
to Him like they should, like the people of Nineveh paid attention to Jonah.
good – haplous – simple, single; whole; good
fulfilling its office
Remember this idea of “simple” or “single”.
It will help tie in some things together at the end.
When you have eye problems like cataracts, you don’t see much light.
I remember when my dad had eye surgery to remove his cataracts how blown
away he was with what he had been missing.
These people have “eye” problems, and its keeping them from seeing the
truth about Jesus.
:35 Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.
:36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the
whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp
gives you light.”
:36 your whole body is full of light
Jesus wants His listeners to have lives that are completely full of light.
And the key to this as He’s just taught, goes back to your “eye”.
:34 when your eye is bad
bad – poneros – bad, of a
bad nature or condition; evil, wicked
This is the same word that Jesus used in describing the people as an “evil
generation” (vs. 29)
You could say that they have an “evil eye”
Obstacles to Jesus
Some people think that the “evil eye” is a way that you can curse others,
or get them to do what you want them to.
Watch out now, I’m going to show you an “evil eye”, the person on the video
might make you do something…
In the Bible, the focus on the evil eye isn’t what others do to you, but
the warnings are concerning you having an “evil eye”.
Moses mentions an “evil eye”. In
this passage, the warning is about when the time approaches when debts are
15:9 NKJV) Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The
seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against
your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin
When your eye is evil, you want what belongs to your
Solomon also mentions the evil eye:
28:22 NKJV) A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not
consider that poverty will come upon him.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also mentioned the “evil” eye using our
same words for “evil” and “good”. Notice
what the section is sandwiched between.
NKJV) —19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and
rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up
for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and
where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The lamp of
the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be
full of light. 23
if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the
light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
The word for “bad” is the same word here which could be
24 “No one can
serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else
he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and
The “evil eye” is all about the person who wants more, who
wants stuff, who wants more money.
Remember the “good eye” or “single” eye? (vs. 34)
Jesus said you can’t serve two masters.
You can’t serve God and money.
The “good eye” is only looking at one thing, at God.
The “evil eye” wants the wrong things.
It wants the things that keep you from Jesus.
Our passage is all about Jesus warning the people about what is going to
cloud their judgment so they won’t see the “light” of the truth of Jesus.
Is there something that’s keeping you from following Jesus?
Is it really worth it? Is it worth
keeping you from heaven?