John the Baptist was thrown into prison because he never deviated from the truth and valued justice above all. Herod, who had illegally married his brother's wife, fell victim to his own pride. During the celebration of his birthday, he promised Herodias' daughter to give her whatever she wanted, because she pleased the king with her dance. And the girl, receiving instruction from her mother, demanded to give, on a platter, John's head, which she received, because Herod promised her in front of everyone.
Synoptic Evangelists present the story of how Jesus sends the twelve apostles in pairs to preach. Jesus gives them authority to preach, cast out demons, and heal the sick. He commands them to stay at the house of the worthiest man in any place they enter, and to greet that house. If the house accepts the greeting, then the apostles should stay in it, and if not, let them shake away the dust from their feet and leave that place. The Evangelist Matthew adds that the fate and judgment of such a village or town will be worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The version presented by Evangelist Luke about how the Lord Jesus Christ preached in the synagogue of Nazareth on Saturday is more luxurious and interesting. Luke cites the words of the prophet Isaiah, which Jesus read in the synagogue (Is. 61).
Luke presents the two examples Jesus gave when answering why He did not do great things and miracles in His home town. The first example was about the prophet Elijah, the second was about Elisha. In both cases, the Jewish prophets did miracles by the power of the Lord not in the Jewish community or not for the Jews, but for the Assyrians and pagans. The reason was the following: because they listened to the word of the prophet, while the people of Jesus' home town did not listen to and did not accept what the Son of God preached.
The synoptic evangelists present the Lord Jesus Christ returning to Nazareth after He had performed miracles and preached in Capernaum. Evangelists Matthew and Mark only present how Jesus preached in the synagogue on Saturday. Those gathered in the synagogue mentioned the names of Jesus' "brothers and sisters" whom they knew well, and they were surprised by the wisdom their brother, the son of Mary, had attained.
In this verse, the Lord also utters the well-known words of prophecy: "A prophet has no honor in his province."
Only Matthew among the synoptic evangelists tells the story of healing of two men and of a dumb demoniac. How did the two blind men call Jesus, why did the Lord answer late, and, after testing their faith and healing them, why did He urge them to be careful and not to tell anyone about what had happened? What was the reason that people became amazed at the healing of the dumb demoniac?
After answering these and other questions, this episode of the program touches upon the Lord's preaching in all villages and towns and ends with the Lord's instruction to His disciples to pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
The synoptic Gospels present an episode in which the daughter of Jairus was raised and which was interrupted with the story of the bleeding woman. In order to save his near-death daughter, Jairus asked Jesus to come to his house, while Jesus stopped on his way and revealed the bleeding woman who had touched His garment secretly. When Jesus sent her off in peace, Jairus's servant came and said that his daughter had just died, so there was no need to disturb the Teacher any more. What indescribable pain and disappointment would Jairus feel! But at that moment Jesus said, "Take heart, do not fear, just believe" and entered Jairus's house.
This episode presents the story on the demon-possessed man from Gerasenes, found in Mark 5, Mt. 8 and Luke 8. The man lived in the tombs, always beat himself, and no one could bind him. He went forward to Jesus and, seeing His power, asked Him to leave him at rest and not to torture. The Lord rebuked the demoniac, cast many demons out of him and, at their request, sent them into the pigs, which drowned in the lake. The people of Gerasenes asked Jesus to depart from their borders, because they were interested in and deemed important not the healing of the demoniac but their own pigs and material comfort.
This episode recounts how Jesus pacified the storm. The apostles were frightened and they turned to their Teacher, who was sleeping in the boat, for help, and the Lord woke up, ordered the winds, and the sea calmed down. The Lord rebuked His disciples for having little faith.
What does this story symbolize, how to overcome temptations and fears, what power does praying for each other have? We find the answers to these and other questions in this Gospel episode.
In Mt. 13.44-52 three parables are presented – about a man who found a treasure in a field and sold all his possessions to buy that field; about a merchant who also sold all his possessions to acquire one very expensive pearl; and about a fishing net, all fish in which must be later sorted by fishermen. After these parables, our Lord asks the disciples whether they understood everything, and concludes His words, noting that all those who have become disciples of the Kingdom of Heaven will separate the old and new from all that they have. By this He shows that people who have chosen the way of truth, that is have become Christians, will also use their former skills and abilities for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Between the Parable of the Weeds and its explanation, Matthew the Evangelist presents the Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Leaven. By the parable of the Mustard Seed, the Lord teaches about the growth and development of the Kingdom of Heaven. Even the little preaching and spiritual mission is able to become a foundation for a large and strong church, spiritual community. While by the Parable of the Leaven, the Lord teaches that those who enter into Christian life undergo inner changes: what is done by the little leaven that completely leavens the whole lump of dough, the same is accomplished by faith.
This episode is about the Parable of the Weeds and about its explanation by Jesus Himself. The Lord gives by this parable, preserved only in the Gospel of Matthew, the answers to two questions asked frequently nowadays: "Why does God tolerate sinful and evil people, and how to explain their existence in the Church?" According to the explanation of this parable, this has two reasons: the first is the existence of good people beside the evil ones who can be harmed if God executes just judgment already in this world. The second is the fact that, unlike the life of herbs, in the spiritual life, weeds can change and become healthy and good grains of wheat.
Evangelists Matthew and Mark present the episode where the Lord Jesus Christ answers the question of the disciples on why He speaks in parables with people. He cites a passage from the Prophecy of Isaiah, Chapter 6, where the Lord says that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest they should be converted and be saved. Why does Jesus repeat these words and what does He mean by this?
At the end of this passage in the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord blesses those who see, hear and accept the Truth, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom many prophets and righteous people longed to see but did not see.
After the Parable of the Sower, the Gospel of Matthew presents a conversation between the Apostles and Jesus who explains why He speaks in parables with people. Immediately after this, He Himself explains the Parable of the Sower. The different types of soil that received the seed are the humans that listen to the words of the Kingdom and either they don't understand it, or become quickly inspired but not having a good soil they wither soon; or they don't realize the word of the Kingdom because of worldly concerns and illusion of wealth; or they receive the word readily and live according to it.
The broadcast presents the Lord Jesus Christ's preaching in parables. Christ started to speak in parables when it became difficult for him to enter the synagogue after healing the man with a withered hand. The first parable that was presented was that of the Sower. This parable compares the people who listen to God's word in different situations with four types of soil: 1) soil along the path where the seed is eaten up by birds; 2) in a rocky place where the soil is little, and because of not having roots, plants wither; 3) a thorny place where the seed grows and is choked by thorns; and 4) good soil where the seed produces crop in different measures.
This part explains the Luke 13:1-9 passage, which speaks of repentance. The Lord Jesus Christ was told about the Galileans killed in the Temple during a ceremony of sacrifice, and Jesus in response spoke about the 18 victims of the fall of the Tower of Siloam. It is not clear under what circumstances these things had happened, but in both cases one thing is clear: the slain Galileans and the Jerusalemites that had died were sinners in the eyes of society and they had received their inevitable punishment. But the Lord Jesus Christ did not agree with this point of view.
At the end of the broadcast, we present the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, which is preserved only in the Gospel of Luke.
This episode discusses the most wide-spread sin peculiar to the Pharisees, hypocrisy. The Lord Jesus Christ warns His disciples to be on their guard against the yeast of hypocrisy, which infects humans unnoticeably and rapidly. The Lord instructs to not be afraid of the Pharisees and generally of anyone who can kill only the human body; rather, He urges to be afraid of the One who has authority over human soul also.
The verses 45-54 of Luke, Chapter 11 present the woes Jesus addressed to the experts of the Jewish law. The Lord condemns these men for putting heavy burdens on people's shoulders but not touching those burdens themselves, for building tombs for the prophets yet not accepting those same prophets, for keeping the key of knowledge from people and not allowing them to enter the kingdom.
The verses 11:35-54 of the Gospel according to Luke present the Lord Jesus Christ's woes addressed to the Pharisees and Scribes. The Lord rebukes the Pharisees for paying more attention to appearance than to the inside, for neglecting God's love and justice by observing minor formal laws, for preferring honorable places in synagogues, and for receiving welcomes before everyone. These same accusations must also keep contemporary Christians alert, lest the latter end up in the same situation.
This episode presents the mother and brothers of Jesus. They had come to meet Him, but Jesus said that His mother, sisters and brothers are those who perform His heavenly Father's will. By these words, Jesus gave us, modern Christians, one of the greatest promises − to be Christ's brothers or sisters and have the closest spiritual bond with our Savior. During the broadcast, we also shed light on who were those called "brothers of Jesus"; were they His brothers from the same mother or were simply relatives?
Today's episode presents the scene where pharisees and scribes asked the Lord Jesus Christ to show a heavenly sign to prove that He was the Messiah. Surprisingly, all the wondrous works of Jesus were enough neither for pharisees, nor for scribes and the rest of the Jews. Answering this request, Jesus said that no sign would be given to the wicked and adulterous generation except the signs of Jonas the Prophet and of the Queen of Saba's visit to Solomon. What message and meaning do these two historical examples have for the Jews and for contemporary Christians? The answers to these and other questions are given in this broadcast.
The first part of the broadcast presents the explanation of Jesus' warning about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This blasphemy is the rejection of works performed by God's power, or is the ascription of them to another power. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the rejection of the achievement of salvation by divine grace.
The second part presents the return of the unclean spirit when a man who is cleansed of an evil spirit is doomed, because of his inaction and lack of virtues, to the return of that spirit. But this time, says the Gospel, that same spirit brings back with itself seven other similar spirits.
At the beginning of this episode, the verses Luke 8:1-3 are interpreted that tell of Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna, women who followed Jesus and ministered to Him from their properties.
The second part of the episode presents the story of the healing of the dumb and blind man by the Lord Jesus. This case became an occasion for the surrounding people to doubt that Jesus was the son of David, that is, Christ. This doubt was deepened by the efforts of the Pharisees who said that Jesus cast out demons through unclean spirits. To this, the Lord responded with several arguments, which are explained in our program.
This episode tells about an interesting event that happened in the house of Simon the Pharisee and is preserved only in the Gospel according to Luke. A sinful woman approached Jesus and washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. Simon the Pharisee, surprised by what was happening, thought that if Jesus were a prophet, He would know who this woman was. While Jesus, knowing well who she was, just gave her opportunity by His mercy to repent of her sins.
Immediately after the resurrection of the Nain widow's son, Luke the Evangelist presents John the Baptist who had been imprisoned and would periodically get information by his disciples about the life outside. So John sent messengers to Jesus to ask Him whether Jesus was the one whom the Jewish people waited for or they had to wait for someone else. John asked this question so that his disciples could themselves have the opportunity to see Jesus and be convinced that Jesus was the promised Messiah. After answering John's disciples in words and deeds and after those disciples had departed, Jesus in his own turn explained to those present who John the Baptist was.