(Mt. 19:16-22, Mk. 10:17-22, Lk. 18:18-23)
A rich young man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Since he had observed all the commandments since his childhood, Jesus advised him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor.
This episode of the program touches upon topics related to various degrees of salvation, to kindness of God and humans, and to temptation.
(Mt. 19:13-15, Mk. 10: 13-16, Lk. 18:15-17)
This episode touches upon the topic of the spiritual education of children and presents its two extremes: 1) the complete absence of spiritual education; and 2) the compulsory spiritual education.
The episode also presents the golden mean, which is expressed in three ways: 1) by one's own example, 2) by taking children to church with oneself, and 3) by telling the Bible stories to children in a comprehensible language.
(Mt. 19:1-12, Mk. 10:1-12)
The Pharisees asked Jesus about the divorce letter and sending the wife away. Their question was based on Deut. 24:1, which tells about the possibility of divorce in case a disgracing circumstance has been found in the wife. Christ clearly rejects divorce, citing the words of the Book of Genesis that a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two will be one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.
To answer the Apostle Peter's question on the forgiveness of friends, the Lord Jesus Christ tells this parable, which is preserved only in the Gospel of Matthew. The parable tells about a servant with a huge debt, which his master graciously cancels, but the servant himself doesn't cancel the little debt that his friend owes to him. The parable teaches us to be merciful toward our brothers and sisters and to remember always that we must forgive them because the Lord has unselfishly forgiven us our great debts.
This episode covers three main topics. The first is about forgiving the brother who has sinned against us and, generally, about forgiveness. Jesus teaches to rebuke directly the brother who has sinned against us, and separately from others; if he does not listen, then in the presence of two or three witnesses, and only after that to present the problem in the congregation of believers. The second topic is about the binding and loosing of sins on the earth. And the third is about the joint prayer of two or three believers. Our Lord also says that where two or three gather in His name, He is there among them.
(Mt. 18:12-14; Lk. 15:3-7)
The Evangelists Matthew and Luke present the parable of the Lord Jesus Christ about the lost sheep. The Jews considered finding the missing sheep, in whatever condition it might be, and its presentation before the community an issue of honor. The brave and true shepherd was obliged, even at the cost of his life, to find the missing sheep. The Gospel says that for one lost and found sheep and one repenting believer will be more joy in heaven than for the 99 righteous people who do not need to be found because they are already in the Church.
(Mt. 17:21-22, 18:1-11, Mk. 9:29-31, 9: 32-36, Lk. 9: 44b-45, 9:46-48, 17:1-2)
The episode presents the Lord's warning that one should beware of temptations and not become a cause of stumbling for any child.
It also tells about the tax that was paid to the Temple. The Pharisees asked the Lord's disciples if their Master was going to pay this tax, to which Jesus answered and asked Peter if kings collect taxes from their sons. But in order not to tempt anyone, Jesus sends Peter to catch a fish in whose mouth Peter would find a silver and pay for himself and for Jesus.
(Mt. 17:21-22, 18:1-11, Mk. 9:29-31, 9: 32-36, Lk. 9: 44b-45, 9:46-48, 17:1-2)
The Lord Jesus Christ foretells His death and resurrection, though the apostles, according to the Evangelist Matthew, were very sad because of this and, according to Mark, they were even afraid of this.
This episode of the program also presents the quarrel about who is great in the Kingdom of Heaven that arose between the disciples of Jesus as they walked along the road. Our Lord says that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, it is necessary to be like children. Children are not vindictive, have perfect trust in their parents and are innocent. We must be the same to become worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Mt. 17:14-20, Mk. 9:13-28, Lk. 9:37-44)
Immediately after the Transfiguration, the Synoptic Evangelists present the episode where Jesus heals a lunatic boy. What was lunatism? Was it the disease that is called somnambulism today? Why weren't the disciples able to heal the child and set him free from the unclean spirit? How are such demons cast out, and what did the father of the demon-possessed child ask, saying, "I believe, help my unbelief!"
(Mt. 17:1-13, Mk. 9: 2-12, Lk. 9:28-36)
This episode is dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why did Jesus withdraw to a mountain for transfiguration, and what is the spiritual meaning of the Transfiguration? Why were the apostles Peter, James and John given the honor to see the transfiguration of Jesus? What did the arrival of the prophets Elijah and Moses and their communication with the Lord Jesus Christ mean? You will find the answers to these and other similar questions in today's episode of the program.
(Mt. 16:21-28, Mk. 8: 31-39, Lk. 9:22-27)
Jesus' prediction of His suffering, death and resurrection was not easily accepted by the Apostle Peter. That is why Peter opposed Christ and the latter rebuked him, calling him "Satan."
What is the way of Christian life; what principles should a Christian follow in order to achieve salvation; what is the most important rule of following Christ, whereby a person can find and liberate himself or herself? These and other similar questions are discussed in this episode.
All three Synoptic Evangelists present the episode about the true confession of Jesus. When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He first asked His disciples what people thought of Him, who He was, and then asked the apostles' opinion about the same. Of the Synoptic Evangelists, only Matthew presents in this episode the Apostle Peter as the rock on which Christ built His Church and to which the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were given.
Of the Synoptic Evangelists only Mark has the story about the healing of the blind man in Bethsaida. It is interesting that in order to heal that man, Jesus took him out of the village and returned his eyesight through two actions. When Jesus spat on the blind man's eyes, the latter began to see people who walked like trees, and after being blessed by Jesus for the second time, the man began to see perfectly. What is the spiritual meaning of the story of this healing in two steps — could not Christ heal the blind man immediately?
(Mt. 16: 1-4; 5-12, Mk. 8: 11-13; 14-21, Lk. 12:54-56)
The Pharisees and Sadducees asked the Lord Jesus Christ to show a heavenly sign. The reason was their desire to make sure through a miracle that Jesus was really the Messiah. Naturally, Jesus did not perform a miracle for them and said that the only sign for them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.
In the second part of this episode, we talk about Christ's warning, in which He instructed His disciples to stay away from the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees or, according to Mark, of Herod. At first, the disciples did not understand this warning correctly, but then it became clear that it was not about a leaven in the literal sense of this word, but about the doctrine.
This episode presents the story of the healing of the deaf man that is only found in the Gospel of Mark. The Lord Jesus Christ performed this healing by departing from the crowd.
The second topic of this episode is the second multiplication of bread. This story is not included in the Gospel of Luke. With what aim do Matthew and Mark present it, and isn't it just another variant of the same story of the first multiplication of bread or is it indeed a separate case? You'll learn about all of this in today's issue of the program.
Evangelists Matthew and Mark present the story of the amazing faith of a Canaanite woman. This pagan woman who met Jesus at the borders of Tyre and Sidon had an indescribable faith. She did not lose heart even when after her long requests Jesus did not pay attention to her, when even the intercession of His disciples did not bring any result and when the Lord Himself rejected her, comparing her with a dog. Yet after all of this, through her powerful faith, she finally received the Lord's mercy and found her daughter got rid of demons and healed.
This episode presents the conversation between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Pharisees about keeping the tradition of the elders. This was because of the disciples of Jesus who often ate with unwashed hands, while the Jewish law forbids it: this is about the ritual washing of hands. Jesus tells the Pharisees that for the sake of preserving the tradition created by humans, they disregard the law of God.
The evangelists Matthew and Mark present the story where the Lord Jesus Christ is walking on the sea after giving up His prayer in order to go to help His disciples. Only Evangelist Matthew also talks about Apostle Peter walking on the water. What spiritual lessons can we learn from this wonderful story; what similarities do we have with Apostle Peter, and what lesson does the Lord Jesus Christ give us in this Gospel story? You'll find the answers to this and other questions in today's episode of our program.
Synoptic Evangelists present the first multiplication of bread, during which the Lord fed more than 5000 people. How did this miracle happen? Was that a simple multiplication of bread, or is it possible that by putting the five loaves and two fish in front of people, the Lord compelled the people to put the food they had brought with themselves before everyone, as a result of which it turned out that they had so much food that even 12 basketfuls of food remained after it.
The twelve apostles returned to the Teacher after preaching and told Him in detail everything that had happened to them. After that, Jesus decided to go to a deserted place to give the apostles the opportunity to have rest and be alone. However, before getting off the boat, they saw that on the other side of the sea a crowd of people was waiting for them, which was like a herd of scattered sheep. Jesus took pity on them and began to preach and teach.
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."