This Week's Story

Trying to trap Jesus was no answer.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

His Arms Are Open

This man loved children. “Come little ones! Sit on my lap and around me. We can talk.”

He also talked to religious hypocrites who plotted his death. They followed him, attempting to trap him with trick questions. Maybe he would say something for which he could be arrested.

They asked him, “Is it right to pay taxes to the Roman government?”

He said, “Who are you trying to fool? Show me a Roman coin, and I’ll tell you.” When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

“Caesar,” they answered.

“Well, then,” Jesus replied, “give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God.”

When they continued to question him, he replied, “The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. You must love the Lord your God with all

your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength. The second commandment is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

Ten lepers pleaded of him, “Have mercy on us.” Their disease was contagious and repulsive.

He replied, “Go show yourselves to priests.” As they went, they were healed. One came back and thanked him.

Crowds of thousands came to get fixes for their problems. Would he speak to them? He did. Many he also healed.

One day a group of tax collectors and public sinners came, pushing into a crowd to hear him. Most Jews and the religious leaders wanted nothing to do with such people. The tax collectors were traitors, because they worked for the Roman Empire, which had conquered Israel.

The tax collectors did more than collect required taxes. They lied about how much was owed and enlarged the amounts of taxes allowed and kept the difference.

The public sinners who came, had reputations for being corrupt in sexual morality and business ethics. They were shunned by the average Jew and harassed by the religious leaders.

The Jews religious leaders handled religious ceremonies and teaching. Their power was great among their own Jewish people, so long as it did not interfere with Roman laws. They lived by the details of their laws, but not by the spirit of the laws God had given them.

Often, he told them stories to illustrate an important truth, though their harassing of Him continued. One story was directed to a crowd, tax collectors, and public sinners.

“If you had 100 sheep and lost one, you would immediately begin looking for the missing one. When you found it, you would call your neighbors and friends together and celebrate. ‘Rejoice with me. I have found my lost sheep.’

“Likewise, in heaven when one sinner repents, there will be tremendous joy, more than over ninety-nine righteous people who did not need to repent!”

Another time his teaching directed them to him, “I have come to seek and to save the lost.” Yes, this man was Jesus.

This is Barbara Steiner knowing that trying to trap him is no answer.

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