"Somehow of all the Gospel writers, one would have liked to meet Luke best of all." - William Barclay

(1907 - 1978)
Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, Barclay dedicated
his life to "making the best biblical scholarship available to the average reader."

The result was the Daily Study Bible, a set of commentaries on the New Testament, exploring verse by verse through Barclay's own translation of the New Testament, listing and examining every possible interpretation known to Barclay and providing all the background information he considered possibly relevant.

The 17 volumes of the set were all instant best-sellers and continue to be so to this day.

Barclay wrote many other popular books, mostly in the same accessible but scholarly style. In The Mind of Jesus (1960) he states that his aim was "to make the figure of Jesus more vividly alive, so that we may know him better and love him more."


The Words of Jesus Christ
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Chapters Seventeen and Eighteen

And shall God not vindicate his own chosen ones who cry to him day and night, even though he seem to wait for long? But when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on earth?

Jesus said to his disciples, "It is impossible that snares to sin should not arise; but woe to him through whom they do arise! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to trip up.

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times in the day, and if seven times he turns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him." The apostles said to the Lord, "Give us also faith!" The Lord said, "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you would say to this sycamore tree, 'Be rooted up and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. "If any of you has a slave ploughing or watching the flock, and the slave comes in from the field, will he say to him, 'Come at once and take your place at table'; or rather, will he not say to him, 'Get ready my evening meal, and gird yourself and serve me, until I eat and drink, and after that you shall eat and drink yourself'? Does he thank a servant because he has done what he was ordered to do? Even so, you too, when you have done everything you were ordered to do, say, 'We are unworthy servants. We have done what it was our duty to do.'"

When Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, he was going along between Samaria and Galilee; and, as he entered a village, ten lepers, who stood far off, met him. They lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have pity upon us." When he saw them, he said, "Go, and show yourselves to the priests."

And as they went they were cleansed. One of them when he saw that he was cured, turned back, glorifying God with a great voice. He fell on his face at Jesus' feet and kept on thanking him. And he was a Samaritan. Jesus said, "Were the ten not cleansed? The nine - where are they? Were none found to turn back and give glory to God except this foreigner?"

And he said to him, "Rise and go! Your faith has made you well."

When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, "The kingdom of God does not come with signs that you can watch for; nor will they say, 'Look here!' or 'Look there!' For - look you - the kingdom of God is within you." He said to his disciples, "Days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and you will not see it. And they will say to you, 'Look there! Look here!' Do not depart, and do not follow them. For, as the flashing lightning lights up the sky from one side to another, so shall be the Son of Man in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Even as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, and they were being given in marriage, until the day on which Noah entered the ark and the flood came and wiped them all out. In the same way, so it was in the days of Lot. They were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building, but, on the day on which Lot went out of Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from heaven and wiped them all out. It will be the same on the day on which the Son of Man is revealed. If, on that day, anyone is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them. In the same way, if anyone is in the field, let him not turn back.

Remember Lot's wife! Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will preserve it alive. This is the truth I tell you - on that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together. One will be taken and the other left." They said to him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there the vultures will be gathered together."

Jesus spoke a parable to them to show that it is necessary always to pray and not to lose heart. "There was a judge," he said, "in a town who neither feared God nor respected man. There was a widow in the same town who kept coming to him and saying, 'Vindicate me against my adversary.' For some time he refused. But afterwards he said to himself, 'Even though I neither fear God nor respect man, because she bothers me, I will vindicate this widow, lest by her constant coming she exhausts me.'" The Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And shall God not vindicate his own chosen ones who cry to him day and night, even though he seem to wait for long? But when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on earth?"

Jesus spoke this parable to some who were self-confidently sure that they were righteous and who despised others. "Two men went up to the Temple to pray. The one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'O God, I thank thee that I am not as the rest of men, thieves, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give a tenth of all that I get.' The tax-collector stood afar off, and would not lift even his eyes to heaven, and kept beating his breast and said, 'O God, be merciful, to me - the sinner.' I tell you, this man went down to his house accepted with God rather than the other, because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

People were bringing even their babies to Jesus that he might touch them. When the disciples saw it they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him saying, "Let the little children come to me, and don't stop them, for of such is the kingdom of God. This is the truth I tell you - whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter into it."

A ruler asked Jesus, "Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? There is none good except one - God. You know the commandments - do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour your father and your mother." He said, "From my youth I have kept all these." When Jesus heard that, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come! Follow me!" When he heard these things he was very sad, because he was exceedingly rich. When Jesus saw him he said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Those who heard him said, "And who can be saved?" He said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." Peter said, "Look you - we have left our private possessions and have followed you." He said to them, "This is the truth I tell you - there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brother, or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not get it all back many times over in this time, and, in the age that is coming, eternal life."

Jesus took the Twelve and said to them, "Look you - we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that was written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the gentiles; and he will be mocked and cruelly treated; and spat upon; and they will scourge him and kill him; and on the third day he will rise again." But they did not understand these things; this word was hidden from them; and they did not grasp what was being said.

When Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the wayside begging. When he heard the crowd passing through he asked what it meant. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." He shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" Those who were going on in front rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he cried all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stood, and ordered him to be brought to him. When he had come near he asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him glorifying God, and, when the people saw it, they all gave praise to God.

turn to chapters nineteen and twenty

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