Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing.

The name of the author of the gospel of Luke is not mentioned in this book or the sequel (Acts) but the authorship is almost universally accepted to be Luke. Luke was a physician and later a traveling companion of Paul. Luke was most likely a gentile. He wrote this book (and Acts) to an unknown person named Theophilus ( who was probably a gentile as well ) so that (he) may know the certainty of the things (he) has been taught. In the same way we can know the truth of the gospel by the immense amount of detail available to us in scripture.

Luke is very thorough in his writing. The traditions that are explained and most importantly the people that he chronicles are extremely detailed. Luke portrays Jesus as a very personal God. He reaches out to the people on the “fringes” of society and these interactions are recorded in this book.

Just as Matthew portrays Jesus as the King, and as Mark reveals Him as the Servant, so Luke offers a unique perspective of Jesus as the Son of Man. This phrase, “Son of Man,” was Jesus’s favorite way to refer to Himself. (From Chuck Swindoll’s overview of LukeThe theme of Luke’s gospel seems to be: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Luke portrayed Jesus as God’s ideal Man, who offers salvation to all humanity—Jew and Gentile alike.

The book of Luke is one of the largest books in the Bible ( content wise ) and it would not be prudent for me to try and short change you with not including all that is important ( and there is a lot that is important! ), so the gospel of Luke may be divided into 3 or 4 parts.

In chapter 1 : Zechariah ( a priest) while offering incense in the Holy of Holies, is visited by Gabriel ( an angel of the Lord) with a promise that he and his wife ( Elizabeth ) will have a child ” that brings joy and delight to them”. Zechariah doesn’t believe him and so he’s struck mute until the child is born. Several months later Gabriel tells Mary ( a young virgin) that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and will give birth to the Messiah and he tells her that Elizabeth is in her 6th month of pregnancy. Mary submits herself willingly. Mary visits Elizabeth ( who has been secluded) and the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaps up in joy. Elizabeth blesses Mary. Mary sings a song of worship to God. Elizabeth’s child is born and they name him John “God is gracious” and Zechariah’s mouth is opened and he prophesies over his son with a song. The child grows up strong in the Spirit and lives in the wilderness until he appears to Israel.

In chapter 2 : According to prophesy , the child of Mary is born in Bethlehem (  because Joseph and Mary went there for a census ordered by Caesar). Angels appear to shepherds watching in the fields and tell them of the birth of a Saviour. The shepherds go and worship Him. On the 8th day the child is taken to the temple to be circumcised and is named Jesus. A righteous and a devout man, Simeon, who had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah is led by the Spirit to the baby Jesus and he’s overjoyed and prophesies over Jesus and Jerusalem. Anna, an old widowed prophetess from the tribe of Asher gives thanks as well. Mary and Joseph go up every year for the feast to Jerusalem. When Jesus is 12 years old He stays back at the temple, listening to and questioning the teachers of the law. When Mary and Joseph realize He’s not with them and hurry back and find Him in the temple. He says  He needed to be in His Father’s house but goes back and is obedient to them. He grows in favour with God and man.

In chapter 3: John (who would later be called the Baptist) starts speaking to the people about the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He advices tax collectors and soldiers and the common people of what’s expected of them. He denies being the Messiah. John speaks against Herod ( because he took his brother’s wife) and is imprisoned. Jesus is baptized ( by John the Baptist), and the heavens are opened , the Spirit descends on Jesus and a voice from the heaven ( The Father) says ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ * {1}. Jesus’ genealogy through His adopted father Joseph is mentioned.

RELATED POST : Mark part 2: The suffering- servant- King was and is the Son of God.

In chapter 4: Jesus is led by the Spirit to the desert where He is tempted by the devil. He eats nothing for 40 days and at the end of it He is hungry. (1) the devil tells Him to turn the stones into bread, Jesus replies It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”[b] (2) the devil leads Him to a high place and shows Him the kingdoms of the world and wants to be worshipped in exchange he’ll give those kingdoms to Jesus, Jesus replies ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”[c] (3) the devil leads Jesus to the highest point of the temple and tells Him to throw Himself down and then (mis)quotes scripture at Jesus, Jesus replies ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”[e] *{2}. The devil leaves Him for a more opportune time. Jesus full of the Spirit goes to Galilee, to Nazareth and teaches in the synagogue astounding the people. He reads the prophesy from Isaiah 61: 1-2 and tells them that portion of scripture is fulfilled in their hearing. They are furious with Him and try to throw Him off a cliff but Jesus walks through them and leaves the town. Jesus goes to Capernaum and drives an impure sprit out of a man. Jesus goes to Simon (Peter’s) house and heals his mother in law. Jesus heals many other people and the people try to keep Jesus from moving on. Jesus tells them He must bring the good news ( gospel) to all the towns. Jesus goes to a solitary place and prays.

In chapter 5 :  Jesus talks to the people from Simon’s boat. He tells them to put down their nets (they hadn’t caught any fish the night before), Simon does do and they catch so much fish that they have to signal their partners (James and John , the sons of Zebedee) because the boat was starting to sink and both boat start to sink. Simon wants the Lord to go away from him because he’s sinful. Jesus tells him, he’ll fish for men from now on. They left everything and followed Jesus. A man with leprosy asks Jesus to heal him, if He’s willing, Jesus replies He’s willing and heals him. Jesus often withdraws to lonely places and prays. Friends of a paralyzed man lower him through a roof of a house where Jesus was teaching. He sees their faith and tells the man his sins are forgiven. The Pharisees grumble at this “blasphemy” so Jesus tells him to get up, take up his mat and go home. The man walks and everyone praises God. Jesus calls Levi / Matthew ( a tax collector ) to be His disciple. At a  feast with tax collectors and “sinners”, Jesus tells the people He’s come to call the sinners to repentance not the righteous. Jesus is questioned about the lack of His disciples’ fasting. He replies they will celebrate while The Bridegroom is with them, but will fast when He’s taken away.

In chapter 6 : Jesus’ disciples eat corn on the Sabbath and are rebuked by the Pharisees but Jesus declares that The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus on another Sabbath heals a man with a shriveled hand thus further angering the Pharisees.  Jesus spends a night praying to God and then choses 12 out of all His disciples calling them apostles. People come from all over Judea and Jerusalem to touch Jesus because they want to be healed since power was flowing out of Him. Jesus pronounces  blessings on His disciples and woes on the false prophets. Jesus tells His disciples to do unto others as they would have done unto them, to be merciful as His Father ( and ours) is merciful, to love their enemies, to forgive and they will be forgiven among other things. Jesus tells them the student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their Teacher. Jesus tells them a parable about a hypocrite (taking out a speck in the eye). He tells people to distinguish between good and bad people by their fruit (results). Jesus tells a parable about firm foundation (wise and foolish builders ).

 

 

*{1}This is one of the few places in the Bible where you can see all three persons of the Trinity at the same time. The Father, The Son and The Sprit}

*{2}Note Jesus uses scripture to refute the devil all three times, showing us that scripture is an offensive weapon too like a double edged sword}

I’ve tried keeping my post to 1000 words or under but this ended up being much too long! I’m going to make the gospel of Luke a 4 part series.

Until next week,

Vanessa.

 

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