Luke part 4 : With Jesus nothing is impossible.

All right, we are nearly there 🙂 The gospel of Luke will be over with this post and one more. If you’ve missed Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing., Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.  and  Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher. , click on the links. A little re cap, there’s no internal evidence for the authorship of the gospel, but it is mostly and almost universally accepted to be Luke, a physician and later travelling companion of Paul. He undertook a systematic account telling of Jesus and the early church and wrote them down in 2 letters ( Luke and Acts) to a gentile named Theophilus.

In chapter 16: Jesus tells a parable of a dishonest but shrewd manger {1}. Jesus warns us that if we are not trustworthy with little things, no one will trust us with true riches. Jesus tells us that we cannot serve both God and money. Jesus tells a parable of a rich man and of Lazarus, a poor beggar{2}. This parable shows that once people are judged and go to heaven or hell that it cannot be reversed. The time is now, to accept Jesus or to reject Him and then live with the consequences.

In chapter 17: Jesus pronounces doom on those through whom sorrows and troubles come ( as they will). He tells us that forgiveness ( of our brothers and sisters who sin against us) is absolutely essential. The disciples ask for their faith to be increased. Jesus replies that faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to do mighty miracles. He further tells us that our attitude when we serve Him should be as a servant’s. We have only done our duty. Jesus heals 10 men of leprosy, only one man returns to give thanks , and he is a Samaritan, a foreigner. The (second) coming of the Son of Man will be accompanied by lightening and the whole world will know of it ( it will not be a secret), but first He must suffer many things and be rejected by that generation. It ( the culture) will be just like it was in the days of Noah and of Lot. People will be corrupt and making merry and will not be waiting for the Lord. Jesus warns us that at that time, we are not to turn back, not for our possessions , not for our family, not for anything. When the Day of the Lord comes, we are to flee. Jesus also warns that it will be happen at the same time across the Earth, ( 2 people sleeping, 2 people grinding corn, 2 people working in the fields etc ).

RELATED POST : Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher.

In chapter 18: Jesus tells His disciples a parable that shows we should always pray and not give up {3}. Jesus also mentions that when people cry out to Him day and night, He will not put them off, but make sure they receive justice quickly. Jesus tells a parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector {4}. People who brought babies to Jesus to bless, were rebuked by His disciples. Jesus intervened and asked them to be brought forward. He said that unless we receive the kingdom of God like a little child ( fully trusting, never wavering), we will never enter it. Jesus when asked by a rich , young, ruler, how to enter the Kingdom of God, tells him to keep the law. The man replies he has done so. Jesus further tells him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor, that makes the man sad and he goes away. Jesus tells those around Him, that the rich find it difficult to put Him first and so struggle to enter into Heaven. When those around ask , then who can be saved, Jesus replies With God nothing is impossiblePeter tells the Lord, they have left everything for Him. Truly I tell you,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.’ Jesus predicts His death in Jerusalem a third time but the disciples did not understand. On the way to Jericho, a blind man shouted , “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”. When Jesus asked him what he wanted, he said that he wanted to see. Jesus granted his request.  Immediately he received his sight and praised God. 

RELATED POST : Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.

In chapter 19 : A short and corrupt tax collector, Zacchaeus, wants to see what the fuss about Jesus is all about, so he climbs up a sycamore fig tree to see.

sycamoretree
Sycamore- fig tree. Look how low it is to the ground.

Jesus stops at the tree and then invites Himself to Zacchaeus’ home. Zacchaeus is moved to repent and promises to give half his wealth to the poor and repay anyone he’s cheated with 4 times as much. Jesus says he’s a son of Abraham as well.  Jesus tells a parable of 10 minas ( pieces of silver){5}. Jesus enters Jerusalem and then weeps over the city. ( Click on the link and read a post detailing the triumphal procession ). Jesus cleanses the Temple ( probably for the 2nd time ) of the money changers and commercial activities taking place there.

RELATED POST : Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing.

In chapter 20: Jesus is questioned about where He gets His authority. He turns the question back on the Pharisees and asks them what they thought about John the Baptist. Jesus tells them the parable of the tenants {6}. The Pharisees try to trick Jesus with the talk of (the deeply unpopular) taxes. Jesus tells them to give to Caesar what belongs to him, and to God what belongs to Him. The Saducees try to trick Jesus with talk of marriage after resurrection. Jesus stumps them and says that God is the God of the living. Jesus warns His disciples against following the way / actions/ teachings of the Pharisees as they are false.

{1} The manager was corrupt and about to be let go by his master. When he hears of it, he calls his master’s debtors to him and cuts what they owe his master by half, go that when he’s out of a job, they’ll be indebted to him and offer him help. The master commends the dishonest manger.

{2} Lazarus begs at the rich man’s gate and his only companions are the dogs that lick his sores. They die at the same time, the rich man goes to hell, while Lazarus, a poor man during his lifetime, goes to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man ( who is never named) begs Abraham to send Lazarus with some water to quench his thirst. Abraham refuses, saying there’s a chasm between heaven and hell that cannot be bridged. The rich man then asks that Lazarus be sent to his brothers who are still living and warn them. Abraham replies that they have the law and the prophets. The rich man says that they won’t believe them, to which Abraham replies that they will not believe someone who comes back from he dead either.

{3} A widow who needed justice done , persistently asked the judge of the town for it. Finally he was worn down enough to grant her justice. The parable explicitly mentions that he neither feared God nor worried about what people said. He gave in because of her tenacity.

{4} The Pharisee ( representative of the religious leaders, those who were confident of their own righteousness ) and the tax collector ( representative of the outcasts of society, who were looked down by everyone and deemed  filthy sinners) went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee tried to exalt himself in his very public prayer but the tax collector was truly repentant and wouldn’t even look up to Heaven. Jesus said that the tax collector went home justified before God, because those who exalt themselves will be humbled but those who humble themselves will be exalted before God.

{5} The parable of the 10 minas ( pieces of silver) A man of noble birth goes to a distant land to be appointed king and return. Before leaving he distributes 10 minas between his servants. They hate him and send a delegation after him, asking that he’s not to be made a king. The man is crowned and returns and rewards the servants who put his mina to use and gained more. The one that did not ( he returned the mina as it was ) was stripped of his mina and it was given to the one who had 10 minas. This parable is a perfect parallel to Jesus. He left Heaven to come to Earth ( distant country). People hated Him and did not want Him to become a ruler, but Jesus became a King in spite of their opposition. He rewarded/s those who use His gifts / talents / abilities to bring others into the Kingdom. Those who don’t use His gifts will be stripped of all that they have been given.

{6} The parable of the tenants. A man planted a vineyard and gave it over to tenants. He sent servant after servant to them to collect some fruit at harvest, but they beat or shamed the servants and sent them away. Then the master sends his son and his heir whom the tenants kill. Then he master drove the tenants away and gave the vineyard to other tenants. This parable was said to rouse the conscience of the Israelites. Their ancestors had shamed, killed and beaten the prophets ( the servants) and they would kill the Son and Heir ( Jesus), in return the Master ( God ) will drive them away and put others ( gentiles) in their places.

One more post and Luke will be done! It’s hard to imagine that 4-5 chapters’ summaries can result in 1500-1800 words per post 🙂 But the Word of God is powerful and every chapter and verse has a nugget of wisdom for us. It would only help us to search for it .

See you next week,

Vanessa

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