19 November 2016

Stone 36 - Luke

The gospel of Luke. Luke, as it turns out is a rather noteworthy historian and known for his ability to research. He lays out a great deal of information in this book. We will only scratch the surface of it.

The book starts off with the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus. One interesting inclusion in this account is Zechariah, the father of John. Since he did not initially believe what was told to him, he was made mute until after his son was born (Luke 1:20, 63-64). Chapter two gives us some information about the birth of Jesus. We do not get the full on nativity scene but we do hear about the shepherds who watch their flocks by night (Luke 2:8). The shepherds head out to see Jesus in the feeding trough and then proceed to spread the news (Luke 2:16-17).

Included in Luke is the recollection of Jesus at the age of 12 when he stayed behind at the temple while everyone else headed home (Luke 2:41-50). I can only imagine the horror of Joseph and Mary... They made the assumption he was in the traveling party and managed to go a full day before looking and realizing he was not with them. They did not find him for three days (Luke 2:46).

Now we segue to John the Baptist. He is a bit older now and is called to head out to the wilderness and proclaim repentance. Jesus shows up and gets baptized too.

It is here that Luke brings in another genealogy of Jesus and tells of the time that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. He also includes the report of Jesus who is rejected in Nazareth, his hometown. Jesus proceeds through his ministry by performing several acts of healing.

  1. Jesus drives out the unclean spirit
  2. Heals Simon's mother-in-law and many others
  3. Cleansed a leper
  4. Heals and forgives the guy on the stretcher.
  5. Heals a man with a paralyzed hand
Luke 5:31 is an often quoted verse that I like.
Jesus replied to them, "The healthy don't need a doctor, but the sick do."
**In the same way that you do not wait until you feel better to go to the doctor. One does not need to wait until they are "cleaned up" before going to church.

We read about the sermon on the mount from Luke's perspective and then hear about the centurion and his sick slave. What I like about this particular event is that the centurion tells Jesus that he is also a man of authority who is able to tell people what to do and have them obey. The centurion tells Jesus that he (the centurion) is not worthy to have him (Jesus) under his roof and to simply give the word and that his servant would be cured (Luke 7:7).

**This is another example of faith. In Luke 7:9, Jesus turns to the crowd and declares that he had not found so great a faith even in Israel. The centurion had probably heard about Jesus and all that he had done. That would explain why people were sent to get him in the first place. "What!? Jesus is in town? Go and get him that my servant might be saved!" The centurion knew of the power of Jesus such that all he had to do was give the word and it would be so. That is not believing without any evidence - it is trusting.

There are many parables that come throughout the book and an entire post could probably be written on each one so I will not address them here.

I read about the rich young ruler in chapter 18. What I find interesting here is that the ruler begins by saying "Good Teacher". Jesus responds by asking why the man calls him good and states that no one is good but God.
**We are all sinful. We are only "good" in so far as we have defined it socially. Remember, God sets the standard of good and none of us have met or will be able to meet that standard. Fortunately, Jesus and his death on the cross has given us a chance to be seen as blameless on the day of judgement.

It would seem evident, then, that there is a whole different standard of good that we are missing.

Indeed, what follows are some accounts of men attempting to trap Jesus so that they might have cause to destroy him (Luke 19:47, 20:19). How familiar this is! Can you think of a time when you knew the truth would expose you and ruin your plans so you try to suppress it? Can you think of a time when you were the bearer of such truth and have had people try to suppress you? Have you simply been an outsider seeing this play out between others?

**I don't know about you but I have seen things like this very often.

In chapter 20 the authority of Jesus is challenged directly by simply asking him by what authority does he do things (Luke 20:2). Then they try to trick him by asking about paying taxes (Luke 20:22) and again by asking about some convoluted string of marriages (Luke 20:27-33).

Jesus is betrayed by Judas and soon finds himself being sentenced to crucifixion.

Here are a couple videos on Luke from our friends over at Join the Bible Project.

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