Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Book of Luke

I've got another cup of coffee here this morning, and I've just read the first 16 chapters of Luke.  I read ahead yesterday to finish Mark, so this puts me where I need to be in order to finish by the end of this month.  Luke 1:1 tells us that Luke's desire is to "set in order" those things "most surely believed".  So we see of all the gospels, Luke seeks to put them in the time frame they belong.  The end of John tells us that if everything was written that Jesus did, the world itself could not contain the books that should be written, so we know this is not including everything, but what it tells us is in the right sequence of time.  It starts with the angel Gabriel telling Zacharias, a priest, that he and his wife, Elisabeth, will have a child in their old age.  The child would be called John, (John the Baptist), and he would be used to turn the hearts of Israel to God in preparation of Jesus Christ's earthly ministry.  Jesus and John are cousins.  In Luke 1:17, it states that he will come in the power of Elijah to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children".  This is the prophecy 400 years later in the very last verse of Malachi (Malachi 4:6), the last verse in the Old Testament states that Elijah will come to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children".  Wow!  John the Baptist is the fulfillment of this verse!  Chapter one is 80 verses long, and it deals with the birth of John the Baptist.  Chapter two is famous for dealing with the birth of Christ.  Chapter three deals with the earthly ministry of John the Baptist, and finishes with the linage of Joseph (who raised Jesus as his son).  The lineage of Matthew is Mary's, going back to David.  The lineage of Joseph is in Luke going back to Adam.  The lineage of Jesus is in John, and goes back to "in the beginning" because Jesus is God in flesh!!  Chapter four of Luke, Jesus begins his earthly ministry with his temptation in the wilderness and later the reading of scripture in the synagogue.  He says the "Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor".  Later Jesus will say "call the poor".  Jesus knew that the poor have an open ear for the gospel and we are to share the gospel with them whenever we can. 
So many good truths are found in Luke.  It is a book of one miracle after another taking place.  In Luke 8, we have the demonic called Legion.  His demons are cast out by Christ and he is told to go home and tell others what Jesus does for him and boy does he.  The rest of chapter 8 is a results of this one man's influence in preparing the hearts of others for the Savior.  When Jesus comes back to that land, the masses are waiting for him to receive his message, because one "crazy man" spoke up for the Lord.  I hope we will be doing the same today.  Well, I'll see you tomorrow as we finish up Luke and get into John!  Pastor Mike Mutchler

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