For generations there was a great expectancy about the coming Messiah. The immense anticipation was that the King of Kings would come on a stallion with purple robes fit for royalty. The imaginations of the people over what the Messiah would look like, and behave like, just simply did not match what God delivered. The profound impact on every person, from the least to the greatest, is what is penned brilliantly by doctor Luke.
Luke writes to the audience of those people who are accustomed to being left out, and to those who fear that they have messed up to much to ever be accepted back into the family of God. Our Father speaks to this fear. God simply asks us to return to Him and ask to be forgiven, and it will be done! “As far as the east is from the west, I will remember your sins no more.” The distance between the east and the west is infinity, it never ends!
The journaling of Luke focuses on the humanity of the Messiah. Jesus shows compassion for the poor, the women, the common laborers of the day, and all the racially different. The audience of Luke is the common people. To this day, the words of Jesus impress us with His love, and grace, not His title, or His appearance. Crowds are stilled by his words across all cultures around the globe.
Luke was a doctor, an educated man with a highly developed skill to compile information. His audience was the Greeks. The Greeks, like the Jews were anticipating the arrival of the Messiah as they had translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. Luke scientifically poured over the original eyewitness accounts of what Jesus did and said. His detailed investigations reveal that our Savior was a man, yet fully God.
Luke emphasized that Jesus shared the entire depth of all human emotion. Coming from a physician, his lavish description of the miraculous birth, the curious childhood and the excruciating execution of Jesus draws up emotions that make us feel connected.
As a child, Jesus was obedient to His parents and at the age of twelve He visited the Temple. Luke tells us that Jesus worked with His hands, that He wept over the city, and that He kneeled in prayer. When nobody thinks that anything good could possibly come out of your hometown or Samaria, Luke replays what Jesus said about the good Samaritan. When a proud expert in the Law of Moses tried to trip Jesus up, he asked “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told him to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. Do this and you will live. Attempting to justify himself, the so called expert asked “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus tells this vivid story. A man was walking and fell down and robbers beat him, stripped him, and left him half dead on the road. A priest passed by and did not stop to help him. A Levite came by and also ignored the wretched man. But a Samaritan, a despised race that was tirelessly rejected by all Jews, saw the bleeding man, took pity on him, and bandaged his wounds. The Samaritan then gave the beaten man a ride on his own donkey to take him to an inn. The Samaritan gave the inn keeper two silver coins and said ‘look after him.’ Jesus asked the expert “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Luke 10:36)
Luke wrote about women and he records the compassion that Jesus felt towards Mary and Martha, two sisters with different personalities. Martha got distracted by all the preparations necessary for her special guests, Jesus and His disciples. “Lord, don’t you care that Mary left me to do all the work?” “Martha, Martha Jesus answered. You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Jesus was not rebuking Martha, He only pointed out what is needed. Peace in place of worry. Jesus loves both Martha and Mary types. God gives us all different talents, that we may serve a greater majority.
Jesus told His disciples “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Luke 12:32)
In chapter 12 we are charged to be watchful, dressed and ready for service. “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.” Jesus, our Master simply wraps up the parable of staying alert and ready for service in this; “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48) Hmmm, has not every person who has received Salvation, have we not all received much forgiveness, endless grace, and mercies undeserved? Then to all who said Yes to Jesus, will not His demands become a delight? Trusting that His Spirit enables us to do much in His name, we are equipped and ready to do much all for His glory. AMEN!
Someone in a village in Jerusalem asked Jesus if only a few would be saved. Jesus warned “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, Sir open the door for us. But He will answer, “I don’t know you or where you come from.” (Luke 13:27)
Jesus is saying that He never knew the person, but He does know what we all treasure in our hearts. Do we truly treasure our personal relationship with the King of Kings over all other things?
Jesus chose to dine with a prominent Pharisee on the Sabbath day. As Jesus entered, a man with dropsy was in front of him. With all eyes fixed on Jesus, He asked, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?’ They all remained silent as Jesus healed the man and sent him away. He followed that miracle with another question. “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?” Once again they remained silent. When Jesus noted that the guests took the places of honor at the table, he told this parable: ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished that you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ The, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14)
Jesus further explains the cost of being a disciple in the same chapter. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who see it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” (Luke 14:25)
Jesus also told the parable of the Great Banquet. “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 14:15) A man prepared a great banquet and invited many guests. He sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is NOW ready.’ The invited guests began to make excuses. I just bought a field, I’m too busy, I must work. Another excused himself because he just purchased a team of ox and he had to try them out. Another denied the invitation because they placed their family first. The servant reported all these excuses to the host of the banquet. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” (Luke 14:20)
There was still more room at the Banqueting Table so the master told the servant to go throughout the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. Then the master said; “I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.” (Luke 14:24)
The parable of the lost son in Luke 15:11, is all about how God continues to look for those who have turned away. In the parable a young child asked for his inheritance before his father dies. According to the old law in Deuteronomy 21:18; the kid should have been killed for his disrespect. Jesus was contradicting the law while the Rabbi’s listened. The kid dishonored his dad’s name, take the money and runs off to another country the elders in his hometown would have killed him. The kid wasted away his entire inheritance while hiding in a foreign country. In the meantime his dad was still looking and hoping that his beloved child would return. The kid comes to his senses after he had lost everything, and the thought occurred that his dad’s slaves had it better. The dad sees him from far off and runs to welcome his lost kid with open arms. The dad gives the runaway a family ring, which signifies that he has all his family legal rights restored. No matter what we have done, when we turn back to God, as we take one step toward Him, He runs to welcome us home.
Jesus tells us that in the same way there is much rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. It is critically important that we accept His invitation to dine with the King, that we take the time to get to know Him, through His Word. Our Father wants to be the first priority, and God deserves first place. Family, fun, a new oxen, or a new relationship are not worthy excuses. Faith as small as a mustard seed is all that is required to accept His invitation. Is Jesus Lord of your life?
When we walk in faith doing the will of Who redeemed us, we glorify God, and His Holy Presence dances on the throne of our hearts. Our countenance alone will draw strangers to inquire: “Where can I get some of that Jesus, that Joy you have?” Right here, and right now, Jesus is ever ready to fill those who surrender all to Him. His everlasting love and peace is yours for the asking. Will you turn from your empty ways, and believe that Jesus is Lord? If so, freely choose to say “Yes, I believe in Jesus, and that He died for my sins, was buried, then He rose from the dead and He is alive and active today. I ask Jesus to forgive me for my sins, and that He floods my heart with His everlasting love.”
Breathe deep as He fills you with the Holy Spirit. He will give your life new purpose, hope and direction with a supernatural understanding of all the mysteries of scripture. Halleluiah, you have been adopted by the King of Kings! AMEN
“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:21-24)
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
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“It is finished.” 4/21/19 Easter Sunday