For generations there was a great expectancy about the coming Messiah. The grand anticipation was that the King of Kings would come on a stallion with purple robes fit for royalty. The imaginations of 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.
The audience for this letter is all of us. It is to the people who feel left out, and to those who fear that they have messed up too much. Our Father speaks to this fear, He simply asks us to return to Him and request forgiveness, 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. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” (John 20:29) Millions of people, who have never seen Jesus, believe that He lived, died and was raised. After Jesus gave up His Spirit, the Temple curtain was supernaturally torn which gives us all access to the Holy of Holies, Jesus Himself.
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. They had translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. Luke 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. He felt the sting of rejection, and the pain of the nails.
Coming from a physician, the lavish descriptions 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.
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?” (10:36)
The doctor 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?” (12:32) We are encouraged to not worry, but remain watchful, dressed and ready for service. “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.” Jesus 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.” (12:48)
Write down your blessings! 1) A lifetime of forgiveness. 2) Endless grace 3) Mercies undeserved. 4) ???? Remembering all that we have received, 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.
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.” (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. 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.’ We can easily avoid being humiliated, by humbly taking the least important 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.” (14)
Jesus also told the parable of the Great Banquet. “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” (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.” (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.” (14:24)
It is critically important that we accept His invitation to dine with the King. Taking time to get to know Jesus, through the Word of God will bless your personal relationship with the King. Our Father wants to be the first priority in our lives. How often do we seek counsel from our friends, our family, and the internet? Is Jesus truly the Lord of your life? To think or to say; “I don’t have time to read the Bible because my life is too busy.” If that is your confession of faith, you might find yourself knocking on the door and hearing “You were too busy to accept My invitation so you will not be dining among the saints at God’s banqueting table.”
The parable of the selfish kid is found in Luke 15:11. The story is all about how God continues to look for those who have turned away. A young child asked for his inheritance before his father dies. According to the old law in Deuteronomy 21:18; the child should have been killed for disrespecting the father. Furthermore, Jesus was outrageously contradicting the law of Moses while the Rabbi’s listened. The child dishonored his dad’s name, took his inheritance early, and runs off and blows it all. The elders in his hometown would have killed him, so he travels to another country. The entire time he is hiding in a foreign land, 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 to him that his dad’s slaves had it better. Without shoes, food or clothing the child heads home. The dad sees him from far off and runs to welcome his lost son 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.
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 flood my heart with His everlasting love.”
Hallelujah, you have been adopted by the King of Kings! Welcome to the family of God! It is now important that you join a Bible teaching church and get baptized in the water and the Spirit!
“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.” (10:21)
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.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
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“It is finished.” 5/21/19