Tag Archives: Luke

Bible Open to Book of Luke

Luke – Thematic Takeaways

So, after reading through the book of Luke for Advent, I decided to summarize what my initial takeaways were from my reading. I have worked to consolidate what I have found and to narrow them down as much as possible. Again, this is not intended to be an in-depth study of the book of Luke, but rather my initial thoughts on the book. The numbers in the parenthesis indicate the chapters from which the preceding takeaways came.

  1. Jesus’ resurrection is an actual physical/bodily resurrection. (24). What is more, it serves as a further confirmation that there is a resurrection of the dead. (20)
  2. The whole of the Old Testament, the law and the prophets, remains and points to Christ. (16 and 24)
  3. Jesus’ death and resurrection open the door of forgiveness to a sinful people separated from God. (13, 22, and 24) What is more, there is nothing so wrong that it cannot be forgiven and is never too late in this life to be forgiven. (23)
  4. The world that Jesus has sent us into is a dangerous place. (10 and 22) Even the most committed followers can succumb to fear, which should not surprise us as even Jesus expressed fear of what was to come. (22) But God can give us the strength to persevere when we ask him in prayer. (21 and 22)
  5. To reach people, we cannot hide but must be involved in people’s lives. (19)
  6. Following Christ means leaving things behind, taking up your cross, laying down your life, and holding him above all others. (9 and 14)
  7. Our actions are to help the neediest, including keeping others from stumbling, and restoring those who do stumble. (14 and 17)
  8. We need to regularly and continually bring things to God in prayer. We do this by letting go of the things of this world and bathing our lives in prayer. ( 6 and 18)
  9. It is always good to what is right, and it is more important than imposed rules. (6, 13, and 14)
  10. We need to come before God in humility and with the innocence of a child. (18) What is more, we need to serve others with this same humility, making ourselves the least important. (9, 21, and 22)
  11. Faith is the key to following Christ. Even in the smallest amount, it can accomplish much. (7 and 17) With faith, we can come before God. (18) With faith, we can trust in God. (11) And with faith in Christ, we can find forgiveness. (5)
  12. Christ will come at any time and without warning. (12 and 17) But there will be signs for which we are told to be watchful. (21)
  13. The mission of Jesus was and still is to reach the lost. (15) Jesus calls people and, in turn, uses those he has called to reach others. (5) Our role, as believers, is to share the gospel with those who will listen. (8) God will give us what we need to reach others. (10, 16 and 19)
  14. Salvation is for the true children of Abraham by faith, and they will come from all corners of the earth. (3 and 13)
  15. We are not to judge people based on their past but rather rejoice with them when they come to Christ. (15)
  16. There is a cost to following Christ, and if we are not willing to make the sacrifices, we are worthless to God. (14)
  17. The only real way to resist temptation is through God’s power, and Jesus demonstrated for us that this could be found in scripture. (4)
  18. God is faithful to his promises and will see them through to fruition. (1 and 2)
  19. Christ has promised that he will never leave us. (24)
  20. We are to be zealous for the righteousness of God. (19)
  21. Jesus is fully God, having power over everything, and fully man, having faced all that we face. (2, 4 and 8)
  22. We are called to treat others the way we want to be treated. To do this, we must recognize that our neighbors are anyone in need and base our actions on the teaching of Jesus. (6 and 10)
  23. We are called to be faithful to God’s calling and, therefore, must be wary of things that harm or walk with him and be prepared for the challenges that may stand in the way of our desire for heavenly things. (4 and 12)
  24. We need to meditate on the truths of Christ that have been revealed to us so that we can embrace them and make them a genuine part of our lives. (2)
Abrecht Curer - Praying Hands, 1508

Luke 18 – Coming Before God in Prayer

In chapter 18, Jesus begins with a parable of a Judge. He tells that there “was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.” (v 2, NASB)  He also tells that there was a widow in the same city who repeatedly came to him asking for legal protection. The judge was initially resistant, but after several times he chose to give her what she wanted because she kept bothering him.  Jesus explains that the point of the parable is that if even a man like this judge would give a person what they asked for just to get rid of them, how much more with God, who is just and righteous, give people what they need when they ask. I think it is interesting that Jesus chooses to use a negative example to emphasize the goodness of God.

The next parable that Luke recounts, Jesus used to address people who believed that they were righteous. He tells the story of two men who went to the temple to pray. The first was a Pharisee, and the second was a tax collector. Jesus explains that the Pharisee prayed in such a way that seemed to emphasize how much better he was than others, specifically the tax collector. In other words, the image seems to imply that he is thankful that he does not need God to make him better.

The tax collector, on the other hand, prays in an entirely different fashion. He is unwilling to lift his face to God and was saying, “was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’” (v 13) Jesus explains that it is the tax collector, not the Pharisee, who is justified in his prayer because he came before God with humility.

In one of those abrupt transitions between accounts, Luke begins to tell about people bringing their children to him. He tells us that there were so many that the disciples started to discourage them and turn them away. Jesus promptly corrected this, telling them to allow the children to come. He says to “not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’ (v 16) Jesus is telling them that these children are not a bother, but are an example of how we should be when we approach God. We enter the kingdom of God through the innocence of a child.

Continuing with the question of entering the kingdom of God, Luke gives the account of a rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he needed to do to get into heaven. Jesus tells the ruler that he knows what the commandments say. When the ruler says that he has kept all of these Jesus ups the ante by saying, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (v 22)

This, however, proves one step too many for the young ruler. He was very, very rich, and loved his possessions. To give things up, was too much of a challenge. Jesus sadly points out that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (v 25)  I think this is something we all see far too often in the world today, and sometimes in our own lives.  Our love for money can be overpowering. As a result, those around him asked who could be saved.  Jesus answers by pointing out that “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” (v 27)

Peter’s response to this is to point out that they, the disciples, had given up everything to follow Jesus. His underlying question seems to be, what does this mean for us? Will we receive eternal life? Jesus’ response is that those who have given things up will receive much more “at this time and in the age to come.” (v 30)

Jesus then took them aside and told them that they were going to Jerusalem. He told them that there he would be handed over to the Romans to be beaten and put to death. But he also told them that he would rise again on the third day. But even though it was spelled out to them, they could not understand it. The meaning had been hidden from them.

Finally, Luke closes the chapter by telling of Jesus and his disciples traveling to Jericho. On the way, they were met by a blind man who asks Jesus to heal him. Jesus tells him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” (v 42)

My takeaways from this chapter are: 1) We need to regularly and continually bring things to God in prayer. 2) We need to come before God with humility. 3) We need to come before God with the innocence of a child. 4) We need to come to God by letting go of the things of this world. And 5) we need to come before God with faith.

Luke 13 – The Kingdom of Heaven

Luke 13 picks up with Jesus, still in the same location as teaching. As he is teaching, some people in the crowd “reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.” (v 1, NASB) Now I don’t know about you, but I certainly was not expecting such a discussion. Who are these people that Luke is talking about? Scripture does not say, but the assumption is that the readers in Luke’s day would have known exactly what he was talking about. Most likely, it is individuals who were killed while sacrificing.

Jesus’ response is not to address these individuals, but rather to address the thoughts behind their statement. We remember that Jesus had just given the people several warnings, including the unpardonable sin. It appears from Jesus’ response that their real question has to do with the sinfulness of these individuals. But Jesus quickly dismisses this when he says, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Vv 2 – 3) Jesus’ point is that we are sinful and separated from God. Those who perished in this terrible way are no worse than anyone else. The way to escape is through repentance.

To make his point, he tells a parable about the parable of a man who planted a fig tree. After a long time, no fruit had been produced, and the man ordered the tree cut down. The keeper of the vineyard asked him to wait and allow him some time to care for the tree and see if it revived. Jesus’ point is that we are no different. If we are to repent, then we need to change how we care for our souls.

Next, we find Jesus in the synagogue on the sabbath teaching.  While teaching, he noticed a woman who was bent over sick. Jesus calls her over and heals her. The healing angered the synagogue official. He argued that there were “six days in which work should be done.” (v 14) He insisted that the sabbath was not one of them, so those seeking healing should come back on a different day.

Jesus calls him on the carpet for his position. “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?: (Vv 15 – 16) His point is that it is always acceptable to do good.

Jesus then explains to them what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. The first image is that of a mustard seed. The mustard seed is a tiny thing that can grow into a large tree big enough for birds to sit in. The second image is that the kingdom of God is like leaven placed in a loaf. It allows a tiny amount of dough to grow into a large loaf. So too, the kingdom of God grows as we follow him.

At a later time, “someone said to Him, ‘Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?'” (v. 23) He tells them that gate into the kingdom is narrow. He follows this up with a parable of a man who shuts the door for the evening only to have people outside ask to be let in. The man responds that he does not know them and will not let them in. His point is that not everyone will enter.

He follows this, however, by saying that those who enter the kingdom “will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.” (v 29) Jesus, having just confirmed that not everyone will enter, now emphasizes that those who do enter will come from every corner of the earth.

The chapter concludes with the Pharisees telling Jesus to leave because Herod wants to kill him. Jesus first dismisses Herod but then acknowledges that he must proceed to Jerusalem. Jesus says that he wants nothing more than to gather Israel to him, but they will not respond. He finishes by looking forward to the day when they will cry out, “will come from east and west and from north and south and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.

My takeaways from this chapter are: 1) we are all sinful and separated from God, none any more than others. 2) Doing good is right always, no matter if it is the sabbath or not. And 3) while not everyone will enter the Kingdom of heaven, those who do will come from every corner of the earth.

Albert Bierstadt - The Coming Storm, 1869

Luke 12 – Warnings from Christ

In Luke chapter 12, we jump from Jesus, giving warnings to the Pharisees and scribes, to his warning his disciples of the dangers they face in their spiritual life. He tells them to “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (v 1, NASB) What is this leaven? We know that leaven is the substance that makes dough rise, most typically yeast. In other words, it is that thing that causes the dough to change its very character. So too is the leaven of the Pharisees. It is those things that change the very character of the spiritual life. In this case, it carries the implication that these changes are negative. Jesus points out that even those small things that we keep to ourselves, those inner thoughts and opinions, those actions that we believe no one knows about, will become evident known. This is what leaven does. Even the smallest amount will become evident as the dough begins to rise. 

His next warning applies to our motivations. He says, “do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Vv 4 – 5) We often feel motivated fear. It is normal, but there are those things we should be afraid of and those things we should not. Now, most people would tell us that someone who can kill you is someone to fear. But Jesus tells us that death is not the worst thing that can happen. I do not think that he is saying that we should invite death, but he is pointing out that anything involving this life is transient. What matters most is the state of our eternal souls. Jesus then reassures them that we need not fear. God cares what happens to the sparrows, which are sold for very little. If he remembers them, how much more will he remember us. As such, we need not fear.

Jesus’ next statement is “I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” (Vv 8 – 9) I think this is not as confusing a statement as it seems. We can ask, “Is he saying that God’s acceptance of us is conditional upon our profession of him?” This can lead us down a rabbit trail of debate. I think what Jesus is saying is that those who accept him and follow him will have a place in with him in eternity. Those who do not will not. 

Speaking of rabbit trail debates Jesus’ statement, “he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him” (v 10) Certainly can do this. What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? Are there really things we can not be forgiven for? While these are things to think about, the point is that if we are following Christ and confessing him before others, then we are most likely not guilty of such a sin. What is more, if we are walking in such a manner, then the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say as we profess him before others.

While Jesus is teaching, a man “said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.'” (v 13) Jesus’ reaction is straight forward.  He tells the man, it is not his job to settle such disputes. He says this because he realizes that it is not equity that is driving the man, but greed. So he tells that parable of a farmer who built new barns for his abundant crop. He believed he was set for life but did not realize his life would end that night. I think Jesus’ point is clearly that we need to keep temporal things form occupying our minds when our focus should be on eternity.

Jesus again returns to his disciples and tells them “I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” (Vv 23 – 24) Jesus emphasizes his point by speaking of the ravens who are fed without planting lilies that are clothed in beauty without spinning or sewing. If God does this, then how much more will he care for his people. 

Jesus sums up by telling his disciples to let go of their earthly possessions to build up treasure in heaven that will not fail. The reasoning Jesus gives is that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (v 34) If our treasures are in this world, this is where our heart will be, but if our treasures are in heaven, our hearts will be there.

Here we find Jesus transitioning to a warning of the need to be ready for the coming of the Son of Man. To make his point, he uses both the imagery of servants awaiting the return of their master and of a homeowner protecting his home from a thief. In each of these, the importance of being ready is connected with not knowing the exact time of the persons coming. Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” (v 41) Jesus’ answer, while not direct, is telling. His parable is for those who will hear and are ready for his coming. Those who make wise decisions will be entrusted with their “master’s possessions,” that is to say, God will bless them.

As we come to the end of the chapter, Jesus’ warning grows darker. He starts with, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth.” (v 49) A fire he wishes had already begun but had to wait until his second “baptism,” that is, His crucifixion and resurrection. Like I said, this sounds very dark, and Jesus does not leave it at that. He goes on to say, “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on, five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”” (Vv 51 – 53) Jesus does not specifically expand on this division here, but I see this division as that which occurs so often when people choose to follow Christ. In the west, it is not as evident, though it is growing. But when you look at many other places around the world, the division that is created, even within families, when someone chooses to follow Christ is evident.

Jesus’ final two points are that just as a person can judge the coming weather by looking at the sky, we should be able to see God’s truth through the evidence around us. And second, we should be wise enough to settle our disputes one on one, and avoid the repercussions of letting them grow.

My takeaways from this chapter are 1) We need to be careful of those things, big and small, harm our walk with Christ. 2) We need fear nothing as God cares for us. 3) We need to be wary of greed for things of this world, but rather desire heavenly things. 4) Christ may come at any time. And 5) following Christ can create wedges with those in our lives who do not.

 

 

Luke 10 – Going to Others

As we begin with chapter 10, it appears the sending of the 12 apostles in chapter 9 was so successful that Jesus now sends out 70 of his followers. Jesus gives the same instructions to the 70 that he gave to the 12. But this time, Luke tells us that Jesus sent them to them specifically to the cities he was going to go to himself.  Here Jesus also makes the statement, “Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” (v 3, NASB) His point is clear. The world is a dangerous place, and it is hostile toward the followers of Christ. He also includes a warning of the fate that will be faced by those who do not receive the message.

All seems to go well, as we get to the next section, we read that “The seventy returned with joy.” (v 17) They were utterly amazed at what had happened. They said, “even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” (v 17) Jesus, while clearly pleased, does give them one caveat, “do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” (v 20) No matter what amazing things we can do through God’s power, they are nothing when compared to the incredible gift of life found in Christ.

Jesus then praises the Father for what has happened. He then reminds the 70 that they should consider themselves blessed because they have seen what those in the past had only dreamed of.

This leads to a lawyer asking Jesus the ultimate question, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (v 25)  Jesus has a short give and take that result is Jesus affirming that the key is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (v 27) The lawyer is not fully satisfied and asks, “who is my neighbor?” (v 29)

In response, we find the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the story, a man is beaten, robbed, and left for dead. After this, three individuals pass by the first two were religious leaders who not only passed by but moved to the other side of the road to ensure they avoided him. The third, however, not only stopped to help him but also put him on his own “beast,” took him to an inn and paid for his care. The noteworthy part of this, of course, is that this third man is a Samaritan. A mixed-race group, despised by Jewish people. Jesus then asked the lawyer, “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor.” (v 36) The lawyer is backed into a corner and must admit that it is the third individual. Jesus tells him, and us that it is the action that we must take.

Luke finishes the chapter by telling of Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary and Martha. As is often the case, Jesus spends his time teaching in their home. Here Jesus finds himself in the middle of a family argument. Martha, being the domestic minded person she was, spent the whole time in the kitchen and in preparation of food, while Mary simply sat at Jesus’ feet listening to his teaching. When Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her, Jesus does not do it. Rather, he tells her, “you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Vv 41 – 42)

My take away is 1) We go, as the Lord sends us, into a dangerous world. 2) Jesus will provide us all we need to serve him. 3) The most important thing is to have our names written in heaven. 4) Our name is written in heaven through our love for God and our love for our neighbor. 5) Our neighbors are anyone in need. And 6) spending time learning at the feet of Christ is more important than our other labors. This is not to say that our other labors are not important, but they pale in comparison.

Luke 9 -Following Jesus

As we move chapter nine, we find Jesus beginning to delegate ministry to the apostles, preparing them for the time when he is no longer with them. As the name apostle means, one who is sent to represent, this is exactly what occurs in this situation. We are told that “He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.” (v 2, NASB) What is interesting is that the list of instructions that accompanies the command to go. He tells them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” (v 3 – 5) They were to be dependent upon God to provide for all of their needs through those who responded to the gospel. But it is verse 5 that really strikes me, “as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” We always see the positive side of sharing the gospel, but is this a prescription to dismiss those who will not respond? I do not think so. Rather, I think the point is, if people do not respond, we need to move on to those who will. This does not mean they will not later on, but for the time being, they re not ready.

After a long day of teaching, the disciples asked Jesus to send the people into town for lodging and food. Jesus told them to feed the people.  When they said to him that they only had five loaves and two fishes, he said then to set the people in groups of approximately 50. He then broke the items up and passed them around. When they had finished, there were 12 baskets full leftover.

Later, when Jesus was praying, he turned and asked the disciples, “Who do the people say that I am?” (v 18) Several answers are given, but then Jesus asks, ““But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The [l]Christ of God.”” (v. 20) Jesus warns them to keep this to themselves and then tells them that he must “be killed and be raised up on the third day.” (v 22)

He follows up, telling them what is going to happen to him by pointing out that those who are going to follow him will also need to face challenges. He tells them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” (Vv 23 – 24)He goes on to say, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (v 26)

Luke is then oddly specific, though I am not sure that it has any specific meaning when he says “Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray” (v 28) While on this mountain something amazing happens. Jesus is alone, and then he suddenly begins to look different, his clothes begin to shine, and suddenly there are two other people with him. We are not told how Peter and the other recognize them, but the two with Jesus are Moses and Elijah. Peter’s reaction is to want to build three shelters, one for each of them. Amazingly, Jesus has just declared at the beginning of this chapter that Jesus is the Christ, yet here he seems to be placing him on the same level as Moses and Elijah. God makes the mistake clear. As the clouds begin to roll in, a voice is heard saying, ““This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!””. (v 35)

When they came down from the mountain, they were met by a crowd. Amongst the crowd was a man whose son was possessed by a demon. He said, “I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.” (v 40) Jesus, disappointed with them all, has the man bring his son, and he cast the demon out of him.

It is at this point, which seems an odd point, that Jesus tells them that “the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” (v 44) It appears to have confused the people there as much as me because they could not understand what he was talking about, but they were also afraid to ask, so they remained silent.

In the next section, Jesus presents them with three points. First, he explains to them that the least among them is the one who will be the greatest.  Second, he points out that anyone who is not in opposition to you, even if they are not part of your “group” is on the same side as you. Finally, he reminds them that he came to save people, not to destroy them.

Finally, Luke tells us of three situations where Jesus defines lays out the cost of discipleship. In the first, a person offers to follow Jesus anywhere. Jesus points out that following him would mean nowhere to call home. In the second, Jesus tells a man to “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” (v 60) The third is related to the second as the man asks to say goodbye to family, to which Jesus replies, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (v 62) In other words, Jesus is saying that those who are called to go may also be called to leave everything.

My takeaways from this chapter are 1) We need to go into ministry unencumbered. That is to say, we need to take only what we need and trust God to supply anything else. 2) Following Christ means taking up your cross daily and laying down your life for him. 3) The greatest among Christ-followers is the least of them. And 4) Following Jesus means leaving everything behind you and moving forward.

Luke 8 – Responding to Jesus

Today is December 8 and is the second Sunday of advent. The second candle, known as the Bethlehem candle, is lit representing faith. In Luke 7, we saw many examples of the power of faith. As we continue in chapter 8, Luke looks at some other items in the ministry of Jesus, but will again conclude the passage with a look at yet another act of faith.

Luke begins by discussing a more practical side of the itinerant ministry of Jesus. To do ministry cost some money, today or two-thousand years ago. Luke points out to us that Several women had been impacted by the ministry of Jesus and in return, had become followers. These women had significant resources available and chose to share what they had to help cover the cost.

We then find Jesus sharing the parable of the sower. He tells the listeners that sharing the gospel message is like a farmer planting seeds. After finishing the parable, there is an interesting response from his disciples. They did not seem to understand the parable and began questioning him about it. Jesus’ response to this is even more interesting. He says, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.” (v. 10 NASB) Why is it that Jesus says this.? Why would he intentionally say things in such a way that many could not understand it? Perhaps the intention is not to hide the truth, but it is evidence of those who are open to Christ’s message.

Jesus then explains the meaning of the parable. The point is that there are four kinds of people with whom the gospel is shared. The first are those who hear the gospel, but then it goes away. Sort of an in “in one ear, out the other” idea. The second is those who excitedly accept the message, but it stays shallow and eventually fails. The third are those who receive the message but then find the message choked out by the things around them in life.  The final is those who accept the message and flourish.

Continuing on, Jesus gives a second parable. Here he describes the gospel as a lamp. You do not hide it, but instead, you set it out for all to see.

After this, we are left with a story of Jesus speaking in a house. While he was speaking, he was told that his mother and brothers were standing outside waiting to come in. Jesus’ response here is very telling. He says, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” Jesus is re-emphasizing a point made earlier in Luke, that family is not necessarily defined by blood, but by a commitment to following Christ.

After this, Luke presents a story that many of us are familiar with. While traveling across the lake, Jesus falls asleep in the boat. During this time, a storm arose. It was such a great storm that they were sure they were going to die. They work Jesus, asking if he even cared. Jesus got up and order the storm to cease, and it did. He then looks at the disciples and asks, “Where is your faith?” (v. 25)

Luke next tells of Jesus’ encounter with a demon-possessed man. The demon, upon seeing Jesus, cried out, “Where is your faith?” (v. 28) Jesus asked the demon its name, and it said legion, meaning it was actually a great many demons who were in the man. Interestingly, they asked Jesus to allow them to go into a herd of pigs rather than being sent into the abyss. He agreed, and the pigs proceeded into run into the water. The reaction of the people from the region was fear, and they asked Jesus to leave. Before doing so, Jesus instructed the man home, but unlike other times, he told him to tell others.

Finally, Luke finishes this chapter by telling of two concurrent miraculous healings done by Jesus. We start Jesus being approached by a Jewish elder named Jairus. Jairus had an only daughter who was dying. Jesus agreed to go with him but is briefly interrupted by a second healing.  A woman who had a hemorrhage for 12 years. She knew Jesus could heal her and believed that if she could only touch the hem of his robe, she would be healed. She did and was, but Jesus, despite being surrounded by so many people, knew that power had gone out and asked who. The woman came forward and told him, to which he said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

He then continued on the way, but they were approached by people from Jairus’s house, Telling him to bother Jesus as the daughter had died. Jesus said, don’t worry; she is just sleeping. While the others in the house scoffed at this, Jairus and his wife, along with Peter, John, and James. He then told the girl to get up, and she did. He then instructed the parents to not tell anyone.

My takeaways from this passage; 1) As followers of Christ, our role is to share the gospel message with those who will listen. 2) People’s response to the gospel is contingent on their receptiveness. 3) Jesus defines family by common purpose and not blood. And 4) Jesus has authority over nature, the supernatural, and life itself.