I continue to read through the New Testament – As It Was Written. The Gospel according to Luke presented some great perspectives and questions on the story of Jesus. Click on Luke to read my notes and to see Rembrandt’s great work of art, Return of the Prodigal Son. Or just read my (long) set of notes here:
Ch. 1 – In verses 61-63, people made signs to Zacharias – he was mute, not deaf. What’s with the signs?
Ch. 3 – The Bible says of John the Baptizer, “And with many other exhortations he preached to the people” (v. 18). These were exhortations like brood of vipers, wrath to come, ax is laid to the root, thrown into the fire, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor …the chaff He will burn with fire. Tough words! Note, however, that when the people began to ask what they should do, he toned it down, counseling them like a father. It sounds like he had to get their attention first!
Ch. 6 – Jesus referred to David eating the showbread and giving some to his men (I Samuel 21:1-6). It was not lawful for anyone but the priest to eat the showbread. David declared the holy bread as common and they ate. This seems to me to be a type and shadow of eating bread (representing the holy body of Christ) in the Lord’s supper, thus enabling us in our doctrine of priesthood of the believer.
Ch. 8 – According to Jesus (v. 15), nobility and a good heart are inseparable qualities of men who, having heard the Word, keep it and bear fruit. And fruit-bearing is a matter of patience.
In verses 19-21, where is Jesus’ father, Joseph? People knew him and that he was a carpenter. But he’s not mentioned otherwise except at the birth of Jesus. Could it be that he had died by then?
Animals can be demon-possessed (verses30-33)!
The spirit of a person is the life of a person (verses 54-55). The words that Jesus speaks are spirit and they are life (John 6:63).
Ch. 9 – Are you waiting around for God to do something? In verse 13, Jesus commanded His disciples, “You give them something to eat.”
Ch. 10 – The words, After this (v. 1), indicate that the need to proclaim the good news was apparent. People were non-committal or simply ignorant of the Lordship of Christ (ch. 8). Clearly, it was a plentiful harvest (v. 2).
No one and no where is safe outside the Gospel. Jesus even condemned His “adopted” hometown of Capernaum (v. 15).
Beware snake-handlers! Jesus is not talking about poisonous asps in verse 19; He’s talking about Satan and demons and the power of this type of enemy. So don’t celebrate by juggling adders. Celebrate and worship the Lordship of Jesus and that our names are written in heaven (v. 20).
Note that Jesus said that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (v. 18). And it is that same place – heaven – where the names of believers are now written! There is no room for evil in the sight of God.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said that the Samaritan would repay the innkeeper when he returns (v. 35). In like manner, Jesus will repay (reward) those who show mercy, that is, believers, when He returns. The merciful shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).
Ch. 11 – Here we go with snakes and scorpions again (verses 11-12)! While these are things over which we have authority, in addition to evil spirits, Jesus is talking about doing good verses doing evil.
Verse 36 – Jesus isn’t just number one… He’s the only one. You are either full of light, that is, full of Him, or you are not. You cannot be partially illuminated, spiritually speaking. You cannot compare Jesus to anything in a list of priorities.
While Jesus cast out demons by the finger of God (v. 20, or in reality, just by speaking), the leaders then, like lawyers, didn’t even lift a finger to help people in any way (v. 46).
Ch. 13 – Many people practice “convenient” church. They are false members (eating and drinking in fellowship), hiding behind the church rather than the Cross (verses 23-30).
Ch. 14 – In the parable of the great supper (verses 15-24), Jesus rates excuses: small (it only takes a few minutes to see a piece of ground, v. 18); medium (it probably takes a good part of a day to test several teams of stubborn oxen, v. 19); and large (a lifetime, as that’s how long a marriage should last, v. 20). In the parable, those who are hurting and in need didn’t offer an excuse. Those on the highways and hedges didn’t offer excuses. There is no excuse for not following Christ (v. 24).
Ch. 15 – The parable of the lost son (verses 11-32) seems to have many lessons. One of those is: The older son was not looking for his brother’s return like the father was looking for him. He was not even expecting his younger brother’s return. He was more interested in partying with his friends. The father reminded him that he (the younger, prodigal son) is your brother. Look for him, honor him, welcome him, and celebrate his coming home, as we should likewise do for our brothers, kin or not.
Ch. 16 – What men highly esteem, God despises as an abomination in His sight.
Ch. 18 – In verse 34, the Bible says that the truth was hidden from the disciples about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (as of then). A similar incident occurred on the Emmaus Road when two disciples talked to Jesus whom they did not recognize at that time, and just before Jesus’ ascension when He opened the disciples’ understanding of Scripture (Luke 24). Could it also be that God hides truth from the angels, more specifically, Satan, especially about the character of people (Job) and end times? There’s no Biblical evidence that I’m aware of – just speculation.
Ch. 20 – Marriage is for mortals – it sustains the existence of humanity. There is no marriage for the immortal in heaven because the saints live eternally. They do not need to sustain themselves – Jesus does that. We are equal to the angels and are sons of God (verses 34-36). That begs the question, “Were the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, mortal or immortal, or both at some point (like believers are), or something beyond our comprehension?”
Ch. 21 – When will the times of the Gentiles (be) fulfilled, or is it already?
Ch. 22 – When one of the “faithful” makes the world glad and agreeable, Christian men, keep watch. Warning signs include a falling out, betrayal, greed, and cooperation with the world. The faithless one will also act this way in the absence of witnesses, like the church. And there will be a crowd that will follow him. It is their hour and the power of darkness (verses 5, 47-48, 53).
Ch. 23 – Following up the previous observation, note the progression of unfaithful people: from one (Judas), to a few (leaders), to a crowd (mob), to a whole company (v. 1, and others).
Ch. 23 – Jesus didn’t stir up the crowd (v. 5). He healed, fed, had compassion on them, and forgave their sins. The only ones who got stirred up were the leaders and greedy, faithless men.
When Jesus last cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit My spirit” (v. 46), did He indeed save Himself, as the leaders mockingly said He couldn’t?
Some people didn’t consent to the execution of Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea was one (verses 50-51). He was good and just. Could there have been a small group of nonconformers, including Jesus’ own mother and a few other men and women?