I stated on Sunday that I would read the Gospel of Luke in 3 days (that is, by Wednesday). A beloved brother suggested that on Monday I read 1-6 and then discuss it with him in the evening. We both took notes and discussed what we had noticed for about 2 hours. Here are a few themes we picked up on:
- Jesus learned, and so completely understands and helps us with out studies (2:52).
- Jesus gives us a clear work ethic (3:13-14).
- The genealogy in ch.3 ends with ‘the son of God’ (Adam), but in doing so comes full circle back to Jesus’ identity.
- People were happy to accept Jesus as the Jewish messiah (4:20-22) but when he explains he is here for gentiles also they suddenly have a change of heart (4:23-27).
- When people went to follow or serve Jesus they do so immediately (4:39, 5:11 & 5:28).
- There are demon possessed people even in the synagogue (4:33).
- If Jesus asks you to do something do it fully, let all nets down not just one (5:4-7).
- When people submit in fear, they are raised up and told not to fear (1:12-13, 5:8-10).
- Jesus heals those who come, or are brought to him, without fail
- Jesus prays all night (6:12) and often goes to pray alone (5:16) before making big decisions. We also should withdraw from crowds, even when we may be swarmed with invites (as we suspect Jesus was) to spend time alone with God.
- When people came to see Jesus they came to him for two reasons. The first was to hear the word of God (5:1), the second was to see healing. Should we pursue sound teaching over signs? or will good teaching always produce good signs?
We also looked at 5:18-26, which is the healing of the paralyzed man. Verse 24, though directed towards everyone is also directed personally towards the paralyzed man. It is possible (and this is not in the text) that people had claimed, as with Job, that this man was suffering because of sin. This address showing that God can forgive sin and also heal each with ease, is so important. Jesus is letting this man (who could have been told his whole life is suffering from an ailment brought by sin) know with certainty of his forgiveness, which may be addressing his mental state (though this is not stated in the text), and then heals him also. God’s forgiving and healing power is not something these people, and especially the previously paralyzed man, are going to forget.
We discussed in some detail the 5:29-39. We were trying to see how these stories and events were linked. We uncovered it was very possible that this happened at around the same time Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding (John 2). Thus all the teaching is using wedding imagery. Under further studies of the wine skin teaching we came to the following conclusion: the old wine skins could be seen as those stuck in their old ways, that you cannot give them new teaching when they say the old is better (5:39). Though we did not discuss the garment teaching in much detail, though it seems to have similar meaning, that one cannot apply a new teaching to one set in their old ways.
We had a long discussion over 6:39-42. It seemed that verse 40 did not fit in with the rest of the surrounding verses. After some discussion we came to the conclusion that the blind leading the blind is alike the brother with a speck in his eye trying to lead the brother with a plank in his. So, the teacher (that is Jesus, who is with clear vision), must remove your speck or plank, that you may see before you can help a brother. When this is done the disciple becomes like Jesus, as he is able to help his brother.
The final thing I will mention is the people whom God blessed. John’s parents had great loss and shame because Elizabeth was barren, but they still served God (1:8). They were rewarded with a healthy child (though Zacharias was made temporarily mute). The widow who had only known 7 years of marriage and had many alone (2:37) got to meet Jesus in the flesh. We were also inspired by Mary’s attitude to hearing from the angel, when she replies “Let it be to me according to your word” (1:37). This prayer is short, but powerful, and her attitude towards God’s plans is wonderful. Had Zacharias had the same attitude perhaps he wouldn’t been made temporarily mute.
I do not expect all blog entries to be so long. Lots of Love and God bless you.