Hey Bible learners, it is time now for a third viewpoint of the life and works of Jesus. In this installment Luke, who we understand is a doctor, is making a special point to write to his nephew Theophilus and claims the following in the first few verses of the book.
- He acknowledges many have already taken a stab at penning down what had transpired recently
- What has been recorded were based on first hand accounts from the very eye witnesses who were closest to Jesus.
- Like them, he too has received the eyewitness accounts but has gone through the extra step of investigating everything.
- After the due investigation was completed, Luke claims to be writing them down in an orderly fashion for his nephew.
- The main purpose behind it all? So that Theophilus may be convinced by the certainty of all that has been and will be taught him.
How encouraging it must have been for young Theophilus to receive such a thorough account of the most important events in history from someone who cares so much and whom he can trust!
And how comforting for us to know that we, all these 1000s of years later can read a thoroughly investigated and orderly account of the life and works of Jesus!
With that said, allow me to highlight a few unique aspects about Luke’s version before you go ahead and dig into this yourselves.
- Only in Luke’s gospel we get a detailed account about the background of the birth of John the Baptist and get a glimpse of the respective songs of Zechariah (John’s father) and Mary (Jesus’ mother).
- There is a strong emphasis on the involvement of the Holy Spirit in Luke’s gospel than the other gospel accounts. Here they are:
- In Luke 1:15, we read the prophecy concerning John the Baptist that he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
- In speaking to a very surprised Mary, in Luke 1:35, the angel lets her know that it is the Holy Spirit who will come upon her that will overshadow her and cause Jesus to be born as the Son of God.
- Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit in Luke 1:41
- Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit as he prophesied (Luke 1:67)
- In Luke 2:25-26, we read about Simeon on whom was the Holy Spirit and who had been foretold by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. This is followed by the prophet Anna’s encounter with Jesus at the temple (Luke 2: 36-38)
- John the Baptist tells his followers that the one coming after him will baptize them with the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16).
- After Jesus is baptized, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him in dove form (Luke 3: 22)
- Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit when he was left Jordan to go into the wilderness (Luke 4:1)
- Luke is the only one who mentions Jesus sending out the 72 disciples and then being full of the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21)
- Jesus teaching his followers about asking the Father for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11: 13)
- In Luke 12:10, we see the very strong warning that whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven and then shortly after Jesus goes on to say that the Holy Spirit will guide them at the right time on what to say when they are persecuted and have to speak to the authorities (12:12)
- Apart from the above, there are quite a few other events and teachings mentioned only by Luke but here are a few notable ones: the parables of the good Samaritan and the prodigal son, Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus, miraculous catch of the fish and the healing of the ten lepers.
- Finally, I must call out that the ascension of Christ is only found in Luke.
The Holy Spirit is a very integral part of all the events and people surrounding the birth, growth, miraculous works, teachings, life, death and ascension of Jesus the Messianic Savior.
Weekly Reading Plan
And now here is the weekly plan for you to read through this section.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
- Do your own research on the many aspects that are unique in Luke’s gospel and see how it may play into the purpose for Luke writing this to his nephew.
- Optional (if you want to really read through the Bible in a year): Read Psalms 103-105.
And that is it for week 36!
Happy Bible Learning!