I was asked yesterday if it might be possible to do some kind of Bible Study on the website, similar to the kind of thing I would normally put in the Isla Link, So for as long as this lockdown period lasts I will do this on a Wednesday, the day on which I would normally be having a Bible Study, and will start by looking at selected portions of Luke’s Gospel.
Background Information On Luke:
Luke was a Gentile, probably of Greek origin, and is believed to have been a doctor. He spent a lot of time in the company of the Apostle Paul and witnessed his revolutionary change of attitude after his Damascus conversion. So when Luke wrote his Gospel he was careful to show that from the very beginning God planned that His message should be for all kinds and classes of people. So, Luke paints a portrait of Jesus as One whose love reaches out to every single member of the human race.
In Luke’s Gospel the coming and mission of Jesus is written in a very narrative form, with great effort being put into showing the ministry of Jesus as being part of the continuing redemptive plan of God for everyone. He seeks to challenge his audience to discern the purpose of God such that they may embrace this and order their own lives around it.
Luke’s Gospel is often described as being the Pastoral Gospel and from the outset, where Luke shares with us his understanding of Jesus Ministry, we see why it is thought of in this way.
Read Luke 4:14-21
For Luke, it seems, these verses encapsulate what Jesus’ Ministry is all about.
But just who are ‘the poor’ that we hear of in these verses?
- Those who were living in poverty and deprivation at that time.
- Those who were excluded from the norm of society: Gentiles: anyone who was not a Jew Samaritans: descendants of Jews who had intermarried. Tax-collectors: often regarded as real no-hopers. Women: definitely thought of as second-class citizens Outcasts: people like lepers and others banished from the community. ‘Sinners’: anyone who didn’t live according to the Law of Moses.
- In what ways might we be considered poor?
Who are ‘the prisoners’ that we are told will be freed?
- Not political or criminal prisoners held by the Romans.
- Prisoners of their own sinfulness – Prisoners of Satan.
- What ‘prisons’ might we need to be set free from today?
Who are ‘the blind’ that will have their sight restored?
- Yes, those who were physically blind.
- But what about those who were spiritually blind – and what does this mean for us today?
And what is the ‘release’ that we are told of?
- Release entails forgiveness, literally, ‘release from sins’
- Release also involves nullifying the binding power of Satan.
- What does this teach us about our forgiveness of others?
Read Luke 4:22-30
After reading in the Synagogue Jesus initially seems to have been well received, but then things suddenly change – why is this?
- Jesus implied that those listening were as unbelieving as those in the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the days of Elijah and Elisha, a time of great wickedness in the land.
- He also suggests that God sometimes chooses to reach Gentiles rather than Jews.
- How well received are we when we share the Gospel message and how can God use us?
In short, Luke aims to present Jesus as our Saviour, the Saviour of all the world. But as we seek to share this message with others, how well is it received today and how often is it misunderstood?
Lord we thank You for the message of Luke and pray that we might learn to share this Good News with all people in the way that Luke would have us do and in the way that Jesus Himself would have us do. All this we ask in Jesus name. Amen.