The Book of Luke

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by expiated, May 11, 2018.

  1. expiated


    I memorized all the headings and subheadings in the book of the Luke to help me get familiar with the entire gospel story, so now I’m hoping to use this thread to help me also become familiar with the particular details—chapter-by-chapter.

    The book supposedly begins with the birth of John being announced to Zechariah, but in actuality, it really begins with Luke stating why and for whom he wrote the document.

    Of particular interest to me was Gabriel’s displeasure with Zechariah’s hesitance to believe what the angel who stands in the presence of God had to say. It would seem that doubting whatever things God has to say is not a good idea.

    In terms of Jesus’ birth announced to Mary (when Elizabeth was into her sixth month of pregnancy), at first glance one might think that Mary too doubted what Gabriel had to say. So why wasn’t she struck mute in the same manner as Zechariah?

    I’m thinking that perhaps it wasn’t so much a case of her being doubtful, but simply not understanding how it was possible, and requesting a few more details to shed some light on how it would come about—especially given the fact that, when Mary visited her relative Elizabeth, Elizabeth greeted Mary in part by saying, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

    In short, I guess seeking to better understand God’s word is okay, but to flat out disbelieve it—not so much.

    What strikes me about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth was how it confirmed Gabriel’s pronouncement that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit, “even from his mother’s womb.” Mary remained there for about three months, so she must have left just before John was born, or just after.

    As for the song of Mary, or Mary’s song of praise (doxology?), to me it sounds an awful lot like Old Testament Scripture. I’m wondering how much of the text I might be able to find, for example, in the Book of Psalms.

    From the birth and circumcision of John, I gather it was customary to circumcise and name a male child once he was eight days old. The prophecy delivered by Zechariah once he started speaking again was a description of who John was, or was to become, after describing who Jesus was, or was to become.

    The first chapter ends by stating, “And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.”

    I understand that confronting folks with a wilderness experience before having them begin ministering on His behalf was a biblical pattern with God.
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  2. jem



  3. expiated


    The thing that strikes me as I read the second chapter of Luke is how Christianity is unlike any other religion in that its founder’s life and ministry was predicted and confirmed to a degree enjoyed by a no other religious leader I know of.

    First of all, you have an entire body of Jewish Scriptures, to which Zechariah alluded in the first chapter of Luke when he talked about the Lord God of Israel raising up a horn of salvation in the house of David as He spoke by the mouth of His holy profits of old.

    Then you have the shepherds making known at the Messiah’s birth the saying that had been told them concerning the child by an angel of the Lord, with all who heard it wondering at what the shepherds told them. (If this never really occurred, there would have been plenty of people around to dispute the farce, not to mention the claim that there was talk all through the hill country of Judea concerning what was said and the events that took place surrounding the birth of John the Baptizer, with the people wondering what the child would be.)

    And by confirmation I’m not only referring to Jewish prophecy (including Zechariah’s), but also to Simeon’s prophecy in the temple, and to Anna the prophetess, who spoke of the Messiah “to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Again, if Anna never did such a thing, there would have been plenty of people around to call Luke on his fabricated story (not that Simeon and Anna weren’t Jewish too).

    It’s my understanding however that Hinduism has no known founder, no unifying organization, no real orthodoxy and no official texts—that its origins stem from sometime around 2000 B.C. when the warlike Aryans came over the Caucasus Mountains and conquered the Dravidians of the Indus Valley.

    I’ve read that both Aryans and the Dravidians had polytheistic religions, and some of the most popular Dravidian gods received new Aryan names, but retained their old functions, with the Aryans recording their hymns, prayers, stories and chants in what became known as Vedic literature (i.e., the Vedas, Brahamanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads) and that this laid the groundwork for what later became Hinduism, which is not really one religion, but many religions that interact and blend with one another.

    I am also unaware of any written prophecies foretelling the coming of Siddharta Gautama (Buddha)…only the tradition that it was prophesied he would become the greatest ruler in the history of the earth, but would give up his rule and find a way of salvation for all mankind if he ever saw sickness, old age, death, and a monk who had renounced the world.

    However, I’m not much inclined to follow a religious leader who abandoned his wife and child in the middle of the night, or who teaches a wisdom he found by “looking within himself,” especially when the “understanding” and “highest degree of consciousness” that flooded his mind like a great light did so only after he was sitting under a tree, not moving, for forty days and nights. (I’m not inclined to trust what pops in someone’s head in such a state.)

    As for Islam, I was taught that the Prophet Mohammad had an experience similar to Buddha’s, having received his first reported revelation when he was 40 years old while contemplating in a cave on Mount Hira near Mecca.

    If my information is correct however, Mohammad was initially troubled by his revelation and told his wife, Khadijah, that he thought he might be possessed by jinns—supernatural beings from Arab folklore who could supposedly take human or animal form and influence human affairs.

    I find this very interesting in light of such biblical passages as 1 Timothy 4:1. Though Muhammad’s wife and cousin were able to assure him that his words were indeed true, I have to wonder if perhaps Mohammed wasn’t the one who was right after all, and that it was his wife and cousin who were mistaken.

    Add to all of this what Yeshua Hamashiach did after He was born, and one gets a rough idea as to why I’m not likely to convert to Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Shintoism, Sikism, Taoism, Confucianism, Jainism, Scientology, or any other religion any time soon.
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  4. stu


    If the events portrayed in Bible Luke aren't fictional, then events portrayed in this Book of Luke aren't fictional either, and did actually happen a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

  5. expiated


    In my mind, what I see in the third chapter of Luke contradicts the skewed portrait painted my many of today’s secular progressives (especially those promoting the LGBTQ agenda) depicting Yeshua the Messiah as a nonjudgmental pacifist who spent all day passing out warm fuzzies—a characterization that is, at best, incomplete.

    First of all, consider the message of John the Baptizer in preparing the people for Christ’s arrival when he said…

    “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance… Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

    Without a doubt, anyone whose lifestyle was in conflict with Scripture was not being affirmed in their sin, but rather, they were being strongly encouraged to abandon such behavior and to make life choices in harmony with biblical teachings.

    In the fifth chapter of Luke Jesus Himself said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    In other words, Jesus said He came to instruct sinners to stop disregarding God’s commandments. Rather than defend those whose views contradicted God’s Laws, Yeshua did just the opposite, as suggested in the twelfth chapter of Luke where the Messiah is quoted as saying…

    “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five 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 her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    Clearly when society says one thing and the Bible says another, Jesus expects believers to reject the popular culture and remain faithful to Scripture. Yeshua did not condone people in their sin, but actually called them out on it, as He did with the woman at the well when He replied, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

    And what was the last thing He said to the woman who had been caught in adultery? It’s true that He told her He did not condemn her, but He also said, “...go, and from now on, sin no more.”

    In John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”

    So it’s no wonder that John prepared the way for the Lord by preaching good news “with many other exhortations.” It’s also no wonder that Herod locked up John in prison after the baptizer reproved him for shacking up with his brother’s wife (among other things).

    The desire to shut up those who would suggest there are certain relationships from which people ought to refrain is a sentiment Herod shared with many in today’s society.
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  6. expiated


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  7. stu


    Luke sad, Jesus clearly wrong. What you describe is theocracy, proven bad on so many levels, over a very long time and thoroughly detrimental to society, as still observed in the Middle East and parts of Asia.
    Basically un-American and directly contrary to founding principles.

    in matters of religion prophets are all about profits
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  8. expiated


    With respect to the third chapter of Luke, I’m reminded that before God fulfilled his promises to Abraham, he told the guy to leave his native country, his relatives, and his father’s family, and go to the land that God would show him. The Lord didn’t even tell him where he was going to have to go.

    I believe Moses spent 40 years in or near the wilderness at Mount Sinai before God finally “commissioned” him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. And I’m almost positive that the Israelites spent 40 years wandering through the wilderness before finally entering the Promised Land.

    My impression is that David spent from seven to ten years running all over the countryside to get away from Saul before finally being installed as king over part or all of Israel, and it said in the first chapter of Luke that John the baptizer was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

    So now here in the fourth chapter of Luke one sees that Yeshua is led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days before beginning His own ministry.

    What I don’t get is when Christ’s listeners in Nazareth spoke well of Him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from His mouth, He seemed to commence trying to irritate them almost on purpose! I never understood why He did that, but in reading up on it a little, perhaps Jesus was simply speeding up the inevitable.

    After all, they did appear to begin questioning His validity, muttering something like, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

    Moreover, Jesus suggested that they wanted Him to do the same thing that they heard He did in Capernaum, so I’m led to understand that what He was doing was letting them know that His ministry was not going to be limited to Nazareth—but it still seems like He could have done this in a way that wouldn’t have ended up making them so furious at Him…but then again, maybe not.

    After all, to try to kill the Messiah simply because of His citing a couple of incidences from Scripture is pretty extreme. Clearly their hearts were not right. So again, maybe Yeshua was simply making obvious what was bound to rear its ugly head sooner or later anyway.

    In any case, I think it really cool the way Jesus passed through their midst and went on His merry way when they brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built so they could throw him over the cliff—almost like magic.

    I can’t imagine how many people Jesus was healing down in Capernaum or thereabouts shortly afterward, and it’s interesting that he wanted to shut up the demons, who were announcing who He really was. I also noticed that when the people there wanted to keep Him from leaving them, He was nicer this time about letting them know He had to preach the good news of the kingdom of God to other towns as well (i.e., the synagogue’s of Judea).
  9. expiated


    The fifth chapter of Luke:

    Apparently the Bible I used to memorize all the subheadings in the book of Luke labeled the first part of this chapter “Four Fishermen Called as Disciples.” However, I only noticed Simon (Peter) and (his cousins?) James and John being mentioned. I didn’t notice any mention of Andrew. (Peter’s younger brother?) Perhaps he was listed in one of the other Gospel accounts and that’s why the subheading did not cite a mere three fishermen as being called to be disciples. (I’ll have to check this out some other time.)

    This was the account where Yeshua got into a boat and put out into the lake of Gennesaret from where He taught the crowd standing on the shoreline.

    In any case, it’s amazing how they just “left everything” to follow Yeshua—right there on the spot. The Bible says the same thing several passages later, when Levi the tax collector (Matthew) also just up and left everything behind when the Messiah said, “Follow me.”

    (It reminds me that God also had Abraham leave everything, in a manner of speaking. Moses was sort of “forced” to do the same thing, and Joseph even more so, not to mention David. John the baptizer went out into the wilderness for a spell, and assuming Yeshua had been working as a carpenter up until He began His ministry, He too left everything and spent some time in the wilderness. Saul [the Apostle Paul] was another servant of God who was kind of “forced” to leave a position of prominence to become a vessel through which God blessed others.)

    In the meantime, Yeshua cleansed a leper, and supposedly, a report about Him went abroad, after which great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities. So again, if the Christ were nothing but a fictitious character, as many claim, the Gospels would have immediately been discredited as total fabrications and quickly forgotten forever, because everyone would have known the events never took place.

    The next section, where Yeshua heals a paralytic, is the account where the guy’s friends broke through the tiles of a roof so they could lower the guy down in his bed to be healed by the Messiah (since they were unable to bring him in because of the crowd).

    It was after this that Matthew the tax collector was called to be a disciple.

    The chapter ends with Yeshua being questioned about fasting. This is where Jesus talks about no one tearing a piece from an old garment and putting it on a new garment, or putting new wine into old wineskins.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  10. expiated


    "With respect to the fourth chapter of Luke..."
    #10     Jun 7, 2018