The Gospel of Luke
The Gospel of Luke is one of the most read books of the Bible. Steph Nickel shares some thoughts from the gospel that are relevant year round.
Read the Gospel of Luke
I came across the idea online to read through the gospel of Luke in December. There are 24 chapters, and if you read one chapter per day, beginning on the 1st, you will finish on Christmas Eve. Sounded like a great idea to me! (And, of course, it’s not too late to start.)
There are many benefits of reading through a book of the Bible in a single sitting. For example, you pick up on the overarching themes.
Reading Slowly and Prayerfully
However, recently, I’ve rediscovered the wonder of reading slowly and prayerfully. It’s so easy to scan over verses if you’re familiar with the passage. Slowing down allows you to see things you’d never noticed before. It also allows the truths of the Scriptures to sink even deeper into your mind and spirit.
I have read the Gospels several times, but I’m still discovering new things. You can never exhaust the wealth of knowledge in God’s Word, which, of course, makes perfect sense. (I have known people who have said, “I read through the Bible once. I don’t need to do so again.” They are missing out on so much!)
Things That Stand Out in the Gospel of Luke
Here are a few of the many things that stood out to me from the first six chapters of Luke:
Luke 1:4 states the reason Luke wrote the book. He was writing to a man named Theophilus and said, “… that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”
As we delve into the Scriptures, our faith grows, which is reason enough to make it a high priority.
All verses quoted in today’s “review” are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.
I don’t think I’ve ever before realized how poetic verses 78-79 of chapter 1 are.
“… the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Isn’t that an amazing word picture!
Luke 2:19 is a familiar verse to many of us. “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
However, I had never noticed that there are a couple of other instances of contemplating the wonder of what was happening.
Verse 33 says, “And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.”
And when they found Jesus in the temple, the Scriptures again say, “And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51).
Discussion and Prayer
Of course, there is a time to discuss what God is revealing to us, but there are other times it’s best, for a time, to prayerfully consider what He is teaching us and treasure this knowledge.
Having traveled to the Canadian Rockies and driven along many winding roads, verse 5 of chapter 3 stood out to me as it never has before. “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways.”
Take a moment to picture that. Isn’t it amazing! And take a moment to consider what that can mean in our day-to-day life. Spiritually speaking, we can travel a smooth, straight path with the Lord while, of course, facing the twisting, uneven challenges of life.
Chapter 4, verse 15 says Jesus “taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all” (emphasis mine).
We know that those who glorified Jesus at this point didn’t realize He was the Messiah who would offer spiritual deliverance. They believed He would set them free of Roman rule and govern them as an earthly king. How often do we glorify the Lord only to question His plans and purposes when things don’t go the way we want them to, the way we thought He was going to work them out?
God does pour out rich blessing on us. Most of us have a roof over our head, clothes on our back, food in our cupboards, and access to transportation, making us among the top 1 percent of the world’s population, materially speaking.
But what did the disciples do when Jesus blessed them with two boatloads full of fish? “They left everything and followed him” (Luke 5:11).
In one sense, He may not call us to leave everything. But He does call us to follow Him each and every day He gives us breath.
Jesus and Wrongdoing
Verse 7 of chapter 6, and similar verses throughout the Gospels, always amaze me. “And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him.”
Did they deny that Jesus had the power to heal? No.
Did that convince them that His message was to be listened to and heeded. Again, no.
Instead, they wanted to accuse Him of wrongdoing. So, they kept a close eye on Him to see if He would heal on the Sabbath, something they were sure meant He wasn’t sent from God. Since God had commanded them to keep the Sabbath holy and do no work one day out of seven, how could this Jesus be the promised Messiah if he broke the Lord’s command?
They didn’t understand the purpose of the Law or the great love God had for those who were suffering and needed His touch.
December and the New Year!
I look forward to making many new discoveries this month … and throughout the new year.
What part of God’s Word are you reading this Christmas season?
May you discover again the wonder that is Christmas, the wonder that is His Word!
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.
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Images courtesy of:
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Rockies – Herman49
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