Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Luke 4-6

Hi all! :)

Continuing to catch you up on my readings in Luke. Today I'm posting Chapters 4-6. I hope you enjoy!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Luke 4
I don't think I'd ever noticed before that Luke does not chronicle the first calling of the disciples before telling stories that involve them (e.g. Simon Peter's mother-in-law). He simply assumes you already know who they are and that they exist. Also, I noted that while the devil left Jesus after tempting him in the desert, he would not be leave Jesus alone forever. Verse 13 says he left him "until an opportune time." Since we don't really see such a vivid description of their sparring later in the Gospels, I wonder when he returned to try and tempt Jesus again. With each temptation, Jesus rebuked the devil with Scripture, even when the devil attempted to twist Scripture to his designs. I think this sets a great example for us of how we should be prepared to withstand the devil's attack. God's Word should be deeply embedded in our hearts and minds that we can recall what He desires of us in each situation.

Luke 5
Previously, we read that tax collectors were among some of John the Baptist's disciples. Part of me wonders if Levi/Matthew was one of those. His response to Christ's calling of immediately leaving his position and following Jesus suggests to me that he might have heard some of John's teaching or even been present at Jesus' baptism. I'm also reminded in this chapter of how our personal faith can affect those around us. The paralytic man that was lowered through the roof was not healed because of his own faith, but his friends' faith (vs. 20 "When Jesus saw their faith..."). How we live out our faith is a beacon to others.
Pastor Mark mentioned this in his sermon, but I'll mention it anyway :) I was reminded of the importance of prayer when I saw verse 16. "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Even with everything going on around him (and it was certainly more to deal with than my life!), Jesus still sought out times and places to pray by himself. I know I need to get better about setting aside dedicated time for this!

Luke 6
I don't know if you've ever heard of Mark Driscoll, but he's a pastor out in Seattle at Mars Hill Church. He did a sermon series entitled "Religion Saves and nine other misconceptions" and one of the sermons was on Humor (the misconception being that the Bible has none). Now, whenever I read about Jesus saying to remove the plank from your own eye before removing the speck from your brother's, I always see the picture of Mark that I've attached to the e-mail [see below]. We don't always read it as being funny, but looking at the picture, I can't help but think of it as anything but a dry sense of humor meant to get the point across. If you get the chance, the sermon series is a good one :)

I think too often people separate vs. 37 and take it out of context (i.e. proof-texting). I don't know about your Bible but mine has a header break between vs. 27-36 and vs. 37-42. I wish I could remove that break. The two sections follow each other and blend so seamlessly. You cannot judge someone if you are loving them and doing good to them. You cannot condemn them if you are following Christ's commands in the previous verses either.

We also get the list of the 12 disciples now in this chapter (since I mentioned last week that Luke didn't give us much on their call to follow Jesus). And I feel like Luke gave us the CliffNotes version of the Beatitudes since Matthew gives us 9 "Blessed" statements and Luke only gives us 4 (though Matthew does omit the "woes").

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