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Monthly Archives: September 2016

“You Are the Christ, the Son of God”

from Google Images

from Google Images

I find it interesting that Luke would begin Jesus’ ministry with a miracle that casts out a demon. Why do that? It is the first miracle performed by Jesus in both Luke (Luke 4:31-36) and Mark (cf. Mark 1:21-27). Matthew mentions this only generally (Matthew 4:23-25), but John begins Jesus public ministry with the miracle of changing water into wine (John 2:1-11). The accounts end with the astonishment of the people (the Synoptics) and the belief of the disciples (John). What can we make of these things? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Peter’s Mother-in-law’s Fever

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from Google Images

Jesus was rejected in Nazareth and challenged in Capernaum, but his disciples trusted him, that what he claimed was true (cf. John 1:40-49; 2:11). Knowing this, it seems justified that the text should show that it was Jesus’ disciples who first asked him to do something on their behalf, not as a sign, but as a work of mercy. That is, they appealed to his compassion (Luke 4:38). This is quite different from demanding a sign like changing stones to bread or leaping from a great pinnacle (Luke 4:3, 9). They weren’t looking for signs and wonders that would appeal to their curiosity, but in their compassion for the weak, they appealed to Jesus’ compassion. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus and Demons

from Google Images

from Google Images

The words Jesus spoke in Capernaum (Luke 4:31-34) must have been similar to what he claimed in Nazareth. In Nazareth Jesus used Scripture to say he was the Messiah, and there the community rose up against him. However, in Capernaum it was a demoniac that rose up against Jesus. One has to wonder if the demoniac in Capernaum tried to do something similar to Jesus that the whole community at Nazareth intended on doing. In other words, the demoniac, at least at first, may have been considered to be in his right mind by the community of Capernaum, because demoniacs, as a rule, are not permitted in the synagogue.[1] The man may even have been a well respected and feared leader in the synagogue. In this context he may have risen up in the assembly to challenge Jesus, saying that his claim to be the Messiah would end in the Romans destroying the nation (cf. Mark 1:24 and John 11:48), or at least the city from which Jesus began gathering a following. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus Spoke with Authority

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from Google Images

Luke tells us that, after Jesus left Nazareth, he came to Capernaum and taught there on the Sabbaths (Luke 4:31), and on one Sabbath he was challenged by a man having an unclean spirit (Luke 4:33-34). Whatever one may think of unclean spirits, e.g. demons[1], spirits of the wicked dead[2] or a fractured human spirit that is bent on destroying self or others, the New Testament reveals that Jesus and his disciples had authority over them. It makes no difference what they really are; the point in the New Testament is their power over men is undone by the authority of Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Unfavorable Contrast

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from Google Images

In Luke 4:25-27 Jesus unfavorably contrasted his countrymen, his neighbors at Nazareth, with two gentiles, one from Sidon and the other from Syria. Both the widow, whose food supply never failed because of the word of Elijah, and the leper, who was healed by the prophet, Elisha, believed the word of God. In other words they let the word, as it was spoken by the prophet, bear fruit in their lives. Yet, the Nazarenes wouldn’t allow this to occur with Jesus’ words. Rather, they demanded him, as though he ruled over the power that rested upon him, to do a miracle and prove who he claimed to be (cf. Luke 4:22). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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No Prophet Is Accepted in His Own Town

from Google Images

from Google Images

One way of looking at these first events in Jesus’ public life is that Nazareth is in some degree like Cana (John 2:1).[1] What do I mean? Well, the meaning of the word Cana is “place of reeds” (Kana – G2580).[2] A reed was used as a unit of measure (Ezekiel 40:3, 5-8; Revelation 11:1) of six great cubits (Ezekiel 41:8) or about 9 feet. What I find interesting is that the town of Nazareth was measuring Jesus as they would one of their own (Luke 4:22b). It is difficult to see or understand the importance of a person when we think we know all there is to know about him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Whatever We Have Heard…

from Google Images

from Google Images

Some folks who try to harmonize the Gospels believe that the time when Jesus came to Nazareth in Luke 4 is the same time he came to Nazareth in Matthew 13 and Mark 6, but this is not so. Rather, the other Synoptics are the fulfillment of what Jesus prophesied in Luke 4:23. Notice what Jesus said in Luke:

Luke 4:23 KJV  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. (emphasis mine) Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Physician Heal Yourself!

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from Google Images

What did Jesus mean when he mentioned the proverb: ‘physician, heal yourself’ in connection with his rejection at Nazareth? Is it only a Jewish proverb?[1] Actually, it can be found similarly stated in secular literature too.[2] In the Bible it is found only in Luke, but, whether Luke is quoting Jesus exactly or paraphrasing, the statement does certainly seem to be an expression of sarcasm against Jesus’ claim about himself in Luke 4:19. The problem is the attitude is self defeating. Jesus’ words were words of grace, which was admitted by all (Luke 4:22). To demand grace is illogical. One cannot demand what one does not deserve or has no claim upon. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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This Day this Scripture is Fulfilled

Spirit of the Lord is upon me -1

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It is interesting that Matthew punctuates his entire Gospel with the theme of Christ fulfilling all things under the Old Covenant. Luke doesn’t do that. Rather, except for a few statements in the final week of Jesus’ public ministry, Luke brackets the whole of Jesus’ words and deeds between Luke 4:19 and 24:44 under the theme of what in Scripture was to be fulfilled. Here in Luke 4:19 Jesus claimed he was the Messiah by saying Isaiah 61 was fulfilled in the ears of his family and friends at Nazareth. Then in Luke 24:44 Jesus told his disciples in the upper room that all things in the Law, Prophets and Writings (Psalms) that were written about him had to have been fulfilled by him. Luke sets forth these two Scriptures as an inclusio.[1] That is, everything that falls between these two verses, he intends for us (and his addressee, Theophilus – Luke 1:3) to understand they concern Jesus fulfilling the Scriptures. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus of Nazareth—Messiah!

spirit-of-the-lord-is-upon-me-2

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When Jesus was at Nazareth on the particular Sabbath that Isaiah 61:1-2a was to be read, it turned out to be a fateful day for the whole world. The Messiah, in the person of the Son of God had finally come. He was important not only to the Jews as their promised royal descendant of David, but he was also important to the gentiles through God’s promise to Eve (Genesis 3:15). In fact, according to the Jewish Targum on Genesis 4, Eve thought Cain was the promised Messiah, believing the Savior would come immediately. It is really thought provoking that she presumed the Messiah would be the Angel of the Lord: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me

Spirit of the Lord is upon me

from Google Images

As I said previously, many believe Jesus was living in Capernaum by the time Luke began his record of Jesus’ public ministry (cf. Luke 4:23). [1] Nevertheless, whether Jesus was visiting his hometown of Nazareth or living there, he went into the synagogue and was probably asked by the ruler or president of the synagogue to read from the Scriptures and teach from them that Sabbath day (Luke 4:16). Synagogues were the center of Jewish life in the first century AD. They not only served as centers for prayer and worship, but often for formal education for local Jewish families, as well. Indeed, they functioned as courtrooms for the local sanhedrin (not to be confused with the supreme Sanhedrin at Jerusalem), and punishment was administered there in the local synagogue (Deuteronomy 25:3; cf. Mark 13:9; 2Corinthians 11:24). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus and the Jewish Lectionary System

Year of the Lord's Favor

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Luke sums up Jesus’ Galilean ministry with his coming into Galilee from the Jordan (see John 1:43; cf. 1:35-39 and Luke 4:1)[1] and teaching in the synagogues, concluding that all of what Jesus said and did was under the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit. In doing this, Luke wasn’t saying that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit when he returned into Galilee in contrast to other times when he was not filled. Rather, Jesus was always filled with the Spirit in all of what he said or did, and Luke so concludes here in his summation of Jesus’ ministry (Luke 4:14-15). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus’ Trials and the Wedding at Cana

Cana - 1

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All three Synoptics mention heaven opening and the Spirit of God coming out of heaven to rest upon Jesus (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22). While John doesn’t mention heaven opening, he does support the Synoptics concerning the Spirit descending (from heaven) and remaining upon Jesus (John 1:33). In Matthew it is the Spirit of God, and in Mark and John it is simply the Spirit, and in Luke it is the Holy Spirit, but all four record the event, and it seems to be of key importance. The Spirit’s relationship with Jesus is especially significant when we come to Jesus’ temptations. Matthew claims Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1), while Mark claims Jesus was ‘thrust’ or ‘driven’ into the wilderness by the Spirit (Mark 1:12). Luke, however, gives us a slightly different picture by claiming Jesus was continuously led (imperfect passive of the verb ago – G71) by the Spirit in the wilderness; that is, Jesus was led throughout the forty day event. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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