The Gospel of Luke Survey
Pr Edi Giudetti
THE MAN JESUS
The Gospel of Luke presents the man Jesus. Unlike the focus of Mark and the focus of Matthew, in the Gospel account of Luke, the Lord is clearly presented as the man Jesus.
Luke was the companion of Paul as Mark was the Companion of Peter. And as Marks Gospel account so incredibly reflects Peter’s writing, so too Luke’s account of the Gospel reflects Pauls Gospel. Luke’s account, as Mark’s, is primarily given to a gentile audience, even his address to the most excellent Theophilus gives us understanding the audience was Greek.
We mentioned last week that Luke, like Mark, is not an apostle but a disciple. Matthew and John are the apostolic book ends to Mark and Luke, but that does not give these Gentile accounts any less value. We have confidence again that the account is written prior to 70 AD.
Like Matthew and Mark, there are both similar accounts and some found only in Luke. We see primarily a greater description of the birth of Jesus in Luke, most Christmas accounts feature Luke’s accounts. He is seen as a 12 year old also only in Luke.
Matthew is seen to have his focus on Christ the King, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who fulfils prophecy. Last week we saw Mark represent Jesus as the Servant of God, doing the work of God.
THE CHILD IS BORN
10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God;
Ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. 13 And he said,
Hear ye now, O house of David;
Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
And shall call his name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat,
That he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good,
The land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
There is a uniqueness to the individual spoken of in this passage of scripture, a uniqueness greater than is our ability to comprehend. Isaiah here brings to the fore an understanding of the man that should come and the manner in which he shall be born.
“A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”
How can that be?
How is it possible for a Virgin to conceive?
What kind of sign is this that Isiah is charging the whole house of David to bear witness to?
And consider that the witness of this Virgin born Son is not to be seen during the life of Ahaz, nor should there be an expectation that it will be seen at all until the ‘land that they abhor is forsaken of both her kings’. The Virgin born Son will not be seen on the earth until both King of the Northern tribes of Israel and the King of Judah is taken away by the Lord.
But please know also that the Virgin born Son WILL BE SEEN by the house of David, for the sign is given to that house as a witness. A witness that the house of David will return to the land to see the sign given by God. So from the day that they returned, until the day Gabriel spoke to the Virgin, that Virgin was the girl all Judah’s daughters desired to be. The unwed women consoled themselves that they may yet become the bearer of messiah.
Turn now forward to the words of Gabriel in Luke 1:26-38
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
You and I this very day, and every day we read this passage in Luke, have the privilege of bearing witness to the words of Isaiah that no man, prior to the coming of the Lord, had privilege to witness. A fulfilment of one of the most incredible prophecies in history.
The name Emmanuel is represented to us in the Gospel of Matthew, he it was that desired to tell all the fulfilment of prophecy concerning “God with us”, but Luke’s account is about the man, born of a woman.
Only men are born, gods are not born, angels are not born, there are being terrestrial and beings celestial says Paul, men are of the earth, God is from above. Men are not from above, they are from beneath, and the only thing that God has ever sent down from heaven is the bread from heaven that saved and sustained his Children.
Did the Son ever witness himself as bread from heaven? (Jn 6:32)
The Virgin knew. Elizabeth, her aged cousin, also knew that something unique has occurred to them. Elizabeth experienced a miracle to have a child at such an age as she was, she was considered barren but rejoiced that the Lord dealt well with her in the days he looked upon her, to take away her reproach among men.
She also knew of the “holy thing” within Mary and Mary gave the most incredible praise to the Lord, honoured and humbled to be “Blessed among women”.
Lets read on Luke 1:39-56
39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said,
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things;
And holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him
From generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm;
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
And exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things;
And the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel,
In remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers,
To Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
The man Jesus was born of a woman, his genealogical line is given to us by Luke in Chapter 3 and, unlike Matthew who had taken the line from Abraham to Christ, Luke takes it from the Son all the way back to the Father.
From Eve to our own mothers, man has always been born of a woman. That Jesus is a man, is vital for us to know.
THE CHRIST IS IDENTIFIED
We have seen already that our Lord was proclaimed a man by Gabriel, and identified as a man by Mary and by Elizabeth even before his birth. And soon shepherds would be informed that the Saviour will be born, Kings will search and ask Where is he that is born King of the Jews? But another King will fear, and a City will be troubled.
But in Jerusalem there was a man, he was just and devout and he waited for the consolation of Israel, he waited patiently for the one promised to save the nation, the child that should be born of a virgin in the time the House of David was returned from when the land was forsaken of both her kings.
Turn to Luke 2:25
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart
In peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Brethren I don’t know what it is about Jesus that drew such recognition by those who were near him, not as a babe in the arms of his mother, nor as a child in her womb, but it is clear that the presence of God the Son is known by those who seek the Lord.
Those who desire the Saviour seek for a witness of Christ, do they see it in you?
The babe was not yet born and people knew him. The child did not yet know how to refuse the evil and choose the good and yet people knew him, they had witness of him by being near him, do they witness Christ in you when they are near you?
The Devil himself identified him and tempted him 40 days in the wilderness, the devils only needed to hear his name and they knew him, at one command they left their pray, and gave testimony that he is the Christ.
In Acts there were seven sons of one Sceva who tried to cast the devil out of a man who said “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth” but the devils did not see a witness of Christ in those seven sons of Sceva and responded “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are ye?” and the evil spirit left all seven sons beaten so they fled out of the house naked and wounded.
Do wicked people see Christ witnessed in you?
Jesus is a man and he is witnessed by man.
In Luke chapter 9 Jesus sends his twelve disciples to witness of him, to preach the Kingdom of God and power over devils and to cure diseases and not long after they returned he asks them a question.
18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? 19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. 20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
Peter was answering also on behalf of them all, and he answered with confidence that Jesus the man, is The Christ of God. But there will yet be another who witnesses and identifies Christ;
Go down to verse 28 in this same chapter;
28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. 30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: 31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. 33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. 34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. 35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. 36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.
The Father gave witness of the beloved Son, The Christ of God.
If there is anyone most important of all to give a witness of Christ the Son, it is the Father who gave him to the world, to the lost, to the dead that they might have life.
Does the father witness the Son in you?
Does he see Christ the man clearly re-presented in you?
Do you live as he lived, holy, undefiled, separate from sinners, unspotted from the world?
Or do you love the world?
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Christ is of the Father, and the Father seeks a witness of the Son in you.
THE MAN SUFFERED
Immediately after the disciples answer that most important of questions of Christ “Whom say ye that I am” Jesus speaks to the directly and firmly. Lets consider his words, read with me from verse 21. Luke 9:21
21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
We don’t seem to see a limit in the ways the Son of man will suffer. He tells his disciples that he will suffer many things, some concern mere frustration with his students.
You can see that even here in verse 41 where, after a man complains to the Lord that his own disciples could not cast a devil from his son, Jesus groans saying, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you?”.
Why indeed does he suffer us? We would not suffer ourselves. If I met a man like I am, I would not suffer him long, yet Jesus is long suffering.
But as a man, Jesus did suffer.
He suffered hunger in the wilderness.
He suffered temptation directly of Satan.
He suffered being doubted by those he came to save
He suffered betrayal
He suffered fear;
Turn to Luke 22:41
In Luke 22:41 he suffered stress and fear so deeply and so much greater than any of us ever will. Turn with me, Luke 22:41
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Hematohidrosis is the diagnosed condition; and yes it is still a condition that affects very few people in the world. It is when capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture, causing them to blead, blood mixed with sweat and happens when a person is under extreme physical or emotional stress.
Its occurrence has been reported as most often occurring with inmates on death row, but it is very, very rare.
Gods don’t suffer like this….men do.
But Jesus went so much further than this.
He suffered the abandonment of his disciples
He suffered the denial of one of the closest disciples who swore his love for Christ.
He suffered like you would suffer.
He knows what you go through from time to time by experience.
Jesus suffered so greatly to be able to relate to all people on earth who suffer. And there is no person alive today who suffered more than he, even in areas men will never experience….he suffered the turning away of the father.
One of the reasons I believe my Lord sweat great drops of blood is not because of his concern for the physical torments and brutality he would endure, but for something none of us can ever experience, the true feeling of being abandoned by God.
In Matthew and Mark it is recorded that “about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Jesus, the eternal So of God, where the Son is in the father and the father in the Son, where the two are one with the Holy Ghost and have been for eternity past, for the first time in history he felt forsaken of God.
I am not saying that he was forsaken by God, but there is no doubt that is exactly what the sin of the entire world upon him had him experience.
To a degree, those of you who know God and are known of God, to a degree, your own sin has made you feel the same way from time to time.
Jesus came to die on the Cross didn’t he? He said he came to seek and to save that which is lost and this will be achieved when he is lifted up for he will draw all men to himself. No man is saved but by the death of the Saviour who was given as a ransom for sin.
At the pinnacle of his work, the highpoint and purpose of his life, the reason the father sent the son into the world, the Son feels forsaken of the father.
Don’t tell me you have ever suffered like Jesus.
We don’t think of gods as suffering, but men suffer.
Consider this for a moment, there is no person alive today that thinks a pagan god suffers anything, a being that does not have flesh and bone, we can think certainly cannot suffer.
The Allah of Islam does not suffer, the Para Brahman of the Hindu’s does not suffer, he is seen as spirit. The polytheistic gods that occupy sand and stone, water and clay, wind and trees do not suffer, no feeling is ascribed to them. The gods of war and the gods of peace, the gods of the oceans and the sky, these pagan myths are never seen to suffer. Marduk and Moloch, Zeus and Zoroaster, Athena and Osiris don’t suffer and are never seen to suffer, but man does.
The man Jesus, suffered.
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
And we could again consider the entire chapter of Isiah 53 but this verse, verse 3
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
This is Christ, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
This is important because Jesus must be relatable to us in everything, how else can he be our high priest, our mediator to God?
Look at Hebrew 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Only men suffer and Jesus did so but did it perfectly for your sake, and for you. Down further to Hebrews 5:7-8
7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
THE SON DIED
There is a certainty for man that is absolute and simply cannot be denied. Nothing is more certain, nothing is more absolute and nothing is more the plague of man…. than death. The Bible speaks of death as the ultimate enemy; I am sure you would agree with scripture there, in fact this is probably the only universally accepted passage in the Bible
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”
It is the sting of life, the doorway to eternity, the end of a road that all the living will experience. No man will get out of life alive, all will die (The raptured excepted).
We simply cannot plan to live a prosperous life, there is no certainty that we will get married, no confidence that we will have a happy childhood or be healthy elderly. No matter how hard we plan we can never say with confidence that we will have ‘one girl, one boy, two cars and a mortgage’.
But we will die, all men die. This will happen even if we don’t plan it.
There is no guarantee we will love our jobs, no confidence we won’t crash our car or have our house burn to the ground. Our votes don’t guarantee a better government tomorrow, and our gym classes don’t guard against a heart attack.
But we can guarantee that all of us will die, all men do.
You know, it’s funny that we can insure against all the “maybe’s” in our lives like Car insurance, House insurance, business insurance even income insurance. We can insure our cat, our computer and our phones.
We can use insurance to prepare for every ‘maybe’, might happen but there IS NO INSURANCE AGAINST AN ACT OF GOD…. apart from Jesus.
The Bibles says that God hold our very breath in his hands;
“Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”
We all die, we don’t know when and we don’t like to think about it because unless we have insured our eternity In Christ, death has the sting of an enemy.
Man dies, The Son died, The man Jesus died.
In fact, he was born for no other purpose but to die. The description of his death is given in the gospel accounts and we all know how he died. What we fail to know is, how important this is.
All false religions teach that Jesus did not die, not Jesus the Son of God, not God the Son.
Some teach that the real Jesus was a spirit that left the body before it was crucified.
Some teach that he swooned on the cross and later lived a normal life.
Some teach that the man on the cross was an imposter and not Jesus, Islam teaches this.
There is one thing that the death of Jesus emphatically tells us about him.
That he is a man.
Your faith in this man will insure that for you, death has lost its sting.
Those of you who have insured your life in Christ Jesus, you await a time that your mortal lives will put on immortality;
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:54-57)