Let's talk about Luke!!!
~~~Luke was a "fellow laborer" of the apostle Paul and wrote both the Books of Luke and Acts. He accompanied Paul on part of his second, third, and final missionary journeys.
~~~He was a physician.
~~~He was a careful historian, as we can tell by his writings.
~~~He had a concern for the poor, sick and outcast, which is probably why Paul called him "the beloved physician".
~~~Luke wrote to Theophilus and dedicated both of the books to him. Theophilus was probably a prominent man of high rank and possibly a Roman. Little is known for certain about him.
Zechariah and Elizabeth
Zechariah was a Jewish priest. They were both very old and had been unable to have children. Zechariah was in the sanctuary of the Lord burning incense on the altar and an angel appeared to him and told him that Elizabeth would give birth to a baby boy and they were to name him John.....but Zechariah questioned the angel.....so he was made unable to speak until John was born. When Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant, Mary became pregnant with Jesus.
For nothing is impossible with God.
Mary went to visit Elizabeth.
(this was at least a 4 day journey)
As Mary spoke to Elizabeth, the baby leaped in Elizabeth's womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary began to sing a song of praise. She stayed with Elizabeth for about 3 months, then went home.
Elizabeth gave birth and when the baby was 8 days old, everyone came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name the baby Zechariah, after his Dad...but Elizabeth said "no"! His name is John. They complained because no one in the family had that name....but Zechariah wrote on a tablet that the baby was to be named John....and immediately he could speak again, so he began praising God.
Jesus was born, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger (a feeding trough for animals). Angels appeared to shepherds in the field watching over their sheep and they visited the baby.
(isn't it wonderful that the angels first announced Jesus' birth the lowly shepherds....considered the dirtiest, nastiest profession of that time?!?
As Jesus began to grow....at the age of 12, he stayed behind in Jerusalem in the Temple. It took Mary and Joseph a 3 day journey to return to Jerusalem and they found Jesus siting among the religious teachers. All who heard Jesus was amazed.
He was about "His Father's business"!!
John the Baptist (Jesus cousin) lived in the wilderness and ate locusts and wild honey
People should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.
The people thought that just because they were descendants of Abraham that they were "safe".
Isnt' that what so many people think today....that since their Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, Brother, Sister, First Cousin once removed.....because they are Christians....then, they are, too!!! It doesn't work that way, though does it....it takes having a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus!!!
Here are some things that John told the people they should do....
- give to the poor
- share food with the hungry
- collect no more taxes than the government requires
- don't exhort money, or make false accusations
Words of John
"I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am - so much greater that I'm not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
John baptized Jesus.
John was put in prison by Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee. Herod had married Herodias, his brother's wife and John had publicly criticized him for this among other wrongs he had done.
Jesus was about 30 years old when he began His public ministry.
Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil.
This is one of Pappy's favorite verses....
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."
When Jesus spoke in the synagogue at Nazareth, his boyhood home, the people rejected Him....and even forced Him to the edge of the hill and intended to push Him over the cliff...but Jesus passed right thru the crowd and went on His way.
Jesus cast out a demon fro ma man.
Jesus healed many people.
Jesus healed Simon's (Peter) mother-in-law from a fever and she immediately got up and prepared a meal of them.
Jesus told Peter to case his fishing nets into the water...and even though they had fished all night and caught nothing. The nets were so full they were on the verge of tearing and so many fish almost sank the 2 boats. When Peter saw this, he told Jesus, "O Lord, please leave me - I'm too much of a sinner to be around you."
Jesus told Peter...
"From now on you'll be fishing for people."
Jesus healed a leper.
Jesus healed the man let down thru the roof by his friends.
Jesus called together His disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.
Definitions of apostle and disciple....
Apostle - A special messenger of Jesus Christ; a person Jesus delegated authority over certain tasks.
Disciple - A student, learner, or pupil.
"What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven"!
"Love your enemies!
Do good to those who hate you.
Bless those who curse you.
Pray for those who hurt you.:"
"Give and you will receive.
Your gift will return to you in full - pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you give back."
Jesus healed the slave of a Roman centurion based on the faith of the centurion.
Jesus said about this man....
"I tell you, I haven't seen faith like this in all Israel."
I sure wish Jesus could say that about me!!!
Jesus was filled with compassion fora widow who had lost her son. He walked over to the coffin and touched it, saying, "Young man, I tell you, get up."
And, he did!!!
When a storm came up and the disciples were terrified, Jesus asked them....
"Where is your faith?"
That's a question He could ask me....quite often!
Jesus healed Jairus' 12 year old daughter.
The woman with an issue of blood touched Jesus' robe and was healed.
Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.....with 12 baskets left over (one for each disciple).
Jesus healed the demon possessed son of a man that the disciples couldn't heal.
"The harvest is great but the workers are few.
So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into his fields."
As children of God....each of us are the workers sent out into the fields....into the world....to work for HIS kingdom!!!
The Good Samaritan
Who is my neighbor?
A Jewish man was attacked by bandits. He was beaten and left for dead by the side of the road. A priest came along and seeing the man....he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but also passed him by. Then, a Samaritan - who was despised by the Jews - came along and felt compassion for the man. He soothed his wounds with olive oil and bandaged them. Then, he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn where ht took fare of him. The next day, he handed the innkeeper money and told him to "take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I'll pay you the next time I'm here."
Now....which of these 3 men was a true neighbor?
Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha. Mary sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He taught - but Martha was distracted by all the work she had to do. She came to Jesus and told Him that it wasn't fair that her sister just sat while she did all the work....and she asked Jesus to tell Mary to help. Jesus told Martha that Mary was concerned over the "right" think....while she was worried and upset over the details.
Oh, be careful little mouth what you say....
"Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear."
"Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?"
"Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need."
Notice He doesn't say everything you "want"....but everything you "NEED"!!!
Working on the Sabbath
"Which of you doesn't work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pit, don't you rush to get him out?"
"For those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted".
Let God do the "bragging"....let Him be the one to "exalt" us....He wants us to be humble!!!
".....there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents."
The Prodigal Son
The youngest of 2 sons asked his father for his share of the estate....but he blew all the money on wild living. When the money was gone, so were his so-called friends. Finally, he decided to return home and ask his father to hire him as a servant. When he returned home, even while he was a long way off....his father saw him and was filled with love and compassion for him. He ran and kissed his son and had his servants clothe him and prepare a feast for him.
Luke 15:24 - "for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost but now he is found."
"If you are faithful in little things, then you will be faithful in large ones. But, if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities."
Don't tempt others to sin....
"....what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting."
Jesus healed 10 lepers, but only one....a Samaritan....returned and thanked Jesus.
"It will be business as usual right up to the day the Son of Man is revealed."
A Pharisee and a tax collector were praying....
Prayer of the Pharisee
I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else.
(talk about pride!!!)
The tax collector stood at a distance and wouldn't even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. He beat upon his chest in sorrow and said....
"O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner."
The tax collector....not the Pharisee....returned home justified before God.
And....I'll finish up this week's recap with this great verse....
"What is impossible for people is possible with God."
In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!
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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.