Luke 2

In the previous chapter we learn of our Lord’s conception. In Verses 1-7 of Chapter 2 we are told of the circumstances surrounding the birth, and the actual birth itself.

While Caesar Augustus was demonstrating his sovereign superiority over the Greek-Roman world, in reality he was really a puppet in the hand of God to further the divine program. The decree of Augustus brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem at exactly the right time for the Messiah’s birth.

When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem it was crowded despite the urgent need and emergency the only place they could find was the stable of an Inn. While there Mary brought forth her first-born son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. Verse 7. Thus God visited our planet in the form of a helpless Baby, in indescribable poverty, in an ill-smelling stable. He began His life in a manger, and ended it on a cross, and in between He had no where to lay His head.

The first announcement of this unique birth was not given to the religious leaders in Jerusalem. It was given to shepherds who were watching their sheep. Verses 9-10. These men were informed that a Baby had been born in nearby Bethlehem who was the Savior - Christ - Lord. Verse 11.

Verse 13. It was one angel who announced the birth, but heaven’s pent up ecstasy could no longer be restrained. A multitude of angels appeared, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men with whom He is well pleased.” Verse 14. The men in whom God is pleased are those who repent of their sin and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Verses 15-20 As soon as the angels departed, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found, as the angels had said, the Babe lying in a manger. They then returned to their flocks glorifying and praising God.

Luke 5

Verses 1-11 describe the call of Simon, Peter, James, and John.

There are several important lessons in this portion.

    1. The Lord used Peter’s boat as a pulpit from which to teach the people. Then He rewarded him with a great catch of fish.

    2. Peter and his partners had toiled all night and caught nothing. Self-directed service is futile. The secret of success in Christian work is to be guided by Christ.

    3. Notice Peter’s obedience. “At thy word I will let down the net.” The Lord rewarded him by giving such a great harvest that the nets broke. The boat could not contain the fish so they beckoned to their partners to come and help them. There was such an abundance of fish that both the boats began to sink.

Note the reaction of Peter in verse 8. “Depart from me” etc. The vision of the glory of God produced in Peter a sense of his own unworthiness.

It was so with Job. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Isaiah saw the glory of God, and cried out, “I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.”

Every true servant of God has seen the glory of God, and realized his unworthiness.

The result of this encounter with Christ was that he was commissioned and called to leave off catching fish, and henceforth catch men. Nothing in this world can be compared with the incomparable privilege of leading a soul to Christ.

Verses 12-15 is the story of the healing of the leper.

Luke 6

Verse 1-11 Disputes over the Sabbath.

One Sabbath day the Lord and His disciples were walking through some grain fields. The disciples plucked some grains, rubbed them in their hands and ate them. This was permitted. Deut 23:25.

The Pharisees objected to this because it was done on the Sabbath. The Lord answered by using an incident in the life of David. The law of the Sabbath was never intended to forbid a work of necessity. Ox in the ditch etc.

David and his men were being hunted—they were hungry. They went to the house of God and ate the shewbread, which was reserved for the priests. God did not count David guilty, because of the extenuating circumstances.

In the present situation, Christ and His disciples were hungry. They ate because of necessity; therefore the law of the Sabbath was not broken.

Verse 6-11 In this second instance Christ heals on the Sabbath.

There was a man in the synagogue with a paralyzed hand. Maybe he was put there by the religious leaders. They watched to see how he would react.

He knew their thoughts - asked the man to stand up with Him. Then He addressed His critics. Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it? Verse 9.

There was no answer from His adversaries—so Jesus healed the man. Verse 10. The Pharisees and scribes were furious. They wanted to condemn Jesus, but He had done no work—He only spoke a few words and the man was healed.

Note the truth here - the Sabbath was designed by God for man’s good. When rightly understood it did not prohibit a work of mercy or necessity.

Verse 12-16. Jesus calls His disciples.

Luke 7

At the conclusion of His discourse Jesus went into Capernaum. While there, some Jewish elders came to the Lord to ask help for a Roman centurion. This centurion was kind to the Jews, even building a synagogue for them.

Like all centurions in the New Testament he is presented in a good light. See Luke 23:47 and Acts 10:1-48.

When the centurion’s servant took sick, he asked the Jews to ask Jesus to heal him. This was quite a predicament for the Jews, because they did not believe in Jesus.

They said that he was “worthy.” Verse 4.

When he met Jesus, he said, “I am not worthy.” Verse 6.

Note the humility and faith of the centurion. Verse 7. He did not consider himself worthy enough for Jesus to enter his house. He did not consider himself worthy enough to come to Jesus in person. He believed that Jesus could heal without being bodily present.

Verse 8 This verse is a wonderful admission of Christ’s power. He said, I am under the authority of the Roman government and I carry out their orders immediately. The soldiers under my command obey me instantly.

In saying these things he was recognizing the Lord’s authority over disease, in other words he was saying, “Just speak the word and my servant will be made whole.”

This was faith at its highest and best. Jesus marveled at him. No one in Israel had made such a bold confession of Jesus’ absolute authority. Such faith could not go unrewarded. When the centurion returned home, he found his servant completely restored.

This is one of two times in the Gospel’s where we read that “Jesus marveled.”

    1. He marveled at the faith of the Gentile centurion.

Luke 9

Verses 1-6 The twelve disciples sent forth.

The disciples were invested with awesome power. Verses1-2.

At this point they would have the opportunity to practice the principles the Lord had taught them.

They were to trust Him for the supply of their material needs.

    1. They were to take nothing for their journey. Verse 3. No walking stick-wallet-food-money-extra coat.

    2. They were to stay in the first house that made them welcome. Verse 4. No moving around looking for more comfortable lodging.

    3. They were not to prolong their stay among those who rejected the message.

    4. They were to shake the dust from their feet as a testimony against them.

Verse 6 They traveled throughout Galilee preaching the Gospel and healing.

Verse 7-9 Herod’s perplexity.

Word was sent to Herod that someone was performing mighty miracles in his territory. Immediately his conscience began raising questions. The memory of John the Baptist still haunted him.

Some said that Jesus was John risen from the dead. Others said that He was Elijah. Herod said it cannot be John for I beheaded him. He wished he could see Him, but never did until just before the Savior’s crucifixion. This illustrates the power of a Spirit-filled life.

Verses 10-17 The feeding of the five thousand.

The disciples returned from their preaching tour, and reported to the Lord the things that had happened. He took them away to a quiet place.

Verse 11 The people followed them.

He received them-spoke to them-and healed those who needed healing.

Luke 10

Verses 1-16 The mission of the seventy.

In Chapter 9 the twelve were sent forth to preach. This is the only account in the Gospels of the Lord sending forth seventy disciples. These seventy disciples were sent along the route the Lord would traverse on His way to Jerusalem.

He sent them forth by two’s. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

Verse 3 Note what the Lord of the harvest says:

    The harvest is great.

      The laborers are few.

        Pray that the Lord will send forth laborers.

    In praying this we too must be willing to go.

Verse 4 “Go your ways.” To all outward appearances they were as lambs among wolves.

    1. Their conduct on the road is described Verses1-4.

    2. Their conduct in their place of lodging is described Verses 5-7.

    3. Their conduct in the city that receives them is given in Verses8-9.

    4. Their conduct in the city who does not receive them is given in Verses 10-12.

Verses 16-19 The Lord mentions three cities in which He had taught and performed miracles. They had refused Him. He describes the judgment that would befall them. Chorazin and Bethsaida have been so thoroughly destroyed that their exact location is not known today.

Capernaum became the home of Jesus after He moved from Nazareth. This city was exalted to heaven. But it despised the Lord Jesus, and it was cast into hell.

Luke 8

Verse 1. Notice the busy itinerary the Lord had. The disciples accompanied Him. As He ministered to others there were those who ministered to Him.

Several women are mentioned—they had at least one thing in common: they had been delivered from demons and disease.

· Mary Magdalene, she may have been a titled woman; was delivered from seven demons.

· Joanna was the wife of Herod’s household manager.

· Susana was another and many others unnamed.

These all shared their substance with the Lord and His disciples. Their kindness to the Lord did not go unrecorded or unnoticed.

Verses 4-15 The parable of the sower.

This parable was told to the multitude then explained to the disciples. We have the sower, the seed, four kinds of soil, and four results.

    1. The wayside soil was trampled by men, the seed devoured by birds.

    2. In the rocky soil the seed withered for lack of moisture.

    3. In the thorny soil growth was choked by the thorns.

    4. In the good ground thee seed brought forth one hundred grains for each seed.

The disciples asked the Lord the meaning of the parable. Verse 9. The seed is the Word of God. Verse 11 = His own teaching.

    1. The wayside hearers heard the Word in a superficial way. This made it easy for the devil to snatch it away.

    2. The rock-hearers heard the Word too - but they remained unrepentant. No encouragement was given to the Word, so it withered and died.

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15:1-7

If we were selecting some of the great chapters of the Bible, it is certain that Luke 15 would be among them. The chapter describes the activity of the Trinity as it is involved in the redemption of a soul.

The parable is in three sections describing, first of all, the activity of the Son suffering to recover the lost sheep.

Secondly we see the Spirit, through the Church seeking the lost silver.

Thirdly we see the Singing Father as he welcomes home his lost Son. (Note also the joy in the chapter.)

The chapter opens with a crowd around Jesus. Four kinds of people were present. The tax-collector and sinners drew near unto Him. They were the notorious sinners and irreligious people who walked the dirt side of the Broad Road. The Pharisees and scribes who rigidly observed the Law were present; also they walk the clean side of the Broad Road.

The sinners were attracted to the Lord because of their need. The Pharisees and scribes complained indignantly that He welcomed sinners and even ate with them.

Note the difference in attitude to the common people between the Pharisees and the Lord. The Pharisees gathered their garments closely around them so that they might not be defiled by touching the unclean sinner.

On the other hand the Lord mingled freely with the dregs of humanity. Even though they were ceremonially unclean—physically unclean—a promiscuous crowd indeed. Then on occasion he sat down among them and shared their lunch.

The Pharisees’ accusation, though spoken derisively, was the Gospel truth in all its simplicity and purity. “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.”

Some Thoughts on Prayer

Luke 18:1

Webster’s definition of prayer is interesting. He says it is an earnest request—an entreaty—a supplication—it is spiritual communion with God.

Burns, the Scottish national poet said, that, “Prayer is a correspondence fixed with heaven.”

A survey of the Scripture shows us that prayer has many different facets. Supplications—prayers—intercessions—giving thanks. It means to ask—to beseech—to call God to one’s assistance.

Prayer should also denote the acknowledging of a need—then an asking—an entreaty to God for the fulfilling of that need.

All prayer should be addressed to God—offered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Note our advantages over O.T. saints. The Holy Spirit is the sole interpreter of our needs. He is the One who makes intercession for us before God. Rom 8. We are exhorted to pray in the Spirit.

James says that, “the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” This means that the prayer, in wrought by the Holy Spirit, of a righteous man greatly prevails with God.

Faith is essential to prayer (answered). Without faith impossible to please. There must be unshaken faith in His love, wisdom and power. Matt 21:22. “And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, ‘Believing,’ ye shall receive.” Jas 1:5-8.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith with no hesitating or doubting. For the one who doubts is like the waves of the sea, blown hither and thither by the wind. Let not such a person think that he will receive anything he asks from the Lord.”

Luke 1

Luke is the longest of the Gospels and was written principally for the Greeks. Each Gospel presents the Lord Jesus from a different viewpoint.

    Matthew as King of Israel.

      Mark as the perfect Servant.

        John as the Son of God.

          Luke as the Son of Man. The human divine One.

The humanity our Lord is prominent in the Gospel. Luke alone tells us of the boyhood of Christ. He also reveals more of His prayer life than the other Synoptics. He mentions frequently His sympathy and compassion. This may account for our Lord’s involvement with women and children.

Luke’s Gospel is also known as the missionary Gospel. In it the Gospel goes out to the Gentiles, and the Lord Jesus is presented as the Savior of the world. Luke alone records the parables of the 15th chapter. The sending forth of the seventy and their subsequent mission.

The outline is very interesting.

The introduction.

Ch 1:1-4.

The Birth-Baptism-Genealogy-Temptation.

Ch 1:5-4:13.

The public ministry to the Triumphal Entry.

Ch 4:14-19:27.

The Rejection and Death.

Ch 19:28-23:56.

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