There can be no doubt that Christians are familiar with the Lord’s words about the wise man building on the rock. Doctor Luke has them here in Luke 6:46-49 and they are found in Matthew’s gospel in 7:24-27.
Everyone who has been to one of our vacation Bible schools has the song and the motions that go with it burned into our brains. And that, my friends, is a good thing.
Bible students know the Sermon on the Mount and most people think of the account in the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters of Matthew. Doctor Luke provides us a bit of a different look into some of the same material in Luke 6:17-49. We might remember that when Jesus spoke to large groups of people the likelihood is that He gave the same lesson a number of times so that the substantial crowds (6:17) would have opportunity to hear Him. This accounts for the small differences in wording we see sometimes when comparing the gospel records.
Doctor Luke gives us a concise account of the choosing of the apostles. This gives us the opportunity to think about this group of men and discern a few lessons. The account is Luke 6:12-16: Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Luke 6:1-11 flows conceptually from the material in 5:33-39. In both places the Pharisees were having trouble with the way Jesus was conducting Himself with regard to certain elements of their interpretation of the Law of Moses. In this passage the problem was with the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10). A fascinating element of this series of event is the inability of the Pharisees to see the reality of what was unfolding before their very eyes. The prophecies of their own Bible were being fulfilled. The Lord was offering proof that He was the Son of God and thus the Messiah.
Luke chapter 5 contains three examples of the power of faith. In verses 1-11 faith is shown to be superior to human reasoning. You remember that Simon Peter had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. The man knew fishing; he was a fisherman! But he had heard the teaching of the Lord and so when Jesus told him to let down his nets again, Peter did it. He was rewarded not only with a fine catch but with a new job that gave his life a superior purpose. He became a fisherman for souls.
We have all been shocked at what seems to be unusual outbreaks of violence around the world and here at home. We might well remember, however, that as much as we are “guided” by the news media to think that such things happen only when they are reporting them, violent behavior by human beings is not an occasional thing: It happens all the time.
Galilee is surely a beautiful part of Israel but its physical beauty is far surpassed by the spiritual beauty of the things our Lord taught and did there. As we look to Doctor Luke’s record we see that the people of the region noticed the remarkable work that Jesus was doing (Luke 4:14). We also see that He taught in their synagogues and that His teaching was often well received (Luke 4:15).
We are familiar with the account from Doctor Luke concerning the attempt Satan made to tempt our Lord. You and I know that his efforts were doomed from the beginning. I have the opinion that the Devil himself may have known he was not going to be the victor but evil is often blind to its own futility.
The account here parallels the one in Matthew 4:1-11. Satan approached the Lord from three perspectives, each more significant than the last and each relating to Jesus being the Son of God.
Our team arrived back from Bartica this last Saturday night pretty weary but very thankful for the blessing of being able to take the gospel to the people of Guyana. I will not attempt to summarize the week’s work as John Colgan did a wonderful job of reporting on a daily basis. If you did not receive those reports via the HUG network, let me or John know and we will provide them for you.
As we have come to expect from Doctor Luke, he begins his account of the work of John the Baptizer with clear historical references. He mentions Tiberias who followed Augustus as Caesar as well as Pilate the procurator of Galilee, Herod, Philip and Lysanias, who were tetrarchs of their respective areas. The priesthood is also mentioned including the curious reign as high priests of Annas and Caiaphas.
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