As we have come to expect from Doctor Luke, he begins his account of the work of John the Baptizer with clear historical references.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.
Just about the time you receive your weekly bulletin ten of our folks will be winging our way down to Bartica in Guyana, South America. The Lord willing (James 4:13-17) we should arrive in Guyana Friday night about 10:00. As is normally the case we will stay one night in Georgetown before making our way over to Parika where we catch our boat for Bartica.
In Luke 2:43 our good doctor refers to the young Christ as “the Boy Jesus” (according to the NKJV, rendered “child Jesus” in the KJV). It is a compelling thing to think that if you and I were in Jerusalem or Nazareth at just the right time we would have been able to see the young boy who would eventually provide salvation from sin. Yet it was that many of the things that happened with Jesus, Mary and Joseph were actually part of the normal course of events for a male Jewish child. There were exceptions, however.
“Does anyone really listen to radio anymore?”
The good folks at the Cedar Grove congregation have invited me to hold a Gospel Meeting this week (July 13-18 at 7:00 weeknights). Speaking for us here Sunday morning will be my old friend Jody Apple. Jody and I were at Freed-Hardeman at the same time a few (!) years back. He works with the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies in Knoxville and with the International Gospel Hour out of Fayetteville. He will speak concerning IGH which is a program we have been supporting for some time now. Jody is a talented fellow and you will be benefited by hearing him.
LIMESTONE BIBLE CAMP
One of the great things about this congregation is the association we have had over the years with Limestone Bible Camp. Camp week is looked forward to all year by young folks and not a few older ones too. Mini-Camp begins Friday, July 11 and winds up after lunch on Sunday. Full camp picks up Sunday the 13th and winds up the following Friday the 18th at noon.
Luke provides one of the two Biblical accounts of the birth of Christ, the other being Matthew’s. In the years following that event a sort of second narrative has been built around the material presented by Luke and Matthew. The observance of a special day for the birth of Christ is unknown in Scripture and was created after the legalization of the Christian religion in the days of Constantine, which, being the 4th century AD is a bit too late to be Biblical.
As we have noted, Luke was a careful man. So it is that we are right to wonder how he came to learn of Mary’s song (recorded in Luke 1:46-55). The text tells us that Mary stayed at Elizabeth’s house for about three months and then returned home (1:56). We see a rather clear cut statement in 1:46: “And Mary said.” This indicates that Luke had been given this material by a reliable source. It could have been Mary herself or it could have been Elizabeth or Zacharias or some other witness.
The book of Luke is one of the three synoptic gospels, along with Matthew and Mark. The gospel of John is different in that it is designed to be a proof of the deity of Jesus Christ. This is made clear in John 30:30-31. I plan to present a series of articles in this space from time to time called “Lessons From Luke.” The title is neither original nor imaginative but it gets the point across.
Just this last Monday night I had settled down in my cave to watch the Braves play the Rockies. I sometimes do this with my eyes closed, particularly if it is late game. As you know, it has been raining around here a bit lately and it did so Monday night. It began to rain and blow and then the satellite feed flickered and went away. I turned off the TV and began to examine the backs of my eyelids in earnest. I was dissuaded from that activity by a sound outside the window. Something went whump.
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