by Ken Cayce

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Luke Explained

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Book of Luke Explained

Title: As with the other 3 gospels, the title is derived from the author's name. According to tradition, Luke was a Gentile. The Apostle Paul seems to confirm this, distinguishing Luke from those who were "from the circumcision" (Col. 4:11, 14). That would make Luke the only Gentile to pen any books of Scripture. He is responsible for a significant portion of the New Testament, having written both this gospel and the book of Acts (see Author and Date).

Very little is known about Luke. He almost never included personal details about himself, and nothing definite is known about his background or his conversion. Both Eusebius and Jerome identified him as a native of Antioch (which may explain why so much of the book of Acts centers on Antioch (compare Acts 11:19-27; 13:1-3; 14:26; 15:22-23, 30-35; 18:22-23). Luke was a frequent companion of the Apostle Paul, at least from the time of Paul's Macedonian vision (Acts 16:9-10), right up to the time of Paul's martyrdom (2 Tim. 4:11).

The Apostle Paul referred to Luke as a physician (Col. 4:14). Luke's interest in medical phenomena is evident in the high profile he gave to Jesus' healing ministry (e.g., 4:38-40; 5:15-25; 6:17-19; 7:11-15; 8:43-47, 49-56; 9:2, 6, 11; 13:11-13; 14:2-4; 17:12-14; 22:50-51). In Luke's day, physicians did not have a unique vocabulary of technical terminology; so when Luke discusses healings and other medical issues, his language is not markedly different from that of the other gospel writers.

Author - Date: Ancient testimony is unanimous that Luke ("the beloved physician," Col. 4:14), penned the third Gospel. Modern scholarship has rightly drawn attention to Luke as the companion volume to Acts; the two works were certainly written by the same author.

The Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts clearly were written by the same individual (compare 1:1-4; Acts 1:1). Although he never identified himself by name, it is clear from his use of "we" in many sections of Acts that he was a close companion of the Apostle Paul (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1 - 28:16). Luke is the only person, among the colleagues Paul mentions in his own epistles (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philemon 24), who fits the profile of the author of these books. That accords perfectly with the earliest tradition of the church which unanimously attributed this gospel to Luke.

Luke and Acts appear to have been written at about the same time, the gospel of Luke first, then Acts. Combined, they make a 2-volume work addressed to "Theophilus" (1:3; Acts 1:1 see Background and Setting), giving a sweeping history of the founding of Christianity, from the birth of Christ to Paul's imprisonment under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30-31).

The book of Acts ends with Paul still in Rome, which leads to the conclusion that Luke wrote these books from Rome during Paul's imprisonment there (ca. A.D. 60-62. Luke records Jesus' prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (19:42-44; 21:20-24), but makes no mention of the fulfillment of that prophecy, either here or in Acts. Luke made it a point to record such prophetic fulfillments (compare Acts 11:28), so it is extremely unlikely he wrote these books after the Roman invasion of Jerusalem. Acts also includes no mention of the great persecution that began under Nero in A.D. 64. In addition, many scholars set the date of James' martyrdom at A.D. 62, and if that was before Luke completed his history, he certainly would have mentioned it. So, the most likely date for this gospel is A.D. 60 or 61.

Background - Setting: Luke dedicated his works to "most excellent Theophilus" (literally "lover of God", 1:3; compare Acts 1:1). This designation, which may be a nickname or a pseudonym, is accompanied by a formal address ("most excellent"), possible signifying that "Theophilus" was a well know Roman dignitary, perhaps one of those who had turned to Christ in "Caesar's household" (Phil. 4:22).

It is almost certain however, that Luke envisioned a much broader audience for his work than this one man. The dedications at the outset of Luke and Acts are like the formal dedication in a modern book. They are not like the address of an epistle.

Luke expressly stated that his knowledge of the events recorded in his gospel came from the reports of those who were eyewitnesses (1:1-2), strongly implying that he himself was not an eyewitness. It is clear from his prologue that his aim was to give an ordered account of the events of Jesus' life, but this does not mean he always followed a strict chronological order in all instances (e.g. see note on 3:20).

By acknowledging that he had compiled his account from various extant sources (see note on 1:1), Luke was not disclaiming divine inspiration for his work. The process of inspiration never bypasses or overrides the personalities, vocabularies, and styles of the human authors of Scripture. The unique traits of the human authors are always indelibly stamped on all the books of scripture. Luke's research is no exception to this rule. The research itself was orchestrated by divine Providence. And in his writing, Luke was moved by the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21). Therefore, his account is infallibly true (see note on 1:3).

Some modern interpreters discount Luke's authorship, but they fall short of proposing a convincing alternative to the ancient witnesses. These scholars feel that Luke's outlook is so different from Paul's that no companion of Paul (see Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philemon 24), and the "we" sections of (Acts: 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16), could have written Luke and Acts. Such arguments are by no means convincing. The reader of the New Testament is not compelled to choose between Luke and Paul. Differences in outlook may as easily count in favor of Luke's authorship as against.

While Luke was not himself an eyewitness of the gospel events (1:2), he had access to writings about, and eyewitnesses to, them. He had sifted sources carefully. Many feel that he must have made use of Mark's gospel. Some have accordingly stressed his contribution as a historian, a discoverer and preserver of facts. Others see in him primarily a theologian, an expositor of the meaning of facts. He is really both. He presents both the meaning of the gospel saga and its factual ground. He produces what is, by the reckoning of many, the gospel most attractive in style and poignant in message that we possess.

Luke implies that he wrote his gospel prior to writing Acts (Acts 1:1). Acts ends with Paul in prison, about A.D. 62. Many scholars of various persuasions thus agree on a date near A.D. 60-62 for the writing of Luke. Those who date it much later (A.D. 80-90, or even in the second century) do so for reasons that fail to overturn the likelihood of an earlier date.

Historical - Theological Themes: Luke's style is that of a scholarly, well-read author (see note on 1:1-4). He wrote as a meticulous historian, often giving details that helped identify the historical context of the events he described (1:5; 2:1-2; 3:1-2; 13:1-4).

His account of the nativity is the fullest in all the gospel records, and (like the rest of Luke's work), more polished in its literary style. He included in the birth narrative a series of praise psalms (1:46-55; 1:68-79; 2:14; 2:29-32, 34-35). He alone reported the unusual circumstances surrounding the birth of John the Baptist, the annunciation to Mary, the manger, the shepherds and Simeon and Anna (2:25-38).

A running theme in Luke's gospel is Jesus' compassion for Gentiles, Samaritans, women, children, tax collectors, sinners and others often regarded as outcasts in Israel. Every time he mentions a tax collector (3:12; 5:27; 7:29; 15:1; 18:10-13; 19:2), it is in a positive sense. Yet, Luke did not ignore the salvation of those who were rich and respectable, e.g. 23:50-53. From the outset of Jesus' public ministry (4:18), to the Lord's final words on the cross (23:40-43), Luke underscored this theme of Christ's ministry to the pariahs of society. Again and again, he showed how the Great Physician ministered to those most aware of their need (compare 5:31-32; 15:4-7, 31-32; 19:10).

The high-profile Luke accords to women is particularly significant. From the nativity account, where Mary, Elizabeth and Anna are given prominence (chapters 1 and 2), to the events of resurrection morning, where women again are major characters (24:1, 10), Luke emphasized the central role of women in the life and ministry of our Lord (e.g. 7:12-15, 37-50; 8:2-3, 43-48; 10:38-42; 13:11-13; 21:2-4; 23:27-29, 49, 55-56).

Several other recurring themes form threads through Luke's gospel. Examples of these are human fear in the presence of God (see note on 1:12); forgiveness (3:3; 5:20-25; 6:37; 7:41-50; 11:4; 12:10; 17:3-4; 23:34; 24:47); joy (see note on 1:14); wonder at the mysteries of divine truth (see note on 2:18); the role of the Holy Spirit (1:15, 35, 41, 67; 2:25-27; 3:16, 22, 4:1, 14, 18; 10:21; 11:13; 12:10, 12); the temple in Jerusalem (1:9-22; 2:27-38, 46-49; 4:9-13; 18:10-14; 19:45-48; 20:1 - 21:6; 21:37-38; 24:53); and Jesus' prayers (see note on 6:12).

Starting with 9:51, Luke devoted 10 chapters of his narrative to a travelogue of Jesus' final journey to Jerusalem. Much of the material in this section is unique to Luke. This is the heart of Luke's gospel, and it features a theme Luke stressed throughout: Jesus' relentless progression toward the cross. This was the very purpose for which Christ had come to earth (compare 9:22-23; 17:25; 18:31-33; 24:25-26, 46), and He would not be deterred. The saving of sinners was His whole mission (19:10).

Distinctive Features: Luke's language: He uses 266 words (not counting proper names), found nowhere else in the New Testament. He is capable of elevated literary style (1:1-4). He often writes in a manner reminiscent of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. If he was a Gentile, as many think, he nonetheless knew and loved the Old Testament well.

Luke's accuracy: For many, of course, accuracy in a biblical writing is assumed. But Luke has been a prominent battleground (one scholar calls Lucan studies a "storm center"), for those probing the New Testament's reliability, since it so clearly places itself in the context of ancient history (e.g., 3:1-2).

The historian and classical scholar Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916), began by assuming Luke's inaccuracy, but became convinced rather of the opposite. In this, Ramsay is hardly alone. Where Luke can be tested, he shows a remarkable command of often obscure facts, and a determination not to distort those facts in the telling.

Luke's focus: Several themes dominate the gospel. Luke stresses the overarching plan of God in human history as revealed through Israel, Christ, and the church. He puts special emphasis on "salvation" as such (the word, though not the idea, is absent from Matthew and Mark, and appears once in John).

He is concerned with individuals (Zechariah, Elisabeth, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary and Martha, and Zaccheus, to name a few), shows the importance of women, and calls special attention to children, the poor, and the disreputable. He stresses the Holy Spirit, both in the life of Jesus and in the early church. Finally, as in all the gospels, Jesus' suffering and death find lengthy and detailed treatment. Luke's gospel is a careful and engrossing presentation of God's saving will and work in the world, preeminently through His Son.


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Chapter Selection


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Luke 1 Luke 9 Luke 17
Luke 2 Luke 10 Luke 18
Luke 3 Luke 11 Luke 19
Luke 4 Luke 12 Luke 20
Luke 5 Luke 13 Luke 21
Luke 6 Luke 14 Luke 22
Luke 7 Luke 15 Luke 23
Luke 8 Luke 16 Luke 24

Luke 1

Luke Chapter 1

The book of Luke was written by the beloved physician Luke. In Luke, we see the "face of a man".

Luke in his gospel honors women. We see the Lord Jesus dealing with main stream people, the working people, the poor, and especially the lost. About one half of the Scriptures in Luke are not in the other gospels.

Many of the hymns are based upon events in Luke. "Ave Maria" is a very good example. Luke was a close companion of Paul and we see similar thoughts in Luke to Paul's writings. Luke shows Jesus in His manhood.

Verses 1-4: These 4 verses make a single sentence, written in the polished style of a Greek literary classic. It was common for Greek historical works to begin with such a prologue. After this formal prologue, however, Luke shifted into a simpler style of narrative, probably patterned after the familiar style of the LXX.

Luke 1:1 "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,"

Here, Luke is telling us that he is not the only one writing about Jesus. Many of the disciples and Paul wrote of Jesus. A "declaration" is something you know that you tell. We see here, that they all believe. There is no question about their belief, most surely.

"Many": Although Luke wrote direct divine revelation inspired by the Holy Spirit; he acknowledged the works of others who had set down in writing events from Christ's life. All those sources have been long lost, except for the inspired gospels.

Since Matthew and Mark were most likely written before Luke, it has been suggested that either one of both of those may have been among Luke's sources when he did his research. It is also known that he was personally acquainted with many firsthand witnesses to the events of Christ's life.

And it is possible that some of his sources were word-of-mouth reports. About 60% of the material in Mark is repeated in Luke, and Luke seems to follow Mark's order of events closely.

"Set forth in order": Luke proposed to narrate the ministry of Christ in an authoritative, logical and factual order (though not always strictly chronological, verse 3).

"Things which are most surely believed": I.e., the Old Testament messianic promises fulfilled in

"Among us": I.e., in our generation. This phrase does not mean Luke was personally an eyewitness to the life of Christ.

Luke 1:2 "Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;"

"Eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word": Luke's primary sources were the apostles themselves, who delivered facts about Jesus' life and teaching, both orally and by means of recorded memoirs in written documents made available to Luke. In any case, Luke made no pretense of being an eyewitness himself, but explained that these were facts supported by careful research.

Luke 1:3 "It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,"

"Having had perfect understanding": Literally "having traced out carefully." Luke's gospel was the result of painstaking investigation. Luke, more than anyone else in the early church, had the abilities and the opportunity to consult with eyewitnesses of Jesus' ministry and consolidate their accounts.

He spent more than two years during Paul's imprisonment at Caesarea (Acts 24:26-27, during which time he would have been able to meet and interview many of the apostles and other eyewitnesses of Jesus' ministry. We know for example, that he met Philip (Acts 21:8), who was undoubtedly one of Luke's sources.

In his travels, he may also have encountered the Apostle John. Joanna, wife of Herod's steward, is mentioned only in Luke's gospel, so she must have been a personal acquaintance of his. Luke also related details about Herod's dealings with Christ not found in the other gospels (13:31-33; 23:7-12).

No doubt is was from Joanna (or someone in a similar position), that Luke learned those facts. However, his understanding was perfect because of the divine revelation he received from the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).

"From the very first": This could mean from the beginning of Christ's earthly life. However the word can mean from above (John 3:31; 19:11; James 3:15). From the first (in verse 2), makes a different Greek word so it is best to understand that Luke was saying he used earthly sources for his material, but was given heavenly guidance as he did is research and writing. It is clear that he regarded his account as authoritative.

"Write unto thee in order": Luke's account is predominantly ordered chronologically, but he does not follow such an arrangement slavishly.

"Most excellent": This was a title used to address governors (Acts 23:26; 24:3; 26:25). This sort of language was reserved for the highest dignitaries, suggesting that "Theophilus" was such a person.

The Acts of the Apostles was written to this unknown "Theophilus", as well as Luke. Many believe that Luke and Acts were both written by Luke for this very reason. "Theophilus", many believe is just all Gentile believers.

We see also from this above, that Luke perhaps was there when Jesus explained the parables, because it says he had "perfect understanding". We see also that Luke was a very early convert because he says "from the very first".

The reason he decides to write is because he has firsthand knowledge. Many believe that Luke himself was a Gentile but there is no Bible Scripture which explicitly says that. Perhaps Luke was in the multitude which followed Jesus. We cannot guess at what time he was converted except from this Scripture which says "from the very first".

Luke 1:4 "That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."

"The certainty of those things": Note the implicit claim of authority. Though Luke drew from other sources (verse 3), he regarded the reliability and authority of his gospel as superior to uninspired sources.

"Instructed": Theophilus had been schooled in the apostolic tradition, possibly even by the Apostle Paul himself. Yet the written Scripture by means of this gospel sealed the certainty of what he had heard.

It seems whoever "Theophilus" is, he is someone who has heard the gospel and is kind of on the fence. This letter to him is to convince him beyond a shadow of doubt that all that has been preached to him is true. Perhaps Theophilus had great respect for Luke and would believe when Luke tells him that he was an eye witness and knows this to be true.

Luke 1:5 "There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachariah, of the course of Abia: and his wife [was] of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [was] Elisabeth."

"Herod": Herod the Great.

Zachariah meaning: "Jehovah has remembered."

Luke is the only one of the four gospels that tells of this event with Elisabeth and Zachariah. Perhaps he knew them; the Scripture is not definite how he knew this.

"The course of Abia" (or Abijah). The temple priesthood was organized into 24 divisions, with each division serving twice a year for one week (1 Chron. 24:4-19); Abijah's was the 8 th division (1 Chron. 24:10).

"Abia" was a priest in the time of David. He was in the ancestry of Zachariah. It seems as though Zachariah and Elisabeth were both of priestly ancestry. Luke places the time here as during the time of Herod. We see here a family who are in close contact with God.

"Daughters of Aaron": I.e., both husband and wife were from the priestly tribe.

Luke 1:6 "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

"Both righteous before God": I.e., they were believers, justified in God's sight. There is a clear echo of Pauline theology in this expression.

We see here, two people who have been raised in the way of the Lord. Their parents being godly people have raised them to have great respect for God and His commandments. From their mouth, they had been followers of God and they had not strayed from their early teaching. They are esteemed very highly by the Lord because their desire is to please Him.

Luke 1:7 "And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were [now] well stricken in years."

"Barren ... stricken in years": This was seen by many as a sign of divine disfavor.

For a Hebrew woman to be barren was thought of as a curse from God. We see two people very devoted to God, people who the community is looking down on because they don't have children. They are past the time of bearing children.

Luke 1:8 "And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,"

"In the order of his course": I.e., his division was on duty for one of their two annual stints.

Luke 1:9 "According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord."

The priesthood remained in a certain family who were called of God to tend to the affairs of the temple. Zachariah was of a priestly family and his job was to burn incense twice a day in the temple.

"His lot ... burn incense": A high honor (Exodus 30:7-8; 2 Chron. 29:11). Because of the large number of priests, most would never be chosen for such a duty, and no one was permitted to serve in this capacity twice. Zachariah no doubt regarded this as the supreme moment in a lifetime of priestly service.

The incense was kept burning perpetually, just in front of the veil that divided the holy place from the most holy place. The lone priest would offer the incense every morning and every evening, while the rest of the priests and worshipers stood outside the holy place in prayer (verse 10).

We learned in the book of Exodus that the smoke of incense burned twice a day in the temple is symbolic of the prayers of the saints. This was a sweet smelling savor before the Lord. Special perfume was to be burned. And it must be burned in the morning and in the evening, this was Zachariah's job. This altar was before the Lord.

Luke 1:10 "And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense."

The people were not allowed to come into the holy place so they were in the outer court. This burning of the incense, as I said above, was associated with prayer. This shows us how important it is to pray at least twice a day.

Luke 1:11 "And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense."

We see in this angel (ministering spirit), a messenger from God to Zachariah. Zachariah and his wife have undoubtedly been praying to have a child. God has heard their prayer. God has purpose for this baby at this time.

Luke 1:12 "And when Zachariah saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him."

"Fear": The normal response - and an appropriate one (12:5), when someone is confronted by a divine visitation or a mighty work of God (Judges 6:22; 13:22; Mark 16:5). Luke seems especially to take note of this; he often reports fear in the presence of God and His works (30, 65; 2:9-10; 5:10, 26; 7:16; 8:25, 37, 50; 9:34, 45; 23:40).

Sometimes when the high priest went into the Holy of Holies with sin in his life, God would strike him dead. I am sure that is what flashed in Zachariah's head when he saw this angel. Probably terror would be closer to what he felt.

Luke 1:13 "But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zachariah: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John."

"Thy prayer": Probably a prayer for children to be in his home.

"John": Jehovah has shown grace.

The message of God to His own has always been "fear not". This angel immediately reassures Zachariah that good and not bad has come to him from God. God has heard his prayer. He will have the son that he has longed for. The angel tells him that he is not to name him in the tradition of his people by the father's name, but is to name him John.

Luke 1:14 "And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth."

"Joy and gladness": The hallmarks of the messianic kingdom (Isa. 25:9; Psalms 14:7; 48:11). The motif of joy runs through Luke's gospel (verses 44, 47, 58; 2:10; 6:23; 8:13; 10:17-21; 13:17; 15:5-10, 22-32; 19:6, 37; 24:52).

Luke 1:15 "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb."

We see here, a statement that might cause you to believe in predestination, but you must understand that is not what happens to everyone. This is a chosen vessel, born into the world for a purpose. God allowed John to come into this family because of their great devotion to God.

"Drink neither wine nor strong drink": This was a key element of the Nazirite vow (Num. 6:1-21), and would probably have been understood as such by Zachariah. Usually such a vow was temporary, but Samson (Judges 16:17), and Samuel (1 Sam. 1:11), were subject to it from birth.

The language here is reminiscent of the angel's instructions to Samson's parents (Judges 13:4-7). However, no mention is made here of any restriction on the cutting of John's hair. Luke may have simply omitted that detail to avoid weighing his Gentile audience down with the details of Jewish law.

"From his mother's womb": Reminiscent of Jeremiah (Jer. 1:5). This illustrates God's sovereignty in salvation.

John is to walk uprightly all of his life. God has a job for him to do. He is not to get involved with the world at all (not to drink strong drink). He is anointed of God even while he is yet in his mother's womb. We will see this baptism when Mary comes to see Elisabeth while they are both expecting. The Holy Ghost will cause the baby John to leap in the mother's womb.

Luke 1:16 "And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God."

When John goes through the country preaching, "repent and be baptized", many of the children of Israel do just that. John will be a voice crying in the wilderness that the Lord is coming. Many will believe and be baptized.

Luke 1:17 "And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

"In the spirit and power of Elijah": Elijah, like John the Baptist, was known for his bold, uncompromising stand for the Word of God, even in the face of a ruthless monarch (1 Kings 18:17-24; Mark 6:15). The final two verses of the Old Testament (Mal. 4:5-6), had promised the return of Elijah before the Day of the Lord.

"To turn the hearts" (Quoted from Mal. 4:6), showing that John the Baptist fulfilled that prophecy.

"Mark ready": Possibly an allusion to (Isaiah 40:3-5) A voice of one calling:

Isaiah 40:3-5 "In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it."

John would be a voice proclaiming the coming of the Lord. His message was simple, "repent and be baptized". John in this was showing their great need for a Savior. In (Malachi 4:5-6), in the Old Testament, there is a promise of Elijah.

Malachi 4:6 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:" "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

You can easily see this is speaking of John. If you need more proof, Jesus says John is Elijah. In Matthew, this is in Jesus' own words.

Matthew 11:13-14 "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John." "And if ye will receive [it], this is Elijah, which was for to come."

You see there is no doubt at all that John was in the spirit of Elijah. He was called Elijah in the Old Testament and Elias in the new. This is the difference in Hebrew and Greek. Just as John was a voice crying, preparing for His coming now, we must be crying "The Lord is Coming".

Luke 1:18 "And Zachariah said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years."

"Whereby shall I know this": Abraham also asked for a sign under similar circumstances (Genesis 15:8). The sign given Zachariah was also a mild rebuke for doubting (verse 20).

How in the world could Zachariah doubt a message that was brought from God by an angel? Nothing is impossible to God. Zachariah should have remembered what happened to Abraham and Sarah. How they had a child in their old age.

Luke 1:19 "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings."

"Gabriel": Literally "strong man of God." Gabriel also appears (in Daniel 8:16; 9:21). He is one of only two holy angels whose names are given in Scripture, the other being Michael (Dan. 10:13, 21; Jude 9; Rev. 12:7).

I have stated in the lessons before that I believe personally that Gabriel is the angel God the Father sends messages by to His people. Gabriel stands by the Father to be always available to carry out God the Father's missions. There is absolutely no question that this message is from God and it is very good news for this old man with no heir.

Luke 1:20 "And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season."

We see here, that God will not allow unbelief to spread. He strikes Zachariah dumb, unable to speak until the time of the birth. He will not be able to spread his doubt.

Luke Chapter 1 Questions

1. Who wrote the book of Luke?

2. What worldly work did Luke do?

3. Which of the three faces of the beast of Revelation do we see Jesus as in Luke?

4. About how many of Luke's Scriptures are not in the other gospels?

5. Name one hymn that was based on Luke.

6. Who was a close companion of Luke?

7. What is a "declaration"?

8. Why did Luke feel he had perfect understanding of the Word?

9. Who is this letter addressed to?

10. What other book of the New Testament is supposedly written by Luke?

11. Who do some people believe Theophilus symbolizes?

12. What indicates that Luke heard the interpretation of the parables by Jesus?

13. Why did Luke write this?

14. Who was king in Judaea when Zachariah was priest?

15. Who was Abia?

16. What priestly family was Elisabeth of?

17. What kind of life were Elisabeth and Zachariah living?

18. Why were they considered righteous before God?

19. How many children did they have?

20. For a Hebrew woman to be barren was thought to be what?

21. What job did Zachariah have in the temple?

22. What did we learn in the book of Exodus about the incense burning?

23. How often was the incense burned?

24. Where was the multitude praying?

25. When Zachariah went in to burn the incense, who was standing at the right of the incense altar?

26. When Zachariah saw him, what effect did it have on him and why?

27. What was the first thing he said to Zachariah?

28. What message did he bring that Zachariah did not believe?

29. What break with tradition does he tell Zachariah to do?

30. What two things shall this son not touch?

31. What unusual thing shall happen to him in his mother's womb?

32. What will John's message to the people be?

33. Who will John be in the spirit and power of?

34. In Malachi 4:5-6, who is promised to come?

35. Who did Jesus say this is in Matthew 11:13-14?

36. Why does Zachariah not believe the angel?

37. What is this angel's name?

38. Who does the author believe the angel is?

39. What will happen to Zachariah because he does not believe?

40. What will God not allow from His people?

Luke Chapter 1 Continued

Luke 1:21 "And the people waited for Zachariah, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple."

In the last lesson, we saw Zachariah going into the temple to burn incense. He saw the angel Gabriel and was told he would have a son in his old age. Because of his unbelief he was struck dumb, unable to speak. When someone tarried this long ordinarily it meant he had displeased God and been killed. The people were beginning to be concerned for Zachariah' life.

"Tarried so long in the temple": Zachariah was only supposed to offer incense, then come out to pronounce the familiar blessing of (Numbers 6:23-27), on the people who were waiting in the temple court. The conversation with the angel would have taken additional time.

Luke 1:22 "And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless."

When the people saw him (Zachariah), they knew immediately that something unusual had happened in the temple. They assumed that he had seen a vision because he could not talk.

Luke 1:23 "And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house."

We see here, that he went ahead and finished his allotted time of work in the temple (a week), before he went home. Each priest had a certain amount of time he attended work in the temple and then someone else took over. This was the case with Zachariah.

Luke 1:24 "And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,"

"Hid herself": Probably an act of devotion out of deep gratitude to the Lord.

Elisabeth immediately knew that this child was a gift from God. She felt now her friends would not think God had cursed her because she had no children. She knew they too, would realize this was a gift from God because of her great age.

Luke 1:25 "Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on [me], to take away my reproach among men."

"My reproach": Childlessness carried a reproach in a culture where blessings were tied to birthrights and family line. Barrenness could occasionally be a sign of divine disfavor (Lev. 20:21-22), but it was not always so (Gen. 30:23; 1 Sam. 1:5-10). Still, it carried a social stigma that could be humiliating.

Luke 1:26 "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,"

"Sixth month": I.e., Elizabeth's sixth month of pregnancy.

We see again here, God the Father sending Gabriel to Galilee with a message. The little town he went to was Nazareth. "Nazareth" means branch. What an interesting place for this to happen in that Jesus is the Branch.

Luke 1:27 "To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name [was] Mary."

"A virgin": The importance of the virgin birth cannot be overstated. A right view of the incarnation hinges on the truth that Jesus was virgin-born. Both Luke and Matthew expressly state that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived.

The Holy Spirit wrought the conception through supernatural means. The nature of Christ's conception testifies of both His deity and His sinlessness.

This "espoused" was much more binding than an engagement today. The deal had already been made by the fathers of the bride and groom. The actual marriage would take place after the groom had built the bride a home.

This explanation meant that she was a "virgin" and that she had never slept with Joseph and could not possibly be expecting his child. Mary was a cousin of Elisabeth and was from a very godly family herself. Joseph was a descendent of King David. The world would suppose Jesus to be Joseph's son so it would be of extreme importance for him to be descended from David.

Luke 1:28 "And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favored, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women."

"Highly favored": Literally "full of grace", a term used of all believers (in Eph. 1:6), where it is translated "bestowed." This portrays Mary as a recipient, not a dispenser, of divine grace.

Gabriel is bringing news to Mary that God sees how she lives and He is about to bless her above all the women of her day.

Luke 1:29 "And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be."

Mary felt uneasy because of the presence of Gabriel. She was not sure what he was saying. This "cast in her mind" just means she was questioning in her mind what he meant. She was surprised at his greeting to her. She did not think of herself as being highly favored.

Luke 1:30 "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God."

"Fear not": The same thing Gabriel had said to Zachariah (verse 13).

Here again, we see Gabriel telling Mary not to fear. She is pleasing unto God.

Luke 1:31 "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."

The name "JESUS" is powerful. The name means Savior, The Salvation of Jehovah. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.

Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;"

In this name is salvation. This would certainly be startling news to Mary who had never been with a man. Not only is she told she will have a child, but that He will be a son as well.

Luke 1:32 "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:"

"He shall be great": This same promise was made of John the Baptist. However, the subsequent title is what set Jesus apart.

Notice here that "Son" is capitalized showing that this is God's Son.

1 Kings 2:45 "And king Solomon [shall be] blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever."

"The Son of the Highest" (verse 76), where John the Baptist is called "the prophet of the Most High." The Greek term Luke uses for "Most High" is the one employed in the LXX to translate the Hebrew "The Most High God."

Since a son bears his father's qualities, calling a person someone else's "son" was a way of signifying equality. Here the angel was telling Mary that her Son would be equal to the Most High God.

"His father David": Jesus was David's physical descendant through Mary's line. David's "throne" was emblematic of the messianic kingdom (2 Sam. 7:13-16; Psalm 89:26-29).

God had promised some of David's descendants would be on the throne forever. We see here David's throne is Jesus' throne.

Luke 1:33 "And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

"Over the house of Jacob for ever": This emphasizes both the Jewish character of the millennial kingdom and the eternal permanence of Christ's rule over all.

We would have understood this better if it had said Israel instead of "Jacob". Jesus reigns over physical Israel (the Jewish nation), and spiritual Israel (the believers in Christ). Jesus' reign is forever.

Luke 1:34 "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"

"I know not a man": Mary understood that the angel was speaking of an immediate conception, and she and Joseph were still in the midst of the long betrothal, or engagement period before the actual marriage and consummation. Her question was borne out of wonder, not doubt, not disbelief, so the angel did not rebuke her as he had Zachariah (verse 20).

Mary was thinking of the physical and not the spiritual. She knows that she has not been with a man and knows she is not expecting a baby by a man.

Luke 1:35 "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."

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee": This was a creative act of the Holy Spirit, not the sort of divine-human cohabitation, sometimes seen in pagan mythology.

God is to be the Father of Jesus. Mary is the mother and God is the Father. Mary furnishes the body and God provides the Spirit.

"Highest" here means the eternal Father. Mary is expecting the Christ Child. Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word. The Word takes on the form of flesh and dwells among us.

John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

Luke 1:36 "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."

"Thy cousin Elisabeth": It seems most reasonable to regard the genealogy of (3:23-38), as Mary's. This would make her a direct descendant of David. Yet, Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron. Therefore, Mary must have been related to Elizabeth through her mother, who would have been of Aaronic descent. Thus, Mary was a descendant of David through her father.

Luke 1:37 "For with God nothing shall be impossible."

This is telling Mary that all things are possible with God. Nothing is impossible to Him. Elisabeth is expecting John and Mary is expecting Jesus. These two will play a great role in Christianity. John is the voice proclaiming the coming of Jesus Christ. His ministry will fade away as Jesus' ministry broadens.

Luke 1:38 "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her."

"Be it unto me according to thy word": Mary was in an extremely embarrassing and difficult position. Betrothed to Joseph, she faced the stigma of an unwed motherhood. Joseph would obviously have known that the child was not his.

She knew she would be accused of adultery, an offense punishable by stoning (Deut. 22:13-21; John 8:3-5). Yet she willingly and graciously submitted to the will of God.

We see here, Mary totally submitted to God. She calls herself "handmaid of the Lord". Because she is totally His servant. His will is her desire.

Luke 1:39-40 "And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah;" "And entered into the house of Zachariah, and saluted Elisabeth."

Here we see Mary, the cousin of Elisabeth going to share the news of expecting the Christ child. Mary knows Elisabeth believes in God and will believe that Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit. She also wants to hear about the miracle of Elisabeth's pregnancy.

Luke 1:41 "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:"

"Filled with the Holy Ghost": I.e., controlled by the Holy Spirit, who undoubtedly guided Elizabeth's remarkable expression of praise.

This is the Spirit of the Holy Ghost that came upon Elisabeth the minute Mary greeted her. The gift of prophecy came upon her and she began to prophesy of the coming events. Her first statement was a message from God to Mary approving of the birth of the Christ child which is to be soon.

Luke 1:42 "And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb."

Many times, a message of prophecy comes in a very loud voice from an ordinarily quiet person. Elisabeth in prophecy recognizes the blessedness of the Christ child which Mary is carrying in her womb.

Luke 1:43 "And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

"The mother of my Lord": This expression is not in praise of Mary, but in praise of the Child whom she bore. It was a profound expression of Elizabeth's confidence that Mary's Child would be the long-hoped-for Messiah, the one whom even David called "Lord" (20:44).

Elizabeth's grasp of the situation was extraordinary, considering the aura of mystery that overshadowed all these events (2:19). She greeted Mary not with skepticism but with joy. She understood the response of the child in her own womb.

And she seemed to comprehend the immense importance of the Child whom Mary was carrying. All of this must be attributed to the illuminating work of the Spirit (verse 41).

Here we see in prophecy, Elisabeth recognizes Jesus as her Lord even before His birth.

Luke 1:44 "For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy."

"The babe leaped in my womb for joy": The infant, like his mother, was Spirit-filled (verses 15, 41). His response, like that of Elizabeth, was supernaturally prompted by the Spirit of God.

We see here that even before his birth. John the Baptist recognized Jesus.

Luke 1:45 "And blessed [is] she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord."

This is the end of Elisabeth's prophecy. She is proclaiming how wonderful it is that Mary believed.

From verse 46 through 55 is a hymn of praise by Mary. This is a beautiful statement of the low estate of Mary and the high estate of God. This is an unselfish prayer of praise.

Verses 46-55: Mary's Magnificat (the first word in the Latin translation); is filled with Old Testament allusions and quotations. It reveals that Mary's heart and mind were saturated with the Word of God. It contains repeated echoes of Hannah's prayers, e.g., (1 Sam 1:11; 2:1-10).

These verses also contain numerous allusions to the law, the psalms and the prophets. The entire passage is a point-by-point reciting of the covenant promises of God.

Luke 1:46 "And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,"

Here we see Mary glorifying the Son of God who is her Savior, as well as ours. Even though she is His earthly mother, He is her Savior.

Luke 1:47 "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior."

"My Savior": Mary referred to God as "Savior," indicating both that she recognized her own need of a Savior, and that she knew the true God as her Savior. Nothing here or anywhere else in Scripture indicates Mary thought of herself as "immaculate" (free from the taint of original sin).

Quite the opposite is true; she employed language typical of someone whose only hope for salvation is divine grace. Nothing in this passage lends support to the notion that Mary herself ought to be an object of adoration.

Luke 1:48 "For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."

"Low estate": The quality of Mary that shines most clearly through this passage is a deep sense of humility.

Mary can hardly believe that a young girl of so little worldly importance can be blessed of God so much that she will be remembered for generations to come. Here again, she calls herself God's servant ("handmaid").

Luke 1:49-50 "For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy [is] his name." "And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation."

She jumps here from the blessings He has showered on her to the mercy He will show all them who fear Him. His power (might), is mentioned, then His holiness, and then His mercy. We see too, that all of these are never ending.

Luke 1:51 "He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts."

We see here, the mighty arm of God in His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is an extension of the Father. Jesus, in many instances, is spoken of as the Right Hand of God. This is a kind of prophecy of Mary here, speaking of what Jesus will do.

Luke 1:52-53 "He hath put down the mighty from [their] seats, and exalted them of low degree." "He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away."

This is very similar to the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus comes to help those who cannot help themselves. He would say He came for the ones who needed a physician. Those who trust in uncertain riches of this world will be turned away by Jesus. The key word is trust.

Luke 1:54-55 "He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy;" "As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever."

Now we must look and see who Abraham's seed of promise are.

Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

You see, Jesus Christ is the help of physical Israel and spiritual Israel (the believers in Christ). The believers are Abraham's seed.

Luke 1:56 "And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house."

"About three months": Mary arrived in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy (verse 26), so she evidently stayed until John the Baptist was born.

"Her own house": At this point Mary was still betrothed to Joseph, not yet living in his house (Matt. 1:24).

We see here, that Mary and Elisabeth had a lot in common. Both were to have miracle births. Both were expecting promised sons. The difference was Elisabeth's baby had an earthly father and Mary's baby had a heavenly Father.

Luke Chapter 1 Continued Questions

1. Why did the people marvel that Zachariah was in the temple so long?

2. Why did the people think Zachariah had seen a vision?

3. When did he go home?

4. Who was Zachariah' wife?

5. How long did she hide herself?

6. What had God done for her?

7. Why would the people think this was a gift from God to her?

8. What angel was sent to Mary?

9. Where was she at the time?

10. Who was she espoused to?

11. Whose house was he of?

12. What does "espoused" mean?

13. What one word lets you know Mary lived right?

14. What does "Nazareth" mean here?

15. What relation was Mary to Elisabeth?

16. What did the angel first say to Mary?

17. What does "cast in her mind" Mean?

18. What was her Son to be named?

19. What does His name mean?

20. In Philippians 2:10, what do we find out about Jesus?

21. In verse 32, what shall Jesus be called?

22. What house shall Jesus reign over forever?

23. Explain who these people are.

24. Why did Mary ask Gabriel how all this could be?

25. Who shall come upon Mary to cause her to conceive the Son of God?

26. What does Mary furnish in this union?

27. What is Jesus called in John 1:14?

28. How far along was Elisabeth when Mary became with child?

29. What does Mary call herself showing she is God's servant?

30. Where would Mary find Elisabeth?

31. When Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, what happened to her baby in her womb?

32. What happened to Elisabeth?

33. What gift of the Spirit did Elisabeth receive?

34. Who did Elisabeth call Mary?

35. Who did she call Mary's baby?

36. What are verses 46 thorough 55?

37. Mary's soul magnifies whom?

38. What does Mary call Jesus?

39. What is hard for Mary to believe?

40. What three things are glorified by Mary of God in verses 49 and 50?

41. The mighty arm of God is ____________.

42. Who does He help?

43. Who are Abraham's seed?

44. How long did Mary stay with Elisabeth?

Luke Chapter 1 Second Continued

Luke 1:57-58 "Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son." "And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her."

We see here, a woman far beyond her child bearing years who has brought forth a son. Perhaps none believed when she had told them. Now they rejoiced with her.

These very same people that were so close to her knew how Zachariah had a vision in the temple and was left unable to speak. All sorts of things were probably going through their minds.

Luke 1:59 "And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zachariah, after the name of his father."

"On the eighth day": In accord with God's commandment (Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:1-3; Phil. 3:5), it had become customary to name a child at circumcision. The ritual brought together family and friends, who in this case, pressured the parents to name the baby "after his father", probably intending this as a gesture of respect to Zachariah.

On the eighth day the circumcision was done to seal the Abrahamic covenant with God. As is many times done at baptism, the name of the child is given as well. Even today many parents name their first son after its father. This was about to occur here until Elisabeth and Zachariah stopped them.

Luke 1:60 "And his mother answered and said, Not [so]; but he shall be called John."

"Not so": Elizabeth had learned from Zachariah in writing (verse 63), everything Gabriel had said to him.

The father had gotten word to Elisabeth what his name was to be even though he had lost his voice. Elisabeth speaks up and says his name is John. Now there is a stir. Why is this baby to be named John?

Luke 1:61 "And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name."

"John" means the grace of Jehovah. Here is a name none of their relatives have used.

Luke 1:62 "And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called."

"Made signs to his father": The priests conducting the circumcision ceremony appear to have assumed that since he could not speak he was also deaf.

Luke 1:63 "And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all."

What is going on here? They are really questioning now. The father agrees his name is John. He can't speak so he writes this name, His doubt is gone.

Luke 1:64 "And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue [loosed], and he spake, and praised God."

The instant he put his doubt behind him, Zachariah's tongue was loosed and he spoke. What wonderful things he had to tell them about what happened in the temple and about this miracle birth.

Luke 1:65 "And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea."

"Fear": The normal response, and an appropriate one (12:5), when someone is confronted by a divine visitation or a mighty work of God (Judges 6:22; 13:22; Mark 16:5). Luke seems specially to take note of this; he often reports fear in the presence of God and His works (30, 65; 2:9-10; 5:10, 26; 7:16; 8:25, 37, 50; 9:34, 45; 23:40).

"Throughout all the hill country of Judea": I.e., Jerusalem and the surrounding area. John the Baptist's reputation began to spread from the time of his birth (verse 66).

Now these neighbors and cousins know that there has been something super-natural about this birth. Word spread fast that something miraculous has happened here.

Luke 1:66 "And all they that heard [them] laid [them] up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him."

We see that the Lord is with John. The people even from the first know that John is anointed of God from birth to do some great job.

Luke 1:67 "And his father Zachariah was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,"

"Filled with the Holy Ghost": In every case where someone was Spirit-filled in Luke's nativity account, the result was Spirit-directed worship (Eph. 5:18-20).

We see the minute Zachariah recognizes publicly the miracle of God, that God fills him with the Holy Ghost. The easiest way to receive the Holy Ghost is to totally submit your will to God. When he did this he began to prophesy. (Verses 68 through 79), is what he prophesies.

Verses 68-79: This passage is known as the Benedicts (the first word of verse 68 in the Latin translation). Like Mary's Magnificat, it is liberally sprinkled with Old Testament quotations and allusions. When Zachariah was stuck mute in the temple (verse 20), he was supposed to deliver a benediction. So it is fitting that when his speech was restored, the first words out of his mouth were this inspired benediction.

Luke 1:68 "Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,"

We see here, that his very first statement blesses God and prophesies redemption of his people. Every word of this prophecy will come about because these words coming from Zachariah's mouth are not his words, but the word of the Lord through him."

Luke 1:69 "And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;"

We remember here that "horn" signifies strength. We realize that our strength is in our salvation. In the direct lineage of David, the Lord Jesus will be born.

Luke 1:70 "As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:"

In (Genesis chapter 3:15), we see the first prophecy of this Savior.

Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

Luke 1:71 "That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;"

One of the sweetest promises in the Bible for the believer is that God will cause even our enemies to live at peace with us. God remembers His covenant that He has made with man and Jesus Christ the God of all mercy will save us even from our own selves.

Luke 1:72 "To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;"

"His holy covenant": I.e., the Abrahamic Covenant (verse 73), with its promise of salvation by grace.

Luke 1:73 "The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,"

We know from an earlier teaching here, that all who believe in Jesus Christ are children of Abraham and heirs to the same promises God made to him.

Luke 1:74-75 "That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear," "In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life."

This prophecy is stating that we will be free from the bondage of this earth. We will be free from the guilt of sin and can go on in newness of life with Him. We can be holy and righteous, because we have taken on His righteousness and holiness.

We will no longer be servant to sin, but have the righteousness of Christ to walk in all the days of our life.

Luke 1:76-77 "And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;" "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,"

Here Zachariah is saying prophetically that John will proclaim the coming of Christ. John will go ahead and prepare the way. His message will be their need for repentance of their sins.

"The remission of their sins": Forgiveness of sins is the heart of salvation. God saves sinners from separation from Him and from eternal hell only by atoning for and forgiving their sins.

Luke 1:78 "Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,"

"Dayspring": A messianic reference (Isa. 9:2; 60:1-3; Mal 4:2; 2 Peter 1:19; Rev. 22:16).

We see here, and awakening that comes from God on mankind that will receive it. God had mercy on mankind and sent His Son to bring us out of darkness into His marvelous Light.

Luke 1:79 "To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. Those who sit in darkness here are probably speaking of the Gentiles and even most of physical Israel as well. No hope of eternal life could they see as they did not know of God.

They were in spiritual darkness until the Light of Jesus Christ shines in their heart and brings His glorious Light to them. Jesus is King of Peace. His is the only true peace.

Luke 1:80 "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel."

"Was in the deserts": Several groups of ascetics inhabited the wilderness regions East of Jerusalem. One was the famous Qumran community, source of the Dead Sea Scrolls. John's parents, already old when he was born, might have given him over to the care of someone with ties to such a community.

In a similar way, Hannah consecrated Samuel to the Lord by entrusting him to Eli (1 Samuel 1:22-28). However, there is nothing concrete in Scripture to suggest that John was part of any such group. On the contrary, he is painted as a solitary figure, in the spirit of Elijah.

We see that John the Baptist (child), grew physically and spiritually. You can tell from the statement about him being in the desert that he was not of this world.

He was in the world for a purpose, but not of this world. His thoughts were not of this world. He was a separated man (separated by God to carry out a mission). Nothing else mattered to John. Everything was focused on his mission.

Luke Chapter 1 Second Continued Questions

1. Who rejoiced with Elisabeth at the birth of her son?

2. Who did they believe shewed mercy on her?

3. What about Zachariah was probably going through their mind?

4. How old was the baby when they came to circumcise him?

5. When was the baby's name given?

6. Who stopped them from naming the baby Zachariah?

7. What did the mother name him?

8. What reason did the onlookers give Elisabeth why she should not name the baby by this name?

9. How did Zachariah get word to them that he agreed with the baby being named John?

10. What does John mean?

11. When did Zachariah receive his voice back?

12. What did he do immediately when he could speak?

13. What effect did this have on the onlookers?

14. What part of the country did this quickly spread to?

15. What did they quickly realize?

16. What happened to Zachariah that caused him to prophesy?

17. What is the easiest way to receive the Holy Ghost?

18. What is the "horn" symbolic of?

19. Our strength is in our ____________.

20. Whose lineage will Jesus be in?

21. Who does God speak through to minister?

22. Where is the first promise of a Savior in the Bible?

23. What is one of the sweetest promises in the Bible?

24. Who are the children of Abraham?

25. What are two ways we must serve Him?

26. How can we be holy and righteous?

27. Who shall John be called?

28. What is meant by the "dayspring" visiting us?

29. Where shall the Light guide us to?

30. Who is the Light of the world?

31. Who is the child in verse 80?

32. What lets us know he is not a worldly man?

33. What was important to John?

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Luke 2

Luke Chapter 2

Luke 2:1 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."

This is beginning to tell of the birth of Jesus. The time is when this tax was begun (in the time of Caesar Augustus).

"Caesar Augustus": Caius Octavius. Grandnephew, adopted son, and primary heir to Julius Caesar. Before and after Julius' death in 44 B.C., the Roman government was constantly torn by power struggles. Octavius ascended to undisputed supremacy (in 31 B.C.), by defeating his last remaining rival, Antony, in a military battle at Actium.

(In 29 B.C.), the Roman senate declared Octavius Rome's first emperor. Two years later they honored him with the title "Augustus" (Exalted one", a term signifying religious veneration). Rome's republican government was effectively abolished, and Augustus was given supreme military power. He reigned until his death at age 76 (A.D. 14).

Under his rule, the Roman Empire dominated the Mediterranean region, ushering in a period of great prosperity and relative peace (the Pax Romana). He ordered "all the inhabited earth" (i.e., the world of the Roman Empire), to be counted. This was not merely a one-time census; the decree established a cycle of enrollments that were to occur every 14 years.

Palestine had previously been excluded from the Roman census because Jews were exempt from serving in the Roman army, and the census was designed primarily to register young men for military service (as well as account for all Roman citizens). This new, universal census was ostensibly to number each nation by family and tribe (hence Joseph, a Judean, had to return to his ancestral home to register.

Property and income values were not recorded in this registration. But soon the names and population statistics gathered in this census were used for the levying of poll taxes, and the Jews came to regard the census itself as a distasteful symbol of Roman oppression.

Luke 2:2 "([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)"

"Cyrenius was governor of Syria": Fixing a precise date for this census is problematic. Publius Sulpicius Quirinius is known to have governed Syria during A.D. 6-9. A well known census was taken in Palestine in A.D. 6. Josephus records that it sparked a violent Jewish revolt (mentioned by Luke, quoting Gamaliel in Acts 5:37).

Quirinius was responsible for administering that census, and he also played a major role in quelling the subsequent rebellion. However, that cannot be the census Luke has in mind here, because it occurred about a decade after the death of Herod, much too late to fit Luke's chronology (1:5).

In light of Luke's meticulous care as a historian it would be unreasonable to charge him with such an obvious anachronism. Indeed, archeology has vindicated Luke. A fragment of stone discovered at Tivoli (near Rome), in A.D. 1794 contains an inscription in honor of a Roman official who, it states, was twice governor of Syria and Phoenicia during the reign of Augustus.

The name of the official is not on the fragment, but among his accomplishments are listed details that, as far as is known, can fit no one other than Quirinius. Thus, he must have served as governor in Syria twice. He was probably military governor at the same time that history records Varus was civil governor there.

With regard to the dating of the census, some ancient records found in Egypt mention a world-wide census ordered in 8 B.C. That date is not without problems, either. It is generally thought by scholars that 6 B.C. is the earliest possible date for Christ's birth.

Evidently, the census was ordered by Caesar Augustus in 8 B.C. but was not actually carried out in Palestine until 2-4 years later, perhaps because of political difficulties between Rome and Herod. Therefore, the precise year of Christ's birth cannot be known with certainty, but it was probably no earlier than 6 B.C. and certainly no later than 4 B.C.

Luke's readers, familiar with the political history of that era, would no doubt have been able to discern a very precise date from the information he gave.

Luke 2:3 "And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city."

"His own city": I.e., the place of tribal origin.

Luke 2:4 "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)"

"Nazareth ... Bethlehem": Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of David and therefore went to their tribal home in Judea to be registered.

This was a difficult trek of more than 70 miles through mountainous terrain, a particularly grueling journey for Mary, on the verge of delivery. Perhaps she and Joseph were conscious that a birth in Bethlehem would fulfill the prophecy (in Micah 5:2).

It appears that each family returned to their place of birth where they were registered and were taxed from where they were born and not from where they lived now. We Christians know that the main reason they had to go to Bethlehem was to fulfill prophecy. It had been prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2 "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting."

God's prophecy must be fulfilled in every detail.

"Bethlehem" means house of bread. Jesus is the Bread of Life.

Luke 2:5 "To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."

"Espoused": Matthew 1:24 indicates that when the angel told Joseph about Mary's pregnancy, he "took her as his wife", i.e., he took her into his home. But they did not consummate their marriage until after the birth of Jesus (Matt. 1:25). Therefore, technically they were still betrothed.

Mary was living with Joseph, but had never slept with him. She is pregnant by the Holy Ghost of God. It is time for her to be delivered.

Luke 2:6 "And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered."

It is generally understood that this was in the winter. Not everyone believes December 25th to be the exact day, but I believe it was the exact day because the Jewish Feast of Lights falls on this day; and Jesus is the Light of the world. This is the Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights. This feast begins on December 25th and goes eight days.

Luke 2:7 "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

"Swaddling clothes": Strips of cloth were used to bind a baby tightly. It kept the baby from injuring sensitive facial skin and eyes with its own (often sharp) fingernails, and was believed to strengthen the limbs. This is still the custom in some Easter cultures. The absence of such cloths was a sign of poverty or lack of parental care (Ezek. 16:4).

"Manager": A feeding trough for animals. This is the source of the notion that Christ was born in a stable something nowhere stated in Scripture. Ancient tradition held that He was born in a cave (possible one used as a shelter for animals). But no actual description of the location is given.

"No room for them in the inn": Possible because many were returning to this ancient town to register in the census.

Mary possibly had more children besides Jesus later, because the marriage of Mary and Joseph was complete. We do know that Mary and Jesus' brothers came to see Him and are spoken of as Jesus' brothers.

Matthew 12:47 "Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee."

These would have been Jesus' half-brothers. They would have been Mary's children by Joseph. We do know that Mary lived with Joseph twelve years as husband and wife. We see in verse 49 of this chapter that Mary was still married.

As to the inn being full, there were so many people in town to pay their taxes that all of the rooms were full.

Luke 2:8 "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night."

"Shepherds": Bethlehem was nearby Jerusalem, and many of the sheep used in the temple sacrifices came from there. The surrounding hills were prime grazing land, and shepherds worked in the area day and night, all year round. Therefore, it is not possible to draw any conclusion about the time of year by the fact that shepherds were living out in the fields.

The "same country" just means in the area around Bethlehem. This is an area that would be perfect for grazing sheep. These shepherds had to watch for wild animals attacking the sheep at night. Jesus is the Great Shepherd and Christians are spoken of as sheep. So what would be more appropriate to tell first than the humble shepherd?

Luke 2:9 "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid."

Many, many times the presence of the Lord is shown by a very bright Light. The Shekinah glory of God is a presence of very bright Light. Moses was in the presence of this Light on Mt. Sinai. This same bright Light led the children of Israel, and this was the same bright Light seen on the Mount of Transfiguration.

We see that they feared the Lord. Man fears his shortcomings being known of God.

Luke 2:10 "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

God's message to mankind, then and now, is "fear not". This good news is for everyone ("all people"). The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news of great joy. The message is: there is hope.

Luke 2:11 "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

"City of David": I.e., Bethlehem, the town where David was born, not the City of David, which was on the southern slope of Mt. Zion.

"A Savior": This is one of only two places in the gospels where Christ is referred to as "Savior", the other being (John 4:42), where the men of Sychar confessed Him as "Savior of the world"

"Christ": "Christ" is the Greek equivalent of "Messiah"

"Lord": The Greek word can mean "master", but it is also the word used to translate the covenant name of God. Here (and in most of its New Testament occurrences), it is used in the latter sense, as a title of deity.

This Christ child is the Savior of the whole world. This is Messiah, the Anointed One, who has come to save whosoever will. Jesus Christ was born of a woman for the people.

Luke 2:12 "And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

This tells the shepherds that Jesus will be in the cave where the stock is held because of the manger. The manger was used to feed fodder in.

Luke 2:13 "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,"

"Host": A term used to describe an army encampment. Christ also used military imagery to describe the angels (in Matt. 26:53).

(Revelation 5:11), suggests that the number of the angelic host may be too large for the human mind to fathom. Note that here the heavenly army brought a message of peace.

This "heavenly host" is a band of angels. One of the jobs of the angels is to continually praise God. Jesus is the King of peace. Peace has come to the earth in the form of a babe in a manger. This "good will" is from God to man. God has made a way for lowly man to be saved.

Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

"The highest": I.e., heaven.

"Peace": This is not to be taken as a universal declaration of peace toward all humanity. Rather, peace with God is a corollary of justification.

"Good will toward men": God's peace is a gracious gift to those who are the objects of His pleasure.

Luke 2:15 "And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."

The shepherds immediately want to go into Bethlehem to see this wonderful thing that the angel has told them. The angels have now done what they were sent to do and have gone back to heaven. Angels are ministering spirits. They realize this message that they have received is from the Lord.

Luke 2:16 "And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."

They had no difficulty finding them because of the manger mentioned. They lost no time getting to the cave. The fact that Joseph is there makes earthly men associate Joseph as Jesus' Father, but Jesus' Father was God.

Luke 2:17 "And when they had seen [it], they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child."

They gave an eyewitness account of the birth of the Christ child. There was no way that they could keep from telling about the angels and the Light and the message. When anyone receives a message directly from God, it is difficult not to tell. What made it even more important to tell, would be the fact that they saw with their own eyes the fulfillment of what they were told.

Luke 2:18 "And all they that heard [it] wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds."

"All they that heard it wondered": Wonderment at the mysteries of Christ's words and works is one of the threads that runs through Luke's gospel (verses 19:33, 47-48; 1:21, 63; 4:22, 36; 5:9; 8:25; 9:43-45; 11:14; 20:26; 24:12, 41).

These shepherds, giving their testimony, were an amazement to those they told this to. Most people would not have believed they had this experience with these angels. Most believed that only priests and high priests had this type of experience with God. These were common people. They didn't believe because of who they were.

Luke 2:19 "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart."

Mary knew that Jesus was special. She knew that He was the Son of God. She knew this too was special, and she remembered all these events.

Luke 2:20 "And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

"Praising God": Luke often reports this response (verses 28; 1:64; 5:25-26; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15-18; 18:43; 19:37-40; 23:47; 24:52-53).

There would be literally years pass before this great happening would be diminished in their memory. Their praising God was because the promise of a Savior had been fulfilled in their very own eyes. This overwhelming presence of God and the message the angel brought would remain with them all of their lives.

Luke Chapter 2 Questions

1. What decree did Caesar Augustus give?

2. In whose time was the law given?

3. Where did each person have to go to pay the tax?

4. Where had Joseph and Mary been living?

5. Where did they go to be taxed?

6. Why did they go to this city?

7. What was the main reason they went there?

8. What book in the Old Testament tells of Jesus being born in Bethlehem?

9. What was Mary to Joseph?

10. Who is Mary pregnant by?

11. What time of year was this?

12. Why does the author believe it was December 25th?

13. In verse 7, Jesus is called Mary's ___________.

14. What does the word "manger" tell us?

15. We know that Matthew 12:47 tells us that Jesus had ____________.

16. What were they really to Jesus?

17. In Luke 2:49, we know that Mary was married how many Years?

18. Who was told first of Jesus' birth?

19. Who told them about the birth of Jesus?

20. Many times the presence of the Lord is shown in what?

21. What glory is this presence called, many times?

22. Name one other time the glory of God was seen in a bright Light.

23. What did the angels tell the shepherds first?

24. In Verse 11, what is He called besides Christ the Lord?

25. What suddenly appeared with the angel?

26. Who is this host?

27. How had peace come to the earth?

28. What did the shepherds do when the angels went back to heaven?

29. Why did earthly people want to believe Joseph was Jesus' Father?

30. After the shepherds had seen Jesus, what did they do?

31. How did the people accept it?

32. Why did the shepherds praise God?

Luke Chapter 2 Continued

Luke 2:21 "And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

Abraham had promised God that all the male children would be circumcised on the 8th day after birth. The children were named during this special ceremony. The angel had told Mary what the babe's name should be, and she has followed his instructions.

Luke 2:22 "And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord;"

A woman who bore a son was ceremonially unclean for 40 days (twice that if she bore a daughter, Lev. 12:2-5). After that she was to offer a yearling lamb and a dove or pigeon (Lev. 12:6). If poor, she could offer two doves or pigeons (Lev. 12:8). Mary's offering indicates that she and Joseph were poor (verse 24).

"To Jerusalem": A journey of about 6 miles from Bethlehem.

"To present him to the Lord": The dedication of the firstborn son was also required by Moses' law (verse 23; Exod. 13:2, 12-15).

Mary was a woman who pleased God. She lived as close as possible to the Law of Moses. Moses, in the law God had given him, gave a law of purification after childbirth; and Mary followed this law. This can be found (in Leviticus 12:2-3).

The temple was in Jerusalem, so this is where they brought Jesus for dedication to the Lord. Mary's purification would have been complete 40 days after Jesus' birth. This temple dedication was on the 40th day.

Luke 2:23 "(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)"

Exodus 34:19 "All that openeth the matrix [is] mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, [whether] ox or sheep, [that is male]."

Luke 2:24 "And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."

In (Leviticus 12:6-8), we see the Levitical law that covers the gift Mary brought for her atonement, She could not bring a lamb so she brought the lesser expensive sacrifice.

Luke 2:25 "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."

"Simeon": He is mentioned nowhere else in Scripture.

"The consolation of Israel": A messianic title, evidently derived from verse like (Isaiah. 25:9; 14:1-2; 66:1-11).

The consolation of Israel was Messiah. This man believed that during his lifetime Messiah would come. Today in Israel the devout Jews are again expecting Messiah. He was just and devout and that brings the Holy Ghost.

Luke 2:26 "And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ."

"That it was revealed unto him": It is significant that with messianic expectation running so high (3:15), and with the many Old Testament prophecies that spoke of His coming, still only a handful of people realized the significance of Christ's birth.

Most of them, including Simeon, received some angelic message or other special revelation to make the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies clear.

This devout believer, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit of God, had been informed by revelation that he would not die before he saw the Lord (anointed one), Christ. He believed and expected this to be true.

Luke 2:27-29 "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," "Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said," "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:"

Simeon was very old, possibly over 100 years. At any rate, so old that he came by the power of the Spirit of God. This was to dedicate Jesus. Simeon immediately recognized through the Holy Spirit that this child is the Savior of the world; the Messiah. He says, now that I have seen Him, I am ready to go home to heaven.

Verses 29-32: Simeon's psalm is known as the Nunc Dimittis, from the first two words of the Latin translation. It is the fourth of 5 psalms of praise Luke included in his birth narrative. It is a touching expression of Simeon's extraordinary faith.

Luke 2:30 "For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,"

"Thy salvation": I.e., the One who would redeem His people from their sin.

Luke 2:31 "Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;"

"All people": I.e., all nations, tongues and tribes (Rev. 7:9), both Israel and the Gentiles (verse 32).

Luke 2:32 "A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."

This type of Light here, is the Light of the knowledge of God. The Gentiles have never had an opportunity up until then to know God and to be children of Light. Jesus is the hope of the Gentile. Israel knew God. Messiah will come as an Israelite.

Luke 2:33 "And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him."

Notice that Joseph is not Jesus' father. The Scripture does show Mary as Jesus' mother. Mary realizes that Jesus is special, but even now does not know just exactly what He came to do.

Luke 2:34 "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;"

"Rising again of many in Israel": To those who reject Him, He is a stone of stumbling (1 Peter 2:8); those who receive Him are raised up (Eph. 2:6; 8:14-15; Hos. 14:9; 1 Cor. 1:23-24).

"Sign which shall be spoken against": This was synecdoche. Simeon mentioned only the verbal insults hurled at Christ, but the expression actually embraced more than that, Israel's rejection, and hatred, and crucifixion of the Messiah.

Luke 2:35 "(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

"A sword": This was undoubtedly a reference to the personal grief Mary would endure when she watched her own Son die in agony (John 19:25).

"That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed": The rejection of the Messiah would reveal the appalling truth about the apostate state of the Jews.

Simeon speaking a blessing is blessing Mary and her husband Joseph. Notice that this prophecy given by Simeon is given to Mary who is the mother of Jesus. Simeon doesn't speak to Joseph, because this is not his child.

So many (the supposedly religious people in Israel), will not accept the Savior. They will fall. Those who receive Jesus will rise. The disciples are a good example of those who are built up. This sword which will pierce Mary is the grief she will feel when they crucify Jesus. Simeon is speaking through the power of the Holy Ghost.

We are told throughout the Bible that by two witnesses a thing shall be established (2 Cor. 13:1), is an example of that.

"In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

We have seen one witness in Simeon and now we need another witness. Many denominations stop with Simeon and do not mention the other witness. The other witness is a woman, and it would blow their theory that women are not to minister in the church. Nevertheless, let us look at the Bible account of the second witness here.

Luke 2:36 "And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;"

"A prophetess": This refers to a woman who spoke God's Word. She was a teacher of the Old Testament, not a source of revelation. The Old Testament mentions only 3 women who prophesied: Miriam (exodus 15:20); Deborah (Judges 4:4); Huldah (2 Kings 2:14; 2 Chron. 34:22).

One other, the "prophetess" Noadiah, was evidently a false prophet, grouped by Nehemiah with his enemies. (Isaiah 8:3), refers to the prophet's wife as a "prophetess", but there is no evidence Isaiah's wife prophesied. Perhaps she is so-called because the child she bore was given a name that was prophetic (Isa. 8:3-4).

This use of the title for Isaiah's wife also shows that the title does not necessarily indicate an ongoing revelatory prophetic ministry. Rabbinical tradition also regarded Sarah, Hannah, Abigail, and Esther as prophetesses (apparently to make an even 7 with Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah). In the New Testament, the daughters of Philip prophesied.

There were not as many gifted women called to the ministry as men, because most women were not educated in the Holy Scriptures.

Anna, as we will see in the next few verses, never left the temple; she prayed and fasted. She also told everyone who wanted salvation about Jesus, which is preaching. She preached in the church, because the Scripture says she never left the temple. Anna had been a married woman and was now a widow. Anna was a descendent of Asher.

Luke 2:37 "And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day."

"Departed not from the temple": Anna evidently had her living quarters on the temple grounds. There would have been several such dwelling places for priests in the outer court, and Anna must have been allowed to live there permanently because of her unusual status as a prophetess.

She was eighty-four years old. It seems she was very devoted to God and His work. Fasting and prayer is possibly the most important ministry in the church and is greatly neglected today in our churches.

Luke 2:38 "And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem."

This "Anna" quickly realized who Jesus was. She not only recognized Him and accepted Him for herself, but preached to everyone in Jerusalem who looked for redemption. She was one of the first to preach the good news of Jesus Christ as our Redeemer.

Luke 2:39 "And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth."

"They returned into Galilee": Luke omitted the visit of the Magi and the flight into Egypt (Matt. 2:1-18). The theme of early rejection, so prominent in Matthew, was not where Luke focused his attention.

This does not say exactly when they went back to Nazareth except to say that after they had fulfilled the law given by Moses. We can assume that the wise men spoken of in Matthew came to see Jesus before Mary and Joseph's return to Nazareth, and even the stay in Egypt to avoid Herod Killing Jesus occurred before their return to Nazareth.

Luke Chapter 2 Continued Questions

1. On what day was Jesus circumcised?

2. What other thing did the family do on this day?

3. Whose covenant with God did this fulfill?

4. On what day did Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple for dedication?

5. Where can the law of purification be found?

6. Every male child is __________to God.

7. What sacrifice did they take?

8. Who was the elderly man in the temple?

9. What was this man waiting for?

10. How had it been revealed to him that he would not die before seeing the Savior?

11. How was he able to come into the temple?

12. When Simeon took the baby in his arms. What did he do?

13. What would Jesus be to the Gentiles?

14. What does verse 33 tell us about Joseph?

15. What did Simeon say that this child was set for?

16. What did he tell Mary would happen to her?

17. By how many shall a thing be established?

18. Why do many denominations not tell about Anna in the temple?

19. What was Anna called in verse 36?

20. What tribe was she from?

21. Had she ever been married?

22. What two things did she do continually?

23. How do we know that she preached in the church?

24. How old was Anna?

25. What is greatly neglected in our churches today?

26. What was the message she preached?

27. In verse 39, where did they go back to live?

28. What 2 things (not mentioned in Luke), happened before Mary and Joseph went home?

Luke Chapter 2 Second Continued

Luke 2:40 "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him."

Mary and Joseph brought Jesus back to Nazareth to live until He grew to manhood. He was to be called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23). In (Isaiah 11:2), we read about the abundance of His Spirit.

Isaiah 11:2 "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;"

You see, Jesus has all of these to the utmost; the grace of God.

Colossians 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."

Jesus Christ is the fullness of God on the earth.

Luke 2:41 "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover."

"Feast of the Passover": Passover was a one-day feast, followed immediately by the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread.

It was a requirement to go to Jerusalem on the feast of the Passover each year. Mary and Joseph tried to keep the Mosaic Law, and they went each year 3 times to worship at the temple (feast of Passover, feast of Pentecost, and feast of Tabernacles).

Verse 41 doesn't mean that Joseph was Jesus' father, but rather that is what everyone thought. The men were the only ones required to go, but in this case, the whole family went.

Luke 2:42 "And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast."

I personally believe that Jesus came to the temple at 12 to show that this is about the time when we are old enough to make the decision to follow the Lord. This particular time is very important in the life of Jewish young men. They begin to worship with the men at this age.

Luke 2:43 "And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not [of it]."

"Jesus tarried behind": In stark contrast to the apocryphal gospels' spurious takes of youthful miracles and supernatural exploits, this lone biblical insight into the youth of Jesus portrays Him as a typical boy in a typical family. His lingering was neither mischievous nor disobedient; it was owing to a simple mistaken presumption of His parents' part (verse 44), that He was left behind.

The feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread are really covered together. The Passover meal was on the 14th of Nisan and Unleavened Bread extended for 7 days after. After this time was fulfilled, Mary and Joseph started back to Nazareth. They were not aware that Jesus had not come with them, but stayed behind.

Luke 2:44 "But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among [their] kinsfolk and acquaintance."

"In the company": Obviously, Joseph and Mary were traveling with a large caravan of friends and relatives from Nazareth. No doubt hundreds of people from their community went together to the feast. Men and woman in such a group might have been separated by some distance, and it appears each parent thought He was with the other.

Hebrews were required to go to Jerusalem, so this was indeed a large group. Mary and Joseph began to look for Jesus when they noticed He wasn't with them.

Luke 2:45 "And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him."

Perhaps, He had lived such a normal childhood that His mother had forgotten who Jesus really was.

Luke 2:46 "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions."

"Three days": This probably does not mean they searched Jerusalem for 3 days. They apparently realized He was missing at the end of a full day's travel. That required another full day's journey back to Jerusalem, and the better part of another day was spent seeking Him.

"Hearing them, and asking them questions": The boy Jesus was utterly respectful, taking the role of the student. But even at that young age, His questions showed a wisdom that put the teachers to shame.

Had they remembered that Jesus was the very Son of God, they would have gone to the temple immediately. As it was, it took them 3 days to find Him. These doctors were doctors of theology. We know that Jesus' style was to ask them questions. Even when He was questioned later, He answered with questions that they could not answer.

Luke 2:47 "And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers."

Here was a 12 year old boy, who had not been trained in the temple, who knew the Word more than those who had studied all of their lives. How could this be? This young man they were talking to was the Word of God. In John the 1st chapter, He is called just that.

Luke 2:48 "And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing."

"Why hast thou thus dealt with us?": Mary's words convey a tone of exasperation and rebuke, normal for any mother under such circumstance, but misplaced in this case. Jesus was not hiding from them or defying their authority.

In fact, He had done precisely what any child should do under such circumstance (being left by His parents), He went to a safe, public place, in the presence of trusted adults, where His parents could be expected to come looking for Him (verse 49).

"Thy father": I.e., Joseph, who was legally His father.

As we said earlier, His childhood was probably fairly normal. His mother had perhaps forgotten why Jesus had come to the earth, and she felt that He, as other children were, was obligated to tell her before He disappeared. Of course, after three days of looking without finding Him, they feared the worst.

Luke 2:49 "And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"

"My father's business": Contrasting with Mary's "your father" (in verse 48), His reply was in no sense insolent, but reveals a genuine amazement that they did not know where to look for Him. This also reveals that even at so young an age, He had a clear consciousness of His identity and mission.

Here we see again, that Jesus answers questions with another question.

Possibly, Jesus did not like Mary referring to Joseph as his Father. Jesus' Father was God. This moment (at 12 years of age), possibly launched Jesus into the Father's business.

At least we know that He left a lasting impression on these scholarly men in the temple. There has been very little written about the time between Jesus' visiting the temple at Jerusalem and when He starts His public ministry when He is 30 years old. We do know that Mary knows of His miracle ability because she tells them at the wedding to do whatever He asks.

This is an indication to me that Jesus had been performing miracles before her from the time He was 12 until then. I believe His formal ministry begins at 30, and that he had been ministering all along privately. What was the Father's business? It was ministering to those less fortunate.

Luke 2:50 "And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them."

It is pretty obvious that Jesus had not been performing miracles before He was 12, because the Scripture here says they (Mary and Joseph), understood not.

We know that Mary understood when Jesus was 30, so this fuels the idea that He ministered privately in their home between 12 and 30 years of age.

Luke 2:51 "And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart."

"Subject unto them": Jesus' relationship with His Heavenly Father did not override or nullify His duty to His earthly parents. His obedience to the fifth commandment was an essential part of the perfect legal obedience He rendered on our behalf (Heb. 4:4; 5:8-9). He had to fulfill all righteousness.

After this Jerusalem experience, Jesus returned with them to the little town of Nazareth where He would grow to manhood known as a carpenter's son. Mary remembers all of these happenings as any mother would.

Jesus was not rebellious but obeyed Mary and Joseph (was subject unto them).

Luke 2:52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature": Jesus did not cease being God or divest Himself of divine attributes in order to become man. Rather, He took on a human nature (or addition, not a subtraction), and submitted the use of His divine attributes to the will of the Father (John 5:19, 30; 8:28; Phil 2:5-8).

Therefore, there were times when His omniscience was on display (Matt. 9:4; John 2:24-25; 4:17-18; 11:11-14; 16:30), and other times when it was veiled by His humanity in accordance with the Father's will (Mark 13:32).

We know that Jesus had all knowledge and wisdom. I believe the statement above means that those looking on perceived more of His wisdom as He grew older. They became more and more aware of just how wise He was.

He was totally obedient to Father God and stayed in good favor with Him, but man realized His unselfishness and attitude. They could not help but love Him and respect Him more and more as they knew Him better.

Luke Chapter 2 Second Continued Questions

1. The child grew and waxed strong in _____________.

2. What was upon Him?

3. In Matthew 2:23, we find out why He lived in Nazareth. Why was it?

4. What does Isaiah 11:2 tell us about Jesus?

5. In Colossians 2:9, "for in him dwelleth all the fullness ____ _____ __________ ________".

6. What 3 celebrations were all males to go to the temple?

7. What specific celebration was this one?

8. How old was Jesus at this time?

9. What city was the temple in?

10. Why does the author believe this specific age of Jesus is important?

11. What is meant by fulfilling the days?

12. Why do you suppose Mary and Joseph did not know that Jesus was not with them earlier?

13. What 2 feasts or festivals overlapped here?

14. What time of year were these festivals?

15. Where did Mary and Joseph look for Him first?

16. Why didn't Mary look at the temple first?

17. How long were they looking before they found Him?

18. Where was He found?

19. Who had He been with?

20. What had He been doing?

21. How did Jesus answer questions?

22. How did His answers affect them?

23. Where can we read about Jesus being the Word?

24. What did His mother say when they found Him?

25. How did Jesus answer her?

26. How old is Jesus when He launches His public ministry?

27. What do you believe He did between 12 and then?

28. What is the Father's business?

29. What tells us that Jesus did not perform miracles before He was 12?

30. What makes the author believe that He did miracles privately before He was 30?

31. Who would those around them believe that Jesus was?

32. How do we know that Jesus was a good son, not rebellious?

33. Jesus increased in favor with ______ and ____________.

34. What does verse 52 really mean about Jesus growing in wisdom?

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Luke 3

Luke Chapter 3

Luke 3:1 "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,"

"Fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar": Because of the way Tiberius came to power, this date is hard to fix precisely. When the Roman Senate declared Augustus emperor, they did so on condition that his power would end with his death, rather than passing to his heirs. The idea was that the senate, rather than the emperor himself, was to choose the heir to the throne.

However, the emperor himself was to choose the heir to the throne. Augustus circumvented that difficulty by appointing a co-regent, on who he planned gradually to confer the imperial powers. When he outlived his first choice for successor, Augustus next selected his son-in-law, Tiberius, whom he adopted and made his heir in A.D. 4 (Augustus disliked Tiberius but hoped to pass power to his grandsons through him).

Tiberius was made co-regent in A.D. 11, and then automatically became sole ruler at the death of Augustus on Aug. 19, A.D. 14. If Luke's chronology is dated from Tiberius; appointment to the co-regency, the 15 th year would be A.D. 25 or 26. If Luke was reckoning from the death of
Augustus, this date would fall between Aug. 19, A.D. 28 and Aug. 18, A.D. 29.

One other fact complicates the setting of a precise date: the Jews reckoned a ruler's term from the Jewish New Year following accession. So if Luke was using the Jewish system, the actual dates could be slightly later. The earlier date of A.D. 25-26 seems to fit the chronology of Christ's life best.

"Pontius Pilate ... Herod ... Philip": Pontius Pilate was the fifth governor of Judea. Herod Antipas is the main Herod in the gospel accounts He was the one who had John the Baptist put to death (14:1-12), and examined Christ on the eve of the crucifixion (Luke 23:1-12).

It seems this son of Herod was a murderer and probably, as bad as or worse than his father. Joseph had obeyed God and came back into the land of Israel, but was afraid to go to Jerusalem. God gave Joseph a dream and told him to go to an area away from Jerusalem, "into the parts of Galilee".

Luke 3:2 "Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zachariah in the wilderness."

"Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests": According to Josephus, Annas served as High-Priest A.D. 6-15, when he was deposed by Roman officials. He nonetheless retained defacto power, as seen in the fact that his successors included 5 of his sons and Caiaphas, a son-in-law.

Caiaphas was the actual High-Priest during the time Luke describes, but Annas still controlled the office. This is seen clearly in the fact that Christ was taken to Annas first after His arrest, then to Caiaphas.

These above two scriptures are just setting the time that the things that happen in chapter 3 occur. Tiberius Caesar was the second Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judaea and was subordinate to Caesar. Herod was subordinate to Pontius Pilate and was over the small area of Galilee where John the Baptist and Jesus lived.

Annas and Caiaphas were the head of the temple worship. We can see the chain of world power in this area here. This "John", mentioned here, was John the Baptist. This Word of God that John received was from God, not man. The message John got was a message of the spirit.

Of course, it will affect these rulers indirectly: but the message is not for them as rulers. The message John gets speaks to the soul of man.

Luke 3:3 "And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;"

"Baptism of repentance": The symbolism of John's baptism likely had its roots in Old Testament rituals (Lev. 15:13). Baptism had also long been administered to Gentile proselytes coming into Judaism. The baptism of John thus powerfully and dramatically symbolized repentance.

Jews accepting John's baptism were admitting they had been as Gentiles and needed to become the people of God genuinely, inwardly (an amazing admission, given their hatred of Gentiles). The people were repenting in anticipation of the Messiah's arrival. The meaning of John's baptism differs somewhat from Christian baptism (Acts 18:25).

Actually, Christian baptism altered the significance of the ritual, symbolizing the believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3; Col 2:12).

John had one message, "repent". That should be the message of our day also. To repent is the first step on the way to being saved. Then when we repent, we must change our mind and become a new creature in Christ. Our thoughts must be different. We must walk a different walk than before. Our desires must change.

What John the Baptist was saying is turn from your wicked ways and live a holy life pleasing unto God.

John had been chosen even before his birth for this job. He had lived a near perfect life and was well respected by those around him. This message that John had received from God was very similar to the great commission which says, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15).

Luke 3:4 "As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."

You can find the Scripture in Isaiah (in chapter 40:3). It appears that John the Baptist was not speaking in the temple. He was out in a desert area where few lived. John was preparing the people to be ready for the Savior. He was proclaiming the coming of the Lord.

Luke 3:5 "Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways [shall be] made smooth;"

This is speaking of obstacles of every kind which shall be done away with so that everyone will be able to hear.

Luke 3:6 "And all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

"All flesh": I.e., Gentiles as well as Jews. All 4 gospels quote (Isaiah 40:3; i.e. Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; John 1:23). Only Luke adds (verses 5-6), thus using a familiar text from Isaiah to stress his theme of the universal scope of the gospel.

Salvation is not just for one particular group; salvation is for everyone who will accept it. Salvation is an offer of God to all mankind, a way out.

Luke 3:7 "Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"

"The wrath to come": Possibly a reference to the coming destruction of Jerusalem. But this certainly also looks beyond any earthly calamity to the eschatological outpouring of divine wrath in the Day of the Lord, and especially the final judgment, where divine wrath will be the just fruit of all the unrepentant (Rom. 1:18; 1 Thess. 1:10; Heb. 10:27).

This was an evil generation. This was a generation who had turned its back on God. The sad thing here is that John was speaking to people who professed to know God. Our generation is like this as well. Our country claims to be under God, and sin is everywhere.

Movies are X, R, or PG rated. Television is so bad you can't allow the children to watch even the shows especially made for them. If there was ever a generation of people displeasing God, it is ours. Even people who go to church and claim to be Christians are doing things abominable to God. We take God so lightly that we have difficulty having any time for Him at all.

John the Baptist called them "vipers" because they belonged to the old devil. No one wants to face the wrath of God, then or now. We fear the wrath, but will not live a life pleasing to God. The only way to avoid God's wrath (hot anger), is to live pleasing before Him.

Luke 3:8 "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."

"Stones": The imagery may echo Old Testament verses such as (Ezek. 11:19; 36:26); God can sovereignly turn a heart of stone into a believing heart. He can raise up children to Abraham from inanimate objects if He chooses, or even from stony-hearted Gentiles (Gal. 3:29).

"Children unto Abraham": Abraham's true children are not merely physical descendants, but those who follow his faith, believing God's Word the way he did (Rom. 4:11-16; 9:8; Gal. 3:7). To trust one's physical ancestry is to shift the focus of faith away from God Himself, and that is spiritually fatal (John 8:39-44).

The Lord does not have grandchildren, only children, who your parents are makes no difference. The promise to Abraham and his descendants was conditional. God would bless them, if they kept His commandments. There was a curse if they did not keep His commandments.

Abraham's true seed do the works of Abraham as we read (in John 8:39). Abraham's true seed are the ones mentioned (in Galatians 3:29).

These fruits worthy of repentance are a changed life.

Luke 3:9 "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."

In this, John was telling this people, you have had your chance. Preparation had been made. If you are not productive to the kingdom, you will be cut down. Just as we will see in a later lesson where Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered and died. Irreversible judgment was imminent.

This (verse 9), is speaking of what happens to those at the judgment who have wasted their lives on themselves. Those people who have lived in sin to please their own flesh; and have had no regard for the souls of those around them. The end of these people is hell and the lake of fire.

Luke 3:10 "And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?"

This is the same question the young rich man asked Jesus ("what must I do to be saved"?).

Luke 3:11 "He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."

"Two coats": Shirt-like garments. Only one could be worn at a time. John was still stressing the imminence of the coming judgment. This was not a time to hoard one's surplus goods.

John is saying in this, you say you have repented and want to live for Jesus, now show me by giving up your selfish ways. Begin to do for others and stop thinking so much of yourselves.

Jesus will teach later on that in as much as you have done this for the least of these, you have done it for Him. Giving to someone who cannot possibly pay you back is giving to God.

Luke 3:12-13 "Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?" These publicans were people who collected taxes for the Romans. This is a very good question they have asked." "And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you."

"Publicans": Tax collectors who were disloyal Israelites hired by the Romans to tax other Jews for personal profit. They became symbols for the worst kind of people. (9:10-11; 11:19; 18:17; 21:31; Mark 2:14-16; Luke 5:30; 7:25, 29, 34; 18:11-13), Matthew had been one of them.

Some of the tax collectors took bribes and pocketed some of the money for themselves. This type of employment was looked down upon by the Jews, but it appears here that John is saying, "If you must do this job, be honest and don't put any more burden on the people than is required".

Luke 3:14 "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse [any] falsely; and be content with your wages."

"Soldiers": These were most likely members of the forces of Herod Antipas, stationed at Perea, perhaps, along with Judean police.

"Violent ... Accuse any falsely": Here and (in verse 13), John demanded integrity and high character in the practical matters of everyday life, not a monastic lifestyle or a mystical asceticism. (James 1:27).

We see here, that many of the soldiers desired to be among those who repented and were ready for the coming of the Lord. John again tells them to do their job well without cruelty. He tells them to be careful and not to accuse anyone of a crime they did not do.

Again he reminds them to be satisfied with the wages they make and not to covet others' money or wealth. These soldiers being armed could cause others around them problems, if they desired. John is warning them not to do this.

Luke 3:15 "And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;"

It appears that many believed that John the Baptist was the "looked for" Messiah. They had expected Messiah for so long, and John seemed right for what they were looking for. Certainly, he was like no other man that they had ever come into contact with.

They also know of his miracle birth to aged parents. The other gospels do not mention that many thought John to be Messiah. He was so different, it is not surprising that many thought this man to be Messiah.

Luke 3:16 "John answered, saying unto [them] all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:"

"Baptize": He shall baptize with the Holy Ghost referring to the spiritual rebirth of the regenerate who shall receive the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). This experience began at Pentecost (Acts 1), and was repeated upon every new group of converts (Samaritans, Gentiles, John's disciples), until it became normative for all Christian believers.

John here is trying to cool down their belief that he might be Messiah. He tells them quickly that he is not Messiah. John is attempting to prepare them for the Messiah. John the Baptist's message is "repent". "Repent", as we said before, means to have a change of heart, to turn from the old ways and walk in a better life.

The baptism of John was certainly different from Jesus' baptism. John's was the baptism of repentance, the washing away of sins and rising to a new and better life. The baptism of Jesus sets you on fire to work for Him. This baptism of John was not the baptism of power from on high. This baptism of fire was the baptism evident at Pentecost.

John knew that he was not Messiah and was quick to tell others that he was not. He was a voice proclaiming the coming of the Savior. This baptism of fire the Messiah would bring would burn away the sin and set all who receive it on fire to work for Messiah. Just as Isaiah's lips were purged with fire (in Isaiah 6:6).

Luke Chapter 3 Questions

1. In verse 1, who did the Word of God come to?

2. Where was he when the Word came?

3. Who was reigning at the time?

4. Who were the 2 high priests at this time?

5. Who was this "John" the son of?

6. This message that John gets is to what?

7. What was John preaching?

8. In what area did he preach?

9. What does repent actually mean?

10. What is the great commission given to believers?

11. What had Isaiah prophesied about John?

12. What was John preparing the people for?

13. What does verse 5 really mean about the valleys being made low?

14. Who shall see the salvation of God?

15. What kind of generation did John call the multitude that came to be baptized?

16. Who were these people, really?

17. How can we relate them to people of our day?

18. How is the only way to avoid God's wrath?

19. What did John warn them about Abraham?

20. What lowly thing did John say that God could raise seed of Abraham from?

21. What did John tell the soldiers to do?

22. Who are Abraham's true seed?

23. These fruits worthy of repentance are what?

24. If a tree does not bring forth good fruit, what is done to it?

25. What kind of fate awaits those who refuse Jesus?

26. What question did they ask John?

27. In verse 11, what was John really saying to them?

28. Who were the publicans?

29. How could they be saved?

30. What changes did John tell them to make in their lives?

31. What did John tell the soldiers to do?

32. Who did the people believe John was?

33. Why did they believe this?

34. What was the difference in John's baptism and the baptism of Jesus?

35. What does Jesus' baptism cause you to do?

Luke Chapter 3 Continued

We have just learned in the previous lesson that many thought John the Baptist to be Messiah. John quickly tells them that he is not. He had explained by saying his baptism was of water and Jesus' baptism was of fire. Now we will pick up in verse seventeen.

Luke 3:17 "Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable."

"Fan" is a winnowing fork, a tool for tossing grain into the wind so that the chaff is blown away.

This Scripture was saying He (Jesus), will stir up the people. He will separate the good (wheat), from the evil. This floor, probably, spiritually meant the whole world. He shall gather all believers together unto Him, and they shall become united in Him (the Bride of Christ).

"He will burn up the chaff" just meant the wicked shall burn eternally.

This is a prophetic statement by John speaking of the separation Jesus will make of His own from the evil on Judgment day. Christians are the wheat. The Lord will gather us unto Him, but the chaff (unbeliever), has nothing but the Lake of Fire to look forward to. This fan in His hand just means that He can get this all stirred up and going all by Himself.

When you fan a fire, it burns hotter. His floor will be clean, regardless of what must be done to cleanse it. Jesus taught the separation of good from evil here on the earth and also taught in the parable of the wheat and the chaff the different fates of the two. Notice (in verse 17), that it is Jesus who is the Judge.

Luke 3:18 "And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people."

Verse 40 of Acts chapter 2 is possibly speaking of the same thing.

Acts 2:40 "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation."

You see that what both of these are saying is the same. John's message was repent and be baptized. The thing that was different was that he spoke to each individual something that they could relate to. He preached what they needed to hear. He spoke loudly to some and to others in a gentle voice. He said whatever would touch their heart and cause them to repent.

Luke 3:19 "But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,"

Herod was a very evil ruler. John the Baptist is beheaded by him later on as John's ministry grows. John had told Herod that he was living in sin, because he had taken his own brother's wife to live with. Strangely enough, Herod was afraid of John.

Luke 3:20 "Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison."

"Shut up John in prison": This event actually occurred much later during Jesus' ministry (Matt. 14:1-12; John 3:22-24). But Luke organized his material on John the Baptist topically rather than chronologically.

Herod knew that John was telling him the truth. Herod had great respect for John even though he put John in prison. As we said, Herod was afraid of John. Herod knew the people would follow John, if he asked them.

I really believe Herod's greatest fear was not in John leading an army against him but was fear of John's God. He didn't like John going around telling that he should not be living with his brother Philip's wife either.

Luke 3:21 "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,"

"Baptized": Christ was here identifying Himself with sinners. He will ultimately bear their sins; His perfect righteousness will be imputed to them (2 Cor. 5:21). This act of baptism was a necessary part of the righteousness He secured for sinners.

This does not mean that the whole countryside was baptized. It just means "all" of the people who "wanted" to be baptized. In other words Jesus didn't come in and stop others so that He might be baptized first. The other gospels do not mention prayer at the baptism. It appears that Jesus was praying, and the heaven opened.

"And praying": Luke alone notes that Jesus was praying. Prayer is one of Luke's themes.

Luke 3:22 "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."

"Holy Ghost": All 3 persons of the Trinity are distinguishable in this verse, a strong proof against the heresy of modalism, which suggests that God is one Person who manifests Himself in 3 distinct modes, one at a time.

"In a bodily shape": I.e., physical and visible to all (Matt. 3:16; John 1:32).

"Like a dove": A picture of gentleness (Matt. 10:16).

"My beloved Son": "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).

We see here God the Father speaking from heaven, God the Son being baptized, and God the Holy Ghost appearing as a dove. We have discussed in these lessons, over and over, that God is a Spirit and can appear in any form He wants to.

The Dove however, throughout Scripture symbolizes the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. We see at Jesus' baptism the Godhead. The Father approved everything Jesus did. Those who heard this voice should never have a doubt who Jesus was.

We should never forget that Jesus was then, and always will be God: God the Word before He came to earth and God the Son for His stay on earth. The Spirit of God dwelled in Him. Jesus was baptized not for His own benefit (he didn't need to be baptized), but for ours. He wanted to show us that being baptized was important.

Verses 3:23-38: Luke's genealogy moves backward from Jesus to Adam; and Matthew's moves forward from Abraham to Joseph. Luke's entire section from Joseph to David differs starkly from that given by Matthew. The two genealogies are easily reconciled if Luke's is seen as Mary's genealogy, and Matthew's version represents Joseph's.

As Mary's genealogy, and Matthew's version represents Joseph's. Thus the royal line is passed through Jesus' legal father, and His physical descent from David is established by Mary's lineage. Luke, unlike Matthew, includes no women in his genealogy, even Mary herself.

Joseph was "the son of Eli" by marriage (Eli having no sons of his own), and thus is named here (in verse 23), as the representative of Mary's generation. Moses himself established precedent for this sort of substitution (in Num. 27:1-11; 36:1-12). The men listed from Eli (verse 23), to Rhesa (verse 27), are found nowhere else in Scripture. Zerubbabel and Shealtiel (verse 27), are the only two names here that correspond to names in Matthew's genealogy between David and Jesus.

Luke 3:23 "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was [the son] of Heli,"

"About thirty years of age": Luke was probably not fixing an exact age. Rather, this was an approximation, 30 being a customary age for entering into the office of prophet (Ezek. 1:1); priest (Num. 4:3, 35, 39, 43, 47), or king (Gen. 41:46; 2 Sam. 5:4).

"As was supposed": Luke had already established the fact of the virgin birth (1:34-35); here he made clear once again that Joseph was not Jesus' true father.

Genealogies are given for man. This is why it was necessary to show the genealogy of Joseph, who was not even Jesus' Father. The world thought that Jesus was Joseph's son so the line had to show back from Joseph to David. This genealogy differs in a few ways from Matthew. This genealogy goes back to Adam and God, whereas the one in Matthew begins with Abraham.

Very good records were kept in the Hebrews' line of King David. As I said, genealogies are kept for the world, not for God. We will not belabor the point here. Note that Jesus was 30 years old when His official ministry began. The fact of Him being 30, shows us that God is dealing with mankind (world government).

Also, Hebrew men in the service of God began their ministry at 30.

Luke 3:24-26 "Which was [the son] of Matthat, which was [the son] of Levi, which was [the son] of Melchi, which was [the son] of Janna, which was [the son] of Joseph," "Which was [the son] of Mattathias, which was [the son] of Amos, which was [the son] of Nahum, which was [the son] of Esli, which was [the son] of Naggai," "Which was [the son] of Maath, which was [the son] of Mattathias, which was [the son] of Semei, which was [the son] of Joseph, which was [the son] of Judah,"

You may notice that the names are not always identical in Matthew and Luke. Possibly, the place that each of them got the records from spelled them a little different. I do not believe that to be important. The names that are significant are the same in both lines.

Luke 3:27-29 "Which was [the son] of Joanna, which was [the son] of Rhesa, which was [the son] of Zerubbabel, which was [the son] of Salathiel, which was [the son] of Neri," "Which was [the son] of Melchi, which was [the son] of Addi, which was [the son] of Cosam, which was [the son] of Elmodam, which was [the son] of Er," "Which was [the son] of Jose, which was [the son] of Eliezer, which was [the son] of Jorim, which was [the son] of Matthat, which was [the son] of Levi,"

These descendants mentioned in Luke many believe to be the line to Jesus through Mary, even though it is not stated at the outset.

Luke 3:30-31 "Which was [the son] of Simeon, which was [the son] of Judah, which was [the son] of Joseph, which was [the son] of Jonan, which was [the son] of Eliakim," "Which was [the son] of Melea, which was [the son] of Menan, which was [the son] of Mattatha, which was [the son] of Nathan, which was [the son] of David,"

It is very important to the Hebrews for David to be in the direct lineage of Jesus. They expected Messiah to be a strong man of war like David. They thought Messiah would free them from the Roman rule.

Luke 3:32 "Which was [the son] of Jesse, which was [the son] of Obed, which was [the son] of Boaz, which was [the son] of Salmon, which was [the son] of Nahshon,"

We see in this "Boaz", the husband of Ruth, that there were Hebrew and Gentile roots. You see, Ruth was a Moabite woman (Gentile). Ruth, a Gentile, and Boaz, a Hebrew, were in the direct lineage of Jesus.

Luke 3:33 "Which was [the son] of Amminadab, which was [the son] of Ram, which was [the son] of Hezron, which was [the son] of Pharez, which was [the son] of Judah,"

We know that Jesus was the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Here we see Judah in the lineage.

Luke 3:34 "Which was [the son] of Jacob, which was [the son] of Isaac, which was [the son] of Abraham, which was [the son] of Terah, which was [the son] of Nahor,"

Of course, this is one of the most important genealogy connections, because the promise was to come through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This shows covenant connection.

Luke 3:35-36 "Which was [the son] of Serug, which was [the son] of Ragau, which was [the son] of Peleg, which was [the son] of Eber, which was [the son] of Selah," "Which was [the son] of Cainan, which was [the son] of Arphaxad, which was [the son] of Shem, which was [the son] of Noah, which was [the son] of Lamech,"

We see here, the Hebrew nation came from Shem. In our Genesis study, we go into Noah's three sons starting the three types of people. The Negroid, Asiatics, and the Caucasians. We see the Hebrews as descendants of Shem. We also see Noah, who was saved from world destruction.

Luke 3:37-38 "Which was [the son] of Methuselah, which was [the son] of Enoch, which was [the son] of Jared, which was [the son] of Mahalaleel, which was [the son] of Cainan," "Which was [the son] of Enos, which was [the son] of Seth, which was [the son] of Adam, which was [the son] of God."

Seth, you remember, was the son given to Adam and Eve to replace Abel who Cain killed. His line was the godly line.

Luke Chapter 3 Continued Questions

1. Many thought John the Baptist to be whom?

2. How did John explain that he was not who they thought?

3. What happens to the chaff?

4. Who separates the evil and the good on judgment day?

5. What was John's message?

6. What had John told Herod that disturbed him?

7. What did Herod do to John?

8. Why was Herod afraid of John?

9. Who baptized Jesus?

10. What is said in Luke that is not in the other gospels?

11. How did the Holy Ghost appear at the baptism?

12. What did God the Father do at Jesus' baptism?

13. What symbolizes the Holy Spirit of God?

14. How old was Jesus when He was baptized?

15. Who are genealogies given for?

16. This genealogy in Luke is believed by many to be whose?

17. Messiah was to come in whose line?

18. Hebrew men in the service of God began at what age?

19. Jesus was the Lion of the tribe of ___________.

20. What did the Hebrews expect Messiah to be like?

21. What is significant about Booz?

22. Why are Abraham. Isaac, and Jacob important in the lineage of Jesus?

23. Of Noah's three sons, which one did the Hebrews descend from?

24. What do the 3 sons of Noah represent?

25. Who did Seth replace?

26. Of Adam and Eve's sons, which did the godly line descend from?

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Luke 4

Luke Chapter 4

Luke 4:1 "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,"

Following His public baptism, Jesus was "led up of the Spirit into the wilderness," referring to the elevation of the Judean wilderness. The historical settling of the temptation, which was directed against Jesus' human nature, indicates that this was a literal experience, which He really conquered, not merely a mental victory over His own thoughts. That Jesus was "Tempted of the devil" is clearly presented as a fact.

Jesus had just been baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. The Holy Ghost had descended on Him at His baptism. We see here, that He was full of the Holy Ghost. Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness. Spirit (Ghost), is capitalized which means this is God's Spirit.

The Spirit leading Jesus into the wilderness was so that He could face all the temptations of life. We see (in Hebrews 2:17-18), that this temptation would be so that He could better understand our temptations and be more sympathetic.

Luke 4:2 "Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered."

"Forty days ... tempted": Evidently the temptation of Christ encompassed the full 40 days of His fast. Both Matthew and Luke give a condensed recounting of only 3 specific temptations. Luke reverses the order of the last two temptations in Matthew's account. Luke occasionally ordered material logically, rather than chronologically. Luke may have had some purpose for doing so here, perhaps to end his account of Jesus' temptation at the temple in Jerusalem (verse 9), a very important location in Luke's narrative.

"Forty", throughout the Bible, is symbolic of time of testing. Forty days and nights it rained on Noah. Forty days and nights Moses was on the mount to receive the Ten Commandments. Forty days and nights Goliath challenged Israel before David accepted the challenge.

Forty days and nights the children of Israel searched out the Promised Land and wandered 40 years in the wilderness to compensate for their 40 days of unbelief. Mothers were purified after giving birth to a son on the 40th day. Jesus ministered 40 days and nights after the resurrection to the time He was carried away into heaven.

There are so many other 40's such as David. Saul and Solomon each reigned for 40 years. I think the point is made.

We also see that Jesus fasted completely. A fast consists of total separation from worldly things. Food and drink are just a part of a fast. Jesus didn't drink juice or anything to sustain Him. This fast was total. At the end of this fast, He was hungry.

Luke 4:3 "And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread."

Just as the devil asked Eve, "Did God say?" he says to Jesus here; "if thou be the Son of God". He tries to plant a doubt. He spoke to Jesus' weakness at the moment, because we just read that Jesus was hungry. Jesus could command the stone, and it be made bread; but He didn't.

Whether or not the devil was standing there in visible form in front of Jesus I cannot tell. In fact, it really doesn't matter, this temptation is real. I really think the devil already knows Jesus is the Son of God, but just wants Jesus to doubt. He will do that to us also, if we will listen.

Luke 4:4 "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."

Jesus quoted (Deut. 8:3).

Deut. 8:3 "And he humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live."

Jesus is very smart. He answers the devil with the Word of God. He says, "It is written". Jesus is the Bread, He is the Word, and He is the Life. He is really saying that you have to have Jesus to have life.

Eating from the Holy Bible, the Word of God, every day is much more important than physical food. If you do without physical food, the worst thing that can happen to you is your body will die. But if you do not consume the Word of God, your spirit will die. God fills our inner man when we read His Word.

Luke 4:5 "And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time."

This possibly is just trying to tempt Jesus to receive the world as His possession without going by the way of the cross. A temptation usually is an area where we have a desire. Jesus does have a desire to have all the people of the world to follow Him.

The Lord Jesus knew that He would rule the world. When He returns, He will be Lord of lords and King of kings.

Luke 4:6 "And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it."

Adam turned his power over to Satan when he and Eve sinned in the garden, Satan does have power on the earth, but it is limited. Jesus defeated him on the cross. The Christians have power over Satan in the name of Jesus. The people who are not believers cannot use Jesus' name to fight the devil.

Luke 4:7 "If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine."

Of course, this is the biggest lie ever told. The devil has no reason to ever tell the truth.

Luke 4:8 "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Jesus quoted (Deut. 6:13). "You shall fear the LORD your God, and serve him, and shall swear by his name."

The very first of the Ten Commandments tell us that the Lord God is the only being to be worshipped. Jesus answers the devil each time with a Scripture. God's plan was for Jesus to rule over all the world, everything above the earth, and everything under the earth.

Self-denial and sacrifice by Jesus would win Him rule. He rules over Satan, as well. At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.

Philippians 2:10-11 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;" "And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Luke 4:9-11 "And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:" "For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:" "And in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."

This Scripture that the devil was quoting from is found in (Psalms 91:10-12). It is given not only to Jesus, but to His followers as well.

Psalms 91:10-12 "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." "They shall bear thee up in [their] hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

You see, the devil knows the Word of God. Usually when he quotes it, it is like this Scripture; he misquotes it. He changes a word here and there. Satan brought Jesus to the temple of God for this temptation. He tells Jesus, if you are who you say you are, show me.

Jesus doesn't need to prove anything to the devil. The devil's pride was what got him into trouble, and he thought Jesus would surely be weak in this area.

Luke 4:12 "And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

Jesus quoted (Deut. 6:16) "You shall not test the LORD your God, as you tested him in Massah."

Even though we know for sure God is taking care of us, we should not do something foolish to prove it. Jesus in these temptations, was tempted as we are tempted and yet was without sin. He overcame the devil here. He always overcomes the devil. The devil is no match at all for Him.

Luke 4:13 "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season."

"For a season": Satan's temptations did not end here for Christ, but persisted throughout His ministry (Heb. 4:15), and culminated in Gethsemane (22:39-46).

This temptation was actually every type of temptation. The devil went away defeated. Even in Jesus' weakest moment, He is stronger than the devil. The devil can't win, so he leaves.

Luke 4:14 "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about."

"Returned ... into Galilee": The synoptic gospels are largely silent about Jesus' ministry between His baptism and His return to Galilee, but John recorded a fairly extensive ministry in Jerusalem and Judea (John 2:12 - 4:1).

In Matthew 4:11, we find that as soon as Jesus was through being tempted that angels came and ministered to Him. Luke skipped that and went headlong into the power of Jesus' walk. We see that Jesus' Spirit was powerful on the return into Galilee. The power of His ministry and miracles spread fast.

Luke 4:15 "And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all."

It was not possible to hide His power of the Word from the people. His preaching was powerful. His teaching was not in His synagogue but theirs. When they heard Him, they were overwhelmed and glorified Him.

Luke Chapter 4 Questions

1. When Jesus left Jordan, where did He go?

2. What caused Him to go there?

3. Why did He go there?

4. Why is Spirit capitalized in verse one?

5. In Hebrews 2, we learn why He went through that. What reason is given?

6. How many days was He tempted of the devil?

7. What did He eat during this time?

8. What is "40" symbolic of?

9. Name 4 other times 40 is used in the Bible.

10. What is a fast?

11. In verse 3. what did the devil question about Jesus?

12. What did Satan tell Jesus to turn the stone into?

13. What was similar to Jesus' temptation in verse three and Eve's temptation?

14. How did Jesus answer Satan?

15. What should be more important to us than our daily bread?

16. What is the worst thing that could happen to you if you don't eat?

17. What can be even worse than that?

18. How does God fill our inner man?

19. When the devil took Jesus to the high mountain, what did he show Him?

20. When Jesus returns to the earth soon, who will He be?

21. In verse 6, what did the devil offer Jesus?

22. How do the Christians have power over Satan?

23. Who did Jesus say was the only one to worship?

24. What did Satan quote Jesus from when he took Him to the temple top?

25. Where is this Scripture found?

26. Who, besides Jesus, is this Scripture for?

27. What really got the devil in trouble?

28. When Satan quotes Scripture, what does he do?

29. Even though we know God is taking care of us, we should not do __________ ________ ___ _______ ___

30. When the devil stopped tempting Jesus, what did the devil do?

31. Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, went where?

32. Where did Jesus teach?

Luke Chapter 4 Continued

Luke 4:16 "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read."

"He came to Nazareth": Luke acknowledged (in verse 23), that Christ had already ministered in Capernaum. Yet Luke purposely situated this episode at the beginning of his account of Christ's public ministry. Here is an example of Luke's ordering things logically rather than chronologically.

"As his custom was": Nazareth was His hometown, so He would have been well known to all who regularly attended this synagogue.

Hebrew children were allowed to go to synagogue at 5 years old. Hebrew boys, after completing Bar Mitzvah at 12, were expected to attend as an adult would. In the synagogue, it was the custom to stand and read from the Holy books.

Jesus had already been attending, and his fame as a preacher had spread; so it was natural for Him to be the one to read. Nazareth was the town Jesus had lived in as a boy and was well known in this area.

Luke 4:17 "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,"

This is the book of Isaiah. The head of the synagogue would bring the book out to be read. It appears that it was not turned to the Scripture Jesus intended to give, so He (Jesus), found the place He wanted to read from. The Scripture He was about to read was in Isaiah.

Isaiah 61:1-2 "The spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;" "To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;"

Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,"

"He hath anointed me": I.e., the Spirit Himself was the anointing (verses 1, 14).

Luke 4:19 "To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

"The acceptable year of the Lord": Or, "the year of the Lord's favor." The passage Christ read was Isaiah 61:1-2. He stopped in the middle of verse 2. The rest of the verse prophesies judgment in the day of God's vengeance. Since that part of the verse pertains to the Second Advent, He did not read it.

Jesus, in this reading of the Scripture from Isaiah, is showing that this Scripture is fulfilled. Jesus, in just a few words, tells what His ministry on this earth will be. Jesus is filled to overflowing with the Spirit. He has the fullness of God.

We know that Jesus was not a respecter of persons, but truly brings the gospel message to the poor; to those rejected by the world. He laid His hands on the sick and they recovered, He opened blind eyes, He raised the dead, He even went into hell itself and preached and brought those held captive out with Him.

His miracles were so numerous and so great, all the books in the world could not contain them. He truly fulfilled this Scripture in Isaiah to the fullest.

Luke 4:20 "And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him."

"And sat down": It was customary for a teacher to stand respectfully during the reading of the Scriptures (verse 16), and sit humbly to teach.

When Jesus spoke, people marveled. He spoke with such authority. It was as if there was a supernatural drawing when the Lord Jesus spoke.

Luke 4:21 "And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."

"This day is this scripture fulfilled": This was an unambiguous claim that He was the Messiah who fulfilled the prophecy. They correctly understood His meaning but could not accept such lofty claims from One who they knew so well as the carpenter's son (verse 22 and Matt. 13:55).

Jesus very boldly tells them that He is the fulfillment of this Scripture.

Luke 4:22 "And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?"

We see here, that Jesus' Words were so overwhelming that these people could not believe their own ears. Suddenly they ask each other, Isn't this the carpenter's son that lives down the road here? We saw Him grow up like our own children. How could He be the fulfillment of this Scripture?

They still believe that Joseph is Jesus' Father. They are looking at the flesh, and not the Spirit. Even today, nearly 2000 years later, the world still says this cannot be God, He was just a man. Jesus was in fact, God the Son.

Luke 4:23 "And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country."

"Capernaum": Obviously Christ had already gained a reputation for His miraculous works in Capernaum. Scripture gives few details about that first year of public ministry. Most of what we know about those months is found in John's gospel and it suggests Christ ministered mostly in Judea. However (John 2:12), mentions a brief visit to Capernaum, with no other details.

John 4:46-54 describes how Christ as at Cana, He healed a royal official's son who lay sick in Capernaum. We also know that Christ had already gathered some of His disciples, who were men from the North shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 1:35-42).

He might have visited there more than once during that first year of ministry. In any case, He had been there long enough to do miracles, and His fame had spread throughout Galilee (verse 14).

We see people here who truly believe they know this carpenter's son and believe that this (by the wildest stretch of imagination), could not possibly be Messiah. They believe Him to be mad. Jesus will later say that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country and in His own house.

Those around Him, who knew Him, instead of asking Him for their healing will say heal yourself. Capernaum also, was too close to home. Many did not believe there either, even though He did many miracles.

Luke 4:24 "And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country."

"No prophet is accepted in his own country", that is, in his own neighborhood. It generally holds, that a teacher sent from God is not acceptable to his neighbors as he is to strangers. The meanness of his family, or lowness of his circumstances, brings his office into contempt. Nor can they suffer that he, who was before equal with, or below themselves, should now bear a superior character.

Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them: "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor."

Verses 25-27: Both the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-24), and Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5), were Gentiles. Both lived during times of widespread unbelief in Israel. Jesus' point was that God bypassed all the widows and lepers in Israel yet showed grace to two Gentiles. God's concern for Gentiles and outcasts is one of the thematic threads that run through Luke's gospel.

Luke 4:25-26 "But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;" "But unto none of them was Elijah sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow."

Jesus is telling them, here, that just as all those widows in Elijah's time did not get help because they did not have faith, it would be that way here. To receive a miracle, you must have faith.

Notice here, that this drought and famine in Elijah's time lasted 3 1/2 years. This woman of Sarepta received Elijah into her home, and God miraculously fed them the whole time. Great miracles and great faith go hand in hand. There was no faith there, and there will be no great miracles because of it.

Luke 4:27 "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian."

Naaman came to Elisha to be healed of leprosy, and Elisha told him to wash in the Jordan River seven times. He did, and his leprosy was gone. It is a beautiful story (in 2 Kings 5:3). Read all the way to the end of the chapter. There are many beautiful lessons. One of the most important of these lessons is that healing is not for sale.

Luke 4:28 "And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,"

"Filled with rage": This is Luke's first mention of hostile opposition to Christ's ministry. What seems to have sparked the Nazarenes' fury was Christ's suggestion that divine grace might be withheld from them yet extended to Gentiles.

They were filed with wrath, because Jesus was saying unto them, "Oh, ye of little faith". Jesus was telling them that they could not receive anything of God because of their cold hearts. They could not see Jesus as anything else but Joseph's son.

Luke Chapter 4 Continued Questions

1. Where was Jesus brought up?

2. What was Jesus' custom on the Sabbath day?

3. What did He do in the synagogue?

4. At what early age were Hebrew children allowed to go to synagogue?

5. At what age were Hebrew boys expected to attend?

6. We see here 18 years Jesus had been going to the synagogue. What had the preacher learned about Jesus in this time?

7. What book was brought to Jesus to read?

8. What chapter and verse did Jesus turn to?

9. In the Scripture, what had Jesus been anointed to do?

10. What special thing did Jesus say was now upon Him?

11. What was Jesus to preach?

12. Name 3 types of miracles Jesus did.

13. When He finished reading. Who was looking at Him?

14. Why were they staring at Jesus?

15. In verse 21, what does Jesus call Himself?

16. Who did these people believe Jesus to be?

17. After 2000 years, what do people believe about Jesus?

18. What proverb did Jesus say they would say unto Him?

19. What other city, besides Nazareth, would not believe?

20. They thought by the wildest stretch of imagination He could not be _____________.

21. Where is a prophet without honor?

22. How many years was there famine in the land in Elijah's time?

23. Where did Elijah stay during that time?

24. Why was the woman of Sarepta chosen?

25. Why did the other widows round about not get help?

26. What goes hand in hand with great miracles?

27. Who was brought to Elisha to be healed of leprosy?

28. What did Elisha tell him to do?

29. What is one of the most important lessons to be learned in this account in 2nd Kings?

30. How did the people accept this message?

31. What was Jesus actually saying to them?

Luke Chapter 4 Second Continued

In the last lesson, we saw Jesus telling these people that He was the fulfillment of the Scripture in Isaiah. They did not believe Jesus. They still believe He is Joseph's son.

Luke 4:29 "And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong."

Throughout the Bible, people who were thought to be false prophets were taken to a high hill outside the city and thrown off to kill them.

We discussed how Jesus was so well known that they could not believe He was Messiah, because He grew up around them and was known as Joseph's son.

Luke 4:30 "But he passing through the midst of them went his way,"

"Passing through the midst": The implication is that this was a miraculous escape, the first of several similar incidents in which He escaped a premature death at the hands of a mob (John 7:30; 8:59; 10:39).

You see, no one could hold Jesus if He didn't want them to. He disappeared right in the middle of them. Probably, He just blinded their eyes and walked right past them.

Luke 4:31 "And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days."

Capernaum is where Peter lived. It was on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. Much of Jesus' ministry took place right here on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. The people at Capernaum were not very receptive of Jesus. They were very well acquainted with Jesus. They never did accept Him as Messiah. Of course, a handful of people recognized Him, but the majority did not.

Luke 4:32 "And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power."

The scribes quoted others to establish the authority of their teachings; Jesus was His own authority (Matt. 28:18). This matter of authority was a major issue between Jesus and the Jews, who felt their authority challenged.

The outstanding feature of His teaching was His "authority," meaning the divine approval and authoritative constraint with which He delivered His message.

The astonishment, as we said, was because they thought of Him as the carpenter's son. His word was powerful. You see, Jesus is the Word (John 1:1).

Luke 4:33 "And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,"

All the cases of demonization dealt with by Christ involved the actual indwelling of demons who utterly controlled the bodies of their victims, even to the point of speaking through them (Mark 5:5-9). Causing derangement (John 10-20), violence (Luke 8:29), or rendering them mute (Mark 9:17-22).

Demonic spirits cannot stand to be in a holy place, this is why this spirit cried out. These evil spirits can dwell in a man.

Luke 4:34 "Saying, Let [us] alone; what have we to do with thee, [thou] Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God."

"Holy One of God": Demons always recognized Christ immediately (verses 41; 8:28; Matt. 8:29; Mark 1:24; 3:11; 5:7).

You see, these demons recognize Jesus because they lived in heaven with Him before they followed Lucifer. They had been angels in heaven, and when they chose to follow Lucifer, they became demons.

Jesus was the Word of God in heaven. They know that they will be thrown into the lake of fire because of their decision to follow Lucifer. They also know that Jesus is the Judge of the world, and He is the one who will send them there. They know He will destroy them. They do not know when. That is why they say. "art thou come to destroy us?"

Revelation 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceive the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Luke 4:35 "And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not."

Jesus spoke directly to this unclean spirit. This demon had to come out of the man, because it had to obey Jesus' command. This demon, in one last effort to destroy the man, cast him to the ground; but Jesus does not allow him to hurt him.

Luke 4:36 "And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word [is] this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out."

Their amazement is because their leaders are not able to cast out demons. They cannot believe that a mere man can cast out a demon. A "mere" man CANNOT cast out a demon. They thought of Him as Joseph's son, not as Messiah. Jesus' power is greater than they have ever experienced, and they cannot justify in their mind how this can happen.

Their problem is that they have no idea who Jesus is.

Luke 4:37 "And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about."

This is so fantastic that this miracle goes all over the land. It is the talk of the country.

Luke 4:38-39 "And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her." "And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them."

"Simon's wife's mother": Peter was married (1 Cor. 9:5), though no details about his wife are given anywhere in Scripture.

"A great fever": (Matthew 8:14-15 and Mark 1:30-31), also report this miracle. But only Luke, the physician, remarks that the fever was "high," and make not of the means Jesus used to heal her (verse 39).

Simon is Peter. Peter's home is right by the side of the Sea of Galilee. The synagogue was less than a mile from where Simon's house was. This Scripture lets us know that Peter had a wife. Paul was never married, but Peter had a family. Peter's mother-in-law had a high fever, and they were trying to find Jesus to lay His hands on her to heal her.

Luke 4:40 "Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them."

"Now when the sun was setting": Signifying the end of the Sabbath. As soon as they were free to travel, the multitudes came.

These divers' diseases just mean that all manner of illness was healed by just one touch of the hand of Jesus. It doesn't say that some were healed, it says every one.

Luke 4:41 "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking [them] suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ."

This is an involuntary act upon the demon's part. This is telling everyone that Jesus is Messiah, the Anointed One. We discussed that they knew who He was, because they had been in heaven with Him before they fell.

Light always does away with darkness. These demons (darkness), had to go when they came in contact with the Light. Jesus is the Light of the world, so His presence did away with the presence of these evil ones (darkness).

If it is dark in a room and you turn the light on, the darkness is gone. You cannot turn on the dark and do away with light. That is what happened here; Light did away with darkness. Jesus rebuked them for telling, because the people were not ready to hear that Jesus was Messiah.

Luke 4:42 "And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them."

Jesus left, but to no avail. The people followed Him and stopped Him from leaving. They did not want Him to leave. They wanted to benefit from His miracles.

Luke 4:43 "And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent."

"Kingdom of God": This term, so prominent throughout the remainder of Luke's gospel, is introduced here for the first time.

Jesus says this almost apologetically. He does not want to leave this group, who wants Him to stay, but He knows His ministry is for everyone; and He must carry his message to all the known world. His call is not for one people, but to everyone.

Luke 4:44 "And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee."

We see here, that preaching was what He was really all about. Wherever there was a synagogue. He preached. Salvation for the human race is His desire.

Luke Chapter 4 Second Continued Questions

1. How did the people react to His message that He fulfills this Scripture in Isaiah?

2. Who do the people still believe Jesus is?

3. What did they do to Jesus?

4. Where did they take Him to try to kill Him?

5. What was the thing they could not believe about Jesus?

6. How did Jesus get away from the people?

7. What is the probable explanation of this?

8. Where did Jesus go when He left these who were trying to kill Him?

9. What would He do there?

10. What city was Peter's home?

11. Why were they astonished at Jesus' ministry?

12. In the synagogue, Jesus encountered a ________with an unclean spirit.

13. Why did the unclean spirit cry out?

14. Who did the evil spirit say Jesus was?

15. Why did they know Jesus?

16. Why will they be thrown into the lake of fire?

17. Who did Jesus rebuke, the man or the spirit?

18. What did the devil do to the man?

19. What amazed the people?

20. Why did it amaze them?

21. What becomes the talk of the country?

22. When Jesus left the synagogue. Where did He go?

23. What was wrong at Peter's house?

24. What is another name for Peter?

25. Why had they been hunting for Jesus?

26. After Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law, what did He do?

27. When the devils came out of many, what did they say?

28. Why did Jesus tell them to be quiet?

29. What always does away with darkness?

30. Who is the Light?

31. When Jesus went to a desert place, what did the people do?

32. Why did Jesus say He was sent?

33. In verse 44, where did He preach?

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Luke 5

Luke Chapter 5

Luke 5:1 "And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,"

"Lake of Gennesaret": I.e., the Sea of Galilee, sometimes also called the Sea of Tiberias (John: 1; 21:1). It is actually a large freshwater lake, over 690 feet below sea level, and serves as the main source of water and commerce for the Galilee region.

Gennesaret, the Sea of Galilee, and Chinnereth are all one and the same. "Gennesaret" means garden of riches. There were small towns on several sides of the lake. Capernaum was one of the towns. Jesus' fame as a preacher and healer has grown and now there is a great press of people.

Luke 5:2 "And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing [their] nets."

"Washing their nets": Having fished all night with nothing to show for their labor (verse 5), they were drying and mending their nets for another night's work.

These were actually fishing boats. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were all fishermen. Peter and Andrew were brothers, and James and John were brothers. Perhaps this is who these 2 boats belong to. Fishing time was over, because they were washing their nets.

Luke 5:3 "And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship."

This was the normal posture for rabbis while teaching, sitting.

Jesus having to get away from the heavy press of the people was one reason for going on the boat. Another reason was His voice would carry better to a larger number of people on the water. Water acts like a microphone.

The third reason Jesus borrowed this boat was to show these fishermen that He was the God of miracles, to build their faith to follow Him. Jesus can teach anywhere. He taught from the ship to the people on shore.

Luke 5:4 "Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught."

"Let down your nets": Normally, the fish that were netted in shallow water at night would migrate during the daylight hours to waters too deep to reach easily with nets, which is why Peter fished at night. Peter no doubt thought Jesus' directive made no sense, but he obeyed anyway, and was rewarded for his obedience (verse 6).

Jesus is about to teach Simon Peter a very important lesson. Our toil, even if it is in the ministry, will fail unless we do it exactly the way the Lord directs us. Simon must believe in the drought or he will not put the nets out. Sometimes the Lord sends us to an area to minister; and we, in the natural, believe it is hopeless.

We must have faith to throw out the net, even if we believe there are no fish, Simon was to learn a very good lesson here. Our feelings are deceiving. If the Lord tells you to do it, do it. Put action to your faith, and it will happen.

Luke 5:5 "And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net."

In the physical, Simon cannot see the fish, but is obedient to the Lord's command.

Luke 5:6 "And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake."

Obedience of the Lord brings great rewards. These fish had to obey the Lord. They had to be exactly where He wanted them. They had so much weight in fish that the net broke.

Luke 5:7 "And they beckoned unto [their] partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink."

This would be James and John. Perhaps, this whole thing happened to show James, John, Peter, and Andrew who Jesus really is. This is enough fish to finance them for a good while.

Luke 5:8 "When Simon Peter saw [it], he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."

"Depart from me": The remarkable catch of fish was clearly a miracle, astonishing to all the fishermen in Capernaum (verse 9). Peter immediately realized he was in the presence of the Holy One exercising His divine power, and he was stricken with shame over his own sin (Exodus 20:19; 33:20; Judges 13:22; Job 42:5-6).

This miracle to a fisherman sets Jesus aside as God manifest in the flesh. Peter knew that no mere man could do this. Peter suddenly compares himself. He looks inside and sees his errors. He bows his knees, knowing Jesus is Messiah. Peter suddenly repents of his past life. He calls Jesus, Lord.

Luke 5:9-10 "For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:" "And so [was] also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men."

This miracle, shown to these future disciples of Jesus, gave these men the courage to leave their nets and go with Jesus to fish for men. We see in this call of these fishermen, that Jesus deals with us at the level of our understanding. They understood catching fish, so He speaks to them of catching men.

Luke 5:11 "And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him."

"Forsook all, and followed him": Luke gave a more detailed account of the second call of these disciples.

This above just means that they left their boats and followed Jesus.

A fish even now symbolizes Christianity.

Luke 5:12 "And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on [his] face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean."

"Full of leprosy": Luke's emphasis suggests this was an extremely serious case of leprosy.

Leprosy is symbolic of sin. This is the first account of Jesus dealing with someone who is totally rejected by society. They were to cry "unclean" when anyone came near them. This man had a humble spirit (he knelt before Jesus).

This man had great faith. He says to Jesus. "I know that you can heal me, if you will". His faith will be rewarded.

Luke 5:13 "And he put forth [his] hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him."

"Immediately": One of the characteristics of Jesus' healings was immediate and total wholeness (17:14; Matt. 8:13; Mark 5:29; John 5:9).

It is the will of the Lord to heal us. Just as He told this man "I will". He will save us too. We believe, and He will. This leprosy had to leave when Jesus touched the man. Disease is subject to the Lord the same as everything else.

Luke 5:14 "And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."

"Tell no man": Publicity over such miracles might hinder Christ's mission and divert public attention from His message. Mark records that this is precisely what happened. In this man's exuberance over the miracle, he disobeyed; as a result, Christ had to move His ministry away from the city and into the desert regions (Mark 1:45).

When a person had leprosy, and was healed, he must be examined by the priest and declared clean before he could go back around people. In the (13th chapter of Leviticus), you can read about leprosy. In the (17th verse), it tells you that the priest must declare him clean.

In (Leviticus 4:4), you can see the offering he is to make. Notice that going to the priest and the offering is for a testimony unto the people. The man is already clean.

Luke 5:15 "But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities."

There is no way to keep something like this quiet. It spread from one person to the other, until the whole country heard of it. This multitude that came wanted healing and came curiosity seeking.

Luke 5:16 "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed."

Jesus went aside to rest and to talk with His Father. He sought out a private place (in the wilderness). Prayers, when you pray to God alone, are very effective. When you pray in private to God, you are not trying to impress anyone.

Many times, public prayers are for those people listening, and God is not impressed when we pray for that reason. God wants to fellowship with us. When we pray privately, that is what we are doing; fellowshipping with Him.

Luke Chapter 5 Questions

1. What lake was Jesus standing by in verse one?

2. What other two names is it known by?

3. What does "Gennesaret" mean?

4. What was one of the towns near by the lake?

5. How many ships were nearby in the sea?

6. Who did they belong to?

7. What were the men who owned the boats doing?

8. Whose ship did Jesus enter into?

9. What were three reasons why Jesus used this ship to preach from?

10. When Jesus finished preaching, what did He tell Simon to do?

11. What is Simon's other name?

12. What lesson is to be learned here?

13. What did Peter tell Jesus about putting the net out again?

14. Why did Simon do what Jesus said?

15. What happened when he let the net down?

16. What happened to the net?

17. Who did Peter call himself?

18. When Peter saw this miracle, what did he do?

19. What did Peter call himself?

20. What did Peter call Jesus?

21. What two words did Jesus speak to Simon?

22. How does Jesus deal with each of us?

23. What did they do when they brought their ships to land?

24. What does a fish symbolize?

25. What did the man with leprosy do when he saw Jesus?

26. What is leprosy symbolic of?

27. What showed the man's great faith?

28. How did Jesus answer him?

29. What happened when Jesus touched him?

30. Who did Jesus tell him to go show himself to?

31. Why?

32. Where can you find the offering he was to take?

33. What two reasons did great multitudes come to follow Jesus for?

34. After all of this, where did Jesus go?

Luke Chapter 5 Continued

Luke 5:17 "And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was [present] to heal them."

"Pharisees": The Pharisees and Sadducees were hung up in tradition. The Pharisees were what we would call the people of the middle class today. The Sadducees were from the upper class, and some from high-priest families. The law was everything to them. They really thought themselves better than just the average person. They were righteous in their own sight.

There were about 6,000, legalistic sect of the Jews who were known for their rigid adherence to the ceremonial fine points of the law. Their name means "separated one." Jesus' interaction with the Pharisees was usually adversarial. He rebuked them for using human tradition to nullify Scripture.

We see here, that the Pharisees and doctors of law had heard of Jesus' fame, and they came to see if they could trap Him. They were all here to see if they could find anything wrong with what He said to see if they could accuse Him. This power of the Lord is Jesus' healing power.

Luke 5:18 "And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought [means] to bring him in, and to lay [him] before him."

These are very good friends who will bring this helpless man to Jesus to be healed. Palsy is a disease of the nervous system. Shaking of hands and legs is a symptom.

Luke 5:19 "And when they could not find by what [way] they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with [his] couch into the midst before Jesus."

"Through the tiling": This appears to have been a home with roof tiles which, when removed, gave access to lower the man between the roof beams. The extreme measures they took to lay this man before Jesus indicate that the crowds following Him were very large.

With the press of people around Jesus, it would have been impossible for men carrying a paralytic to get close enough to Him, even if they waited until He left the house.

This is determination. They could not get in for the crowd. So they let him down through the roof right in front of Jesus.

Luke 5:20 "And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee."

"Thy sins are forgiven": Christ ignored the paralysis and addressed the man's greater need first. In doing so He asserted a prerogative that was God's alone (verse 27, 7:49). His subsequent healing of the man's paralysis was proof that He had the authority to forgive sins as well.

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke this happening is told, this is a very important message then. Some illness is brought on by sin. Faith is a very important factor in getting healed and in getting forgiveness of sin, as well. NO man has the power to forgive sin. Jesus lets His Godhood show when He forgives this man's sins.

Luke 5:21 "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"

"Blasphemies": Their assessment would have been correct if He were not God incarnate.

They make a true statement here, in that only God can forgive sin. Their error is in the fact that they do not recognize Jesus as God the Son (Messiah). They accuse Jesus unjustly of blasphemies. These scribes, Pharisees and lawyers are the educated people of their day. They know the letter of the law, but do not understand the things of the spirit.

Luke 5:22 "But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?"

"Perceived their thoughts": I.e., by means of His omniscience (Matt. 9:4; John 5:24-25).

You see, Jesus didn't have to be told what they were saying, He understood their hearts. He knew the evil they were thinking, even before they said it. He looks into the intents of the heart. In other words, their hearts were planning evil.

Luke 5:23 "Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?"

"Whether is easier": It is certainly easier to claim the power to pronounce absolution from sin than to demonstrate the power to heal. Christ actually proved His power to forgive by instantly healing the man of his paralysis.

If He could do the apparently harder, He could also do what seemed easier. The actual forgiving of the sins was in reality the more difficult task, however, because it ultimately requires Him to sacrifice His life.

Now Jesus is about to show these skeptics that not only will He forgive this man's sins, but He will cause him to walk, as well. They will be even more alarmed as the man is healed before their very eyes.

Luke 5:24 "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house."

"That you may know": His ability to heal anyone and everyone at will, totally and immediately (verse 25), was incontrovertible proof of His deity. As God, He had all authority to forgive sins. This was a decisive moment and should have ended once and for all the Pharisees' opposition. Instead, they began to try to discredit Him by charging Him with violating their Sabbath rules.

Jesus is speaking to these scribes, lawyers, and Pharisees and says I will show you that what I said is not blasphemy. I will show you I am the Son of God by healing this man. Then He says to the sick of the palsy, take up thy couch and go into thine house.

Not only does He say the man is healed, but total strength is suddenly restored in that he cannot only walk, but carry a couch, as well.

Luke 5:25 "And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God."

We see here an instant healing and restoration.

Luke 5:26 "And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day."

"Strange things": The response is curiously non-committal, not void of wonder and amazement, but utterly void of true faith.

This "all" surely includes the scribes and Pharisees. It seems this miracle left them speechless. The scribes and Pharisees could have said no more for fear of being mobbed by the people. Give God the glory for it all. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. There was no way to explain away what had happened.

Luke 5:27 "And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me."

"Levi": Matthew's name prior to his conversion.

A publican was a collector of the Roman taxes. Publicans were a hated group, especially by the Hebrews. Levi is the same as Matthew. Jesus called him from the seat of customs to follow Him.

Luke 5:28 "And he left all, rose up, and followed him."

"Left all": This implies an irreversible action (verse 11; 9:59-62).

This "Levi", or Matthew, was to be one of the twelve disciples. He never hesitated. He came immediately.

Luke 5:29 "And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them."

"A great company of publicans" Levi's immediate response was to introduce his former comrades to Christ.

As I said, these publicans were hated by the Hebrews. It was felt that their job was not one to be proud of. Matthew gave a big dinner in honor of the Lord. It was thought to be a sin for the Hebrews to eat with publicans and sinners.

Luke 5:30 "But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?"

"Eat and drink": Consorting with outcasts on any level, even merely speaking to them, was bad enough. Eating and drinking with them implied a level of friendship that was abhorrent to the Pharisees (7:34; 15:2; 19:7).

These scribes and Pharisees begin to Jump on the disciples. They figure they might win an argument with the disciples.

Luke 5:31 "And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick."

"I.e., those who think they are whole don't seek healing.

"Whole ... sick": The Pharisees thought they were well, religiously pure and whole. The outcasts knew they were not. Salvation can't come to the self-righteous.

Luke 5:32 "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Jesus works on their self-righteousness here. He says you are so righteous already; I could not possibly be of any help to you. I must help those hopeless sinners. If you are already righteous, you do not need to repent and be saved. We can see that they quickly jump off of this subject in the next verse.

Luke 5:33 "And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise [the disciples] of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?"

"Fast often": Jesus did fast on at least one occasion (Matt. 4:2), but privately, In accordance with His own teaching (Matt. 6:16-18). The law also prescribed a fast on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29-31; 23:27), but all other fasts were supposed to be voluntary, for specific reasons such as penitence and earnest prayer.

The fact that these Pharisees raised this question shows that they thought of fasting as a public exercise to display one's own spirituality. Yet, the Old Testament also rebuked hypocritical fasting (Isaiah 58:3-6).

Here they are trying to stir up strife between the disciples of John and Jesus' disciples. The strange thing is that they respected John the Baptist, even though he plainly told them who Jesus was: but they did not believe Jesus.

Luke 5:34-35 "And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?" "But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days."

Jesus is speaking of the joy and power that is here, as long as His presence is here; but there will be a day of sorrow with His followers. Most of His followers will be so frightened and disillusioned that they will run and hide.

Fasting is an extension of prayer to the utmost. As long as Jesus is physically with them, there is no need to fast.

Luke 5:36 "And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was [taken] out of the new agreeth not with the old."

"New cloth unto an old garment": That new cloth does not work on old material is analogous to trying to patch New Covenant truth onto old Mosaic ceremonial forms.

This putting the material together, new and old, could be speaking of how hard it is for the Jews and Gentiles to worship together. If a group of new Christians try witnessing to Jewish people, they will listen, if you call Jesus the Messiah. We Christians, are looking for our Savior; the Jews are looking for their King. The same king only two different views of Him.

Luke 5:37-38 "And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish." "But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved."

"New wine into old bottles": Animal skins were used for fermentation of wine because of their elasticity. As the wine fermented, pressure built up, stretching the wineskin. A previously stretched skin lacked elasticity and would rupture, ruining both wine and wineskin.

Jesus used this as an illustration to teach that the forms of old rituals, such as the ceremonial fastings practiced by the Pharisees and John's disciples, were not fit for the new wine of the New Covenant era (Col. 2:17). In both analogies (verses 16-17), the Lord was saying that what the Pharisees did in fasting or any other ritual had no part with the gospel.

Luke 5:39 "No man also having drunk old [wine] straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better."

To me, this is speaking of how incompatible the law for the Jews and grace for the Christians are. It is so difficult for the Jews, who do not believe Jesus is Messiah; and Christians, who believe Jesus is Savior, to worship together, New and old together are not compatible. The Jews are satisfied with the law. Christians want salvation by grace through Jesus.

Luke Chapter 5 Continued Questions

1. Where did the Pharisees and doctors of law come from to see Jesus?

2. What was present to heal them?

3. Why were the Pharisees there?

4. What was wrong with the man whose friends brought him to Jesus?

5. When they couldn't get through the crowd, how did they get him to Jesus?

6. What is palsy?

7. When He saw their faith, what did Jesus say to the man?

8. What does that tell us about disease?

9. Who has the power to forgive sins?

10. What did the scribes and Pharisees accuse Jesus of?

11. Where are these scribes and Pharisees in error?

12. Who are these scribes, Pharisees, and doctors of law?

13, How did Jesus know?

14. They know the letter of the law, but do not know what?

15. Jesus healed the man to prove what to the Pharisees?

16. What did Jesus tell the man to do when He healed him?

17. What did the sick of the palsy do?

18. The people were amazed and _________ ________.

19. What is the beginning of wisdom?

20. Who was sitting at the seat of custom?

21. What other name is he known by?

22. What did Levi do to honor Jesus?

23. Who hated the publicans?

24. What is a publican?

25. Who needs a physician?

26. Who did Jesus come to call to repentance?

27. What did John's disciples do that Jesus' disciples did not?

28. What did Jesus call Himself in verse 34?

29. What shows the incompatibility of the law and grace?

30. Christians do not accept just the law, but want what?

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Luke 6

Luke Chapter 6

Luke 6:1 "And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing [them] in [their] hands."

Eating corn from a neighbor's field was not stealing. The law (in Deuteronomy 23:25), says: "When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbor, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbor's standing corn."

Luke 6:2 "And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?"

"Not lawful": Actually, no law prohibited the plucking of grain in order to eat on the Sabbath. Gleaning handfuls of grain from a neighbor's field to satisfy one's immediate hunger was explicitly permitted (Deut. 23:25). What was prohibited was labor for the sake of profit. Thus, a farmer could not harvest for profit on the Sabbath, but an individual could glean enough grain to eat.

These Pharisees were caught up in the law. They did not realize that the Word of God had taken the form of flesh, and this was He that was walking through the corn field. These Pharisees were so caught up in the "thou shalt nots" in the Bible, they had no time to do anything for God.

There was a law against reaping and against threshing. Pulling these ears of corn would be classified as work. In the law, there was no work at all to be done on the Sabbath (Exodus 20 and Numbers 15).

Even in the tenth chapter of Nehemiah, the gates were closed to stop trade on Sabbath. There are a number of other books which deal with this. I really believe, in all of this, that Jesus allowed this situation to arise to teach the disciples, the scribes, and the Pharisees the lesson that God made Sabbath for man's benefit.

God knew that the human body needed to rest in one out of 7 days. Jesus is telling them not to be so technical. Understand the meaning behind Sabbath.

Luke 6:3 "And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him;"

"Have ye not read": A rebuke, suggesting that they were culpable for their ignorance of so basic a truth (Matt. 12:5; 19:4; 21:16, 42; 22:31).

"What David did" (1 Samuel 21:1-6).

Luke 6:4 "How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?"

"The showbread": The consecrated bread of the Presence, 12 loaves baked fresh each Sabbath, which was usually eaten by the priests only (Lev. 24:5-9). God was not offended by David's act, done to satisfy a legitimate need when his men were weak with hunger (1 Sam. 21:4-6).

Jesus is saying here, you men of the law do you not know your own Scriptures? Then He quotes to them about David going into the temple and eating the forbidden bread. You can read about this bread that was reserved for the priests (in Exodus 29:32).

The thing that Jesus is trying to make them realize is that the law was given to help man, not to box him in where he was just keeping ordinances with no reasoning behind them. Jesus is trying to teach them the purpose behind the ordinance.

Luke 6:5 "And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."

"The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath": Christ has the prerogative to rule over not only their man-made Sabbatarian rules, but also over the Sabbath itself, which was designed for worshiping God. Again, this was an inescapable claim of deity, and as such it prompted the Pharisees' violent outrage (verse 14). Jesus is Lord of everything.

Mark 2:27 "And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath:"

You see, the rules that the Lord set up for us to live by are for our benefit. Jesus (in verse 5), is letting these scribes and Pharisees know that He is Messiah (the Anointed One), the Christ.

Luke 6:6 "And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered."

We see here a continuation of the teaching on the law of Sabbath, even though this was at least a week later than the teaching of going through the corn field. One of the main differences, in this and the eating of the corn, is that the first one is outside the church, and this one is in the synagogue.

Luke 6:7 "And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him."

"Watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath": The scribes and Pharisees spotted the man with the withered hand (verse 6), and with Christ present, they immediately knew that this would be an occasion for the man's healing. In stark contrast to all other so-called healers, Christ was not selective. He healed all who came to Him (verse 19; 4:40 Matt. 8:16).

Notice that it appears these scribes and Pharisees are sent by the authorities to try to trip Jesus up. It seems to be their job. They are there at every hand. In (verse 7), it makes it sound like it is bad to heal someone, at least in the sight of these scribes and Pharisees. It was illegal to heal on the Sabbath.

Luke 6:8 "But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth."

"Knew their thoughts": (Matt. 12:25; John 2:24). Though the Lord Jesus humbled Himself (Phil. 2:4-8), and set aside the independent use of His divine prerogatives in incarnation (John 5:30), He was still fully God and therefore, omniscient (see Mark 13:32; Luke 2:52).

Jesus will not disappoint them. He, without hiding or sneaking around, tells the man to boldly stand to receive his healing so that all might see. The man had sought Jesus out for just this purpose, and he was not about to lose this chance. He arises and stands in the midst of the people for all to see.

Luke 6:9 "Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy [it]?"

"To do good": The Sabbath laws forbade labor for profit, frivolous diversions, and things extraneous to worship. Activity per se was not unlawful. Good works were especially appropriate on the Sabbath, particularly deeds of charity, mercy, and worship. Words necessary for the preservation of life were also permitted. To corrupt the Sabbath to forbid such works was a perversion of God's design.

"To do evil": Refusal to do good is tantamount to doing evil (James 4:17).

Here again, we see Jesus asking a question that they cannot answer. They would be trapped themselves if they answer either way.

Luke 6:10 "And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other."

"Looking around about upon them": I.e., giving them a chance to respond to the question of (verse 9). Evidently no one did.

This was a strange request to a man who could not stretch forth his hand. The power of the Word of the Lord caused the diseased hand to obey and stretch forth. As the man extended his hand, he was made totally whole.

Luke 6:11 "And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus."

"Filled with madness": A curious response in the face of so glorious a miracle. Such irrational hatred was their response to having been publicly humiliated, something they hated worse than anything (Matt. 23:6-7). They were unable to answer His reasoning (verses 9-10).

And furthermore, by healing the man only with a command, He had performed no actual "work" that they could charge Him with. Desperately seeking a reason to accuse Him (verse 7), they could find none. Their response was blind fury.

This anger they felt should have been joy for the poor man's hand being healed. I personally believe their anger was fueled by jealousy, because they could not heal. Jesus was making them look bad. They wanted to get rid of Him before everyone followed Him.

Luke doesn't even find it necessary to mention that these scribes and Pharisees were not able to do anything to Jesus.

Luke 6:12 "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God."

"Continued all night in prayer": Luke frequently shows Jesus praying, and particularity before major events in His ministry. (3:21; 5:16; 9:18, 28-29; 11:1; 22:32, 40-46).

If we would take an example from Jesus and take more time to pray, we would find greater things happening in our own lives. An important decision was to be made. Jesus' and the Father's wishes must be one.

Luke 6:13 "And when it was day, he called [unto him] his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;"

"He called unto him his disciples": Christ had many disciples. At one point, He sent 70 out in pairs to proclaim the gospel (10:1). But on this occasion, He chose 12 and specifically commissioned them as apostles, i.e., "sent ones," with a special authority to deliver His message on His behalf (Acts 1:21-22).

It appears there were many disciples who followed Jesus. After praying all night, Jesus calls them all to Him and choses 12 apostles. These would be the leaders of the larger group. This would be the close knit group that He would teach so that they might be the leaders in His church. The word "apostle" means one who is sent or ambassador.

Luke 6:14 "Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,"

It is believed that Bartholomew, here, and Nathanael in John are the same person. Simon, whom Jesus called Peter, was surnamed "Cephas", which literally means a mass of rock. James and John were sons of Zebedee, sons of thunder.

This "sons of thunder" came from the name Mark gave them of Boanerges. Peter, James, and John were the three Jesus had with Him the most. They seemed to be the closest to Jesus.

Luke 6:15 "Matthew and Thomas, James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,"

Matthew was the tax collector. Thomas was the doubter. This "Zelotes" is a group Simon belonged to.

Luke 6:16 "And Judas [the brother] of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor."

These two named Judas completed the 12. Of course, there were many more disciples, these were just the representative (12), group Jesus entrusted His church to.

Luke 6:17 "And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;"

"Stood in the plain": Elsewhere it says "on the mountain" (Matt. 5:1). These harmonize easily if Luke is referring to either a plateau or a level place on the mountainside. Indeed, there is such a place at the site near Capernaum where tradition says this sermon was delivered.

"Tyre ... Sidon": Phoenician cities on the shore of the Mediterranean.

We see now, that after Jesus went to the mountain and prayed, and after He chose the 12 out of all the disciples to walk the closest to Him, He comes down the mountain with His disciples and meets a large company of people. Many want to be healed. Many came to hear His teachings because His message was full of hope.

Luke Chapter 6 Questions

1. What forbidden thing did His disciples do on this second Sabbath?

2. What 2 things did the picking and rubbing represent?

3. What Scripture tells us that it was alright for them to pick the neighbor's corn?

4. What did the Pharisees say to the disciples?

5. What lesson was Jesus teaching them in all of this?

6. What had David done when his men were hungry?

7. More so than the law, we should learn the _______ ______ _______ _________.

8. Who is Lord of the Sabbath?

9. What Scripture tells us the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath?

10. Who is Jesus trying to tell the Pharisees that He is?

11. What was wrong with the man's hand who came to the temple to be healed?

12. What did Jesus tell him to do?

13. What effect did this have on the Pharisees?

14. What questions did Jesus ask the Pharisees about healing the man that they could not answer?

15. What should they have been feeling?

16. What was the real reason they wanted to stop Jesus' ministry?

17. Where did Jesus go when He prayed all night?

18. What did Jesus do when morning came?

19. How many disciples did Jesus choose to be His closest associates?

20. What does "apostle" mean?

21. What was Peter's other name?

22. Who was Peter's brother?

23. What do most people believe is another name for Bartholomew?

24. What does the name "Cephas" mean?

25. What, besides James and John, were they called?

26. Who were the 3 disciples closest to Jesus?

27. Which disciple had been a tax collector?

28. Which disciple was known as the doubter?

29. When He came down from the mountain, where had many people gathered from?

30. Why were they there?

Luke Chapter 6 Continued

From verses 17-49: The Sermon on the Plateau. The similarity to the Sermon on the Mount is remarkable. It is possible, of course, that Jesus simply preached the same sermon on more than one occasion. It is evident that He often used the same material more than once, e.g., (12:58-59; Matt. 5:25-26). It appears more likely however, that these are variant accounts of the same event.

Luke's version is abbreviated somewhat, because he omitted sections from the sermon that are uniquely Jewish (particularly Christ's exposition of the law). Aside from that, the two sermons follow the same flow of thought, beginning with the Beatitudes and ending with the parable about building on the rock.

Differences in wording between the two accounts are undoubtedly owing to the fact that the sermon was originally delivered in Aramaic. Luke and Matthew translate into Greek with slight variances. Of course, both translations are equally inspired and authoritative.

We will begin this lesson just after Jesus had chosen 12 disciples and came down the mountain to find a large group of people from all over the area waiting for Him. These people had come to hear Him preach and to receive healing from Him. We will pick up this lesson now (in Luke 6:18).

Luke 6:18 "And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed."

"Unclean spirits": Another name for demons, used 10 times in the gospels.

This is a continuation of (verse 17), in the last lesson which said they came to be healed of their diseases. Jesus healed everyone whether the healing was physical or mental. He also delivered those possessed of devils.

Luke 6:19 "And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed [them] all."

"There went virtue out of Him": Christ's power, His inherent ability to minister and work supernaturally, proceeded from Him under the conscious control of His sovereign will. In (Mark 5:30), Jesus asked "who touched My garments" when the woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years touched Him?

Jesus' power was unlimited. Virtue in this particular sentence means miraculous power. The woman who touched the hem of His garment was healed by this virtue. This power was overwhelming.

Verses 20-25: Luke's account of the Beatitudes is abbreviated (Matt. 5:3-12). He lists only 4, and balances them with 4 parallel woes.

Luke 6:20 "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God."

"Ye poor": Christ's concern for the poor and outcasts is one of Luke's favorite themes. Luke used a personal pronoun "you", where (Matthew 5:3), employed a definite article ("the). Luke was underscoring the tender, personal sense of Christ's words.

A comparison of the two passages reveals that Christ was dealing with something more significant than mere material poverty and wealth however. The poverty spoken of here refers primarily to a sense of one's own spiritual impoverishment.

We see in this first statement of the Sermon on the Mount that most of those who followed Jesus would have been classed as the poor, because they were the working class of people. He was also speaking to his disciples who had been fishermen and other working men.

This really is saying to them; don't worry about not being wealthy now, because you will inherit the kingdom of God. Then and now it is more difficult for the wealthy and highly educated to humble themselves and admit they need the Savior. Extreme wealth and great educations do not bring about humbleness, ordinarily.

Luke 6:21 "Blessed [are ye] that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed [are ye] that weep now: for ye shall laugh."

"Ye that hunger": No mere craving for food, but a hunger and thirst for righteousness.

These future possessors of the earth are it's presently installed rightful heirs, and even now they "hunger and thirst after righteousness." This is the opposite of the self-righteousness of the Pharisees. It speaks of those who seek God's righteousness rather than attempting to establish a righteousness of their own (Rom 10:3; Phil. 3:9).

What they seek will fill them. I.e., it will satisfy their hunger and thirst for a right relationship with God. They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself is a proof of their spiritual rebirth.

In Matthew, it says hunger after righteousness. If we seek for the things of God diligently, He will give them to us. So much is said about weeping, but I believe this is a weeping for the lost souls. We shall laugh with joy when they come to the Lord and His fullness.

Luke 6:22 "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake."

"For the Son of man's sake": Persecution per se is not something to be sought. But when evil is spoken against a Christian falsely and for Christ's sake (Matt. 5:11), such persecution carries with it the blessing of God.

If you take a stand for the Lord, and do not waver, even to the point of death, then you will be called blessed in heaven. The interesting thing is that many of these disciples He was speaking to here, did stand up for Jesus, and they were killed because they would not renounce Him.

Even now, to take a stand to live for Jesus may cost you your so-called friends and many times your family as well. They do not want to be around you, because you talk about Jesus. They label you as a fanatic, and they speak evil of you.

Luke 6:23 "Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets."

Persecutions were very prominent in the days just after Jesus' resurrection, and many like Peter were martyred rejoicing that they could suffer for Jesus' name. Many, burned at the stake, died praising God. Even in the Old Testament, prophets suffered.

History tells us that Isaiah was sawed in half for the Lord. There are many, even today, who are suffering ridicule and persecution for the name of the Lord. Those who suffer with Jesus or for Jesus will reign with Him.

2 Timothy 2:12 "If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:"

You see, the Lord knows when you suffer upholding His name, and He will reward you greatly. We, like these early martyrs, should be thrilled when we suffer for His name, knowing that Jesus will have a great reward for us in heaven.

Luke 6:24 "But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation."

This has to do with those who have put their faith in their riches. Such as the rich young man who came to Jesus to be saved and went away sorrowful, because he chose his riches over eternal life. There is nothing wrong with being rich if you are not putting those riches ahead of your love for the Lord and His people; the misuse of wealth is spoken of as sin.

Wealth can be used to further the kingdom of God and to help the poor and suffering of the world. The Lord would have a rich man to be quick to distribute to those less fortunate, as we read (in 1 Timothy 6:17-19; especially verse 18).

1 Timothy 6:18 "That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;"

Riches in this life used selfishly on earthly goods bring no rewards in heaven.

Luke 6:25 "Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep."

This is speaking of people who are only interested in their own welfare; who fill their bellies to overflowing knowing that their neighbor is hungry and not doing anything about it.

"Laughing" here, is an indication that this person is caught up in the things this world calls fun with no thought for tomorrow. The mourning and weeping would be because they had missed heaven.

Luke 6:26 "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets."

If you are a friend to the world, you are not Jesus' friend.

We read (in John 15:19). "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

Read (John 15:17-21).

Luke 6:27 "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,"

If we are followers of Jesus, we must pattern our lives after His. His enemies, who nailed Him to the cross, He prayed for and said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do".

Jesus loved us while we were yet in sin enough to give His life on the cross for us. If we are to be Christ-like, we must love those, even if they are unlovable.

Luke 6:28 "Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."

We read (in Romans 12:20-21): "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head." "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

Luke 6:29 "And unto him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not [to take thy] coat also."

This deals only with matters of personal retaliation, not criminal offenses or acts of military aggression. Jesus applied this principle of non-retaliation to affronts against one's dignity (Matthew 5:39), lawsuits to gain one's personal assets (Matthew 5:40), infringements on one's liberty (Matthew 5:41), and violations of property rights (Matthew 5:42). He was calling for a full surrender of all personal rights.

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Romans 12:l9).

This lesson is not to be taken literally, but is teaching a very important lesson on unselfishness and on charity toward others.

Luke 6:30 "Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask [them] not again."

We all know that Jesus taught as long as it was in our power to help the needy, we should. This Scripture does not say give them everything you have, and it does not say keep on giving over and over. We should help people to help themselves.

Luke 6:31 "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."

We should always do as much and more for others as we want them to do for us. We are to set an example for our neighbors. We are to help them in every way possible.

Luke 6:32 "For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them."

Even the evil people love those that love them. If you love to be loved in return, you are no better than the rest of the world. We Christians are taught to love the unlovable; to love those who hate us. This unselfish love is what sets us aside from those of the world.

Luke 6:33 "And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same."

There really are 3 ways mankind can live. Worldly people dealing with each other do good to those who do good to them, those really caught up in terrible evil return evil when someone does good for them.

A Christian tries to do good all the time, even when the other person is doing evil to them. We choose to be a Christian and do good, or to belong to the devil and do bad. Or to ride the fence and be worldly and just do for those who do something for you.

Luke Chapter 6 Continued Questions

1. When Jesus came down the mountain after choosing the 12 disciples, who was waiting for Him?

2. What 2 things had they come for?

3. What happened to those vexed with unclean spirits?

4. Why did they want to touch Jesus?

5. In this particular Scripture, what does virtue mean?

6. In verse 20, who did Jesus call blessed?

7. Why?

8. Why would those who followed Jesus be classed as poor?

9. What was Jesus really saying to them about being poor?

10. What did He promise those who hunger?

11. What should we hunger after?

12. We are blessed when men hate us for what cause?

13. If you make a strong stand for Jesus today, what is apt to happen?

14. Who suffered persecution for the faith even before the disciples?

15. When Peter was crucified, how did He take it?

16. How does history tell us Isaiah died?

17. We find in 2 Timothy 2:12 that if we suffer with Him, we shall ________ With Him.

18. The woe, spoken on the rich, is for what reason in verse 24?

19. Who is a good example in the New Testament of putting wealth before God?

20. In 1 Timothy 6:17-18, we are told that the rich should be quick to do what?

21. In verse 25, what is the mourning and weeping probably indicating?

22. When everyone speaks well of you, who does this indicate you are a friend of?

23. In the 15th chapter of John, we learn that the world will love you if you are what?

24. Jesus tells the Christians to love whom?

25. What are we to do to those who curse us?

26. What are we to do to those who despitefully use us?

27. In Romans, what does it tell us to do for our enemy if he hungers?

28. How are we to overcome evil?

29. Who are we to give to, if we choose to be like Jesus?

30. How must we love, if we are to be separate from the world?

31. What are the three ways we can live?

Luke Chapter 6 Second Continued

Luke 6:34 "And if ye lend [to them] of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again."

This is just explaining that if we conduct our lives no better than the worldly, then we will be classified as worldly. Our unselfish attitude of helping those who we have no hope of ever getting it back from separates the Christian as not of the world.

Luke 6:35 "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil."

"Children of the Highest": I.e., God's children should bear the indelible stamp of His moral character. Since He is loving, gracious, and generous, even to those who are His enemies, we should be like Him (Eph. 5:1-2).

Jesus here, is speaking of those who desire to walk in His footsteps. God loved every one of us and still does. He is not willing that even one will be lost. God the Father loved us so much, regardless of our sins, that He gave His Son that we might be saved. If we are His children, then we must love as He loves.

Luke 6:36 "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."

Forgive and you shall be forgiven. This mercy of the Father is what rewrote our life to include life everlasting. God's grace and mercy is what opened the gate for us to walk through and be saved.

Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:"

"Judge not": This forbids hypocrisy and a condemning spirit rising from self-righteousness. It does not condemn true discernment.

"Ye shall be forgiven": This is not to suggest that God will withdraw justification from those who have already received the free pardon He extends to all believers. Forgiveness in that sense, a permanent and complete acquittal from the guilt and ultimate penalty of sin, belongs to all who are in Christ (John 5:24; Rom. 8:1; Eph. 1:7).

God forbids us to judge other people. Jesus is the Judge of the world. It is always very easy to see the faults of others. We cannot see our own faults.

The religious people of Jesus' day were condemning Him with no idea of who He really was. The best policy is not to condemn others at all, and then you won't make a mistake. If we expect God to forgive us, then we too must forgive.

Luke 6:38 "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

"It shall be given unto you": A long robe was used to carry the overflow of grain. (Psalm 79:12; Isa. 65:6; Jer. 32:18).

Luke 6:39 "And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?"

Verse 39 is perhaps a warning to the people of that day not to follow the scribes and Pharisees who were seeing all the miracles that He was doing and were totally blind as to who He was. He is saying if they are too blind to see this that is before their very eyes, why do you follow them.

He is also saying, if you follow them, you are just as blind as they are; and you will fall too. We could look at this for us also.

Signs are everywhere that the second coming of the Lord is near. Many church people are so blinded by their doctrine (like these Pharisees), that they cannot see the signs. The Lord warned about getting in a rut and following without looking around you. This is disaster for them then, and for those now who will not open their eyes and see.

Luke 6:40 "The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master."

That leaves us all out, because we are not perfect. The worker's goal should be to be as near like the master as is possible. The Lord set the pattern. It should be our goal to fit that pattern as near as we can. We are the apprentice; He is the Master. We are learning from Him.

Luke 6:41 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

"Mote ... beam": The humor of the imagery was no doubt intentional. Christ often employed hyperbole to paint comical images (18:25; Matt. 23:24).

Luke 6:42 "Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye."

This shows me that those of us who are ministering to others must live wholesome, upright lives. We must allow the Lord to purge us and do away with sin in our life before we can begin to minister to others. How can we tell the people we are ministering to not to sin, if there is sin in our lives? We might tell them, but it would be meaningless as long as there was sin in us.

Not, do as I say do, but do as I do is pleasing unto God. Ministers should set a pattern of righteousness. Rightly so, Jesus calls those hypocrites who do otherwise. You cannot live a double life. The rules are for everyone. Ministers are not exempt from God's laws.

It is easy to see the sin in someone else and very difficult to see it in ourselves.