The Conceptions of Jesus and John the Baptist – Luke 1

The Book of Luke s addressed to “Theophilus,” who most scholars believe was a Gentile; and he certainly has a Greek name. Not much is known about him, but from Luke’s way of addressing him here and in the Book of Acts, he seems to be someone of nobility or in some higher office.

English: Nativity of John Baptist, 15 c, Hermi...

English: Nativity of John Baptist, 15 c, Hermitage/ Рождество Иоанна Предтечи (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verses 5-24 deal with the foretelling and conception of John the baptist. It is the only one of the gospels that gives us that information. Verses 26-38 document the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary, telling her of the coming birth of her son, Jesus.

Mary is also told by Gabriel of the conception of her cousin Elizabeth’s son (John the baptist). In verses 39-45, Mary visits Elizabeth, and when she comes close with her baby in the womb, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb is said to “leap with joy.” Such a detail is not told to us frivolously, and the implication is undeniable for Christians. The baby in the womb is a person — not just tissue.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Col. 1, Col. 2, Col. 3, Col. 4, Luke 1

 

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Rehoboam Takes Bad Advice – 2 Chronicles 10

Jeroboam and “all Israel” came to Rehoboam to speak their grievances. They told him how hard life had been under his father, King Solomon — how he had made their “yoke” heavy. So they plead with him to lighten their burdens and not let their lives continue to be so hard, and they would be grateful and serve him.

Rehoboam, a fragment of the Council Chamber murals

Rehoboam, a fragment of the Council Chamber murals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rehoboam was not sure how he should answer them, so he sent them away, telling them to come back in three days. He used the time to seek the counsel of others. He went first to the older men, asking for their advice. they told him that he should be good and kind to them, and he will have loyal servants throughout his reign a king. But instead of taking their advice, he went to seek counsel from his contemporaries — the younger men.

These younger men did not simply tell him that he should not lighten their load. Instead they told him that he should speak harshly and intimidate them by a show of strength and ruthlessness, saying “My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs. And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”

The people then realized that things would not get better in their lifetimes, and they would not serve this king.  So they all went to their homes — their tents. Rehoboam sent his taskmaster, Hadoram, to try to get them in line. But they stoned him to death, Rehoboam fled to Jerusalem at this – the beginning of their rebellion.

Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Into Heaven – Acts 1

In verse 6, it is clear  that the apostles still do not understand what the Lord’s kingdom is all about, as they ask Jesus if he would “at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus doesn’t rebuke or correct them, but gives them an answer that applies to the way things really are: “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” He then tells them that after they receive power from the Holy Spirit they will be “my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Jesus Ascension to Heaven 64

Jesus Ascension to Heaven 64 (Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

It was at this point, Luke says, that Jesus was lifted up and a cloud took Him out of their sight. Verse 10 says that they were gazing into heaven watching. “Into heaven” simply means “upward,” and F. F. Bruce made a particularly important observation:

“We need not be alarmed by suggestions that the ascension story is bound up with a pre-Copernican conception of the universe, and that the former is therefore as obsolete as the latter. Anyone appearing to leave the earth’s surface must appear to spectators to be ascending” (F. F. Bruce, “The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?” William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1959).

This is so true. We do not know where heaven is in relation to our finite universe, and that is not something we will likely ever know in our earthly lives. The two men that we find standing with them, asking what the apostles are looking at, are obviously angels; and their dress confirms it from other accounts (Matthew 28:3, John 20:12).

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Jesus Bids Farewell – Luke 24

 

"Son of man" appears 25 times in Luk...

“Son of man” appears 25 times in Luke, a copy (c. 800) shown here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luke records Jesus’ ascension to heaven (at the end of forty days) in verses 50-53, as he leads them from Jerusalem to Bethany.  We are told in verses 52-53 that they “returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.” Luke’s gospel leaves out many of the events of those forty days that we get from John 21. But as John tells us, the things that could have been written about Jesus during His time with them would fill many volumes (John 21:25).

This concludes the reading this year of the Gospel of Luke. Nearly 6 months of studying this great gospel have been a blessing. But I well imagine that another reading of the book in the future will yield just as much new understanding as this one has done. Next week, we begin our reading of the Book of Acts, which is arguably one of the most important books of the New Testament. I look forward top the same measure of attention and study of that great book as we have been blessed with concerning Luke.

This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Jesus appears to Disciples – Luke 24

The disciples that Jesus met on the way to Emmaus went back to Jerusalem and found the eleven, who confirmed to the two traveler’s that yes, Jesus has risen (verse 34) and has appeared to Simon (Peter). No details here or in the other three gospels are given of that appearance to Peter (although Paul does speak of it in 1 Corinthians 15:5). But given Peter’s intense grief over his denial of Jesus, it was important to reach him quickly; and it was important to get to the rest of the eleven this day as well.

Jesus shows His wounds to Thomas.

Jesus shows His wounds to Thomas.

Jesus then entered while the men were talking, and they were frightened, as if He was a spirit. He had them touch him, and even ate some fish in front of them – spending some time to assure them both that he was a living man, and the same Jesus they had known. He then opened their minds to the Scriptures concerning Him. Jesus then tells them a bit about the witness they will bear to the world in the great commission, but he says they must stay in Jerusalem until they are “clothed with power from on high” (the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts). When He tells them to stay in Jerusalem, he means after he is gone. They will be with him at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1), and on a mountain in Galilee that He has directed them to (Matthew 28:16) before his ascension. Galilee is three days journey from Jerusalem.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Emmaus Revisited – Luke 24

 Well, I pulled the trigger on this a couple of weeks early :-). We had written a blog a year or so ago on the Road to Emmaus, a portion of Luke 24 that we are reading this week. So we’ll provide some excerpts of that to supplement the remainder of our reading of the chapter.

The Road to Emmaus appearance, based on Luke 2...

The Road to Emmaus appearance, based on Luke 24:13-32, painted by Joseph von Führich, 1830. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is still Sunday, the day that Jesus rose; and two of His disciples were traveling to the village of Emmaus.  One was named Cleopas, but we do not know the name of the other.  We are told in verse 16 that “their eyes were kept from recognizing him” when Jesus drew near.  When He asks them about the conversation they are having, the two men proceed to tell him about Jesus of Nazareth.  They speak of how great he was, how the chief priests and rulers condemned and crucified him.  And now, they say, some women of their company had been to his tomb and found it empty – a fact which others confirmed!  They are clearly distressed.

Jesus then gave them a mild rebuke for being slow to believe what the prophets had spoken.  He then interpreted Scriptures from Moses and the prophets concerning the Christ.   As they reached the village, they urged him to stay with them, as the evening would be coming soon.  He blessed and broke bread with them, and it was at this point that their eyes were opened and they recognized him.  Jesus then vanished from their sight.

Such a mysterious and dramatic revelation of Himself to these two disciples would appear to serve one purpose above any other – a proper eyewitness account.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

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The Empty Tomb – Luke 24

Luke says  in chapter 24 that they went at early dawn to Jesus’ tomb. “They” refers to the women who had come with him from Galilee (Luke 23:55). Matthew tells us that two of them were Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” (Matthew 28:1). In Matthew 27:56. This other Mary is identified as the mother of James and Joses (Joseph).

A large opening to the Sanhedrin tombs in Jerusalem, where members of the Jewish high court were buried.

A large opening to the Sanhedrin tombs in Jerusalem, where members of the Jewish high court were buried.

The way the rest of the verse is worded, it is unclear whether this Mary is also the mother of the sons of Zebedee, but most believe that the reference is of yet another of the women. A good case can be made that Salome was the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee (see Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40, and John 19:25). But we cannot be certain one way or another. We do know from harmonizing the gospels that Susannah and Joanna were among the women.

The women were met there by two men in “dazzling apparel,” who asked them ““Why do you seek the living among the dead?” They then reminded them how Jesus had told them that he would “be delivered into the hands of sinful men” and be killed and rise on the third day. Verse 8 said “they remembered His words,” which seems to be further evidence of the fact that Jesus’ words to the disciples about what would happen had been “hidden” from them, and that they just couldn’t understand it (Luke 18:31-34).

When they went to tell the eleven, the men did not believe them. But it was Peter that ran to the tomb and looked in with amazement. We know from John’s gospel the he also went with Peter (John 20:3-6). John refers to himself there as “the other disciple.”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The Death of Jesus – Luke 23

Joseph of Arimathaea Seeks Pilate to Beg Permi...

Joseph of Arimathaea Seeks Pilate to Beg Permission to Remove the Body of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luke tells us that it was about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the land until the ninth as the sun’s light failed. Then the Temple curtain was torn in two. This grand event obviously orchestrated by God was certainly very symbolic. No longer  would there be a need for a high priest, as Jesus is now our new high priest (Hebrews 4:14). Jesus gave up His spirit as He said “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.”

A centurion who saw all of these things, glorified God and said that surely this man is innocent. And all the crowds who witnessed these things returned home “beating their breasts.” Indeed, how many people witnessed all of these things that had shouted “crucify him,” and were now afraid for what they had done? Luke also says that Jesus’ “acquaintances” watched all these things and the women who had followed from Galilee  This would likely include those written about in Luke 8:1-3.

Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin council who had not consented to their decision to railroad the Lord. Luke says that he was a good and righteous man, and was looking for the kingdom. He got custody of the body of Jesus from Pilate, and wrapped it in a linen shroud. Then he placed it in a tomb that was cut in stone and had never been used for burial. The women prepared ointment and spices. And then they rested on the Sabbath rested as commanded.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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To Paradise – Luke 23

One traditional site of Golgotha is this hill with hollow eye sockets to look like the place of the skull. Another traditional site is in present-day Jerusalem, which in Jesus' time was just outside the wall. It is called the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

One traditional site of Golgotha is this hill with hollow eye sockets to look like the place of the skull. Another traditional site is in present-day Jerusalem, which in Jesus’ time was just outside the wall. It is called the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

As Jesus was taken away to be crucified, there were two criminals taken with him to be put to death. This fulfilled Isaiah 53:12, which said he would be numbered with transgressors. Luke says that they came to a place known as the skull. It is also known as Golgatha which comes from an Aramaic word for skull. There, they crucified Him and the criminals with one on each side of Him. Jesus said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The soldiers cast lots and divided his garments among them, which fulfilled what was written in Psalm 22:18.  People watched and the rulers scoffed at Him, saying  “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked, offering Him sour wine to drink.

North door of iconostasis. Icon of Paradise: A...

North door of iconostasis. Icon of Paradise: Abraham’s Bosom with the Good Thief entering to the left (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One prisoner began to mock as well, but the other rebuked him and asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus told him that this day he would be with Him in paradise (verse 43). Jesus, as we saw in other passages, did have the authority to forgive sins, and He exercised it there. So what did Jesus mean by that? Since His body was to be in the tomb for three days, after which He would arise from the dead, how could He be with this criminal in Paradise that day? And just what is this Paradise?

This is a point that many of us have spent some time reflecting upon, as much confusion is caused surrounding this topic. Does the soul merely sleep after the body dies until resurrection day? Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:13: “…we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve…” Or was that merely a statement that they are not really dead? When Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Luke 8:54-55), he had told those present that she was merely sleeping.

The birth of Benjamin was a time of joy and sorrow--joy that a new son, held by the midwife, was born; mourning for Rachel who died in childbirth (Genesis 35:16-20).

The birth of Benjamin was a time of joy and sorrow–joy that a new son, held by the midwife, was born; mourning for Rachel who died in childbirth (Genesis 35:16-20).

The scripture also says that on the occasion of that girl’s resurrection, her spirit returned. We have other scripture where people are dying, saying their souls departed (such as Jacob’s wife Rachel in Genesis 35:18). There is, of course, much we do not yet know, but we can surmise from all of this that there is a place indeed called Paradise that our souls do go to when we die. Paul also spoke of it in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.

The parable Jesus told in Luke 16:22-26 about the poor man, Lazarus, who died and was at Abraham’s bosom may be allegorical, but it certainly contains some truths about death and what happens to the soul thereafter. Jesus told parables to instruct. This writer does not believe that He would have done so with misleading or even incorrect facts in those parables. The rich man of that parable was consciously aware of what was going on in the place where his soul went. And he saw Lazarus in his place also alert to his surroundings. I believe that at the very least, this depiction of their states must be a fair representation of the status of the soul upon death of the body.

It appears then, that the Christian can take comfort in knowing that faithful loved ones who have gone on before are not just unconscious souls waiting for judgment day. Like Lazarus in Luke 16:25, they are being comforted there. And because of Jesus’ victory over death, we will be raised in a new spiritual body one day.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The Green Wood – Luke 23

Pilate was ready to release Jesus (following a sound beating, of course), but the chief priests and the rulers and the people that he had called to give this news to all cried out to him to take Jesus away and release Barrabas. Barrabas was in prison for insurrection and murder, but the Romans by custom would release one prisoner on Passover. Pilate tried again to reason with them, as he wanted to release Jesus. But the shouting to crucify him began.

Jesus helped by Simon of Cyrene, part of a ser...

Jesus helped by Simon of Cyrene, part of a series depicting the stations of the Cross. Chapel Nosso Senhor dos Passos, Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Oil on canvas, XIXth century, unknown author. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pilate tried again, saying “Why? what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” But they grew more demanding, and eventually he released Barrabas and gave in to their demands. As they led Him to His fate, they got Simon of Cyrene to carry His cross. (Cyrene is now an archeological site in present-day Lybia. It was a settlement of the Greeks, but became Roman Province in 74 B. C.). There was a great crowd of people following Him, and women who were weeping for Him. But Jesus then said to them:

“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Part of this, Jesus quotes from Zechariah 12:10-14, which speaks of mourning for “him whom they have pierced.” For the second time (the first being when He arrived at Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-44), Jesus is foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem which will occur about 40 years from then. “They” in that last sentence means the Romans. The green wood represents the innocent savior, and the dry is what will be left of that Jerusalem generation after He is gone.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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