Jesus Preaching the Gospel – Luke 20

Luke chapter 20 opens with “One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel…” When most people think of “the gospel,” they think of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We think of Jesus as the Christ – of his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The term, as applied to Jesus’ preaching, is used elsewhere, such as in Matthew 9:35 and Mark 8:35.  So what gospel was Jesus preaching? It was the gospel of the kingdom. The Greek word for gospel from which this was derived is “euangellion,” which is best translated as “good news” or “glad tidings.” It was the good news of the kingdom of God that He had taught His disciples and sent them out to teach as well (Mt 4:23, Mk 1:14-15, Lk 9:1-2, and Lk 10:1-11). The “rest of the gospel” – the path of salvation was very much a work in progress. As Jesus said, the kingdom was at hand.

John the Baptist acclaims Jesus Christ. Part o...

John the Baptist acclaims Jesus Christ. Part of a 16th century polychrome sequence in Amiens cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus preached as one with authority (Matthew 7:29), and he had performed many “signs and wonders” – miracles. As chapter 19 closed, He had driven out those who sold within the temple right under the noses of the chief priests and scribes, further enraging them to the point that they wished to destroy Him (Luke 19:47). So they came up to Him with the elders, and said “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” It was more than just the equivalent of our phrase today “just who do you think you are?” They wanted Him to “convict” Himself by His own words – giving them ammunition for the destruction they sought for Him.

But it was not yet His time, so Jesus told them that He would answer only if they told Him by what authority John the baptist did his baptism – from heaven or from man. This put them in the horns of a dilemma. The people considered  – knew – John to be a prophet, and these men feared violence if they said it was only by man. But none of them had believed in John, and Jesus, they knew, would expose them as liars if they said they believed it was from heaven. So they simply said that they did not know. So Jesus told them that He would not answer their question either.

They had come to set a trap for Him with the most revered of witnesses, thinking to outsmart Him. But the tables had been turned on them once again; and you can be certain that their anger burned even hotter.

(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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Extraordinary Things

Luke brings us the story of Jesus healing a paralytic man. This one is told in all three of the synoptic Gospels. In verse 17 of chapter 5, Luke is illustrating just how much Jesus’ notoriety had increased following the cleansing of the leper. Among those who were listening to Him teach were Pharisees and “teachers of the law” (scribes) who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea, as well as some from Jerusalem. So the size of this gathering was quite substantial.

Jesus healed a paralyzed man who was let down to Him through a roof (Matthew 9:1-8; Luke 5:12-26).

Jesus healed a paralyzed man who was let down to Him through a roof (Matthew 9:1-8; Luke 5:12-26).

Each of the Gospels holds some details not contained in the other two concerning the account of this event, which only serves to make the independent accounts more credible. Though Luke does not say what city Jesus is in at this time, by reading about it in Matthew 9:1-8 and in Mark 2:1-12, we find that He is “at home” in Capernaum. Capernaum was where He lived then – at least “home base.” Luke does not tell us at what home or building He was teaching when this occurred. Wherever they were, the crowd was so large that the men who had brought a paralyzed man on a bed could not get through the thick of it. So they went on the roof and removed enough tiles to lower the bed down to Jesus so that He could heal the man.

Surely, the men that went to all this trouble were relatives of the paralyzed man. Their desperate act of faith certainly got the attention of Jesus. When He told the paralyzed man that His sins were forgiven, it provoked a reaction from the Pharisees and scribes that were present. They were thinking that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy, since only God can forgive sins. It was the thought Jesus expected from them, and He then demonstrated His divine authority by having the paralyzed man walk – not just get up and walk, but carry his own bed with him.

This left the Pharisees and scribes there with the conclusion that Jesus had given them – He has the authority to forgive sins.  Almost everywhere that we read of Pharisees, we read of a negative response from them toward Jesus. But this was not universally the case. It is estimated that there were literally thousands of Pharisees in those days – and though many were blind to the truth where Jesus was concerned, not all of them were. Consider Nichodemus, for example (John 3:1-2).  Here in verse 26, Luke says “…amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe…”

(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 1 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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