Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of Luke has been an inspiration for Christians for almost 2,000 years. Luke contains famous hymns of praise such as the “Gloria” sung at every mass and the “Magnificat” sung by Mary when she discovered both she and Elizabeth would have special babies and lastly, there is the Benedictus or Canticle of Zechariah, John’s father who served as a priest in the Temple. It seems to apply more to Jesus than John in the first verse, when it says, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people.” According to the CSB, it is highly likely that Luke made up these songs because parts of the verses are taken from the OT. Also, the words are only loosely tied to their context. Prayers such as the “Hail Mary” were inspired by Luke’s Gospel, St. Francis began the custom of the Christmas manger and painters like Rembrandt and Caravaggio were inspired by Luke’s Gospel….. Luke’s Gospel itself is a great work of art and the longest of the four gospels (over 19,000 words). It is also a work of history, written upon investigation of eyewitnesses and other reliable sources…………………………………….. Most importantly, it is a work of theology, written so that readers would know that the teachings of Christianity are true: Jesus Christ is indeed Savior, Messiah, Lord and Son of God. Luke’s Gospel is all these things, and it is also divinely inspired, communicating to the reader what God wanted written for the sake of our salvation………………………………….. Authorship. The earliest extant manuscript, dated around AD 200, attributes the work to “Luke.” He was “Paul’s follower.” Acts of the Apostles is also attributed to Luke. Paul referred to Luke in 2 Timothy 4:11 when he says, “Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry.” He also refers to Luke in Colossians 4:14, saying, “Luke, the beloved physician, sends greeting, as does Demas.”……………………………………. Scholars think that Luke was a Jew because of his interest in the Temple and the priesthood. But, since his writing is a superior form of Greek, he is apparently a Hellenistic Jew who is writing for Gentile Christians……………………… The genre Luke chose for his Gospel is ancient biography. This form had several characteristics: a brief preface which mentions written and oral sources; focuses on one individual; has a basic chronological structure; it portrays its subject through significant deeds and words; there is information about birth, family background; its purpose is confirming what has been taught about the subject; proposing subject as someone to be imitated; for Jesus, it is someone in whom it is important to believe……………………………………. Structure and Literary Features. 1.Gospel begins with double birth and the wonderful Canticles. 2. The Central Section goes from 9:51 to 19:44. It covers the journey to Jerusalem while Jesus teaches the disciples about the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells parables only found in Luke. 3. The ministry in the Temple lasts from 19:45 to 21:38. 4. The preface, lines 1-4 are in the Classical Greek style, and then 1:5 transitions to the style of the Septuagint, showing that the story of Jesus continues the story of God’s people in the OT (the Septuagint is the Greek OT)……….. Theological Teachings and Themes. Extension of message of salvation to Gentiles; fulfillment in Jesus of God’s plan of salvation; role of Holy Spirit in lives of disciples; proclamation of good news to poor and marginalized; prominence of woman disciples, including Jesus’ mother, Mary; repeating of meal scenes, which anticipate the Eucharist and Kingdom banquet; importance of Jerusalem Temple. –More than 1/3 of Luke’s Gospel is from Mark, although Luke omits parts of Mark. 1/4 of Luke is found in Matthew, perhaps the part they both took from Mark. 40% of Luke is unique, from his own sources. Only the gospels of Luke and John: 1. mention Martha and Mary 2. mention Peter running to inspect the tomb at the Resurrection 3. mention the appearance of Jesus to the disciples on Easter in Jerusalem………………………………… Luke begins his Preface with providing Theophilus and others like him with certainty about earlier instruction they have received about Jesus’ teachings, death and resurrection……………… Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest/ and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” The angel is suddenly joined by a multitude of the heavenly host, the army of angelic beings who stand to the Lord’s right and left and worship him. “those on whom his favor rests” means people “of favor” or “of good will.” The kingdom of God is blessing these people with glory they will not soon forget…………… Luke 2:49 Luke bridges the 30 year gap between the birth of Jesus and his public ministry by an incident when he was 12; “Why are you looking for me?” are his first spoken words in the Gospel. Jesus explains, “I must be in my Father’s house.” In Luke, the verb dei (“must”) is used to convey divine necessity, what Jesus must do in fulfillment of God’s plan. Jesus’answer also contrasts his father Joseph with his heavenly Father, showing that he is conscious of his identity. He must be about his Father’s “business”(KJV)…………………………. Luke 3:22 After Jesus was baptized, he was praying, and the heavens opened; the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove; a voice came from heaven, saying, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Luke usually presents Jesus at prayer during important events; this is the best attested reading in the Greek manuscripts. The Western reading: “You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.” is derived from Psalm 2:7. That version has terrible implications!!! The Spirit’s action at Jesus’ baptism is a public manifestation that formally inaugurates his mission as Messiah(CSS Gospel of Luke).

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