Tuesday, September 6, 2022

           We know Luke in two ways—as a physician and as a Scripture writer.  He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the gospel known by his name and the book of Acts.  Indeed, some people consider Luke and Acts to be a two-part work that complements each other almost like a two-volume book or a hit movie followed up by a sequel.  Luke’s gospel contains the beautiful birth story of Jesus that we often ponder in amazement at Christmas time.  Luke tells us the very purpose of his writing, “With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:3-4). 
            Luke made it clear that he had looked carefully into the birth story of Jesus—much like a physician would examine a patient or look seriously into the reason for a patient’s sickness.  He then prepared an “orderly account” of the events of Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, teaching, miracles and ministry much like a physician would have detailed records and information about a patient’s medical history and prognosis.  He then wrote to assure Theophilus of the certainty of what he had learned about Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world.  Much like a physician today might seek to persuade you to see the benefits and value of certain medicines or healthy practices, Luke wrote to persuade his readers to know and trust Christ and Christ alone with their lives and faith.
            In Luke 5:31-32, we read, “Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’” Using the language of a physician, Jesus made it clear that He came for those who need forgiveness, healing and a second chance.  Jesus came to offer us forgiveness and a new life with Him.  In Luke 8, Jesus calmed a storm and demonstrated His mastery of nature.  This calming of a physical storm assured the first disciples (and us too) that Christ is able to calm the storms of life—whether they rage in nature or in the minds and hearts of humans who are desperate for recovery and relief.  We can entrust our life battles and storms that rage in us to the One who can calm them down and set us on a new course in life.
            Shortly later, in Luke 8, the Lord healed a demon-possessed man who had been oppressed “for a long time” (Luke 8:27).  With this healing, our Lord demonstrated His power over the spirit realm and the battles that Satan launches against us.  With the help of Christ, we put on the full armor of God to take our stand against the evil one and his ways of domination and oppression.  Luke, ever the physician, points His readers to Jesus as the one and only cure to evil and spiritual oppression from the enemy.  In Luke 9, Jesus fed a multitude of people that numbered at least 5000 men and likely many more women and children.  Here, Luke portrayed Jesus as the One who cannot only provide physical food and literal bread but also as the One who feeds the heart and spirit of mankind as well.  Jesus Himself is the bread of life and the only One who can sustain us for a lifetime and for eternity.  Just as your doctor would encourage you to develop good eating habits, Luke points us to Christ alone to feed us and nourish us through our relationship with Him. 
            We can make our way through Luke’s gospel and find multiple examples of him presenting his case as a physician might do—examining evidence and possibilities before reaching a diagnosis or even prognosis.  When you read Luke’s gospel, find yourself in the verses, stories and encounters that He presents.  In Luke 24, we read the story of Jesus walking and talking with two followers on the Road to Emmaus as the Lord explained the Scriptures to them and further explained everything that had happened through His death and resurrection.  Luke plays a similar role for us today.  He walks us through the Gospel message and meticulously, like a physician, shows us what Christ has done and why that should matter to us.  Enjoy Luke’s gospel and walk slowly with him as he shows you the greatness and glory of our Lord.  Have a great Tuesday!  Remember you can share our worship at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.

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